Fur babies deserve safe products too

Obviously I talk a lot about safe products for women, the men in our lives, and the children in our lives, but what about our fur babies? Bronté often has issues with her paw and I’m always looking for things to do to help it heal and feel better for her. This past time we did lots of Epsom Salt baths and apple cider vinegar soaks but it had me thinking about safe animal products. 

So, I stumbled upon this company on instagram and thought it was definitely worth sharing. It is called Natural Dog Company and the post mentioned 100% organic products, so obviously I wanted to do some digging to see if it was greenwashed or not. 

I’m ordering the Paw Soother, PawTection, and Skin Soother for my pups. Check out the ingredients:

Ingredients

Paw Soother | Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Mango Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Hempseed Oil, Organic Jojoba, Candelilla Wax, Calendula, Cajeput, Chamomile, Natural Vitamin E, Rosemary Extract

PawTection | Organic Mango Butter, Organic Rice Bran Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Carnauba Wax, Sunflower Wax, Candelilla Wax, Natural Vitamin E, Ylang Ylang, Benzoin, Lavender, Rosemary

Skin Soother | Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Safflower Oil, Candelilla Wax, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Organic Lavender, Chamomile, Frankincense, Myrrh, Vetiver, Organic Niaouli, Benzoin, Natural Vitamin E

So much better than the other creams I’ve found for itchy paws that contain ingredients such as:

❌ Propylene Glycol

❌ Petroleum

❌ EDTA

❌ Diazolidinyl Urea

❌ Fragrance

If you’re not sure why those ingredients are bad or you just want to continue learning about living a more toxin free life, please join my wellness community on FB -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/ 🌱🌱

Safe Swap: Cookware

Did you know that your cookware is likely toxic? This means even if you’re choosing the best possible food for your family, chemicals could be leaching into that food while you’re cooking it.

CHANGING OUT ALL OF YOUR COOKWARE IN A DAY IS PROBABLY UNLIKELY, BUT I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND TRYING TO SWAP OUT ONE AT A TIME TO START MOVING IN A HEALTHIER DIRECTION.

So, what are toxic cookwares that you should avoid?

Ceramic Coated Pans: These types of pans are usually metals coated with a synthetic polymer that is softer than metal. This coating easily wears off and usually only lasts for about a year. Once that coating starts to wear off, toxic chemicals can start leaching into your food, so if you have this kind of cookware, ditch them at the first sign of peeling.

Nonstick Cookware (Teflon): This kind of cookware also contains a coating, but it is called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and is a plastic polymer that releases harmful and carcinogenic gases at high temperatures. These gases can cause flu-like symptoms in humans hours after exposure and results in something called polymer fume fever which is often misdiagnosed for the flu. To give you an idea of how toxic these gases are, they are actually fatal to birds…

Aluminum Cookware and Aluminum Foil: This cookware is often coated to prevent the aluminum from seeping into the appliance. The problem is that the coating often wears and chips off. It’s one of the more affordable cookware options, but is not worth the risk of having aluminum contaminate your food. Aluminum can accumulate in your lungs, brain, bones, and other tissues causing muscular disfunction and memory loss. There is also evidence that aluminum can be a risk factor in Alzheimers disease. Sadly, aluminum is food in other things than cookware including deodorant, toothpaste, aluminum cans, and aluminum foil. Keep an eye on this ingredient and try to ditch any uses for it in your kitchen.

Copper Pans: This is a popular cookware as it is known to heat evenly over the surface. Uncoated copper can leach into your food and if it is coated, that can peel over time. Too much copper can suppress your zinc levels and weaken your immune system which then interferes with adrenal and thyroid function resulting in fatigue.
So, what are cookwares that I recommend?

Our favorite is Cast Iron: It is the ideal non-stick surface when it is seasoned correctly. It actually even can transfer small amounts of iron to your food which is beneficial for anyone with an iron deficiency or someone just looking to increase iron intake. It lasts FOREVER so no more buying new cookware every few years and can even be used on a grill or in an oven.

While we use cast iron pans, we use Stainless Steel pots: It is affordable and very stable at high temperatures. It is non-stick, lighter than cast iron, scratch resistant, and lasts longer than coated materials.

