My husband and I watched a Netflix documentary called The Human Experiment a few months ago about chemicals in our every day lives, and boy was it eye opening. I can’t even begin to number the amount of every day products that have horrible chemicals in them that affect your body and your unborn child. BPA in plastic, aluminum in deodorant, Chemicals in our makeup. Whats a girl to do? I would love to say I’ve gone 100% natural but lets face it, that is almost impossible. I could start making my own makeup or not wearing any, but thats not realistic. Lets talk about some things we can do to rid some toxins from our bodies that we may not even know are harming us.
Deodorant is pretty much an every day staple in my life, but after a friend was diagnosed with a lump in her breast in her 20s, and the doctors linked it to her deodorant, I tried to go natural. The high contents of aluminum found in most deodorant have been linked to breast cancer and some studied suggest even Alzheimer’s. (Thankfully my friend is perfectly healthy with 2 adorable children). Since then, I’ve tried my fair share of natural deodorant and let me tell you what, as much as I’d liked to say “they are awesome!!!” they, in fact, are not. When you’re a dancer in 105 degree heat in Orlando, you need something a little… more. I tried the Toms and Jason’s, and I think they work great for a cooler day when you’re not doing much, but in the Florida sun, it just didn’t cut it. So then I tried a salt stick (You can find those at whole foods) and, I just didn’t think it worked that great either. So I ended up landing on Kiehl’s Superbly efficient Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant, with I’ve used for a few years, and I like it. But, unfortunately, Kiehl’s does have aluminum in it, but it only has 12% compared to the drug store brands, which have 20%-30% aluminum, so I was willing to take my chances. But recently my husband started getting massive rashes in his arm pits, (he used Old Spice) so we are looking for something better. A friend recommended Native and we’re excited to start trying it. It’s actually not that expensive either. So I’ll keep you updated on that front.
If you buy makeup from the drug store then it probably has harmful chemicals in it. I know, I know, it’s cheaper. But, in order for it to last longer, it’s pumped full of chemicals that can not only cause cancer, but can make you infertile! As a performer I’ve gone through a huge make-up upgrade. When I was 17, Cover Girl all the way for dance recitals. But after I graduated college and was performing in the hot sun every day of the week in Orlando, I decided to up my make-up budget. (The unfairness of it all is that female performers make WAY less money than our male counterparts, and we’re covering our face in toxic chemicals…but, that’s off topic.) So, there are tons of natural beauty products out there for you! Tart and Bare Minerals come up often when searching for natural beauty products. Sephora has an online store dedicated to natural Make-Up. Also Check out this site, www.vegan.com for cruelty free vegan beauty products! It can get expensive, but if you kick that Starbucks habit (which you should do anyways if you’re pregnant) I’m sure you can afford some toxic free makeup!
Most ladies don’t think about tampons being hazardous to their long-term health, but, tis true. According to a q&a session on goop.com with Maggie Ney N.D- you can read the whole thing here– Tampons are made from cotton, which is sprayed with pesticides, which can be absorbed into the vagina, and into our blood stream. This causes a whole host of problems as small as allergies to as big as cancer and infertility. The honest company just rolled out a new line of tampons with a 100% biodegradable plastic applicator! What?! That is crazy. (check it out here) Some organic cotton tampon lines even go as far as sending you a new box every 28 days so you’re ready when your monthly friend pays a visit. Honestly, I think this is the way of the future!
BPA is found in plastic that we use almost every day. Back in the early 2000s, parents were horrified to find that it was in their children’s baby bottles! Almost every plastic baby bottle had BPA in it. It’s also found in every day plastics that contain food and drinks. 90% of us have BPA in our bodies right now. Why is this such a big deal? BPA studies are still young, but have been linked to cancer, hormonal changes in fetuses, and some studies show it affects the brain of a growing child! Do you remember those commercials that were playing for years about High Fructose Corn Syrup being good for you? (I still fume over those commercials!) Well that’s kind-of what the plastic companies are trying to do here. They are saying that there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that BPA is bad for you. Luckily, we don’t have to buy into that bull! Just use glass containers for storing food and look for BPA free bottles (Pretty much every bottle on the market is BPA free now, but if you really want to be sure, you can buy glass bottles like LifeFactory’s or if glass isn’t your thing, Tommy Tippee Close to Nature Bottles. Want to make sure that your plastic is BPA free? Look for the number inside of the recycle triangle.
