Be A Blessing

Hey my gorgeous friends!

I’ve decided this year that I would once again like to ๐™ฑ๐™ด ๐™ฐ ๐™ฑ๐™ป๐™ด๐š‚๐š‚๐™ธ๐™ฝ๐™ถ to others. I am hoping and praying to be able to generously gift the NICU in the hospital where Adeline was born with holiday Blessing Bags in time for this holiday season.

My daughter, Adeline, was in the NICU for the beginning of her life and I will always remember the nurses in there who helped me through that time and took care of my newborn baby. My goal is to start with blessing the nurses and then if we have enough sponsored, to be a blessing to the mamas as well because I know first hand how hard it is to be a mama to a NICU baby and I know so many moms have it much much harder than I did. I can imagine with the world right now, that this is a more stressful time for the nurses and mamas than it has ever been and I hope to be able to bring a little light into their day.

I am so excited to once again put together bags and will be consciously selecting toxin free items as opposed to simply whatever I can find.

I am asking for you to please consider sponsoring one (or more!) of these nurses/mamas at $25, which is the cost of one Gentle Cleansing Bar, plus funds to put towards the contents of the bag. I will purchase the other items for the bags (personal care, toiletries, cozy socks, tea bags, adult coloring books, etc,). AND if you have a small business and would like to contribute a donation (which your own clients can sponsor just like we’re doing here), please reach out to me. I have seen clothing shops donate leggings, oil reps donate lavender roller bottles, and I have a friend sending toxin free candles for the bags, the possibilities are endless. Just let me know if you’d like to contribute something!

There are 38 NICU nurses total and I would love to be able to bless each one of them, and even have extras for some of the mamas. Lofty goal, I know. But I believe in this cause.

If you are willing to sponsor, please comment here in this post or email me to sponsor one (or more!) of these ladies who need to feel loved ๐Ÿ’– at derico.jessica@gmail.com

Payment can be made by cash, check, PayPal, Venmo, or FB Pay. I’m shooting to have all slots filled this week so that I can get them ordered and made up ASAP.

โœจThere is a lot of darkness in the world right now. Letโ€™s be the light!โœจ

A Different Kind of Educator

๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ Fun fact about me: I actually went to college to be an English Teacher (well I went to college for psychology but changed my major when I realized I hated it ๐Ÿ˜…)

I discovered a passion for educating my junior year while working in a Job Corps for the month of January as part of my degree.

I have taught grades 1, 6, 7, 8, and 10 plus subbed in all different grade levels.

I have taught on the border of Mexico๐ŸŒต and upstate New York๐ŸŒณ.

I never thought I would do anything other than teach.

Then we got pregnant for Adeline and both Christopher and I were on the same page that we didn’t want to put her in daycare if we could avoid it, but my “side hustle” at the time was not bringing in the income we needed.

๐ŸคžI joined my clean beauty company when I was 4 months pregnant because the mission aligned with my beliefs, the products were amazing, and we needed another stream of income.

It was always the plan for me to go back to teaching when Addie goes to school.

That’s no longer the plan. I have no intention of going back to teaching. The income we are getting from Crunchi and the growth we know is very close is more than our wildest dreams.

I often think about that degree I paid a ridiculous amount of money for and that passion and love I used to have for educating and wonder if I’m making the right choice. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Then I do a workshop, or I research a topic and share it here or in my clean living community on Facebook, or I have a conversation with someone about what the ingredients in her products are doing to her chances of getting pregnant, and I realize I’m still a teacher. I’m doing what I love now more than ever. I’m educating about something I believe in so much and getting to stay home while I do it. I have actually found my dream job.

To say that I love the fact that my company leads with education is an understatement. I’ve never seen any other company with this kind of education forward model and if this was not who they were, it is very likely I would have missed being an educator and went back to my day job.

So, all of that being said. Thank you for being my students. Thank you for being here with an open mind ready to learn. And thank you to everyone who has ever or will ever host a workshop and allow me to educate your friends and family. I truly appreciate you and am so passionate about this blog and I wake up excited every day to share more education with you!

For daily education about all things clean living, make sure you join the community on Facebook ๐Ÿ‘‰ https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean

My Fave Clean Milks

It’s been awhile since we were drinkers of cows milk. Once you learn that it is link to breast and colon cancer, you kind of want to stay away from it. I’ve gone through many different kinds of nut milks and even drank the popular almond milks that are full of toxic and harmful fillers not knowing any better. It wasn’t until we were switching Adeline to milk, that I started to do my research; funny how we’ll do much better for our children than we will ourselves, huh?

