Energizing Your Home

Feng Shui is an art, a philosophy, and a science.  It is the Chinese system derived from even older teachings from India (and possibly even other civilizations we don’t even know) using the energies in the physical environment to create a harmonious environment at all energetic levels (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual).  It means Wind and Water (the invisible and the elusive) in Chinese.  Its goal is to create balance and harmony in all areas and levels of a person and his environment.   It uses the universal ideas of fractals and “as above, so below”.  There are several various schools of thought on this, some being very strict and unapproachable and others, like the Black Hat Sect popular in the US, being more accessible, especially to our Western minds.  It analyzes and manipulates 9 different areas in life by using placement and intention.  All Feng Shui schools use a bagua map and some use compasses for direction and other information.

Above is the map used by the Black Hat Sect.  The entrance side is always somewhere in the bottom row and you orient the bagua on your house based on that.

There is a great deal of information here, but the most important thing to realize with Feng Shui, and often the easiest place to start, is cleanup, decreasing clutter, and keeping your home in good repair is vital.

One of the best things to remember to create good energy in your home (and your life) is to only keep those things you need, use, or love.  Everything else should be let go.

Here at Holistic Whole Health, we now offer Feng Shui consultations.  Schedule your appointment now!

What do you think?  Is it time to reconsider how your home serves your life, dreams, and health?

Household Poisons: Cleaning Products

We are drowning in a sea of poisons.  From our personal products like shampoos and soaps to our cleaning products to our cosmetics and beauty products, we are steeping in a chemical soup.

Here at Holistic Whole Health, we are passionate about helping to educate our clients about how to take better care of themselves.  This includes helping you recognize how you may be poisoning yourself.  Over the next few months, we will consider several sources of environmental poisons, how to avoid them, and how to counter them in our series on Household Poisons.

In this post, we will consider the poisons we use to clean our world.  From our laundry to our hard surfaces, the amount of chemicals we are bombarded with is staggering.

These not only have an effect on our health but also our environment.  These products almost always wind up going down our drains and to our water treatment plants.  Then, they are discharged into our waterways.  Not all chemicals break down or are taken out.  In fact, when tested, our water shows a cocktail of chemicals.  More than 65% of streams surveyed in our country were contaminated with detergents and disinfectants.

Another environmental problem with cleaning products is that many of them contain petroleum-based ingredients.  Further, the plastic containers these products come in are carcinogenic and often contain xenoestrogens.  These plastics go into our landfills and recycle centers.  Choosing larger sizes is helpful to reduce waste.

Many of our cleaning products do not list their ingredients.  A good rule of thumb is to look for words such as Danger, Warning, Caution, Poison, Corrosive, Hazardous and the like.  These are indications of some danger.  Moreover, phrases like “flammable,” “vapors harmful,” “may cause burns on contact,” “may cause skin irritation,” and others also indicate danger.

Watch for advertising words and phrases that are purposefully vague like “natural,” “non-toxic,” or “eco-friendly.”  These are put on by advertisers to purposefully hoodwink us into thinking they have meaning.  These phrases do not.  They are marketing words to try to target a green audience that doesn’t know enough to recognize these are meaningless phrases.  Read the ingredients.  Research them if you do not know what they do.  As Don Miguel Ruiz says in The Fifth Agreement, question everything.

Poisons in Cleaners

Abrasives (Cleaning Powders)

Examples include Comet and Ajax.

Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate and Sodium Linear Alkylbenzenesulfonate – especially dangerous to inhale in powdered form.  It irritates the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.

Trichlorocyanuric Acid – corrosive.  It irritates the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.  It can quickly reach hazardous levels.

Calcium Hydroxide – inhaling, ingesting, or touching can cause severe side effects.  It irritates the eyes, skin, nose, mouth, lungs, throat, skin, and stomach.

Trichloro-s-triazinetrione and Trichloroisocyanuric Acid (Symclosene) – a type of bleach that causes contact irritation to eyes and skin.  Inhalation irritation.  It may be toxic in development and reproduction and be a cancer causer.  It is very toxic to aquatic life and has long-lasting effects.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

 

Air Fresheners & Fabric Refreshers

Examples include Febreze, Glade, Air Wick, and Lysol.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Alcohol Ethoxylates – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Causes nervous system damage.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

Dideclydimethylammonium Chloride – causes severe burns and eye damage.  Respiratory effects.

Sodium Borate – affects development, endocrine system, reproductive system, skin, and respiratory system.

Trideceth-4 – causes cancer.  Damages DNA.  Affects respiration, development, reproduction, endocrine system, digestive system, skin, nervous system.  Damages vision.

Mipa-Borate – development and reproductive toxicity.  Endocrine disruptor.

Mineral Oil – causes cancer.  Affects several organ systems.  Does not biodegrade.

Myristalkonium Saccharinate – respiratory damage.

Mineral Spirits – damages DNA.  Causes genetic defects.  Causes cancer.

 

All-Purpose

Examples include Lysol, 409, and Fantastik.

Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Active) – protected as a trade secret, the ingredients are not fully disclosed; there can be additional hazardous things in here.  In itself, this has been shown to cause infertility in several studies.

Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides (C12-16) – general and systemic organ effects, especially on respiration.  Causes reproductive toxicity.  Environmental poison.

Ethanolamine – severe skin burns and eye damage.  Respiratory irritant.  Toxic to aquatic life.  Causes central nervous system depression.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

FD&C Yellow 5 – causes development and reproductive toxicity.  May cause cancer.  Is toxic to aquatic life.

Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether – evidence of cancer.  Damages DNA.  Effects on development, endocrine system, and reproductive system.

Decyl Alcohol – highly toxic to aquatic life.

Tetrasodium Edta – toxic to aquatic life.

 

Bleach

Includes liquid laundry bleach and any cleaner with bleach.

Sodium Hypochlorite – very toxic to aquatic life.  Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.  Causes respiratory damage.  Development and reproductive toxicity.  May cause cancer.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Sodium Polyacrylate – does not easily biodegrade.  Toxic to aquatic life.

 

Carpet and Rug Cleaners

Includes spot treatments as well as all over carpet powders and steam cleaner solutions.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Sodium Polyacrylate – does not easily biodegrade.  Toxic to aquatic life.

Hexahydro11,3,52-Tris (2-Hydroxyethyl)-S-Triazine – one of its components is formaldehyde which is known to cause cancer in humans.  It is also a respiratory irritant and causes severe skin reactions.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

Alcohol Alkoxylates – potential to cause cancer.  Affects the reproductive system.  May cause developmental concerns.  Affects the endocrine system.  Damages DNA.

Diethylene Glycol Propyl Ether – may cause genetic defects.  Can cause respiratory damage, skin allergies and irritation, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and cancer.  Damages the DNA.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – toxic to several organs as well as reproductive and development.  Neurotoxicity.  Endocrine disruptor.  Toxic to our ecosystem.  Causes biochemical and cellular changes.  Irritant to skin and eyes.

Methylisothiazolinone – very toxic to aquatic life.  Skin irritant, causes allergies and damage to skin.

Acrylic Acid – damages skin and causes allergies.  Extremely toxic to aquatic life.  Damaging to the respiratory system.

Sodium Salts – another ingredient that can hide several.  May cause developmental and reproductive concerns.  May disrupt the endocrine system.  Skin and eye irritant.  Causes respiratory effects.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone – toxic to aquatic life.  Skin damage, irritation, and allergies.  Damages the DNA.

 

Daily Shower Cleaners

Examples include X-14 Daily Shower Cleaner, Clean Shower, and Scrubbing Bubbles

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – toxic to several organs as well as reproductive and development.  Neurotoxicity.  Endocrine disruptor.  Toxic to our ecosystem.  Causes biochemical and cellular changes.  Irritant to skin and eyes.

