What You Should Know About Conventional Laundry Detergents

On this blog, I often stress the importance of awareness when it comes to what we are putting on and in our bodies. Oftentimes, this translates to skin care and the food we eat, but household products should also be an important consideration since we use these products regularly as well. Have you ever thought about the chemicals in conventional laundry detergents? These chemicals can linger on your clothes even after being rinsed and dried. Lingering on your clothes also means direct contact with your body and absorption through your skin.  You may not do laundry daily, but you probably wear clothes daily 😉 meaning you could be subjected to the toxic chemicals from laundry detergent every single day if you are using conventional brands. Scary!

So what are these toxic chemicals and how scary are they? Here are just a few with their potential health risks:

  • Benzaldehyde – Irritation to mouth, throat, eyes and skin
  • Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid – Reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies
  • Artificial fragrances – Irritation to skin and eyes; many are toxic and are suspected carcinogens
  • Quaternium-15 – Releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that causes rashes and skin inflammation
  • ER, KSN, OB, OB-1  (Optical brighteners) – Possible developmental and reproductive effects
  • Petroleum distillates (naphthas) – Chemicals linked to cancer and lung damage
  • Nonylphenol ethoxylate – Hormone disruptor
  • Propylene glycol- Hormone discrutor, also used in anti-freeze (insert wide eyed emoji)

For more toxic ingredients and their risks, check out this full chart here.

As you can see there are many health risks, through contact and through simply inhaling these chemicals. Obviously long term and consistent exposure will cause even more damage. When you are wearing the clothes washed with these chemicals and carrying the artificial scents and related toxins with you, you are also inhaling and absorbing as you go.

Many companies add optical brighteners to detergent formulas. These are additives that emit blue light, which makes your whites appear whiter. By design, these optical brighteners are meant to stay in clothes after washing, which may contribute to skin irritation. Fabric softeners are also designed to stay in clothes and not fully rinse out, which means lingering chemicals in constant contact with your body.

When and if you sweat, the moisture soaks into your clothing which causes laundry detergent chemicals sitting on your clothes to absorb into your skin easier. Armpits and the groin area sweat the most and these are also the areas that absorb up to 100% of what is applied to them topically. Rashes are common when the skin comes in direct contact with detergents, and some sensitive individuals may break out after wearing clothes that have been washed with conventional detergents.

Today, toxins are everywhere with very little regulation. It’s no surprise that there has been a rise in hormone-related issues for both women and men. Researchers have found that detergents can disrupt endocrine function and interfere with hormone balance. They can negatively affect fertility in males and increase breast cancer risk in females. Hormone imbalance also contributes to an extensive range of other problems including heart disease, depression, and mental impairment.

Not only do these toxic ingredients affect us, but they also impact the environment! The effect of laundry detergent on the environment is undeniable. Detergents that run into the water supply have been shown to interfere with aquatic life. The ingredients in conventional detergent brands are not natural and many plants and animals cannot process these chemicals. The ingredients sodium triphosphate and trisodium phosphate for example can make their way into the water and alter sea life development. In fact, phosphates that make their way into the water can increase the growth of toxin-producing algae which can kill plants, fish, dolphins, and other sea creatures. So sad!

Now, what alternatives are out there? Well there are more and more non-toxic laundry soaps and powders coming to the surface which is great. The truth? I’ve tried a few and have had a few fails. I won’t share the fails, but I will share with you the laundry powder I am currently using and loving!

Molly’s Suds Ultra Concentrated Formulated for Sensitive Skin – All natural, formulated with only five earth derived ingredients, free of fragrance, parabens, harsh chemicals, dyes and optical brighteners. This stuff works and I can rest easy knowing that it is safe for me, my husband, my growing baby and the environment. 🙂

Laundry-Powder-70-Loads.png

Today is Molly’s Suds Cyber Monday Sale! 25% off + Free Stocking Stuffer with code CYBERSUDS.

