• Living clean is the only way to live!

    My friend Ginger so graciously asked me to speak at her wellness mini-retreat about chemical-free living and I was incredibly honored to do so. I decided to hit the high points for her class, and contain a fuller version here. Thanks Ginger! I've been wanting to write this out for a long time.

    Why should we care about our health?

    Stewardship

    Even the most cursory study reveals that our bodies are--both in macro and micro--a whole universe unto themselves. Facts like this defy comprehension: it's estimated that the human body contains 60,000 miles of blood vessels, which is 2.5 times around the earth! And the string of DNA inside each and every cell is a full 6 feet long, all squished down into something we can't even see with the naked eye.

    Such a body deserves, not abuse or neglect, but attention, thanks, and lots of love. We expect to maintain our cars and appliances, should we not maintain this masterpiece machine that affects how we live and feel on a daily basis?


    Temple

    Christians have the added privilege and charge to uphold our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Reading chapter after chapter of God's detailed "architectural plans" for the Tabernacle in the Old Testament is one illustration that He cares about every detail of His dwelling. ("...You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." I Corinthians 6:19-20)


    Strength to serve

    "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind" and "love your neighbor as yourself" are the two greatest commandments. That means they are God's first priority for His children, and bring the most blessing when we do them!

    But if I'm weak and sick and tired and dragging down my body with a chemical burden it was never meant to bear, then how will I have strength to serve? Yes, God gives sickness to His children at times so we can learn and grow and to glorify Himself through our weakness. But God forbid that I should not being doing everything in my power to get and stay well.

    (Plus, take it from chronically-ill-for-ten-years me, it's just not fun to be sick, and totally worth every bit of effort to stay and get well! Friends, please don't take your health and energy for granted; take heed and preserve it so you can play with your grandchildren someday! ...Actually, I'm talking to myself here....)


    The situation

    There's so much about our environment that we cannot control at this point. Just for one example, there is evidence that the water supply is...

    ...contaminated with glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) that's been sprayed on food and then run into streams and rivers;


    ...contains high estrogen levels from pee'ed out birth control pills;

    ...contains tiny bits of plastic that have come off recycled clothing (polyester) in washing machines...and now the fish are eating the plastic in the water...and we eat the fish...and the cycle of contamination continues. Not to mention all the chemicals put into our city water, that include arsenic, lead, chlorine, fluoride, etc etc. And that's just water.

    However, there is so much we CAN do. And frankly, we'd better, especially since our bodies are already assaulted by what we can't control. All that we CAN do is both a privilege and a responsibility. Be encouraged...there's so much you can do to support your health and happiness! It's simply a matter of being aware, and replacing what you are already buying and using with quality, natural products that nurture our bodies. More on that in a minute. But first, more bad news. ; }


    I didn't get it

    I'm so grateful for those who took the time to educate me about what chemicals and synthetics were doing to my body. I had heard that certain products were "bad for you" or contributed to cancer, but that still didn't mean anything to me until my friend Bronwyn (check out her helpful blog! I just found non-toxic nail polish recs on there...lots of good stuff!) explained HOW they were affecting me. As you can see from my Addy blog, dear reader, I've been on a 10-year journey with adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, and I've spent buttloads of money on supplements and holistic doctors. I had no idea that my "cucumber fresh" deodorant and my minty foamy toothpaste and my window cleaning spray were actually working against my exorbitant efforts and money spent to get well.

    When Bronwyn explained it to me almost three years ago, I finally got it. And because I also had wonderful products to replace those things with, it was an enlightening and empowering experience! That's what I want for y'all too! So that's why I share this stuff.


    Stats

    I don't know about you, but the stats make this real for me. Here are just a few:

    Within 26 seconds of washing your hair, chemicals from shampoo can be found in your bloodstream.


    The word "fragrance" in an ingredients list can stand for up to 100 different chemicals.

    We assume if it's sold in stores, that it's safe. But that's simply not true. There are hundreds of chemicals banned in other countries for the cosmetic industry alone, that are not banned in the US. (Here's a few.) So that should tell you something. (Of course, instead of increasing the burden of more government regulation in our country, I believe an educated consumer base influencing business decisions in a free market is the most effective and enduring way to effect change. We vote with our dollars every day.)

    This is a comprehensive study listing personal care and household products contributing to cancer. Whew, it's a long list, but how wonderful that there's so much we can do to protect ourselves and our families!

    As for me, I don't need a greater risk of cancer than I already have from the 12,000 free radicals assaulting each of my 37 trillion cells every day. And my hormones are already wacked out enough without being further imbalanced by endocrine disruptors like xenoestrogens.

    Here's a UN study of common household products linked to disease.

    Back to Roundup, would you spray it in your mouth or your kids' mouths? No way! And yet that's what they are spraying on our produce and grains. The active ingredient in Roundup is called glyphosate, and it blocks 80 percent of minerals from being absorbed in our bodies and destroys healthy gut bacterial, weakening our bodies and leaving us as sitting ducks for disease.



    Barium is a chemical found in industrial pollution, fluorescent lights, and electronics, and was also used in chemical warfare in the Middle East to sicken and weaken the enemy.

    With a heavy heart I say that this is just the tip of the iceburg. Does all this only affect you? No, the effects are generational. Babies are now born toxic. : (


    What you can do!

    The Environmental Working Group has a handy website ewg.com that rates thousands of personal care and household cleaning products based on overall hazard, cancer risk, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, asthma and respiratory, and skin allergies and irritation. They give it an A-F or 1-10 rating, and rate each ingredient, and tell you the why's. I'm super grateful for these vigilant peeps!


