health

 

Happy Solemnity of the Feast of the Assumption!

A big thing I LOVE about being Catholic as how pro-woman The Church is. We LOVE our Holy Mother Mary for her incredible example of holy femininity and motherhood, and how she leads us closer to her son, Jesus! And how cool is it that God made her Queen of Heaven?! The Catholic church exalts the feminine body and works very hard to protect it from being desecrated and objectified. This is a huge reason why we don't believe in using hormonal contraception, which not only comes with its numerous health risks, but also the damage it can inflict on our fertility. I could write about this for several posts, but I'll just recommend you listen to Janet Smith's Contraception, Why Not?  or Jason Evert's Green Sex presentations on CD:-)

Mary Our Lady Queen of Heaven e1471641990486

Ever since taking NFP classes during our pre-cana (marital prep), I've continued to learn as much as I can about my body and how my lifestyle choices affect my fertility. So many women out there just accept that hormonal birth control is the best and only option for them, and live their lives hardly learning anything about how amazing and incredible our bodies are; especially when it comes to our fertility. NFP taught me just how intricate and honestly, brilliant our fertility is and how factors like stress, nutrition, and environmental toxins can negatively impact it. NFP also taught me how to stand up for my health. While I respect the opinions and recommendations of my OB and am bombarded by the popularity of many products designed for women, I now know I need to do my research and protect my own fertility by becoming a more mindful consumer.

A quick tangent: I've had several family members who've battled and sadly, passed away from cancer. A majority of these cancers have been types caused by environmental factors and not genetics. I also have a very dear friend who nearly died from a pulmonary embolism caused by her birth control. Many friends who are in their early 30s are having trouble concieving due to years of birth control use-many since their teen years. These experiences have also played a big part in my self-learning of how our environment and lifestyle choices affect our health and fertility.

Since NFP classes, I've read various articles and books about fertility health and one of the most common causes of fertility problems is endocrine disruption; a side effect caused by environmental toxins. According to the Emory University School of Medicine:


"Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are environmental chemicals that affect the function of the endocrine system, the system involving the glands and hormones of the body. The endocrine system coordinates the functions of various organs and systems in the body. EDs may disrupt the endocrine system in several ways:

  • they may act as "imposters" of naturally occurring hormones
  • they may block the action of hormones
  • they may alter the chemical message sent by hormones
  • they may disrupt the production of hormones or hormone receptors (proteins used to receive information from hormones)

Most EDs act like naturally occurring estrogens in the body. However, some EDs block androgens (male sex hormones such as testosterone). The theory of endocrine disruptors gained credibility from a number of studies demonstrating reproductive problems in wildlife exposed to certain environmental chemicals. For example, alligators exposed to an organochlorine pesticide, diclofol experienced various reproductive abnormalities. [3] Also, certain birds exposed to the organochlorine pesticide DDT failed to reproduce. [4]"

 You can read more on endocrine disruption on their website HERE.

Examples of Endocrine Disruptors are:

  • industrial chemicals (PCBs, dioxins)
  • certain pesticides (DDT)
  • phthalates
  • phenols (bisphenol A, alkylphenol)
  • plant hormones (phytoestrogens)

As women, perhaps our largest exposure to these chemicals is found in our personal care products. The average woman applies multiple products several times every day. Every day, week after week, month after month, every year......that exposure adds up. Our skin is our largest organ and anything we put on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream in 26 seconds! Since learning these facts, I've become a more mindful consumer and ultimately began looking for safer options to protect my fertility health, and also to protect the health of my babies when I'm pregnant and breastfeeding. Enter Beautycounter.

Since high school, I've dealt with Eczema, so I'm used to being very critical of the products I'm using on my skin. I had NO idea that just because a product works or is recommended by a physician, this doesn't mean it's safe for our health. A friend recommended I look into Beautycounter and I was immediately impressed by the high-efficacy, transparency, AND safety of their products. They have the strictest ingredients screening process in the industry and are so transparent that they've become EWG-verified by Environmental Working Group. If you want to see how your current skincare products rank in terms of safety, you can look them up by name or ingredient in EWG's Skindeep Database HERE. This process is incredibly eye-opening.

