Jan 302013

If you want to live younger longer it helps to have healthy cells.

Sounds kind of obvious, I know, and your body is equipped to keep you healthy.  Except…it’s not really designed to deal with the kind of stress we live in in today’s world, and unless you take specific action to protect yourself your cells will not be healthy.

Every day we are bombarded with toxic materials through our skin care products, the foods we eat, what we choose to drink,and  the cleaning products we use.  These are all sources of toxins over which we have some control.  Unfortunately, there are many others which we can’t control.   For example, the air we breathe is loaded with stuff that is adverse to our health from gasoline fumes to carpets, drapes and paints that put out nasty gases.  Then there is our water supply, full of residue from medications, manufacturing wastes, run off from the chemicals we use to keep lawns and golf courses green…the list goes on.

Another big source of stress on our bodies is the sun.  In the normal way of things your skin uses anti-oxidants

To live younger longer avoid the sun.

To live younger longer boost anti-oxidants to protect you from sun damage.

to protect you from sun damage.  However, over exposure along with an insufficient supply of anti-oxidants makes us more prone to sun damage and skin cancers.  If you have a sensitive red-haired complexion like mine the sun is even more of a menace than it is for most people.  Sun screens can help, but have their own side effects.  Many of them contain toxic ingredients, and  have only a partial ability to protect you even when you use them regularly…which lets face it most of us aren’t that consistent.

And then there is the stress of daily life…need I say more?

So back to healthy cells.  Every day your body takes stock of your cells and identifies those which are damaged or in poor health.  Then it either works to repair them or if they are beyond hope, tells them to self-destruct so that new cells can be put in their place.

Little kids have no problem repairing and replacing cells.  It’s like their equipment is still new and shiny and efficient.  That’s why when they get a scrape, or break a bone or have any kind of injury, they’re up and around a lot sooner than most adults.

Unfortunately as we age, so does our ability to repair and replace cells.

As a result we end up with a body that has undetected, but damaged, cells, and when they replicate, the result is more damaged cells all of which increases the chances for disease while speeding up the aging process.  Not exactly the result any of us would wish for.

But do we have a choice?

Of course we do.

  • Minimize your exposure to toxins.  Read labels, become familiar with common toxins and resolve to only use clean, green products.
  • Up your intake of anti-oxidants.  Toxins, stress and poor eating habits result in the production of free radicals which are damaging to your cellular health.  Anti-oxidants counter the impact of these free radicals and assist the healing process.  Anti-oxidant rich foods include berries, apples, plums, red beans, nuts and some spices such as cinnamon and cloves.
  • Stimulate production of your own internal anti-oxidants.  Your body makes its own anti-oxidants such as glutathione, catalase and SOD all of which are significantly more powerful than the ones you ingest in food.  These so called endogenous anti-oxidants help eliminate free radicals and remove toxins.  Exercise, certain supplements such as the B vitamins, Vitamins C & E, and sulphur rich foods such as broccoli , kale and cauliflower can help.
  • Drink ASEA.  ASEA is a bottle of redox signaling molecules which are essential for good cellular communication, improving the detection of cellular damage and promoting their repair or replacement as needed.  Studies show ASEA improves the efficiency of your endogenous anti-oxidants by 500% to 800%.  Your body makes these fabulous little redox signaling molecules, but makes fewer and fewer of them as you age.  The only other place to get them is from a bottle of ASEA.

Want to live younger longer? Reboot your healing process by eating well, exercising, increasing antioxidants and drinking ASEA.

What do you do to support your health?  Share below.





Jan 212013

If you were alive the day Martin Luther King was assassinated, do you remember where you were when you heard the news?

I remember that day clearly.  I was a long way from home in Delhi, India where I was on a bus heading back to the University where I was an exchange student.  The bus went past what must have been the headquarters for one of the newspapers and the news of King’s death was posted on a big sign out front.

I was devastated by the news as MLK was one of my heroes and I was sad for me, for his family and for our nation.  My family lived in Chicago at the time, where I had been a supporter of the civil rights movement.  I participated in demonstrations against discriminatory lending practices in the Chicago area  housing industry and marched in downtown Chicago with my friends in support of a big protest against a system that put fewer resources into inner city schools.  My father attended the March on Washington where King gave his famous I Had a Dream speech and heard it in person…..although I expect he was a long way away from the podium.

It’s tempting with martyrs like Martin Luther King to speculate about what he would have said and done if he were here today.

Even Larry Ward, a pro-gun activist has jumped in and suggested that King would have supported a recent national gun appreciation day.  Considering King is best known for being non-violent that seems a little off the wall (well maybe more than just a little).

