5 Simple Things you can do to Improve Air Quality inside your Home

I watched the most incredible video the other day…

It talked about how we have become the “Indoor Generation”.

We have filled our homes with everything we need and more, so we don’t need to go outside anymore…

Apparently we spend 90% of our time indoors and have left nature behind…

We have replaced daylight with artificial light and boxed ourselves in with walls, so nothing can escape.  The activities that we do in our homes – showers, play, exercise, cooking, cleaning, using our technology – they all leave a trail of pollutants, chemicals and moisture that can’t get out.  They are trapped between our 4 walls and so are absorbed by our bodies and trapped in the dust that we breathe on a daily basis….

Am I over-reacting?  Over-exaggerating?  It’s not like we fill our homes with cigarette smoke like we did before we realised that was harmful, is it?

You’re right.  It seems obvious now that smoking is bad for you.  However, back in the first half of the last century, things were very different. Medical textbooks were largely empty on the subject, and smoking was often seen as part of growing up.  The Royal College of Physicians made their recommendations on tobacco in 1962, 10 years after research started to show harm.  Only then did things start to change.  And it took 50 years to take them off display in shops.

Does that remind you of anything?

Just a couple of years ago, in a landmark alliance known as Project TENDR, leaders of various disciplines came together in a consensus statement to say that many of the chemicals found in everyday products can result in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and attention-deficit disorders.

Co-chairwoman of the Project, Irva Hertz-Picciotto said, “Ten years ago, this consensus wouldn’t have been possible, but the research is now abundantly clear…

Frederica Perera, (a signatory on the statement) Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University said at the time “At some point, we say we know enough to take preventative action.”

What clues does this pattern give us about what is to come?

To me, the answer is clear.  We may not be able to fully explain the toxic burden of tour everyday necessities (or moreover, get clear guidance from Governments), but we can clearly see from emerging science that much of the plastic, furniture, baby products, cosmetics, personal care products and TECHNOLOGY we use day to day may be carcinogenic, and at the very least are wreaking havoc with our natural systems.

Wait a minute Clare… TECHNOLOGY?

In March this year (2018), an external expert panel reviewed the draft Technical Reports of a $25 million study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP).  They studied rats and mice to help clarify the potential health hazards, including cancer risk, from exposure to cell phone radiofrequency (RF) radiation.  New-generation mobile telephones are part of an increasing number of technologies, like WiFi, that are increasing the radiofrequency exposure of the general population.

RF exposure caused by our modern need to be constantly connected is another issue that we, as the general public are little informed about, despite the facts that:

  • Human exposure is widespread
  • Current exposure guidelines are based largely on protection from acute injury from thermal effects and haven’t been reviewed for 20 years
  • Currently available human studies have found evidence of an increased risk of cancer from cell phone use
  • Belgium, France, India and other technologically sophisticated governments are now passing laws and/or issuing warnings about children’s use of wireless devices

Here in New Zealand we are generally, blissfully, unawares of the impact our technology is having on the developing brains of our children.

We know that brain development is the most complete and most rapid during the first nine months, prenatally, and during that time, neural connections and pathways are being developed.  Any interference by a physical stress like a toxic chemical or other stressor like electromagnetic frequencies can disrupt this natural progression that is so very delicate and complex.  The fetus is particularly vulnerable to microwave radiation. It can result in degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds brain neurons.  After birth our children continue to absorb more radiation from technology than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller. The World Health Organisation has declared radiation from wireless devices a possible human carcinogen and children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen.  And the consequences of exposure are anything but immediate.  Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood.

So, what can we do to stay healthy and protect our children?

The answer for me is also clear.  Take back our control and take preventative action.

2016, the year of the release of NTPs Study, is exactly 20 years since the EMF Project started.  This is the biggest and most acknowledged study so far, but other smaller, peer-reviewed studies (over 300 of them from 40-something countries) have preceded it, linking the increase in things like asthma, insomnia, autism, and even depression to our exposure to microwave radiation.

It is my belief that like with chemicals and tobacco before it, we will soon become very aware of the impact our technology is having on our health, but by then the harm will already have been done.  And worse, the majority of harm will have been done to our children…

Toys that emit RFs are being sold for use by young infants and toddlers. Kids spend hours on tablets and play with our mobile phones.  Having a mobile phone of their own is a rite of passage.  A standard part of growing up (like tobacco was?)  Stay at home mums and dad sit and work on the laptop while the kids play in close proximity on the floor.  Our WiFi routers run constantly.  We use cordless telephones and baby monitors that sit inches from our babies’ brains.  Digital dementia is being reported in school age children.  A study has shown when cellphones are placed in teenage girls’ bras multiple primary breast cancer develop beneath where the phones are placed.  Ipads and tablets were never tested in the laps of little children and yet they are being expected to take them to school and learn on them.  All manufacturers of smartphones have warnings which describe the minimum distance at which phone must be kept away from users in order to not exceed the present legal limits for exposure to RF and that exposure limit for laptops, computers and tablets is set when devices are tested 20 cm away from the body.

My list could go on and on…  I have been researching this issue for over a year now and I made a decision not to let my children be part of a mass experiment.

I am taking a stand for my own family’s wellness. I am on a MISSION to help other mamas too…

If you follow my blog or Facebook Page, you will have followed my journey replacing chemicals with essential oils and you will have seen the benefits we have experienced in our health, so hopefully you trust that when I say I know my shit, I know my shit… 😉

So, if you haven’t started the non-toxic journey yourself yet, this is a great place to start.

And whether you have or whether you haven’t, here are 5 tips with things you should start TODAY, if you aren’t doing them already, to reduce your toxic exposure!

