What have I gotten myself into? Somehow I signed myself up to do fifty burpees every day for thirty days. So now I need your help. I’m looking for a support team to hold me (and you if you join!) accountable. Interested in joining me?
I know you’re wondering why would anyone in their right mind want to do this? Valid question. 50 burpees are no small feat. Exercise and fitness have always been a big part of my life, but this is taking things to a whole new level. For some reason, I was inspired by Anna Quinlan when she wrote about her experience doing 50 burpees every day for 30 days. No surprise that her entire body was sore for the entire first week and she sweat like a pig every single time throughout the month. Something about this really does sound appealing, doesn’t it?
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s what a burpee looks like.
When I shared the burpee challenge on my Facebook page a few eager, fit friends chimed in. Together we decided to give it a shot.
Kicking off on November 1st, we are going to do a burpee challenge: 50 burpees for 30 days.
If you want to start off with an easier version rather than doing the pushup, stick to a plank. I know that 50 pushups is a lot even without the added burpee. My goal is to do all 50 with the pushup. I really think I can do it. Over the summer I challenged myself to do 50 pushups and 50 situps every day. It wasn’t easy, but I did it most days. Burpees with pushups are an entirely different beast.
If you’re interested in joining in the fun but don’t want to do the pushup, here’s what a pushup-free burpee would look like.
So now that I’ve completely lost my mind, I’m hoping you’ll join me. I have no doubt that after the 30 days are over we’ll all feel fabulous. Too bad the short sleeves and swimsuits will be stashed away by then.
Are you ready to join me? Feel free to email or message me if you don’t want to publically commit. We can do this together!
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This post is brought to you by Goddess Garden. All opinions are my own.
When I was in my teens I worshipped the sun. That’s when the sunscreen mistakes began. Baby oil, reflectors and hours of free time left me in basking in the sun’s rays for far too long. Many vacations were spent with my grandparents in Florida. I would lay outside on a lounge chair with my grandmother acting as my timekeeper, yelling to me when it was time to turn over, all in the name of a golden tan.
Fast forward to the present. I am now an avid sun avoider. Slathered in safe sunscreen, I do my best to wear hats and seek out the shade. My annual dermatology appointment is a reminder that sun damage is real.
Over the years I’ve made my fair share of sunscreen blunders. Some of them are permanent and others are an easy fix.
How many of these sunscreen mistakes are you “guilty” of?
Now is the perfect time to repair the damage with an easy nighttime routine including intense hydration and replenishing necessary nutrients to boost the skin’s ability to heal itself. Goddess Garden’s evening skincare products do all of that—naturally.
Forgetting to apply sunscreen in the fall and winter
With summer days behind us, it’s time to pack away the swimsuits but not the sunscreen. Here in the Northern hemisphere, we’re closer to the sun in the winter. The protective ozone layer is thinner in the winter as well. UVA damage happens year-round, even if you aren’t getting a sunburn. When you also consider snow reflects as much as 80-percent of the UV rays back at us, sunscreen is more important than ever. As we gear up for the winter, now is the perfect time to get into good daily sunscreen habits!
Over the years I’ve been asked many times about which personal care products I use. As a fun way to share, I thought I would give you a sneak peek into some of the products currently in my shower.
We all know the personal care products marketplace is constantly changing and the marketplace is extremely confusing for consumers. Finding safe, non-toxic products that work isn’t always easy. The government does no safety testing of products or their ingredients, nor does it approve new products before they’re placed on the shelves in our stores.
If we want safe products we’re forced to become experts by doing extensive research before investing in a product.
I’ve spent some time researching safer products and shared a few of my favorite green beauty products, shampoos, body lotions, nail polish and lipstick. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of what other trusted sources are using. Micaela over at Mindful Momma shared her favorite creamy facial cleansers. Lindsay from LindsayDahl.com shared some of her finds for safe and effective exfoliators for face and body.
Non-toxic personal care products are constantly evolving, and ingredients are always changing. Part of my job is to test out new and improved personal care products and let you know about them.
My overall advice when making the switch to safer personal care products is to replace products you’re currently using with a safer version as they run out. Take the time to educate yourself and to do the research, then make the switch.
