Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fitness Friday: Food ingredients I avoid

Hey guys! Welcome to my very first Fitness Friday post! I know it was uploaded pretty late, and you probably didn't see it until Saturday, but I am a nightshifter, so it was still Friday for me! I apologize for that. Anywho, todays post is going to be about the ingredients I try to steer clear of when grocery shopping, and picking out my food. Just like with beauty products, I have a list of ingredients I try to avoid in my groceries. Most of you probably avoid these same ingredients as well, but I just thought I would share my list with you. Here we go!
DISCLAIMER: I am no expert. These are just MY own opinions based on my own research of these ingredients. Please don't take my opinion as the only word on these ingredients.. I know there is evidence both for and against each of them, but I choose to avoid them myself. Please make your own decision based on your own research. If you disagree with me, and these ingredients are fine with you that's great, I just CHOOSE to avoid them.

1. soy lethicin:  I know soy is marketed as a health food, but there are dozens of reasons that tell me otherwise. Soy contains phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the human body, and when your body has too much estrogen, it can lead to things like cancer, testosterone imbalance, low sperm count in men, infertility, and many other health problems. Soy also contains anti-nutrients, phytic acid, and protease inhibitors. These prevent absorption of zinc, copper, magnesium, and calcium, which are important for many bodily functions, and also block important digestive enzymes that help break down certain proteins. I REALLY try to avoid soy lethicin, but sometimes...like with my bagels, it is HARD to find some without it. I have found some recipes to make my own though, which is very exciting!

2. canola oil: Another ingredient marketed as "health food". There are varying opinions of canola oil all over the internet. It is really up to you to decide if you think it is healthy to consume or not. I believe not. Here's why: canola oil is produced from genetically engineered, or "modified" rapeseed. That's strike one! Rapeseed is naturally high in uric acid, which is responsible for causing gout. To be extracted from the rapeseed, it has to be heated and and processed with a petroleum solvent, then processed again to remove wax that occurs during the first process, THEN, it has to undergo two more chemical treatments to alter the color, and deodorize the canola oil to make it possible to consume. That doesn't sound very healthy to me. I'll stick with coconut oil!

3. msg: This is an ingredient most people try to avoid. Msg is actually a neurotropic drug! What this means is that it causes problems with your nervous system, and may lead to shortness of breath, light headedness, bloating, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, among other side effects. I don't find it very hard to avoid this ingredient, but it is one I never want to consume.

4. nitrates and nitrites: These are most common in foods such as bacon, sausage, pepperoni's and other processed meats. I find it terribly hard to avoid these in regular grocery store meats, but Whole Foods Market carries a couple different brands that are uncured, and nitrate/nitrite free! Again, online there are varying opinions about nitrates and nitrites, and it is up to YOU to decide for yourself, but I am just letting you know why I avoid them. Nitrates and nitrites fuse with amino acids in the body( and the meats they are used to cure!), and turn into nitrosamines, which are carcinogens. They have also been linked to cancer in patients with Parkinson's disease,  alzheimers, and type 2 diabetes. That's reason enough for me to avoid them.

5. BHT and BHA: These are found in lots of foods, processed meats, like bacon and pepperonis, chewing gum, frozen pizzas( the reason I stopped eating frozen pizza!), among other places. They are preservatives that keep oils in foods from oxidizing and becoming rancid. BHT is thought to be an anti-oxidant, and may have some antimicrobial properties, and both are considered  "generally safe" by the FDA, but there is ALOT of uncertainty when it comes to the effects on the human body with either of these preservatives. That makes me wary of them. Again, it is up to YOU whether or not you regard them as safe to consume.

6. parabens: Yes, parabens are in food too! I actually saw some tortillas recently that had methylparabens while I was grocery shopping...also I saw whole chickpeas that had parabens in them. I was shocked myself. I never knew they were in food. Another reason I am diligent about reading my ingredient labels! Parabens are chemical preservatives used in cosmetics, and apparently foods, to fight bacteria and fungus from forming.

