Branch Basics

Episode 71 | Creating a Non-Toxic Home: The Why

Welcome back to another episode of the Colorful Eats Podcast! On today’s episode, Part 1 of a 2 part series, we are going to dig into the “why” behind creating a safe, non-toxic home environment. Just as with your health or family or professional goals, creating a solid “why” at the root of your non-toxic living goals allows you to stand strong behind your decisions when you feel overwhelmed or when family or friends question your sanity…

Today we are sharing our personal journeys–how we’ve come to create our own non-toxic homes and how this topic has grown to be such an important piece within our personal lives as well as with our clients, within our blogs and on social media. We’re also giving you some alarming stats, teaching you how toxic chemicals from common products react and store themselves within our bodies and four major ingredients to avoid and why.

The fact of the matter is that we live in a toxic world, but a cool and empowering fact is that we have the ability to protect ourselves by choosing safer products. Just by listening in today, you are arming yourself with knowledge that will help you take steps forward in your health journey!

Don’t forget to tune into next week’s episode, Part 2, where we’ll be sharing just how to create a non-toxic home, some of our favorite products and exactly why we’re choosing them. This is going to be a great episode and will help to really bring the topic home!

Thank you to the Nutritional Therapy Association for sponsoring this episode!

Highlight Reel:

05:12 | Our personal journeys with creating a non-toxic home

24:45 | The individuals who are most affected by toxic chemicals from common products

37:50 | Four toxins to avoid and why

47:43 | Our FAVORITE, everyday, clean-everything-in-your-home cleaning product

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Episode 64 | Finding Radical Healing in Creating a Non-toxic Environment

Today’s episode is something special. I think we both agree the story of transformation that our guest shares is nothing short of miraculous, but not because of some random happenstance, but because of a desire to live beyond her circumstances and cultivate an environment for her and her family to thrive.

We invited Marilee Nelson, co-founder of Branch Basics, to join us on the podcast and share her incredible story of healing. Marilee shares her journey from a very ill young adult told there was no hope for her unknown condition and she’d never conceive, to overcoming the odds using food as medicine and finding the healing power of a non-toxic environment. With a child damaged by illegal pesticides, Marilee shares how she learned first hand how chemicals and pesticides in the home and daily environment impact the growth and behavior of a child and how making proactive changes to decrease exposure changed their lives forever.

It’s really hard to put into words just how impactful this episode will be on those who listen. Her story embodies courage, bravery and what can be done when you challenge the status quo and dig deeper to find answers and understanding to the health problems (both known and unknown) that are plaguing families today.

Whether you are a college student, pregnant woman, new mom, career woman, empty nester or anyone living in today’s world, this episode is for you. As we uncover in today’s episode, ignorance is far from bliss, especially when it comes to your and your family’s health. We hope that Marilee’s story and passion will serve to inspire you to make simple, yet life changing actions that will positively impact your health and those of generations to come.

Read Marilee’s full story here and check out Branch Basics for a one stop shop non-toxic cleaning option for your home (and what we both use in our own homes everyday)!

Thank you to the Nutritional Therapy Association for partnering with us to sponsor today’s episode.  Nutritional Therapy Association: real education for people who believe in real food.

 

Highlight Reel:

06:00 | Marilee’s story–from Standard American Diet to food as medicine

19:30 | The environment piece and how Marilee learned the importance of a non-toxic environment first hand

32:04 | Is ignorance really that blissful?

35:50 | How to put yourself in a “take charge” place and create a safe haven

43:15 | THe easy, first step to dramatically improve your air quality at home

Download Episode 64 in iTunes!

Link Love:

Marilee’s Full Story

Branch Basics Cleaning Concentrate

Healthy Home Cleanse

Luminance Skincare

For more information on how to get your body ready for baby makin' and create a stress-less conception story, join our brand-new email list for posts on healthy eating + living, upcoming events and programs and more!

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Your Better Beauty & Non-toxic Home Black Friday/Small Biz Saturday DEALS

Yes, it's that time of year again and we are all excited to get some steals and deals on our fave goodies during Black Friday! I am also a huge fan of Small Business Saturday because I am all about supporting small companies doing big things in the world!

So as you sip that cup of Joe and peruse all the deals out there (because EVERYONE has got stuff going on), I wanted to share with you some of my favorite companies and what they're doing this weekend. 

And since I am all about creating a non-toxic environment and getting you and your loved ones all stocked up with clean beauty goodness, I am doing some serious GIVEAWAYS today! (scroll down to get the deets)

But first...THE DEALS! Oh my goodness friend, I am so stoked about all these because it's the perfect opportunity to add to your collection of non-toxic products to support your health and also help your loved ones do the same!

Plus you're supporting me and other small businesses so THANK YOU ahead of time!

Beautycounter Black Friday Promos–

Beautycounter's Holiday Sets are the perfect gifts and stocking stuffers for all the ladies in your life! Plus they have plenty of other goodies to splurge on if you're just looking to fill your safer beauty collection while there are hot deals going on!