And here’s that sneak peek into my shower for that rare opportunity to check out the personal care products I’m currently using.
Personal care products on the top shelf in my shower
We’ve been using this for many years. As you can see from the photo, we need to replace it. Maybe we’ll make the switch to something different. I always use the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database as a starting point for determining whether or not something’s safe. Avalon Organics Cream Shave received a 3 out of 10 (on a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk), which reflects a few questionable ingredients.
Even though this is “baby” shampoo and wash our entire family uses it. It’s great for sensitive skin and is made without artificial ingredients found in most conventional body washes. It fared just OK on EWG’s Skin Deep site, receiving a 4 out of 10 with the concern focused on the added fragrance.
I’ve been using this along with the Acure Organics Shampoo for quite a while. I really love them both. I visited the company website and liked what I saw. Their mission is to create high quality skin care products made from the purest, fair trade, natural and certified organic ingredients. The smell is interesting (can’t quite place my finger on what it is) and mild. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a 3 (on a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk).
I recently spotted Acure Organics Shampoo on the shelf at my local Whole Foods Market and decided to give it a try. The shampoo makes me hair feel silky and soft. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a 1 (on a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk).
Another pricey product, but it’s one that’s well loved and always in the shower. It really makes my skin feel clean and fresh. I love that it’s formulated without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. Juice Beauty never tests their products on animals.
I’m hooked on this soap. It doesn’t have an overpowering scent and does the job. It’s made from certified organic ingredients. The packaging is bio-degradable and there’s no animal testing. Great bar of soap. Buy the 6 pack for a big discount (6 for $26).
What’s your favorite personal care product in your shower? I’d love to hear what you use and love.
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According to a recent New York Times article, the most encouraging gains in the war against cancer come from taking steps to prevent this disease. We all know that not all cancers are preventable, but through some simple lifestyle changes we can sometimes lower our risk.
The home is an easy place to begin since there are several possible cancer-causing substances that might be lurking under your very own roof.
Non-Stick Pots and Pans (Teflon)
Many homes are filled with nonstick pots and pans, which are loved for their ease and convenience when it comes to cooking and cleaning. Nonstick finishes have come under fire in recent years due to the toxic fumes emitted when the cookware is exposed to high heat. Most nonstick pots and pans are metal pans (such as aluminum pans) coated with a chemicals from the Perfluorinated chemical or Perfluorochemicals (PFC) family. Studies in humans found that workers with exposure to PFOA have higher risks of bladder and kidney cancers. Another study showed that PFCs have been linked to infertility in women.
Bottom Line: Time to replace those petroleum based candles with a safer alternative.
For many years BPA has been on the minds of parents, consumers and public health advocates. I’ve been following the BPA issue closely and devoted much of my writing to this topic. I was even interviewed by ABC World News about the FDA’s decision not to ban BPA. There have been some wonderful victories surrounding BPA. The good news is that many companies are starting to listen and BPA is transitioning out. The bad or unsettling news is that even though a product is considered BPA-free the replacement could still be releasing high levels of other chemicals that mimic estrogen.
Bottom Line: Just say not to plastic as much as you can.
According to the National Cancer Institute “Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air.” People who inhale high levels of radon are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Believe it our not radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. Radon can enter your home through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collect indoors.
Bottom Line: Test your home for radon.
Household Cleaners and Cosmetics
There could be cancer-causing chemicals in your household cleaner and cosmetics. Seems crazy, right? Unfortunately our system is broken both of these industries are highly unregulated. This leaves it wide open for these toxins to land in our products. Remember Tide and 1,4 dioxane (a known carcinogen)?
Bottom Line: Become an avid label reader and find products that contain simple ingredients and avoid products that contain long chemical ingredients that you can’t pronounce (*update see comments for additional information). Best bet-make some of your own personal care and cleaning products at home.
My morning routine needs a makeover. The past few mornings have been rough. Thanks to Daylight Saving Time we have sprung ahead into very dark mornings. The combination of cold temps and darkness make for a very active snooze button. I just don’t want to get out of bed.
How you begin your morning often sets the pace and tone for the rest of the day. Over the years I’ve found it extremely important to add a few simple healthy habits to my morning routine to help start the day off on the right foot.
