Tag Archives: toxins

Water Bottles, sippy cups, perfume, OH MY!

photo courtesy of Jill

This is a guest post from health advocate, Christen Black.  Christen has been promoting and using safe products for herself and family for years.  Below she talks about the hidden dangers of the everyday products we use.
Why should we be concerned about BPA and Phthalates?
I don’t know about you but I never used to care about what I put ON my body as much as what I put IN my body.  Even when it came to what I put IN my body, I was naïve to think that eating “healthy” was enough.  I was so carefree about what I drank out of or what I heated my food in.  I spent so much time and money on cute clothes and my hair but not enough on the really important things that could affect my health and wellness and that of my family’s.

This changed a couple of years ago, after I had my daughter and after my family was touched by 2 cancer diagnoses within a week apart.  I became very interested in learning about “toxic” chemicals and other “things” that were known to cause cancer.  This interest eventually turned into my starting a business that helps people stay healthy.

First of all,  I want to state that I am by no means an expert on BPA or phthalates, but I am hoping that what I do know will help even a few people out there.  Unfortunately, BPA and Phthalates are everywhere and it would be almost impossible to avoid them completely (yet).  Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an estrogen-like chemical used in many polycarbonate plastics, canned-goods, and recycled paper products. Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics, such as toys, and are also widely used in personal care products such as nail polish, shampoo, body wash and lotion.

Even though our government still contends that these chemicals are safe for us, both of these chemicals are hormone disruptors and there’s enough research showing their link to cancer, diabetes, and early term pregnancies, to name a few.  We have started to avoid certain products with BPA, like baby bottles and water bottles, but we are very behind with phthalates.  Phthalates are becoming more controversial as more scientific research associates them with hormonal disturbances such as reduced testosterone in babies and adults.  If you have a boy you should be even more wary of these chemicals.  I would highly recommend Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, who talks about the severity of phthalates.  Dr. Mehmet Oz says, “Boys Adrift is a must-read for any parent of boys. This is real science, and Dr. Sax thoroughly uncovers the important health issues that parents of boys need to be tuned into.”

Phthalates are present in so many things we apply on our body and yet it’s so hard to know because they are often hidden under another ingredient like fragrance or perfume.   The good news is that there are companies now that produce products that are phthalate-free.

The bottom line is that we need to be more educated and take matters into our own hands when it comes to taking care of our health.  Don’t assume that things are safe if they are on the market.  We also must put more pressure on our government to take action and ban the use of these harmful chemicals.

Christen Black

Check out a list of items that are BPA and phthalate free (particularly for babies and children).

If you are interested in finding out what’s in your personal care products or interested in making steps towards toxic and chemical free personal care products, check out this site.



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Breathe

You can live two months without food and two weeks without water, but you can only live a few minutes without air.” Hung Yi-Hsiang, Taoist Master

Without thinking we are always breathing in and out. We breathe in oxygen-rich air and breathe out carbon dioxide (those pesky toxins). We usually do not even think of this basic instinct we have which is necessary for our survival.

In the book, “The Natural Health Bible” by Lisha Simester, it says most people in the West do not breathe deeply enough, which doesn’t allow us to have optimum health. If we do not breathe correctly, our energy levels may be lower, we may have chronic fatigue, allergies, colds and many other problems. All because we may not be breathing properly (breathing too shallowly, too long or fast).

Breathing exercises can help us get through our most stressful situations. It provides support and mental clarity (think of those women who use deep slow breaths when giving birth).

Deep breathing is a practice that is a long-accepted fundamental technique in other countries, especially China and India. With more people including exercises such as yoga into their daily lives, the awareness of breathing is much more prevalent. However, because teaching breathing techniques is not a very common practice for most people, we have become bad at breathing. I know you’re thinking – come on, another thing that we need to work on?! Yes! According to Simester, “Because we are not taught breathing techniques as part of our health education in the West, many people develop bad habits out of ignorance, combined with laziness.”

The Chinese believe that correct breathing is vital for our important functions such as, blood pressure, stress reduction, and hormone secretions. Breathing correctly is the key to well being and longevity.

The book offers a couple of breathing exercises. I will include the simplest one:

Slowly inhale and exhale through the nose. With each breath, bring the air down to the diaphragm, allowing the stomach to expand with each inhalation, gently pulling in the abdomen.

Simple, right? Now try it. I tried hard to focus on my breathing then noticed how my mood shifted almost immediately. Yoga and Pilates are also great ways to practice breathing in a controlled environment. Try it out. Let me know how it works for you!