> FREE SHIPPING on orders over $100 Friday thru Sunday at 11:59pm

> Cleansing Balm and cloth | $38* 

> Lash Power Duo - mini Volumizing Mascara (my favorite!!) and travel makeup remover | $20*

*These sets have limited quantities and will most likely sell out by end of day Friday!

Gift(s) with purchase...

  • FREE Beautycounter+ Spa Set of choice with any purchase over $250 Friday thru Sunday at 11:59pm...uuuuuuum this is amazing! That's an $88 value! There are some details about the spa sets below so you can figure out what will be best for your skin!

More about the Beautycounter+ Spa Sets (gift with purchase) for Black Friday:

This Collection of targeted masks, mists and oils were formulated with SAFER INGREDIENTS to enhance your current skincare regimen! Products to brighten, plump and balance the skin.

🍊No. 1 Brightening Collection ~ Infused with multi-source vitamin C complex, brightens dull skin and boosts radiance. Helps minimize dark spots for a more even complexion and radiant glow.

🌸No. 2 Plumping Collection ~ Formulated with powerful peony and jasmine essences to restore and firm moisture-depleted skin. Helps diminish the appearance of fine lines.

🖤No. 3 Balancing Collection ~ Infused with activated charcoal and ylang ylang to gently refine oily, uneven skin. Charcoal removes excess oil and impurities. This collection works great for acne and breakout prone skin.

  • Spend $150* and choose from the following lip glosses, all from our Holiday Sets (limited to first FOUR order confirmations sent via email to justine@alowellness.com, gifts are first come, first serve!):

PLEASE email your gift preference from the options above (first come, first serve) to justine@alowellness.com by end of day on November 27 to qualify.

*All dollar amounts are pre-tax and pre-shipping.  Limit one gift with purchase per person.  MUST purchase using the links on this page with Justine Campbell as your consultant.*

**Gifts will be sent the first week of December.**

 

Primally Pure Promos...

If you've been following the blog for any amount of time, you know Primally Pure is one of my very favorite non-toxic skincare lines. Their products are safe, clean and work like a charm and they make absolutely beautiful gifts! I especially love all their kit options, they are so perfect for gift giving!

  • Spend $60 and receive Primally Pure's brand new (full size) Black Charcoal Deodorant for FREE!

Shop Primally Pure here!

Branch Basics Promos...

Branch Basics has been my go-to for non-toxic cleaning for the past few years and they just recently re-launched their Concentrate with an even cleaner formula and it is A M A Z I N G. I use it on all the things, literally. It's the only cleaning product we use in our home and I'm so grateful for the option! If you are planning to conceive (like, ever), are pregnant or have little ones, this cleaning option is a must for keeping your family safe!

  • 20% off their Starter Kits and products PLUS free shipping through Cyber Monday! Their kits even come with a cute holiday bow for gifting! Use promo code "GIVECLEAN" at checkout!

Shop Branch Basics here!

 

Alright, there you have it! I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! Don't forget that if you purchase with Beautycounter to email your order confirmation to justine@alowellness.com to claim your gift!

Happy Holidays my friend! May you be beyond blessed this season!

xo

Justine

3 Simple Steps to a Creating a Non-Toxic Cleaning Routine for Better Health & Fertility

Cleaning your home seems innocent enough, right?

Sadly, not so much.

Keeping your home all spic and span has the potential to be one of the most toxic things you do in your day to day life. Crazy, right?

More and more studies are showing the nasty chemicals companies are using in these everyday, household products are linked to different cancers, endocrine disruption (causing issues with sex hormone and fertility, birth defects and developmental delays, etc.), allergies, respiratory issues and so much more.

And these aren't uncommon issues. In fact, they're all too familiar to far too many of us.

Yah, that scared me too. Enough to make some serious changes in the products I purchase, the companies I stand behind and the way I protect my family.

These are simple, yet powerful choices we are able to make for ourselves. For our families. For our health.

Especially if you are a woman (or man for that matter) who is looking to bring littles into the world–or are pregnant, nursing or raising little humans. The damage these powerful chemicals have on our delicate systems, both male and female, can play a major role in our ability to conceive with ease, get and stay pregnant and as you'll read below, provide a safe and nurturing environment for our growing babe.

In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.

"Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied." –EWG.org

ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME.

That's a hard pill to swallow.

This information makes me cringe, well up with tears and push harder to educate the women and couples around me to make some serious changes in the way we do life. 

The amazing thing is that we have the power to change the way we live our lives and the choices we make day to day to change that reality for ourselves. 

Ridding your home of harsh cleaning products can be a big step forward on your health journey and can have a huge impact on your fertility, pregnancy and your littles one's wellbeing.

And it's easier than you may think my friend!

I know there are always a lot of questions when it comes to this topic so I'm always looking for ways to simplify the process of cleaning up your environment. Today I want to share a few simple steps that have really helped our family and I know can help you as well!

