Good Morning Beautiful!!
I am so grateful for all this rain! The sun and heat were nice last week but I was so not ready for it! My garden on the other hand tripled in size this week! I'll be eating garden greens in no time!
Last week I shared ideas about what to do when you know what's in your products, but it feels like an extra chore to find new solutions.
Change happens slowly. It takes time to undo years of habitual shopping and make different and better choices.
Start with one product. Have another look at the list of toxic ingredients I sent and look at the products in your home. Maybe start with products used on or around the kids. Just pick one!
Ask yourself first, do I really even need this product?
Sometimes these items are just extras, like those poison plug-in scented things! Harsh and toxic. Garbage it! Easy!
If you really need to scent a space there’re many other safer ways to do it!
You can use an essential oil spray (10% essential oil in water, shake well and spritz!) using oils that can benefit your family; or if pets and children permit it, use a non-petroleum candle in the room that’s also scented naturally. There’s incense available that’s made with plants (not synthetically scented), and sometimes I just burn a sage leaf (or other herbs) to change the scent palette of the room.
Maybe you’d like to start by ditching your antiperspirant?
We’ve been hearing for years that the aluminum in antiperspirants is harmful in so many ways. It’s been linked to cancer and Alzheimers. Here’s a link to a short and simple article by Time spelling out why antiperspirants are harmful…
There are many little companies making natural deodorants these days. You can even check out my selection at…
For 20 years I looked for an effective natural deodorant but never found one to deal with my smelly armpits! I finally had to make my own and it’s the only one to ever have tamed the pits! So it’s guaranteed healthy and effective!
Or maybe you’d like to start in the kitchen?
Sodium laurel sulphate (S.L.S.) is the main ingredient in almost all liquid soaps! Today there are many alternatives to the traditional dish soaps available in the grocery stores. Some are just greenwashed versions of your old dish soap, but some are actually made with better ingredients! This goes for all liquid soaps including hand soap, shower gel, and shampoos. Newer and cleaner options are out there! Some folks are even just using a block of soap with a brush to lather! No plastic involved!
Support the businesses trying to make a difference, and they will continue to provide better choices!
What drives you bonkers about the health and beauty industry? If you could change anything, what would it be?
This week I'm focussing on creating. Just for the sake of creating.
Ideas are flowing like Spring run-off right now and I'm rolling with it. No second thoughts, no judgements, just joy moving through me!
What do you love creating?
What makes you joyful?
It's flow time!
In gratitude, health, and love,
Good Morning Starshine!!
Oh my goodness, the weather here in Vancouver is bloody GORGEOUS!! (Sorry east coasters.) I finally have all of my seedlings in the raised beds, and another two trays of green babies to plant outside in a couple of weeks! I’ve been picking all kinds of fresh greens for dehydrating into smoothie powder, and I even found some edible mushrooms in a local greenspace! Check out my newest video, on what to do with your bounty of early spring greens and how to make your own oregano oil!
So, what did you think of last week’s list? Were you able to cross-check it with any of the products in your home? How do you feel about the ingredients you’re using?
It's useful to keep this list somewhere in your phone to easily access while shopping! And, we need to be cautious because as soon as we have that list of harmful ingredients memorized, companies like to up and rebrand their ingredients!
While natural ingredients are usually preferred to synthetic, there can still be a lot of wiggle room in product labels. Many companies are catching on to the greenwashing trend and renaming some of their harmful ingredients as something else. For example sodium lauryl sulfate has various other names, including sulfuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt, sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium salt, hydrogen sulfate, dodecyl alcohol, sodium dodecanesulfate, and sodium monododecyl sulfate. I’ve also seen its cousin sodium laureth sulfate in its place! Blech!!
So we can either stay updated on all the labelling loopholes or avoid these products all together. It’s easier for me to avoid them rather than sort out who is the best of the worst. Which is why I decided to make all of my own products! I know what’s in them and I know they’re good for me!
There are many people interested in making their own custom products at home, but everyone doesn’t have the time or interest to do that. Thankfully, there are many people making delicious and clean products to sell! If you don’t want to make your own, you could buy from these artisans and support a cleaner economy than what’s operating in the mainstream today.
It’s a drag though right? Having to research and find new products that are good for us AND effective? Nobody has time for that. It’s just an extra chore that isn’t that big of a priority. I get it.
In the long run though, it’ll be way better for you and your family.
For me it always comes down to asking myself “Do the short term benefits of using this product outweigh the effects of its longterm use?” because we don’t really know the long term consequences some of these ingredients can have on our bodies. And, sometimes even I answer "yes"! It's all about balance!
And, habits can be hard to change.
My mom always used Windex to clean windows and mirrors when I was growing up. So when I lived on my own and I was shopping for cleaning supplies I knew I had to pick up a bottle. I have windows and mirrors to clean now so that’s what I need, right? Under my kitchen sink looked like the cupboard I knew from childhood. It was a learned habit.
