I get constant questions about safe sunscreen options because, let’s be real, there are a lot of sunscreens.
It’s Toxic Skincare Thursday and I’m covering...
I speak a lot about greenwashing. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly and therefore ‘better’.
L’Bri is a prime example of greenwashing. I did a quick Google search to get to their homepage and immediately saw “PURE n’ NATURAL” further down “NATURAL & SAFE”. Which left me shocked as I looked over their ingredient list…
In their cosmetics they typically use the following blacklisted ingredients:
EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid)
GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)
In their skincare they typically use the following blacklisted ingredients:
PEGs ((Polyethylene Glycol)
- It is unspecified if minerals used are non-nano.
(I’m still waiting for an email response to this question.)
- Not Leaping Bunny Certified cruelty free.
As women, we're a constant target for skincare companies. Did you know that it can take just 26 seconds for certain harmful chemicals to enter your bloodstream after penetrating your skin? We've all noticed the- try this it’s natural, it’s safe, it’s clean… We don’t know better until we know better. And trust me, reading ingredients is a full time job.
Before I knew better, I dabbled in some of these 'make me glamorous like Beyoncé concoctions.' Especially when it came to sunscreen to ‘prevent wrinkles, diminish sunspots, reduce crow’s-feet, blah blah.’ My skin would break out, my eyes would water, my face and/or body would itch- you know the drill.
Go grab your sunscreen and check for:
Phenoxyethanol is found in L'Bri's sunscreen.
I also do not recommend spray-on SPF (to avoid inhalation of chemicals).
They also need to be non-nanoparticles or non-nano. Non-nano means the particles do not enter the bloodstream- with nano, they do.
It is unspecified if L'Bri's minerals used are non-nano.
Secondly, choosing a ‘Reef Friendly’ or ‘Reef Safe’ certified product means it doesn’t contain ingredients that would harm the coral.
Lastly, be sure to still check your labels for unsafe preservatives.
If you're wondering what brand I personally use and suggest- head over to my 'products we love page'!
I use Badger on myself, Derek, and my kiddos.
(There's a discount through Wellevate!)
I use Crunchi’s Sunlight on my face!
As always, limiting toxin exposure is an excellent idea.
Let’s get back to health,
Did you know that most skincare and cosmetic ingredients are unregulated- meaning lots of sneaky, no good, blacklisted ingredients are used?
I had overwhelming support with sharing toxic ingredients in common cosmetics.
I had a lot of questions pertaining to each "blacklisted" ingredient.
As women, we're a constant target for skincare/cosmetics. We've all noticed the this will help you reduce age spots, diminish wrinkles, reduce the tiresome eye bags, give you voluminous lashes, hide your acne, etc. BUT at what health expense?
If you're like me, before I knew better, I dabbled in some of these 'make me glamorous like Beyoncé concoctions.' My skin would break out, my eyes would water, my face and/or body would itch- you know the drill. And I'd sit there thinking, 'it said natural' or 'it said safe'.... These words mean NOTHING on labels. They are just a production of greenwashing.
Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly and therefore ‘better’.
For those of you using Physicians Formula cosmetics, I urge you to look on your label for:
Even if you're not using Physicians Formula I'd check for these.
• Artificial fragrance
• Disodium EDTA
• Loose Titanium Dioxide
• Retinyl Palmitate
For those of you using Physicians Formula skincare, I urge you to look on your label for:
• Disodium EDTA
• Fragrance (parfum)
• Petroleum derived colorants
• Propylene Glycol
Honestly, reading a never ending list of hard to pronounce, maybe never noticed words, is tedious and somewhat overwhelming if you've never done it before.
I am going to dig deeper into 3 of these blacklisted ingredients that are commonly used in both their cosmetic and skincare products.
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
“A toluene-based ingredient used as a preservative in food and personal care products. There is a lot of controversy surrounding BHT because of its suspected potential endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic effects.”1
PEG's (Polyethylene Glycol)
“A group of ingredients with the prefix “PEG-” followed by a number. They are made by the process of ethoxylation in which carcinogenic ethylene oxide is reacted with other ingredients to make them less harsh on the skin. As a result of the ethoxylation process, 1,4-dioxane is created and can be left behind in the product. 1,4-dioxane can be reduced or removed from a product through the vacuum-stripping process. But independent tests show that many manufacturers fail to do so. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has classified 1,4-dioxane as ‘likely to be carcinogenic to humans.’ FDA studies showed that 1,4-dioxane can penetrate human skin.”1
“A common preservative used in cosmetics, skincare, and personal care products. It is a member of the glycol ether family and is the product of the reaction of highly corrosive phenol with carcinogenic ethylene oxide. As a result, it may contain residue amounts of both. The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens, even in concentrations as low as 1%.”1
If you're wondering what brand I personally use and suggest that uses ZERO blacklisted ingredients- head over to my 'products we love page'!
