Archive for October, 2009

Mom on a mission!

I’m not a mom yet but I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for women who listen to their own hearts about what’s good for their families and don’t accept status quo (see my post about labels). I follow a group called HEALTHY CHILD HEALTHY WORLD as the site provides a gold mine of information and perspective on living toxin free. As I am part of their Facebook group I saw a link pop up today which allows you to nominate any woman you know who is making a difference with the environment  for their family and friends. The program is called Mom on a Mission and I encourage you to take a read at what these women are doing in their communities. The award started in 2009 so you have plenty of time to make a difference in 2010!

I know so many women making a difference but I wanted to share one small story that is dear to my heart – I have a friend who came to me as she wants to change over the toxic cleaning products in her house to Shaklee Get Clean products. Her reason? Her cat, who is a true member of the family, has been licking the inside of the bathtub and the hardwood floors and she was worried about what the chemicals are doing to the 10lb cat. We sat down on Monday and walked through the Get Clean kit and the steps she can take to rid her home of the ‘traditional’ cleaners she’s been using. While she’s making this change for her cat, I can’t wait to hear how she and her boyfriend feel once they stop using such harsh chemicals in their environment. I’m proud of her that she’s taking the initiative to listen to her family (yes, as a cat person I consider any cat and especially our cat Georgia to be 100% part of the family!) and make decisions based on what’s best for them.

Simple Sells

My friend @emilynichols shared a story this morning from USA Today called “Marketers such as Starbucks discover that simple sells” my first thought on seeing the headline was “of course!!!”

The article notes (I’ve bolded my fav statement)

Companies that offer products with the fewest number of ingredients compared with rivals stand to win big in 2010, says Lynn Dornblaser, trends guru at Mintel. Mintel has tracked decreases this year in the average number of ingredients in 19 product categories including dairy products, processed meats and even pet foods.

Consumers these days not only want to know what’s in the stuff they eat and drink — they want to know what’s not. In a nation bedeviled by a whirlwind of food scares and mounting worries about the healthiness of a plethora of things commonly used in processed foods, folks increasingly are demanding cleaner food labels: no artificial food colorings (some of which have been linked to hyperactivity in children), no chemical additives (such as MSG) and no chemical preservatives (such as BHA). If they can’t pronounce it, consumers don’t want it.

The new marketing code word being used to boast about fewer ingredients: simple. From 2005 to 2008, there’s been a 64.7% increase in new products using the words “simple” or “simply” in the product or brand name, reports researcher Datamonitor.

In 2010, products that tout simplified labels will be more sought after than those clinging to the formerly hot buzzwords “organic” or “natural,” says Dornblaser.

At its simplest, simple sells.

The food business has always been ingenious at turning any criticism into a new way to sell food to us,” says Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. The best-selling book popularized the notion of buying only foods with five or fewer ingredients. “As soon as you stress fewer ingredients, you’re implying that the food is healthy.”

I totally agree with Michael Pollan’s statement. Just because something has fewer ingredients doesn’t mean it’s good for you. One of the products that I think really demonstrates this is Soybeans. We think soy and health right? Not so if the soy isn’t non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism).

Out of anyone I know Tim is the best about making sure the foods we buy don’t contain ingredients we don’t want or need. It’s an eye-opening experience to make yourself evaluate everything you put in your shipping cart – not only from what’s on the label but who makes the products to get an understanding of their farming practices….can get a bit scary at times.  Next time you are buying pasta, take a look at what’s included – it should just be duram wheat and water right? Let me know what you find.

Kids need more Vitamin D!

One of the things I love about writing this blog is that I’m learning so much now that I’m taking the time to read about what our bodies and our environment need to stay healthy.

Cindy Latham, VP of marketing, at Shaklee, posted a study, led by Jonathan Mansbach, MD, at Children’s Hospital Boston, on her Facebook page today about Vitamin D.

The study notes “Mansbach and his co-authors suggest that all children take vitamin D supplements, because of the generally low levels that they found and the potential health benefits of boosting vitamin D to normal levels. Vitamin D improves bone health and prevents rickets in children, and recent studies suggest that it also may prevent a host of common childhood illnesses, including respiratory infections, childhood wheezing, and winter-related eczema.”

I’m going to send this study to my friend Karen as she was just asking about tips for keeping her 3-year-old clear of a stuffed up nose and wheezing at night.  Shakleekids Incredivites has 600 IU of vitamin D to support strong bones and teeth, and 100% of the Daily Value of all eight B vitamins and vitamin C.

Go Healthy Kids!

What a weekend!