Then, for baking, one of our favorites is Glass: It is a sturdy material that will not release toxins into your food. We also use glass storage containers as opposed to plastic tupperware to avoid toxins like BPA which can imitate estrogen and other sex hormones.

Source: https://www.amymyersmd.com/2014/01/healthy-cookware-shopping-guide/

🌷Jess

Dropping Some Truth

I wanted to drop some truth in here really quickly… 😙

I want everyone to feel comfortable commenting on this blog and joining me over in my wellness community on FB no matter where you’re at on your toxin free journey. If you’re as crunchy as it gets or if you haven’t started going toxin free at all yet, but you’re interested in learning about it, I don’t ever want anyone to feel judged or to ever feel like I am perfect. So, I want to share the real me, flaws and all, with all of you! ☺️

I started my toxin free journey in March of 2018 and I’m STILL not 100% toxin free in all areas of my life, and to tell you the truth, I may never be. My fiancé and I talk about balance a lot and how important it is to us to keep our sanity.

THERE ARE A FEW SAFE SWAPS THAT WE JUST MADE, ALMOST TWO YEARS INTO OUR JOURNEY. THOSE ARE:

Switching razors

Switching toothpaste (I was still using Toms even though I knew it wasn’t the best option)

Going from ziplock bags to reusable silicone bag

Switching things in our kitchen like cookware, food storage containers, and mugs

THERE ARE A FEW SAFE SWAPS I AM STILL PLANNING ON MAKING BUT HAVEN’T YET BECAUSE OF TIME, MONEY, ETC. THOSE ARE:

Plastic wrap

Using plastic straws when out

Water filter

Birth Control

AND, THERE ARE A FEW SAFE SWAPS I MAY NEVER MAKE BECAUSE I FEEL MY HAPPINESS HONESTLY DEPENDS ON HAVING BALANCE IN THESE AREAS. THOSE ARE:

Dunkin’ Donuts coffee

Candy (while I don’t buy the toxic stuff for myself anymore, if someone gives it to me, I’m gonna eat it, I just am)

Mani/Pedis

Not worrying about what we eat outside of our house (or special occasions like when I wanted cookie cake and wine for Mother’s Day!)

Moral of the story: Just because you see me posting about living a clean, toxin free life that doesn’t mean I’m perfect in every area all the time. So, whether you haven’t started your toxin free journey yet, you’re in the beginning steps, or super duper crunchy, you have a place in my group! I’d love to welcome you in with open arms https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/

Being a Green Beauty Advocate

You probably don’t know this just from reading this blog, but I actually work from home, full time as a Green Beauty Advocate. I have the honor and privilege of educating other women and helping them reduce their toxic body burden and live their best and healthiest lives. And I get paid for it!

As of just a couple of weeks ago…the company I am blessed to be partnered with has completely redone the starter kits and dropped the price points on them to help women get the financial freedom so many need right now while keeping it affordable enough to start when cash flow is low! I’m SO JEALOUS right now. I wish I could rejoin! (For real…we didn’t even have eyeliner when I joined and I got 3 foundation shades I didn’t wear. We’ve come a long way!)

If you are looking to detox your makeup bag quickly, affordably, and with a brand you can trust – I would suggest picking up one of our enrollment kits!


We’ve had over 1,300 Advocates join us since April 1st! 😍 #jawdropping and I tripled just my team alone during the month of April… Because – HELLO! The momentum is HIGH and escalating quickly! More and more women are seeing the mvalue in this community, our Business Portfolio, and these collections.

Partnering with this company comes with countless benefits, but I want to share just a couple that are closest to my heart:

Revolutionary products: With unprecedented performance, ingredient safety, and eco-conscious packaging, we are setting the new gold standard for clean beauty.

Work from home: Be your own boss, choose the people you work with, control your hours, work around the needs of your family – all from the comfort of your own home.

Make a difference: Education is at the forefront of our mission. Women deserve to know about the potentially harmful products they are using everyday and how they can make healthier choices.

Earn income: By following our Smart Start System, you have the potential to earn back your initial investment & turn a profit in your first month!

Join a supportive community: Our collaborative culture is second to none and fosters personal growth, lifelong friendships, and sisterhood. We are empowering women to grow personally and professionally.