As always- let's get back to health,
Being a mom is hard. Right now, most moms are juggling their careers, while being their children’s teacher, while being daycare for their younger children, while continuing daily home tasks.
Did you know that right now, today, there are more single mothers than ever in history? In 2019, there were 15 million single mother-headed households and 25% of families are headed by a single parent (80% of those households are headed by moms).
Now, this blog isn’t directed solely at single moms. You could be a mom who sometimes feels like a single mom, one that used to be a single mom, or one that simply relates to what I’m going to type. Either way, moms need our support- probably now more than ever.
This blog is for you, my single moms. Mother’s Day is fast approaching- just know, we see you and we appreciate you. (I’m sending extra love to those that won’t have their kiddos on Sunday per their placement order.) I am typing this to bring a sigh of relief, relatability, and positivity. I, too, was a single mom for most of my son’s life.
I am a co-parent. Am I the only one that almost feels dirty saying that? It took me a lot, and I mean, a lot of years to be comfortable saying that. Co-parenting is hard- and I mean extremely hard, painstaking hard. It’s truly exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. Every holiday needs coordination, every appointment, every life changing thought- not only coordinated with your current significant other, but also your child’s father. Speaking of significant other, you first need to find the one that’s worthy of your love and your child’s love. That loves your child as their own. Once you find that, never let it go. And never, ever trust a man or woman who tries to destroy you when they're angry.
With all of this comes stress, worry, fear and last but not least- anger and frustration. These five emotions are detrimental to your health. These five emotions can destroy your happiness and suck the positivity from your life. Read that back, you caught the ‘can destroy your happiness’, right? It doesn’t HAVE to.
The next time you feel overwhelmed in your co-parenting situation, when you feel like you may succumb to the demons of negativity, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Don’t send that text that you’re angrily typing, don’t say those words that you’ll never get back, just take a deep breath. At the end of the day, you can only control what you can control- leave the rest to the big man upstairs. If the deep breathing doesn’t cut it, go for a bike ride, go for a walk, throw the cheap store boughten eggs at a tree in the backyard. Whatever you do, turn that rush of negativity into positivity, your body will thank you.
The dreaded ‘single mom stigma’ (insert eye roll emoji). Having a different last name than your child isn’t this centuries scarlet letter. The world we live in is full of loving, supporting individuals- just like it’s full of hating, undermining individuals. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. If someone is making you feel that way, that’s not someone that needs to take up anymore space in your life. Life is too short to be anything but happy. I know, that’s incredibly cliché, but it’s true. If someone is projecting their doubt onto you- cut the cord.
If you’re unhappy with your job, find one that makes you happy. If you’re unhappy with your home situation, develop a plan that brings you happiness. Sitting around and dwelling on the ‘what ifs’ is only holding you back. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
The Mom Guilt
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t- is how I feel about it. I’m very blunt, many can attest to that. Remember when I was talking about not dwelling on the ‘what ifs’? A huge portion of mom guilt stems from those two words. You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.
Your mental health is vital. STOP wondering if your children know they’re loved. (They do.) STOP questioning if you’re a failure. (You aren’t.) Staying in a relationship solely because you created children is like staying on the Titanic because you shaped the steel.
As moms, we tend to focus all our energy on our children. But you can’t help your children if you aren’t helping yourself. What do I mean by that? STOP beating yourself up for needing me time. STOP beating yourself up for having to work two jobs to put food on the table and make ends meet. STOP beating yourself up for asking for help. We all need help, at some point in our lives.
To all my single mamas reading this, know you’re not alone. It’s okay to have a rough day- tomorrow is always a new day. It’s not okay to be stuck in a void, just going through the motions. If you feel this way, please reach out! I’m here to tell you there is hope. And remember, you were someone before you were their mom- and that someone matters.
I still remember the days that I prayed for what I have now.
All my love,
Alright, now back to the nitty gritty.....
