Why We Should Care About Toxic Cleaning Products

Did you know that indoor air can be much more toxic than outdoor air?

Commercial household cleaners are the #1 source of poisoning in our children.

It may seem like toxic cleaning products aren’t all that harmful. After-all, it isn’t like we are ingesting them, so what harm could they pose? Well, just inhaling them can have a damaging effect.

We are bombarded with these chemicals on a daily basis thinking they are going good when in fact they are doing serious harm. Toxic household chemicals are overburdening our organs, which are constantly trying to detox, causing them to perform poorly or shut down. When our organs are no longer able to perform their jobs effectively we succumb to chronic illness.

Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns. Others are have been linked to chronic long-term effects such as cancer, asthma, autoimmune disorders, eczema and more.

The main areas of concern with the chemicals in cleaning products are that they are known carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors. Some of the most common chemicals like formaldehyde, phenol, benzene, toluene, and xylene have been found to cause cancer and are often found in indoor air. Other problems like fibromyalgia, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and hormone imbalance are also linked to chemical exposure.

I am not willing to take that risk. Especially not when I can get my house cleaner with non-toxic cleansers.

Two of my favorite that I use daily are:

  • All-Purpose Cleaner which I use for counter-tops, a quick wipe down of sinks in the bathroom, glass and floors.
  • Bathroom cleaner which I use for the more heavy duty cleaning of the bathroom including tubs and toilets.

Bathroom Scrub

I love that this non-toxic cleaner is extremely quick and easy to make. But even better is that it doesn’t take a lot of elbow grease to get the job done.

There is nothing worse than getting a non-toxic cleaner that takes the strength of 10 men just to get the area clean. That’s enough to cause you to want to give it up and go back to the chemical laden products just to give your arm a break.

We owe it to our health and the health of our families to stop exposing ourselves willingly to the toxic chemicals that cause such harm. Find out just how detrimental they are in this post here.

This cleaner gets the job done without any adverse side effects. Plus it smells good and leaves your hands really soft.

Liquid Castille Soap

Baking soda

White Vinegar

Young Living Lemon Essential Oil

Young Living Thieves Cleaner

Water

To make the cleaner:

  1. In a glass bowl mix equal amounts of castille soap, water, baking soda. (It depends on the size/number of bathrooms you have to clean but to clean 2 bathrooms I typically use 3/4 cup each)
  2. Add a splash of vinegar, 5 drops lemon essential oil, and a capful of Thieves Cleaner.
  3. Optional is to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice as well. Lemon is great at removing those watermarks from the faucets, leaving them shiny and looking brand new.

Need these oils to make your very own homemade bathroom scrub?! Click here to find out how!

Quinoa Burger

Quinoa is a tiny grain that packs a nutritional punch! And if you are looking for an animal and gluten-free burger then these are the burgers for you.

To cook quinoa:

1 cup uncooked, rinsed, quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

To make burgers:

Cooked quinoa (from above)

1 chia egg

3 tbsp brown rice flour

1 tbsp green onions

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

Cooking quinoa:

  1. Rinse quinoa and place in medium sauce pan with 2 cups of broth and salt.
  2. Bring to boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Be sure to bring heat low because if it cooked too fast the liquid will cook off before quinoa is ready. Plus it will burn and that’s no good.
  4. ALTERNATELY: You could cook 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups veggie broth and a little sea salt in a crock pot on low for 3 hours, or until all liquid is absorbed.

Burgers:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Shape into patties and cook on griddle or skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Have fun experimenting, too! You could add more veggies to this as well. Sun dried tomatoes are good. Or even red bell peppers! Top with caramelized onions, a tomato slice, lettuce….the possibilities are endless. And making me hungry just thinking about it!

 

What is a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), how is it different from hybrid seeds and why should I care?

First off, farmers have been developing new plant varieties through hybridization for years. They do this by controlling the cross pollination of two plants. Facilitated by humans, but doing nature’s work – pollination. GMOs, on the other hand, are always created in laboratories and involve gene splicing.