Make the switch to a safer alternative. Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Lots of love and good health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie

Sources:

Laundry Chemicals To Avoid by Sarah Lozanova http://www.motherearthliving.com/laundry-chemicals-to-avoid-zmez12mazsie

Here’s Why You Should Avoid Toxic Laundry Detergent Like It’s The Plague http://healthywildandfree.com/heres-why-you-should-avoid-toxic-tide-laundry-detergent-like-the-plague/

Toxic Laundry Detergent Ingredients to Avoid http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/toxic-laundry-detergent-ingredients-zmez12mazmel

Do You Know These 6 Facts About Laundry Detergent? http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/do-you-know-these-6-facts-about-laundry-detergent/

 

 

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18 Weeks Pregnant

unnamed-3Due Date: April 25, 2017

How far along: 18 weeks

Size of baby: A sugar glider, an artichoke, a croissant or a sweet potato. Let’s go with sweet potato since sweet potato casserole is my favorite dish at Thanksgiving 😉

How many weeks to go: 22 weeks

Maternity clothes: All day every day yes. Check out my last pregnancy update to read more on the maternity rental service I use. This past week I found an awesome nautical looking maternity sweater/tunic at H&M for $7 and I got a pair of H&M maternity skinny jeans for 20% off. I’m a sucker for those deals.

Stretch marks: No new stretch marks. I have been diligent about hydrating my skin. Currently I am using a lot of coconut oil and my new favorite Baby Belly Butter by Nature Bare Body Care. Check out my review here.

Sleep: Sleep has been a little iffy lately. Lots of tossing and turning due to growing pains.

Best moment of this week:  This past week, we had my father in law in town to visit and help out with improvement projects at our new house. It was just so nice to have him here and I am so thankful for all of his hard work and help. I’m also so happy that my husband got to take the entire week off work and spend some quality time with him.

Miss anything: Not really! Maybe a hard orange theory workout. Never thought I’d miss those 😉

Movement: My midwife gave me some tips today at my appointment on recognizing baby’s movements, but I still haven’t felt anything yet. She said I should any day now.

Food cravings: Lemonade, salads and french fries.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I watched this David Blaine special on tv the other day, and then I got so obsessed that I watched his Netflix special and I started to get queasy when he put a needle through his bicep. I feel like that would make most people queasy though! HAHA

Have you started to show yet: Yes! I’ve started to get the first comments from strangers too. A sample lady at Costco said, “Take one for you and one for your baby!”

Gender: We will find out on December 4th when we cut into a pink or blue cake 😉

Wedding rings on or off: This has actually improved! I was having the hardest time getting them on and off, but now they are okay again.

Mood: Elated. They say that pregnancy hormones give you really high highs and I’m currently in that state. Like shockingly happy and normal things that would bother me just don’t. Just feeling so blessed and thankful and it’s a great place to be in.

Favorite pregnancy or baby product: My new belly butter and I added these two supplements/vitamins to my daily regimen: DHA Complete by Honest Co. and Organic Chlorella tablets by Green Foods. I take these along with these Organic Prenatal Vitamins.

Looking forward to: Spending time with family on Thanksgiving and seeing some friends who are in town for the holiday. Our ultrasound this coming weekend and our gender reveal party the following weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re enjoying time with your family and friends and that you have a safe and happy holiday.

Lots of love and good health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie

*Idea for list of weekly pregnancy questions found here from 5 Ways to Document Your Pregnancy-Scottsdale Mom’s Blog, written by Adrienne of Dream Book Design.

Nature Bare Baby Belly Butter Review

My fellow pregnant ladies, I have found the holy grail of all belly oils and belly butters…keep reading 😉

Chances are if you are pregnant, something that may be on your mind once you start to see your growing belly begin to develop is STRETCH MARKS. Stretch marks are caused by the stretching of the dermis, often from rapid stretching of the skin. Stretch marks formed during pregnancy are most common on the belly, but also occur on the breasts, thighs, hips, butt and lower back.