Ethanolamine – severe skin burns and eye damage.  Respiratory irritant.  Toxic to aquatic life.  Causes central nervous system depression.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Dicapryl/Dicaprylyl Dimonium Chloride – respiratory effects.

EDTA – damages vision.  Doesn’t biodegrade.

Sodium Salts – another ingredient that can hide several.  May cause developmental and reproductive concerns.  May disrupt the endocrine system.  Skin and eye irritant.  Causes respiratory effects.

Sodium Polyacrylate – does not easily biodegrade.  Toxic to aquatic life.

Oxygen Bleach – unspecified ingredient hiding other ingredients.  Causes developmental and reproductive toxicity.  Causes respiratory effects.  Skin irritant.

Lauryl Pyrrolidone – very toxic to aquatic life.  Skin damage, allergies, and irritations.

Octylphosphonic Acid – does not biodegrade.

 

Dish Soap

Examples include Dawn, Palmolive, and Ajax.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – toxic to several organs as well as reproductive and development.  Neurotoxicity.  Endocrine disruptor.  Toxic to our ecosystem.  Causes biochemical and cellular changes.  Irritant to skin and eyes.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Sulfuric Acid – causes cancer.  Affects the respiratory system.  Skin irritant.

Methanol – damages vision.  Skin irritant.  Damages respiratory system.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone – toxic to aquatic life.  Skin damage, irritation, and allergies.  Damages the DNA.

Methylisothiazolinone – very toxic to aquatic life.  Skin irritant, causes allergies and damage to skin.

Formaldehyde – causes cancer.  Has an effect on several organs/systems.  Damages respiratory system.  Skin irritant.  Acute aquatic toxicity.

DMDM Hydantion – causes cancer.  Affects the respiratory system, skin, and other organs.  Toxic to aquatic life.

FD&C Yellow 5 – causes development and reproductive toxicity.  May cause cancer.  Is toxic to aquatic life.

FD&C Red 40 – general organ effects.  Damages DNA.  Toxic to aquatic life.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate – toxic to aquatic life.  Damages DNA.  Digestive system effects, nervous system effects, damages vision, causes cancer.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – damages DNA.  Causes damage to vision.  Damages the nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, endocrine system, and may cause developmental toxicity.  Toxic to aquatic life.  Causes cancer.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

 

Dishwasher Soap

Examples include Cascade and Finish

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Cleaning Agent – undisclosed ingredient which may hide harmful things.  May cause cancer, reproductive/developmental toxicity.  May disrupt the endocrine system.  Damages the DNA.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Sodium Polyacrylate – does not easily biodegrade.  Toxic to aquatic life.

Alcohol Ethoxylates – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Causes nervous system damage.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.

FD&C Yellow 5 – causes development and reproductive toxicity.  May cause cancer.  Is toxic to aquatic life.

Hydrozincite – toxic to aquatic life.  Affects several organ systems.

Water Softener – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Concerns with biodegradation.

 

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Examples include Cascade Rinse Aid and Finish Jet-Dry.

Zinc Chloride – highly toxic to aquatic life.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Alcohol Alkoxylates – potential to cause cancer.  Affects the reproductive system.  May cause developmental concerns.  Affects the endocrine system.  Damages DNA.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone – toxic to aquatic life.  Skin damage, irritation, and allergies.  Damages the DNA.

Methylisothiazolinone – very toxic to aquatic life.  Skin irritant, causes allergies and damage to skin.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

 

Disinfectants

This includes those sprays and wipes that have to sit for a few minutes to disinfect.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides (C12-16) – general and systemic organ effects, especially on respiration.  Causes reproductive toxicity.  Environmental poison.

 

Drain Openers

Includes drain cleaners and openers.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

Sodium Hydroxide – corrosive.  Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.  Causes respiratory irritation.  Toxic to aquatic life.

 

Floor Care Products

Examples include Spic and Span, Quick Shine, ReadyMop, Mop & Glo, and Murphy Oil Soap.

Dipropylene Glycol Methyl Ether – causes central nervous system impairment.  Causes cancer.  Causes development and reproductive toxicity.  Skin irritant.  Respiratory irritant.  Endocrine disruptor.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

Nonoxynol-9 – toxic to aquatic life.  Causes cancer.  Causes developmental and reproductive concerns.  Disrupts the endocrine system.

Tetrasodium Edta – toxic to aquatic life.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Methanol – damages vision.  Skin irritant.  Damages respiratory system.

Methylisothiazolinone – very toxic to aquatic life.  Skin irritant, causes allergies and damage to skin.

Sodium Salts – another ingredient that can hide several.  May cause developmental and reproductive concerns.  May disrupt the endocrine system.  Skin and eye irritant.  Causes respiratory effects.

Polysorbate-20 – causes cancer.  Damages DNA.  Affects respiratory system, nervous system, skin, vision, reproductive system, endocrine system, digestive system.

Polyhexanide – chronic and acute aquatic toxicity.

 

Furniture Cleaners and Polishes

Examples include Pledge, Old English, and Orange Glo.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone – toxic to aquatic life.  Skin damage, irritation, and allergies.  Damages the DNA.

Methylisothiazolinone – very toxic to aquatic life.  Skin irritant, causes allergies and damage to skin.

C12-20 Isoparaffin – evidence it causes cancer.

Petroleum Gases, Liquefied, Sweetened – damages DNA.  Causes genetic defects.  Causes cancer.

Mineral Oil – causes cancer.  Affects several organ systems.  Does not biodegrade.

Dimethicone – does not biodegrade.  Skin and eye irritant.

Mineral Spirits – damages DNA.  Causes genetic defects.  Causes cancer.

Cyclopentasiloxane – doesn’t biodegrade.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

 

Glass cleaners

Ammonium Hydroxide – toxic to aquatic life.  Damages vision.  Skin irritant.  Respiratory irritant.

Sodium Borate – affects development, endocrine system, reproductive system, skin, and respiratory system.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether – evidence of cancer.  Damages DNA.  Effects on development, endocrine system, and reproductive system.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – toxic to several organs as well as reproductive and development.  Neurotoxicity.  Endocrine disruptor.  Toxic to our ecosystem.  Causes biochemical and cellular changes.  Irritant to skin and eyes.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

 

Hand Sanitizers

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Benzalkonium chloride – causes respiratory effects.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Triclosan – endocrine disruptor.  Bacteria resistance.  Weakened immune system.

 

Hard Water Mineral Removers

Examples include Lime-A-Way, Lysol, Whink, and Simple Green.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Alcohol Ethoxylates – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Causes nervous system damage.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.

Hydrochloric Acid – skin irritation/damage.  Respiratory irritant.  Damages vision.

PEG-2 Hydrogenated Tallow Anine – skin and respiratory irritant. Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.  Developmental and reproductive effects.  Endocrine disruptor.

Hydrofluoric Acid – skin irritant.  Respiratory irritant.  Causes pulmonary edema.

Denatonium Benzoate – toxic to aquatic life.

 

Laundry Detergent

Examples include Purex Free and Clear, All, Gain, and Tide.  Interestingly, this category and the fabric softeners had the most vague ingredients on this list.  So many places for hidden toxins.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Alcohol Ethoxysulfates– another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Causes nervous system damage.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.  Damages vision.

Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate – doesn’t biodegrade.

Fabric Brighteners – another hiding spot for hazardous ingredients.  Doesn’t biodegrade.

Methylisothiazolinone – very toxic to aquatic life.  Skin irritant, causes allergies and damage to skin.

Tetrasodium Edta – toxic to aquatic life.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – toxic to several organs as well as reproductive and development.  Neurotoxicity.  Endocrine disruptor.  Toxic to our ecosystem.  Causes biochemical and cellular changes.  Irritant to skin and eyes.

Sodium Polyacrylate – does not easily biodegrade.  Toxic to aquatic life.

 

Laundry Fabric Softener

This includes both liquids and sheets.  Interestingly, this category and the laundry detergents had the most vague ingredients on this list.  So many places for hidden toxins.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Cationic fabric softeners – acutely toxic to aquatic life.  Respiratory irritant.

