Were you following along all month for our #NoSugarChallenge? It was a whirlwind. I used it as my own little support system a few times at the store. I just realllllly wanted those gluten free, allergen friendly oreos! But I didn't buy them because I honestly couldn't imagine sitting at the front desk talking about the no/low sugar challenge with oreo crumbs in my teeth ;)
The biggest thing that I became aware of during the challenge is just how many toxins we are exposed to on the daily. Like, they're everywhere!! Since moving into the new office, we have been taking our laundry to be washed at a local laundromat. Now think about how a laundromat or dry cleaner smells. Those scents in the air are little bits of chemicals that go into your body when you breathe and have to be filtered by your lungs. Scented laundry soap and dryer sheets also leave a chemical residue on your skin. You know, the largest organ that absorbs what's on it!?! What if you could cut out just one little toxin, like scented laundry soap? Would that make a difference? Maybe.
As always, all of us at the office want to empower each of you to live your healthiest life. We want you all to be able to make informed decisions about the food you eat, the household products you use, and what types of medicines or supplements you use. If you have any questions or are struggling to find something that is right for you, please reach out. Between the three of us, the knowledge base and resources run deep. We truly and honestly want to help make a world full of healthier happier humans!
Our Need for Community
Humans are social beings. We are not meant to live life all alone. Even introverts still have people that they connect with on a daily basis. Isolating for long periods of time can lead to mental health struggles. During the shelter in place and quarantine lockdowns of this past year, mental health crisis call lines saw a dramatic increase in people who were struggling. Depression and anxiety rates are high. Our society is feeling a high level of stress, which only amplifies the depression and anxiety.
We cannot do life alone. We collectively work together to lift our communities up. Reach out to those around you. Don't be afraid to say you need help, or to ask others if they need help. We are meant to be with one another. There is an exchange of feeling when we interact with one another (ideally good feelings ;)).
Sometimes our blogs are on health, wellness, or science fun, but my thoughts today are on the state of our society and just how divided it feels we are right now, and it breaks my heart. Divisiveness only pulls us further from where we are meant to go. When we can come together, it is for both the good of the individual and the good of the community.
Spread kindness and joy. Check in on your friends and family. Reach out to your neighbors.
Together, we rise.
In health and wellness,
I’m going to be real here. I’m feeling weary. From a day to day basis I have energy, gratitude, and joy for my life, but as I look over the events of the past year, I feel weary. I’m tired of the fear, the hype, the helpless and frustrated feeling of watching our society make decisions that don’t seem to have any common sense behind them. Officials in positions of authority are making mandates that don’t reflect scientific evidence. On one hand we came together as a community in the spring, but now our political climate has our country sitting firmly on two different sides. I’m tired of our medical freedom and bodily autonomy being under attack. I worry about what the world is going to look like for my kids and grandkids.
I sit with these feelings and acknowledge them. In the past I would have tried to bury it, for fear of having negativity in my life. But I have learned over the past year that the best way to deal with these kinds of feelings is to acknowledge and move through them. Be frustrated, and then do what I can do. I can’t control everything, I can only control my actions and my reactions.
So, I acknowledge my weariness and assess what my body needs. Movement? Nourishment? Rest? What is going to fill my cup? I could make excuses and say I don’t have the time or money, but I always want to make sure I am living in alignment with my values. My health is one of my core values, and if I don’t spend time or money on my health I am not living in alignment. My weariness is signaling my body is in a certain state, and I am making steps to help my mind and body move forward.
It is not easy, to rise up from a place of lower energy and vibration. It takes work. But the work is absolutely always worth it.
In health and wellness,
Toxins and Commercial Agriculture
Dr. Morgan has talked about your toxic load and what your body can support. Think of it like coffee in an overfilled filter, or like when your tea bag just explodes. Somehow the structural integrity was compromised, either through over filling or a fault in design, which sullies your morning brew. You can only process so much in a certain amount of time and each body is different. So, what should we be eating?
When it comes to toxins and food, the first thing is what are we eating? Real foods! Foods that are ingredients, not food with ingredients. In Missoula, we can get real foods from the farmers markets and farm stands in and around town. In the grocery store that means shopping the outer aisles. Produce, meats & seafoods, dairy (and dairy alternatives), and even the bakery for fresh bread with a small ingredient list.
Next up is the toxins in the foods we eat. While in a perfect world, all that would be available is organic produce, meats, and flowers. Commercial agriculture uses a lot of chemicals! It’s sometimes not financially feasible to buy all organic, so do what is best for you and your family. If you are in Missoula, we have access to some AMAZING farm stands. Frank’s Little Farm is on the corner of Curtis & Wyoming, Turner Farms is on 3rd just past Tower, Little Red Hen is on Spurgin between Tower & Clements, and County Rail Farm is in Huson and can be found on Google Maps (it’s super easy to get there). While not all farms are certified as organic, they all use organic and ethical farming principles.
If you go out to eat, think about where they are getting their food. I was at a downtown restaurant a few months ago. They had some very sad saggy roses on their bar. I am always looking for ways to get my flowers into more local business and mentioned something to their manager. He said that they get the roses from the grocery store and use them in drinks, so how they look isn’t that important. Wow. Those commercially grown roses are NOT food safe and should NOT be used in people’s drinks!! Commercially grown flowers are full of pesticides and other chemicals to keep them looking fresh as a cut flower. When you are picking flowers or produce and shipping them great lengths, you need some science to help keep things looking alive when they aren’t.