Please comment below or hop on over to my Wellness Community (https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/?ref=bookmarks) if you would like to chat! The more women who join this movement, the more lives changed 🙂

SeneGence Review

A review of SeneGence(LipSense) was requested by a member of my wellness community.

Please note that I’m not bashing a company. I’m simply reviewing the products. This is not personal; it is merely education. People need to know what’s in the products they put on their skin every day. You all know that I focus on promoting safe, healthy, toxin free skincare and makeup and educating on all things toxin free. This is not what SeneGence does.

Instead of going through each product (because that would be crazy), I will outline the ingredients that the company allows in its products, you may not find each of these in every product, but you’ll find at least one (probably more) in every product. 

The ingredients you will find in this brand that I would not personally use or recommend are:

• Artificial Fragrance ❌ “Fragrance” or “Parfum” is a loophole that should be avoided. There are NO laws requiring the ingredients in fragrance to be disclosed and it’s always a toxic storm that will compromise your health.

• Japanese Honeysuckle 🚫sounds super natural and innocent, but it contains parahydroxy benzoic acid, which is found to behave in a similar way (with very similar molecular structure) as a paraben inside the body.

• Loose Titanium Dioxide ❌The health concern involving use of TD involves inhalation of the loose powder form. The International Agency for Research on Cancer identifies inhalable titanium dioxide as potentially carcinogenic.

• Mineral Oil 🚫a liquid mixture obtained from crude petroleum oil used as a moisturizer. It may contain various amounts of carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and other petroleum contaminants, depending on the level to which it has been refined. There is consistent evidence that untreated or mildly-treated mineral oils cause cancer of the skin in humans.

• Parabens 🚫 are becoming very well known to be avoided in cosmetics, skincare, and body products. It is a synthetic preservative that mimics the role of estrogen in the body, wreaking havoc on your endocrine system. It has also been linked to breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. There is some evidence that parabens can accumulate in human breast tissue. Parabens have been found in 99% of breast cancer tumors.

• Parafin 🚫There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person. There have been studies done on women post delivery and scientists have found these contaminants in breast milk as well! The scariest of these possible contaminants is called 1,4 dioxane, an impurity found in 22% of all petroleum-based cosmetics that is a known human and animal carcinogen.

• PEG’s 🚫 While PEGs can be mild irritants, they’re less than desirable primarily because they help traffic nasty chemicals across your epidermis, including a slug of impurities they’re often contaminated with. 😱According to a report in the International Journal of Toxicology by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, pollutants found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide (used to manufacture mustard gas), 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and heavy metals (lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, arsenic).” 😳

• Phenoxyethanol 🚫 is used as a preservative in cosmetic products to limit bacterial growth. Skin exposure to phenoxyethanol has been linked to allergic reactions ranging from eczema and hives to anaphylaxis. Infants exposed to phenoxyethanol can experience a depressed central nervous system leading to a decreased appetite, difficulty waking, skin color change, damaged DNA, and limpness of extremities. It is neurotoxic to infants…

• Urea 🚫 Diazolidinyl Urea is an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. Urea in cosmetics is man-made in the laboratory and the raw materials are ammonia and carbon dioxide. Not something you’d think you’d put on your skin, right? 

• BHT ❌ BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has also listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function.

• Disodium EDTA ❌Is a penetration enhancing ingredient. Which can be absolutely fantastic… but ONLY if it’s enhancing the penetration of great quality instead of enhancing the penetration of toxins.

– No certified organic ingredients are used ▫️Certified organic cosmetic ingredients insure a higher level of purity and peace of mind. Many women with sensitive skin also prefer cosmetics made with as many organic ingredients as possible because the organic certification removes the risk of concentrated pesticide residue – a potential irritant that holds additional health concerns with repeat exposure. 

– Unspecified if minerals used are non-nano. Non-Nano and EcoCert are the most pure and safe options that you can look for. One of the many scary things about nanoparticles is that the materials are small enough to penetrate the skin or get inside the body through inhalation. Just to list a few common nanoparticles they are: titanium dioxide, zinc, silver, and fullerene. When these nanoparticles are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried around the body it can cause DNA and cell function damage, brain damage, liver damage, and affects on the immune system. On top of all of that, titanium dioxide specifically has shown MAJOR potential repercussions in offspring.