Diethyloxyester Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride (DEEDMAC) – respiratory effects.  Acutely toxic to aquatic life.

Benzisothiazolinone – toxic to aquatic life.  Doesn’t biodegrade.  Skin irritant.

Formic Acid – respiratory effects.  Skin irritant.

Liquitint Blue – aquatic toxicity.

 

Laundry Stain Removers

Includes stain pens and pre-treating sprays.

Ethanolamine – severe skin burns and eye damage.  Respiratory irritant.  Toxic to aquatic life.  Causes central nervous system depression.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

Alcohol Ethoxylates – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Causes nervous system damage.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.

Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether – evidence of cancer.  Damages DNA.  Effects on development, endocrine system, and reproductive system.

Alkyl Sulfates – toxic to aquatic life.  Another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

 

Multi-surface cleaners

Examples include Pledge, Mr. Clean, Spic and Span, and Lysol.

Preservatives – another place for hazardous ingredients.  Causes cancer.  Aquatic toxicity.  Affects skin, respiration, and other organs.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Cleaning Agents – another place for hazardous ingredients.

Nonoxynol-9 – toxic to aquatic life.  Causes cancer.  Causes developmental and reproductive concerns.  Disrupts the endocrine system.

Tetrasodium Edta – toxic to aquatic life.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Sodium Xylene Sulfonate – skin irritant.  Environmental toxin.

Sodium Borate – affects development, endocrine system, reproductive system, skin, and respiratory system.

Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides (C12-16) – general and systemic organ effects, especially on respiration.  Causes reproductive toxicity.  Environmental poison.

FD&C Yellow 5 – causes development and reproductive toxicity.  May cause cancer.  Is toxic to aquatic life.

Alcohol Ethoxylates – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Causes nervous system damage.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.

Ethanolamine – severe skin burns and eye damage.  Respiratory irritant.  Toxic to aquatic life.  Causes central nervous system depression.

Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether – evidence of cancer.  Damages DNA.  Effects on development, endocrine system, and reproductive system.

 

Oven Cleaners

Even fume free, these are toxic.

Ethanolamine – severe skin burns and eye damage.  Respiratory irritant.  Toxic to aquatic life.  Causes central nervous system depression.

Butoxydiglycol – respiratory concerns.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.  Damages vision.  Skin irritant.  Affects development, reproduction, endocrine system, skin, digestive system, and nervous system.

Paraffin – does not biodegrade.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Sodium Hydroxide – corrosive.  Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.  Causes respiratory irritation.  Toxic to aquatic life.

Morpholine – causes severe skin burns and eye damage.  Causes respiratory irritation.

 

Toilet Bowl Cleaners

Both the continuous and manual toilet bowl cleaners contain toxins.

Hydrochloric Acid – skin irritation/damage.  Respiratory irritant.  Damages vision.

Alcohol Ethoxylates – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Causes nervous system damage.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.

Sodium Borate – affects development, endocrine system, reproductive system, skin, and respiratory system.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate and Sodium Linear Alkylbenzenesulfonate – especially dangerous to inhale in powdered form.  It irritates the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.

1,3-Dichloro-5-Ethyl-5-Methylhydantoin – toxic to aquatic life.  Causes severe skin burns, allergies, and irritation.

FD&C Yellow 5 – causes development and reproductive toxicity.  May cause cancer.  Is toxic to aquatic life.

Dye/Colors – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

 

Tub, Tile, and Sink cleaners

Examples include Lysol, Scrubbing Bubbles, Kaboom, Tilex, and Clorox.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Dideclydimethylammonium Chloride – causes severe burns and eye damage.  Respiratory effects.

Dioctyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride – respiratory effects.

Butoxydiglycol – respiratory effects.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA. Damages vision.  Affects digestive, nervous, endocrine, reproductive, and skin systems.  Developmental toxin.

Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether – evidence of cancer.  Damages DNA.  Effects on development, endocrine system, and reproductive system.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – toxic to several organs as well as reproductive and development.  Neurotoxicity.  Endocrine disruptor.  Toxic to our ecosystem.  Causes biochemical and cellular changes.  Irritant to skin and eyes.

Alcohol Ethoxylates – another hiding place for harmful ingredients.  Causes nervous system damage.  Causes cancer.  Damages DNA.

Tetrasodium Edta – toxic to aquatic life.

Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides (C12-16) – general and systemic organ effects, especially on respiration.  Causes reproductive toxicity.  Environmental poison.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

 

Upholstery Cleaners

Examples include Woolite, Resolve, Scotch-Guard, Bissell, and Hoover.

Acrylic Acid – damages skin and causes allergies.  Extremely toxic to aquatic life.  Damaging to the respiratory system.

Sodium Salts – another ingredient that can hide several.  May cause developmental and reproductive concerns.  May disrupt the endocrine system.  Skin and eye irritant.  Causes respiratory effects.

Fragrance – often contains phthalates (so they don’t have to list all their ingredients).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors  and can cause many things from cancer to infertility.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone – toxic to aquatic life.  Skin damage, irritation, and allergies.  Damages the DNA.

Methylisothiazolinone – very toxic to aquatic life.  Skin irritant, causes allergies and damage to skin.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – damages DNA.  Causes damage to vision.  Damages the nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, endocrine system, and may cause developmental toxicity.  Toxic to aquatic life.  Causes cancer.

Surfactants – highly toxic to aquatic life.  These cause respiratory concerns, skin irritation and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

Alkyl Sulfates – toxic to aquatic life.  Another hiding place for harmful ingredients.

Acrylates Copolymer – Does not biodegrade.

Perfluorinated Chemical – another hiding place for hazardous ingredients.  May have blood-related effects.  Does not biodegrade.  May cause developmental/reproductive effects.  May disrupt the endocrine system.

Acetone – affects respiration.  Blood-related effects.  Nervous system effects.

Carbon Dioxide – can cause asphyxia.

Naphtha (Petroleum), Light Alkylate – damages DNA, causes cancer.

 

 

Yeah, that’s about how I feel too.  I am amazed at just how toxic our typical cleaners are.

Though you can stay overwhelmed if you need to, have no fear.  There are options.  We can make better choices and encourage change with where we put our money.

Alternate Options – Store Bought Brands

Mrs. Meyers

Ecover

Aubry Organics

Dr. Bronner’s

Seventh Generation

Bon Ami Powder

Charlie’s Soap (Laundry)

Alternate Options – Homemade

Personally, I find it more economical and safer to just make my own cleaners from common ingredients.  I will list ones I use the most often with what they are good for.

Baking soda

Mildly abrasive, it helps with scrubbing.  it doesn’t scratch even delicate surfaces.  It also helps to remove odors and stains.  It even acts as a laundry softener.

Borax

This is a laundry booster and is a natural mineral.  It can irritate skin and there is controversy over whether it can be used to wash dishes.  It is a stain remover and can substitute for bleach.  It can help repel insects (though use caution around children and pets).

Castile Soap

This is an oil-based soap that can be used to clean many things.

Cornstarch

It helps to absorb oil and grease and can even starch a shirt.

Essential Oils

These not only add fragrance but can be antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, and many other helpful things

Lemons & Juice & Oranges & Juice

These can scrub pans and hands, help degrease things, and be used to make a wonderful all-purpose cleaner.

Salt

Another natural abrasive for scrubbing.  It can also help remove rust and mildew.

Vinegar

A great fabric softener, it can be used alone or as the base of many natural cleaners.  It helps remove stains and can be used in conjunction with baking soda to clean toilets.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This can disinfect and effectively removes blood stains.

Washing Soda

This is a laundry booster that can be added to many recipes to boost performance.

Essential Tools

Microfiber clothes are great to make cleaning go quicker.  Do not use any impregnated with silver or other antimicrobial stuff.  They are not health-promoting.

