DIY Toxin Free Products

While we think we are cleaning our house in reality many times we are just dowsing our home in toxins! Below are some easy DIY products you can make for common household cleaning products that are toxin free! Best part is it can even save you money! Citrus essential oils (EO) main constituents are limonene which is a powerful antioxidant and cleansing agent. Egyptians used lemon EO to remove toxins from their bodies. There are many EO mentioned in the Bible as well. Limonene can dissolve oils so it can also eat through plastic, causing toxins in the plastic to now be in your mixture. So make sure to store these essential oils in a glass container. Vinegar is another great product to use for cleaning. It contains natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It can get ride of grease and mineral deposits like lime scale. Feel free to experiment and switch out essential oils in the recipes listed below! Air Purifier Citrus oils and great for cleaning and can ride toxins from the air in less than an hour! Lemon and grapefruit are great options. fill diffuser with water
  • 2 drops bergamot
  • 1 drops lemon
  • 1 drops grapefruit
Air freshener There is no wrong mixture so go crazy! 1 cup water
  • 6 drops lavender
  • 6 drops of lemon
  • 3 drops of peppermint
Dusting 1/3 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 4 drops lemon EO
Hardwood and ceramic tile floor cleaner 1 gallon hot water
  • 1/4 cup Castile liquid soap
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 10 dropa melaleuca EO
Dish soap 2 cups unscented liquid Castile soap
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 5 drops lime
  • 5 drops orange
Dishwasher powder. Approximately 24 loads 3 cups washing soap
  • 15 drops lemon or lime EO
  • 1 cup baking soda
Add 2 tablespoons to soap compartment per load. Bathroom Cleaning Powder 2 cups borax
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 10 drops melaleuca EO
  • 10 drops lemon EO
Dampen surface with vinegar and spinkle cleaning powder over area. Let sit for 10 minutes, scrub, rinse. Multipurpose Cleaning Spray 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 5 drops melaleuca EO
  • 5 drops lemon EO
This can be used anywhere you would use a multipurpose cleaner, countertops, mirrors, tile, and other household surfaces Laundry Detergent approximately 24-48 loads 1 finely grated bar baby mild unscented Castile soap
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • 10 drops lemon EO
  • 10 drops grapefruit EO
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons per load. Dryer Balls Wool balls
  • Any scent EO
Body butter 1 cup unrefined shea butter
  • 1/2 coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup bees wax
  • Jojoba (optional, wouldn’t use on face)
  • 15 drops frankincense
  • 10 drops geranium
  • 15 drops lavender
  • Or 20 drops copiaba
Heat shea butter, bees wax, and coconut oil in double boiler. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for an hour. Once solid add EO, whip with mixer until smooth, and store in glass container. If you want to use the body butter on your full body including your face I would leave jojoba out, it can clog up your pores. Homemade Deodorant 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (optional)
  • 5 drops lime or lemon EO
  • 5 drops bergamot EO
  • 1/2 teaspoon bees wax
Melaleuca reduces odor-causing bacteria. Bergamot has a great citrus smell and purifies skin. You can also use other EO’s lavender, lime, geranium, thyme, and frankincense. In double boiler melt shea butter, coconut oil, and bees wax until melted. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrow root. Add desired essential oils. Store in glass container or old deodorant stick. Bees wax will help solidify deodorant if you live in a hot climate. Body Wash 10-ounce  1 cup unscented mild Castile soap
  • 1/3 cup organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E
  • 3 teaspoons glycerin
  • 25 drops lavender (or any other EO)
If children 6 and under will be using it only 10 drops EO. Sleep Diffuser Blend Roman chamomile is known as the peacekeeper EO. Lavender is calming. Vetiver oil has been used in research for ADHD and is great at calming the nervous system. 2 drops lavender
  • 1 drop vetiver
  • 1 drop roman chamomile
If you have 5-10 essential oils you can DIY almost any of these recipes! You can save a ton of money and live toxin free at the same time! If you are not into DIY it is okay. There is a website call EWG.org. They will rate products A-F based on ingredients and safety hazards. They have guides for household cleaning, laundry, makeup, etc. While you are not in control of all the ingredients switching from an F product to an A is still a step towards a healthier toxin free lifestyle. If you have a favorite DIY product let me know!

Toxins– Are They Making Your Health Issues Worse?