I’m sure you’ve noticed the posts circling, the news anchors chatting, and your mother calling about not using Advil for the Coronavirus or elderberry, but instead to use Tylenol.
When I see things like this, I revert to what I know best, science and research. I immediately think of how the body functions and what pathways are affected. The yin and the yang. Before I start talking about what may be foreign words to most, I’m going to break a couple things down.
The goal in Th1/Th2 dominance is to balance them. You do this by stimulating the non-dominant side. It's easier said than done! But, that's why I'm here.
Cytokine Storm (hypercytokinemia): The systemic expression of a healthy and vigorous immune system resulting in the release of more than 150 known inflammatory mediators. This isn’t a good thing.
Okay, let me break this down:
Coronavirus, when it’s severe, gets into the lungs and becomes a respiratory problem- an immense one at that- especially in the elderly and the immunocompromised. The elderly and immunocompromised typically have lower glutathione levels, lower stomach acid, and redox imbalance.
Elderberry stimulates Th1 cytokines, which some are inflammatory (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1, IL-8). The increased inflammatory response is vital for the initial stage of our immune system killing pathogens. Hence, why it can be potentially helpful against the Coronavirus. It summons the many components of the immune system to the infection to kill the bug. In some people, taking this may be helpful.
Elderberry is also an adaptogenic – increasing cytokines in some situations and decreasing them in others. There’s research showing it is anti-viral, by blocking viral uptake. So much research on this that there’s a meta-analysis.
But as the study circulating suggested, the potential danger is the increased IL-6 production. If you increase IL-6 in a patient, who has high TGFb (transforming growth factor beta) you will increase and activate the amount of Th9 cells. Th9 cells produce enormous amounts of IL-9. What does this mean? Massive mucus production. In a respiratory illness, increasing mucus production is not what you want.
But IL-6 alone will not raise the Th9 levels and activity. You also need elevated TGFb. When TGFb is high, it’s made from MDSCs (myeloid derived suppressor cells). MDSC’s rise when the immune system is being inefficient and having trouble clearing infections, resulting in chronic elevated inflammatory levels- commonly seen in autoimmune disease.
The thought is, if you have a Th1 polarized disease, elderberry could induce a “cytokine storm” inside your body. However, on the flip side, elderberry has never been shown to increase cytokine storm. It’s a hard row to hoe to actually trigger a cytokine storm. In fact, the scientific literature suggests that herbs (including Echinacea) decrease cytokine storms. PMID: 28279802
Elderberry supplementation, in an otherwise healthy individual, is not harmful. During respiratory distress, if you have an autoimmune disorder, elderberry may not be the best choice.
Now let’s discuss the push to use Tylenol (Acetaminophen) instead- YIKES!
If you’re wondering where the ‘yikes’ comes from, read this.
So, let's talk prevention and/or recovery!
First and foremost, when it comes to preventing upper respiratory infections, you want to increase Defensins (Vitamin D). Why? So that any virus landing on the skin or in the mouth are killed on contact.
You want a diet high in antioxidants- Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C are VITAL! Hell, even if your diet is high in these, added supplementation is still a great idea. If you live where the air hurts your face; you MUST supplement Vitamin D.
Wash your hands, get adequate sleep, take your supplements, get adjusted, reduce your stress, drink water, eat whole foods, support your body.
There are a multitude of upper respiratory support herbs, GI tract support (probiotics are hugely important), overall immune support, etc.- SO MANY OTHER OPTIONS THAT ARE SUPERIOR TO TYLENOL!
I hope this eased some minds, clarified some others, and most of all- educated. I’m always here to help!
Do you take Vitamins A, D, E, and/or K on an empty stomach!? If you do, the only thing you’re accomplishing is- expensive pee.
Most vitamins are water-soluble. However, Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins. What this means is, for absorption, there must be fat inside your stomach. And, no, excess fat on your body doesn’t count! Now when I talk about eating fat with Vitamins A, D, E and K- I don’t mean the fat off a steak. I mean good fats- nuts, coconut oil, avocados, etc.
Alright, let’s break down the purpose of these fat-soluble vitamins:
And why you NEED them!
Vitamin A has four major functions in the body: “(1) It helps cells reproduce normally—a process called differentiation (cells that have not properly differentiated are more likely to undergo pre-cancerous changes). (2) It is required for vision; Vitamin A maintains healthy cells in various structures of the eye and is required for the transduction of light into nerve signals in the retina. (3) It is required for normal growth and development of the embryo and fetus, influencing genes that determine the sequential development of organs in embryonic development. (4) It may be required for normal reproductive function, with influences on the function and development of sperm, ovaries and placenta.”