“Magic Erasers” These melamine sponges are like the name brand, but less expensive.

Good scrub brushes and sponges are vital as well.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter for my favorite cleaning recipes in the Winter 2018 edition!

 

Good Sources for Additional Information

EWG’s Guide to Health Cleaning is extremely helpful for finding more about what is in your products and looking for healthier options.  It isn’t perfect, but it is a great tool.

Organic Consumers Association has a nice article about the toxicity in household cleaning supplies, should you want to read even more.

Fat Bombing Your December: Guaca Bombs

This is our last recipe in our Fat Bombing Your December series.  It is our first purely savory one as well.

I love guacamole, but I always prefer it with chips or veggies.  This avocado mix is tasty enough to just eat by the spoonful.  It can make balls if it is chilled enough, but the hubby and I decided we prefer it just off the spoon!

Let’s consider the ingredients.

Pasture-Raised, Organic Butter:  Beautiful, creamy, indulgent butter should be a large part of any healthy diet.  Butter is rich in vitamins and minerals including one of the most easily absorbable forms of Vitamin A (needed for thyroid and adrenal health) as well as Vitamins D, E, and K.  Further, it is high in selenium and usable iodine.  Butter is anti-fungal.  It is full of anti-oxidants.  It can help protect against tooth decay and helps our bodies better absorb calcium.  The saturated fats in butter help our cell walls maintain their shape and the linoleic acid in butter helps to combat cancer, build muscle, and boost our immune system.  The cholesterol in butterfat is essential to our brain and nervous system development and health.  With all of these benefits and more, it is a tragedy our culture has vilified butter.  No more!  Eat your butter and eat it with pride!

Onions:  Onions are high in phytochemicals and vitamin C which help boost immunity.  They contain chromium and other vitamins and minerals.  They are full of antioxidants and also have ingedients that help fight cancer.

Garlic:  Garlic is full of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and selenium.  It helps boost the immune system and fight bacteria and viruses.  Garlic is full of antioxidants and it can even help lower blood pressure.

Red Pepper Flakes:  One of the key ingredients in red pepper flakes is capsaicin.  Capsaicin works as a pain reliever and helps reduce inflammation; it even help fight cancer.  Red pepper flakes boost the metabolism and work to suppress the appetite.  Further, they are filled with antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Lime juice:  Limes stimulate the digestive system, protect and rejuvenate our skin, are a great source of Vitamin C, and help with dandruff.  They are healers and help fight infections.

Chia Seeds:  Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber.  They also contain high levels of iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.  A study even found chia seeds can prevent insulin resistance and other studies have found they help fight breast and cervical cancers.

Print Recipe
Guaca Bombs
Savory and creamy, this is a quick spoonful (or ball, if you prefer) of healthy fat.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1-2 hours
Servings
cup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1-2 hours
Servings
cup
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients (except the chia seeds) well, cutting the butter into the avocado and other ingredients.
  2. Store in the refrigerator. (Make them into balls, if you prefer, by freezing them for awhile). Top with chia seeds.
Recipe Notes

Always use minimally processed, organic ingredients for your best health.

For me, these will make balls if frozen, but I really preferred to just eat a spoonful.  Yum!

We’ve reached our last recipe… unless you’ve subscribed to our newsletter!  There will be two additional recipes there.  One of them is in the top for Roy’s favorites!

Fat Bombing Your December: Fat Bomb Muffins

Tasty little spongy muffins.  They are a big hit in my house.  Even better: these can go sweet or savory, depending on what you add to them!  Nom nom nom.

Let’s look more closely at the ingredients.

Eggs:  Eggs contain healthy protein and fat.  The whites are full of selenium, vitamin D, zinc, iron, copper, and Vitamins B6 and B12.  The yolk has more fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.  They also have lecithin.  Pasture-raised eggs are much better containing 2/3 more vitamin A, twice the omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene than their factory-farmed or even organic brethren.

Raw Honey:  This is one of the few sweeteners allowed even on GAPS diet protocol.  Raw honey helps to counter pollen allergies, is filled with antioxidants, helps heal ulcers and wounds, may reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

Coconut Flour:  This is made by grinding the dried coconut meat.  It is uncommon for digestive or autoimmune responses to occur with coconut flour.  It is high in fiber and helps to aid metabolism.  It is also high in medium chain fatty acids that help the body utilize fat better for energy.  They also help with digestive health and are high in nutrients.

Coconut Oil:  This amazingly healthy fat contains medium-chain fatty acids which are easier to digest and are not as easily stored.  Additionally, they offer antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal benefits.  Coconut oil is brain, heart, liver, and basically entire body healthy.  It even helps to reduce inflammation and some studies show it can help fight cancer.

Lemon Zest:  Lemon zest contains 5-10 times more vitamins than lemon juice!  This includes vitamins A and C, beta carotene, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.  They are full of bioflavonoids which are antioxidant and anticarcinogenic.  They improve bone health and help us to detox.

Lime Zest:  Limes stimulate the digestive system, protect and rejuvenate our skin, are a great source of Vitamin C, and help with dandruff.  They are healers and help fight infections.

Chia Seeds:  Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber.  They also contain high levels of iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.  A study even found chia seeds can prevent insulin resistance and other studies have found they help fight breast and cervical cancers.

 

Print Recipe
Fat Bomb Muffins
Change the optional ingredients to make these sweeter or savory.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Note, to change these to savory or other flavors, you may exchange the vanilla, zests, and seeds for other ingredients.
  3. Fill each muffin well halfway.
  4. Bake for 18-25 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Always use minimally processed, organic ingredients for your best health.

Each week in December, look for a new fat bomb recipe!  We will have 1 more recipes this month.

Fat Bombing Your December: Strawberry Cheesecake

These are so yummy!  I love having a crust option too.  It makes them feel even more like a treat.  Plus, the seeds in the crust all have different health benefits and different essential fatty acids.  Having a variety of healthy fats is, well, healthy!

Let’s consider the ingredients.

Pumpkin Seeds:  Pumpkin seeds are full of immune-boosting zinc and magnesium which is required by many reactions in the body and helps to calm the nerves.  They also provide omega-3 fatty acids which are lacking in our typical American diet.  Further, they help with heart, liver, and prostate health and can even help with diabetes.  Moreover, they are antiparasitic.

Sunflower Seeds:  Sunflower seeds are full of magnesium which can help support mood, bone, and heart health.  They also contain selenium which is a powerful antioxidant and helps with thyroid health.  Further, they are antiparasitic.

Chia Seeds:  Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber.  They also contain high levels of iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.  A study even found chia seeds can prevent insulin resistance and other studies have found they help fight breast and cervical cancers.

Strawberries:  Strawberries boost immunity and hep protect our eyes from free radical damage.  They’ve also been shown to increase the mobility of the joints which helps arthritis and gout.  They boost our brain function and even contain flavonoids that are antioxidant and anticarcinogenic.  They stimulate our metabolism and reduce our appetites.

Lemon Zest:  Lemon zest contains 5-10 times more vitamins than lemon juice!  This includes vitamins A and C, beta carotene, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.  They are full of bioflavonoids which are antioxidant and anticarcinogenic.  They improve bone health and help us to detox.

Pasture-Raised, Organic Butter:  Beautiful, creamy, indulgent butter should be a large part of any healthy diet.  Butter is rich in vitamins and minerals including one of the most easily absorbable forms of Vitamin A (needed for thyroid and adrenal health) as well as Vitamins D, E, and K.  Further, it is high in selenium and usable iodine.  Butter is anti-fungal.  It is full of anti-oxidants.  It can help protect against tooth decay and helps our bodies better absorb calcium.  The saturated fats in butter help our cell walls maintain their shape and the linoleic acid in butter helps to combat cancer, build muscle, and boost our immune system.  The cholesterol in butterfat is essential to our brain and nervous system development and health.  With all of these benefits and more, it is a tragedy our culture has vilified butter.  No more!  Eat your butter and eat it with pride!