As an aside, these are things that work for me and they might not work for you. It’s extremely important to figure out what morning routine fits into your life and own it. If you don’t, it won’t last.
Here are 5 of my favorites to add to my morning routine:
Sunscreen. There’s no question, the best form of sun protection is to stay out of the sun (although a little outdoor time is recommended for much needed Vitamin D). It’s not realistic to stay out of the sun or cover-up 24/7 so we need to turn to sunscreen for some additional protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Find a safe, non-toxic sunscreen (don’t use a spray) and apply it every morning before you head outside.
Exercise.Working out in the morning jump starts your metabolism and gives you an energy boost that will many times last throughout the day. I’ve been exercising in the morning for years and it works. Once it becomes part of your morning routine you won’t want to give it up. Remember to find a form of exercise that you love so you can stick with it.
Screen-Free. I have to admit that most mornings I’m drawn to my phone to check emails and catch up on the latest news. But that can all wait. Take an hour or so for yourself before diving in.
Breakfast. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and there’s a very good reason: a healthy meal in the morning can balance your mood and help you handle what the day has in store for you. HERE are a few of my favorite foods to eat before my run or visit to the gym.
What are your favorite healthy habits in the morning?
The quest for fresh breath has been around for ages. We flock to mints, mouthwash, gum and toothpaste all for temporary fresh breath. Take a stroll down the aisles at your local pharmacy and you’ll likely find an entire section of products dedicated to the promise of fresh breath.
Bad breath is big business.
Contrary to popular belief, your alcohol-laden mouthwash may actually be making your bad breath worse. Most mouthwash contains alcohol which can mask your bad breath disappear for a while, but the alcohol actually dries your mouth out. Gum and mints can contain nasty ingredients that are only a temporary fix. The sugar in some breath mints and gum can actually causes bacteria in the mouth to reproduce, which will keep the bad breath coming on strong.
If bad breath is a recurring problem you might want to rule out any serious health conditions. Once this is ruled out there are a few natural lines of defense for fresh breath.
Good Oral Hygiene. The best defense for bad breath is to brush twice a day and floss. Also, head to the dentist for regular cleanings.
Parsley. Parsley is commonly used as a garnish, but can also help to freshen your breath. Parsley contains chlorophyll which has anti-bacterial properties and when chewed neutralizes bad breath. Chew on parsley leaves anytime you need a quick breath freshening boost. Large amounts of parsley shouldn’t be consumed by pregnant women or anyone with liver disease.
Lemon Rinse. Lemons and other citrus have a high acidic content and help to prevent the growth of bacteria on the tongue and gums. Gargle with a cup of lemon juice when needed or suck on a lemon wedge.
Salt Rinse. Using a salt water rinse to freshen breath has been around for a long-time. Mix together salt and water in a glass and gargle for 15 seconds then spit it out. The salt kills bacteria in your mouth. You might want to add a drop of peppermint oil to make the breath smell minty.
Oil Pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detox and rejuvenation. To oil pull, simply swish your choice of unrefined, high quality oil in your mouth for 5-20 minutes each day. Most people I know who do this use coconut oil because it has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and enzymatic properties which will have the added benefit of killing unwanted bacteria.
Cardamom, Fennel and Coriander Mixture. Make your own breath freshener mixture by mixing together fennel, coriander and cardamom seeds. Keep the mixture in a glass, airtight jar and chew on a small pinch when your breath needs a boost.
A healthy, balanced diet and drinking a lot of water also help to combat bad breath.
I recently went to an Erba Vita event in Boston and had a chance to check out some of their herbal and dietary supplements. Breath is a natural dietary supplement that supports fresher smelling breath. It contains many ingredients that combat bad breath including chlorophyll, licorice, cardamom and fennel. There are a few ingredients such as Maltodextrin (a processed food additive), gum arabic and natural flavor (a term that can be a catch all and is unregulated) that aren’t ideal, but overall this product seemed to work well as a breath freshener.
What’s your favorite natural remedy for fresh breath?
*If bad breath is a recurring problem you might want to rule out any serious health conditions.
Disclosure: I did receive a sample of Erba Vitta Breath Supplement to try. All opinions are my very own. Promise.