Fun Fact: Vitamin A plays a critical role in proper immune function, it has been used successfully to prevent and treat measles and to treat chicken pox.
“Vitamin D’s most important role is maintaining blood levels of calcium, which it accomplishes by increasing absorption of calcium from food and reducing urinary calcium loss. Both effects keep calcium in the body and therefore spare the calcium that is stored in bones. When necessary, Vitamin D transfers calcium from the bone into the bloodstream, which does not benefit bones.”
Vitamin D has very strong influence on almost every single organ system in the body and epigenetics of the body.
If you live where the air hurts your face, you need Vitamin D supplementation during the winter months.
Fun Fact: Vitamin D malabsorption is common in Crohn’s and can lead to a deficiency. It is also needed to support healthy immune and pancreatic function. Supplementing with Vitamin D may improve blood sugar control in those with Diabetes.
“Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cell membranes and other fat-soluble parts of the body, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL; cholesterol) cholesterol, from damage.” Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Antioxidants are VITAL!
Fun Fact: Vitamin E protects joints against oxidative damage. Supplementing with Vitamin E can help ease symptoms, including pain
“Vitamin K is needed for proper bone formation and blood clotting. In both cases, vitamin K does this by helping the body transport calcium. Vitamin K is used by doctors when treating an overdose of Warfarin. Also, doctors prescribe Vitamin K to prevent excessive bleeding in people taking Warfarin but requiring surgery.”
Fun Fact: The malabsorption that occurs in Celiac Disease can lead to multiple nutritional deficiencies. Supplementing with Vitamin K may correct a deficiency.
Now, before you hop on Amazon or run to your local retail store to supplement some extra Vitamins A, D, E, and K into your life- not all supplements are created equal! Independent verification is an absolute must.
I hope you learned something.
Let's get back to health,
Resources: Emerson Ecologics
Glyphosate is an herbicide, the active ingredient in Roundup. It was patented and introduced by Monsanto in 1974 for agricultural weed control. In 1992 glyphosate, began to be used as a desiccant (it accelerates drying and speed ripening before harvest.) Approximately 90% of domestic corn acres and 94% of domestic soybean acres are produced with herbicide tolerant seeds.
Fun fact: There are over 750 products containing glyphosate for sale in the United States.
Genetically modified (GM) crops are sprayed with glyphosate, usually referred to as “Roundup Ready” crops (RR). Wait, hold the phone, what are genetically modified crops?
Genetically modified crops have been created in a laboratory- just like the Impossible Burger. Their genetic material has been artificially manipulated through genetic engineering.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are genetically modified crops, have been engineered to endure the direct application of an herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Hence, why they’re called “Roundup Ready”. However, GMO’s do not stop at withstanding herbicides, they now are used to resist browning of apples or create seedless watermelons.
Over the last 25 years we have seen the most profound explosion of chronic disease in human history.
Glyphosate is a water-soluble toxin. What does that mean? Just simply that it’s able to dissolve in water. Roughly 60% of the human body is made up of water.
While you may have over 20,000 chemicals in your body, two that are particularly hazardous to your brain are glyphosate and aluminum. Glyphosate is an analog of the amino acid glycine. It attaches in places where you need glycine. Importantly, glycine is used up in the detoxification process, hence many of us do not have enough glycine for efficient detoxification.3
To add on to that, Glyphosate can lower the sulfate levels inside your body. Sulfate is needed to produce glutathione. Glutathione is your body’s chief detoxing agent to xenobiotics. Xenobiotics are harmful environmental compounds such as pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.
I may have lost you with that biology mumbo-jumbo so let me break this down:
Do you see the issue here?
Glyphosate impairs VITAL biochemical cascades inside your body.
The United States of America has THE MOST expensive healthcare system in the world. Why is our health continuing to decline? Let’s invest in our health and well-being. Let's focus on healing from the inside out. We deserve it, our children deserve it.
Let's get back to health,
Okay, first let’s do a little breakdown of the type of beef that’s readily available for purchase:
100% Grass Fed: ALL of the cow’s nutrition comes from fresh grasses, dried and stored forages- no grains. Even in the winter! There is now a certification to prove that your cattle are 100% grass fed.
Grass Fed: SOME of the animals’ diet came from fresh pasture or dried grasses like hay. It could be a little, or it could be a lot.