    Look up your personal care products and makeup here.

    And look up your household cleaning products here.

    Does replacing toxic products make a difference for your health and happiness? Is it worth the extra upfront cost? (Which btw, you are either going to pay now or later...and later sucks. : (  )

    Yes! Overall health is determined mostly by daily choices and habits. It's simply a matter of choosing purity over impurity, natural over synthetic when possible, life-nuturing over death-contributing. (And remember, if it's synthetic and it kills other forms of life like weeds, insects, algae, or bacteria, it is probably bad for humans too.)

    This is not about buying a bunch of new stuff, but over time replacing toxic products with pure safe ones. This is a journey.

    As an example of the difference small choices make, one study measured the glyphosate in children's urine while they were eating conventional food, and it was high. When the kids started eating organic food, there was a sizable drop in the glyphosate in their urine, and it went back up when they started eating non-organic food again. Another study noted a clear correlation between a person's glyphosate levels and many common diseases.

    I know organic food is more expensive (trust me...you should see our food bill every month! what with all our family's food allergies too...), but I'm to the point of realizing--especially with my family's health issues--that it's honestly not worth buying "chemical" produce anymore. I would rather do without (at least from the Dirty Dozen list) than put more poison in our bodies. (And btw, meat and milk and grains are even more important to buy organic.) And Trader Joe's and Costco have so many organic options now!

    Speaking of healthy options, I am so grateful for all the clean companies and healthy natural resources out there!! Thank God for His ever-present grace and mercy, always providing a "way out" for His children.


    "Overcome evil with good."

    So ewg.org not only reveals the bad products, it is a resource for finding clean ones.

    Find safe cleaning products here.

    Find safe personal care products here.

    EWG also has a handy app to use for shopping, and so does Think Dirty.


    Water

    My husband said I got y'all all scared about water, so I would be remiss in not recommending our amazing water filter, Berkey, which is the best water filter on the market, besides whole-house reverse osmosis, I believe.


    The BEST overall resource I've found (da-da-da-daaaaaaaaaaah)

    You didn't think I'd leave y'all hanging, with no awesome solution to offer, did you?? Way to persevere through the bad news and value your health enough to keep reading!

    I had been sick for 7 years and tried countless natural remedies and supplements. And then...

    Young Living entered my life. Or rather God said, let me reeeeally bless you, my dear. <3


    God, in His mercy, looked down through the corridors of time and saw a place in history where man was gonna really pollute and screw up His beautiful world. And pay a huge price for it. So He hid essential oils (the "lifeblood") in plants all around us, to be discovered, enjoyed, and give restoration to people throughout history.


    Essential oils are mentioned hundreds of times throughout Scripture. They are the best way I've found to take control of our health, embrace natural goodness and purity, and give our bodies what they crave. One drop of Peppermint oil compares to 27 cups of peppermint tea...and pure essential oils are alive, while most herbs are dried plant matter. So you can see that potency = more bang for your buck. (Plus one drop of Peppermint--which gives almost instant tummy support for us, for example--costs just $.09.)

    But once again, purity is paramount. Please don't replace toxic chemicals with essential oils that contain toxic chemicals...in an even more concentrated form! This is very important, friends. I am not a brand snob (ok, maybe just a little ; )), but it's just the facts that Young Living is the ONLY company with the "seed to seal" guarantee of purity. Gary Young was the pioneer and visionary who finally found someone in France to teach him how to correctly distill EOs, and then over 20 years ago brought a handful of organic lavender seeds back to the US and started this whole essential oil revolution! Go to the source.


    Young Living not only has the only essential oils worth buying (beware: many have fallen instantly in love, including myself), but they have over 700 vitamins and supplements, personal care products, cleaning products, and now even MAKE-UP that are infused with their essential oils, and made from the cleanest ingredients on earth.

    See why I am over-the-moon about this company?! And there's countless more good things about them, but that's for you to discover. ; ) I fell in love almost three years ago, and use Young Living essential oils and products as our family's primary go-to for healthy bodies, emotions, and minds.


    I couldn't stop sharing with friends what these oils were doing for us, and how they could help them. It is such a joy for me, burdened by all this "bad news," to have such good news to share with my friends, and to connect you with a company I have checked out and thoroughly trust. Click here to learn more, and be sure to read the "Smelly Nellie" blog post at the bottom of the page which details how we've replaced toxic products mostly with Young Living's yummy ones! Please ask me questions through the "contact" portion at the top of the link! Or just go ahead and order your Premium Starter Kit, add a Thieves Household Cleaner and some Aromabright toothpaste to start your "ditch and switch" journey, and I'll be in touch with support and resources!


    Perspective

    To wrap up, I'd like to remind us of Jesus' words, "It's not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out of a man." The truly really bad chemicals can come from our own thoughts. I've heard (from Gary Young actually) that when we think a thought, a molecule is created, and it either gives life or death to our bodies. Overcoming evil with good is most important in our hearts.

    Let us not be depressed by this information: "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

    Let us not be overwhelmed: "When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul." (Psalm 94:19)

    Let us not fear (in an obsessive way), but embrace peace and empowerment. We are responsible to do what we can, but healing and protection and provision come from the Lord!

    "The Lord will keep you from all harm--He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalm 121:7-8

    Two wonderful blogs for education and alternatives are https://wellnessmama.com/ and Bronwyn's blog she's been keeping for about a decade http://cleangreenstart.com/.

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