Sooner or "Lather", you'll want to switch your Shampoo

One of my major beauty concerns has been hair products.  Post treatment, with the little hair I had on my head, I was concerned about the chemicals in regular shampoo and conditioner going into my scalp. Besides being linked to diseases like cancer, these chemicals are stripping the natural oils from your hair likely making your locks drier and causing damage and fallout. 

Understanding the culprits can get hairy (ok, pun intended) are so I put together a list of a few that I often see: 

  1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate- An inexpensive foaming agent that contains Dioxane which is a probable carcinogen
  2. Cocamidopropyl Betine- Can cause skin irritation, rashes and allergic reactions
  3. Fragrance- contained phthalates which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, and cause reproductive malformation, and have been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

So which are the natural ones out there and do they work?  After some trial and error, I’ve declared Acure my favorite.  With an ingredient list I can pronounce and a salon smell, it’s captured my heart in many ways.  I usually buy my Acure products at Amazon or at Whole Foods

I also did some research on the company and found they don’t use gluten, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, harmful preservatives and artificial colors in any of their products.  Sooner or "Lather", I hope you'll make the change.

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When to Buy Organic

So we need fruits and vegetables for good health, but are the pesticides that keep them fresh counterintuitive to our health? 

Pesticides are widely used in producing food to control pests such as insects, rodents, weeds, bacteria, mold and fungus.  If they are potent enough to keep all these creatures away, what do they contain and is that harmful to humans?

According to the World Health Organization, pesticides ARE potentially toxic to humans.   They may have negative effects on reproduction, immune or nervous systems, cause cancer and lead to other problems.

A health report released by the Cancer Registry of Greater California, the pesticide-intense region of Napa Valley I may add was shown to have highest rates of cancer among all 58 California counties.  That's a big hint that something is wrong.   

The Environmental Working Group recommends buying organic produce whenever possible to reduce exposure to pesticides and publishes an annual list which ranks the pesticide levels in non-organic fruits and veggies. 

Below you'll find their most recent list which I save on my phone and pull up weekly during my visit to the grocery store! 

The Dirty 12 (a.k.a: "Dirty Dozen") should be bought organic as they contain highest levels of pesticides.  The Clean 15 do not have to be purchased organic as pesticide levels are lower.  

 

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 Click here to get EWG's full list.  

Dee-Toxing with Cancer Fighting Foods

I’m no doctor and I’m not a nutritionist but after a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, I felt compelled to change my diet.  I didn’t replace traditional treatment, however I did compliment it.  Not only do I feel like I am being proactive with my disease, but I also know that I am erasing some of the toxicity my body endured during chemotherapy.  Bonus- I’m getting a lot of compliments on my skin!

I buy the organic version of most foods as I believe that the pesticides and hormones are counter intuitive to my plan.

Before I give you the list that I personally incorporated (besides turmeric as I can't stomach it and it shouldn't be taken with certain meds) into my daily regimen, it’s important to understand the following: 

Our bodies produce something called free radicals which may be formed naturally or as a result of our environment (example- smoke, pollution, stress, inflammation). If free radicals are left unchallenged, they can have damaging effects like disease and other health issues. Our bodies also produce antioxidants to counter the damaging effects of free radicals; however sometimes it’s not enough. Therefore it’s important to get antioxidants in your daily diet so they can fight the battle that goes on inside of you every day.  Antioxidants can also help in the aging process which we ALL can benefit from!

Here are the foods I incorporate in my day, how I do it, and why I believe they are helping in my fight: 

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