Raw Honey:  This is one of the few sweeteners allowed even on GAPS diet protocol.  Raw honey helps to counter pollen allergies, is filled with antioxidants, helps heal ulcers and wounds, may reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

Grade B Maple Syrup:  Maple syrup is full of antioxidants.  It is full of important vitamins and minerals (especially zinc, manganese, potassium, and calcium) and even helps combat inflammation.

Sea Salt:  Sea salt is full of trace minerals and electrolytes.  Additionally, it helps to balance the body’s fluids.  Further, it helps your stomach produce proper amounts of digestive acids which helps our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively.

Print Recipe
Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bomb Bites
Sweet and nutty, who needs cheesecake with unhealthy ingredients? Sweet satisfaction and health benefits - I'm in!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 2-3 hours
Servings
mini cheesecakes
Ingredients
Strawberry Cheesecake Filling
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 2-3 hours
Servings
mini cheesecakes
Ingredients
Strawberry Cheesecake Filling
Instructions
Seed Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 170.
  2. Melt the butter.
  3. Combine all remaining ingredients and add butter once it is melted.
  4. Stir together with a fork.
  5. Press into the bottom of the mini muffins. It takes about 1 tsp per muffin.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.
Strawberry Cheesecake Filling
  1. Cut butter and cream cheese into small cubes and allow to come to room temperature (30-120 minutes on the counter).
  2. Mix strawberries, honey, lemon zest, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Mash together (or blend if you want it smoother). Allow to come to room temperature as well.
  3. Using a fork, whisk, or hand mixer (you choose), combine the strawberry mixture with the cream cheese butter.
  4. Top cooled crust with strawberry cheesecake filling. Each will take about 1 tbsp of filling, depending on the size of your mold.
  5. Freeze for at least 2 hours before unmolding and enjoying. Store in the freezer in an airtight container.
Recipe Notes

Always use minimally processed, organic ingredients for your best health.

Note: there will be about 9 tablespoons of leftover cheesecake filling.  This can be placed into molds and frozen as well for a tasty, crustless option!

Each week in December, look for a new fat bomb recipe!  We will have 2 more recipes this month.

Fat Bombing Your December: Buttermints

You remember those melt-in-your-mouth, slightly chalky “Pastel Mints” you get from some restaurants after your meal?  This is their health-boosting, creamy-textured sister.  I’ve removed the junk and replaced it with only things good for your health.  Even better, these have only 5 ingredients.

Let’s consider the ingredients.

Pasture-Raised, Organic Butter:  Beautiful, creamy, indulgent butter should be a large part of any healthy diet.  Butter is rich in vitamins and minerals including one of the most easily absorbable forms of Vitamin A (needed for thyroid and adrenal health) as well as Vitamins D, E, and K.  Further, it is high in selenium and usable iodine.  Butter is anti-fungal.  It is full of anti-oxidants.  It can help protect against tooth decay and helps our bodies better absorb calcium.  The saturated fats in butter help our cell walls maintain their shape and the linoleic acid in butter helps to combat cancer, build muscle, and boost our immune system.  The cholesterol in butterfat is essential to our brain and nervous system development and health.  With all of these benefits and more, it is a tragedy our culture has vilified butter.  No more!  Eat your butter and eat it with pride!

Reishi Mushroom:  Having been used for thousands of years, this fungus is truly a superfood.  Reishi mushrooms help reduce inflammation, combat allergies and asthma, help with digestive problems, help with sleep disorders and fatigue, reduce depression and anxiety, and even offer the body support with diabetes and autoimmune disorders.  Why?  Because reishi mushrooms work as an immune modulator.  They help bring the body into balance and regulate the activity in the immune system.  In fact, reishi mushrooms are trophorestorative to the immune system.  This is a category of herbs that not only support and build an organ system but actually can restore function.

Maitake Mushroom:  Like the amazing reishi, maitake mushrooms are also trophorestorative to the immune system.  They have also been shown to help activate and produce macrophages in our bodies which clean up and destroy foreign cells (like tumor cells).  Maitake also help support our hearts and lower blood glucose levels and can help us maintain a healthy weight.

Raw Honey:  This is one of the few sweeteners allowed even on GAPS diet protocol.  Raw honey helps to counter pollen allergies, is filled with antioxidants, helps heal ulcers and wounds, may reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

Peppermint Oil: Although I do not recommend consuming large amounts of essential oils on a regular basis, for 120 mints there are only 2 drops of peppermint oil.  This little bit of oil will still have an effect on your body.  Some of the benefits of peppermint oil is it freshens breath, helps sooth digestive disturbances, relieves headaches, helps mental focus, boosts energy, and is antimicrobial.

Sea Salt:  Sea salt is full of trace minerals and electrolytes.  Additionally, it helps to balance the body’s fluids.  Further, it helps your stomach produce proper amounts of digestive acids which helps our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively.

Print Recipe
Buttermints
Perfectly sweet and minty, these can help stop any sugar craving in its tracks while providing immune support and healthy fats for energy and brain function. This recipe makes around 120 buttermints.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 130 minutes
Servings
buttermints
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 130 minutes
Servings
buttermints
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, heat the dried reishi and maitake powder over medium low heat for about 5 minutes. Then allow to cool fully.
  2. Add the honey, butter, cooled mushrooms, peppermint oil, and sea salt to a bowl and fold together until well mixed.
  3. Place the mixture in a piping bag or in a plastic bag with the tip cut off.
  4. Squeeze out small dollops of the buttermint mixture onto a parchment-lined pan.
  5. Place pan in freezer for about 2 hours or until the buttermits are completely frozen.
  6. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer or refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

Always use minimally processed, organic ingredients for your best health.

 

Each week in December, look for a new fat bomb recipe!  We will have 3 more recipes this month.

Fat Bombing Your December: Immune-Boosting Peppermint Chocolates

To kick off our Fat Bombing Your December series, I bring you fat, chocolate, a bit of mint, vitamins and minerals, and immune support all in the form of a tasty little chocolate bite.

These sweet beauties are a breeze to make and not only have the benefit of being a fat bomb with all the good that entails, but also have a special, immune-building ingredient.  Reishi mushrooms.  Top that off with the honey and maple syrup used to sweeten these up, and you have a snack that will fuel your energy, brain, and immune system.  We could all use that as the weather turns colder!

Let’s look closer at the star ingredients.

Cocoa Powder:  A natural mood elevator and antidepressant, cocoa powder is 40 times higher in antioxidants than blueberries.  It is the highest plant-based source of iron and is full of magnesium.  Moreover, it is higher in calcium than cow’s milk.  On top of all that, it is high in fiber.

Coconut Oil:  This amazingly healthy fat contains medium-chain fatty acids which are easier to digest and are not as easily stored.  Additionally, they offer antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal benefits.  Coconut oil is brain, heart, liver, and basically entire body healthy.  It even helps to reduce inflammation and some studies show it can help fight cancer.

Reishi Mushroom:  Having been used for thousands of years, this fungus is truly a superfood.  Reishi mushrooms help reduce inflammation, combat allergies and asthma, help with digestive problems, help with sleep disorders and fatigue, reduce depression and anxiety, and even offer the body support with diabetes and autoimmune disorders.  Why?  Because reishi mushrooms work as an immune modulator.  They help bring the body into balance and regulate the activity in the immune system.  In fact, reishi mushrooms are trophorestorative to the immune system.  This is a category of herbs that not only support and build an organ system but actually can restore function.

Raw Honey:  This is one of the few sweeteners allowed even on GAPS diet protocol.  Raw honey helps to counter pollen allergies, is filled with antioxidants, helps heal ulcers and wounds, may reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

Grade B Maple Syrup:  Maple syrup is full of antioxidants.  It is full of important vitamins and minerals (especially zinc, manganese, potassium, and calcium) and even helps combat inflammation.

