Still using big company skin care products and makeup? Well, I got some proof that you need to read those ingredients.

Methyl-Paraben

I had to order methyl-paraben to prevent mold from growing in my experiments at school. When I read the label, this is what I found…

In a nutshell….Methyl-paraben is

  1. Harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.
  2. Avoid release into the environment
  3. Wear protective gear
  4. Avoid breathing dust
  5. Dispose of contents/container to a licensed chemical disposal agency

AND YET….it’s the preservative used in most skin care products.  WTF!!!!!!!

From the Hallstar Website, about the application of methylparaben.

It is used in:

After Sun Skin Care
Bath Additives
Beach Wear Sun Care
Daily Wear Sun Care
Eye Area Color Cosmetics
Facial Cleansers
Facial Color Cosmetics
Facial Skin Care
Foot Care
Hair Colorants
Hair Conditioners
Hand & Body Care
Lip Care
Nail Care
Oral care preparations
Self-Tanners
Shaving Products
Styling Aids

So, it kills fish, should not be released into the environment, and should have protective gear used when handling it…but it is safe for “OUR” skin care products. REALLY??????

Well, NOT mine!

Read the ingredients in your products and know what you are using. If you still choose to use these products, at least you do so willingly and with full knowledge. Do not blindly believe that just because it is on USA store shelves that it is a safe product.

Luckily, if you choose to reject these chemicals in your products, there are tons of great products out there that do not contain these potential poisons.

You have a choice.

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October is for Breasts!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it always reminds me of the importance of early detection. We know that early detection is the key to treatment and survival but still many women do not get physical exams, do self-exams, or get mammograms. The reasons vary but they are truly just excuses, usually based on fear or embarrassment.

When my best friend was in her early thirties, she had her first breast cancer scare. It turned out to be benign but it was a scary time, especially because she was under the age that mammograms were covered or recommended by most doctors.  I spoke to my doctor because I had VERY fibrous breasts and she did recommend a mammogram and felt that the age for baseline mammograms should be closer to 35 because when younger women get breast cancer, it tends to be a more dangerous type.

I began annual mammograms at 35. When I told my aunt that I was yearly, not every other year, she told me I must have a diagnosis in my file that puts me on an annual track. 7 years later, I got that scary call to come back in because the doctors had found something. After ultrasounds and surgery, it turned out to be nothing but it was scary. What wasn’t scary was that if it was cancer, I had the opportunity to catch it early.

For more information about breast cancer go to http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org

Another friend of mine was diagnosed with late stage, highly active breast cancer at the age of 30.  She was not at the age that anyone was checking her and she did not go see a doctor regularly. Luckily her friends convinced her to go ask her doctor about it. At her appointment, they immediately cleared their schedule, sent her to the hospital, and she began the long road of diagnosis, treatment, and survival.

These are cases where women were too young to be on the radar, but needed to be. So why do so many older women who are more at risk refuse to do these life-saving screenings? For some, it’s embarrassing or it is a cultural issue. For others it is the fear of radiation. Still for others, they just want to bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best.

My husband’s cousin, Lynn, was diagnosed with breast cancer around the age of 47.  She had never had a mammogram but her husband found the lump and encouraged her to see a doctor. At the time, she did not have insurance so her journey was an especially difficult one. Being the ultimate teacher and entertainer, Lynn began to document her journey to share with her family and other women. It’s honest and raw but sends a very important message to women about taking care of your breast health and offers support for those on the same journey.  You can check out Lynn’s journey on her Facebook page called “Kick the Crap Out of Cancer“.

Some women do not want the extra radiation from the mammogram…now that I understand. In addition to self-exams annual physicals by a physician (medical or natural), there is also Breast Thermography.

Breast Thermography uses infrared to detect temperature changes in the body. Although it may not be as accurate as a mammogram or ultrasound, it can certainly be an additional too or first line option for those who refuse traditional mammograms.

For more information about Breast Thermography and how it compares to Ultrasounds and Mammograms, you can go to the Breast Thermography website.  For local readers, you can go to Groton Wellness. They have a very informative brochure on thermography for breasts and other parts of the body. They also have a practitioner who provides the various thermographic services a few days a week.

Ladies, it is really important to take care of your health. Eat right, exercise, deal with your emotional shit, and take preventive measures in areas where you are most susceptible, like your breasts!

Don’t let fear control you!

Let’s Save the Tatas!

When life gets tough; reflect and redirect, if needed

Sometimes the shit hits the fan. We have bad days, get bad news, and bad things happen. This doesn’t mean it is the end of the world nor does it mean it is someone else’s fault. When bad things happen, it is a wake up call to reflect on our own behaviors, beliefs, or actions. I may also be a reminder that life is a series of ups and downs and we must learn to ride that wave. No one event defines us…we can all change. No one event destroys us…we are resilient.

Recently, we got “bad news”. News that made us upset, angry and scared. Once we sat and reflected on our part in this problem, we could start to move forward and develop a plan of action…a plan on how to make things better, how to BE better, and to re-set our priorities.  This is not a bad thing. If you ignore these warnings or try to place blame on others, things will only get worse. I promise they will. By accepting your part in an issue, you can start to make progress. It may take time but that first step is important.

We are here on earth to learn, to evolve, to find peace and happiness in a world that is in turmoil and to learn from our mistakes.  We are hear to find our path and our reason for being. You cannot learn about yourself if you are never challenged.

Parenthood is tough. There are no roadmaps or guidebooks. Why? Because each child is soooo inherently different. Each parent is different and comes with their own experiences and mental baggage. We make mistakes, our kids make mistakes. I think what’s important is to parent with love and awareness. You can be strict, you can have rules but they should be handled with love. Sometimes this is hard, especially when our children disappoint us or scare us…but they must know that they are loved. That their mistakes do not define them…everyone can change course.

I think it is also important to build their self-esteem and not say or do things that will ultimately destroy it. Recently I saw a mother on social media berate her child for doing something wrong in class and then proceeded to make him eat hot sauce. (mind you, he was young) The messages this mother is sending to her child are so damaging that I cried.  I think she thinks she is teaching him to behave in class, folllow the rules, and be good. What he is learning is that if he makes a mistake his mother will not love him, in fact, she will hurt him-emotionally and physically. What the kids feels is bad. He thinks “I am bad”. If he thinks he is bad, inherently bad and not worthy of his mothers love and understanding…he will behave badly…because he has already been told he is bad. His mother told him so and she would know, right? His self-esteem will plummet, he will not try anything for fear of making a mistake, and he will ultimately suffer in the long run. Why? because he goofed around in class. Big F’n Deal!

We all make mistakes. Some worse than others but mistakes nonetheless. What we need to teach our children and ourselves is how to correct our mistakes and move on from them. How do we change course? How do we make better decisions next time? Why did we make that mistake? Etc…

So I am not perfect, I am not a perfect parent, and I do not have perfect kids. But we are all evolving and I can work with that.  I can be better and so can my kids. Together, as a family, we can be closer, stronger, and more supportive.

Having a bad parenting day? Read “Get Out of My Life! But First Can You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?” by Anthony E. Wolf. Great book about parenting teens! Truly is a must read!!!!! If you are complaining about your teen/tween (and we all do)…read this and start moving forward.