Life after laundry detergent and fabric softener

Nobody can deny how utterly scrumptious a laundry smells when you walk past and your favourite fragrance wafts up your nose. I actually connect laundry smells to different memories – of friends I had in the past, of university rooms, of loved ones who I have held close. It came as a shock to read that the laundry is one of the most carcinogenic places in a house!

In 2008, scientists reported on the toxic chemicals in laundry detergents and other laundry products and it wasn’t good news. A single fragrance can contain multiple toxic chemicals that have been linked to asthma, dermatitis and even cancer.

Researchers from the University of Washington studied top-selling laundry and air-freshening products and found that they emitted dozens of different chemicals. All of them gave off at least one identified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws in America. What’s worse is that because of current labelling laws, none of these chemicals were listed on the label.

Among the products tested were a dryer sheet, a fabric softener, and a laundry detergent, as well as spray and plug-in air fresheners. Results showed nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the six products, and none were on the label. “Five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic ‘hazardous air pollutants,’ which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level,” said study author Anne Steinemann.

A later 2011 study by the same researchers found that air vented from machines using top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets contained hazardous chemicals, including two classified as carcinogens.

For the study, researchers ran a load of laundry once with no products, once with a leading brand of scented liquid laundry detergent, and once with both the detergent and a dryer sheet. They captured the exhaust from the dryer vent with a canister.

An analysis of the captured air showed more than 25 VOCs, including seven hazardous air pollutants. The two carcinogens were acetaldehyde and benzene.

“These products can affect not only personal health,” said Steinemann, “but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies.”

You can Google for more information on the toxic chemicals in laundry products. Look for Fragrance (this is where multiple chemicals are used to make the desired smell), surfactants, stabilizers, bleach, 1,4-dioxane, brighteners, phosphates & EDTA. It’s scary stuff. Check to see if these are included in the laundry products you use too.

Thankfully, there are alternatives!

  • You can make your own laundry detergent. Wellness Mama has a great recipe, and you can find others online as well. You can add your favourite doTERRA essential oil for Fragrance
  • You can buy doTERRA’s On Guard laundry detergent, which I absolutely love! Read about it here.
  • Then you can skip the fabric softener completely and use woollen dryer balls or, if you’re going to dry outside, half-cup of vinegar added in the rinse cycle will produce the same results without the toxic chemicals.
  • Please do dump the dryer sheets! They a toxic shitstorm, if you’ll excuse my French! Dryer alls will also reduce static cling. I love my dryer balls, hence the title of this blog! (I literally did curse when I realised my favourite scents were so harmful and BALLS literally were my solution!)  Again, I got mine from doTERRA and I add geranium essential oil every few times I use my dryer. Geranium is such a beautiful scent for laundry.  It’s sweet, but not sickly, and it’s really calming.  Great for your bed sheets!  You can make your own using ( see DIYnatural) or if you don’t use a dryer you can even make a spray with 1 cup white vinegar to 3 cups of water and 30 drops of essential oils to spray on the washing when it is on the line ready to dry in the sun.

If you’d like to go chemical free in your laundry TODAY, and would like to have a look at the doTERRA products available and different essential oils you can use for scent, click here to be redirected to my webstore. Any questions, give me a shout!

Much Love x x x

Sources:

University of Washington, “Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners,” Science Daily, July 24, 2008, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723134438.htm.

Anne C. Steinemann, Lisa G. Gallagher, Amy L. Davis, Ian C. MacGregor, “Chemical emissions from residential dryer vents during use of fragranced laundry products,” Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 2011; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-011-0156-1.

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Antioxidant support from Essential Oils

I have been wanting to write a blog about DDR Prime Softgels for ages, but I just haven’t felt like I understand the product deeply enough.  doTERRA created DDR Prime to help promote repair to damaged DNA.  Research and studies have shown over and over again that essential oils work on a cellular level, meaning they can penetrate the cell walls and work within the cells, and one of the most fascinating abilities of essential oils is that they can differentiate between a healthy cell and a bad cell.