While it is interesting to spend time speculating about what King would have said none of us really know.  We do have a choice, however….we can either  focus on the past and what might have been  or celebrate his life and what he was able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time;  he was only 39 when he was killed.  We can also be grateful for what he stood for and how his vision has continued to unfold over the years, magnified by his courage and by his untimely death.

If you have never heard Martin Luther King’s most famous speech, or want to hear it again here is a short version.

MLK  is one of my heroes for many reasons, but a big one is that he had a bold and clear vision and the courage to act on it…

even when he knew he was putting his life on the line and even when it must have seemed like an impossible dream at the time.  To get a little perspective on how things were back then, after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus, it took a full year before the rules changed allowing black people to sit anywhere they wanted to on public transportation in Montgomery, Alabama.

The  kind of courage it took to persevere in the face of that kind of a challenge makes  Martin Luther King a great role model.  He was also a very eloquent speaker, able to articulate his ideas and appeal to many people.

In a previous post I shared my personal vision which is to motivate myself and others to have lives of greater health, joy and financial freedom. What is your vision and what are you doing to actualize it?


PS…If you have a serious commitment to health and wellness and a desire to help other people achieve better health join me in my vision.  CLICK HERE for more information.


Jan 202013

Do you have toxins in your body?  If you don’t you don’t live on this planet, as toxins have been found in members of even the most remote tribes.

One source of toxins in your body is the skin care products we all use and I am a long time advocate of using only the purest products.  So when I saw a full page ad in the February issue of Yoga Journal  for Avon’s Breast Cancer Walk it got my attention.

How toxic are your skin care products

How toxic are your skin care products?

Yoga Journal  comes to me courtesy of a gift from my brother-in-law every year at Christmas.  This is a great magazine, and I always look forward to its content.  I also  don’t have anything against raising money for a cause.  However,  it’s a little ironic that Avon, on the one hand raises money for what they call cutting edge research to save lives affected by breast cancer, and on the other manufactures products that are loaded with toxins some of which are know carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.  It is also disappointing that Yoga Journal would be featuring them this way.

When I saw the ad I headed over to the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database.  If you follow the link to the Avon page you will find reference to some of the following toxic ingredients in their products which are rated as high hazard:

  • Two varieties of parabens which  are known to disrupt your endocrine system.  Also known as xenoestrogens, parabens mimic the impact of estrogen in your body…and estrogen promotes cancer including breast cancer.
  • Titanium dioxide.  Cancer causing and related to organ system toxicity.
  • Fragrance.  Associated with organ system toxicity and allergies.
  • Retinol and retinyl palmitate.  Cancer and organ system toxicity.

These are just a few of the worst ingredients.  There are many more that are moderately toxic, and some that are considered low hazard.

The question is, why use any hazardous materials at all?  There are plenty of non-toxic options and companies that successfully manufacture them.  You can find a link to many safe companies at the EWG website.

Beware even of products that are only mildly or moderately toxic; they probably are not the only ones you use.  Most women use lots of skin care products including cleansers and make up removers, skin hydration products, foundation, eye make up of all varieties and types, mascara, nail polish, shower gels, hair products of all kinds…shampoos, conditioners, mousses, sprays, on and on and on.  Men use their share as well.

It doesn’t take much to figure out that using a lot of low hazard products can add up to a high hazard day with lots of toxins in your body.  Ingredients that get stored in fat so they stay around for a long time are especially hazardous….and there are plenty of these.

That’s just the personal side of the equation.  Consider the manufacturing plants where these products are made where the ingredients are stored and used and discarded back into the environment impacting all of us.

toxins in your body

Our dollars keep toxic product companies in business.

So if Avon, along with many other companies, produces hazardous products why are they still in business?  Obviously  it is because consumers keep them there by purchasing their products, apparently oblivious to toxins in their bodies, and because magazines accept their ad dollars giving them a bigger platform from which to promote themselves.

How can you avoid toxins in your body? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Read labels carefully.  If you have any doubts about which products are toxic, consult the EWG website.  There are products such as Awareskin which I use (and with which I have an affiliate relationship) that are small companies and have not gone through the procedures to get themselves on the list.  In the case of this particular company I am very familiar with the products and the ingredients and know the owners personally so can say with  confidence that they are one of the purist options out there.  I’m sure there are others…just read the labels before you use them.
  2. Keep a list of non-toxic products and only buy products that you know to be safe.
  3. Look carefully at the products you use and have stored in your house and discard any that are toxic.  You may be very surprised at the number of toxins  now lurking in your bathroom.
  4. Share your experience with these products on social media so others learn about them and about your concern for your own wellness and that of the planet.

How careful are you about reading labels?  Have you stopped using products because you didn’t trust the ingredients to be safe?    Share your experience.





Jan 172013

It’s the beginning of the new year, or a new month or a new day.  You are ready to rock and roll….but the question you may be asking yourself is, What should I do first?

