Personal care

How Toxic Is Your Bed?

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How to Stop Your Bed from Making You Sick

You likely make an effort to get good sleep at night, because you know sleep is vital for your health. Maybe you even bought a special memory foam mattress or a foam mattress topper, in hopes that it would help you sleep. But did you know your bed can expose you to toxic chemicals?

Unfortunately, most mattresses and bedding are dosed in flame-retardants and other chemicals like pesticides. As you sleep, the chemicals come into contact with your body and can be absorbed. These toxins from the off-gassing mattress are also released into the air to become part of the dust in your home. This is not a good scenario for health!

Read on to learn more about toxins that may be lurking in your bed and steps you can take to avoid these issues.

Chemicals in Mattresses

By law, mattresses must withstand an open flame from a blowtorch for over a minute without bursting into flame. This is generally accomplished by covering the mattress with flame-retardant chemicals, which are linked to various health issues. (1, 2)

These toxic, flame-retardant chemicals in mattresses include:

  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE). This is a strong flame-retardant. It was banned in the US in 2004, but if your mattress is old, you may still be getting exposed. Unfortunately, PBDE exposure has been linked to hormone imbalances, thyroid issues, cognitive difficulties, and more. It is especially harmful to children. (3, 4)

  • Organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs). This class of chemicals has been used as a replacement for PBDE; however, it comes with its own list of health risks, as OPFRs are known carcinogens and neurotoxicants. (5)

  • Formaldehyde. This one is used as an adhesive in some memory foam mattresses, and is a known carcinogen. (6)

  • Decabromodiphenyl Oxide. This is another potent flame retardant that is also suspected to be a carcinogen and neurological toxicant.

Dust Mites and Mold in Mattresses

In addition to chemicals, your mattress may be housing other unwanted visitors. Dust mites are tiny, spider-like creatures that are too small for us to see, but they love to live in mattresses. These tiny bugs extract their water from the air, so this means they like any warm, humid place they can find, such as your mattress.

While they don’t bite, they unfortunately do produce waste, which is highly allergenic for us. As Katie (Wellness Mama) notes in her article:

“Dust mite feces (their poop) contain powerful digestive enzymes that actually allow the resourceful dust mite to eat and gain energy from its own waste.

But for humans, these enzymes can be destructive. In fact, there are over 20 allergens in a single dust mite waste packet, which can easily enter the human bloodstream when disturbed and sent airborne.” (7)

Dust mite allergens have been linked to asthma, hay fever, conjunctivitis, eczema, and more. (8)

Additionally, the warm, humid atmosphere in mattresses makes them a great place to harbor toxic mold, which, if you know my story, is a big deal!

Pesticides in Bedding

Most sheets and blankets are made from cotton, which is one of the dirtiest crops in the world, sprayed with all kinds of pesticides. When pesticide-laden sheets come into contact with your skin, you can absorb these chemicals into your body. (9)

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to take care of these issues.

Unfortunately, there is still another way your bed might be making you sick.

EMF Exposure from Metal Bed Frames

If you’ve heard of exposure to EMFs (Electromagnetic Frequencies), you likely know it’s a controversial issue. While there are some outrageous claims, there is enough evidence that it should inspire us to do what we can to protect ourselves and our families.

Per Claus Plummer, a holistic sleep coach from Samina Sleep Systems (you can see my interview with him below), metal bed frames and springs in mattresses can be excellent conductors of the EMFs, concentrating them and sending them straight into our bodies. Since we’re hopefully spending all night (⅓ of our lives) on our mattresses, this is something to consider.

At this point, you may be ready to throw your hands up in despair. Who knew there could be so many problems with a simple bed?

Don’t worry-- as I was learning about this, I felt overwhelmed, too! Let me share with you some tips and ideas for detoxing your bed.

How to Find a Healthy Mattress (That Works)

As part of my research, I recently recorded a discussion I had with Claus Pummer, a Holistic Sleep Coach and sleep expert. He walked me through many tips on finding a healthier mattress.

