Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Detoxing your house-Simple Starts

The first minute of this video says it all, take a look then come back and read on....

It's 9:30 am.  Let's look at what has happened in my house so far today that could lead to toxicity:

Showering, washing dishes, using plastic containers to put food or drink in, sitting on the couch, sitting on stained hardwood chairs, walking across the floor in bare feet, drove Steph to work, drinking unfiltered tap water, sending prepackaged foods (granola bars and yogurt tubes) in kids I think I just scared myself to be honest!

How are these normal daily activities toxic.  Well the driving Steph to work one is easy, the emissions that are put into the air on a daily basis from the use of vehicles is enough to lead to toxicity, that makes sense to all of us.  What a huge part of our population doesn't realize those is that the products we buy and use on a daily basis for basic life are the leading causes of toxicity in our home.

Basically the rule of thumb needs to be....if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin.  By putting it on your skin I mean: directly via soaps, cosmetics, skin care products, hair care products, cleaning products etc.  Anything that touches our skin can and will be absorbed directly into our blood stream.  Our skin is a our largest organ.  Yes it's the first line of defense, but it is also the most highly abused organ.

Remember these stats from a previous blog....

*Women who use make-up on a daily basis absorb upwards of 5lbs of toxic chemicals a year 
*Men, women and children can absorb up to 3lbs of toxic chemicals a year from using commercial shampoos, bath soaps etc that they use in the shower every day.   

Think about when you're in the shower.  The hot water is opening your pores-which people say is great, helps clean them out.  Fantastic thought, until you coat them with liquid chemicals in the form of the soap you use.  Our skin is like a sponge, it sucks in everything that touches it.

 Hot shower=open pores+shampoo etc=maximum absorption of chemicals in products.

Let's break down the body wash, shampoo and conditioner that was used in my house this am.

**side note so you know how I know these things lol, if you go to the Environmental Working Groups website they have a tonne of great information on pretty much every popular brand of soap, shampoo, conditioner, cleaning product etc that you can find on your grocery store, drug store shelf***

Brand of body wash:  Irish Spring.

here's the link to the product

As you can see the words.....  persistence and bioaccumulation, neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) : enhanced skin absorption....those are alllll bad!

Brand of Shampoo and Conditioner (let's hope I fare better on this one cuz it's labelled "With 100% pure olive oil", I am not holding out much hope though after reading the ingredients....

Hmmm the brand isn't  listed in the database, so I'll break it down by ingredients:

Cetyl Alcohol:  scores a 1 out 10 (10 being the worst in their database), with organ system toxicity for enhanced skin absorption
Cetrimonium Chloride scores 3 out of 10 for allergies and immunotoxity effects
Olive Oil-no need that's the good part of the ingredients, sad it's so far down the list though.
Phenoxyethanol: 3-4 depending on frequency of usage for: skin, eye and lung irritation, workplace hazard (if you work with it directly they have it on the restricted to low doses only) ang organ system toxicity.
Isopropylparaben: 3/10 for allergies and immunotoxcity, and endocrine (hormone balance) disruption
Isobutylparaben:  3/10 for allergies and immunotoxcity, and endocrine (hormone balance) disruption
Butylparaben: 5/10 for developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular level changes (effects cells right from their growth up to their death)
D&C Red 33: no data
Green 5: 0/10
FD & C Yellow 6: 1-3 depending on usage for cancer causing, Use restrictions-not approved for products that can come into contact with the eye.
FD & C Yellow 5:  1/10 for organ toxicity


Next....lets look at my dish soap-ok this should fare better it's labelled organic (I say with pleading hope)

Hmmm no ingredients list....heading over the the manufacturer back....

Hot damn IT'S ALL GOOOD NEWS!!!  It's all natural plant based, phosphate, chemical free!!!!
I'm not going to eat it simply because I would blow bubbles for the day, but I could!!!!!

So.....just for some fun let's take a look at a couple of the well marketed brands of dish soap and see what we come up with.

