Why I Buy All-Natural Face Wash

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All of my posts have been about food (what we put in our bodies) so far, but it’s also important to know what we are putting on our bodies. Sixty percent of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies, so if we are covering our bodies with chemical products, all of that is going inside of us!

In this post, I’m going to talk a little about face wash, what to avoid in ingredients lists, and some of my favorite natural products. First of all, bottles labeled “gentle,” “non-comedogenic” or “hypoallergenic” can contain the harshest ingredients, some of which include dyes, silicones, and chemical preservatives. The health and beauty industry knows how to label products to make them sound good, when they really are not good for us at all. I’m going to give you a list of some ingredients that you want to avoid when buying face wash.

  • 1-4-dioxane: This could also be listed as PEGpolyethylenepolyethylene glycolpolyoxyethylene, or ingredients ending in “eth” and “oxynol.” This is carcinogenic (cancer-causing). 
  • “Ethanolamines”: Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA)/Ethanolamine (ETA): Some of the names they may be called in ingredients lists are cocomide DEA, cocomide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA lauryl sulfate, triethanolamine. This has been linked to cancer and a study showed that it slowed brain development in baby mice when applied to their mothers during pregnancy.
  • Fragrance: This can be listed as fragrance, perfume, and parfum. Trade-secret laws have made it where fragrances don’t all have to be listed, so this one word can mean up to 500 chemicals!
  • Parabens: Parabens are listed as methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutlyparaben, and propylparaben. Parabens have been proven to act like the hormone estrogen and have been found in breast tumor tissue.
  • Propylene Glycol (PG), Ethylen Glycol, Diethelene Glycol, Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): This can be derived naturally, but when listed with lots of other chemicals, you can bet that it is not. This ingredient can cause rashes and acne. Contaminants can include carcinogens 1,4-dioxane, lead, nickel, and arsenic.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: These can also be listed as sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium salt sulphuric acid, monododecyl ester, or PEG lauryl sulfate. SLS has been shown to be difficult for the liver to metabolize, is a possible endocrine disruptor, and is a common skin, scalp, and eye irritant. 

This list only puts a dent in the harmful chemicals that can be found in our products. For this reason I try to buy all-natural and organic beauty products. (I know I listed conditions that wouldn’t necessarily be connected with washing your face, but the ingredients listed can be found in more than your face wash.)

My favorite face washes are Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream and Burt’s Bees Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub. Both are 100% natural. Other good natural products include the Jason line, Alba products, Yes To line, Avalon Organics, Weleda, Lavera, and Juice Beauty.  Wal-Mart and Target now have an all-natural section in the health and beauty part of their stores where you can find some of these. If you want to go with a bar soap, Whole Foods has a Triple-Milled Organic Soap that’s reasonably priced. Since I have been using all-natural face wash, I wash my face at night before I go to bed and don’t have to wash it again in the morning. (Of course I change my pillow cases out once a week.) I used to wash my face both at night and in the morning, when I used to use chemical cleansers, and I struggled a lot more with acne then. (Acne problems also have a lot to do with what you eat and the amount of water you drink.)

So check out what ingredients are in your face wash (and other beauty products), and try to look for natural products next time you go to the store.

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Source for this article:

  • No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt
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I Ate ‘Ice Cream’ for Breakfast

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This was my breakfast this morning, and it was divine! I started with sliced, frozen bananas.

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I threw them into the food processor.

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I let it grind them for about 30 seconds, until the bananas looked kind of like sand.

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At this point I stopped to scrape down the sides.

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I let it grind them for another 30 seconds until it was smooth and creamy.

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Then I added a spoonful of All-Natural Dark Chocolate Dreams made by Peanut Butter & Company.

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I then let the food processor grind the chocolate peanut butter and bananas together for another 30 seconds and had my delectable finished product.

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Super easy and amazing! Here’s where I got this idea:

http://userealbutter.com/2010/08/12/single-ingredient-ice-cream-recipe/

They used peanut butter and cocoa powder, but I’m sure it’d be good with just peanut butter too. I’ve also eaten it just as straight banana, nothing added, and it tastes great like that too!

Enjoy!

Lemon Butter Salmon with Caribbean Quinoa and Asparagus and Red Bell Peppers

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Tonight for dinner, Josh and I ate lemon butter salmon, Caribbean quinoa, and asparagus and red bell peppers. Super scrumptious and simple! Simple is always a good thing!

I’ll start with the lemon butter salmon. For this you will need:

  • Tin foil
  • Lemon
  • Butter
  • Salmon
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I’m a huge fan of measuring everything exactly when I cook, but with this you can wing it.

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I got my salmon from Earth Fare. The package states, “No preservatives, no antibiotics, no added chemicals, no hormones, just 100% premium grade seafood and nothing else!”

Put your salmon on a baking sheet (wrapped in tin foil) and cook it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. That’s all you have to do with the salmon!

Next I got my quinoa going because I cooked the quinoa and the salmon both for 25 minutes. It made it easier to have them set to be ready at the same time so I could focus on chopping the asparagus and red bell peppers and getting them on the stove.

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I adapted this recipe from the back of the sun-dried tomatoes bag. I used:

  • 3 cups organic chicken broth, divided
  • 1 Tbsp organic EVOO
  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 3 dried tomato halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Method:

Bring 2 cups of broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa, oil, dried tomatoes, and lemon zest. Cover and cook on medium-high for 25 minutes. Keep checking and stirring it, adding the other cup of chicken broth as the quinoa soaks in the broth that’s already in the pot, and adjusting the heat as needed. Taste test it at about 23 minutes.