Organic: To be certified organic, animals must meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) livestock requirements. They must only be fed certified organic feed and cannot receive any growth hormones or antibiotics. This means, no herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc. can used on their food.
All-Natural: Somewhat of a buzzword, but simply means that a cow was raised without antibiotics and hormones.
Pasture Raised: Cattle can roam outside and are not confined to indoor feedlots.
Organic, 100% Grass Fed: Go ahead an combine the organic and 100% grass fed definition and voila! Cattle are only fed grasses, never grain. Cattle are never given antibiotics or hormones.
I’ve mentioned before that I live on an organic, 100% grass fed dairy farm. I will not pretend that I know everything about farming, but I now know more than I ever have. I’m always learning- I’m unapologetically a nerd. However, nutrition education is pretty black and white and that’s this blog’s primary focus.
I also need to make something very clear; I support ALL farmers.
Farming is hard, dangerous, and underappreciated.
My quick farm life definitions:
I did not grow up on a farm- I am from Wisconsin- I didn’t know all these definitions
Cow: fully grown female who has born a calf.
Heifer: a young female cow that has not born a calf.
Steer: young neutered male.
Bull: an uncastrated male.
Beef Cattle: cattle raised for meat production.
Beef: is the culinary name for meat from cattle.
Cattle: large ruminant animals with horns and cloven hoofs, domesticated for meat or milk.
Alright, you’re heading home to cook supper and you need some hamburger, you need gas, and you drive right past a Kwik Trip. $1.99 for a pound of hamburger and it says, “all natural”?! You’re thinking you hit the jackpot, right? Wrong. (Now, I’m not just blasting Kwik Trip, these comments will remain the same for traditional store-bought hamburger.)
You are what you eat. Cliche, I know, but it’s true. What cattle eat significantly affects the nutrient composition of its beef.
Let’s look at the traditional, conventional (typical) cattle diet:
Corn Silage- which is the corn stalk, the corn cob, and the shell corn processed
Roasted Soybeans- cooked soybeans that have high bypass protein
Minerals and Vitamins
What do I see? Grains, grains, and more grains- which means inflammation. To top it off, if the grains aren’t organic, they’ve been sprayed with toxic chemicals. Moreover, they’re usually genetically modified. This means, the seed was created in a lab in order to be sprayed with Roundup. Yikes.
The composition of fatty acids is completely different:
Omega-3s: Grass fed beef contains up to five times as much omega-3’s PMID: 20807460 Research shows that 100% grass fed organic beef has comparable omega 3s to deep sea fish.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Grass fed beef contains about twice as much CLA PMID: 20219103 CLA exhibits potent antioxidant activity.
Grass fed meat contains considerably more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals:
Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are precursors to vitamin A- they are found in plants. Grain fed beef doesn’t have adequate levels of carotenoids- grains don’t contain them.
Antioxidants, vitamin E, glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase.
Zinc, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. PMID: 20219103
I hope it’s clear by now that when it comes to red meat, quality makes a big difference. I understand that you’re not going to be buying organic grass fed beef for $1.99 a pound. But, remember that grass fed meat is more nutrient dense than grain fed. So even though grass fed is more expensive, you’re getting more nutritional bang for your buck.
Have you switched to a natural deodorant, but you can’t stand ‘your’ smell? This is what I call the transition period, and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t last forever! (Hallelujah!) AND this armpit detox will help speed up the stinky stage.
Wait, why even detox your armpits at all? Sounds weird, right? Well, you’ll thank me later!
First, let’s clear up the difference because deodorant and antiperspirant; they are two different things. Deodorant is meant to reduce body odor, and antiperspirant is meant to limit sweat. Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants contain chemicals and additives.
This is the chemical list in some deodorants and antiperspirants:
· Aluminum– This is found in antiperspirants. The aluminum limits wetness by blocking your underarm sweat ducts and reduces body odor by inhibiting the bacteria that feed on your sweat. The two main health issues associated with aluminum in deodorant are Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.
· Phthalates–Endocrine disruptors often used in plastic to increase flexibility. These can cause hormone imbalance which can lead to infertility.
· Propylene glycol– Also known as, antifreeze. Associated with a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergies
· Formaldehyde- You read that right… A known carcinogen… must kill the germs though
· Parabens- Another endocrine disruptor! This is preservative that leads to hormonal imbalance.