1. Take a look at what you’ve got.

Pull out all your cleaning products and take a good look. Literally, put them all out on your countertop. What have you got? Common products like Windex, Clorox, Mr. Clean and the like are rich in chemicals linked to different health issues and should be thrown out. Like, STAT.

I used to say, “Why don’t you just finish up what you’ve got and work toward a less toxic option when you run out,” but the more I learn the easier it is to say to clients, “Just toss it and start fresh. Your bod will thank you!” If you don’t want to waste, I’m sure you can donate your cleaners to someone in need.  

2. Look up your current product's safety rank.

The Environmental Working Group has a huge database of information on the ingredients used in common cleaning and beauty products and how they rank in terms of physical and environmental safety. You can look up just about any product you’ve got under your kitchen or bathroom sink and learn how the ingredients within can affect your family’s health and even the health of your future offspring! (Keep in mind that companies are not required to send the EWG their data or even disclose all ingredients used so you may not be able to find data on some of your products. Honestly, that makes me trust them even less.)

I plugged in a couple of common products I’ve seen used in friend’s homes and what I found was absolutely astonishing. Pledge Wipes, in Lemon scent, commonly used to disinfect surfaces, is rated an “F” on EWG’s A-F rating scale. The product was given such a poor review because of ingredients linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as skin and respiratory irritation, but the scariest part was what was ranked as “High Concern”- cancer risk. That is serious my friend.

Now some of you may have already made an attempt to try out some “greener” products like Green Works or Mrs. Meyer’s. Unfortunately, many of the common “green” products available on most supermarket shelves aren’t so good for you either. Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner received a “D” rating because it contains potentially harmful ingredients. Most of the Mrs. Meyer’s products are rated a “C” with a handful of “D’s” and F’s”!

Their marketing efforts are good, but it sure makes me question their intentions with keeping us healthy and our environment safe!

3. Fill your home with clean, green, non-toxic goodness.

Stock up on a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner. I recommend one simple cleaning formula, making it pretty darn easy to put into action! My very favorite cleaning product is Branch Basics multi-purpose Concentrate which can be used for cleaning just about anything you can think of, from toilets and countertops to floors, hands and even laundry! The Concentrate is used to fill Branch Basics pre-marked spray bottles (All-Purpose, Bathroom, Streak-Free and Foaming Wash for hands) that come with their Starter Kit, each with a recommended amount of water and concentrate. I have a lot of glass spray bottles from my homemade cleaning product days so I've also used the Concentrate in those to place them in more areas around the house.

Use promo code "alo10" to get 10% off your first Branch Basics purchase! Because you have to get this goodness in your house friend!

The formula is incredible, 100% non-toxic and super safe. What I love is that I am using the same safe concentrate throughout the house, just in different water to concentrate ratios. I don’t have to worry about looking into the safety of new products or different products for different cleaning jobs. Perfect for a busy mama and takes the stress and guess work out of non-toxic cleaning! You can learn more here or purchase Branch Basics Concentrate.

Branch Basics is in the process of getting their product on the EWG website, just in case you try searching!

Another option is a simple mix of ¼ cup organic white vinegar, water and a few drops of pure essential oils in a glass spray bottle. When Branch Basics was reformulating their concentrate and had taken their product off the market, this was all I used.

Don't forget to use promo code "alo10" to get 10% off your first Branch Basics order

I hope these steps help you take your non-toxic living journey a giant step forward and make your preconception journey that much healthier! I'd love to hear what you think about Branch Basics, let me know if the comments below!

xo

Justine

 

For more information on how to get your body ready for baby makin' and create a stress-less conception story, join our brand-new email list for posts on healthy eating + living, upcoming events and programs and more!

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Episode 48 | How Creating a Non-toxic Home Changed Life + Business with Allison Evans of Branch Basics

This episode was so exciting for us to record and we are thrilled to share it with you today! Joining us today is the passionate, clean living expert behind our favorite cleaning product brand, Allison Evans of Branch Basics! On today’s episode, Allison shares her story of healing and how she went from meds, countless doctors and being told she’d never conceive on her own, to experiencing the freedom of health and conceiving a beautiful baby girl naturally (an amazing home birth, read her story here).

Allison shares what motivated her to really take her health seriously and how her journey to heal her body naturally led her to create a non-toxic all-purpose cleaning product that is able to help others live healthier and thrive. We’re so excited to be able to able to share Allison’s story and Branch Basics’ amazing new product with you!

Head over to the Branch Basics website to purchase their brand new formula, learn more about non-toxic living on their blog and follow along on Instagram for more health living goodness!

Highlight Reel:

02:55 | Allison’s diagnosis that challenged her fertility

05:07 | How and when the healing happened

10:30 | The power of choice and Allison’s take on what it means to live healthfully

20:06 | How experiencing the power of pure can change your health

23:23 | How choosing a non-toxic cleaning product can be a powerful first step toward a healthier you

Download Episode 48 in iTunes!

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