I was purchasing her nut milk from the store for awhile, but holy cow (see what I did there?) was it expensive. So, then, I started making it using a blender, a large bowl, and dish towel. It was a massive hassle, made a huge mess, and took forever so I went back to buying the expensive stuff because it was just so much easier. But, I wanted to find a better way.

Now, I have to say my favorite clean milk is the cashew milk I make with the Almond Cow ๐Ÿฎ Christopher got me for our anniversary back in April. I need only organic cashews and water and it takes less than two minutes. Talk about a game changer.

Until you’re ready to commit to an Almond Cow, here are my store faves that are free of: โฌ‡๏ธ

Dairy, soy, gluten, emulsifiers, and other common filler ingredients found in nut milk โ€”> carrageenan, sulfates, soy lecithin, dextrose, and gums.

1] MALK – found at Whole Foods, Target, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and Kroger || ingredients – organic almonds, Himalayan salt, and filtered water

2] Three Trees – found at Whole Foods, Good Earth || ingredients – reverse osmosis filtered water, organic almonds.

3] Elmhurst – found at Wegmans || filtered water, almonds

Almond and Oat milks are great, but I prefer Cashew milk the most. Cashews are SO good for us and filled with nutrients which is why I love making my milk from them. Also, oats are the grain that receive the most pesticides when not organic, so I highly recommend avoiding oat milk unless it’s organic or you’re getting a large serving of pesticides with your milk.

Whatโ€™s your favorite non dairy milk?!

Hop over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean where I’ll be doing a live demo making my cashew milk this week!

Safely Smell Autumn

Safely smell Autumn? What does that even mean?

I love all things Fall. I always have, even before it was trendy. It has always been my favorite season because I loved going back to school, Halloween is my favorite holiday, the sound of leafs crunching as you step on them is honestly my favorite sound (weird I know).

But, for the past 2+ years I wasn’t able to enjoy the smells of Autumn in my home. You know the pumpkin, caramel, vanilla, those types of smells. Why? Because I threw away at least a dozen candles when I switched to a toxin free lifestyle.

Candles wreak havoc on your health, my friends, let’s dive into the details…

In conventional candles, you are likely to find:

Paraffin: This is made from petroleum as a by-product from making gasoline.

Benzene & Toluene: Toxic and harmful chemicals released from burning paraffin. They are known carcinogens and have been shown to be just as bad as second hand smoke and diesel fumes.

Lead: In the United States, there is not supposed to be lead in candles anymore, but unfortunately it is still happening especially in candles manufactured in China. Lead in wicks releases 5 times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and these pollutants are released whether the candle is lit or not…

Fragrance: This is one of the worst ingredients in anything, including candles, as you have no idea what is actually in it. Phthalates are almost guaranteed which can aggravate allergy symptoms, asthma, and even alter hormone levels.

There ARE safe options out there friends and my personal favorite is https://www.sealovecandles.com

These candles are hand-poured in-house on the coast of Maine in small batches using simple, clean ingredients โ€“ 100% coconut and soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks, and phthalate-free fragrances blended with pure essential oils. No additives, enhancers, colorants, filler waxes, phthalates and petrochemicals added. All ingredients are mindfully sourced in the USA and are vegan and cruelty-free. ๐Ÿ˜

Plus, when you use code: RAISINGCLEAN10 you get 10% off your order!

If you snag some, definitely comment below what you think and as always, head over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean where I share daily clean living info including ditch and switches for all areas of life.

Raise Clean, friends ๐ŸŒฟโœŒ๏ธ

๐’ฎ๐“€๐’พ๐“ƒ๐’ธ๐’ถ๐“‡๐‘’ ๐’Ÿ๐‘œโ€™๐“ˆ & ๐’Ÿ๐‘œ๐“ƒโ€™๐“‰๐“ˆ

1.)Wear Sunscreen Daily-UV radiation can still make its way through the clouds so donโ€™t skip on cloudy days. โ˜€๏ธ โ˜๏ธ

2.)Give your body some love…skincare isnโ€™t limited to your face!ย 

3.)Load up on antioxidants they will help protect your skin from free radicals

4.)Remove makeup before bed so your face can breathย 

5.)Donโ€™t forget to moisturize daily…even if you have oily skin that can be a sign you need more moisture

6.)Donโ€™t over exfoliate

7.)Donโ€™t neglect your neck and dรฉcolletage area…these show signs of aging first.

8.)Donโ€™t skimp on sleep- you need at least 7-8 hours of beauty rest a night.