Dawn: water, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, lauramine oxide, alcohol denat., sodium chloride, PPG-26, PEI-14 PEG-10/PPG-7 copolymer, phenoxyethanol, magnesium chloride, methylisothiazolinone, fragrance, blue1.

Palmolive: water, ammonium C12-15, pareth sulfate, magnesium isododecylhenzenesulfonate, lauramidopropylamine oxide, sd alcholho #-A, sodium xylenesulfonate, sodium chloride, fragrances, pentasodium pentetate, tricolsan.

So the average score on this ingredients was a 4/10.  Both soaps contain ingredients that are listed as carcinogenic, cause endocrine disruption, allergies, are classified as bio hazards on WHIMS, ......all of the things listed above in the shampoos! Soap.

We generally use whatever is on sale.  I don't have a "favorite" I won't use anything else kind of brand.  I have 7 peoples worth of laundry to wash on a daily basis....if it's on sale, I am buying it!

Currently we have Arm and Hammer and Gain in the laundry room.  Glad to say both are not falsely advertising when they say that they are biodegradable and free of chemicals.  Both do however have fragrance which can cause issues. 

However when I check out other popular brands that I have bought when on sale like: Cheer, Kirkland Signature (Costco Brand), Seventh Generation (supposedly a perfect clean product) and Sunlight.  A different tale is told.  All contain ingredients that range from 3-7/10 in the database.

Guess I have a new, don't care if it's on sale "favorite".

I no longer use bleach in my laundry.  About 3 years ago I discovered the amazing Green Bleach that Presidents Choice sells.  This stuff is AMAZING.  It's a high grade hydrogen peroxide that can literally be poured directly onto any fabric and it will removed the stain and leave the fabric colour just the way it was.  I use this all the time at home births when I need to remove blood and other stains from clients towels, sheets etc.  It has yet to fail me!

So next on the list.  Household cleaners.  SOOOOOO happy to say that this is the easy list in our house. Hot water, vinegar, the green bleach I talked about above and a steamer!!!! I long ago got rid of the Mr. Cleans, Pinesols etc because the fragrances used in them triggered my allergies, so it just wasn't worth it.  When I wash the floor, I will add my favorite essential oil at the time to put a good smell in the house, but that's it.

I am quite surprised to say that when looking up these cleaners that they have fairly low ratings in the data base-based on what the company says are the ingredients.  What scares me though, is that all of them come with strict hazard signs, poison control information and their hazardous material workplace sheets all say HAZARDOUS MATERIAL on I am sticking to my vinegar, green bleach and hot water!

Soooooooooo what does all this mean.

The easiest way to detoxify your home is to start from the cleaners on up.  If you won't eat it don't put it on your hands.  Apparently a rule I need to change myself when it comes to body wash and hair care products.  

So let's do it by room for easier explanation:


It never ceases to surprise me that the place you go to get clean....gets so unclean!  Now imagine if you will having 7-9 people a day using said cleaning room!!! Enough said!

Soap Scum is the enemy, as is lime/calcium scale especially in the city of Barrie.  (our water is so hard I am surprised it's not rocky coming out of the tap)  On a weekly basis I use my steamer and vinegar to help fight the build up that accumulates so quickly with so many showers.  About every 6 weeks or so I use a descaler that I found at Superior Cleaning Products (in the South end power centre off Bryne Dr)  It is a Green product, yes it's still a chemical, but by lowering the use of it to every 6 weeks or more I lower the effect on our house.  

On the toilet/sink/counter tops and the bathtub I use my steamer and vinegar.  The steamer claims to kill all germs because of the high temperature of the water, and given the clean shine left behind it also wipes out alot of dirt and grime too.

Having lived in older houses that were mould growers, if I see any suspect black spots they get hit with an essential oil mixture of tea tree oil, grapefruit seed oil and vinegar.  The tea tree oil is an anti fungal, as is the grapefruit oil.  I put about 10 drops of each into a spray bottle with about 1/2 cup of vinegar and spray away.  Repeat a couple times during the day to really effectively kill the fungus.


