Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WARNING: Sunscreen -- may increase your risks of cancer

The more I read about sunscreen the happier I am that we avoid it at all costs. There is continual evidence that suggests the chemicals in sunscreen can cause damage to the body, even leading to some cancers. The chemicals absorb through the skin into the blood stream and later accumulate in fat stores.

Researchers at the University of California state that the increased use of chemical sunscreens is the primary cause of the skin cancer epidemic. Other research has shown the greatest rise in melanoma is seen in countries where chemical sunscreens are heavily promoted and used (one such place being the USA). AUHHHHHHHHH. Imagine smearing this stuff on your baby’s skin and face…

So how do you know if you’re using a sunscreen with chemicals? There are only two different types of sunscreen -- chemical and physical.

The chemicals in sunscreen actually work by absorbing the sun's rays and contain things like Paba, Benzophenone, Oxybenzone and metal oxides (nano chemicals). Physical sunscreens work by blocking or reflecting the sun's rays and contain minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (have you seen someone with the white covered nose? That’s a physical blocking sunscreen).

So what’s a parent supposed to do?
• Make sure to get your kids out in the sun so they can benefit from its healing rays and build up their body’s vitamin D supply (75% of the body’s Vit D comes from the sun).
• When summer begins, start gradually with sun exposure. Limit total exposure to no more than 10-20 minutes spurts of time.
• Watch the skin for signs of redness. If red, the skin has had it’s full share of sun time for the day.
• Cover up with hats, sunglasses, umbrellas and shirts if you plan to be in the sun for an extended period of time.
• Carefully select sunscreens that have natural, mineral based ingredients, are free from synthetic sun ingredients and are safe, non-toxic, preservative free and bio-degradable. Check out Campbells (locally), Lavera Natural Cosmetics, (www.lavera-usa.com), and Natural Health Newsletter recommends www.colorscience.com. These sunscreens are worth the extra investment!
• Physical barrier sunscreens are better, in terms of absorption.
• Take an omega 3 fatty acid (beneficial for all ages) supplement.
• Replace traditional fluorescent lighting with full spectrum lights in places where children spend a lot of time. (ask your schools what lighting they have)

As long as we do not over-indulge, the sun is a fabulous thing. So get out and enjoy this spring weather. You’ll be healthier because of it!

Teaching your children to love

I remember, as a young child, asking my parents to kiss each other.
"Kiss my mom! Kiss her!!!!! Come on!!!"
Then I would giggle and giggle when they finally kissed.

That memory came flying back to me the other day when I read, "the number one way to teach your children to love is by loving their father." (and visa versa)

This struck me in a powerful way! I strive daily to show my children the love that I have for their dad. We don't hold back hugging, kissing, rough housing, or even giving "da dip" (Ben uses his Italian accent when dipping me :) :)) in front of our kids. We want them to see us together. We want them to see us loving each other... showing and demonstrating our commitment to our marriage.

I know that someday when my three children get into a relationship, they're going to look back on the strength they saw in our relationship and want that!

That's why we put our marriage first. We have goals for ourselves, our careers, our family, AND our marriage. Your marriage can't be left to chance and it certainly can't be left to get whatever's "left over". It must be a priority! And YOU get to decide how you do that.

For us, we have monthly date nights. We tell our children that we need to concentrate on each other and spend some time together. We tell them how important it is to us and to them as well.

We also strive to get away for 1 weekend every 6 months. We swap time with my sister. She and her husband watch our kids while we get away and then we watch their kids while they get away. It's been a great way to spend more time with our niece and nephew as well as more time as a couple. Double blessing!

So here's the point of this blog. About a year after having my twins, I remember looking at Ben and thinking... "You.. I know you....Hmmmm? You're the guy I used to spend a lot of time with right?"

Our lives were turned upside down. AND we were loving it! But (and here's the big BUT...) I could see how having children can get you in trouble. Ben and I hadn't had a date night in months, we rarely spent time just the two of us b/c we were having so much fun with the kids, and we also shared our bed with kids so we weren't even getting time to snuggle like we used to. I could see where you could suddenly find yourself not knowing the person you married. Not knowing how to pick things up and put things back together. I also knew that marriages were only won in a prevention arena. It was time for us to make some new rules and make sure we were as proactive about our marriage as we are about our health! And our marriage stepped onto the side of the arena we would be staying on.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"I'm not going to be fat anymore"

At YFC, I see a lot of families. Over the last 7 years, I've seen a common trend. Moms are running hard, juggling a million things at once, and often times put themselves last.
I just heard a mother tell me yesterday that she told her child, "after this pregnancy your mother isn't going to be fat anymore".
So, this child asks her when she's going to stop being fat.
This mother told me that she felt like her job was to take care of her kids, not herself.
I also hear things like, "I'm tired of being frumpy mom". "I never have time for myself."
If you hear nothing else, hear this ---> you deserve to take care of yourself. You MUST take care of yourself! Give 75% to your kids and 25% to yourself. Because if you don't, your kids aren't going to get the best of you and you're going to end up resenting your kids.
Time is the only commodity we are all given equally. Across counties, states, continents. We are all given the same amount of time. Use it wisely and quit making excuses.
Taking care of my body is a priority as I want to take the best care of my children. My alarm went off at 4:45am this morning. I crawled out of bed (reluctantly.. but I did it anyway) and came downstairs to layer on the clothes and head out in 37 degree weather to run.
Am I a superhero? (sometimes I like to be called "She-Ra... Princess of Power".... but that's another blog)
No... .I'm a mom! Just like you!
I know what I want for my future. I want a vibrant, healthy future and I want the same for my kids. So, I lead by example.
Why? Because I am entitled to health and I'm entitled (required) to take care of myself.
Begin with the end in mind. Decide what you truly want for yourself and your health. And just get started!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

To cloth diaper or not... that is the question.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I took a hard look at the health, environmental and economical advantages of cloth diapering over paper diapers.
Here's what I found....
42 million diapers go into a landfill EVERYDAY in the US. The US pays an average of $350 million YEARLY to deal with their disposal AND--> these diapers will still be in a landfill 300 years from now. (that means when your great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren start diapering their children your STINKY diapers will still be hanging out somewhere)
The feces in landfills contaminates our water supply. (are you still drinking tap water?)
I also found out that the chemicals in paper diapers can rapidly absorb into the babies skin. I had serious concerns about dioxin. Dioxin in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases.
Paper diapers don't breath, cloth diapers DO allowing for healthier skin and less rashes.
Cloth diapered babies potty train on average an ENTIRE year earlier than paper diapered. AND the average paper diapered baby will go through 8,000-10,000 diapers before potty training.
And cloth diapering can save you 2000-5000 dollars!!!!!
Do I have your attention yet?
And let me be the first to tell you, that cloth diapering is easy! It's not gross or time-consuming like so many people think.
Even my husband is a fan! (and this is the guy who practically cried when I told him I wanted to cloth diaper)
So, when faced with cloth diapering or not, the choice was easy.... and we've never looked back!