Tag Archives: healthy mama

Effects of Toxins on Reproductive Health

toxin reducing plantsThere are a lot of anxious and overwhelmed pregnant and thinking-about-being-pregnant women out there right now, and I don’t want you to be one of them. If you’ve heard the recent news about the opinion paper written by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, I want you to know that I’ve got your back. This is exactly what I’m here to support you with. So take a deep breath and give yourself a few minutes to read what I have to share with you.

“Robust scientific evidence has emerged over the past 15 years, demonstrating that preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health across the life course.”

This was the opening sentence in the ACOG Committee Opinion NO. 575 and a concept that I am very familiar with. The fact that the evidence has been growing is a positive, because it highlights another area where you have power and control over your health and the health of your family. From the time before you conceive your baby, you can create change that will impact your health and your future baby’s health for the rest of your lives – and that may even impact your grandchildren’s health (I wrote more about that here).

Some of the key points that are important for you to know and that I want to talk to you about a bit more:

“An analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2003-2004 found that virtually every pregnant woman in the United States is exposed to at least 43 different chemicals.”

Women use an average of 12 personal care products every day, and most of them contain numerous chemicals, many of them toxic. We turn the hot water on, open our pores, and welcome these toxins into our bodies. A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group in 2004 discovered that babies still in utero are exposed to almost 300 different chemicals before they are even born!

This is important but doesn’t need to feel hopeless. Many of the chemicals can be avoided by swapping out what you’re currently using for healthier products and by learning a few key tips that will protect your family’s health for generations to come.

“Prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals is linked to various adverse health consequences, and patient exposure at any point in time can lead to harmful reproductive health outcomes.”

 The last few decades have seen a significant spike in incidences of birth defects, autism, infertility, cancer and more. In some cases, these have been linked to the chemicals in our products. I’m not suggesting that reducing your toxic exposure can completely reduce your risk of these occurrences to zero, but it will help you know that you are doing all that is within your control, and that’s huge. I wrote more about this over on mom-blog just last week. Taking action as soon as you can (whether this is before you conceive or during pregnancy) can help you and your family stay as healthy as possible.

“Patient-centered actions can reduce body burdens of toxic chemicals (ie: the total amount of chemicals present in the human body at any one time).”

This is so important! This is all about what you can do, and it’s true – there is so much that’s in your control, and that’s what I’m here to help support you with. It’s easy to become easily overwhelmed but when you have someone to take your hand and guide you through what steps you can take to systematically reduce your body burden, it becomes empowering and fun. Knowing what actions you can take and getting the support you need to make them happen is an incredible gift that you can give yourself and your family.

“When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”

We don’t need to wait until all of the evidence is in, because we’ll be waiting for a long time and by then it will be too late. When the EWG tested blood samples of the babies in utero and discovered the presence of almost 300 chemicals, many of them had been banned 30 years before the samples were tested. These chemicals hang around in the environment for a long time and the sooner we can do what is within our control to reduce our exposure to them, the better. There’s no better time to start than right now.

Stay tuned for some exciting ways that you can take action with ease and support! Be the first to know by clicking here.

Remember – “We do what we can as we move forward, and we release any guilt of what we didn’t know.” Let’s move forward together.

Peace, Love, and Wellness, clear signature

 

Hey Mamas, Are You Ready to Win the Summer of Your Dreams?

Does this happen to you? Summer arrives and you create all sorts of ambitious summer plans and lofty ideas about everything you want to do for yourself — things you want to get done around the house, exercise plans, cooking and baking ideas, maybe even something crafty. You have a pile of books you want to read. You want to learn to paint, or meditate, or write in your journal daily.

Then it is suddenly the end of August and you realize you’ve spent your summer running around like crazy, meeting the needs of your kids, and you stand there scratching your head shouting : WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SUMMER??

My friend Kelly Dahl created the Fulfill Your Summer e-course to help you make sure that this doesn’t happen to you this year.

The Fulfill Your Summer e-course is a 3 week online experience to help you claim your summer for yourself.Kelly Dahl

Filled with journal prompts, reflections, activities, and videos, Fulfill Your Summer will help you create a summer with room for your desires. Check out this video she made for the e-course when she ran it last summer:

To help create your summer to remember, Kelly is giving me the chance to gift a spot in her course. And, if you don’t win? The e-course is pay-what-you-can, which means there is room for every summer budget.

