The Natural side of Things

natural-productsMy best friend from my teenage years is a cosmologist. She’s always asking me what products I use and what’s in them. To tell you the truth this is something I never really thought about. Are the products I use every day in fact hurting me? Answer to that, maybe. Did I know? Obviously not and I’m betting most consumers of these every day products we put on or in our bodies think they are perfectly safe for us. Some may not be, some in fact could be really bad for us. So I was thinking since she is so concerned about this that I would share these things with you. Why? Because I care about all of you! 🙂

One thing I put into my body everyday is Crystal Light. I HATE plain water. I have to force myself to drink it. If it weren’t for Crystal Light, the only thing I would drink is coffee and that’s not good. Well apparently there is something in Crystal Light and sweeteners called Aspartame. Check it out and learn what it is and what it does. After I read it I just can’t continue to keep putting into my body. I’m not one to be paranoid about every little thing but if I can possibly prevent a number of health problems, I’m going to. Plus I promised my friend I would never ingest it ever again! Most everything has aspartame in it, and goes by several different names. I’m not telling you to not drink it and I’m not telling you that this stuff will harm you. All I’m saying is the possibility of being harmful is there. It’s your decision whether you want to do the research and continue to ingest it or not. I’m not but that’s my personal decision. I just want you all to be aware of these things.

Another product I use on a daily bases and often during the day actually is deodorant. I have it with me at all times, just in case, no one likes to be smelly. I generally use Dove but whatever is on sale is fine too.

A study was conducted in 2004 by Dr. Kris McGrath, a Chicago allergist who claims to have found a connection between antiperspirants, underarm shaving and cancer. He believes the culprits in these antiperspirants are the toxins in aluminum salts such as aluminum chlorohydrate. He says they don’t normally penetrate the skin enough to cause a problem–unless the skin is shaven. If you disrupt the skin by shaving, it can open up the door, because just under the skin is the lymphatic system, which is connected to the breast.

In this study, more than 400 Chicago-area breast cancer survivors recalled their lifetime history of using antiperspirants and underarm shaving. He found that women who perform underarm shaving more aggressively had a diagnosis of breast cancer 22 years earlier than the non-users.

Now with the study above, British researchers have found traces of chemicals called parabens in tissue taken from women with breast cancer. These researchers also published a study last year in the Journal of Toxicology that suggested underarm cosmetics might be a cause of breast cancer. It is unclear how valid this proposed mechanism is, but it would sure seem safe to avoid all antiperspirants and deodorants just to be safe.

At the very least, if you are using a deodorant in order to avoid the aluminum in antiperspirant, you will also want to be certain that the deodorant you choose does not contain parabens. I found one that so far I like called Tom’s . It is a tad more expensive, I think I payed around $4.50 for it. Again I understand that some people will say, “well I’ve used it this long I’m not switching.” Or, “there are a lot of things bad for us, I’m not too worried about it.” That’s all fine, again I’m choosing to switch because if I can prevent something I’m going to. There are sites and doctors who dispute these claims and I’m not telling you what to believe. Do your own research if you’d like. As far as I’m concerned, again, if I can prevent I will. I until recently never really thought about these type of things nor did I think about long time affects of every day products. I’m leaning everyday towards the natural side of products. For myself along with my family. From the products we put in or on our bodies to the products we clean with. As you all may know some cleaning products with chemicals have been linked to birth defects and learning disabilities. Here’s one more link to check out is you’re interested. It offers 5 steps to a healthy home and world for our children and ourselves.

I find myself looking at the ingredients to most everything now. Oh my goodness I was looking at the back of my laundry detergent and ended up looking at the damn directions (this is totally off subject) and all these years I’ve been doing laundry wrong!!!! I always threw the clothes in the washer and then put the laundry soap in the dispenser and then start the water. Ah ha..no that is not the correct way! Soap and water first then add clothes. WTH…does everyone else do that??

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32 Responses to The Natural side of Things

  1. ljhealth says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I too used to love crystal light! I’ve really had an awakening the past year as I’ve researched the ingredients the US allows in the products we use.

    I recommend you always check the ingredients listed in your products at http://www.safecosmetics.com there are a lot of products that claim to be organic, free of toxic ingredients. Stacy Malkin wrote a book called Dying to Be Beautiful I highly recommend everyone read. My health blog has more information on the unregulated US cosmetic industry. http://www.ljhealth.wordpress.com I would really appreciate your feedback.
    Lori

  2. shane says:

    I don’t look at everything I eat or drink but I do know the dangers of Aspartame and I will not drink it or eat it. Aspartame is in a lot of candy now also especially gum. The other thing I look for and won’t touch is MSG- monosodium glutamate, It’s funny that you mentioned deoderant because I used to use antiperspirant until I heard of the cancer risk with the aluminium clorohydrate.