Are you looking for a new, non-toxic deodorant that works!?
My personal favorite is Primally Pure's Charcoal Deodorant!
Use code: DRTARYN for an extra discount.
Check out our Products We Love Page!
Are your armpits smelly?
Are you getting a rash from the baking soda in your natural deodorant?
The buildup of toxic chemicals could be the reason, and most likely is. Sometimes when you use a natural deodorant you will notice your armpits can smell bad. After detoxing your armpits, the odor and/or rash will continue to fade.
But why all this fuss about your armpits?!
Axillary lymph nodes are found in your pits. The purpose of these nodes are to support your immune system but to also filter out "bad guys" like cancer cells. Putting endocrine disruption chemicals directly on top of your lymph nodes is asking for problems. You armpits NEED to sweat, antiperspirants aren't allowing that. When you sweat, you detox.
Dr. Taryn's Detoxifying Armpit Recipe
1 TBSP bentonite clay
2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar (Bragg's)
1. Mix ingredients together to create a paste.
2. Spread in an even layer over the armpits and allow to sit for 5-20 minutes. (If this is your first time doing the detox, I suggest you start with 5 minutes.) You’ll start slowly and work up to a longer amount of time once you see how your body reacts.
If it hurts at all, remove immediately.
3. Wash off in the shower or with a warm, wet washcloth. (I personally do it right before I shower.)
Repeat as needed until underarm odor goes away and natural deodorant is non-irritating.
Some deodorant’s I suggest- Primally Pure, Primal Pit Paste, Piper Wai, Smiley Pits, Vermont Soap, Pure Haven, Native
Me personal favorite is Primally Pure's Charcoal Deodorant!
Use code: DRTARYN for an extra discount!
Shampooing your carpets (with non-toxic cleaner) regularly, can improve you air quality. I also strongly recommend a ‘no shoe rule’! Why is this? Enforcing a no shoe rule will dramatically decrease the toxins in your home.
Did you know carpeting is actually one of the most powerful natural air filters in your home, trapping dirt and germs from the air. Now, Let’s look at what’s lurking in our carpets.
Dust mites are microscopic creatures. They are one of the major indoor triggers for people with allergies and asthma. Dust mites are nearly everywhere, and they feed on dead human skin cells found in dust.
Pets, shoes, kiddos, etc. bring bacteria into the home. Carpets create perfect homes for growth of bacterial colonies, especially if it’s cleaned infrequently. Typical carpet contains roughly 200,000 bacteria per square inch on average. That makes your carpet more germ packed than your toilet seat!
Carpeting is a magnet for pollen and other allergens. They easily get stuck in the carpet fibers. Seasonal allergens enter the house through the windows and shoes, depositing right into your carpet.
Most carpets are treated with chemicals before they even enter your home. Did you purchase your phone from another family? I wonder what they used on their carpets... Remember my ‘no shoe rule’? It makes sense that chemical traces like herbicides, pesticides, gasoline, etc. have found on the soles of shoes.
I always suggest having your home tested for mold. Ongoing mold exposure is detrimental to your health and well-being. (Blog to come!) People living in humid parts of the world are more likely to have mold in their carpets. The fibers make it possible for mold to develop deep inside the fabric- without any noticeable symptoms.
Animal Hair, Dander, and Feces
Now, I am a huge proponent for pets being in the house. Having pets, like dogs or cats, are very beneficial for overall health and well-being. Fur sheds and it’s often deposited into the carpet and will inevitably get trapped between the fibers. Pets track in bacteria and feces- shampooing regularly for pet owners is a must.
Mud and Dirt
REMOVE YOUR SHOES! Pets, shoes, and kiddos are the main culprits when it comes to mud and dirt hiding in your carpets.
Skin Cell Flakes
Yes, you read that right. This sounds nasty but it’s a normal part of life. It’s estimated that the human your skin makes up about 16% of your body weight, meaning you have roughly 1.6 trillion skin cells. Within 24 hours, you lose almost a million skin cells. These are scattered throughout the home and often deposited in the carpet. Remember, dust mites live on dead human skin cells?
I’m not sure I need to or want to elaborate on all the different bugs that could be (and are) in your carpets.
Alright, alright, I'll stop the list. We’re [now] well aware of how dirty our carpets are. So, what do we do about it? Remove the toxic, expensive carpet cleaner you’ve added to your Amazon cart, Karen!
