Did you know that, according to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 10% of people with type 1 diabetes also have Celiac disease? Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and a few other common grains. The fact that there is a good number of people with both of these conditions shows that there is a strong link between Type 1 diabetes and gluten intolerance. This number does not even include people with gluten intolerance or people who have not been diagnosed with Celiac Disease yet which means that an even larger percentage of type 1 diabetics are likely experiencing symptoms of gluten sensitivity.
A healthy diet is usually the first place that we start when making changes towards living a healthy lifestyle. Diet is so important to our health and well being because the foods we eat are absorbed into our systems and create the cells in our body. A secondary part of a healthy lifestyle is looking at the products that we are putting ON on bodies. The personal care products we use on a daily basis are also being assimilated into our bodies. About 60% of what you put on your skin is being absorbed into your bloodstream. The biggest problem with this is that most personal care products on the market are filled with chemicals and many of them have health implications.
There are no requirements for companies to prove that the chemicals they are using in their products are safe to use. It is up to us to be informed consumers and investigate all the products we buy to make sure they are safe.
When my daughter was a toddler she went through a faze where she would refuse to take a bath. In an effort to make the bath more fun we tried toys, games, pink soap, fun towels and I wanted to try bubble bath. I started looking for a bubble bath product that was organic and toxin-free but to my surprise it was not an easy task. An even bigger shock to me was how toxic some of these “baby” bubble bath products were and all of the terrible chemicals that were on the label. One would think that products marketed for children and babies would be safe to use but unfortunately that is far from the truth.
The three reasons why I don’t let my children use bubble bath are the three most common toxins I’ve seen on bubble bath labels.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved products. Lotions, body sprays, creams, shampoos, cleansers, moisturizers…all of it. In High school, my friends and I would go shopping and spend our allowances on this stuff. The obsession continued into my 20’s and the products just got more expensive and more complicated. Living in New York City at the time, I frequented Bliss Spa and tried so many of their over-priced (chemical-filled) skin products. It wasn’t until my natural living “makeover” that I realized all of this stuff was toxic. That former version of myself would die laughing if she knew the things I use on my skin now. The funny thing is that (at 35 years old) my skin has never looked better.
One of the first things I realized when I started using natural skin care was that most facial cleansers and soap are way too drying. They will remove dirt and makeup but they also strip the skin of natural oils and moisture which we don’t want to lose. This holds true for all skin types. Using a cleansing method that strips natural oils will make dry skin dryer and oily skin oilier. Even worse it can create “combination skin” with patches of dry skin and oily skin on different parts of your face – which is even harder to deal with.
Natural cleansers are gentle on the skin and only remove the dirt and makeup that we don’t want on our skin. They won’t strip your face of it’s natural moisture and leave it feeling tight and flaky. In my search for the perfect natural face cleanser I tried many store bought brands and also tested homemade cleanser recipes. Most of the store bought options were still to drying and still had some ingredients in them that I wasn’t too pleased with.
Since you are probably a busy Mom like me, making your face cleanser might seem like another annoying thing on the to do list! Don’t worry, my top three favorite homemade face cleansers have three ingredients or less and take 5 minutes to make.
The thought switching over to a gluten-free diet can be very overwhelming. It seems like gluten is in everything. One of the biggest challenges is that most people aren’t clear which grains contain gluten and which ones do not. Once you have this distinction clear it is easier to get a handle on the whole concept of gluten-free eating.
Most people already know that wheat contains gluten but there are a number of other grains to watch out for as well. Most conventional packaged foods contain one ore more of the gluten containing grains. There are a lot of gluten-free alternatives available to replace your usual staples.
In general, whole grains are ideal. It’s important to remember even if a product is gluten-free it doens’t necessarily mean it is healthy. Label reading is just as important with gluten-free foods as it is with conventional foods.
I’ve put together a list of the most commonly know grains and separated them into two groups. The first list of grains all contain gluten so if you are trying to begin a gluten-free diet you should avoid these grains. The second list is a group of grains that are safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.