Yeah you heard that right. Toss your New Year’s resolution to eat clean (oh never mind, it’s May you already did that 3½ months ago). Then again you may also be coming around to the unfortunate conclusion that ‘OMG I might be getting into a bathing suit in a month or two’ and re-instituting your disciplined dietary efforts right about now. But I bet there are some of you out there who have legitimately had a lifestyle change with regards to what you are putting in your body. If so, YOU are the people I want to talk to. So let’s talk.
First of all congratulations on your clean eating!! That is amazing!
By all means, go on your vegetable juice fast, eat nothing but cage free granola, and drink 57 gallons of water a day, it’s awesome, it really is (coming from the sarcastic chick who has not totally cleaned up her eating yet). But it always cracks me up no end when I see people ABSOLUTELY OBSESSING over a cleaner diet, eating organic, no meat, etc. while simultaneously slapping on their Sweet Honeydew Lemon Peanut Nugget lotion from The Body Shop with 75 chemical ingredients that they cannot pronounce. Honestly, I’m not sure why we are not getting this.
For those of you who are currently rolling your eyes and thinking, “Oh no no no, that’s not me. I buy the REALLY NICE, expensive stuff from this ‘healthy’ body-care company…OK OK…I concede, there are some out there (1 or 2), but I do have ONE suggestion: Go get the bottles…check the ingredient lists…by that I mean look up every single one (because you will have to look them up), and see if they TRULY ARE without harmful chemicals. I absolutely guarantee, 9 out of 10 of you will find, at the very least, hard hitting chemical preservatives and any number of other fillers and unhealthy additives. It is just the nature of the beast. They need to add these things if they want to be competitive in the mass market. It might even say organic and vegan…IGNORE THAT! Just because it isn’t GMO or grown with pesticides and doesn’t contain animal products DOES NOT MEAN there are not synthetic chemicals!! Get this…synthetics made in lab ARE ALL ORGANIC BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T GROWN ANYWHERE!!! I’m gonna let that sink in for a moment…
Now that we have that cleared up…if you are putting these things on your body, they are getting into your blood stream faster than if you ate them. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is if you can’t eat it…YOU SHOULDN’T BE WEARING IT, BRUSHING WITH IT, OR BATHING IN IT. That brings new meaning to the 'consumption warnings' on your toothpaste label, yes I will wait while you go check…
Now before we all run screaming through the streets, let’s talk about this phenomenon for a moment. A year ago, when I became a research-aholic (and conspiracy theorist, I ADMIT IT!) I was constantly asking myself WHY WHY WHY did we do it? Why did we start adding all these things into our body-care products? Well, as I can see it, the answer is 2-fold:
1. Consumerism in America has reached all time insane heights. Most of us have WAY too much stuff and are buying more by the minute. Therefore it all needs to be able to sit in a drawer for 15 years without growing anything AFTER it sat on the shelf for 2 years And…
2. CHEMICALS ARE CHEAPER!! And let’s face it, we all love a bargain.
Now at this point, I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Gosh, what gives? How am I ever going to get anywhere with this 'clean living' thing if ALL this stuff is filled with chemicals??” Well I’m thrilled you asked.
Listen…there ARE companies out there (Body Food® anyone?) that are offering truly chemical free products, but you will have to diligently look for them, and KNOW what you are looking for, just like you do with your clean eating. And please please please please please if you take ANYTHING away, let it be this:
NOT ALL COMPANIES THAT CLAIM TO BE ‘HONEST’ (hint hint) ABOUT THEIR PRODUCTS BEING HEALTHY ARE STAYING AWAY FROM HARMFUL CHEMICALS!! So check your labels!!
The other thing that needs to happen is we need to rethink the way we expect body-care products to feel, smell, taste, etc. I am by no means suggesting that healthy body-care products cannot feel and smell good, but I am telling you there are a few things we have been conditioned to expect that are not healthy or even normal. You know that luxurious silky smoothness you feel after washing with Dove thick and creamy body wash? THAT IS A FILM LEFT BEHIND BY CHEMICALS! REAL soap…without chemicals, feels different. It makes your skin feel what I like to call ‘squeaky clean.’ But it’s something you might have to get used to. Do you like your hair to be totally stripped of any and every remnant of natural oils your body produces? You need to get that out of your head (no pun intended). That is not good for your hair and scalp, nor is there ANYTHING in nature that will do that safely and effectively. Let’s talk minty freshness…do you like BURNING OUT the inside of your mouth with Listerine? I mean, was there not even a commercial that CHALLENGED consumers on whether or not they could do the ‘full minute’ because of how bad it burned!!?? Here’s the rocket science part: It’s painful because it’s harmful. I think you are getting the idea.
I’ve said it before, I will say it again, we are hands down the most over-washed and over-deodorized country on the planet. So, in our freedom, let’s continue to scrub our skin down to one layer and brush the enamel right off our teeth after every meal…let’s just do it with healthier alternatives instead of the commercial wasteland of chemicals that we currently spend billions of dollars on annually.
The Body Food® line has replaced most every body-care product used in our daily routines with healthy, chemical free alternatives. In fact, the ingredient lists are so short, you will literally not know what to do with all the time you save not looking things up!
Take the plunge. Take the ‘No Yucky Stuff’ challenge. Tell your friends. You’ll be glad you did!
Oh...and if you're still not sure about all this 'chemicals shmemicals' mumbo jumbo and what the harm is...check out this informative article!
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I am a wife, a mom, and a registered nurse. I also happen to be a chemistry geek and a researchaholic! Welcome to the Body Food® blog!