My Shaklee Dream Plan

Wowzwers! It’s been quite a crazy summer and because of that the time I was investing in building my Shaklee business was put on hold. Monday night I felt like I was ready to get my business going again so on tuesday I attended a meeting about all the new opportunity that came of out of the annual convention this year. Growing up in a Shaklee house, my parents had Shaklee cars – a program where if you made a certain amount of sales each month Shaklee would pay for the lease on a car. I think my parents had 10 or so Shaklee cars before the company did away with the program. So, I can’t even begin to express how excited I was to learn that Shaklee has brought the car program back! Not only did they bring the car program back, but they’ve structured it in a way that doesn’t lock you into having to get a car – sounds confusing but really it’s so cool. Basically, when I reach a specific amount of sales each month Shaklee sends me a check for $235-250. I can then use that money for whatever I want – a lease or purchase of a car, my house payment, paying off school loans, etc. It’s amazing because the more I do in sales the more money they send me. For our family, we’ve made the decision to have one car so I think I would be more likely to take the money and use it towards our mortgage rather then a car and it’s really empowering to know I’m going to have that option!

I’m really excited about this next stage of my Shaklee business 🙂

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TIPS FOR A PLAYFUL SUMMER

Coming to you via the PlayWorks summer newsletter! Play safe all!

 1. Game Night after dinner: Take advantage of the longer days and have a family game of Triangle tag, 4-Square or Switch after dinner.

2. Game of the Week: Have 1 family member (including parents) learn and teach a new game every week. To take a break from the heat, explore indoor games as well as outdoor ones. (Four Corners and Sandman are great indoor games from the Playworks curriculum!)

3. Playful Incentives: Create playful physical activity incentives for your kids. For example, if they can jump rope 100 times, they get a lunch of their choice.

4. Take a family walk or hike: To keep your kids engaged, create a scavenger hunt for your family to complete as you go. Make a list of things to collect, such as an acorn, a piece of litter, or a clover. Make another list of things to see, such as a duck, a squirrel, a stream, or an oak tree.

5. Keep it fresh: Check out our Playbook to download FREE games to play this summer.

The curious case of composting a SunChips bag

My husband and I went to a party this weekend to watch the USA in their (last) World Cup game. On the way over we stopped at the store to pick up a few things and as we were walking through the chip section, the SunChips bag caught my eye.

Full disclosure – I love SunChips, they are one of my guilty pleasures. I’m not big into potato chips but give me a bag of SunChips and they will be gone in a few minutes. 🙂

Right away I was caught by the big letters on the front of the bag that claimed “world’s first 100% compostable chip package!” Really? I mean, I love you SunChips but do you honestly have what you claim? So of course I had to buy them (right, nothing to do with my love of SunChips here!)

The bag turned into a hot topic of conversation at the party for many reasons but one of the most discussed was how much louder the bag was then other chip bags. I went to the SunChips website this morning to see if I could learn why and here’s what they said:

We dream of a world with less waste. That’s why we’ve introduced a bag made from plants so it’s fully compostable. Every 10 ½ oz. SunChips® package is designed to fully break down in just 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin or pile. If it takes a little longer, don’t worry about it. Mother nature will get to it soon enough.

Truth be told, our new bag sounds a bit different than our previous bags. That’s because plant-based materials have different sound properties than the materials used to create our old bags. So although this version is a little bit louder, we hope you’ll appreciate the change and the positive environmental impact it will have.”

Very interesting 🙂

So anyways, Tim and I brought the bag home with us as we compost and want to give this a try. If it works, I think SunChips will become a proud pleasure as I appreciate anyone / any company who tries to find new ways to do things. INNOVATION is what we need in our food industry and I’ll report back to let you know if it’s actually composting. It says it will break down in around 14 weeks. Here’s hoping!

10-Minute Healthy Home Makeover

I was just reading an article from Healthy Child Healthy World about the easy things you can do to make a difference in the health of your home. As I was going through the article, I gave myself a test to see if we’re actually doing these things in our home…i’m proud to say that we do 4 out of the 5 below…but it seems I need to get better at remembering to dust! Time to pull out my Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Wipes and get to work!

Step 1 – Open some windows. Indoor air is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. In fact, the indoor air in the typical American home contains over 500 chemicals, according to a study published in April 2009. Opening windows for even a few minutes a day can vastly improve your indoor air quality. Open one right now so that during the ten minutes you are doing your home makeover, you’ll be letting contaminated air out and fresh air in.

Step 2 – Dust electronics. One type of toxic chemical commonly found in household dust is flame retardants. According to “Tech Secrets: 21 Things ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know,”

Though electronics manufacturers have made great strides in reducing their use of harmful chemicals in recent years, tech gear still may contain brominated flame retardants–chemicals used to reduce the risk of fire that studies have linked to lower IQs in children and reduced fertility rates.

“BFRs used in the manufacture of circuit boards can be converted to highly toxic brominated dioxins and furans if the products are burned at the end of their life,” says Arlene Blum, executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute and a visiting professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley.