– Not Leaping Bunny Certified cruelty free. – No explanation needed here. This is such an important certification in my opinion. 

-Unspecified if plastics used are toxin free (majority of packaging): Not only is plastic significantly worse for the environment, but not knowing if plastic packaging is toxin free means you risk toxins from the packaging leeching into your product. 

Numerous ingredients in these products contain ties to cancer, hormonal disruption, liver damage, skin irritation, eye irritation, breast cancer and birth defects. And this is why I do these reviews. Women deserve to know that they are using products linked to serious diseases. If you’re ready to start detoxing your products and making the change to a more toxin free life, please head over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/ where you will find my exclusive toxin free master list.

Let’s talk soap!

So many people are using more soap than ever before to prevent a virus. But, most people are using toxic soap which is increasing their body burden, making them more susceptible to…

you guessed it,

sickness.

That’s why I am SO happy that I know I don’t have to worry about that with the soap in my home. So, I’ll break it down for ya:

✅ Essential? Yep!

✅ Toxin free? Yep!

✅ Zero waste? Yep!

✅ Certified organic? Yep!

✅ 50% off? YEPPPP!

🙌🏼 I know you brilliant mamas already know this… The BEST way to prevent COVID 19, and viruses of any kind, is to wash your hands with SOAP and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Our corporate team continues to blow me away with their generosity and since soap is a vital part of staying well… they whipped together a flash sale to help spread that goodness far and wide! 

🗓 From NOW until Tuesday April 14th 

💲 HALF priced bars of luxurious soap

❕Limit 2 per bar per person 

🙌🏼 Which means you could score 6 bars for just $66 

🔥 While supplies last

•The hubby loves the Charcoal body bar and the gentle bar

•My daughter loves the gentle bar 

•I love all the bars 😂

•All of them are sensational for every inch of your skin! 

🎁 Reach out to me directly for a link that will also get you entered to win half priced and complimentary products, or check out my Wellness Community on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/

Stay healthy, friends!

Finding the Positive in Quarantine

Our family is making the best out of the current situation and putting our energy to good use!

We started with cleaning out our attic, moved to closet organizing, kitchen reorganizing, and even painted our bedroom. It’s all about perspective, right? 🙌🏽

Some other plans we have up our sleeves:

👩🏼‍🍳 Cooking activities and baking

Spring cleaning came early! Go through old clothes and purge what doesn’t spark joy! (check out our decluttering BINGO in my Facebook Community to join in and win prizes!) https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/

Regular deep breathing exercises and yoga

💪🏽 Home workouts and runs outside 🏃🏻‍

Get some fresh air for 30 minutes a day with Addie and the dogs

📖 Reading new books

👩‍🎨 Creative time

🏡 Home projects

Let’s use this thread to post home activities, links, and other positive exercises we can do to pass the time and create some memories. 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽

Here’s another great site that offers additional activities and sources like the zoo and yoga studios that can involve your kids and learn at the same time! 👉🏽 https://m.facebook.com/ChildrenAndFamilyCounselingAssociates/

The dreaded scale

Ok, girls, let’s talk about something that might be very real and quite frustrating in a lot of our lives. The scale. 

I gained 60 pounds with Adeline and trying to lose that weight after being thin my whole life and never having to worry about what I ate, was so much harder than I ever imagined. I was depressed & I was self conscious.

I was so so frustrated that it just wasn’t happening faster. I actually had an incredibly unrealistic goal while I was pregnant… I was going to be “back to myself” by Christmas… I was due November 10th. Then, there’s the fact that every where we look on social media, we can find people promoting these magical ways to lose weight. The problem with that is I have yet to find one that’s not from a company that sells toxic, harmful products. So, they’re targeting women who are fed up with their weight and want a quick or easy fix, but it’s NOT healthy. 😡😡😡

I’m sure you’ve all seen them…

The brand where you wear these stickers, take these pills, drink these mixes, and you’re magically skinny! Sadly this brand uses ingredients including but not limited to talc, PEGs, phenoxyethanol, and natural flavors.

Then there’s the brand that promotes Keto Coffee to magically lose your weight uses natural flavors in editable products. In their other products they use toxic ingredients including PEGs, Phenoxyethanol, and EDTA. 

