Don’t Waste Your Time Making Resolutions

What’s the point in making resolutions?  It means nothing to resolve to do something; we do that about a hundred times a day, but it is those times when we take action that we reach our goals.  This year, don’t make resolutions.  Set goals.  Then list the milestones to reaching that goal.  Prioritize a list of action items to get you to each milestone.  Then celebrate your achievements because the problem isn’t in reaching goals, it’s in setting them.  And this week between Christmas and New Years is the perfect time to sit down and dream about where you want to be, what it will take to get there and how you will set that plan in motion.

The Strangest Secret (Part 1)

The Strangest Secret (Part 2)

The Strangest Secret (Part 3)

Living in a Toxic World

Are you aware of  all the research linking disease to chemicals we use every day in our homes?  Indoor pollutants come from all sorts of chemicals we use to make our lives easier every day—paints, carpets, furniture, household cleaners, personal care, among others.

EPA studies indicate that elevated concentration of household chemicals persist in the air. Long-term exposure to chemicals inside our homes may be harmful to us and our families

  • The average home generates over 25 pounds of toxic, hazardous waste each year. Much of this waste can be attributed to household cleaning products. (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • According to a 15 year study, women who work at home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those who work away from home.  The study concluded that this was a direct result of the exposure rate to toxc chemicals found in common household products. (Toronto Indoor Air Conference)
  • “Cancer rates have increased since 1901 from only 1 in 8,000 Americans, to 1 in 3 today! By the year 2010, this disease will afflict 1 of every 2 individuals!” – (American Cancer Society)
  • The number of people diagnosed with asthma grew by 4.3 million from 2001 to 2009. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • Asthma diagnoses increased among all demographic groups between 2001 and 2009, but children were the hardest hit, with asthma affecting 9.6 percent of children, compared with 7.7 percent of U.S. adults. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • Asthma was linked to 3,447 deaths (about 9 per day) in 2007. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • Common cleaners give off fumes that have been linked to increasing the risk of your kids developing asthma, the most common serious chronic childhood disease. An average of one out of every 12 school-aged children has asthma (Centers for Disease Control)
  • Children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxicants. Pound for pound of body weight, children drink more water, eat more food and breathe more air than adults. The implication of this is that children will have substantially heavier exposures than adults to any toxicants that are present in water, food or air.
  • “The toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution.” –Environmental Protection Agency

Look out for the following chemicals: (For more information on these chemicals and the legislation (Safer Chemicals Act)  proposed to ensure these chemicals are tested for human safety  visit Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.)

  • Phenol
  • Lye
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Sulfamic acid
  • Petroleum distillates
  • Ammonia
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Butyl cellosolve
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Formaldehyde
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Heavy Metals (Lead, Mercury and Arsenic)
  • Phthalates
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs)
  • Parabes
  • And many more!

May be found in:

  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Degreasers
  • Floor polish
  • Rug shampoos
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Tub and tile cleaners
  • Window cleaners
  • Cosmetics
  • Shampoos
  • Soaps and Lotions
  • Plastic Toys
  • Water Bottles
  • Furniture
  • Bedding
  • Clothing
  • And more!

Listen, Your home should be the safest place in the world! Your cleaners shouldn’t leave behind more toxins than the toxins they are supposed to clean.  And You shouldn’t have to sacrifice power convictions for powerful cleaners, and vice versa!  Change your brands.  Get rid of  your Lysol and 409, your bleach and use a brand that cleans as well or BETTER, without using toxic chemicals!

Find out more about the Safe Chemicals Act.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is not technically a vitamin

A vitamin is an organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) that must be obtained from outside the body through diet.  In contrast, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.  But it is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Therefore, vitamin D is technically a pre-hormone and not a vitamin.

Vitamin D is an integral part of human health and longevity

Vitamin D plays a major role in building and maintaining strong bones by increasing the calcium that is absorbed through your intestines. Vitamin D regulates the immune system.  Without vitamin D the body’s T cells will not be able to react to a foreign substance (virus or bacteria) and won’t be able to protect us.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a host of health problems

Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions.
  • Multiple Sclerosis – Dosage of Vitamin D found in multivitamins have been shown to reduce the risk of Multiple Sclerosis by 40%.
  • Cancer – Acording to the national cancer institute, a large number of scientific studies have investigated a possible role for vitamin D in cancer prevention.
  • Diabetes – Vitamin D deficiency may be tied to risk factors for type 2 diabetes among obese children.
  • Cardiovascular Disease – By raising low levels of the vitamin to normal levels, patients reduce their risk of heart disease by about 30%, an observational study finds.

80% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient  

A quick internet search shows that low vitamin D is linked to everything from an increased risk of cesarean sections to myopia (nearsightedness) to colorectal cancer.  And due to the modern lifestyle, the rates of vitamin D deficiency have been increasing in the US at alarming rates.   The good news is that Vitamin D can be improved through eating foods high in vitamin D, increasing sun exposure or by taking a daily multivitamin.

Are you Getting Enough Vitamin D?

If you aren’t sure if you are getting the right amounts of Vitamin D, your doctor can give you a quick blood test at your next appointment or you can take this quick quiz.

