Category Archives: Prevention

Gift Ideas for the Women In Your Life (Some Ideas for Men Too!)

For the past few years my husband I and have decided to give gifts that give back. That’s why I am recommending these two socially responsible companies for gifts! AND, you can shop from the comfort of your own home.

fairtrade gifts

Noonday Collection works with 28 artisan groups in over 10 countries, and provides dignified jobs, no interest loans, scholarship programs and emergency assistance to these artisans. In turn, through YOUR purchases, we create a marketplace for these artisans here in the U.S..
Noonday has an amazing selection of beautiful jewelry and accessories. Many under $40! Everybody wins.
You can check out the website here.
fairtrade gifts
One of my favorites is the Paper Dreams Necklace– only $38! It is made from PAPER beads in Uganda, and looks like turquoise. I love it.

fairtrade jewelry

If the women in your life love the idea of natural products, or you’d like to introduce them to some, look no further.

Ava Anderson Non Toxic is an incredible skincare line. Almost completely organic.
organic skincare
They also have home cleaning products, products for men, and baby/kids items!
organic skincare

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I love the pet deodorizer (it works as a stain remover! The best one I have ever tried), the dishwasher pods, the cotton pads and the entire skin care line.

And there is a limited edition candle that is perfect for the season- this candy cane candle is subtle, but refreshing. Not in the least bit overpowering. It is made with organic coconut oil and an organic cotton wick.

ava anderson non toxic

PLEASE contact me directly if you have any questions about any items recommended above. As always, I only recommend products I can whole heartedly get behind, and these products make such fantastic gifts with meaning.

Gluten Free Strawberry Almond Muffins

I’ve had to get creative lately with breakfast as my kids are tiring of the eggs and toast, oatmeal and fruit I’ve been serving them their whole lives. No idea why 🙂

I adapted this recipe from Allergy-Friendly Food for Families: 120 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, and Soy-Free Recipes Everyone Will Enjoy

We enjoyed these yesterday morning with lots of organic butter and a bit of honey drizzled on top. The muffins aren’t very sweet, so if your child takes the first bite with a bit of honey, he or she will probably enjoy it more.

gluten free muffin recipe, kid friendly breakfast
Strawberry Almond Muffins:

-1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and chopped (any frozen fruit you love can be substituted. Thawed frozen fruit creates a more baking-friendly texture.)
-2 cups almond flour (almond flour is really expensive, so I buy whole almonds in the bulk section and grind them in my Vitamix for 1/4 of the price, and it’s more fresh!)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-3 medium eggs
-1/4 cup maple syrup

  1. heat oven to 325 and line 8 muffin cups with paper liners
  2. combine the almond flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl
  3. crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk in maple syrup to combine evenly
  4. pour the dry ingredients into the eggs and syrup, mixing well
  5. add the fruit and stir to combine
  6. fill the muffin cups 3/4 full (stir the batter in the bowl after filling each cup so fruit doesn’t settle)
  7. bake for 30 minutes, or until the tops become golden-brown
  8. allow the muffins to rest in pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack
  9. serve with butter and honey for drizzling

Enjoy!

12 ways To Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

I get a little frustrated with ” Pinktober” for lots of reasons.

First of all, many of the products emblazoned with a pink ribbon contain known cancer causing chemicals. Let me rephrase-many of the items with pink ribbons on them are linked to breast cancer. This makes me crazy.

Secondly, it is supposed to raise “breast cancer awareness.” I’m pretty sure everyone knows about breast cancer. What we need is a “breast cancer prevention” month or a “take a look at your personal care products and since the FDA won’t ban the KNOWN chemicals linked to breast cancer, much less test the other 10,000 untested ingredients, it’s up to you to choose not to slather these on your skin every day only to be soaked up by your bloodstream and circulated around your body” month. Or a “clean up your diet and avoid plastic bottles” month. Or a “drink more water and eat more fiber” month.

Can you tell this is a subject I am passionate about?

A few Octobers ago I held a “reduce your risk of breast cancer” event in New York City, and wanted to share the information that was on one of my handouts:

­­­­­A woman in the U.S. today has a one in eight chance of getting breast cancer, however there is growing scientific evidence that lifestyle choices influence cancer risk. Even if you don’t smoke and eat your fruits and vegetables, there are many environmental toxins you are exposed to daily in your food, air, water, soil, personal care products, home and office that are known carcinogens. Therefore it is important to maintain a holistic lifestyle that supports your immune system to detoxify and protect your body from disease.

 

Here are 12 ways to reduce your risk of Breast Cancer:

  1. Eat organically produced food. This includes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and animal foods. BreastCancer.com has some great recipes here. Plant foods grown conventionally are laden with petroleum-based pesticides which are estrogen mimickers and confuse the body into accepting them into their cells. Meat that is not organic contains harmful synthetic hormones and pesticides from the food it consumed.

  2. Add Healthy Fats. Use olive oil and coconut oil in your cooking and take a fish oil and evening primrose oil supplement.

  3. Eat 30 grams of fiber per day. This will help rid your body of excess estrogen therefore lowering your risk of breast cancer.