Happy Tuesday, friends! ๐ŸŒฑ

Don’t forget to join our wellness community on FB for more tips and links to the best toxin free skincare out there -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/

Ditch & Switch โ€ขโ€ข Shave Gel/Cream

Who uses a shaving cream or gel?! โค๏ธโค๏ธ

I personally have never been able to use a shaving cream as I always broke out in horrible razor burn every time I tried. But, when I used regular body wash my legs would itch and itch SO badly. I FINALLY found a solution in my toxin free Gentle Cleansing Bar and it is all I will ever use to shave my legs now. The gentle soap moisturizes my legs while shaving so I have zero itch after shaving for the first time in my dang life!

Chances are, youโ€™ll use shaving products every day or every week for decades of your life. Even if it takes just two or three minutes to shave every day, this amounts to around a thousand hours of exposure to whatever chemicals are in those products or more if you use toxic aftershave or lotion after shaving.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป I used some market research to look into some ingredient lists… Out of three women who shared what theyโ€™re using, two contained harmful substances including but not limited to:

โŒ Phenoxyethanol โž” A member of the glycol ether family and is the product of the reaction of highly corrosive phenol with carcinogenic ethylene oxide. As a result, it may contain residue amounts of both. The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens, even in concentrations as low as 1%.

โŒ Fragrance โž” A chemical mixture of over 3k components used to create or mask a specific scent. The FDA does not require the disclosure of individual ingredients used to create fragrances. Many ingredients of fragrances are associated with contact allergy and may contain diethyl phthalate.

โŒ Propylene glycol โž” It is a controversial ingredient associated with skin irritation. Numerous patch tests on humans have shown that it has a very low risk of causing a skin reaction even at concentrations as high as 20%.

โŒ Petrolatum โž” 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 percent of all petroleum-based cosmetics that is a known human and animal carcinogen.

๐™๐™๐™š ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ค๐™™ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ฌ๐™จ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™„๐™Ž ๐™– ๐™จ๐™–๐™›๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™š๐™›๐™›๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ก๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ!

One awesome gal shared that she uses Dr. Bronnerโ€™s Shave Gel and it passes with flying colors

โœ… Lots of organic ingredients

โœ… Toxin free

I personally have only ever had success with my favorite Gentle Facial Bar. It is the first time in my life that my legs donโ€™t itch after I shave and has been a literal god send.ย 

โœ… Lots of organic ingredients

โœ… Toxin free

โœ… RSPO certified sustainable palm oil

โœ… Vegan

โœ… Zero Waste

โœ… Cruelty Free

โœ… Made in the USA

PS – have a safe swap request? Drop it below!

To learn more about the gentle cleansing bar I mentioned and get access to half priced and free products, you’ll want to hop over to my community on FB ๐Ÿ™‚ https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/ โค๏ธ I’ll see you over there!

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? Brontรฉ often has issues with her paw and Iโ€™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.ย 

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.ย 

Iโ€™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 Iโ€™ve found for itchy paws that contain ingredients such as:

โŒ Propylene Glycol

โŒ Petroleum

โŒ EDTA

โŒ Diazolidinyl Urea

โŒ 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/ ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฑ

Safe Swap: Cookware

Did you know that your cookware is likely toxic? This means even if youโ€™re choosing the best possible food for your family, chemicals could be leaching into that food while youโ€™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 birdsโ€ฆ

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. Itโ€™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/

๐ŸŒทJess

Dropping Some Truth

I wanted to drop some truth in here really quickly… ๐Ÿ˜™

I want everyone to feel comfortable commenting on this blog and joining me over in my wellness community on FB no matter where youโ€™re at on your toxin free journey. If youโ€™re as crunchy as it gets or if you havenโ€™t started going toxin free at all yet, but youโ€™re interested in learning about it, I donโ€™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! โ˜บ๏ธ

I started my toxin free journey in March of 2018 and Iโ€™m STILL not 100% toxin free in all areas of my life, and to tell you the truth, I may never be. My fiancรฉ 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 wasnโ€™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 HAVENโ€™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:

Dunkinโ€™ Donuts coffee

Candy (while I donโ€™t buy the toxic stuff for myself anymore, if someone gives it to me, Iโ€™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 doesnโ€™t mean Iโ€™m perfect in every area all the time. So, whether you havenโ€™t started your toxin free journey yet, youโ€™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!


Weโ€™ve had over 1,300 Advocates join us since April 1st! ๐Ÿ˜ #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 ๐Ÿ™‚