I recently attended a week long detox summit. It was very informative and I learned a lot. I’m torn between two view points. On one hand I don’t think many people realize the toxin overload that we are presented with on a daily basis and people should be aware. On the other, I don’t want people to live in fear of toxins or let it add another stressor to your life.

With that being said. I do believe we should be aware of the more common toxins we come into contact with everyday and ways we can help to minimize the toxin overload.

There is so much that could be covered here so I’m just going to introduce you to some that I believe could be an easy solution to limit exposure in your daily life. So before we dive in take a deep breath, realize that our life is a learning experience, if something doesn’t resinate with you that is okay! If it does resinate with you then work on making a switch and over time the more changes you make the healthier you and your family will be.

There are toxins all around us. We have pesticides in our foods, toxins and heavy metals in our beauty products, vaccines have heavy metals and toxins in them, our lifestyle habits introduce toxins, there are environmental pollutants, and toxins in our water supply. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency everyone has 700 chemicals on average in our bodies and babies average around 70. GASP!

There are 80,000 to 85,000 chemicals approved for use in the United States, but only 200 of these have been subjected to testing.

Scientific evidence shows that food additives, pesticides, drugs, and other pollutants can remain stored in the body long after exposure. Your body is going to do everything it can to get those toxins out of the blood stream and away from our vital organs. Because of this the toxins that are not excreted build up in our tissues and can do ongoing damage. This is why I’m a huge fan of detoxification (protocols and Infrared Sauna… More on this later).

Our bodies were designed with a defense mechanism to help filter out toxins. However, if it becomes bombarded with toxin exposures it may not be able to keep up. While we cannot avoid all the toxins and chemicals we can learn to be proactive and limit exposure in areas that we can control. We can choose what we expose our bodies to topically, what we drink, how we clean our environment, and what we consume.

Pesticides

Several billion pounds of pesticides and herbicides are sprayed in the U.S. each year on our crops (1). When ingested it causes all kinds of disruption in our bodies including leaky gut and inflammation. Gut dysbiosis is believed to play a major role in autoimmune conditions. Pesticides being sprayed on our crops infects the soil and also contaminates the air and water supply. Common pesticides may contain lead, copper, arsenic, and other metals.

Just recently the EPA approved the use of sulfoxaflor on crops such as citrus, corn, soybean, strawberries, pineapples, and pumpkins. This insecticide is considered highly toxic to bees (2).

Science has shown that the more pesticides used on our crops, the more resistant the pests have become.

This is where organic food choices become important. In 2017 the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 70% of our produce was contaminated with over 178 different pesticides and residues, even after the produce was cleaned and peeled. When trying to purchase Organic food at the very least you should consider the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. The clean 15 when tested only had a max of four pesticides detected. The Dirty Dozen are foods you should purchase organically because of their high levels of contamination.

Dirty Dozen

StrawberriesPears
SpinachCherries
NectarinesTomatoes
ApplesBell Peppers
PeachesPotatoes
CeleryGrapes

Clean 15

Sweet CornMangoes
AvocadosEggplant
PineapplesHoneydew Melon
CabbageKiwis
OnionsCantaloupe
Frozen Sweet PeasCauliflower
PapayasGrapefruit
Asparagus

Heavy Metals

When you think about heavy metals one source you probably don’t consider is foods you ingest. Mercury, aluminum, lead, nickel, and arsenic are common metals that can be found in food, drinks, air, fillings in your teeth, household cleaners, and drinking water. Heavy metals cause oxidative stress and damage your mitochondria. It can compete for your minerals, co-factors, disrupt your hormones, and deplete antioxidant levels.

Cleaning Products

Have you ever picked up a cleaning product and looked at the list of ingredients that you can hardly pronounce? Many of these chemicals can cause short and long term health issues. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that the air inside our homes is two to five times more polluted than the outside air! Toxins are produced from cleaning products, air fresheners, paints, carpets, furniture, smoke from cooking, dirty air filters, and many other sources. Did you know there is such a thing as sick building syndrome? It can be found in office buildings and hotels where the same air is recirculated over and over again. This can be why when you stay in a hotel you may have crazy symptoms that appear or you just feel generally worse. I recently heard someone mention that you could not pay him enough money to move into a newly built home due to all the toxins used in building supplies.

Essential oils can rid the air of toxins. Certain essential oils have an antimicrobial property and can rid toxins with an hour. When riding toxins in your home start small. Replace one thing at a time. While thinking of replacing everything can seem overwhelming making small changes and swapping essential oils for your cleaning products can actually save you money!