In this interview, we discuss:

  • How to choose a non toxic mattress carefully

  • Questions to ask when buying a mattress

  • How to discourage dust mites

  • Non-toxic flame retardant options

  • The pros and cons of different types of rubber in mattresses

  • How to evaluate your sleep environment

  • How to test and reduce your nighttime EMF levels

No time to watch the full interview? That’s okay!  

I’ll go ahead and share with you some great non-toxic options.

For mattresses, consider the Samina Sleeping System. This mattress uses a natural flame-retardant (sheep’s wool), discourages the dust mites, and reduces EMF exposure. We don’t get any commissions if you buy a Samina, but tell Claus you came from Bridgit Danner’s community!

There are other options out there at various price points, just be sure to do your research as many companies practice ‘greenwashing,’ making it sound like their materials are safer than you’d think.

For non-toxic bedding, I love Coyuchi’s organic bedding sets. These products are made with organic material, so you don’t have to worry about absorbing pesticides while you sleep.

Daily Detox Options

Concerned about chemicals and allergens you’ve been exposed to already? No money for a bed right now? Here are a couple easy options to give you peace of mind that you are supporting your body each day in clearing toxins:

  1. Our Detox Starter Kit                

Our Detox Starter kit contains a dry brush kit ( a great way to move lymph and expel toxins), a binder called GI Detox (learn more below), and a glutathione mouth spray.

Glutathione is the most important antioxidant in the body. It helps us clear toxins, and it’s depleted in the presence of toxic load.



2.  GI Detox                    

GI Detox is a blend of the most effective binders to help ‘bind’ toxins in your intestines and help them exit the body. Binders are the garbage men of the supplement world; they aren’t the sexy star but they get the job done!

Purchase either product today at a discount! Use the code NEW15 for 15% off if you are new shopper at our site.

If you are returning shopper, use the code DETOXNOW for free shipping within the US on your whole order. Thanks!


The Real Reason You’re So Tired

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When Your Cells Are Fatigued, so Are You…

These days the adrenal glands get blamed for all our fatigue.  They are worn out from too much stress. This is partly true, but not the whole story. In this article, you’ll learn how the health of your mitochondria determines how you feel and how your body performs. You’ll also learn how to boost your mitochondria for all day energy!


What Are Mitochondria?

Mitochondria are a part of each of your cells and do an important job. They use, get this, 90% of your oxygen and take up 10% of your body weight. Mitochondria make energy, called ATP, for your cells to function. They also boost overall efficiency of your cellular functioning, thereby increasing your metabolism.

Every cell in your body has a different job. Your heart cells pump blood. Your eye cells help you see. Your skin cells protect you from the outside world. The mitochondrial health of each cell determines the functionality of that cell. Is the cell doing a fantastic job, or a so-so job?

Mitochondria also have another important job. They help kill off damaged cells. You can imagine this is important for things like cancerous cells! It is theorized that when mitochondrial health is poor, this killer instinct can be thrown off, and damaged cells are more likely to reproduce.

Mitochondrial Disease Symptoms

As you just learned, mitochondria are everywhere, so the symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction can be quite varied. But there are some common symptoms, and I’ll put those at the top of the list:

  • Fatigue

  • Foggy thinking

  • Poor memory

  • Slow metabolism / can’t lose weight

  • Autoimmune disease

  • Chronic pain / headaches

  • Chronic allergies

  • Poor digestion

  • Loss of muscle

  • Heart disease

  • Cancer

You may have noticed that many of the above conditions are attributed to ‘normal aging.’ While it’s true that mitochondria decline with age, the rate at which mitochondria decline is very much influenced by your habits.

What Causes Mitochondrial Disease?

I can’t resist but share an interesting bit of biological history here! Mitochondria, once upon a time, lived outside the cell as a proto-bacteria. But they invaded cells and used cellular membranes for protection. It worked out well for the cells, because the mitochondria produced energy for the cells.