I use the green brand of dish soaps, just like the laundry, no tried and true favorite, but I do really like the new Life Brand, Bio-Life, especially the price points.  Some green dish soaps I have bought have been really pricey and really crappy at cleaning dishes.  So finding one that is under $5 a bottle and actually does the job is fantastic.

Just like in the bathroom, I use vinegar and steam to clean the counters and sinks.  When I clean out the fridge...the green bleach works awesome.  It has NO smell to it, and if it comes into contact with food it's not harmful.


Haven't bought a floor steamer yet.  I have used swiffer wet mops in the past and found that I was changing the pads every 10 seconds and I am afraid the steamer might be the one day I will try it and see what happens.  

I use the vinegar and or green bleach here too.  Hot water, mop, vinegar and a couple splashes of my favorite smelling essential oil at the time and some elbow grease.  I honestly wash my floors 3-4 times a week....lots of foot traffic including two footed and four footed varieties leaves dirty floors.  I usually add cedar essential oil to the water at least once a month.  Cedar is a known flea deterrent and with the four footed creatures this is an essential tool to my cleaning.  


I remember when I was about 16-17 I went to a friends house to pick her up.  She was mortified when I walked in to find her parents washing their walls.  Apparently this happened on a frequent basis in her house.  I can say I thought they were a tad loopy, never saw my mom wash walls...but after asking her apparently she did!  Guess what so do I!!!!  It drives me a tad crazy to see little marks all over my walls.  This house has flat paint....but not for long!!! In fact I am surprised it has lasted this long!!! off finger prints.  Never use on of those Mr. Clean magic erasers.  Talk about a chemical cocktail of poison (formaldehyde, melamine, sodium bisulfite copolymer)  Those things are horrid, and leave a residue behind that if little hands touch then put hand to mouth...well ingestion of toxins 101.  

To get the best clean even on horrible flat paints that don't wash well at all, guess what...vinegar!  Yes I keep the vinegar companies in business.  I also use some dish soap to help cut the grease.  Spray bottle, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup hot water, 2-3 drops of dish soap, and elbow grease!


I normally do not have carpet in my house.  This one came with brand new carpet on two levels, and it's almost time to get rid of it.  Spills of many varieties happen in my house, along with the joys of house training a grand-puppy, and potty training some toddlers can equal out the bye bye carpet-one can only steam clean so often before one goes a tad insane-as well every time I steam clean I am drawing the chemical used to make the carpet out into the New Year's gift will be new flooring!

In the mean time to clean up spills of all kinds, the green bleach comes in very handy.  It "bleaches" out all kinds of biological stains while leaving the colour of the material being treated.  Amazing thing that!!!  


Like I talked about before I use products that are labelled free of phosphates etc, and now having gone through the list of the popular brands thanks to this post, I know which ones to avoid no matter the "sale".

What I didn't mention though is that we don't use dryer sheets or fabric softener.  Both of these products contain high levels of fragrance.  The dryer  sheets are a chemical soup of known carcinogens.  I attempt to buy the laundry soaps that are free of scents, but that can leave laundry not so "clean" smelling.   Again this is where the vinegar and essential oils come in handy.  A splash of vinegar in the wash makes things smell sweetish.  The essential oils add an even better scent.  DON"T pour the oil directly on anything though or you will leave a fantastic oil stain that may never come out.    I have a face cloth aka dryer sheet, that I reuse.  Just apply a couple drops of oil and the whole load is nicely scented. 

Soooooo that's the household main stuff.  It's about using products that if my or my family's skin is in contact with leaves as little damage behind.  No we don't all smell like pickles....oh that reminds me....


We don't use deodorant or antiperspirants in our house anymore!!!!  No we don't smell (well I can only speak for myself lol).  We have these amazing mineral stone "deodorant" sticks.  They are fantastic.  Check the label of your favorite under arm gear.....then head on over to the Skin Deep database that I listed will change your mind too.  The worst offenders in the database have a  8/10 score.