The whole point of this blog is to reduce chemicals in our homes. Spraying toxic concoctions on our carpets to “clean” them sounds foolish, doesn’t it? These chemicals absorb into our skin and wreak havoc on our bodies. My daughter puts ev-er-y thing in her mouth! I definitely don’t want these “cleaning” chemicals entering her system.
But no worries, there are safe options!
I’m going to share my favorite safe, easy, affordable and effective DIY recipe.
My go to:
1 teaspoon Norwex powder detergent (I've also used Molly's Suds)
1 cup vinegar
Some drops of your favorite essential oil (More or less pending the odor of your carpets.) I personally like lemon grass for a long list of reasons.
Stir in hot water to dissolve.
The vinegar smell will fade once the carpet is dry.
Do you have a favorite recipe?! Please share!
I'm a firm believer that sharing life lessons helps those that want to learn, grow, and change their lives. Big or small, positive change is good for the soul. I also have been an open book most of my life- and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with the personal 'thank you' messages, the friendships, and the 'ah ha' moments that have evolved from this. I’m also okay with this being a completely different than usual blog post.
As I look back at 2019, I want to share some thoughts that I believe everyone will benefit from.
Just 3 minutes of meditation a day can improve your overall health. Simple, right? Wrong! It is incredibly difficult to shut your mind off for 3 whole minutes. However, I challenge you to employ this into your lifestyle in 2020.
While meditating include every single positive affirmation about yourself and your life, including those in it!
I don't know a single human being on this earth that doesn't encounter stress. However, it is how you react to that stressful situation that either helps or hurts your health. You can only control what you can control. Read that again. Constantly dwelling and worrying about things outside your control hurts not only your emotional health, but your physical and mental health as well.
Did you know while you're "stressing" your body is converting muscle into fat? Did you know while you're "stressing" your body is releasing a hormone called Cortisol? Cortisol impacts EVERY hormone in your body. Chronic elevation of Cortisol is not a good thing. Cortisol is supposed to be elevated in a flight or fight situation. For instance, if you're out in the woods and you see a bear, you run faster than you've ever ran- thanks to Cortisol. Are you exhausted when you wake up but can't for the life of you fall asleep at night or stay asleep? Are you irritable, moody, and/or anxious? Are you sick, often? Are you constipated or the opposite?
I personally removed 'friends' that weren't adding value, positivity, and/or growth to my life. Does that sound harsh? Maybe. But your mental health is much more important. If you have increased anxiety before time spent with a 'friend' I urge you to evaluate the pros and cons of that relationship. Does your 'friend' care about your health and well-being or do they care more about telling Janet everything you just confided in them? Does your friend bring added stress and/or drama into your life or do they help reduce it? Do you feel as if you're constantly giving and they're constantly taking? A toxic relationship is just that, toxic.
I personally encountered a significant amount of stressful life events in 2019. However, I felt rather cool as a cucumber through the majority. Why is this? (Besides the obvious benefit of me being a Functional Medicine Doctor and a Chiropractor). I must give credit where credit is due to the man in my life. Who you choose as your significant other either improves your health and well-being or drastically impacts it in a negative way.
I know I’ve mentioned that I live on an organic dairy farm, shout-out to all the farmers out there! However, this means that Derek works hard, long hours. We have two kids to take care of, two businesses, two dogs, and I am not even going to pretend that I know how many chickens, pigs, calves, heifers, or cows that we have. What am I getting at? He has every real excuse to not have extra time for anything. Nevertheless, he makes me a priority. He makes our kids a priority. He makes everything that relates to ‘us’ a priority. The days have come and gone where the woman does all the cooking, cleaning, and child caring. The days have also come and gone where the man does everything ‘man’ related. The world we live in is much different than it used to be. But some things remain the same, you truly need: respect, trust, love, and support. This man is my biggest supporter and one of the main reasons I’m able to change lives through Stittleburg RHC.
I’m going to pull out the mom card here- I’m a mom, I think about my children before myself, always. However, in 2019 I made a vow to myself that I was going to focus on bettering my health, which in turn bettered my children’s health. It’s now 2020 and I urge you to focus on bettering your health. Being an exhausted, worn out, no sex-drive, hair falling out, acne galore, just gimme 2 shots of expresso- but ‘I’m fine’ mom is NOT FINE! It’s time to take care of yourself.
Have a Happy New Year! And let's make 2020 your year,
Dr. Taryn Stittleburg, DC, CFMP, PSc.D