In April 2009, while five months pregnant with Sophie, my mom and I boarded a plane headed to Chicago to for the sole purpose of being in the audience at the Oprah Show. Misha had spent hours on the phone calling, calling, redialing the Oprah Show before he finally got through. At the time, I was teaching Kindergarten, and it was my mom’s and my Spring Break. When you go to the Oprah Show, you don’t know what show you will see. I put on my cutest maternity clothes and we caught a cab to Harpo Studios. Upon entering the studio, I immediately knew what the show was about, Going Green. Earth day is April 22nd, and Oprah had on guests sharing their stories about going green. It was a great show and I learned a lot.
We all know Oprah is a giver. My mom and I ended up going home with a lot of stuff! Oprah gave away energy efficient light bulbs, power strips, water bottles, reusable bags, and best of all, a HUGE basket full of Shaklee cleaning products. My mom and I each had to buy another suitcase to take him all of our new stuff.
The reason why I bring up my Oprah experience is the importance of maintaining a clean environment. The most important thing I learned from Oprah that day is that if you can smell the cleaning product (example: lemony fresh), it’s made up of harsh chemicals, toxic to our bodies. Not only have Misha and I cleaned out our pantry, but we tossed a bunch of cleaning products and ordered new ones from Shaklee (shaklee.com).
Our bodies are amazing, and can handle a lot, but why not control the parts of our environment we can. I cut and pasted this from the Lyme Induced Autism Website, http://www.lymeinducedautism.com:
Did you know that a study done in Central California showed an increase in the rate in autism in an area which pesticides are sprayed from the sky?
Did you know that if a child with autism walks into a grocery store where you can smell the cleaning products like bleach, household cleaners, etc. that he can REGRESS right in front of your eyes? To onlookers it may look like bad behavior. But to the child, it feels like their head is about to explode!
The environment we are in is so important and can be a huge detriment to healing. Doris Rapp, MD presented 27 tips at our 2007 Lyme-Autism Conference which you must consider implementing in your home. To read more on Doris Rapp please go to: www.drrapp.com
2.House Air – Use air purifier, quality vacuum cleaner, clean furnace filters often, fix gas leaks, use electric/solar heat if possible .
3.Food – No pesticided or genetically engineered food. Buy organic foods, free range, hormone/pesticide free meat.
4.Oven – NO microwave ovens – use electric toaster oven, ceramic or glass pots for cooking. No plastic wrap for use in the microwave.
5.Sweeteners – NO aspartame , saccharine or splenda. Try Stevia or Xylitol.
6.Cookware – no aluminum or thin stainless steel. Preferred is glass, ceramic coated or heavy stainless steel. Don’t drink from Styrofoam, soft plastic or aluminum.
7.Beverages – Use glass as much as possible. Avoid benzoates with citric acid in pop.
8.Household Cleaning – NO ammonia, ordinary dishwasher detergents, drain cleaners, toilet cleaners, car wash, tar/grease removers. NO pine or phenol products or air fresheners. Buy safer cleaning agents like 7th Generation, or use baking soda and white vinegar.
9.Furniture – No plywood or synthetic filled. Use all natural wood, metal, glass and try to find natural stuffing and covers if possible.
10.Mattress/Bedding – NO urethane, polyester, form-fitting, synthetic or smelling pesticided mattresses or pillows. No feather pillows or down comforters. NO flame retardant or boric acid. Try getting an organic cotton mattress and or/pillows if possible.
11.Flooring – No linoleum, soft vinyl or synthetic carpets. Use hard tile, wood or cotton/wool carpets.
12.Home Heating – watch for gas leaks, avoid all fumes
13.Clothing – no polyester, wear all natural clothing and avoid all treated, wrinkle-free, stain resistant or pesticided cotton.
14.Dry Cleaning – Air out fresh dry cleaning outside for several hours then store in spare bedroom. Find “green” non-toxic cleaners.
15.Moths – Use NO mothballs or naphthalene, try essential oils such as cedar, clove, mind or orange.
16.Personal Body Products – Beware of ingredients such as: lauryl sulfate, DEA cocamide, Quaternium 15, PG40, Propylene glycol, glycerine and talc. Buy products at health food stores and use organic coconut or jojoba oil. NO nail polish or remover. (I found water based nail polish and organic skin care products online at: www.bytheplanet.com
17. Sanitary Products – use natural products because some products are bleached white with dioxin (agent orange)
18.Hair coloring – Use no regular hair dyes. Use natural hair dyes (Henna)
19.Toothpaste – NO FLOURIDE. Use only organic toothpaste
20.Diapers – Natural cotton diapers instead of disposable due to plastic exposure.
21.Pest and Weed Control – Use only organic pest and lawn control. It is possible to get ill from very minute amounts of chemicals. Do NOT use personal skin repellents with DEET. Use Bite Blocker or All Terrain Herbal Armor.
22.Art supplies – Use only non-toxic marking pens and crayons.
23.Reading Materials – Avoid smelly shiny white paper in books or newspapers. Avoid paper that has an odor.
24.Dental Care – NO mercury or metal fillings, no root canals. Only allow ceramic fillings. Use a holistic dentist
25.Check for Toxic dump sites in your town. Don’t live or work by high power electric wires, TV and cell phone towers. (Radiation)
26. Vaccinations – allow no vaccines until you have read the pros and cons of each vaccine.
27. Organize to protect ourselves and our children.
An excellent resource for determining what different chemicals are, what they do to the body, and what products they are in, is the Environmental Working Group. There is also an excellent site where you can look up the ingredients and potential harmful ingredients that are lurking in our everyday beauty products such as skin care, make-up, sunscreens and body care. Go to: www.skindeep.com for this valuable information.