Finally, the brand that has a ton of coaches all of whom are constantly asking you if you’d like to join their fitness challenge. Those shakes have natural flavors in them 🙅‍they’re not as bad as the previous two, but I’d rather have something without natural flavors, with fewer ingredients, and more whole foods!

So, what did I do to lose the baby weight? I cut out things like bread, chips, sugary beverages (juice is just as bad as soda friends), and processed foods. I worked out 5-6 days a week doing things like zumba, running, and yoga. You don’t need the next magic fix or diet trend. Just aim to live a healthy life with whole foods and exercise!

To continue learning about living an all around healthier life, please join the conversation over in https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/ 🌷

Hair it is…

Let’s talk hair care.


I’ll be honest, I’ve only tried one toxin free shampoo and conditioner but because it took me SO long to find it, and because I was greenwashed twice before finding a truly toxin free brand, I knew I needed to share!


I found an article from January of this year listing “The Best Shampoos for Every Type of Hair” and dug into these recommendations a bit and you can imagine that what I found wasn’t pretty.


Some common ingredients were:
🚫PEG – While PEGs can be mild irritants, they’re less than desirable primarily because they help traffic funky chemicals across your epidermis, including a slug of impurities they’re often contaminated with. 😱According to a report in the International Journal of Toxicology by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, pollutants found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide (used to manufacture mustard gas), 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and heavy metals (lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, arsenic).” 😳
❌ Phenoxyethanol – used as a preservative in cosmetic products to limit bacterial growth. Skin exposure to phenoxyethanol has been linked to allergic reactions ranging from eczema and hives to anaphylaxis. Infants exposed to phenoxyethanol can experience a depressed central nervous system leading to a decreased appetite, difficulty waking, skin color change, damaged DNA, and limpness of extremities.
❌ 𝙎𝙇𝙎 – often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of the manufacturing process that is “possibly carcinogenic to humans” and may also cause negatives effects in the kidneys, liver and central nervous system, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
🚫 Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA): This preservative is used to help foods retain color, but it also irritates the skin, causes skin rashes and even asthma. It is on the FDA’s toxicity watchlist, which you know can’t be a good sign (especially considering how many other toxins they let slide).


If you want to hear what I use in my hair or simply want to join the discussion on cleaner living, follow this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/ to the Raising Clean Facebook Community 🙌🏻

Breakfast, dessert, or a toxic storm?

We LOVE cereal in my family. Addie snacks on some every day and Christopher and I have a bowl before bed almost every night.

During my last trimester with Adeline, I ate frosted flakes every day and couldn’t go without it. I didn’t find out until after she was born that it has toxic ingredients in it 😔 I was being so mindful about all the products I was putting on my body but was putting poison in my body, unknowingly, with this craving.

Are you wondering what some of the ingredients hiding in common cereals are?

BHT ❌ BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has also listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function.

Artificial Dyes 🚫 Artificial colorings are linked to attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity in children.  They’ve been linked to headaches, stomachaches, asthma, cancer, chromosomal damage, lymphomas, insomnia, eczema, hives, organ tumors, etc.  Animal studies have even linked artificial dyes to organ damage, birth defects and certain cancers.

Natural Flavors ❌ Natural flavors is one of those nasty little phrases we avoid at all costs on every label. It sounds so harmless, but do you actually know what status our lovely FDA has given those two words? Proprietary. Trade Secrets. This allows all kinds of toxic or just disgusting things (google castoreum and know that this is allowed within the term “natural flavors”) to be in your food. It is like the term “fragrance” on personal care products, AVOID IT!

Artificial Flavors 🚫 Artificial flavoring is derived from inedible sources, like petroleum. The problem with natural and artificial flavors on a nutritional label is that you have absolutely no idea what you’re consuming.

Now for the good news. You don’t have to consume these things or feed it to your children if you enjoy a bowl of cereal like I do. Now, that I know better, I make sure I do better, and you can too. I started testing out different cereals with clean ingredients immediately after discovering what’s in the cereals I had been eating. It was discouraging at times when I got some that just didn’t taste good at all. But, I kept trying, and now we have a handful that we absolutely love!

For more clean, toxin free food ideas, head on over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/

Raise clean, friends 🌷