When I researched on my own and found that in fact I did not need Windex to clean my windows (I could use vinegar or even just a damp cloth!) and it was harmful to my health, it opened up all kinds of questions and new possibilities.
What else was I buying out of habit that was harmful?
What other products can I replace with safer, healthier, and possibly cheaper alternatives?
Are there any habit-bottles under your sink? Or on your bathroom counter?
This week I'm focussing on my heart.
Too much of my time has been spent worrying, calculating, and stewing.
I'm going to feel more, and find my answers
through love instead of fear.
What are your thoughts?
How do they make you feel?
It's time to connect!
In gratitude, health, and love,
It's mid spring here on the west coast and there is a gorgeous glut of greens everywhere!
In my garden I let the dandelions and wild lettuce grow, but now I want to harvest them to make room for my other seedlings. I'm picking the leaves daily, dehydrating them, grinding them into powder, and storing as greens for smoothies! And when the greens are gone, I'll harvest and dry the roots as well!
But, what I really wanted to talk about was making your own oregano oil!!
Have a huge bush of lemon balm, catnip, spearmint, or oregano? Perfect!
Good Morning Sunshine!!
The days are getting longer, and warmer and it's doing wonders for my state of mind!
This week I planted so many seedlings in the garden! I've now trusted my kale, lettuce, arugula, cabbage, and spinach babies to the elements. I receive such joy watching them grow!
I've also been thinking a lot about the quality and contents of our garden soils and how it affects our food. Maybe the topic for another day...
As always I'm also thinking about the quality and contents of the goods we use in our homes. Our power as consumers, comes from information and being equipped with tools to make more informed decisions! When it comes to shopping for beauty and home cleaning products, it’s helpful to know what some of the harmful ingredients are and how they affect our bodies and the environment.
Get to know the lists of ingredients to avoid. This is not an exhaustive list but it’s a great place to start!
The Environmental Working Group - An article called The Toxic 20
The Queen of Green of The David Suzuki Foundation
These ingredients and the products that contain them are the reason I started making my own remedies 20 years ago. I wanted products that helped my issues without also filling me with cheap and harmful chemicals.
The therapeutic essential oil blends were born first.
Immune booster to prevent us from getting sick, Inhale for sinus and respiratory distress, Stress Release for my complete inability to manage my stress, Perfect Hormony for my insane periods, Headache Be-gone for tension headaches, and Muscle Magic for my rod-iron neck muscles.
This week, while you're going about your regular business, take a minute to read the ingredients on the things you use around the house.
Maybe cross reference your findings with the list above.
This week I'm focussing on my strengths. Too much of my time has been spent thinking about my weaknesses. I'm good at so many things and have much to offer.
What are your strengths?
What are your gifts?
It's glass-half-full time!
In gratitude, health, and love,
And good for you making it through another week of quarantine!
If you have an interest in getting healthier and making the planet cleaner, the next few Sundays are for you! As well as some specials and new products, I’d like to share some info about the powers we have as consumers.
There are so many issues that need our attention right now. But, I’d like to focus specifically on bringing awareness to body products and herbal remedies. We buy and use so many everyday items that have ingredients in them that are detrimental to our health and toxic for the planet (both pre and post human use).
I’d love to provide you with enough information to start replacing your existing home and body products for ones that are less harmful. Maybe even look at the way you shop from a different perspective!
Although we’d like to believe it, all of the products on the shelves aren’t safe. We want to trust that there are governing bodies looking out for our best interests who wouldn’t allow harmful chemicals to be present in the products we use on our bodies and in our homes.
It’s not entirely true.
Sadly most of the tests (scientific research) done on these products/ingredients are done by private labs paid for by the companies with a vested interest in the outcome. While science can usually be black and white, the funding and intentions behind the science are not. So the findings are smudged and coerced. Harmful chemicals are allowed in smaller quantities so they’re less toxic, but still toxic.
Plus, most of the scientific research done on beauty products is done using animal testing and I don’t want to support the companies that have to test their ingredients on animals.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t poisonous plants or plants that can affect some medicines, but natural ingredients on the whole are better for us. (If you’re on any prescribed meds it’s wise to do some research and see if this is the case for you.) And, the more natural the ingredient, the better! The more processed a plant is the less “natural” it becomes. It also uses more energy and creates more pollution in the process.
Next week… which ingredients to look out for.
What natural products do you already use in the home?
What things have you learned lately that shocked you?
What topics are you still curious about?
I attempt to address the subtext of the COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility of seeing the beauty in these days.
The gloves come off and I get vulnerable and raw.
Just a short video where I talk about decreasing harmful habits and increasing helpful choices for our immune systems right now.
Here is a link to Dr. Mark Hyman's recent article where he covers more in detail what I talk about...
Please share what works for you and your family!
Just wanted to share a few thoughts I've been having that might help ease what we're all going through. I wanted to acknowledge the normalcy of our feelings, offer a few tools for action if you're looking for suggestions, and talk about the different facets of self care.