Personal Care Products

I really started reading the labels on personal care products four years ago when I started battling eczema. I could not believe the long list of ingredients in a bottle of lotion. Ingredients that I even with a chemist background had trouble pronouncing. Your skin is the largest organ of the body. It is essentially a big sponge and is absorbing the chemicals in the products we put onto our skin. There are studies linking toxins and synthetics in personal care products to chronic diseases, reproductive toxicity, autoimmunity, allergies, and even cancer.

The average woman uses around ten to twelve products daily on her skin, this includes 126 ingredients, and of those 90% have never been researched for safety by any accountable institution. A woman can absorb five pounds of toxins per year just from her beauty- routine!

Parabans and phthalates, which are banned in many countries, are used in fragrances, hair-care, and cosmetics. The only mandates when it comes to personal products are that drug like ingredients be listed as “Active Ingredients.” These toxins have even shown up in breast milk.

It is hard to know what ingredients are safe and which are not when you look at a personal care products. The best recommendation I can make is to make as many products as you can at home. Body butter is extremely easy to make and moisturizes in my opinion better then any store bought lotion.

Xenoestrogens mimic estrogen in the body and cause estrogen dominance, disrupt your endocrine system, and cause other bodily issues. In men it can cause infertility, genital deformities, and even cancer.

Most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants can build up toxins and cause hormonal imbalance. I use to hear the horror stories about how natural deodorants left you smelly so I was terrified to make the switch! However, toxins are usually expelled with sweating so while antiperspirants cover the smell they block the bodies ability to expel harmful substances which lead to an increase in toxicity. Here’s what is commonly found in deodorants.

  • Aluminum/potassium alum – An active ingredient often used to plug the sweat glands, aluminum is suspected of causing hormonal imbalances by mimicking estrogen in the body. It is also connected to neurotoxicity and respiratory complaints. (3, 4, 5)
  • Parabens – Parabens typically function as preservatives, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. Parabens have also been linked to hormonal imbalances, as they can mimic estrogen.
  • Phthalates – Phthalates are used to keep a product flexible. However, again they can mimic estrogen and add to the toxic load on our bodies. (6)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate – This ingredient is added as an emulsifier, but, same as with the previous products, is a suspected carcinogen and also hinders the body’s detoxification efforts. (7)
  • Fragrance/parfum – Unfortunately, the problems outweigh the benefits when we consider that many harmful chemicals can be included under the listing of fragrance or parfum in product ingredient lists, resulting in hormone imbalance and toxicity.

I could talk all day about dryer sheets. Dryer sheets contain over 150 chemicals! YIKES! I made an easy switch to dryer balls. They are made of wool and I add some drops of essential oils and toss them in. They are reusable and cost less than fifteen dollars.

Water

Two very common chemicals found in our drinking water is fluoride and chloride. While there is modest evidence that Fluoride may be useful for preventing cavities it is not great when ingested. High fluoride levels have been linked to mottled teeth (brown teeth). Over the past two decades many communities in Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand have stopped fluoridating their water supplies and in Israel the Minister for Health announced the end of mandatory water fluoridation in 2013 (8).

There has never been a fluoride deficiency disease documented. A review by the National Research Council in the USA for the Environmental Protection Agency which examined toxicological and physiological effects of fluoride on water. This review identified a number of potential and established adverse effects including cognitive impairment, hypothyroidism, dental and skeletal fluorosis, enzyme and electrolyte derangement, and cancer (9).

Fluoride is a known enzyme disruptor. It can compete with magnesium and calcium and derange bone formation and resorptions processes. This can lead to calcium deficiency, magnesium deficiency, hyperkalemia, and ventricular fibrillation (10).

Fluoride is not just found in our water supply . It can be in found in the manufacturing of ceramics, pesticides, aerosol propellants, refrigerants, glassware, and Teflon cookware.

Chlorine toxicity is associated with fatigue, heart disease, cancer, renal, and thyroid issues. Heavy metals are also commonly found in water.

Are you starting to see how avoidance is the best form of detoxification we can implement?!?! Or why I believe detoxification should be a lifestyle. While it may seen overwhelming at first. Hang in there! I’ll share some simple DIY toxin free cleaning solutions soon!

Blueberry Gelato

Recipe and photo by Bulletproof

I love desserts and Ice cream! Try this blueberry gelato for an antioxidant packed ice cream!