Summer is right around the corner. You deserve to create one that you will remember for years to come.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Do You Know about Quiet Power?

empowered conception and pregnancyI’ve been taking yoga classes with a new teacher, and she’s amazing. The first class I took with her, she had me wanting to stay in Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (pigeon pose) – I felt like I could hang out there all day. If you are familiar with pigeon pose, you might think I’m crazy. If you were one of my yoga teachers a year or two ago, you’d know what transformation that is for me.

She knew just how to get me to that moment of softness, of bliss, of strength, of surrender, without me even realizing it.

At the end of each of these classes, the same phrase has come to mind – Quiet Power.

She has Quiet Power: a gentle voice, a soft touch during adjustments, and the ability to lead an incredibly powerful and transformative practice.

She helps me reawaken my own Quiet Power.

What is it? It is many things.

It is the ability to feel strength in the little moments, knowing, with certitude, what you want and that you can absolutely make it happen.

It is deep self trust.

It is your core essence.

I’m sure I’ve experienced it throughout my life, but the time I felt it most was when I transformed my body into my baby’s first home. It was with me when I birthed her. Then it seemed to fade away.

I’d been trying to get back to it for a while, but that’s the problem with trying – we divert the flow of energy by focusing on all of these shoulds.

I should act a certain way.

I should do do do even if that means not making time for me.

I should keep trying because I must be doing something wrong.

It is in all of these shoulds that we feel we have lost our sense of self navigation, but just as the moon and the stars are always there, even when we can’t see them, our Quiet Power remains ever present.

My Quiet Power never left me – and neither has yours. It is there, ready to be awakened when you are ready to surrender.

In recent months, I have felt my Quiet Power again. In my yoga practice. In how I nourish my body. In the moments of solitude when I realize that my dreams can and will come true – I can feel it happening.

Never doubt your Quiet Power. It is there to guide you in all that you want in this life.

I’d love to know about a moment you have connected to your Quiet Power – leave a comment below and in the words of my daughter “tell me all about it.”

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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What To Drink When You’re Preparing for Pregnancy

Smoothies are a simple and easy way to pack yourself full of fresh and healthy foods as you prepare your body for a healthy conception and pregnancy.

Here’s how I started my morning (it was just too good not to share with you!).

How do you nourish yourself to get your day off to the right start? Share with us in the comments below.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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pre-pregnancy diet

Quick and Easy Green Smoothie

Sometimes you need a reminder that healthy habits can begin quite simply.

It doesn’t need to be about spending confusing hours in the kitchen, experimenting with ingredients you’ve never heard of.

To make it really work for you and start you on the journey to learning what works best for your body, you start with the healthy foods that you know you love.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to boost my energy mid-afternoon, when we tend to get tired and reach for those vending machine sugary snacks.

While the last smoothie recipe I shared with you is awesome in it’s own ways, you can see the difference between the green powder and the fresh greens, and believe me, you can taste it too!

Have you tried green smoothies before? If you have, tell me what you love about them. If you haven’t, are you ready to do something easy and nourishing for yourself today?

kale smoothie recipe

Smoothie made in a Vitamix. Learn more and order yours today.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Quick and Easy Way to Ditch the Toxins

For years I’d been thinking about it but it always seemed like it would be so complicated, so overwhelming.

As with most things, all it took was the push to finally take action to help me realize how simple it could be to reduce the toxins in my home even more.

You’re here, so let me share with you how 20 minutes saved me time, money and stress.

When I go to the store to buy deodorant or toothpaste, it can sometimes take a while.  I know exactly what I want to avoid in my products but it still takes me time to scan the labels for ingredients that are not as safe as I’d want them to be.  This is really important when you’re thinking about self-care products because you are applying them to your largest organ (your skin) every day, over and over again.

With the knowledge I’ve gained about toxins, those 99¢ bottles don’t have a place in my home anymore. The upfront savings is not worth the risk of future health concerns for me and my family. It’s true, many of the less toxic options come with higher prices tags but sometimes you have to be willing to make an investment in a healthy future.  Luckily, when you make your own products, you have the chance to simplify the ingredient list significantly and save money when compared to many of the products that are available.

