Beauty At A Toxic Price

Kimberly Distilli Detox, Education, Healthy Living, Uncategorized Leave a comment  
Toxins in beauty products

Beauty at what price?

That new lotion you just bought smells so delicious, it couldn’t be hiding toxins in there, could it?  Unfortunately, many of the lotions and potions we use every day contain chemicals that are allowed in the United States, but it doesn’t mean they are good for you. Many chemicals that are legal here, are illegal in European countries. Conversely, chemicals that are not allowed in the US are found in European countries. How do we know what is a toxin and what is safe?

While certain additives in products may cause allergies, asthma or even cancer, pinning down which exact ingredient is damaging is difficult.  Hard evidence on the dangers of chemical ingredients is so challenging because the data comes from observational studies, and each person’s exposure and risk varies greatly.

Burden on the Public

According to Russ Hauser, Chair of the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Too much of the burden is on the public, and it’s unfair to expect the average person to have the time and scientific background to stay on top of this.”

Parabens and phthalates, chemicals often found in nail polishes and lotions, are thought to disrupt the hormonal system, affecting many of our bodily systems, including the reproductive and neurological systems. Studies have shown a possible link between talc and ovarian cancer. So how do we avoid these chemicals? One study by the TH Chan School of Public Health suggested that purchasing products with fewer ingredients was one possible method of reducing your exposure to toxins. But words like “possible” and “potential” don’t help a lot when you are standing in a store, trying to decide which product is “safe” to purchase.

Where to Go for Help

The Environmental Working Group is a good place to start to learn a little more about the chemicals around us. According to their mission statement, they are “a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.” Their website features consumer guides on beauty products, home care products, food, and water safety.  They also have a data base of various beauty products that are rated for safety based on the ingredient list. You can type in the name of a product, or an ingredient to learn how safe it is. If you find it to be too toxic for you, use their data base to find alternative products that contain less toxins.

Another great option is to look into making one or two of your own beauty products. Making soaps, lotions and lip balms are very do-able in a standard kitchen. Finding how-to videos and recipes, like this one, is easy to do.

In short, learning which products to use does require a bit of time, but by learning companies that place a priority on healthy products, and/or making your own products, consumers send a message with their checkbooks.  Hopefully more companies will start listening to the message we are sending.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

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Ketogenic Diet

A Ketogenic diet is very-low-carbohydrate diet, developed the 1920’s. It was shown to reduce or even remove the need for medication in epilepsy patients. In the 1960’s this diet was successfully tested as a way to treat obese patients. It is also proven to be effective at treating diabetes, acne, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, and improving respiratory and cardiovascular disease risk factors. A Ketogenic diet contains high-fat foods, adequate protein and low-carbohydrate foods. The diet causes the body to burn stored fats in the body, instead of using carbohydrates (sugar). Read more

Vitamin D: How Much is Too Much?

Kimberly Distilli Education, Healthy Food, Healthy Living, Nutrition, Uncategorized Leave a comment  
Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Getting the right amount of vitamins is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Ideally, getting vitamins through the food we eat is the best way for our bodies to receive nutrition. When that fails, supplements can be a good source of nutrition. Unfortunately, many people tend to treat supplements less seriously than medicine and often take larger doses than necessary. Vitamin D is easy to over-ingest. Often, Vitamin D is found in daily supplements AND in calcium supplements, and many people, especially women, can take too much. Conversely, with decreasing outdoor activity and increased sunscreen usage, many people are diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency. Read more

Beverages: A Drink to Your Health

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Make healthy choices in what you drink.

Decisions about which drink to choose are tough, but making a healthy decision may be the hardest part. Look at any beverage aisle in a grocery and you know you have a lot of choices to quench your thirst. Energy drinks, sodas and juices abound. Here’s some information to help you make a more informed selection. Read more

Elimination Nation

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Elimination Station

Elimination Station

Elimination — yup. We’re going to talk about THAT.  Every human organism relies on the ability to successfully eliminate waste from its system or die.  Getting waste out quickly is a benefit to any biological system. In humans, our bodies are designed to evacuate in a squatting position, and long before the modern toilet was invented, our ancestors squatted. Many cultures still use toilets that require squatting, which would be viewed as odd here in the United States. Read more

Do You Practice Mindful Eating?

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Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is not something most people in our busy world do on a regular basis. In a world where snack foods are sold in “cup-sized” containers to fit in our car’s cup holders, we tend to focus on the speedy delivery of food, not in savoring it.

If you’d like to get away from this crazy treadmill of meals, mindful eating is worth investigating.  Best of all, you don’t need any fancy book to tell you how to do it or any special gear, either–just you, your brain, your mouth and food. Read more

Does Wheat Really Matter for Our Health?

Kimberly Distilli Uncategorized 2 Comments
Wheat or no wheat?

Is wheat healthy for us?

Give us this day our daily bread….or not? Depending on your experience with food, eating wheat is either just a fact of your daily life, or it’s something to be avoided at all costs.

Read more

Food’s Cultural and Social Influence

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Food's Cultural and Social Influence

Food’s Cultural and Social Influence

How does food influence us? In more ways than we might imagine since we all participate in a “food culture.” In the U.S., influences on our food come from European cultures, our Native American roots and migratory cultures that came to the U.S. Traditions around food vary by family ancestry. Growing up in certain cultures means the Sunday dinner is a required event, or that certain foods are served for holidays and celebrations. Unfortunately, some of the worst habits we have as Americans also center around our food influences. Fast food culture, processed foods and eating on the go are all areas Americans could improve. These good and the bad influences come together to form our food culture. Read more

Organics: Are They Worth the Cost?

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Is the Cost Worth the Benefit?

Is the cost of organics worth the benefit?

You hear organic foods are healthier for you, but are they worth the cost? It’s easy to WANT to choose organic for all of your food, but eating exclusively organic products can sometimes be tough on a budget.

According to Alex Lu, a T.H. Chan School of Public Health professor….yes, you should buy organic when available and when your budget allows. This is the best way to avoid pesticides and harmful chemicals.  Read more

Fats: Saturated or Unsaturated?

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iStock_000058613538_MediumThe term “game of inches” is often applied to football, but it is just as apt for a healthy diet. Small changes over time typically result in a healthier lifestyle than large, dramatic changes that only last until willpower expires. One of the ways to conquer inches in healthy eating is to make better choices in the fats we eat.  Read more