I tell that story to say that mitochondria aren’t naturally well-protected. They are vulnerable. Mitochondria can be affected by a number of toxins and poor lifestyle choices. These include:

  • Shallow breathing

  • Lack of exercise

  • Smog and indoor air pollution

  • Viruses

  • Stress

  • EMF (Electromagnetic frequency)

  • Toxic mold

  • UV light

  • Bacterial infections

  • Overeating

  • Sugars

  • Alcohol

  • Heavy metals

  • Fluoride

  • BPA (bisphenol A from plastics)

  • Trans fatty acids

  • Glyphosate

  • Poor methylation of B vitamins

Basically anything bad for you can also be bad for your mitochondria! If you are in my community, you are likely already trying to get exercise, breathe deeply and avoid processed and non-organic food. Keep it up!

But what if you are already doing a lot of ‘the right things’ and are still feeling foggy and tired?

Consider these natural remedies for fatigue:

  • Reduce EMF. Please turn your WIFI off at night and don’t hold your cell phone directly to your head. Leave your phone on airplane mode if you’re not expecting a call.

  • Kill bugs. Consider testing for chronic pathogens on a free consultation with our coaching team.

  • Look into time-restricted eating. Eating all your meals (coffee counts!) within an 8-11 hour window boosts your body’s efficiency. A great book on the subject is The Circadian Code by Dr. Satchin Panda.

  • Eat more fats. Ketones (energy from fats) boost mitochondria production and help purge damaged mitochondria. Consider raw nuts and seeds, high quality seed oil like hemp or flax, avocado, wild salmon and grass-fed ghee.

  • Increase antioxidants. The mitochondria produce free radicals as they work, so quench those with antioxidants. Increase organic or wild berries, green tea as tolerated, and sprouts.

These are easy, natural ways to fight fatigue!

Best Mitochondrial Supplements

Fish Oil

As mentioned above, fats support happy mitochondria. I love good fats in all forms, and I recommend to always have high-quality liquid fish oil on hand as it gives a concentrated boost of good fats.

If you are feeling particularly inflamed or tired, take 1 teaspoon daily for a month along with plenty of raw nuts and seeds and other friendly fats. Otherwise, use as needed when you feel flared up or feel a flu coming on. (It prevents viruses from being passed cell to cell.)

The oil we carry and recommend is Wiley’s fish oil and it’s 15% off through 11/17 with coupon code PRESALE15.


Essential Oils

We covered the benefit of antioxidants for mitochondrial health. High-quality essential oils are chock full of absorbable antioxidants for your mitochondria! Rosemary, lemongrass and turmeric are among my favorites, but most essential oils have beneficial antioxidants.

I would be happy to create a custom essential oil protocol for you on an essential oil consultation.

My Favorite Supplement for Mitochondria...MitoQ!

I recently started taking MitoQ, a highly bioavailable form on CoQ10, and was very impressed by the result.

CoEnzyme Q10 is needed for mitochondrial health, but the usual supplement form has a hard time actually entering the cell wall and getting to the mitochondria. MitoQ is bound with the addition of an ion called Triphenylphosphonium, which gives it a positive charge and helps it enter the cell and feed the mitochondria.

Despite many years of good diet and habits, I could not shake an afternoon fatigue. I eventually resorted to a daily dose of tea or chocolate to get me through the afternoon. The afternoon slump would usually turn into an early evening headache. I was so used to these headaches that I stopped even registering them as a problem.

I tried adaptogens and sea salt and all sorts of things. It wasn’t until I found MitoQ that my afternoon slump disappeared! I stopped even craving tea or chocolate, and some days I would make it to the evening without even realizing that I had passed my slump time without an issue.

I do have adrenal issues, but ultimately it was supplements for mitochondrial dysfunction that did the job for me.

So I plan to take MitoQ for life. It is possibly the most important supplement I have found, and I have taken hundreds of different supplements over my career.

MitoQ comes in its original form, plus there are versions with extras too.