Peppermint Oil: Although I do not recommend consuming large amounts of essential oils on a regular basis, for 120 mints there are only 2 drops of peppermint oil.  This little bit of oil will still have an effect on your body.  Some of the benefits of peppermint oil is it freshens breath, helps sooth digestive disturbances, relieves headaches, helps mental focus, boosts energy, and is antimicrobial.

Sea Salt:  Sea salt is full of trace minerals and electrolytes.  Additionally, it helps to balance the body’s fluids.  Further, it helps your stomach produce proper amounts of digestive acids which helps our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively.

 

Print Recipe
Immune-Boosting Peppermint Chocolates
Slightly crunch, slightly chewy, deliciously minty chocolate bites.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, heat the dried reishi powder over medium low heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. At the same time, heat the coconut oil, honey, and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat.
  3. Once it melts, add the reishi, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and salt.
  4. Stir well to combine the honey into the coconut mixture.
  5. Once the honey is well combined, remove from the heat and add the peppermint essential oil. If you cannot find a peppermint oil safe to eat, you can substitute it with 1/4 tsp peppermint extract.
  6. This recipe makes just over 1 cup of chocolate. You can fill silicon molds (about 24 mini-muffin-sized chocolates) or spread on a cookie sheet. Place into the freezer.
  7. Once the chocolate is hard, it is ready to enjoy. Break into pieces if you just spread it on a cookie sheet. Store in an airtight container in the freezer or refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

Always use minimally processed, organic ingredients for your best health.

If you, like me, always have the problem of the honey sinking to the bottom of your chocolate (or whatever I try to add honey to), here are some potential solutions:

  1. Do not add the honey in the first step.  Rather, add everything but the honey in the order given above, then cool the mixture in the fridge to get the chocolate oil to the same consistency of the honey.  Mix in honey to this cooled mixture and place in molds for freezing.
  2. Heat the honey first, so it is the same consistency as the coconut oil.  Then, follow the remaining steps.
  3. Do not melt the coconut oil first.  Instead, mix the cocoa, reishi, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla to a paste consistency.  Then, heat on the stove over low until the cocoa powder dissolves and everything becomes smooth.  Then, add the sea salt and peppermint off the heat, place in molds, and freeze.

 

Each week in December, look for a new fat bomb recipe!  We will have 4 more recipes this month.

Fat Bombing Your Hot Beverages

Fat bombs are very popular (look for some of my favorite recipes coming in December).  There is a reason.  Most of us do not eat enough fat.

Yes, you heard me.  Most of us do not eat enough fat.  Especially in America.

If you remember way back to my very first post Fat is good?, I recommended for most adults to get at least 3 tablespoons for good fats a day.  Several of my clients have mentioned finding this difficult.

Enter the fat bomb.  These are quick-bite snacks that are high in fat to give energy and brain power.  They also allow you to reach your goal of at least 3 tablespoons of good fats a day (some people need 7-8+ tablespoons a day for healing).

Now, consider if you could drink your fat.  Yes, my face also went ewww when I thought about drinking liquid butter or coconut oil (though I have done this in a pinch).  Adding butter and coconut oil to your coffee or tea may sound strange, but it has several health benefits.  In fact, with this recipe, I encourage you to use a caffeinated drink because the caffeine helps to bring the fats to the brain.

This recipe has been gaining in fans since Dave Asprey recommended and popularized it his first Bulletproof® coffee recipe.  There are many variations all over the internet.  With several of my clients needing an easier way to increase their fat intake, I figured I would give my recommendation for how to make this tasty drink.

Many recipes avoid any sweetener.  I know most of my clients like some sweet in their coffee or tea.  So, rather than just offering a few drops of stevia, I decided some raw honey for its immune boosting powers is a better option.  Raw honey is full of vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements.

The key to making this tasty and not a layer of fat resting on top of you hot drink is the blending.  This allows the water and fat to emulsify together to make a frothy, creamy, delightful concoction.

Print Recipe
Bulletproof Coffee (or Tea!)
Full of good fats, this is the only way you should be having coffee.
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix on high until it becomes frothy.
  2. Drink immediately.
Recipe Notes

Choosing organic is best for all ingredients because it allows you to avoid as many pesticides and GMOs as possible.

Other sweeteners I recommend are stevia, coconut sugar, date sugar, or any organic sugar (though the honey, stevia, coconut sugar, and date sugar are better choices).  You can make this as sweet (or not) as you prefer.

Have you tried any other recipes for Fat-Bombed or Bulletproof Coffees?

Claiming Your Sovereignty

After a recent seminar discussing environmental poisons, it is obvious how inundated we are with toxins in so many forms on a daily basis in our modern world.  I left that seminar fairly shocked and overwhelmed.  To see how pervasive glyphosate and GMOs are, how surrounded with damaging electromagnetic fields we are, how scary the SMART technology is (watch Take Back Your Power), how even things like flame retardants on household items and even infant clothing is chocked full of nasty chemicals which can cause damage to all systems of the body… well, it was frustrating to see how it may be impossible to get away from all of the poisons in our world.

While looking for support to help my body, mind, and spirit reclaim power, I came across Rich Work’s The Veils of Illusion.  It is all about making choices and declaring sovereignty over yourself and how you interact with, impact, and are impacted by the world.

I wanted to share a powerful section from the book called “Controlling Energies.”  It is a proclamation to be said nightly for at least a 30 days to help you reclaim your power and break any negative links you’ve made (or that have been made for you).

 

 

From “The Veils of Illusion” by Rich Work:

 Controlling Energies

 

I (state your name) proclaim my life is my own.

I close all windows, portals and doorways allowing another to observe

or manipulate my energies as far as they extend,

and transmute all energies connected to this experience

into the divine expression of Creative Love.

 

I choose to be well, whole and perfect of mind, body and soul.

I call forth all controlling energies

experienced throughout the journey of my soul

and all those connected to these energies.

I call forth all aspects of their Being,

all aspects of my Being and the nucleus of the Soul

on all levels of consciousness to be present and accept this healing.

 

I call forth all soul expressions,

elementals, thought forms, patterns and programs

to stand before me, as I stand before you, in love.

I ask you to forgive and honor me. I forgive and honor you.

I embrace you in love.

I thank you for the lessons we have shared.

I embrace all bonds between us in Unconditional Love

and transmute all interfering energies

into the divine expression of Creative Love.

 

I call forth all laws I own, all beliefs I have, all vows I hold,

all invocations I have made and received,

all contracts and agreements which exist

creating distortions, illusions, images, holograms,

symbols and psychic messages, causing unrest within my Being,

I transmute into the divine expression of Creative Love.

 

I call forth all invasive energies,

including thought forms, programs or substances

administered to me, or created by me,

forming separation, distortion, illness or illusion within my Being.

I transmute you into the divine expression of Creative Love

and return you to your creator source

to be used only as a positive, productive energy.

 

I call forth my cells, creative energies,

all personalities and aspects of my Being

to integrate into my wholeness and align in Divine Perfection.

 

I call forth all energy forms,

creating a response in my Being

out of alignment with the essence of my soul and divine truth,

and transmute into the divine expression of Creative Love

and return you to your creator source

to be used as a positive, productive energy.

 

Whatever thought forms or energies I own,

encouraging or causing harm to my Being, I return to their creator source.

All residues I hold within my Being

I transmute into the divine expression of Creative Love

to become a powerful, positive, productive energy.

 

I command any energy or programming

administered to me with or without my permission

altering or limiting my ability to freely connect my mind, body and soul

and experience my wholeness be reversed in divine perfection.

 

I proclaim sovereignty.

I proclaim dominion over my skills.

I claim my free-will choice.

I claim dominion over my mind, body and soul.

I have grown. I am empowered. I stand in my truth.