  3. Tessa says:

    Nikki, you are sweet for letting everyone know!
    I did know this about artificial sweeteners and about deodorant. I will look into using “Toms” deodorant! Even though I hate paying a high price, but if it can prevent something-you are right.
    I hardly every buy foods or water with sweetener or artifical coloring-try not too. I try to be all natural things,and take very little medications-it is the same with those-they have potent chemicals that after years of taking can cause other things to happen. I am having oral surgery this morning, and only if in pain will I be taking the pills they hand me! Some call me crazy.
    Thank you!! Tessa

  4. Tessa says:

    I am the same with you-If I read something isn’t good for me-I cannot continue with it for very long usually. Oh, I use to hate water too-but you can learn to like it plain and soon you’ll crave it!!

  5. mssc54 says:

    Okay now here’s one thing that I think about some times.

    Those “unnatural” things… where do they come from? I mean doesn’t somebody have to take something from something “natural” and combine them with this or that to make them “unnatural?”

    Things that make me go… hmmmmmmm.

  6. Just a Mom says:

    I drank about 12 diet cokes a day for over 20 years. About 2 years ago my doctor told me that was the worse stuff in the world! Due to alcohol my liver was in bad shape so I basically did a self detox of my liver. I drank only water for 2 weeks and only ate fresh foods, nothing that was packaged. I felt so much better just after 2 weeks!
    I always check products for Aspartame. We use Splenda or regular sugar to sweeten our food.
    As for the deodorant, I have heard of that before but I will take my chances on that one.

    Great post! Thanks for caring!

  7. Joy says:

    I became aware of the dangers of Aspartame when Darryl told me about it. It’s in diet pops I think. I also HATE water and couldn’t tell you the last time I drank it without coffee in it. I’ve tried over the years to like it but I just don’t. I personally think it’s gross. I drink probably half a can of cherry pepsi every two days. I guess I’m just a person who doesn’t get that thirsty.

    We’ve been buying our beef for years from someone we know and last fall we also bought a pig and chickens “organic” and I’ll tell you, it’s wonderful. I can’t even tell you the last time we bought our meat at a store.

    Thanks for posting this. It’s good to read stuff like this.

  8. starlaschat says:

    Thanks Joy all good information. This is stuff I have been thinking about and slowly changing. It’s hard when you do stuff one way all your life and then you find out it may be bad for you. But I think little by slow over time a person can learn whats bad and whats better. It’s definitely worth the efforts. Who wants to be sick? Not Me!!!

  9. SKL says:

    Nikki, thanks for posting this kind of article. This is something I continue to learn as I go. I really wish the information was more “out there.” Our government is willing to go to any lengths to address a theoretical, possibly mythical, future concern called “global warming,” yet does nothing to address these day-to-day dangers that are far less theoretical. Must be campaign contributions at stake. It’s a shame that most of us don’t even begin to be aware of these concerns until we’ve been on the “conventional” path for decades. They should be teaching them in school, somewhere between “condoms 101” and “LGBTwhatevertheheckelse 102.”

    I buy mostly organics, and avoid non-nutritional stuff for the most part, at least for day-to-day eating. As far as cleaning products, I can proudly say that I use them very little, preferring to wash mostly with water the few things I clean frequently. I am so glad that science has caught up with my theory: a dustball a day keeps the doctor away!

    As far as stuff I put on my body, for years I have been using an aluminum-free deodorant called “naturally dry” or something like that. I am not knowledgeable enough to be sure that it’s totally safe, but I think it’s better than the Secret antipersperant I was using before. (It also doesn’t stain clothes, for an added bonus.) I bought Toms recently, but the scent I bought smells horrible on me – kinda defeats the purpose – so I will stick to my old favorite. I do use Toms toothpaste exclusively. I use Aveeno soaps daily and Suave naturals shampoo 2x a week – probably not the best, but maybe I will change down the line.

    My dad has a bad skin sensitivity, so he can’t use anything that contains the most common ingredient in soaps and lotions (darn, I can’t remember the word), so I buy him some special stuff at my organic food store. I may switch to those myself at some point, as I also tend to have sensitive skin. But also being extremely cheap, it always hurts a little when I make a switch like that.

    • nikki says:

      I knew you of all our bloggers would like this one SKL. I agree I believe we use way too many cleaning products. Bleach is so over rated. A little germs is good for ya!! Builds your immune system. Think about it, if you’re constantly cleaning and disinfecting how are your kids going to react in the real world. You have to expose them to some germs just so their system can learn to fight it off. I mostly use water like you. I started using the Green Works stuff for the windows and such. And all powder stuff that you can sprinkle on your carpet…bad bad bad. I have babies crawling all over that, they’d inhale it!! Less IS more!!! I found two scents so far from Tom’s, Apricot & Lavender. So far they have worked for me. I am slowly switching all my products to Tom’s. How does the toothpaste taste, I wondered that??

      • Joy says:

        The only thing I use bleach for is I soak my toilet with it. I put it in at night and let it soak. I can’t stand the way it smells. It somehow stays with me and I smell it, or seems like I breath it for hours.

        I’ve also slowly been switching over to Green Works for a good year now. The only thing I can’t seem to give up is the Comet for my sinks.