Did you know that stress is a toxin?  It can affect your cortisol levels and play a major role is disease and illness, so you always want to come from a place of minimizing stress.  Knowing what’s in your products and feeling confident about what you are putting on your body can reduce your stress because you don’t have to worry every time a new report comes out about a particular company or ingredient.  That’s quick and easy peace of mind!

With all of this in mind, I want to share the recipes that my daughter and I used to create toothpaste and deodorant for our family that we could feel great about and that really work for us! The deodorant even passed the test of my husband’s long and labor intensive work days!

Xandra’s Quick and Easy Toothpaste and Deodorant Recipes!

ToothpasteandDeodorant

For the toothpaste, combine:

5 
tablespoons 
aluminum 
free 
baking
 soda

3 
tablespoons
 organic
 coconut 
oil 
(liquefied
 by 
running
 jar 
under 
hot 
water)

3‐5
 drops
 of
 essential 
oil 
(peppermint,
 cinnamon,
 or 
any
 other 
of 
your choosing)

Store in glass jar

Cost:
$1.00

For the deodorant, combine:

¼ cup aluminum free baking soda

¼ cup arrowroot starch

5 
tablespoons
 organic
 coconut 
oil 
(liquefied
 by 
running
 jar 
under 
hot 
water)

10 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil (or any other of your choosing)

Store in a glass jar.

Cost: $2.50

Try it out and let me know what you think!

If you’d like to learn more about tackling toxins, join me at the Inspired Family Conference on March 22nd.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Top 3 Reasons You Should Be Thinking about Your Pre Pregnancy Diet

Once you get pregnant, you often start paying more attention to food, but what should you be doing while you are preparing for pregnancy?

I’m not a strong believer in getting caught up in all the little details of how many grams of this and that you need.  I did that for a while and it was a huge pain and took the fun out of eating for me. Eating needs to be fun!

Of course, if you have reason to believe that you have specific deficiencies or needs, you increase those nutrients and I can help you figure out how.

As a general rule, it is important to start shifting your foods to whole and fresh as much as possible.

Here are a few reasons why, and below I’ll share my #1 favorite way to make it happen!

Reason #1: Did you know that your baby pulls from your nutrient stores? This means that even if you get hit by morning sickness once you’re pregnant, your baby will get nutrients based on what you were eating prior to conception.

Bonus: Getting these habits in place now eases so much stress because you won’t have to think so hard about food once you’re pregnant.  That’s a good thing because you’ll have plenty on your mind already.

Reason #2: There are a lot of chemicals and additives in processed foods, and the best way to avoid them is by shifting towards fresh fruits and veggies, grains, hormone free dairy and meat and healthy fat (yes, I said healthy fat!). MSG, which hides in just about everything, and aspartame are two additives that have been linked to infertility, among many other things.  Let’s get those out and get you healthy!

Reason #3: Ditch the added sugar.  If you have a package of food sitting around (hey, if you’ve got a loaf of bread from the store, check that too!), take a look at the label – I’ll bet that sugar is one of the ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, anything ending is -ose).  Sugar can wreck havoc on your hormones and as may be quite obvious, hormones play a pretty important role in getting pregnant and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

Okay, so maybe you’re thinking that you’d love to eat mostly whole, fresh foods but you’re stumped as to how.  There are only so many hours in a day.  I totally get it.  In fact, this feeling of overwhelm kept me from eating the way I wanted to be for years!

So what was one of my first steps? SMOOTHIES!

I love smoothies for a few reasons, but mainly because you can pack a lot of awesomeness into one meal and it just takes a few minutes.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing more smoothie recipes for you because you’ve asked for them and because it’s the perfect season for them.

Here’s the one I made this morning. Clocking in at about 500 calories, it’s a full meal in and of itself and a perfect way to get a good chunk of calories for the mamas-to-be and nursing mamas.

You may be wondering why I used green powder instead of fresh greens, and I’ll tell you – simplicity. Sometimes it’s just easier to throw a scoop of powder into my blender and I know I want to be getting my greens!

preparing for pregnancy

What are your favorite ways to incorporate whole, fresh foods into your daily routine? Tweet this! Where do you feel most stuck?  Let me know in the comments below!

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Toxins and Getting Pregnant

Do you know what's in your products

Did you know that the average woman uses 12 different personal care products on a daily basis? Tweet this!