I call forth and integrate my true identity expressing Itself as (state your name).

 

I acknowledge all those who share this experience.

I offer you this healing.

I embrace you in Unconditional Love

and transmute all interfering energies

into the divine expression of Creative Love.

I proclaim my peace of mind,

and the peace of mind for all humanity.

And so it is.

 

 Need additional support dealing with the toxic soup we live in?  Schedule your appointment today!

Matters of Life and Death

While the goal as a Naturopath is always to extend and enhance life, there are times we must recognize our mortal time is limited and we will all die.  How we each die is different and can be done with grace, love, and dignity.

This is a subject that can be difficult to speak to your loved ones, your health professionals, and even yourself about.

It is understandable.  It is unknown, and often, the unknown frightens us.  I have my beliefs about what comes after this life, and I am sure you have yours.

There are some similarities in death, however.  It is my goal with this month’s article to address some of these things.  I have a couple of clients walking this final stretch of the path with loved ones, and this is the time of year when my husband feels the deaths of his parents and other family members most strongly.  I will attempt to give a smattering of information that can be helpful during this time.

 

How to help the dying

Supporting your loved one on their final journey can take a variety of forms.  During the time of being chronically ill, there are several stages your loved one will experience.  You may experience some or all of these stages too while they are ill.  They do not come in this order and you can return to stages multiple times during the process.  It is just the most common order given here.

First is disbelief.  “This cannot be.  Not me.”  Other people get this disease.  It isn’t really my diagnosis.

This is something I want to discuss.  Just because one doctor, nurse, hospital, etc. tells you you have something, you do not have to accept it.  Even if everyone tells you a diagnosis and its usual progression, people have likely beaten it at some point.  However, this doesn’t mean you will or won’t.  It is just important to recognize how someone telling us something can exacerbate or even cause a condition.

There may still be time to make drastic lifestyle changes and change your prognosis.  However, realize these lifestyle changes would have to be monumental and permanent changes.  It took a life for your body to reach this point and to get out of it will take Herculean effort you may or may not want to undertake.  This is OK!  For both you and your loved ones to recognize you may not be able to make enough changes no matter what you do.  It is a fine line, but one to be aware of.

Some remedies for the disbelief stage:

Flower Remedies Essential Oils
Agrimony

Angel’s Trumpet

Five-Flower Formula

Star of Bethlehem

Acceptance

Cypress

Present Time

Sacred Mountain

Disbelief can fester into denial.  Realize when I say not accepting something, I do not mean denying it.  The most change can occur when something is recognized and accepted and honest changes take place.

Some remedies for the denial stage:

Flower Remedies Essential Oils
Angel’s Trumpet

Black-Eyed Susan

Chrysanthemum

Mullein

Acceptance

Roman Chamomile

Sage

Transformation

The next stage is often sadness (though, again, there is no strict order).  Sometimes, this is a vision or epiphany creating certainty that death is near.   Other times, a voice inside says, “I am going to die.”  This is a time of tears and sobs.

Some remedies for the sadness stage:

Flower Remedies Essential Oils
Sagebrush

Sweet Chestnut

Wild Rose

Yerba Santa

Bergamot

Tangerine

Valor

Often, out of this, there is a pseudo-hope stage.  Bargaining happens.  Fantasies of miraculous healing occur.  A belief that a noble cause you are now dedicated to can only be accomplished with many years of continued life.  There may even be imaginary or even real business meetings with a higher power or God.

Some remedies for the bargaining stage:

Flower Remedies Essential Oils
Agrimony

Angel’s Trumpet

Five-Flower Formula

Star of Bethlehem

Acceptance

Cypress

Present Time

Sacred Mountain

Guilt frequently accompanies bargaining.  This illness is deserved and came about from a past failure.  There is a warped sense of justice, having earned a punishment.

Some remedies for the guilt stage:

Flower Remedies Essential Oils
Elm

Pine

Inspiration

Joy

Release

Anger is another stage we experience.  Fists go through walls, feet stomp, some will have violent tantrums on the floor while screaming and cursing.  Whether the anger is at the doctors, a higher power, the food industry, hospitals, other healthy people, family, friends, themselves, this is a normal stage.

Some remedies for the anger stage:

Flower Remedies Essential Oils
Poison Oak

Scarlet Monkeyflower

Snapdragon

Willow

Joy

Release

Valor

Finally, there will be acceptance and surrender.  No more fighting, no more bargaining, no more hope.  There will still be some sorrow and disbelief, but there is a knowledge and understanding death is near.

Some remedies for the acceptance/surrender stage:

Flower Remedies Essential Oils
Angelica

Forget-Me-Not

Mountain Pride

Star Tulip

3 Wise Men

Frankincense

Surrender

Support needs will vary day by day.  It is important to recognize emotions can change hourly or daily.  You will want to focus on the now of how your loved one is doing (as possible).

All of these stages are normal and help us work through and cope with the situation at hand.

 

Signs Death Is Close

1-3 months prior to death

  • More sleeping and dozing
  • Withdrawing from people
  • Cease doing things they enjoyed
  • Talk less (unless it is a child who talks more)
  • Eat and drink less

1-2 weeks prior to death

  • Little appetite
  • Little thirst
  • Less urination & defecation
  • Increased pain
  • Different wake-sleep patterns
  • Variations in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
  • Variations in body temperature
  • Confusion or dazed state
  • Changes in skin temperature and texture (cool, moist, pale, warm, etc)
  • Congested breathing
  • Speaking with their dead (or angels, spirits, etc)

Within days to hours

  • No desire for food or drink
  • No urination or bowel movements
  • Grimacing, groaning, scowling from pain
  • Teary or glazed eyes
  • Irregular or difficult to find pulse
  • Drop in body temperature
  • Blue skin on knees, feet, hands, etc (often during the last 24 hours)
  • Apnea (breathing can be as little as 4 times a minute)
  • Unconsciousness or drifting in and out (but they can still hear)
  • Restlessness, even trying to climb out of bed or striking out

 

Changes to Be Aware Of

The body shuts down as it works its way towards death.  This means less hunger and thirst.  Honor this in your loved one.  Digestion is not important and less energy is directed to the task.  Feeding your loved one when s/he isn’t hungry can result in the food simply rotting in their stomach or intestines.  Do not force it.  Let your loved one guide you on if there is a desire for food or drink and how much.

 

How to Help the Family

If you aren’t a close relation to the dying person but are close to someone in the family, it is a good time to offer support.  Let your friend or loved one know you are there if needed.  Bring a meal (often something easy to reheat is helpful) to the family.  Offer to babysit or pet sit as appropriate.  Even offering to take up a collection to help with final expenses can be tremendously helpful during this time.  Think of what could help you were you the one going through this situation.

 

How to Help Yourself

If you are close to the dying person, you will be experiencing grief in its many forms.  Ensure you are as present as you wish to be in the process.  Be aware you and the dying loved one may need breaks apart too.  Take them as you see fit.  Ask for help and don’t refuse it when offered.  Breathe.  Find support from a counselor or naturopath.  Consider getting body or energy work done to help you keep your strength.  Keep a journal in writing, photographs, or video of the journey you are on with your loved one.  Seek a support group.

 

How to Help the Dying

One of the most crucial things you can do to help is to let your loved one know how much s/he is loved, that you will be ok and will help others grieving this loss, and give permission.  Some people will wait until they can say goodbye to everyone, know that certain affairs will be taken care of, and that they can go to the other side.  This is especially important in some cases.  Imagine what you would want when it is your time.  Most likely, someone saying hang in there or please don’t go when you know you need to wouldn’t be helpful.  You’d want to know things will be ok and you are loved and relieved of obligations.  Even if words fail you, being present and holding your loved one’s hand with a firm hand can be extremely comforting.  Some people will wait to die until everyone is present, others will wait until everyone else leaves the room.  Even if your loved one is completely unconscious and has been for days or weeks, do not speak over him or her about funeral plans or argue over inheritances.  They still hear you on some level.  Offer respect and love.  Take everything else out of the room.