Studies show that up to 90% of women will get some sort of stretch marks during their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. Also, if your mother had stretch marks, then you’re more likely to have them too, since genetics plays a role, lucky you! If you have a lighter complexion, you will tend to develop pinkish stretch marks. Darker-skinned women tend to get stretch marks that are lighter than their skin tone.

There are a lot of articles saying that you cannot prevent stretch marks from happening and there is no evidence that using creams or oils helps, but personally I don’t buy that! I believe that if you keep your rapidly growing skin supple and hydrated, it will improve skin elasticity and minimize the chances of getting them at least. I started early in my pregnancy, applying Zoe Organics belly oil to the common areas listed above starting around week 11. While I liked the oil, it didn’t wow me and it took a lot of oil from a tiny bottle to cover each area. I knew I was going to go through it fast and I also knew I wanted to try something different next time.

Enter Nature Bare Body Care. Nature Bare was kind enough to reach out and send me an 8oz. container of their Baby Belly Butter for growing bellies. I was super excited for it, especially after reading up on the simple, all-natural ingredients they use.

Ingredients: organic shea butter, mango butter, aloe vera, olive oil, avocado oil, rosehip seed oil, tamanu oil (avoid if you have a nut allergy), baobab oil, candelilla wax, bentonite clay, organic jojoba oil, radish root ferment (natural preservative).

Note: Tamanu oil is an oil derived from tree nuts and beware if you’re allergy sensitive.  If you would like to have one without this ingredient, message them and they can make a custom order for you. How awesome is that?

When the 8 oz. container came, I couldn’t wait to dig in. When you first open the jar and look at it, it seems like more of a thick, whipped lotion cream than a butter, but once you smooth it on your skin…definitely a buttery feeling. This stuff is magical! A little goes a really long way which I love especially in comparison to my previous belly oil experience. The butter is super hydrating and soothing. I put it on after my evening shower and in the morning when I wake up, my skin is still very hydrated and soft.  You can smell a bit of a clay odor, but the scent of shea and mango butter mostly overpowers it. There is no fragrance added. I already have some stretch marks on my hips so I’ve been focusing there as well. Heck, let’s just be honest, a few times now, I’ve put this all over my entire body. It’s that good! My skin has been drinking it up and loving this butter.

Highlighting a few of the powerful ingredients:

Shea Butter – One of the best emollients out there, keeps the skin moist and hydrated, stimulates the skins renewal process

Aloe Vera – Fights inflammation, regenerates skin tissues and restores moisture to skin

Olive oil – Incorporates four types of antioxidants that protect skin, antibacterial

Visit Nature Bare Body Care’s blog post here to read their recent post of the benefits of another powerful ingredient in the baby belly butter: Bentonite Clay

All of the ingredients together are a powerhouse of the very best pure plant extracts and natural ingredients for improving skin elasticity and preventing stretch marks before they occur.

The Nature Bare Body Care Story:

“Nature Bare Body Care was born out of a desire for premium natural products, made without artificial ingredients, unnecessary fillers, fragrances, dyes or soy. Created by a sustainability, environmentally and ingredient conscious Materials Engineer and MOM,  we only use the “Bare” amount of ingredients and materials needed to produce and deliver high quality products to our customers.”

I love supporting small businesses that are ingredient conscious and that produce amazing, premium, natural products. I can’t wait to try some of their other popular products too like the hydrating hand butter for harsh hands.

Thanks for reading!

Lots of love and good health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie

*Nature Bare Body Care provided Baby Belly Butter for Growing Bellies, however as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Pizza & Honesty

Recently I posted about hemp seeds on my Instagram and shared a little about superfoods. I’ve posted about Organic Produce and my last blog post was about Organic Coffee and well… you’re starting to get the idea. When it comes to food, all of what I post focuses on HEALTHY and building awareness about what we are putting in our bodies to ultimately fuel them in the best way possible. Because, that is the true point and purpose of food isn’t it? This blog and my social media outlets are about my journey to make healthier choices and my hope in sharing these things is that it will in turn create a healthier world for you too. At the same time, I also want to be honest and transparent with my readers.