Did you know that there are over 80,000 chemicals in the products we use again and again and again but only about 100 of them have actually been tested for safety? Tweet this!

The chemicals that we are exposed to by putting them in, on, and around our bodies have the potential to impact our health in many ways and have been connected:

  • Infertility
  • ADHD
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Hormonal disruption
  • Resistant weight loss

I share this not to scare you but to empower you.

As you know, I believe in the importance of beginning with awareness.  This leads me to a really important reminder. If you have one takeaway from reading this today, have it be this – you cannot blame yourself or allow yourself to feel guilt for what you didn’t know. Tweet this!

You have to start somewhere, and beginning to understand what’s in the products that you use most often is the perfect place.

There was a recent story involving Johnson and Johnson having their license suspended that led to a lot of confusion.  For me, the where, the when, and the reach of the problem did not really matter.  Here’s why – regardless of the incident, Johnson and Johnson, and many other companies, continue to use harmful chemicals in our products.  Consumer pressure is changing this – there are many more safe products available than there were even a handful of years ago.  But in order for there to be consumer pressure, there has to be consumer awareness.

This is so important and I want to make it easy for you.  I opened up 10 spots in my schedule for FREE What’s Up with All These Toxins Discovery Sessions.  There are only 3 left, so if you want one, click here and grab your spot before they are all gone.

I don’t often offer free sessions so this is a special opportunity for you if you are ready to stop worrying and start taking action.

I look forward to connecting with you soon.

I’d love to know what your biggest questions or concerns are, so feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Motherhood Starts with a Vision

Creating Fertile GroundIn the first week of Creating Fertile Ground, we will be setting the foundation and vision for our time together.

You will set intentions and begin to create the vision of what you want for your future.

One way that you will do this, if you join us, will be by writing a letter to your future baby.  This is a powerful practice that can help you to release what is holding you back, become more realistic with your expectations, and help you to create a road map to a healthy and empowered experience that is perfect for you and not just what others are telling you the experience is supposed to be like.

You will receive a mediation and some prompts from me to help get you started, but as with all aspects of this program, the power comes from what you make of it.

Creating a vision is such an important place to start because if you don’t know where you’re aiming to go, it makes it quite difficult to get there, right??

If you get behind the wheel of your car and don’t even know where your destination is, you will end up driving aimlessly, wasting time and money and getting frustrated and overwhelmed. The same is true with the journey to motherhood.

There’s a better way.  Of course, there are times when it’s nice not to have a destination, but this time you know your destination, at least roughly.  It is to be growing a baby inside you and to birth him or her into this world.  What does this place look like to you? 

We will explore this and with this vision created, you will be able to step into the rest of Creating Fertile Ground ready to build your unique road map.  It won’t look like anyone else’s and that’s the beauty of this program.

I will be sharing information with you that is foundational no matter what your road map looks like, while at the same time helping you discover what your individual needs are.

In a week, we start with the vision, and I hope you’ll be there to join us.

Ready to explore and enroll?  Click here.

Got questions for me?  Ask them in the comments below or here.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Listen to Your Body…

Listen to your bodyThe other night, I was asleep by 8 o’clock.  I woke a few times, briefly, for the things that hadn’t gotten done before my body chose rest — I fed the cats, put on my pajamas, slipped under the covers.

At any of those moments I could have decided that it was too early, that there were other things I could do, that although I aim for 10, 8 just didn’t feel like bedtime.

That night, it did. I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t feel the need or desire to clean, to work, to write or to read.  My body wanted rest.

For a moment, I worried that I would wake around midnight, unable to find sleep again.

I decided to chance it, to listen to the innate wisdom of my body.

Amazingly, I woke at 7am the next morning. My body knew.  I was tired.

When you tune into your body, when you allow its truth to trump your expectations, your assumptions, and those of others, you give yourself the opportunity to heal and grow.

Learning to listen to your body now will help you for the rest of your life.

Some days will be easier than others – it is a practice that you must continue to cultivate.

Honoring and trusting your body is the beginning of growing a strong relationship with yourself — the one person you can always count on no matter what.

Are you ready to take that step?

Creating Fertile Ground begins on May 6th, and I would love for you to be part of this incredible gathering of women.  You can learn more and register here.  Got questions?  Feel free to ask by contacting me here.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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