The worst part of them is the fact that many contain aluminium.  Aluminium is a heavy metal that once it gets into your blood stream its very hard to get out.  Close to your armpits lay the heaviest density of lymph nodes...once the aluminium gets into these it can wreak havoc in your endocrine system.  It has been said that deodorant and antiperspirant usage is on the leading causes for breast cancer.  

Ok all done for now.  Take a look around you, what things are you putting on your body that you wouldn't put in your mouth.  If there are alot....change it-like we have and are doing!  Your health will thank you!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What do I believe in?

An old friend from high school facebooked me the other day with these questions...

What religion are you?
Did you let  your kids go out for Hallowe'en
What about 2012?
Do you believe there is actually a "hell", Satan?  Reincarnation?

It was a very interesting exercise to answer these questions.  Really got me to thinking about what I truly believe in in this life.  So here goes, would love to hear your answers.....broke it down into some categories, sometimes the lines are crossed between them, but makes it a bit easier...


I believe in God
I believe the only way to get into Heaven is through an ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ
I believe that if we live a life guided by Christ-it's a better life-I have lived both ways with Christ is far far better trust me
I believe that yes our path has been laid out before we are born, but that there are forks in the road that we have to make choices about-God already knows which ones we'll chose
I believe that the bible is the most important book you can ever read
I believe that the bible can and does explain dinosaurs

I believe in Satan
I believe that yes there is a hell and it's not here on earth like other religions teach
I believe that each and every day we walk this earth there is a spiritual battle being fought to win our souls from the good side to the dark side-I am currently losing that battle
I believe in spiritual possession and have seen evidence that it exists
I believe in exorcism and have been present for one (scarier then an horror movie I have ever seen)

I did send my kids out on Halloween, because I believe that if they are taught to recognize it for it's meaning, they will understand it's totally just about the candy for them (and I get to share that candy :oD)

I celebrate Easter because I believe in it's truest roots, but am well aware that there are many pagan connections to it's timing

I celebrate Christmas knowing full well that it is NOT even close to the time that Christ was actually born-however, it is an amazing magical time in the lives of christians to be able to come together as a whole and celebrate the "birthday" of the most important man in history!

I did lie to my children about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause-I have since apologized and talked to them about whether or not they should incorporate these "traditions" into their lives with their own children-it is their choice.

Not Really Religion-but I know many friends who put these things under this category...

We watch movies in our house that many other christians will not:  Harry Potter being on the top of that list.  I believe that if children are taught that fictional movies are FICTIONAL that they will not take them on as anything else but fiction.

I do however believe that the media industry has crossed ALOT of lines as far as what is allowed in movies in the PG rating system and that this has lead to a huge down fall in our world.

I believe that swearing is a sin.
I believe that people who swear make themselves look out to be lower class and dirty.  I have sworn in my life-"like a trucker" at times-and have felt that dirtiness and have vowed to not make it a part of my life. (stubbing my toe always makes that a challenge) here goes!

I believe that western doctors know NOTHING about what healthy really means-and I have met one that admits his years in medical school taught him how to prescribe medications NOT how to treat illness
I believe that the more medications you put into your body the higher the chance you will die earlier
I believe that natural alternatives like Oil of Oregano can and do cure diseases

I believe that childhood vaccines lead to life long health crises
I believe that the makers of vaccines are well aware of their dangers but are in love with the money
I believe that everyone should learn THE TRUTH about vaccines and no child should ever be given one EVER!

I believe that cancer is a man made disease
I believe that cancer can be cured without chemo or radiation!

I believe that chiropractors should be everyone's primary care physician
I believe that every newborn's first check up should include a chiropractic adjustment within minutes of their birth
I believe that a properly maintained spine (via regular on going chiropractic care) can and does cure illnesses, diseases etc.