Yesterday, after I posted all about superfoods, I went out for pizza (my favorite) with family and I started to think…I don’t want my readers to think I eat perfectly organic and clean all the time just because that’s all they see me preach. While I am passionate about the benefits of superfoods, organic, apple cider vinegar, green juice, antibiotic free, grass-fed etc., I am also passionate about BALANCE. I believe in eating the not so good things for you that are really yummy as long as it’s in moderation and balanced with overall healthy eating habits.

For example, yesterday for breakfast I had my Go-To Green Smoothie. Find the recipe for that from my blog post here. Then, for lunch I had a nice big healthy salad with lean chicken. And dinner was lots of pizza with ranch dressing and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert! So… see? I’m human, and for me it’s okay because I created a good balance for myself in my day of eating. Were the pizza, ranch dressing and cookie organic? Heck no, and I won’t lose sleep over it. But… while we are on the topic of pizza, one of my favorite pizzas by Amy’s Kitchen that I make at home often is organic and it’s amazing. And because I have to eat pizza with ranch dressing, I use this organic ranch dressing from Annie’s 😉

Sometimes I eat my pizza at home organic, healthier style and sometimes I indulge in the greasy not so great for you kind. It doesn’t stop at pizza either, but I won’t bore you. You get the idea. So yes, this blog is all about healthy choices, but that doesn’t mean I don’t eat junk sometimes. That’s just me. To the guys and gals that eat clean all the time, that’s amazing and something to be proud of, and for the vegetarians and vegans out there, I support what you are doing and think it’s awesome, but at the same time, that’s just not me and I don’t want my readers to be mislead in any way.

The point of this post in case you missed it: You probably won’t see a lot of pizza and beer (my favorite alcoholic beverage while not pregnant) pictures on my Instagram account, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying those things every once and awhile in between the healthy things. It’s taken me years to figure out my ideal balance too. Listen to your body and what it needs and what it is asking for and adjust accordingly. The truth is when I eat like junk, I feel like junk so I tend to chose that path less and less.

So here’s to honesty, pizza, beer (gosh I miss you!), some green juice and finding YOUR ideal balance.

Lots of love and good pizza… I mean health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie

 

Why Organic Coffee?

Why organic coffee? One of my very first posts was on why organic is important when it comes to produce. You can visit that post here. But today we are talking coffee. I feel like coffee kind of gets forgotten about when it comes to organic vs. conventional. If not forgotten, then typically just ignored because of the fact that the big box coffee places often don’t carry it. It isn’t always a choice or option, but we need our morning cup right? And we are on the go, so what do we do? We get our coffee and go. But have you ever thought about your conventional cup of coffee and the coffee beans that went into it? Have you thought about where they come from and what they went through before they hit your cup?

Coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world – with over 12 billion pounds of coffee produced annually. – Equal Exchange

Because of the high demand for coffee, farming methods have been altered and developed to maximize production, but often at the expense of the environment as well as our own health. These popular methods produce the non-organic, conventional coffee that many are used to consuming regularly today.

Conventional coffee (non-organic coffee beans) is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is sprayed and then steeped in synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Did you get that? Just to make sure you did… the beans that went into your morning cup of conventional coffee were treated with and washed in a bath of toxic, synthetic chemicals!

The certification process for organic requires that a farm use only organic farming techniques for a minimum three years before the farm can be certified organic. For growing coffee, this means no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers are allowed, and a USDA inspector must determine the farm is complying with the guidelines.

Due to the certification process, organic foods may cost slightly more, but a little extra in cost can bring huge health savings. Conventional, or non-organic, coffee may contain residue from synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. These residues have been linked to causing cancer, nervous system disturbances, hormone imbalance or irritation to skin and eyes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When you consume organic coffee, you won’t get any chemical residues or harmful health side effects.