If you are chronically tired or ill, I really recommend you give it a try. We will refund you if you don’t like it, so there’s nothing to lose. But try it for a whole month before you decide! When you run out you’ll really notice the difference. It’s 2 capsules in the morning ½ hour away from food. I think it would be ok to take alongside a thyroid medication.

Original MitoQ  

MitoQ + Blood Sugar Support (for weight and cravings)

MitoQ + Liver Support (for all the things your liver deals with!)

Shop all MitoQ products here.

What did you learn? What have you tried? Share your thoughts below!

Are There Heavy Metals in Your Lip Gloss?

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What to Do When Your Beauty Routine Is Making You Sick

When it’s time to go out, or you just want to look pretty, it’s easy to reach for your favorite lip gloss. But what if it’s actually making you sick through toxin exposure? 

It seems unfair that an innocent-sounding object like lip gloss or lipstick could actually be harming us! Unfortunately, the truth is these cosmetics are not regulated and most of them contain heavy metals and chemicals that wreak havoc on our health.

Did you know experts estimate the average woman eats 10 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime? (1) Read on to learn how to protect yourself and your family with chemical-free makeup.

Heavy Metals in Cosmetics?

If you haven’t heard much about heavy metals, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Isn’t metal natural? Yes, but when we talk about “heavy metals,” we’re referring to tiny, toxic pieces of metals like lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, and many others. Our processes of mining and manufacturing often stir them up and expose us to them in unnatural ways and amounts.

These heavy metals, which can easily be absorbed into our bodies, are hard to get rid of, so when we’re exposed they build up in our bodies and cause many health problems. (More on this in a bit.)

If heavy metals are such a problem, why do we find lead and the others in so many cosmetics?

Obviously, most companies are not adding heavy metals just for the sake of adding heavy metals! Instead, heavy metals often sneak into products by way of the materials used for adding the coloring. The coloring pigments are typically based on either petroleum or minerals, and both of these could include heavy metals. (2)

The Dangers of Heavy Metals in Beauty Products

Having heavy metals in our bodies is linked to many adverse effects on our health. Heavy metals can cause many problems, including: contributing to the development of autoimmune disorders, slowing cellular energy, burdening detoxification channels, causing hormonal imbalances, and affecting behavior and learning in children. (3)

When we use lip gloss or lipstick with lead and other heavy metals, it’s easy to ingest them while our skin also is absorbing the toxins. Once we’re exposed, it’s difficult for our bodies to clear these toxins, which can lead to build up and ever-increasing associated health issues. (4)

  • Lead. Most of us have heard about lead from the way it was removed from house paint and gasoline for its health hazards. However, lead still lingers in our lives today in other places. Surprisingly, lead-free lipstick can be a hard thing to find. Lipstick without lead is important, as lead is linked to many things including developmental/reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, respiratory issues, kidney toxicity, and cancer. (5) (6)

  • Cadmium. While cadmium hasn’t had the coverage that lead has, it is still concerning that it is one of the heavy metals found in beauty products. Cadmium is believed to be carcinogenic and cause hormonal imbalances, as well as cause kidney issues. (7) (8)

  • Arsenic. This is another troubling heavy metal that may be lurking in our cosmetics. Arsenic is a known carcinogen, is linked to hormonal issues and infertility, and is a toxicant to many of our bodily systems. (9)

  • Aluminum. Again, aluminum is not something we want to be exposed to. It is linked to brain toxicity, as well as respiratory issues. (10)

  • Mercury. Earning a bad score of 9 from the EWG, Mercury is linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, respiratory issues, and environmental toxicity as well. (11)

Obviously, we want to avoid filling our bodies with these toxic heavy metals! But finding safe lipstick or lip gloss can be so confusing. Are we doomed to never wear make-up again? Fortunately, there are ways to wear non toxic make-up and reduce our exposure to these chemicals, which we’ll talk about soon.