I believe that the food we put into our mouths can and does poison us
I believe that soy products are the leading cause of many health issues such as breast cancer
I believe that asparatame and other artificial sweeteners are the biggest hoax in the world-they make you gain weight not lose it, and are a leading cause of diabetes

I believe that nothing in the world is truly organic, but we can at least try to make it as organic as possible by not adding things to it


I believe that our health care system lies to new parents on a daily basis
I believe that every baby should be born without medical intervention unless life threatening
I believe that breech babies can and should be born vaginally
I believe that every child should be born with a midwife and a doula in the room
I believe that our local hospital has one of the worst labour and delivery units I have ever been in, because the majority of the nurses are more interested in giving you an epidural then helping you have a natural birth.
I believe our local midwives are amazing
I believe that Ontario should open birthing centres

.......that's just a start, wowsers what a way to really put it out there.....Jean send me more ?s :o)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's this Isagenix Stuff I keep talking about.

I've heard a few times in the last month-"isa what-what is it and why do you love it so much".

Here's the the spring of last year (2010) a doula client whom I had kept in contact with had been talking up these products that had helped her lose her post baby weight.  Tara chatted with me NUMEROUS times about them and I kept saying, yeah protein shakes been there done that.  THEN the sneaky little person to whom I had sent a wedding invitation to said 'Amy I have a wedding present for you, could you come and pick it up'....the present was a 9 Day cleanse.  Well not to waste a present or the effort/money that Tara put into giving it to me I started my 9 day cleanse and well on day 2 FELL IN LOVE with these products.

When I stepped on the scales last April 8, I weighed 291lbs, by May 16 I was down to 272.  These products are amazing.  (I am not going to go into why I haven't lost more in this blog-that's for another blog entry-but I have to say it's MY fault NOT the products fault just for clarity here)

So what is Isagenix and why am I so thrilled to be part of such an amazing group of people.

At it's simplest Isagenix is a cellular nutritional cleansing system that supplies ALL of the nutrients our body needs for healthy living.   Each and every day we ingest toxins galore just from the air we breath, but also from the products we put on our skin, the food we eat, everything we do on a daily basis loads our body full of toxic products.  These toxins are hopefully filtered out of our system by our filtering organs-the liver and kidneys are the top two.  However, depending on how many of these toxins we put in, and our bodies ability to filter them depends on how strongly our body reacts to these toxins.

So why use Isagenix....well let's talk Toxins and Nutrition and see where that gets us.....

In order to save ourselves from ourselves...our body builds fat cells, these cells envelope the toxins and hold them and protect our body from their harmful effects.  The more toxins in, the more fat cells created, the more overweight we become.  Now wait....that doesn't mean that "skinny" people aren't toxic, in fact if they aren't living healthy lifestyles they are more unhealthy then someone with love handles. But why don't they have the protective layer of fat cells-metabolism overdrive.  Their bodies eat through the fat cells faster, which unless they are cleansing the toxins out, actually results in a very unhealthy body.  A thin person who doesn't cleanse daily has toxic overload that can directly affect their internal organs.

This is a great article that lists some of the toxins we unknowingly ingest on a daily basis and what they do to our body;

Every person needs to cleanse their bodies on a frequent basis. Here are some statistics that show how daily living results in toxic overload:

*Women who use make-up on a daily basis absorb upwards of 5lbs of toxic chemicals a year 
*Men, women and children can absorb up to 3lbs of toxic chemicals a year from using commercial shampoos, bathsoaps etc that they use in the shower every day.  Hot shower=open pores+shampoo etc=maximum absorption of chemicals in products. 
*Tests have shown that infants are born with over 287 chemicals and other toxins in their blood stream.  76 of these chemicals cause direct cell damage, 94 are toxic to the nervous system and brain and a startling 79 are directly toxic to the development of the fetus. 
*In the US 1.2 BILLION lbs of pesticides are used a year.  These pesticides are sprayed on the foods we eat, but also released into the air we breath. 
 *Eating non organic fruits and vegetables will result in ingesting 1 Gallon or 16 cups of pesticides a year.
*Today, the administration of drugs and medicines is often through transdermal skin patches.  This has been shown to be 95% more effective then oral administration. Cosmetic companies do not have to claim that their products are absorbed through the skin, if they did, their products would all be labelled as drugs. 
*In 1901 Cancer was considered a RARE disease touching only 1 in 8000 people.  Today in 2011, 1 in 3 people have cancer according to the American Cancer Society.  Smoking only accounts for about 25% of that increase.