Not only does the environment suffer from this overload of synthetic chemicals, but so do the people who live in it. Farmers are exposed to a high level of chemicals while spraying the crops and while handling them. The surrounding communities are also affected by chemical residues in the air and water. These chemical presences are not just unpleasant; many are highly toxic and detrimental to human health.

So just think, by choosing organic coffee you are also helping the coffee growers that produced it. Coffee growers that grow organic coffee aren’t exposed to the toxic chemicals and pesticides that conventional growers are. In addition, these farms are more environmentally friendly because they use fewer non-renewable resources, such as petroleum, than non-organic farms do. On organic farms, no chemicals leach into nearby soils or drinking water and none are carried in the air to nearby families or farms.

You can do one better and buy organic, Fair-Trade coffee, which ensures sustainable and healthy living conditions, along with proper pay and economic growth for coffee farmers. Triple-certified coffees come from farms that hold Quality Assurance International’s organic certification, are fair trade-certified and also hold the Smithsonian Institution’s shade-grown certification. Triple certified Arabica beans are the highest-quality organic beans you can buy.

Lastly if you aren’t convinced yet, you should taste the cleaner difference. Because organically grown coffee is free of chemical residues, many connoisseurs claim it has a fuller, richer flavor than conventionally grown coffee.

Reminder: I am not an expert. I’m just taking the information I have gathered and trying to help educate and build awareness on the topic. I always encourage my readers to do their own research and make their own choices based on what they find. I also believe in balance. I won’t lie to you, I do occasionally visit Starbucks and get a peppermint mocha latte for example. Do I know it’s not the best for me for multiple reasons aside from the fact that it’s non-organic? Yes, but that’s why I consider it an occasional treat and don’t make it a habit of going every day or even every week, but more so maybe once a month. That’s what works for me. Find what works best for you and what you weigh out as most important and effective for your health.

Lots of love and good health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie

Sources:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-organic-coffee-consumption-7584.html

http://equalexchange.coop/blog/organic-vs-conventional-coffee

http://food.allwomenstalk.com/reasons-to-buy-organic-coffee

http://www.livestrong.com/article/412545-benefits-organic-coffee-consumption/

 

 

Junebug Soap Co. Organic Body Wash

Do you itch a scratch or scratch an itch? Welp, either way, I’m itchy. Thanks to hormonal changes that rob skin of oil and elasticity, pregnancy has brought super dry skin into my current world. Oddly, my oily face is still rather oily or “glowing” rather ;), but my legs, arms, and belly are especially dry and itchy.

When it began, I followed all the recommendations, you know… no hot showers, oatmeal baths, increasing water intake, even not using body wash at all…and speaking of oatmeal baths…to give you a good laugh, I wasn’t aware that you are supposed to put the oatmeal in some kind of straining cloth. Clean up was quite the task. You live and learn 😉

But after all of this I thought it also might be time to switch up my body wash and see if that would help. Enter Junebug Soap Co. and their Organic Castile Body Wash. Game Changer!

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Here’s a little bit about their body wash straight from their website:

Our organic liquid castile body wash, like all of our products, is made with our customer’s health in mind. Many box store body washes contain fragrances, detergents, preservatives, synthetic antibacterials, & more that can be harmful to the user in many ways.  Our body washes are made with high-quality natural ingredients and contain no unnecessary chemicals, no detergents, no sulfates (SLS), no alcohol, no paraben, and are gluten-free and soy-free. We add pure essential oils and natural additives for fragrance, color, and skin care benefits.

The ingredients used to make our body washes are listed front-and-center on our labels. We expect our customers to make informed decisions before introducing a product to their body & we want to help with that decision and are always fully transparent with our ingredients.

Our body wash is made by combining coconut oil & sunflower oil with potassium hydroxide to form soap through saponification. In this process, the fatty acids contained in the oils combine with potassium to form liquid soap while the hydroxide forms water. No alkali remains after the saponification process is complete. A small amount of citric acid is then added to naturally preserve freshness. Finally, any essential oils or natural additives are blended in to complete the body wash, which is then bottled and shipped to our customer.