Here’s the last little toxin that surrounds our food and agriculture!! Something we often overlook, or haven’t learned about yet, is how people growing these products don’t have protection from the chemicals used to grow your raspberries. In the US, we have OSHA to protect workers from chemical exposure through workplace declarations (MSDS sheets and training materials) and protective equipment. A lot of the produce sold and consumed in the US is grown in South & Central America, where workers aren’t protected from the chemicals used in commercial agriculture. When you buy a food that was grown with chemicals, that means workers were exposed to all the chemicals used to grow your foods.
What are our favorite tips for eating toxin free?
When you buy locally grown agricultural products, you are empowering your neighbors and growing a deeper connection with your food. Simple changes can make a difference in how your body feels and functions. Making conscious choices to live without toxins can be hard at first, but very rewarding.
Toxic Skin Care
This month we are all about TOXINS. The food we eat is an obvious source of toxins, but what about the stuff we put on our body?!?! Two of our practice members, Amy and Taylor, are Beauty Counter consultants and took a moment to share with us why it's so important to be aware of what we are putting on our skin.
The biggest and coolest part of this company to me, is their transparency in creating their products, advocacy on a state and federal level, and environmentally friendly packaging. They are the real deal. Not only do they do all the above listed, but their products are great! They really work and have very clean ingredients. They are rigorously tested for safety and toxicity and
my skin and hair love them.
Throughout this process I learned that the U.S. hasn’t passed a law regarding cosmetic ingredients in over 80 years. 80 YEARS!!! The same toxic chemicals that were allowed to be put into our skincare in 1938 are still allowed to this day. We now know, that these chemicals and toxins have contributed to cancers, neurological disorders, endocrine and fertility issues (just to name a few). The EU has banned 1,400 of these dangerous substances, and the US has banned 30. (insert sarcastic eye roll)
Beautycounter has formulated its products WITHOUT the use of over 1,800 chemicals and questionable ingredients. Some of which are formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, polyethylene glycol, and toluene. These substances are known to cause birth defects, cancers, neurological toxicity, developmental and reproductive problems.
I noticed a lot of changes in my skin once I added an actual skin care regimen to my daily routine. My childhood acne scars are diminishing, my skin is brighter, more even, and has a lot more moisture!
Here is a list of Beautycounter’s Safety Standards:
- 100% Ingredient Transparency
- Responsibly sourced raw materials
- Quality Assurance Program
- Unparalleled Safety Screening
- Sustainable packaging
- Environmental foot printing
- Awarded for product performance
- Trace contaminants
- Formula and preservative innovation
- Going beyond regulatory standards
- Supplier code of conducts
- Leaping Bunny certified
- Certified B Corporation
- EWG verified
I encourage anyone out there to take the steps to reduce the toxins in your household, however you can. Baby steps or all at once! There are a lot of great products out there and it just takes a little time in the beginning to learn what to look for and how to make the switch! Most importantly, have fun with it and enjoy the process.
If you have any questions you can email Amy here!
They don’t know what causes MS – it could be from toxic environmental exposure, or genetics, or even triggered by stress.
Why am I telling you this? Because it finally led me to think about my health holistically rather than just what I put in my body. I wanted to do anything I possibly could to decrease and slow- down my mom’s disease and prevent it from hitting me or my family. Her diagnosis opened my eyes to other stressors on my body. It led me to think about what I put on my body.
I started removing toxins in my personal care products – shampoo, face soap, makeup, lotion, chapstick, and the list goes on. Think about the number of products you use in a day – from when you wash your hair in the morning to when you brush your teeth at night. It can add up, which can add up to a lot of toxins!
I tried a few safer skincare brands and they were ok. They didn’t perform incredibly well, but hey, they were safer. Then, I stumbled on Beautycounter and their products blew me away! They were incredibly high quality – from packaging, to application, to performance. I was hooked. Along with excellent products, Beautycounter screens every potential ingredient for
information on specific hazards like hormone disruption and infertility, screens for heavy metals, and promises to never use over 1,800 questionable and harmful chemicals in their products.
After about a year of slowly switching to Beautycounter products I decided to become a consultant. I was already suggesting their products to friends and family, my mom being first on that list, and other people were loving their products too. Three years later, here I am, and I can’t tell you how many eye-opening conversations I’ve had with people from all walks of like that, like me five years ago, have no idea what toxins are hiding in their products. I know switching to safer skincare products is just one piece of the puzzle. I also know that we’re all busy and as a working mom it’s really hard for me to do all the “things” all the time.
However, I also know that little changes we make here and there do add up. So, I do what I can when I can, knowing that it lightens my and my families toxic load so we can live full and healthy
lives. I wish the same to you and those you love too!
Please email me here with any questions, if you’d like recommendations (Beautycounter and more), or if you just want to chat. I welcome all of it!
The Symptom Cycle
Symptoms are when people decide to do something about their health. The pain and discomfort start to interfere with their daily lives and become big enough issues that they can’t be ignored. However, the vast majority wind up in “The Symptom Cycle”, where xyz symptom is resolved, but they don’t commit to their care long enough to ensure that the symptomatic pattern has been neurologically rewritten. So, they wind up in a place of neutral, where the symptom isn’t occurring, they quit their care, continue their daily habits, and end up back in a place of experiencing symptoms. But, if they were to continue committing to their health, their health would move beyond neutral and into a place of optimal potential.
Health isn’t static, it’s dynamic. If you aren’t actively seeking better health, you are regressing, and can wind up in a place of experiencing symptoms. Every single one of us wants optimal health, but what are we willing to do for it? Finances and time are the two biggest reasons people don’t make changes in their lives. It’s one thing to say you want something, its a completely different thing to actively work towards it.
Don’t get stuck in a vicious cycle of symptoms and neutral. You have optimum potential! You deserve better! We are here to empower you on your journey as you discover when you are capable of!
In health and wellness,