Traditional breeding (or pollination) brings together all the genes of each individual plant. Whereas genetic engineering inserts only 1 gene. And that one gene from come from anywhere such as a fungus, bacteria or even a fish. So if you cross pollinate in your garden you are combining the entire genome of both plants – ALL the genetic information. When you take ONE gene from a bacteria, for instance, that is harmful to an insect predator, and insert it into a plant, you could decrease the plant’s nutritional value. If this new plant is now toxic to an insect you could also be making it harmful to humans. This gene transfer which involves injecting a gene from one species into a completely different species produces unexpected and unpredictable results.

Based on results shown in animals GMO foods are posing a serious health concern including:

  • Increase in allergies
  • Increase in antibiotic resistance
  • Endocrine System disruption
  • Disorders of the Reproductive System
  • Faster aging symptoms

So why have GMOs when nature has taken care of itself for so many years? Some claim GMOs were developed to increase yields but that has not been shown to have happened. Some claim GMO seeds are marketed to reduce costs for farmers yet the price of GMO corn seed is rising. Some also claim that these seeds were engineered to need less herbicides when recent studies have shown that many weeds are becoming resistant and now needing more herbicides.

Why am I willing to put my dollars towards organic foods? Because how can a seed that needs increased levels of toxins be safe and how can a seed that is artificially injected with a foreign substance/gene be harmless? As so many chronic conditions rapidly increase (asthma, allergies, ADD, autism to name a few), I think we owe it to ourselves to give pause.

Organic foods:

  • Are free from harmful chemicals. Eating organically grown foods is the only way to avoid a chemical cocktail of harmful poisons. Did you know that more than 600 active chemicals are registered for agricultural use in America?!
  • Have more nutrients – vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients – than conventially grown foods because they are grown in a nourished soil.
  • Taste better! Better nourished plants taste better than malnourished plants.
  • Is better for our ecosystem. Preservation of soil and crop rotation keeps farmland healthy. Wildlife, from animals and insects to soil organisms, are able to play their role in ecology without interference or compromise.
  • Reduce pollution. Think about it. Where does the run off go? These chemicals are polluting our environment and getting into our water system. According to Cornell entomologist David Pimentel, it is estimated that only 0.1% of applied pesticides reach the target pests. The bulk to pesticides (99%) is left to impact the environment.

 

Organic foods may be more expensive but based on the information – and LACK of information – we have on the detrimental effects of GMOs it is entirely worth my money to budget in for organic food. We owe it to ourselves to invest in our health. If we don’t invest in health then we will have to invest in our illness down the road.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes

Gluten is getting so much attention these days which begs the question, “What is gluten anyway?” Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat.

So what about oats? Are they gluten-free or not gluten-free? Technically, oats are gluten free as they are not a part of the wheat, barley or rye grain groups. Instead, oats have a protein called avenins. Oats are generally considered safe for those with a gluten intolerance or gluten allergy.

However, oats can be grown on land in rotation with gluten containing crops like wheat, barley or rye. Gluten grains can possibly grow with the oat crops if they are grown on the same land which would make them not gluten-free. So if you want to be really sure you are getting gluten free oats, make sure you check your labels and sources of where your oats come from.

That being said, what are the benefits of eating oats? They contain soluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol, they have a higher source of protein in comparison to most other grains, they are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber which fill you up, that same fiber can help move things along in your digestive system which can improve digestion, they can increase your immunity thanks to the beta-glucans which fight bacteria and lower inflammation, and they have a low score on the glycemic index which means you won’t have a blood sugar spike then subsequent crash which makes you feel tired.

2 cups of quick oats

2 cups of almond or cashew milk

3/4 brown rice flour

2 tbsp raw honey

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2  chia eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

  1. In a large bowl mix the oats and non-dairy milk of choice. Let that soak a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the batter.
  2. In another large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add the chia eggs and the applesauce then mix in the oat/milk mixture. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle and cook on one side until you see bubbles, then flip and cook other side for a few minutes until golden brown on each side.

** You could also use aquafaba in place of eggs if you don’t have chia seeds. Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. 1 tbsp equals 1 egg, so this recipe would call for 2 tbsp of aquafaba.