7. aspartame and saccharin: I have a friend at work that I am always telling not to drink diet soda because of this ingredient. Other people tell her as well, and I think she finally quit! Yay Alex! Aspartame is an artificial sweetener often used in diet sodas, and other "sugar free" foods, and is linked to dozens of health concerns. Migranes, neurological problems, and even cancer. I really encourage anyone who is still consuming this product to just stop immediately. Saccharin is another artificial sweetener, and has been known to cause cancer in the urinary tract and bladder of rats, also in the ovaries and other organs in humans. Pretty scary stuff! If you want something sweet, I encourage you to not worry about the calories, but just consume a naturally occurring sugar in small amounts to satisfy your sweet tooth. Raw honey, dates, raisins, blackstrap molasses, and even raw sugar are better options than chemical filled man-made sweeteners anyday!

8. artificial coloring: This is the last of them I think....I may be forgetting some. These are just the ones off the top of my head that I avoid. Artificial coloring is a tough one to avoid if you like sweets, or anything processed. How do you think companies make their packaged foods look so appetizing and beautiful? Food coloring. Anything that says "FD&C" OR "lake" next to it are artificial colors and are found in food and also cosmetics! These fake colorings are actually derivitives of coal tar and petroleum...that's just what we want to put in our food or on our skin! How wonderful. Most if not all of these artificial colors have been linked to cancer and should be avoided ESPECIALLY by children.

9. High Fructose Corn Syrup: I'm pretty sure you have heard about the dangers of consuming this ingredient. It's a HIGHLY processed sweetener derived from corn (mostly gmo!), it increases your risk of weight gain and obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Has been linked to high triglyceride levels (bad cholesterol), causing hypertension, heart disease or stroke. Is hard for your liver to process causing damage to your liver, and HFCS even contains high levels of mercury! High mercury exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage!

10. Agave Nectar: Just like HFCS, Agave is basically just pure fructose. It has many side effects similar in nature to HFCS such as high triglycerides, insulin resistance, and even cardiovascular disease.

Well, that is all for my list of nasty ingredients...unless I think of more later, then I'll update! It is up to you as I said like 50 times by now, which ingredients you think are ok for you to eat, but I have read lots of info that tells me that I don't want to consume any of these I mentioned in this blog post.
Do you avoid any of these ingredients? What are some others you avoid?
xo,
~ Shauna

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Product review: Everyday Shea Unscented Shampoo

Hey guys! I hope you are doing well! Today I am reviewing a shampoo that I have been using for about a month, as a replacement after I ran out of my favorite shampoo, which is the Acure Organics Morroccan argan one. The reason I ended up trying this one from Everyday Shea is because, A.) it was the same price as the Acure but TWICE the size, B.) it had NO bad ingredients, only just 6 total! and C.) it had no fragrances or perfumes or essential oils or any of that jazz. I was really looking forward to trying this shampoo not only because of the above mentioned reasons, but also because If you have watched my 2012 hair care favorites video (here), then you may have heard me mention how much I loved the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative shampoo and conditioner, until I found out about the parabens in Japanese honeysuckle. This seemed like a really good dupe for that shampoo....minus the Japanese honeysuckle. I was immediately drawn to it for that reason. So I ordered it and luckily got it just in time as I ran out of my Acure shampoo! Now let's get into it. The Everyday Shea brand, is made by Allafia, who under their own brand name make natural haircare and bodycare items, but this is specifically just shea butter products. FAIR TRADE shea butter at that!









The description of the shampoo on the bottle says:
"Gentle, creamy shampoo formulated with moisturizing, Certified Fair Trade unrefined shea butter, cleansing virgin coconut oil, and anti-oxidant shea leaf extract cleans thoroughly without stripping hair's natural oils. Unscented for sensitive individuals. Carefully formulated for everyday use on all hair types"

My first impression of this shampoo after I first used it was kinda iffy. It comes out kinda gooey and liquidy like really thick hand soap. But like the bottle says, there is no detectable scent, just pure shea butter smell.