Malnutrition in the United States

The most pressing nutrition problem in this country is malnutrition. Malnutrition in the US comes in the form of “too much” rather than too little – too much saturated fat, too many hydrogenated fats, too much sodium, too much refined sugar, too many calories.

In addition, the nutrient deficiencies created by our modern diet cause the body to be more prone to viruses, disease, infections and so on. In short, we are overfed and undernourished.  The foods we eat, even when we are making good choices, lack the proper nutrient content because of the way we harvest, store and prepare our foods.

According to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, “Malnutrition occurs in people who are either undernourished or overnourished. Today, in the U.S., more children suffer from malnutrition due to dietary imbalances rather than nutritional deficiencies.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, malnutrition is a very serious concern for elderly Americans and “is often caused by a combination of physical, social and psychological issues” and can lead to “various health concerns, including:

  • A weak immune system, which increases the risk of infections
  • Poor wound healing
  • Muscle weakness, which can lead to falls and fractures”

According to Harvard Global Health Institute Director Sue Goldie, the Roger Irving Lee Professor of Public Health; “Nutrition sits amid three major problems of global health: the unfinished agenda of reducing malnutrition and infectious disease, the growth of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes (many of which have a dietary component) in developing nations, and globalization issues, where not only information and manufactured goods are exchanged, but also dietary habits and fast foods.”

According to Eileen Kennedy in the Journal of Nutrition; “A global nutrition transition has and is occurring on a continuum. While problems of under-consumption and poor nutritional status continue to exist, increasingly problems of diet/chronic diseases are emerging as significant public health issues globally.”

Are you getting the nutrients you need?

The Burden of Chronic Diseases

“If you reduce the prevalence of smoking by 20%, and reduce salt intake by 15%, and provide essential basic medicines to hypertensive patients, in the next 10 years we can save 3.4 million lives.” Jon Andrus, Deputy Director of  Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Consider also, if you can get each patient to increase their activity level to 30 minutes a day and reduce consumption of fast food and processed foods.

To see statistics on the economic burden of these diseases, view Chronic Disease Impact.

What’s Under Your Sink? – Get Clean

Did you know that a person who spends 15 minutes cleaning scale off shower walls could inhale three times the “acute one-hour exposure limit” for glycol ether-containing products set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment?

Some examples of products with Butyl Cellosolve:

  • Easy Off Oven Cleaner
  • Pledge – Electronics spray cleaner
  • RainX- Glass Cleaner and Anti-Fog
  • TarnX- Tarnish Remover
  • Spot Shot – Carpet Stain Remover
  • Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner

Glycol ether-containing products, also commonly referred to as Butyl Cellosolve, butyl glycol, Dowanol and ethelyne glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE) are all included on the list of California’s toxic air substances.  Exposure to Butyl Cellosolve can cause depression of the central nervous system, resulting in headaches, drowsiness, weakness, slurred speech, tremor, and blurred vision  And many household cleaning products contain Butyl Cellosolve.

Butyl Cellosolve is a chemical that is found in a wide variety of household cleaning agents – glass cleaners, oven cleaners, general degreasers, spot removers, air fresheners, and carpet cleaners, among other things.  It is a toxic synthetic solvent and grease cutter that is known irritate mucous membranes and cause liver and kidney damage. Butyl cellosolve is also a neurotoxin that can depress the nervous system and cause a variety of associated problems.

These risks are not related to ingestion of this chemical; these risks are from breathing or touching this chemical in products when used correctly. This is a level of risk you are accepting for yourself and your family when you use these products in your home.  Just like you accept that there is a certain risk in driving a car.  But  while walking to work or to grandma’s house may not be a realistic option, you do have safe and effective alternatives to using synthetic toxins to clean your house.

Reviewing its Chemical Scorecard you will see that Butyl Cellosolve is a high volume chemical with production exceeding 1 million pounds annually in the U.S.  Unfortunately, the EPA says that only a fraction of the more than 75,000 registered chemicals have gonethrough testing for human health concerns.  And like thousands of others chemical s, Butyl Cellosolve lacks at least some of the data required for a safety assessment and only 6 of 8 BASIC safety tests have been conducted.

Environmental Defense Fund has created a compelling infographic (at left) on the chemicals in your home and in you. The chemicals being stored in your body are your body burden.  The Environmental Working Group has been conducting studies on the Pollution in  People and is reporting what is now described as the Body Burden, or the buildup of synthetic chemicals and heavy metals in our bodies.

If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you generate more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).

To find out what’s lurking on your shelves, go to the National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine Household Products Database. You can search almost any brand of cleaner you use, find out what’s in it, and uncover its links to health effects. Or search by chemical ingredients and discover what brands contain it.

If you want to give up the harmful toxins without giving up on clean, please consider using a non-toxic, environmentally safe alternative like Get Clean.

Cleaning Rust Stains in the Dishwasher

Tonight I noticed all the rust stains in my dishwasher and instead of ignoring them, I thought, I’ll just grab my scour off and spot test it to see if it works.  Scour off is a non-toxic, all natural cleaner, made by Shaklee.

Not only did it work, but I had the entire dishwasher clean in less than 5 minutes.

If you are interested in trying this out at home you can buy it here.