  1.  When you get up in the morning, open windows, whatever the temperature outside
  2. Use a HEPA filter in your vacuum and use it every day
  3. Let as much natural light as you can into your home and avoid using artificial light as a substitute to increase positive mood and energy
  4. Review how much time you spend outside (this EXCLUDES an urban setting, which doesn’t count) and increase it
  5. Start using EMF Protection

If you have any questions or need any help with anything, please feel free to reach out to me

Much Love x x x

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Gestational Diabetes – Understanding Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Eden, I was handed the diagnosis of “borderline gestational diabetes” after I did the ‘sugar test’ and was told to watch my diet.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, Jade, right from the very outset I was told to “watch my diet”.  My midwife helpfully talked about the Glyceamic Index and proteins and reducing processed foods because these are bad to our general health and thus bad for our pregnancies.  This nutritional counselling gave me a whole different outlook on my pregnancy.  Much in contrast to the stereotype of sit back and eat all the foods that you like because your body craves it, and give up exercise because you can, my body became my temple and when it came round to the gestational diabetes test, firstly I was told I had the choice whether I wanted to take it or or not, and secondly reassured that should I get the diagnosis, it didn’t really matter because I should be eating the kind of foods that were low on the Glyceamic Index anyway because high GI foods lead to higher levels of glucose in the blood and these can be passed onto baby.

Recently I came across a wristband that is soon going to be reading sugar trends in our blood.  It already reads blood pressure, which has been incredibly helpful to me because I’ve always had quite low blood pressure and suffer for it.  I realised this would be a very useful tool in pregnancy, both for blood pressure and blood sugar and could even rule out the sugar test completely, because right from the get go of your pregnancy you would be able to see how the foods you are eating are affecting your sugar level trends.

I checked in with my beautiful Midwife, Glenis Paulette, to guest blog on Gestational Diabetes from her perspective and the nutrition that can prevent it, so you can make your own minds up as to the best way for you to manage your levels of glucose in the blood.  Ultimately, the levels of glucose in your blood are what is passed on to baby.

Read on for Glenis’ Guest Blog to understand more, it was very eye opening to me.  You can read her bio and see her contact details at the bottom of the page.  She is also a great Homeopath and Acupuncturist, who has been of great support to me and my girls up to this day!

If you’re interested in learning more about the wristband to read sugar trends in the blood (non-invasively I might add!), please contact me.  You might also be interested to read my Homebirth Story with Jade and Glenis and/or learn more about Essential Mum!  If you have any questions for me or Glenis, do not hesitate to drop them in the comments below.

Much Love x x

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis in Pregnancy

The test for Gestational Diabetes (GD) in pregnancy is often considered routine and offered to women without counselling, explanation or consent. Many women are not even aware that they can refuse it. The diagnosis of GD is made by evaluating the level of a blood result taken from the woman after she has fasted for 8 hours and then given a sugary drink. Her blood is tested one and two hours after she has been given the drink to see how well she has been able to metabolise the sugar. If the woman fails the test she is then labelled with GD and her pregnancy is treated as high risk. The levels above which the woman is considered diabetic are arbitrarily defined by different health bodies and there is little consensus throughout the world what this level should be.

Studies show that the tests are unreliable and often give significantly different readings when repeated a week apart. Women who already have a good diet with minimal sugar in it also probably have difficulty metabolising such a sugar hit when it vastly exceeds what they are used to consuming. Also the same sugar load is given to all women irrespective of her weight, meaning it is much more of a load for a 60kg woman than one who is 85+kg.

There is also little evidence to show that this classification and the resulting treatment actually prevent the supposed risks of harm or mortality to the baby. Babies of GD mothers are at risk of being larger and at slightly increased risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition where a baby’s shoulders become stuck at birth preventing their body from being born. These babies can also suffer from low blood sugar levels after birth and be more at risk of being overweight and suffering from diabetes later in life. However, if they are medically managed by a hospital diabetes team they are more likely to be induced and subjected to the resulting cascade of interventions, more often resulting in a caesarean section. The resultant stress on the mother of having a ‘high risk’ classification also impacts negatively both on her and the baby. Obesity and excessive weight gain in pregnancy are more likely to lead to adverse effects for the mother and baby than a diagnosis of GD, although the two can go hand-in-hand.

GD is in fact a mild condition, without symptoms, that develops in the last few months of pregnancy. It is not the development of a serious disease. The level of glucose in the blood may remain higher for longer in pregnant women so that the developing fetus has an adequate and stable supply of nutrients to optimize their growth and well-being.

Managing this increased demand by the fetus can be optimised by giving the same practical advice to women diagnosed with GD as to all pregnant women.

Nutritional counselling should focus on the quality of carbohydrates they consume rather than the quantity. The most useful way to rank carbohydrates is according to their glycaemic index (GI). Pregnant women would do well to avoid or reduce those foods high on the GI as their metabolism leads to higher levels of glucose in the blood. These foods include simple sugars and honey, soft drinks, many processed breakfast cereals, white rice and white bread. Chemical sweeteners are also not good for the body. Many processed foods include excessive sugar, low quality carbohydrates and oils. A healthy diet is one containing fresh whole foods and complex carbohydrates because they are digested more slowly by the body and provide a steady source of energy and also more fibre. Examples include wholemeal breads and pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and breakfast cereals based on oats, barley, nuts and seeds. Adequate oils and protein are also important.

Regular exercise is also advised as this helps the body burn up glucose and increases the effectiveness of insulin.

The best thing to prevent low blood sugars in the newborn is to ensure that they are breastfed early and regularly.

glenis bio.PNG