Please share your ideas and experiences, and offer tools that you've found to be helpful!
More people are turning to bone broth for micronutrients these days. Many companies are making beautiful and accessible products for purchase, but I wanted to show you how easy and cheap it is to make it yourself.
If you decide to make it with beef bones, choose joint bones with cartilage and let it simmer for 48 hours instead of 24.
You can also make vegetable stock if you don't want to use animal parts, but it won't have the same minerals. Mushrooms, seaweed, veg scraps, and plenty of herbs make a lovely veg broth.
Once it's done simmering, let it cool, strain it, and funnel it into glass jars.
Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze it for later!
Drink it by the mugful as a nourishing, warm beverage or use it to make soups, stews, and rice!
I am on a mission to remineralize my teeth! Part of the regime/experiment is to injest mineral supplements like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. There are a lot of additives in compressed pills these days that aren't good for our bodies, so I'm playing around with healthier options. Check out what I've done now!!
I've been wanting to talk about this for a while.
Like many other wonderful plants (tea tree, sandalwood, frankincense) white sage and it's eco-system are at risk. It's being over foraged and illegally harvested from private land, mostly for resale to commercial vendors. It is a sacred plant and shouldn't be taken ignorantly or without ceremony (the same goes for palo santo).
I've included smudging in my ceremonies for over 20 years, and after learning about the sensitive state of white sage I decided to not use it anymore. What do I use? Watch!!
What do you use?!
These hot and sunny days are a perfect opportunity to make your own sun-tea. All you need is a mason jar, tap water, leaves and a sunny day! Put it out in the morning and it'll be ready to enjoy by evening. You can use any tea you like, but loose is better than bagged - for you and the planet! Drink it on it's own over ice, or use in a cocktail!
Do you ever get bogged down by the seemingly ongoing negative things happening in the world? Do you find yourself feeling depressed, anxious or just plain sad. Ya, me too. I don't watch sensationalized news anymore and I've started doing little things that make me feel like I'm making a difference! Join me! Let's make a difference together!
Summertime and the living is GREEN! The local greens are everywhere right now in Vancouver so it's time to take advantage and make myself some greens powder for smoothies. You can use any leafy green you enjoy! I love spinach and I need the iron, but you can use any lettuce, kale, or local weeds like dandelion, plantain, chickweed, and cress(free from sprays, car exhaust and dog pee!). Let me know what greens you try!
Do you still buy meats from the deli at the grocery store? Save on single use plastic by reusing your own yoghurt/cottage cheese containers!
You're bringing your own reusable bags to the stores (grocery, clothing, hardware, homewares) now and you have less bags around the house to use for garbage yes? Good! Most bags can be recycled now in residential blue boxes, so they should. So what to use for garbage? Use any non-recyclabe bags lying around AND use plastic bags that your products came in! For an added bonus you could also rescue non-recyclable bags that would end up in the garbage at work or while out in the world!
If you're interested in making your own infused rose oil, here's where you start. Harvesting petals doesn't have to involve cutting or pruning any flowers or branches. This way is even better for wild roses, to ensure they develop and drop their seeds to make new bushes!
I allow my petals to dry on a tea towel-covered baking sheet for a few days. Until they are no longer moist. The less water you have in your petals the better your oil will be! Steep petals in your vegetable oil (jojoba is my favourite as it doesn't go rancid, ever!) for a few days, drain, and repeat until it is the strength you like!
Ever find yourself at the grocery store without your reusable bags? Again?
Me too. I won't buy mushrooms packaged in plastic, never mind take a single-use plastic bag to carry my groceries home. I literally feel sick in my stomach knowing that the plastic will be poisoning the planet, forever.
So, my solution is either to carry food in my pockets, or find a lovely cardboard box at the store! It's so convenient! All of the food arrives to the store in cardboard so there's a lot of boxes around. The big stores will have them holding product on shelves, but you might have to ask at a smaller store for them to grab one from the back. Easy and eco-conscious. And, you're helping the store by recycling their boxes for them! Win. Win. Win!
A quick tip for an easy trick to save wasted water in the kitchen!
There are many communities around the world, and here at home, who don't have clean water. I feel lucky to live in a place that has clean, minimally treated, running water. That gratitude makes me look for ways to conserve this blessed gift.
Everyone wants their home to smell great and there are many options out there. For me, it has to be natural. I don't want to be adding more air pollutants or toxic chemicals to my home or the planet in general. So, choose an actual essential oil blend. And, this is where it gets tricky because a lot of products out there have some misleading labels. What you want to see somewhere on the label is "100% essential oils". And, essential oils have healing properties!
edit: As mentioned in the video, if you'd like your home to smell like cookies you could diffuse essential oils like vanilla, ginger, cinnamon or a combination of all three! Some great oils to diffuse in the home if you're getting sick are oregano, thyme, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint or a combination of some of these. There are a lot of oils that are good for supporting the immune system and for colds and flu, and that sounds like another video in the making!