  • 10 oz. organic blueberries
  • 5 oz. (1 can) coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. Brain Octane oil or Coconut oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Pinch of powdered vanilla (I like to use my vanilla bone broth powder)
  • 3 tbsp. xylitol
  • 2 grams (2000 mg) ascorbic acid, for tartness (ascorbic acid is vitamin C; if you take it as a supplement you can just break open a couple capsules)

Directions

  • Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the blended mix into an ice cube tray (silicone is best) and stick in the freezer for 3 hours, stirring every hour (or use an ice cream maker, if you have one).
  • Once frozen, put the cubes back in the blender and blend briefly, just until smooth.
  • Enjoy!

Can Chiropractic Help The Opioid Crisis?

An estimated 25 million Americans live with chronic pain. In the U.S. millions of Americans rely on pain medication. Hundreds of thousands of opioid prescriptions are dispensed everyday in the U.S..

Many states have started recommending patients seek out a drug free pain relief option, one of those being chiropractic. There have been many studies showing the benefits of chiropractic as a cost-effective approach to musculoskeletal pain. In 2016 the Lancet published a paper that showed chiropractic care has been proven in scientific literature to be effective treatment for neck and low back pain.

In another 2016 study, Association between Utilization of Chiropractic Services and Use of Prescription Opioids Among Patients with Low Back Pain, found a 55 percent reduction in the likelihood of people filling prescriptions for opioids in those who received chiropractic care as compared to those who did not. 1

This year Medscape Medical News has reported on research out of the Yale School of Medicine revealing that “patients who visited a chiropractor for a musculoskeletal pain condition were 49 percent less likely to receive an opioid prescription than their counterparts who went to other healthcare providers.”2

“Preventing opioid addiction and overdose continues to be a significant public health priority; and as part of a strategy to lessen opioid use, clinical guidelines now recommend many non-pharmacological options to be considered as front-line treatment ahead of any medication,” lead author Kelsey L. Corcoran, DC, VA Connecticut Health Care System and Yale Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, told Medscape Medical News. “Chiropractors provide many of the treatments included in the clinical guidelines for the initial treatment of low back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, and hand.”

In January, The Trump administration released a policy to encourage private Medicare Advantage plans to cover non-opioid pain treatment recommended by a doctor. Congress also passed opioid legislation directing the Department of Health and Human Services to review its payment policies so that doctors are not encouraged to prescribe opioids over a conservative option.

One study also found that chiropractic care was associated with a reduction in just over a quarter million visits to a primary care doctor nationally, at a cost of $83.5 million. They found that chiropractic care reduced the number of visits to a primary care doctor for back and neck pain among adults. 3

In a recent study published by Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research Investigators found that patients who received chiropractic care integrated with usual medical care had:

  • better short-term improvements in low-back pain intensity and pain-related disability compared to patients who received usual medical care along.
  • decreased low-back pain intensity compared to patients who received usual medical care along.
  • decreased their use of pain medication compared to patients who received usual medical care along.
  • had greater perceived improvement for low back pain than UMC alone.

The study was released in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s online JAMA Network Open. The study was the largest randomized clinical trial in chiropractic research in the U.S. to date. It involved 750 active-duty U.S. military personnel at three sites across the country. 4

I know first hand chiropractic can be the drug free alternative for pain relief. It saved me when I was 10 years old and the only option given was pain medication anytime I was active. Chiropractic gave me an alternative to live a pain free life without the use of medication and I know it can do the same for others.

Should You Complete A Detox Program?

We are bombarded with toxins in our everyday life. In the US there are 80,000 chemicals that are registered for use. 800,000,000 pounds of herbicides are used per year. 167 industrial chemicals are found in adults with no employment related to exposure. Even our skin care regimen includes toxins. We can do our best to minimize our exposure by eating whole foods, organic foods, using organic skincare. However we are still exposed to toxins throughout our day. If we have an excess buildup of toxins it can inhibit our bodies natural ability to detoxify these toxins. So should you complete a detox program? The answer is probably yes!

A build up of toxins in your body can lead to symptoms of

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Food cravings and weight gain
  • Brain fog
  • Skin issues
  • Joint discomfort

There are many different ways to detox. I will sometimes complete an extended water fast. One detox that I like to do one to two times a year is Standard Process Detox Balance Program. Their detox is a whole food-base nutrition that helps support toxin removal through a 28 day or 10 day detox.