Numbers to avoid
#3-Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
#7- Polycarbonate-This chemical is the one most related to the hormonal dispute. It can be found in Sports bottles, baby bottles, and most commonly the 5-gallon water cooler jugs! (I know I drink from this every day at work!!)
5. Avoid Sugar!
Sugar could be one of the hardest things to avoid, and is most likely linked to the biggest human killers. I don’t want my baby coming out a sugar addict, which is what the sugar companies want from our precious younglings. It’s in everything you eat from your ketchup, cup of low-fat yogurt to your morning Starbucks latte. The amount of sugar we eat in a day is slowly killing us. Sugar is linked to diabetes, obesity, cancer and new studies even show infertility!! The huge sugar corporations are trying to fight the American people’s right to know whats in your food! Have you ever wondered why your fat-free yogurt tastes so good? There’s sugar in it! If you really want to rid your body of harmful toxins, start with sugar. Start reading the labels on boxes, especially things you buy for your children. The sugar companies know that if they put sugar in juice boxes, with bright colors, kids will drink that shit up. Literally. Thats how they hook them for life.
Have you ever wondered why there is no daily percentage by the sugar line? It’s because our daily intake is supposed to be less than 9 teaspoons for an average size man (about 24g) a day of natural sugar. Do you know how many grams are in a banana? 21g of sugar. Do you know how many are in a serving of Soda? 38.9 grams!! 38.9 grams of sugar are in ONE serving of soda! The sugar companies don’t want you knowing what your daily intake of sugar should be, because your consumption of 1 soda maxes you way past your daily intake! Just writing this gets me fuming! How dare they! How dare they hide this from us!
Just from cutting unhealthy sugars from your life you are saving yourself and your unborn child from cancer, obesity, diabetes, ADHD and a whole string of other problems that go with eating and drinking sugar. I could go on for pages and pages about how awful sugar is for you but you have probably heard it all before, and you’re probably thinking, but how do I cut sugar?
Now, I’m not perfect—That is why this blog is called Perfectly Imperfect. I love a cupcake just like the next person, but after cutting sugar for while, it doesn’t seem as appetizing as it used to be. Doesn’t mean I’m not gonna eat it though.
1.Start by cutting soda. I cut soda when I was 15 because I suffered from really bad migraines, and cutting soda almost got rid of them completely. But you will suffer from migraines for about a week after cutting soda. It’s a side effect of cutting something you’re addicted to. But once you go off soda for a month, you’ll notice you don’t crave it anymore, and when you do drink it, it tastes weird. La Croix is what I replaced my Vodka drinks with. Refreshing and no sugar!
2. Stay on the outer aisles of the grocery store. I only go through the middle if I need something specific. I skirt the outside and pretty much only that. It helps keep un-needed food out of my cart and out of my home. If I really want something like ice cream, I buy it, put it in my freezer, and 99% of the time, I forget it put it there. Or I’ll have one bite and put it back.
3. Read the labels! Fat-free isn’t always healthy. Back in the 70s and 80s fat got a bad name. Even avocados were on a do not eat list! It was based on bull reasearch, but we won’t get into that. So in order to make fat-free things taste good, companies added sugar. Still do. Read the labels on your yogurt and other “fat-free, all natural” things. You really want to try and stay under 11g of sugar. I don’t eat a lot of yogurt, but when I was pregnant I couldn’t get enough of it. I liked Siggy’s yogurt, which you can find almost anywhere. If you read the label they have lower sugar than most of the other yogurts out there.
4. Be aware of “sweeteners”. So, sweeteners are now the go to thing. I don’t like it, and I don’t buy it. I drink my coffee black, and I try to stay away from anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup. I just don’t trust them. The whole lot! If you really need some sugar in your life, try raw honey from your local farmers market (it supports local businesses and helps with your seasonal allergies).
I know this is a short list, but I could go on for a whole book! In fact, there are tons of books out there written about these many topics. But I wouldn’t start freaking out and living nomad lifestyle just yet. Even little steps can help to make our bodies that much healthier for a perfect pregnancy.