After my very first use, my hair felt gunky and stuck together and hard to comb through when it was wet, but then after it dried my hair was really soft. I wasn't sure how I felt about it actually. Then I used it a few more times, and the gunkiness started to go away, maybe it was just residue from the jojoba oil I put on my ends or something. After the 3rd or 4th time washing my hair with this shampoo, I decided to actually wash all the way down to my ends, instead of just washing my root/scalp like I usually do (it makes temporary bright red color stay in longer) and it did the trick! My hair was really clean and not gunky at all. It is VERY moisturizing, not as soon as you rinse..it feels kinda tangly, but after you condition and then rinse you can actually run your fingers through my tangly ass curls. That's saying something. My bf actually has used it as well and says he likes the way it makes his hair feel. So, is it a complete dupe for Shea Moisture? No, but it has some similarities and I do really like it. I hope you enjoyed this review! Have you tried any products from Everyday Shea? What is your favorite shampoo?

xo,
Shauna

price: $9.79  (32 oz.)
where to buy:
luckyvitamin.com

ingredients:
Shea leaf (Butyrospermum parkii) eaxtract (aqueous), Shea butter soap (saponified shea butter), and virgin coconut oil( cocos nucifera), cocamidopropyl betaine, decyl polyglucose.

UPDATE: June 29, 2013
Though this is a good shampoo for cooler weather...my hair hates it in warm weather. It makes it super oily way quicker than usual and it feels kind of sticky. It is FANTASTIC for shaving though! It makes your legs/ armpits really smooth. It also makes a GREAT makeup brush cleaner...which are the only things I use it for now.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

C.C. Pollen Royal Jelly Skincare with Honey Foaming Cleanser REVIEW

Hey guys! Long time no see! I know it's been a while since my last post, but with my schedule, I have to just blog whenever I can find the time. And today I actually have some! Hooray! If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen me post about buying this cleanser sometime in march, and I think since it has been about a month using it, I have seen enough of what it can do to review it. Here goes!
What it is: C.C. Pollen Royal Jelly Skincare with Honey Foaming Cleanser



This is an all organic, foaming cleanser, that is supposed to be very nourishing, hydrating and great for dry skin, with added benefits of honey, and royal jelly. The box has little descriptions of the benefits of honey and royal jelly on the skin, and both are supposed to help make your skin more supple, hydrated, and younger looking. I gotta agree with thsese! I have noticed less dryness, and more suppleness in my skin since starting using this cleanser, and that is saying something because I usually have very dry skin!
This cleanser is made up of saponified coconut, olive, and sunflower oils, all of which are fantastic for dry skin like mine too! It is a foam cleanser, so it has a pump on top. With some foam cleansers I've tried,  the foam was really thin and watery, and didn't really cleanse anything off my skin. That is NOT the case here. This foam is very thick, and rich feeling on the skin...almost creamy! It doesn't disappear when you start rubbing it in either, it actually stays thick and creamy until you rinse!



If you wear a lot of foundation, you may have to cleanse then tone, because it doesn't take all of your foundation off. That is the only thing about this cleanser that I find disappointing. Also I don't suggest using it on your eyes (which I never do with any cleanser anyway, I stick to jojoba and a cotton ball!), my sister actually used it on my birthday when she came over and put it on her eyes and said it burned them. Other than on the eyes, it is very gentle and hydrating so I don't mind taking a little more time and working it in to really get all my makeup off. It actually suggests using a toner in the directions. I like to wet my face with warm water, and actually work that around on my face before cleansing, just to loosen up my makeup before my cleanser. Then I rinse it and apply the cleanser, and massage it around over my face until I feel like it has really gotten everything off, then rinse. Instead of toner I just splash my face with really cold water to close up my pores. I am VERY pleased with this cleanser so far! It is really hard for me to find a cleanser that is suitable for dry skin, and won't strip it even more, or break me out. This one has really helped get rid of some of the redness I usually have as well! I think it is because there is chamomile, and calendula extracts in it and those are supposed to be very calming to your skin. There is also vegetable glycerin, which helps with keeping your skin hydrated. I think I am going to repurchase this after I use it up because I am so happy with the result...that actually hasn't happened to me since I went natural! I usually just switch to something else because I couldn't find one I liked, but I really like this one! I hope you enjoyed this review!
What is your favorite cleanser?

xo,
Shauna

ingredients:
Purified water, organic saponified vegetable oil ( coconut, olive, and sunflower), vegetable glycerin, honey, essential oils, panthenol, organic chamomile extract, organic calendula extract, royal jelly.

where to buy: iherb.com 
4 oz.  $9.35