Getting Rid of Toxins One Step at a Time

During a recent talk about how to become a non-toxic New Yorker, I learned that we live among around 80,000 different chemicals and a good number mimic estrogen when they enter the body. This is potentially troublesome for women and their unborn daughters.

The talk was led by Penelope Jagessar Chaffer who directed the movie, “Toxic Baby.” The movie takes a look at toxicity and its affects on young children. Penny is lively and spirited and makes the somewhat dry topic of chemicals in our lives interesting.

Her advice for everyone is to start small and pick one area to detoxify. She said that indoor air tends to be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, so starting at home is the easiest approach. Here are a few of her tips:

  • Take your shoes off when you get home. You don’t know what you’re tracking in.
  • Avoid products with parabens, fragrance and BPA
  • Limit dry cleaning. Clothes are cleaned with chemicals then wrapped in plastic. If you have an organic cleaner, ask them what they use to clean the clothes.
  • Avoid heating plastic in the microwave. The plastic breaks down and seeps into your food.

I admit, I tend to get bogged down with the huge list of ingredients to avoid in products and cleaners, but I think by taking it one item at a time this can become a manageable and healthy undertaking.

Photo credit: Sujin Jetkasettakorn

‘Tis the Season for Dry Skin

Every time I hear the heat click on, I start thinking about how important it is to keep my skin moisturized this time of year. I’m one of those people who can tell it’s winter just by my extra-dry skin. Since I try to stay natural, I was really pleased to find out that you can use pure coconut or olive oil instead of a bottled lotion. When I was on vacation in Africa a few years back, I had a massage where the therapist used pure olive oil instead of the processed oils that are used in the states. After a quick shower to remove the excess oil, my skin felt soft for days.

Using oil tends to be a little more messy than a traditional moisturizer, but can be easily applied with a cotton ball or pad. If you decide to head to the kitchen cupboard the next time you need a lotion, here are a few things to keep in mind. First, use cold pressed oil. Cold pressed oils are made using low temperatures. That means more of the nutrients and antioxidants are preserved in the oil and will make it to your skin.

The oil will absorb better if your skin is slightly damp, so try using a couple drops after you wash your hands or get out of the shower.

There are a few downsides to using oil. One is that you don’t get the mix of oils and antioxidants you’ll find in a formulated moisturizer. That means you’re not getting a range of benefits. You can combat this by mixing a few different oils together.

The other thing to remember is that pure oil doesn’t contain SPF like many lotions, so it’s important to follow the oil with an SPF before heading outdoors.

Photo credit: m_bartosch

Time to Think About Summer Produce

It seems like an odd time of year to think about where you’ll get your fruits and vegetables come summer, but it’s actually the perfect time to consider buying a share in a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture program. Simply put, CSA members buy a share of a farm’s product and receive regular deliveries throughout the growing season. Participants pay upfront now so farmers can plan how much they will plant and buy materials. You also want to reserve your spot while there is still room available.

The benefit to consumers is farm fresh produce usually grown close to home. It’s also common receive a greater variety of foods than you would normally buy at the grocery store. Depending on the farm you choose, you might have multiple types of apples or corn delivered or even some produce you wouldn’t normally buy. The downside is figuring out how to prepare the bounty you’ll receive.

I just relocated to Virginia and here some farmers team up with one another to offer CSA members an even greater variety of options and a longer growing season. One CSA has options for a produce, share, diary share or a mushroom share to choose from.

Many farms also offer options to harvest some of your own food to keep consumer costs low. So take a few minutes and do a little research on the CSAs in your area. It could change the way you eat this summer.

Photo credit: happykanppy /

Great Deal on Organic Bedding!

For the next week Raksha Bella Organics is having a huge sale on all of their products. I scored a baby crib set I had my eyes on for 70% off today! Make sure you take a look at all of their beautiful products.

I’m back for the year of the Dragon!

It’s been awhile – but Method Wellness is back up and running. While the site hasn’t been very active, we have. Home base is now in Richmond, VA and Ray and I are eagerly awaiting the birth of our first child. That news makes living a natural life even more important for me.

Along with the life changes, you’ll notice a change to the look of the blog also. I now use a different subscription service, so take a moment and subscribe to Method Wellness, your source for the best information on natural living in a modern world.