More Problems for Teenage Girls

In addition to all the problems discussed above, teen girls who are exposed to heavy metals face extra issues. When a girl hits puberty, her body is still trying to figure out how to set up her reproductive processes, causing her to be extra sensitive to any disruptions. As we noticed above, heavy metals are closely associated with issues in endocrine and reproductive health. 

When teen girls absorb and ingest heavy metals by using lip gloss or lipstick, this can have lasting implications on their lifelong health. This is when their bodies are learning to function, so disturbances during this time leave their bodies with no picture of what is correct. Additionally, heavy metals easily build up in our bodies throughout our lives, meaning that more exposure at an early age means more heavy metals to deal with later in life. (12)

Is Everybody Doing It?

The search for lead-free lipstick and other safe cosmetics can be daunting. It’s easy to assume that unsafe products wouldn’t be sold; however, the truth is the FDA doesn’t regulate most of the ingredients of cosmetics. In fact, they report: “Cosmetic products and ingredients, and their labeling, do not require FDA approval before they go on the market. There’s one exception: color additives (other than coal-tar hair dyes).” (13)

Since there aren’t strict regulations, it’s important for us as consumers to shop smart. Unfortunately, when tested, almost all cosmetics turn up with heavy metal content, and companies generally don’t engage in the often-expensive process of good 3rd-party testing. (14) (15

So how do you protect yourself and your family?

How to Find Non-toxic Lipstick and Lip Gloss

While there will be very trace amounts of heavy metals in the coloring of any cosmetic, there are steps we can take to greatly reduce our exposure and risk of health issues.

Safer Usage Tips

When using any lipstick, be sure to keep it away from babies and small children, as they are at a higher risk for complications.

If you eat while wearing lipstick, you unfortunately ingest more! To reduce exposure, make sure you wash off your lipstick before you got to bed.

However, the most important tip is to find a quality product, which you can read about below. (16

MY FAVORITE NON-TOXIC LIP PRODUCTS

Beautycounter is the only company I know that engages in third party testing and sets their standards at or below the strictest international guidance for keeping their products safe. (17

Beautycounter offers a perfect, non-toxic lip gloss, which is my daily favorite, as well as great lipsticks.

I like the sheer lipstick as I don’t like heavy color and it’s so moist and lightweight. But they offer more intense color too that you can layer with a gloss. Browse all their lip products here.

Detox Your Body

What about all the heavy metals and other toxins that may already be stored in your body? Try out my simple 5-minute routine to have more energy for the day and get some spring back in your step, naturally.  

Finding a Non-Toxic Deodorant That Works

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Choose Your Best Natural Deodorant ithout Sacrificing Your Social Life!  

When the weather gets warm, it’s a great time to enjoy the sun, have picnics, lounge on the beach…. and put toxins in our armpits? Truth is, most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are a recipe for toxin build-up and hormonal imbalance. 

Unfortunately, some natural deodorants are a recipe for scaring away friends and may still contain harmful ingredients. Read on to learn how to use healthy deodorant and keep on good terms with your friends, too!

What Happens When We Sweat?

When most of us think of sweating, we believe it mainly cools down our bodies so we don’t overheat. While it’s true our bodies do produce sweat to help us stay cool, that is not its only function.

Our bodies actually produce two types of sweat: we sweat when we’re hot, but we also sweat when we’re nervous. 

  • The eccrine sweat glands are found all over our skin and are responsible for temperature control. They mainly release water and salt, and the liquid typically evaporates quickly to help us cool off.

  • The apocrine sweat glands are found in the armpits (as well as some other places), and they secrete a fatty fluid as a response to stress. The bacteria living on our skin love to feed on the fatty secretions; unfortunately, this typically results in a bad smell.

Besides cooling us down, sweating is a great way for our bodies to detox and expel harmful toxins. However, detoxing through sweat is often associated with an odor. Since we don’t like smelling bad, it’s easy to turn to antiperspirants to control the issue. 

Using antiperspirants may appear to solve the odor problem, but blocking our bodies’ abilities to expel harmful substances can lead to ever-increasing toxicity, which, in turn, can blossom into a host of chronic health issues.

