Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

Put non-toxic clothing on your back-to-school list

Toxins come at us from a variety of consumer products, most of which we can’t see or smell.  One type of consumer product that contains many toxic chemicals that we use daily is clothing.  Most people know to wash new clothing before it is worn.  This is because there are manufacturing chemicals still on the clothing when we bring it home.  Yes, the “new clothing” smell, due to manufacturing chemicals, is often perceptible. Have you ever wondered how much of it gets washed off? How are the remaining chemicals affecting my children’s bodies? And once the clothing is washed, what happens to all those chemicals?

Let me tell you.  They don’t just disappear, they get washed down the drain.  We get to wash it and forget it, but those chemicals still exist and now they are dissolved in water.  As it’s hard to know exactly what and how much, I’ve decided to exit out of this consumer loop of using toxic chemicals for my clothing and washing them down the drain – for health of the planet and for my family.

Continue reading “Clean Clothes for Back to School”

How to Protect Skin Safely During Summer Fun

What's in your sunscreen and swimming pool?

Be aware that sunscreen and swimming pools can contain hazardous chemicals

Sunscreen and swimming pools go hand-in-hand for summer fun, for sure! At the risk of raining on your parade (or at least on your sunny summer day), I caution you to pay attention to what’s in your sunscreen and swimming pool!

I get lots of questions about sunscreen. It’s a tall order to find something that protects kids (and adults!) from sunburn and lasts a long time, even after repeated exposure to water and toweling. Yet it’s becoming more well known that most sunscreens contain hazardous ingredients.

Pools too use chemicals to reduce exposure to harmful bacteria that grow.  I’ve evacuated a few pools in my lifetime that had an unfortunate dose of poop in them. So some kind of anti-bacterial action is really important!

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be complicated to reduce health risks associated with sunscreen and pool chemicals. In order to get you back out there in the fun, I’ll keep it short and sweet for you.

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For the Love of Lilac

Some people think that I’m super sensitive to fragrance.  And it’s easy to understand why. I can sniff out anyone’s laundry detergent floating on the breeze or scented hand soap on my daughter after school.

The word sensitive in our society denotes that something is wrong. Being sensitive to anything is usually considered a fault or weakness.

But when it comes to fragrance, the fragrance of a flower or a chemically made fragrance, being sensitive is a very good thing.

Lilacs have been in bloom here recently.  My neighbor and I swoon over the scent of them wafting between our houses. Lilacs remind us of special times in our childhoods. When cut and placed in the kitchen, their scent in the morning lifts my spirit. And catching the sweet scent of lilac during story time in the hammock makes the moment even more magical.  I’m delighted that I can smell even the faintest hint of lilac.

Benefits of the Olfactory Sense

Our olfactory sense, or sense of smell, is for enjoyment, health and protection (among other benefits).  I enjoy the scent of real lilac, the salty ocean and chocolate.  When I smell dinner cooking it begins the process of digestion. And when a scent is added to natural gas, it can warn us of a dangerous natural gas leak because we associate that added scent with a gas leak.

Continue reading “Fragrance Sensitivity is a Good Thing. Really.”

Grow a Wellness Garden

Grow Wellness in your own backyard

In my case, I grow Wellness in my front yard. Here, Wellness comes packaged in juicy fruits, dirty hands and vegetables bursting with flavor and life. Each spring I anticipate the beauty of green shoots pushing through the earth with their promise of nourishment and deliciousness.

The front yard happens to be where we have the most sun to grow vegetables and fruits.  It’s not a large garden, nor do I spend a lot of time in it.  This year, since the arrival of our baby boy, I spend even less time there having put my 9 year old daughter in charge of it.

My garden could be considered by some to be a hobby garden, but to us, it’s much more than that. It’s where we exchange soil and sunlight for wellness. It is our Wellness Garden.

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Why I won’t be spending Thanksgiving with my husband’s family

why I stay away from environmental chemicals, Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Some things are more important than pumpkin pie, or sitting at the same table with Bachan

Thanksgiving with my husband’s family is always spent with Bachan, his Grandmother, who is now 96 years old. (Bachan is Japanese for Grandma.) His family is very loyal and nobody misses being with her on this holiday and Christmas, except for good reason.

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Child Health Begins at Home

Simple changes can have big impact
Photo by Tina Floersch on Unsplash

I’m a bit passionate about children’s health. Well, actually, I’m a lot passionate about kids’ health. I have 2 daughters. Both had a rough entry into life, putting them at greater risk for chronic illness and adverse effects related to chemicals in their environment. 

Fortunately, because I am a proactive seeker of health (necessitated by an autoimmune diagnosis in my childhood), my girls caught a break.  Our home and personal care routine is relatively low in toxic man-made chemicals. The benefit of that can be seen in these Beauties’ health today.

Continue reading “Be the Change: Child Health”