Mystic PizzaTim and I had the good fortune to celebrate the marriage of our great friends Sarah and Damond this past weekend in Norwich, CT. It was so relaxing to spend time with our wonderful friends, eat good food and just hang out away from the pressures of everyday life. I got my nails done, took a yoga class, got my hair cut, went swimming and had such a great time. I think it’s so important to step away at times and take a break. Stress is something that’s been creeping back into my life at a very steady pace given the demands of my day job and I don’t think I realized the toll it was taking until I really disconnected.

On Sunday for our drive home it was absolutely amazing out – a true New England Fall day – where the trees were literally bursting with color. Tim and I stopped in Mystic, CT to have lunch at Mystic Pizza (yes, I grew up with that movie and LOVE that place!) and the whole world just seemed to be calm and peaceful.

Here’s to everyone who took some time to celebrate life this weekend and gain back the perspective we all deserve and need!!!

Do you read labels?

I was talking to a lovely friend of mine yesterday who has a 9 month old daughter. She’s such an inspiration to me in the way that she mothers as she is constantly asking questions of her doctors, asking questions of the food manufactures that make baby food and has become a real advocate for not accepting data as fact. She truly embodies the kind of mom I want to be someday. We got into a conversation around the importance of reading labels as she was telling me how she’s been making all of her daughter’s baby food as she can only find three kinds of baby food on the market that are actually all organic (meaning carrots and water or sweet potatoes and water vs. peas and absorbic acid, natural flavor, etc). As I was sharing with her the Shaklee baby products and the kind of testing and guarantees the company provides it was such a good reminder to me that we have to be so diligent about not only reading but actually understanding the claims companies are making about what they put in the products we bring into our home, feed our bodies and use to clean ourselves. I went home from that convo and looked up Shaklee’s safety guarantees as a reminder – I’ve pasted them below as every time I read them it reaffirms why I use and trust these products. If you’re interested in the actual studies that have been done on the products check out this link.

Shaklee: We guarantee unconditional safety

We start with nature. Shaklee scientists search the world over to source the finest natural ingredients. Then we conduct over 350 tests on every single new ingredient for heavy metals, pesticides, or any of hundreds of other harmful contaminants. And we continue to conduct over 80,000 quality tests annually to guarantee the purity and safety of each and every product.

That’s why we are absolutely sure of this: Every Shaklee product is 100% safe to use. Guaranteed.

Just Some of Shaklee’s NO List:

  • NO Parabens
  • NO Triclosan
  • NO Phthalates
  • NO Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • NO Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES)
  • NO 1,4-Dioxane
  • NO Propylene Glycol
  • NO Volatile Organic Cleaning Compounds (VOCs)
  • NO Hydrochloric Acid
  • NO Ammonia
  • NO Sodium Hydroxide
  • NO Butyl Cellosolve
  • NO Formaldehyde
  • NO Bisphenol-A
  • NO Petroleum Distillates
  • NO Toulene
  • NO Chlorine Bleach
  • NO MSG
  • NO Dyes
  • NO Trans Fats
  • NO Artificial Sweeteners
  • NO Toxic Inks
  • NO Banned Substances

So how often do you all actually read lables? For me , it’s something I have to remind myself to do every time I’m in a store.

Spokane Co. high-phosphate detergent ban working

I lived in Portland, Ore for a few years and visited Spokane, WA for Thanksgiving one year so was VERY impressed to read that Spokane County is the only place in the country to ban phosphate-laden dishwashing detergents. Not only that, but this new article from The Seattle Times notes that one year later new data shows the effort appears to be working. The article notes:

Water coming into Spokane’s sewage plant during the first 12 months of the ban had nearly 11 percent less phosphorus than the annual average the previous three years, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Mike Coster, the plant’s operations superintendent, says the new law won’t have much of an effect on water flowing from the plant into the river since treatment removes much of the phosphorous.

But it will have a bigger impact on homes on septic or drain field systems, where water and phosphorous filter back into groundwater, he said.

“Any phosphorus reduction you can see there is going to have benefit to the river,” Coster said. “It’s not the total answer, but it’s one step.”

I’d love to see more counties giving this a try and while I don’t advocate anyone being forced to do something, I do believe we all have a responsibility to our environment and the health of the people we share this planet with.  If anyone is interested in giving the Get Clean products a try in your house please let me know!

We Met Our First Shaklee Milestone!

As you guys know, Tim and I started our Shaklee business 2 weeks ago and….I’m SO excited to share that in the first two weeks we met our first milestone and were able to get the first thing (a new Sony Bravia TV!) on our dream board! I can’t tell you how amazing this feels to know that we made the decision to start our own business and then see the energy we dedicated to getting it off the ground come to life! Check out our website and let us know how we can help you with your health and wellness needs!!!