But even daily use can be dangerous, says Blum. “When used in plastic casings, BFRs can also migrate out of the plastic into the dust in the room and then enter the body via the hand-to-mouth contact.”

The Fix: While major manufacturers such as Apple, Dell, and HP have moved away from BFRs in recent years, certain products built before 2009–especially devices that generate a lot of heat, like laptops and laser printers–may still contain BFRs, says Michael Kirschner, associate director of the Green Science Policy Institute. “Do some research,” says Kirschner. “Almost all vendors now have an environmental section on their Websites that tells you about the materials they use.”
For immediate health protection, keep electronic equipment dust-free by damp dusting it frequently.

Step 3 – Make a shoe drop-spot. Consider every place you walk when you leave your house and then think of what you could be tracking back inside – pesticides from a freshly sprayed lawn, lead dust from contaminated soil, gasoline from stopping to fuel your car, feces from your neighbor’s dog, and much more. One of the most recent studies published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology, found that toxic coal tar, a known carcinogen used in driveway sealants (among other places), is tracked into homes from driveways and parking lots. Keep contaminants out by leaving dirt at the door. Find a large basket or decorative box to keep shoes in by your home’s entryways. Hopefully you have something on hand, but, if not, you can use a laundry basket until you find a more attractive replacement.

Step 4 – Clean out your cleaning cabinet. Conventional cleaning products can contain many dangerous chemicals, which are usually not listed on the labels. So, whether you keep your cleaners in a closet or under the sink, grab a box and get rid of any with warning labels (danger, warning, or caution). Toss the box in the trunk of your car and drop it off at your local Household Hazardous Waste site the next time you’re in the area. Don’t know where your local drop-off is? Enter your zip code at Earth911.com to find out. Keep your home clean and healthy by purchasing non-toxic cleaners or making your own using these recipes for safer cleaners.

Step 5 – Purge plastics. Plastics, which are used for most of our food packaging, storage and serving, can pose potential health risks. Originally, manufacturers thought these chemicals were “locked” into the product, but more and more studies show they are not. Some plastics leach harmful chemicals into foods and drinks, especially when they come in contact with fatty or acidic foods, during heating and microwaving, or as a result of wear and tear. Grab a box or bag and quickly go through your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Toss any plastic that’s scratched or worn, as well as any with the numbers 1, 3, 6, or 7 which have been shown to be more prone to leaching. If you can’t find the number (usually located on the bottom of the product in a chasing arrow symbol), call the manufacturer. Don’t know who made it? Consider it guilty unless you can prove it’s safe. Better safe than sorry! Recycle the plastics if possible. Otherwise, think of creative ways to re-use them: sandbox toys, bath tub toys, for gardening, craft supply storage, etc.

How to protect yourself from toxins

I have the great privilege to still be friends with my girlfriends from high school. We’ve all grown up, learned new things, gotten married, survived heartbreak, moved around, had kids, tried different careers and learned a lot! I was having dinner with my wonderful friends G and B on Friday night and we started to talk about how you should begin to educate yourself around what you should and shouldn’t eat, the toxins you should avoid, etc. B has two little boys and she way saying that it feels stressful to try and work though all that stuff when you are busy, tired and working. We live in a time of immense education which can feel amazing and overwhelming at the same time.

I came across this CNN Health series around the ‘5 Toxics That Are Everywhere” which I thought did a really good job of breaking down some of the toxins we can try to avoid. We can’t be perfect – I think you’d have to live in a bubble! But taking small steps every day can make a huge difference. The 5 toxics the article discusses are:

  • BPA
  • Phthalates
  • PFOA — Perfluorooctanoic acid (also called C8)
  • Formaldehyde
  • PBDEs – Polybrominated diethyl ethers

Happy educating 🙂

Wheat-free, Dairy-free, Oh My!

June 1 marked my first experience with what a wheat free, dairy free day could look like. I’d been thinking about going wheat free, dairy free for a while as I’ve been experiencing lots of stress lately, traveling to much and generally eating bad so I thought my system could use a break from all the bread (I LOVE BREAD!) and ice cream/cheese (I LOVE ICE CREAM AND CHEESE!) I consume when I’m not on a normal schedule.  So, today is my third day eating no wheat and no dairy. It’s been interesting so far and the one thing I’m really missing is the skim milk I use in my morning coffee. The first morning I drank it black – not working for me 🙂 The second day I tried a soy latte, better but still not crazy about it. Today I tried coffee with soy milk…SIGH it’s just not cutting it.

Any suggestions for my morning coffee? I need some help!!

Can of Del Monte Green Beans Sets Toxic BPA Record

WOW, Del Monte French Style Green Beans from a store in Wisconsin—had the highest level of BPA ever recorded: 1,140 parts per billion. Other canned foods with unusually high levels of BPA were Walmart’s Great Value Green Peas, purchased in Kentucky; and Healthy Choice Old Fashioned Chicken. If you want to avoid cans with BPA linings, look for the Eden brand, which you can find in most Whole Foods stores or in the organic sections of your local grocery. Stay healthy everyone!