      • SKL says:

        Toms toothpaste tastes pretty good. I have the minty one downstairs and the cinnamon upstairs right now. I like them both.

      • SKL says:

        Speaking of bleach, I’m conflicted about taking my kids swimming this coming summer, because all the pools have such a high concentration of chlorine in them. I won’t have a pool at home and our nearby beach is full of toxins from local industry and sewage. I just know my kids will love swimming and I can’t hold out forever. I just wish there was a reasonable middle ground.

        • Joy says:

          Swimming is something that we can’t afford not to teach the kids though so I feel it’s a must. We have a pool and a boat and they have to know how to swim. We just spend to much time in and near the water. I don’t have the answer for the chlorine.

          Sue, Nikki, can you smell it in our pool?

          • nikki says:

            Well seeing as I have never been in your pool, I don’t know. Just being around it though I have never been overwhelmed by it. And surprisingly it doesn’t affect Bailey’s skin. That’s the only pool he’s ever in though, he’s always in our lake but it’s very clean.

          • Sue says:

            No, I usually don’t smell it unless Paul goes over board with it! That hardly ever happens. Everyone should know how to swim I think and if that means using a public pool then so be it. Just shower off and change clothes before you leave, tell them not to drink the water, and then be happy that the public pool is using chlorine to kill all those nasty bugs people bring with them!

          • tessa says:

            We all swam in pools with chlorine growing up, and we are fine!!!

  10. Sue says:

    Good post, Nikki! I did know about the deodarant, but I had also read somewhere that you shouldn’t put it on right after a shower if you’ved shaved because there can be little nicks in your skin and that’s what lets in the irritants/chemicals. I have been using the Green Works products for awhile now and I like them. They smell a lot better then some of the other stuff I had! I still like Comet for my shower though:( Nothing cleans like it.

    The aspartame thing made me think of Darryl right away! I also have an aunt that drinks diet pop like it’s going out of style. Remember when those WOW chips became big?? They had no fat in them and were made with olestral which gave some people quite the “run” for their money! I don’t see those on the shelves anymore.

    I’ve tried using mineral based makeup and it kills my skin. I instantly break out and get a rash and then it takes forever to clear up so for now I’m sticking with what I already use.

    I thought Nikki mentioned this above, but now I can’t find it, that just because it says “natural” doesn’t make it good for you or a healthy option. The biggest one that comes to mind are those detoxifing body cleansers. Whether it’s for your bowel or whole body, you really have to be careful. The bowel (colon) cleansers are nothing but a big waste of money. You don’t need to cleanse your bowel! The bacteria that live there are there for a reason and when you start taking things to clean them out, you’re going to have more problems then what you started with! We can tell right away in a colonoscopy if someone uses bowel preps on a regular basis. They leave a thick, sticky, black substance on the lining of the bowel and then we can’t see what’s under there so we may miss a polyp (which could be cancerous). There’s a name for this, but of course, I can’t remember it! Anyway, just don’t use them!!!!

    Thanks for the informative post, Nikki! Happy orgasmic shopping everyone!

    • Joy says:

      “orgasmic” shopping!! LMAO!!!

    • nikki says:

      Yes Sue it is because of shaving and the aluminum goes into your skin that way. It’s habit for me to put it on as soon as I get out of the shower.
      I didn’t know that you could even get colon cleanser over the counter. I never looked for them but that seems like a pretty evasive thing to do with an over the counter cleanser.
      Another thing too is why is it so much more expensive to be healthy. Bad junk food is like $1 and veggies and fruits are sometimes very expensive. Same thing with the “natural” products, they are dollars more that the stuff that has all this added crap. I don’t get it! And people wonder why our country is obese and unhealthy!

      • SKL says:

        It may be true that ounce for ounce “healthy food” averages more expensive than the most popular junk food. But, you can still have a pretty low food bill even if you eat all organic. You just have to have some discipline. Don’t buy stuff that isn’t nutritious and never waste food. You can get two weeks’ worth of organic carrots or an apple or orange for the price of a single-serving bag of chips. Water is a lot cheaper than pop. Is cost really a valid excuse?

        • SKL says:

          I meant to say: cost isn’t a valid excuse, but ignorance is. Most people don’t fully understand their choices because a lot less money goes into education about healthy food than into advertising for junk food.

          Also, I was referring to tap water, not bottled water.

        • tessa says:

          So true! Water we drink for free. A bag of chips costs 2-4 dollars a bag, and so does a bag of apples.

      • tessa says:

        Yea, I spend ALOT on veggies and fruits-it kills Eric. It costs about 50 dollars worth to stock up for like 2 weeks. BUT healthy foods keep you full longer than junk snacks do. It is more expensive, because takes more work to ship them and keep them fresh and they spoil fast. Junk food last forever and they can mass produce it.

        Yes, there is a fast food place on every corner and most grocery stores are full with mostly bad foods. So we are an obese country. We are raised eating meat and potatoes! But I am happy more people are aware and starting to eat healthy.

        It use to be a church and bar on every corner…

  11. matt says:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

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