DDR Prime is meant to reduce oxidative stress, an imbalance between the production of free radicals and our body’s ability to counteract them. It’s a  natural process, but it can greatly influence our overall well-being.

When I first started taking DDR Prime I had never heard of oxidative stress.  I read that DDR Prime was full of antioxidants and I’d heard of those! (Antioxidants are molecules that are present in cells. These molecules donate electrons to unbalanced free radicals in order to balance them and stop the cycle of cellular degradation.) While antioxidants are found in abundance in many whole foods, it is often difficult to get the amount and specific types of antioxidants our body needs for peak cellular health.  I also knew my chronic anxiety had taken a toll on my health physically as well as mentally, and this was enough for me to give them a shot.

The proprietary blend of essential oils in DDR Prime includes CloveThymeWild OrangeFrankincenseLemongrass, Summer Savory, and Niaouli, because they offer antioxidant support for protection against oxidative stress.

Frankincense, Thyme and Lemongrass are chosen to prevent against DNA damage because of their preventative processes.  Lemongrass, Clove and Niaouli (a form of Melaleuca) are chosen for their ability to destroy unhealthy and irreparable cells. Lastly, doTERRA looked at oils to guard against oxidative stress. These included clove, wild orange and summer savory. Clove essential oil is particularly powerful because it has the highest level of antioxidant properties ever known in a substance, making it a powerful support to anyone’s daily health routine.
DDR Prime Softgels make it easy to get your daily serving of free radical fighting essential oils for optimum well-being.

If you’d like to learn more from doTERRA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hill, watch the following:

From the doTERRA Blog:
“What Makes DDR Prime Softgels Unique?
The power of DDR Prime Softgels is in the proprietary blend of essential oils. Alone, all of the individual oils have been shown to provide support of cellular integrity, but the synergistic effects they provide when combined together is even more powerful.* FrankincenseWild Orange, and Clove oil have all been shown to promote a healthy response to free radicals.* Thyme and Niaouli essential oils support cellular immunity and overall cellular health.* Summer Savory has been shown to support our body’s natural mechanisms to deal with oxidative stress.* Lastly, Lemongrass oil can protect against environmental threats.* Combined, this exclusive combination of essential oils offers unparalleled support of the body’s natural free-radical defense systems.*
DDR Prime Softgels Uses and Benefits

  1. As mentioned, the support of healthy cellular integrity is important for overall well-being. DDR Prime Softgels help support cellular immunity and cellular health.* The proprietary combination of essential oils in DDR Prime Softgels promotes healthy responses to oxidative stress for optimal well-being.*
  2. DDR Prime Softgels are also known to promote a healthy response to free-radicals.* The disruption of free radicals can cause a myriad of negative health effects. The essential oil blend contained within DDR Prime Softgels supports the body’s own defense mechanisms against free radicals.*
  3. DDR Prime Softgels provide a simple, no-mess, convenient way to get the benefits of DDR Prime Cellular Complex, anytime anywhere. Simply place a bottle in your purse, travel bag, or on your desk at work and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of DDR Prime Cellular Complex when you are crunched for time, away from home, or in a hurry.”

So here began my journey with oxidative stress! I have since become a self-proclaimed mitochondriac. It’s like most of today’s common complaints can be brought back to the health of.our cells. All cells need three primary things in order to stay healthy: energy, primarily metabolic energy, protection from outside and internal threats, and resiliency.

In today’s world our diets do not provide the nutrition we need to provide the energy our cells need. Our cells are under attack from electromagnetic waves and toxins. Providing our cells with daily protection, while we reduce the toxins and threats in our environment, is a great way to enhance our body’s natural defense. The third way we can help our cells and maintain great health is to support the resiliency of our cells, so that whenever they are under attack,  they can bounce back to where they should be. DDR Prime is a great place to start!

Talk to me today about how to get DDR Prime at a discount or buy now from my doTERRA store. This is not a blend you can go another day without! To learn more about oxidative stress and it’s impact on your body, click here

Much love x x x

Mindful [fill the blank]

I am sat here, well, sick as a dog actually. I’m aching for a nap, or at the very least just to kick back and do absolutely nothing, but my mind is being pulled towards the work I have to do, the fact I should be doing anything more soul nourishing than this with my two year old and now I’m typing this blog on my phone.