In addition to helping us detox and cool down, sweating also burns calories, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins, and helps circulation. Definitely not something we want to skip!

What’s in Your Deodorant?

It’s so easy to grab our favorite deodorant and slather it on our skin. But is it safe? 

Did you know most conventional deodorants contain harmful ingredients that have been linked to hormone imbalances, cancer, neurotoxicity and impaired detoxification? 

Since our skin absorbs much of what we put on it, it’s important to read the labels on our personal care products, including deodorant. 

Take a look at some of the ingredients found in many deodorants and antiperspirants:

  • 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, and is often connected to breast cancer. But that’s not all. It is also connected to neurotoxicity and respiratory complaints. (1, 2, 3)

  • Parabens - Parabens typically function as preservatives, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. While that is helpful, parabens have also been linked to hormonal imbalances, as they can mimic estrogen and confuse the body.

  • Phthalates - Phthalates are used to keep a product flexible. However, again they can mimic estrogen and add to the toxic load on our bodies. (4)

  • 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. (5)

  • Fragrance/parfum - The benefits of adding fragrances to deodorant should be obvious! 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.

It’s Not Easy...

With such an array of toxicity around us, it can be perplexing to sort it all out! 

Fortunately, healthy deodorant options do exist. 

Unfortunately, many people experience difficulties when trying to switch to non-toxic deodorant. With great hopes they buy an expensive natural deodorant…. but within days they develop painful rashes and skin irritation. Or maybe the product doesn’t even work at odor control! 

When we try natural deodorant and encourage detoxing through sweating, this can invite the stored toxins to the surface, resulting in rashes and a worse odor than ever. It’s tough. Many people get discouraged and give up when the problem gets worse. And that’s understandable. Who wants to spend their days smelling bad, all alone, and with a rash in their armpits? But do we really want to put harmful chemicals into our bodies?

There must be a better way!

Your Best Natural Deodorant Solutions

Our bodies are loaded down with toxins every day. One way to reduce both the smell and the rashes is to address these toxins and help usher them out of our bodies.

Try an Armpit Detox

Strange as an “armpit detox” may sound, this is a fairly easy step with a good track record for helping people transition to natural deodorant.

This is a similar idea to clay face masks, except we put the mask in the armpits instead. Bentonite clay is famous for increasing blood flow to the area where it’s applied and drawing toxins out of the body, so it’s a great choice. 

The armpit detox is simple: using only non-metal utensils and bowls, mix 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay with 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar, spread a thin layer in your armpits, and rinse off after 15 minutes. (It may feel warm and tingly, which means the clay is working, but if it starts to hurt, please wash it off immediately.)

This can be repeated daily to help with a transition to natural deodorant, and after that it can be used whenever needed. (https://www.naturallivingideas.com/armpit-cleanse/)

Test Your Toxic Load

If you’re struggling to switch to natural deodorant, chances are your system is overburdened. It’s time to identify and properly eliminate those toxins!  

Many of our clients come to us burdened with heavy metals, mold toxicity, and other chemical toxins. Listen to our recent podcast with founder Bridgit Danner and lead coach Ann Melin to learn more about our approach to testing for different toxins.  

Are you wondering if toxins testing could help you? Schedule a free consultation to explore your options!  

My Favorite Natural Deodorant That Works

I love the NOW Long-Lasting Deodorant Stick because it offers amazing value and unparalleled protection you can really count on. 

It was scientifically formulated, combining natural odor-fighting ingredients: 

  • coconut oil

  • zinc oxide

  • lavender oil

  • rosemary leaf oil

  • And more!

Click here to view my favorite non-toxic deodorant and see my video review. 

Thanks and happy summer!

Bridgit

High Energy Morning Detox Guide

No time to detox?  If you are willing to put in just 5 minutes a day, you’ll see a shift in just 5 days!

Grab our High Energy Morning Guide and get some spring back in your step, naturally.

Learn more here...