 

Remedies for Dying

Flower Remedies

Angel’s Trumpet – helps surrender to death, ability of the soul to prepare to cross into the spiritual world

Angelica – ministering to one crossing the threshold of death; helping the soul find protection and benevolence

Black-Eyed Susan – helps with denial/avoidance of a terminal illness; develops courage to look at the true situation and the insight to understand

Chrysanthemum – deep sense of despair about own mortality, ability to accept transitory nature of life on earth, shifting awareness from the lower to the higher self

Five-Flower Formula – extreme pain or shock, helping the soul to register consciousness

Holly – brings calm and acceptance to the heart, forgiving others, making peace with worldly relationships before death

Love-Lies-Bleeding – profound pain that moves beyond the limits of self-identity; soul/spiritual transcendence

Mariposa Lily – resolving conflicts with mother or female figures; attunement with the Divine Feminine as a loving force

Mountain Pride – courage to fight negative thoughts about death; seeing death or terminal illness as a challenge or initiation for the soul

Penstemon – extreme physical suffering or hardship with terminal illness; courage to accept and endure the suffering

Pink Yarrow – oversensitivity to thoughts and fears of others about death

Purple Monkeyflower – extreme fear of dying due to inability to trust oneself as a purely spiritual being; fear-based religious beliefs that impede the dying process

Red Clover – dealing with charged family situations at times of death or terminal illnesses; group hysteria and other extreme emotions

Rock Rose – fear of death, especially fear the ego will be utterly destroyed

Sage – surveying life experiences and realizing learned lessons, reflecting and accepting life and death as a larger evolution process of the soul

Sagebrush – ability to let go, to experience inner emptiness and nothingness as a precondition of spiritual birth

St. John’s Wort – fear of out-of-body states, anchoring inner light and awareness as the soul expands beyond our physical world

Scarlet Monkeyflower – anger about death

Star of Bethlehem – soothes shock resulting from hearing of death or learning of impending death

Star Tulip – to increase receptive awareness of subtle states of consciousness; to shift awareness to metaphysical hearing and seeing

Sunflower – resolving conflicts with father, making peace with inner masculine self

Sweet Chestnut – feeling cut off from higher power, extreme mental anguish and sense of isolation

Walnut – helpful in transitions; breaking links, especially when others may hold too tightly and not allow the release of the departing soul

Willow – ability to forgive, releasing bitterness and resentment towards others; taking responsibility for own life path

 

Essential Oils

3 Wise Men – opens the crown chakra and helps release negative emotions, grounding

Acceptance – helps in transition to the other side

Awaken – recognize higher potential as a spiritual being having a human experience

Bergamot – helps move through grief into acceptance and eventually joy

Cypress – brings acceptance for transition, does not disallow grief

Forgiveness – for guilt

Frankincense – helps the soul make the choice; if it is time to go, it helps in crossing over; if it is not time to go, it helps the soul to re-anchor to the body

Joy – helps work through grief

Peace & Calming – helps with guilt and hysterical grief

Present Time – versatile; grounds, helps with acceptance, helps with grieving, gives strength

Release – helps with anger and helps with letting go of this life and allowing transition

Sacred Mountain – grief and acceptance of inevitable transition

Transformation – supports changes

Valor – helps with discouragement, sorrow, and grief

White Angelica – to help see the divine in the process; also grief

 

Therapies

Light Healing Touch, Chakra Work, Color Therapy, Sound Therapy

 

Remedies for Self/Family/Grieving

Flower Remedies

Bleeding Heart – letting go, releasing attachment to those who can no longer be with us

Borage – overcoming grief from death or impending death of a loved one

Dandelion – releasing emotional pain and grief stuck in the body

Elm – feeling overwhelmed

Five-Flower Formula – extreme pain or shock, helping the soul to register consciousness

Forget-Me-Not – ability to contact a loved one who has died and gone beyond the earthly realm

Fuchsia – contacting emotionally repressed grief

Golden Ear Drops – releasing tears that are being held back

Holly – brings calm and acceptance to the heart, forgiving others, making peace with worldly relationships before death

Honeysuckle – letting go of the past, coming into the now so life can go on

Love-Lies-Bleeding – profound pain that moves beyond the limits of self-identity; soul/spiritual transcendence

Mariposa Lily – resolving conflicts with mother or female figures; attunement with the Divine Feminine as a loving force

Mountain Pride – courage to fight negative thoughts about death; seeing death or terminal illness as a challenge or initiation for the soul

Pink Yarrow – oversensitivity to thoughts and fears of others about death

Red Clover – dealing with charged family situations at times of death or terminal illnesses; group hysteria and other extreme emotions

Sage – surveying life experiences and realizing learned lessons, reflecting and accepting life and death as a larger evolution process of the soul

Scarlet Monkeyflower – anger about death

Star of Bethlehem – soothes shock resulting from hearing of death or learning of impending death

Star Tulip – to increase receptive awareness of subtle states of consciousness; to shift awareness to metaphysical hearing and seeing

Sunflower – resolving conflicts with father, making peace with inner masculine self

Sweet Chestnut – feeling cut off from higher power, extreme mental anguish and sense of isolation

Walnut – helpful in transitions; breaking links, especially when others may hold too tightly and not allow the release of the departing soul

Willow – ability to forgive, releasing bitterness and resentment towards others; taking responsibility for own life path

Yerba Santa – internalized sadness, deeply stored pain in the heart and chest

 

Essential Oils

3 Wise Men – opens the crown chakra and helps release negative emotions, grounding

Basil – for bereavement

Bergamot – helps move through grief into acceptance and eventually joy

Forgiveness – for guilt

Joy – helps work through grief

Peace & Calming – helps with guilt and hysterical grief

Present Time – versatile; grounds, helps with acceptance, helps with grieving, gives strength

Release – helps with anger and helps with letting go of this life and allowing transition

Sacred Mountain – grief and acceptance of inevitable transition

Trauma Life – calming, grounding, helps purge stress and trauma; grants perspective

Valor – helps with discouragement, sorrow, and grief

White Angelica – to help see the divine in the process; also grief

 

Therapies

Massage, Reiki, Lymph Drain, Color Therapy, Sound Therapy

 

 

Throughout the Entire Process for All:

Energy and Bodywork can be extremely helpful.  Consider Light Healing Touch, Reiki, Energy Work, Sound Therapy, Color Therapy, Massage, and more

 

Making Things Easier on Those Left Behind

It is hard to think about, but planning what you want your funeral to look like, how you want power of attorney to be handled, whether you want extraordinary life-sustaining measures taken, and more can ease the burden and pain your loved ones will feel when you more to the next realm.

Most of us think of a will and life insurance when when considering whether we are prepared to leave our loved ones with some security after we are gone; however, having a clear guide to your wishes in other areas is very important.  Do you want to be on life support for 20 or 30 years?  Do you want to be buried, embalmed, cremated, green buried, in a vault, in the ground, etc.?  These questions could be considered and notes made in advance of you ever getting ill.  In fact, I have been speaking with my family about my feelings on how my illness and death should be handled should it come sooner than expected since I was in my teens.

Some colleagues of mine have a folder labeled “Here is everything you need to know” that they keep updated regularly.  Inside, it has all the information their loved ones need including last letters of love to children and grandchildren.  How you want to handle this is personal, but having some definite plans in place regarding, at a minimum, funeral wants, financial matters, end-of-life care and directives, and the like in place very early will give you a true sense of doing your utmost to care for those you love even when you aren’t able to consciously do so.

 

Recommended Reading

For Adults

The Orphaned Adult

Final Gifts

Journey of Souls

 

For Children

Badger’s Parting Gifts

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf

I Miss You

 

As always, let me know if I can be of assistance especially during this difficult but beautiful transition.