On Saturday I took part in the Auckland Mama Markets up in Milford and had a wonderful conversation with Trish Martin Baby Coach.

She was looking at the Biozen and we were discussing the risks of EMF to children and babies and she mentioned how she had never seen as much technology as we use today, often inches away from a babies head. She also mentioned how she often sees mothers breastfeeding with their focus on the phone and this really resonated with me because that is exactly what I used to do too.

I decided to dig into this phenomenon because it is truly unhealthy. Why can’t we breastfeed and focus on breastfeeding alone? Or be present playing with our children? Or be present in anything? Why do we feel compelled to check social media or chat to a friend when our beautiful creations are lay in our arms. Why is the washing more important than play? Aren’t our children the most beautiful things we have ever seen? Don’t we want to treasure each moment like it were our last? Why is what is happening on Facebook grabbing our attention?

If I dig into my own experience it was the feeling that something needs to be done that pulled me out of most moments. And the feeling was that it needed to be done now because my to do list was never ending. I had way too much on my plate. I recognize right now that my plate is overloaded again. We are moving house, my business is booming and clearly my immune system and mind has taken a hit. What are you feeling as your attention moves from baby to your phone (or whatever)? Identify that feeling because its roots have control over your mindfulness and you can take the control back. I like to think of it like becoming the boss of your own thoughts and I’d like to teach you how to do it in simple steps because doing it myself has changed my life.

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.

Buddha

Of course, I still have my bad days like today, and it’s important on those days that I look at what has changed. My lack of mindfulness is my mind’s way of telling me to take stock. So the first thing I can do is listen and respond. If I keep ignoring the signals my body is giving me I will end up in a worse place (I have done that too.)

So if we go back to the example of the mother breastfeeding and on her phone, what is the need being filled here? It could be something as simple as boredom, or it could be something deeper like a need for connection. I can help you discover those needs if you get stuck. My need was for order in my life. I thought constantly “doing” would bring that when in fact I needed to declutter my life.

The next thing to identify is what is keeping your mind from being at peace? What emotions are at play? In my experience it was stress and anxiety caused by the lack of order in my life. For you it might be sadness, or worry. Start to observe your emotions in the moment that your mindfulness slips, just as you are observing your body’s signals to take stock. From here you can begin to retrain your mind and rewire your brain.

 “We are what we repeatedly do.”

We are also what we repeatedly think. Over long periods, our patterns of thinking become etched into the billions of neurons in our brains, connecting them together in unique, entrenched patterns. When certain brain pathways – connections between different components or ideas – are frequently repeated, the neurons begin to “fire” or transmit information together in a rapid, interconnected sequence. Once the first thought starts, the whole sequence gets activated.

We can change that sequence. We can literally take control of what we think.  We can replace negative beliefs with positive affirmations, we can change our environment so we are surrounded with positivity to support positive thoughts and we can give up habits that negatively influence us, like excessive amounts on Facebook at all. Over time, we can begin to change the wiring of our brain so our prefrontal cortex (the executive center, responsible for setting goals, planning and executing them), is more able to influence and shut off our rapidly firing, fear-based amygdala (emotion control center). And, this is exactly what brain imaging studies on effects of mindfulness therapy have shown.

Loving ourselves deeply and nurturing our needs is a big part of the puzzle.

My schedule was out of control because I was knee deep in the emotional suffocation of not paying myself enough attention – period.

It took me a long time to understand self love, my limiting beliefs holding me back from it and what it actually means in terms of tangible actions I can take every day, but when I figured everything out I found this unbounded space in my head that allowed me to be present in a way I had never experienced before.

I also rediscovered my true authentic self, became physically healthier and emotionally stronger and found my purpose outside of #beingmum.