You've probably seen me recommend Beautycounter products on here before, so now you know the backstory on why I prefer them. They also donate their earnings to lobby in Washington for higher safety standards in the cosmetics industry, as well as nonprofits like Healthy Child, Healthy World and The Breast Cancer Fund. When you purchase Beautycounter, your dollars are going twice as far by creating demand for safer products while affecting change in the cosmetics industry!

If you're reading this and are excited about a skincare option that protects your fertility health, Beautycounter is currently offering a heck of a deal that allows you to basically swap out your entire makeup routine for high performing and safe products! Celebrity makeup artist Christy Coleman joined our company to design our products so they have the perfect balance of efficacy, safety, AND luxury, so you'll LOVE these! The deal is called The 5-Minute Face and includes six of some of our most beloved makeup products!

5MinFaceBrush

For just $148, you get:

Our moisturizing sheer coverage Tint Skin Foundation

Tint Skin Foundation Concealer Pen (these are amazing!)

A Brow Pencil

Either our Lengthening Mascara or NEW Volumizing Mascara

A Blush Duo

A Lip Gloss

A FREE Retractable Foundation Brush (a $35 value) now through Friday, August 18th, while supplies last!

If you need help matching your skin tone to a foundation and concealer pen, please check out the chart below! Otherwise, feel free to message me!

find your shade lg

Not a makeup person or looking for something else? Check out the rest of our collection which includes skincare for babies, kids, adults, and an entire salon-quality hair care line!

Shop and switch to safer HERE

Comment below how NFP has empowered you to stand up for your health and be entered to win a $15 off coupon for Beautycounter! I will pick a winner at the end of this month!

(Coupon is only valid for clients who don't currently shop with another consultant.)

 

 

DSC04178

We are coming up on the one year milestone for our little one. ONE YEAR! How?! So many fellow mommas told me this would happen-that time would fly by. As hard as I tried to capture time in a jar, it didn't work. I tried to take in every moment and absorb every precious development milestone and I wrote down every single detail in her baby book. Still. Time flew by! What a beautiful and awe-inspiring year it's been!

With her celebration close at hand, I spent some time coming up with a sugar-free-friendly and tasty cake-like treat she could smash her chubby cherub hands into. It turned out so well! It was so good that my husband and I enjoyed the extras for ourselves and for breakfast the following day! They are guilt-free and won't leave you with a horrible sugar crash.

 DSC03443


3 medium cucumbers peeled and sliced in circles
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into thin pieces
3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup Distilled Vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions: Combine all above ingredients into a large storage bowl with lid. Fill bowl with filtered water until ingredients are covered. Stir. Refrigerate overnight to allow it to marinate. Serve chilled. *If you'd like the salad to be more or less sour/tart, just add or take away from the amount of Apple Cider Vinegar/Distilled Vinegar listed. This recipe is perfect for summer picnics and potlucks!

 

DSC03011

We're in the dead of winter and if you're stuck in the Midwest like me, our winters feel sooooooooo long and cold! This soup is a comforting treat that will make you feel so good! There is no cream involved, yet this soup has a texture like a bisque.

This soup is loosely based on a pumpkin soup recipe that I tried years ago, but because I had a hard time finding pumpkin purée without any added sugars or preservatives in it, I used butternut squash instead. I also added a little more of this and a little more of that....and eventually this recipe came out of it. I hope you enjoy it! Another added plus is if you keep the spices and salt out, your baby might love it, too! Ours sure does!

HolidayBake

Let's just get one thing out in the open. I LOVE SWEET POTATOES. They are so good, so healthy, and so simple to use! The best part is they are super sweet and don't need much to dress them up! I was having some fun in the kitchen the other day and created this special and sugar-free holiday dish. It is the perfect combination of ginger spice, sweet, and tart.