It is a three phase process that unlocks fat soluble toxins and makes them water soluble so that it is easier for your body to remove. The shakes are made from whole food-based nutrition and supply your body with key nutrients and phytonutrients that support each phase of the detox

During phase 1 you will unlock the fat soluble toxins and transform them into a water-soluble form.

Phase 2 will be to neutralize the highly toxic substances that are produced during phase 1. They’ll be converted into non-toxic molecules and become even more water-soluble

Phase 3 will eliminate the water-soluble toxins out of the cells and the body will eliminate them.

With this program you will drink one, two or three Standard Process Detox Balance Shakes per day. You’ll get a list of meals with easy recipes and tips to follow throughout the program.

During the detox you’ll eat healthy vegetables, fruits, And lean meats in addition to your daily shakes. You will get a shopping list of approved vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and fats that you can use throughout the detox.

The best part is you’ll get to complete the detox with me! I’ll create a private Facebook group that everyone that is completing the detox will be a part of. You will get daily accountability, you can reach out with any questions during the detox phase, and we’ll go through recipes and different delicious easy meal options.

We will start in February so I’ll be ordering the kits at the end of the week. Reach out today to join in and order your kit! Getting healthy is better together!

How Much Should You Exercise?

So last week I asked how much you should workout per week. Now this is a wide topic and varies greatly. But what is the minimum amount of exercise per week needed to receive health benefits?

There is data that shows if you exceed 60 minutes of intense exercise a day you actually increase your risk of mortality. Strenuous exercise over a prolonged time can actually causes inflammation in the body. So what is the sweet spot? Where we can receive the benefits from exercise and movement but not crossover into too much exercise that may be damaging.

The recommendation for exercising has been 150 minutes per week or 75 minutes of very intense, rigorous exercise per week. To some this sounds great but to others it sounds like another stressors to try to find time to fit this into their busy schedule.

Do you have to actually set aside a time to exercise every day? Or is there certain movements we can do throughout the day that counts as exercise? We were not made to be sedentary which unfortunately is what a lot of jobs are now. Sitting can actually calls low back pain. So by sitting all day your glutes become inactivated. Your psoas muscle (hip flexors) become short and tight. This can pull on your low back and cause lower back pain.


For individuals who are not competitive athletes there is actually good news. Brief high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions with some combined strength training spread throughout the day can actually give you major health benefits. Research shows that HIIT done for just four minutes a day can actually increase your mitochondrial cells. All you would have to do is 20 seconds full out, all you got, and 10 seconds off. You repeat this for four minutes. Of course you add a warm-up and a cool down so in total we’re talking less than 10 minutes.

So for those of you that don’t like the whole formal exercise thing this is a great option. Another great option would be get outside and play some kind of sport such as soccer, tennis, or ride your bike. Then just throw a couple weight training sessions into the mix a couple of times a week. Cross training your body is the best form of exercise. I know as a female you get hit with a lot of cardio which is great for your heart health but then you miss out on all the benefits of strength training your muscles. So add some variety into your workout.

The best option would be to work out throughout today. Get some weights or kettlebells at your job and every 30 minutes take a break and do a couple squats, kettlebell swings, climb the stairs, or go walk outside in the sunshine during your break. The point is to try to move throughout your day instead of just sitting. Then you don’t have to worry at the beginning or end of the day and stress yourself out about getting up earlier or staying up late to work out.

Happy Exercising!

Why Hydration Is Important

I’m sure some of my practice members think I’m obsessed with their hydration status but there is a reason why! About two-thirds of your body is water! According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, lungs 83%, skin 64%, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and bones come in at 31% water! Think it’s important yet?

Here’s some essential functions of water in your body:

  • Water is the building material of your cells.
  • Regulates body temperature by sweating and respiration
  • Assists in elimination of toxins and waste products through urination and bowel movements
  • Acts as a shock absorber
  • Forms saliva and digestive enzymes
  • Helps muscles contract
  • Makes up part of our blood that carries oxygen throughout our body
  • Lubricates joints

One study conducted by Harvard found that more than half of American children are dehydrated. One quarter of children in the US do not drink water on a daily basis.

When you have lost between one to two percent of your total water content your body will signal and you will feel thirsty. By this time it is likely that you are already in the early stages of dehydration.

Common symptoms are dehydration include:

  • Headache
  • Foggy brain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Back and joint ache
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Sugar cravings

A good goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. So if you weigh 150lbs you should aim to drink approximately 75oz of water. This will vary based on activity level, heat, perspiration. So drink up!