If self love is something you need a little help with I run a programme over 16 days, which costs just nz$16 and it will help you take a big step forward from where you are now. That’s just a $1/day and it’s all done online through email or Facebook messenger, whichever you prefer. To get started, click below:

 

16 Days of Self Love

NZ$16.00

If you’re having trouble being mindful you might also enjoy this blog by Spiritual Alchemist, Debbie, with a 1 minute meditation you can do anywhere at any time.

Much love x x

Why I can’t wait to have another baby

You live and you learn, right?

Both my pregnancies have given me big insights into my health. What we went through with Eden taught me that my gut health was screwed. There was no other real reason her gut would have been in such a state, apart from the fact I had heavy antibiotic use and a history of symptoms that pointed to compromised gut health. I’ve talked in a previous blog about how I used to get recurrent, debilitating UTIs and found after having Eden and healing my gut that they cleared.

After having Jade I felt tired and flat all the time. I’d had periods of feeling like this all the way back to my time at school. My compromised gut health was definitely something to do with it, but I was tired of feeling tired. I paid for a special hair test to have my micronutrients checked and there was a big clue as to why I was feeling so tired in the results! I was depleted in many ways and the naturopath talked me through why this would be making a big impact on my health. (There’s an image at the end of this blog from Dr. Jockers website that is a good summary of our micronutrients’ role in health [it’s big!])

There would have been many reasons why I had gotten depleted. Chronic stress depletes key nutrients and leads to micronutrient deficiencies; I had suffered my fair share of that! Bad git health means nutrients aren’t absorbed and our soils are also depleted of nutrients. Add onto that I had been breastfeeding for 2 years, which would have had an impact as well.

I decided to give doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality range of supplements a try, mainly because I could get them at a 55% discount with my wholesale account and I’d tried many supplements previously that quite clearly hadn’t worked, according to my results! (Read about what’s in doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality here and why need them). I also started their probiotics and I started using Pure Oxygen, as it can help with the absorption of vitamins and minerals and can boost our cells’ function as well. The results have been transformational for me. I feel better and more energized than I have ever been. They even supported my recovery from anxiety as well!

And now I have my new best friend, my Helo 😍, which tracks my blood pressure and my mood and will soon track my blood sugar as well. I feel like I have the trifecta of health ammunition to finally give me a pregnancy that doesn’t make me want to curl up and die! You see I have had crippling hyperemesis gravidarum in both my previous pregnancies. It was horrible and it definitely prevented me from just enjoying my growing baby inside. Moreover, when I think forward in my life I see our big family. Siblings hanging out together, friendships and diverse personalities, challenges, but also enough love to sink a battleship, or maybe in our case to keep us afloat. So I would love to finally have an uncomplicated pregnancy and enjoy the journey to meeting our last sprog, and I believe I may finally be in the perfect state of health to do it.

I believe adding Helo into my pregnancy will be a gamechanger. I’ve already written about how I see the upcoming blood sugar trend monitoring as a great way to both identify, but more importantly prevent gestational diabetes.  I also believe the peace of mind Helo provides is second to none. Blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, breath rate, mood and energy are all tracked by Helo and you can set your midwife up to remotely monitor your data, and be alerted if any of your bioparametres go out of their ranges of normal! Low blood pressure was another thing that was a drag on my previous pregnancies. I also read that balancing blood sugar can prevent morning sickness and the great thing about knowing our mood, energy levels and sleep is that you can change anything in an instant and change them. Knowledge is power and pregnancy is scary. It feels sometimes like there is all this crazy stuff going on in your body that you have no control over. Helo gives you insight and the power to control your health.

So there you have it. I am broody as £#!& for our third child (that was the sound of my husband’s heels as he legged it down the street 😉)…

I think I knew straight after Jade was born that I wasn’t “done”, but it has taken me some time to decide whether another baby is right for us. What about you? Did you know you were done after your last baby? How many children do you have? What has been your experience with pregnancies? Have you been well or have you suffered like I did? Have you had the same experience across all pregnancies or did you have one that surprised you in some way? Do you think I’m into anything with the health-morning sickness link? Would love to read your comments!

Much love as always x x

Protect your growing baby from harmful radiation.png