Now I need to apologize for the ingredients in the next picture not all being used in cooking my asparagus and red bell peppers. My original idea for this dinner was to make lemon-garlic shrimp and vegetables, but when I got to Earth Fare, shrimp was way more than I wanted to pay, and salmon was reasonably priced, so I tweaked it in the middle of my grocery run. I didn’t realize until I was half way through my vegetable recipe that the garlic, EVOO, and  broth were for the shrimp. If you want to try out the shrimp and veggies recipe, you can find the link at the bottom of this post. I’ve gotten a free pound of shrimp from Earth Fare before because of their e-mail coupons, so I might have to try it out if they send that out again soon!

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Anyway, if you are just making the vegetables you will need:

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sprinkle of parsley

Method:

Heat 2 tsp EVOO in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced bell peppers, asparagus pieces, lemon zest, and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

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I got most of my ingredients at Earth Fare. Don’t forget to get all-natural and organic ingredients. Even with your vegetables, it would be better to get them at a health food store to cut down on pesticides.

Enjoy!

Recipe Sources:

Why I Buy Organic Chicken

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Since I used organic chicken in my last recipe post, I thought this might be a good time to go into what is in conventional chicken, and why I try to avoid it. Conventional chicken farmers are constantly pumping their birds with antibiotics so that they do not develop infections that would cause their weight to drop. This is only because skinny chickens means they are losing profit. They are not concerned with our health, only their pockets. Researchers are very concerned however that our constant consumption of antibiotic-filled meat and poultry increases our likelihood of developing antibiotic resistance that could lead to future, more serious health issues.

Nicholas Kristof with the New York Times, claims in his article Arsenic in Our Chicken?, that conventional chickens are given active ingredients of Benadryl and Tylenol, arsenic, antibiotics, and caffeine frequently. Some chickens in China were actually given antidepressants!

Conventional farmers give green tea powder and coffee pulp to the chickens so that they stay awake longer and therefore are continually eating. The active ingredients of antidepressants, Benadryl and Tylenol given must be to keep them from getting sick and to keep them calm from all of the other things that have been pumped into them.

With conventional fruits and vegetables, peeling and washing greatly decreases the amount of pesticides and toxins. But with chicken and meat, these toxins are all through them because of the injections and exposure they have been given during their lifetime.

Organic farming does not allow artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, genetically modified organisms or toxic pesticides. I think I’ll stick with buying organic chicken.

Sources for this article:

http://omniintelligencer.com/Health-Wellness/Other-Health-Wellness/Why-You-Should-Avoid-Conventional-Chicken

http://livingmaxwell.com/another-reason-to-eat-organic-arsenic-prozac-in-chicken

Apple Walnut Chicken Salad Recipe

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My husband likes the Apple Pecan Chicken Salad at Wendy’s and I am always trying to find a salad that we can have for dinner that will be filling enough for him. So when I ran across this copycat recipe from sixsistersstuff.com I knew we had to try it.

Here are the ingredients we used:

  • One bag of organic romaine lettuce
  • Two organic apples cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup natural dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of cooked, cubed organic chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup natural blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup natural glazed walnuts

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Josh was sweet and cooked the chicken while I got the apples chopped and the rest of the salad put together. He gets the best husband  ever award. 🙂 Image

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

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Josh used Newman’s Own Italian dressing on his and I used Annie’s Naturals Honey Mustard. We had leftovers so we got to have it the next night too! We used Brianna’s Poppy Seed dressing then (which is my favorite by the way).

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This salad was so delicious! I definitely want to make it again very soon!

Processed Meat

Research has linked eating processed meat to heart disease, cancer, and an increased risk of early death. Findings from BMC Medicine have shown that the consumption of processed meat causes 3% of premature deaths and increases a person’s risk of dying from cancer by 11% and heart disease by 72%.

Since 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), has tried to encourage abstaining from processed meats completely. Dr. Rachel Thompson states that “strong evidence” affirms that consuming 50 grams of processed meat per day (that’s the equivalent of one sausage or two slices of bacon) increases a person’s risk of bowel cancer by 18% and eating 100 grams a day increases it by 36%.

Dr. Thompson also says that processed food as a whole contributes to obesity, which increases risk of cancer. Seven forms in particular are bowel, breast, gall bladder, kidneys, oesophagus, pancreas and womb. Also, salt consumption in large amounts has been linked to stomach cancer, and large quantities of salt are found in processed meats. Dementia and depression have also been linked to the consumption of processed foods. In 2010, Harvard researchers linked every 50 grams of processed meat a person consumes with a 19% increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and a 42% extra risk of heart disease.

When looking at ingredients of red meats, stay away from nitrites, nitrates, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Nitrites and nitrates have been proven to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Nitrates have been linked to intrauterine growth, miscarriage, sudden infant death syndrome, and infant heart problems when consumed by pregnant women. Nitrates and MSG are linked to brain cancer in children whose mothers consumed processed meats during pregnancy.

Sodium nitrite is used to make the meat look fresh by turning it a bright red color, nitrates are used to preserve the meat, and MSG makes the food addicting, so that it is much harder to stop eating food that contains it. So, needless to say, its much safer and healthier to look for uncured, all-natural, and organic red meat products.

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Sources I used for this article:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/527581-sodium-nitrate-in-bacon/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/07/processed-meat-scare-bacon-sandwich-health

http://institutefornaturalhealing.com/2012/04/processed-meats-declared-too-dangerous-for-human-consumption/