Now that’s my kind of body wash! You get to pick your essential oil to add to the wash and I told them I couldn’t decide between vanilla and cinnamon so they put a little of both in…well played Junebug 😉 and it smells amazing… like Christmas! It lingers too after you dry off.

And the smell aside, this stuff was the answer to my itchy skin prayers and here’s why:

2 Main Ingredients:

Organic Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is high in Vitamins C, E, A, and D, helps retain moisture, promotes cell regeneration, and contains antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals.  In addition to this long list of benefits, sunflower oil is very gentle on skin and is often used in baby products.

Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats and fatty acids, which help to smooth skin, retain moisture, and provide disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil also contains vitamins and antioxidants that promote healthy skin growth, repair damaged cells, and protect against free radicals.

This is exactly what my skin needed! Immediately following a shower was my most itchy time, but since I have started using this body wash things have improved drastically. I can’t wait to try their other products especially their all natural lotions and moisturizing creams. If their body wash can make miracles happen, the combo has to be heaven.

Check out Junebug Soap Co.’s story here and as always thanks for reading and stopping by!

Lots of love and good health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie

*This post was not sponsored and all opinions are based on my own experiences.

Photo credits: http://www.junebugsoapco.com

 

15 Weeks Pregnant

Due Date: April 25, 2017

How far along: 15 weeks

Size of baby: A naval orange, an avocado, a box of crayons or an éclair depending on what theme you prefer 😉

How many weeks to go: 25 weeks

Maternity clothes: YES! I feel like I transitioned to maternity wear pretty quickly. I found some great Ingrid & Isabel leggings for $15 each at Last Chance as well as great maternity items at Target in the clearance section. I also started the greatest rental service ever called The Clothesline Club from Motherhood Closet. You borrow 15 items for 6 months for $200 and you can exchange as many times as you want, it just costs $20 in shipping when you want to swap out items. They also have 3 month and 9 month programs as well. They have great designer brands too like Seven jeans, A Pea in the Pod, Ingrid & Isabel and more. I’ve always been into consignment and love finding a great deal.

Stretch marks: I’m starting to see a few, but I already have stretch marks so it’s nothing new to me. I am pretty diligent about hydrating my skin though because it’s been so dry and itchy, thanks hormones! Currently I use a lot of coconut oil and this amazing belly oil from Zoe Organics.

Sleep: Sleeping was a big issue for me in the first trimester, but it’s definitely improving. I wake up less throughout the night so I’m not quite as tired during the day. I do take this magnesium plus calcium supplement that seems to help me.

Best moment of this week: Last week we heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time which was a memorable and awesome moment! This week, we have been busy furniture shopping for our new house and unpacking boxes, so the best part has been watching our house slowly come together and become a home.

Miss anything: Sushi and beer!

Movement: Haven’t felt anything yet, but looking forward to it.

Food cravings: Tuna sandwiches and I don’t normally like tuna and French fries. Hey, it’s all about a healthy balance 😉

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, I’ve been very lucky! I will say that I’ve been a big organic green juice drinker for a long time and have never had a problem with the taste until lately. I had to plug my nose the other day just to get it down.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, but it’s that awkward stage where I know people are thinking, “Is she pregnant or is she just chubby in the middle?” Haha 🙂

Gender: We will find out at 19 weeks.

Wedding rings on or off: They are getting so hard to put on and take off! I just leave my wedding band on all the time now.

Mood: Happy most of the time, but moody when I get really tired.

Favorite pregnancy or baby product: My prenatal vitamins by Garden of Life mykind organics

Looking forward to: Finishing putting the house together and preparing for our Housewarming and Gender Reveal Party with friends and family in a month.

Thanks for reading!

Lots of love and good health,

Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie

*Idea for list of weekly pregnancy questions found here from 5 Ways to Document Your Pregnancy-Scottsdale Mom’s Blog, written by Adrienne of Dream Book Design.