Ok enough about toxic build up for now. Isagenix is also about full out nutrition.  The other part of Isagenix that I love is the fact that it is 100% nutritionally sound food.  Yep food, by putting Isagenix into my families bodies I am feeding them.  I've heard the "but if you eat all your fruits and veggies, and have a healthy source of protein you don't need to worry about putting extra nutrition in your body".  WRONG!!!!!

On a daily basis our bodies require us to ingest at least 59 nutrients, including 13 from vitamins and 22 from minerals.  Ok so again you say just eat your fruits and veggies.  But our fruits and veggies are being grown in nutritionally bankrupt soil.  When World War 2 ended, the farming culture changed drastically, but not for the better.  Fertilizer companies inherited the huge quantities of nitrates and phosphates left over from making munitions during the war.  Studies at that time showed that these chemical helped to ensure a lush crop growth, what they didn't show was that by adding too much of these chemicals actually ruined the soil.  Add in pesticides designed to kill weeds (and everything else in their paths) and our soil has gone from providing the minerals and nutrients to the foods we eat, to barely being able to sustain their growth.

In 1992 the Earth Summit research indicated that entire earths soil was becoming minerally bankrupt, with North American soil leading the way.

Spinach is a great example, in 1948 a cup of spinach contained 150mg of iron, in 2011 that same cup of spinach only contains 2mg of iron-so basically you would have to eat 75 cups of spinach to get the same amount of iron.

Here are a few more examples that have happened since as recently as 1975:
Apples: Vitamin A is down 41%
Sweet peppers: Vitamin C is down 31%
Watercress: Iron is down 88%
Broccoli: Calcium and vitamin A are down 50%
Cauliflower: Vitamin C is down 45%; vitamin B1 is down 48%; and vitamin B2 is down 47%
Collards greens: Magnesium is down 85%

So the ultimate question that everyone asks me is this...How does Isagenix help ensure that we are receiving the proper nutrition our body needs?

Let's start with fruits and veggies.  Health professionals have signified certain supergreens and superfruits that infuse the body with nutrients. Spirulina, chlorella and wheat grass, to name a few, are supergreens. Mangosteen, Star Fruit and Acai Berry are superfruits. These health professionals have indicated like above in order to ingest the proper nutrition we need to find ways of ingesting high quantities of super veggies and fruits, but how do we do that without ingesting 75lbs of spinach a day....the answer is easy when you use Isafruits and Isagreens products.

Take a look at them yourself:

Now.....what about protein.

Ready for some more scary statistics....

*80% of cattle raised for meat are injected with hormones, including HGH (human growth hormone) 
*In 1950 the average dairy cow produced 5300 lbs of milk a year, in 2010 with the injections of HGH the average dairy cow was able to produce 18,000 lbs.
 *In 2009-29 MILLION pounds of antibiotics were sold to farmers in the US, the majority of these antibiotics were not used to treat disesase, but the increase the growth of the animals injected.

All of these hormones and antibiotics find their way directly into the meat we eat daily.  The only way to avoid this is to purchase meat from grass fed, organic local farmers.

Isagenix uses only the higest quality whey protein on the planet.  They have chosen to go to a country that won't allow farmers to use the hormones and antibiotics that American farmers use, New Zealand.  To my knowledge they are the only company that has this "Happy Cow Certified Protein" in their protein based products.  You can actually taste the difference, and believe me I have tried many protein shakes over the years, I will never go back to those ones!

So....those are the beginning reasons why I chose to put Isagenix products into my body and into my families bodies on a daily basis.  I could literally go on about the WHY you need to use them for hours and hours and hours...but I have learned that if a person can't see it just with the few facts I have posted above, then they won't ever see it.

For those who believe, no proof is necessary. 
For those who don't believe, no proof is possible!

What do you believe today????