  4. Get plenty of breast protective foods like flax seeds, soy, beans, foods rich in beta carotene, kale, green tea etc. Eating 2 apples everyday reduces your breast cancer risk by 30%.

  5. Avoid drinking out of plastic water bottles, using plastic wrap on your food, putting hot beverages in plastic and microwaving food in plastic containers. Plastic contains xenoestrogens which are shown to cause cancer.

  1. Exercise 

  1. Green your cleaning products. Start looking at what chemicals you are exposed to in your home. Laundry detergent, dish soap, air fresheners, and candles are all places dangerous ingredients are lurking. This week pick something you use everyday and upgrade it to something that is healthy for you, your family and the environment. Our health food stores are great places to find better options. You can also clean almost anything in your home with vinegar and baking soda, and olive oil makes a great furniture polish.

  2. Pay attention to what you put on your body- your skin will absorb it and it goes into your body- we know this is true because the birth control patch can cause a woman to stop ovulating and the nicotine patch satisfies a craving for a cigarette. Obviously what you put on your body winds up in your blood stream. The average woman uses 12 different personal care products everday, exposing herself to 166 different synthetic chemicals. Many of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. Make the switch to natural and organic body care. This includes hairspray, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, moisturizer, toner, shaving cream, all cosmetics, nail polish, and especially antiperspirants. Antiperspirants are strong chemicals, usually containing aluminum, which prevent sweating and sweating is a way for the body to eliminate toxins and unwanted materials with the help of the lymphatic system. So let your body do its job and use a natural deodorant.

  3. Go braless for 12 hours every day and don’t sleep in your bra. Also try to find bras without underwire.

  4. Catch some rays! Sunlight is the easiest to get vitamin d, and vitamin d is a hormone that protects our bodies from disease.

  5. Sleep in a totally dark room every night. Your body releases melatonin while you sleep which is one of the body’s first lines of defense against malignant breast cell growth. This can only be done, however, if you are in a dark room. This means: do not sleep with the TV, night light, or a bathroom light on, or the blinds open. It is also extremely helpful to go to bed before 10:30PM because this is when your body produces the most melatonin.

And here is a bonus tip:

-Try organic red wine. Organic wine contains 34% more antioxidants and Pinot Noir is highest in resveratrol which slows breast cancer cell growth. It has also been linked to clearer skin. Just remember if you drink alcohol at all, this depletes your body of folic acid which protects your body from breast cancer, so take a folic acid supplement. Whew.

I have also seen a few pink items I can support in good conscience. More on those later, but for now I leave you with my favorite:

This pink weight lifting bar by ReGyms.

During the month of October, $30 from every barbell sold will go directly to the Flatwater Foundation, providing mental health support for families affected by breast cancer.

 

Chemicals in Skin Care Linked to Breast Cancer and What YOU Can Do About It

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Throughout our lives, we are all exposed to multiple toxins linked to breast cancer through our air, water, food, homes, and workplaces. Some of these exposures can be limited by our choice of household cleaners, beauty products, and food.

Xenoestrogens are manmade chemicals that mimic estrogen in our bodies and have been shown to increase women’s risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are found in many places in our environment, including personal care products and cosmetics in the form of parabens, food preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisole, baby bottles and canned food containing BPA, and plastic containers (the one that upsets me the most is bottled water) and plastic toys (phthalates).

Of the estimated 100,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States today, more than 90 percent have never been tested to determine their effects on human health.

The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 is the current law regulating chemicals in the United States. Major loopholes in this law include: (1) the chemical industry is not required to prove a substance is safe before putting it out on the market, and (2) manufacturers are allowed to keep certain ingredients secret from the public in the name of “trade secrets.”

My mom has breast cancer. I do everything within my control to decrease my risk, which is why I follow very strict rules for my personal care products.

99% of breast cancer tumors contain parabens. That is enough evidence for me to completely avoid them.

I also stay away from anything containing petrochemicals, and don’t buy products that list ingredients with “PEG” or “-eth” in their name.

In short, everything I use is totally natural, non-toxic, preferably organic, and if I can eat it, even better.

I started making all of my own cleansers and moisturizers, but then I had children.

After trying close to every skin care line on the market, I’ve finally found one that I love. It is totally natural and non toxic and doesn’t make me break out! I recently had a friend’s husband tell me how great my skin looked (!) and for someone who has suffered from breakouts my whole life, this was a great compliment. These products are the difference.

I don’t recommend anything unless I am whole heartedly behind it and that is how I feel about this line.

So if you’re in the market for new, natural skin care, or would like to try some fantastic home and cleaning products, I invite you to head over to my page and check it out!

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Here are some of my absolute favorites:
The whole line of facial care- cleanser, moisturizer, make-up remover, and eye cream.

The dishwasher pods.

The pet deodorizer- this is the best stain remover I’ve tried. Weird right? It works!

The sunblock- not thick and goopy, and actually blocks the sun. I recently used it on my two boys all day at the sunny beaches of San Diego, and everyone came out unscathed!

The boo-boo stick. Great for cuts, scrapes, bug bites, etc. (Also free this month with a $95 purchase!)