What will be the most effective use of my time? How can I reach the most people or get the most done with what I choose

How can I make this year the happiest ever?

How can I make this year the happiest ever?

to do in the next minute, or hour or day?   What can I do that will make this year the happiest ever?

Notice how all of these questions are about doing something.  There’s an implicit assumption that if you just do something, anything it will bring you closer to having what you want in life….which for most people ultimately is happiness.

But sometimes action is just a way to stay busy and may actually distract us from being happy.  Those are the times when we do something, anything to …well…be doing something….like scrolling down our Facebook page or sending a few tweets. Or maybe you just surf the net or watch a video about the latest way to become wildly rich by next week…who knows maybe you’ll find the one deal that isn’t a scam.  Or maybe you clean your house or do your laundry or watch a movie.  There’s nothing wrong with any of these activities unless they are a distraction from the main event..being happy.

Unfortunately when we engage in mindless activity just to have something to do, it tends to be unfocused.  While this  may help us feel busy, in my experience, at the end of the day I am tired and frustrated because although I was busily doing something all day, I didn’t accomplish anything worthwhile and my goals are still out there in the future somewhere, unrealized. This kind of activity for its own sake is a little like being a rat on a treadmill.

Why do we do this?

It’s easy to buy into the idea that if we just do enough with enough intensity that we will have what we want or need and then we will be happy.

And if we aren’t happy then the solution is to do more, or work harder or find a different job, or have multiple streams of income or whatever.  Somehow more is the answer to having and then being happy.

thich Nhat Hanh

“If you want happiness to bloom within you…simply cultivate the seeds.”

Oddly enough (or maybe not) when I was thinking about this post I opened a piece of mail which turned out to be a solicitation to subscribe to a spiritually oriented magazine.  There was a flyer in the envelope with a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, a well-known Buddhist monk who is originally from Viet Nam .  The quote said, “If you want happiness to bloom within you…simply water the seeds.”  He goes on to explain that “Our emotions and perceptions are like seeds in the garden of our minds…When we water the seeds of joy in ourselves, they will grow and flower without struggle or effort.  This is one of the simplest and most wonderful of miracles.”

In other words, if you want more joy or happiness in your life,  focus on the joy in yourself.  What do you have in your life right now that brings you joy?  Your spouse, your children, your job?  What about your home, a good book, some music?  A fire in the fireplace on a cold night?  When your focus is on cultivating joy in yourself you will automatically be,  a happier person with a lot less struggle.

This concept can be expressed in another way.  Rather than the do more, have stuff, be happy model we discussed above, switch to the be (happy, joyful, grateful), do in an inspired way, have enough of whatever you need or want approach. 

This means, focus first on your inner state of being and from this will flow inspiration about what to do next, which in turn will allow you to have or manifest whatever it is you want.  But it all flows from your state of being rather than from mindlessly doing.

And if as Thich Nhat Hanh explains you can experience joy without struggle and effort, then you will for sure live younger longer.  Give it a try.

Share ways that you have found to nurture the happiness that naturally lives inside of you.


PS…Part of nurturing your yourself is taking good care of your physical body.  CLICK HERE for information about a breakthrough anti-aging product that will change your life forever.


Jan 142013

The New Year is full of possibilities and excitement.  The slate is wiped clean and we start all over again.

We breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the possibilities.  More income, better relationships, that trip we’ve always wanted to take but never wanted to spend the time or the money to make it happen will definitely happen this year, along with the new house, the new car….all of it seems possible and attainable…and it is.  So why do we so often get to December 31st full of regrets for what didn’t come to pass after all?

Profitable new year.

Profitable new beginnings require letting go of the past.

New beginnings suggest there is something old back there which you no longer want in your life…if not why begin again? The question is…is that where your focus is?  For example, are you still thinking about the time someone convinced you to pay good money for a product that would revolutionize your business and make you rich tomorrow…that turned out to be a total scam,  or the customer who bought all your products and asked for their money back three days later, or the person who took a lot of your time asking questions and acting interested and then enrolled in your network marketing company…but under someone else…and then proceeded to sponsor hundreds of people and  place one of the biggest orders in the history of the company…the list goes on.

All of this is in the past, but do you keep these events alive in your mind?

Come on…we all do this.  Unfortunately, while we focus on these negative, past issues, the rest of our life is moving on.  Monday becomes Tuesday, and then Wednesday and then Saturday and next thing we know its New Year’s eve again…only a year later.

I know all of this well, because I have lived it often in my life.  Once when I was in the real estate business someone I considered a  friend got access to some great leads through a relocation company.  Since she couldn’t work them all I thought wow, she’ll refer me a few of these and really help my business…which was not doing so well at the time.

However she informed me that she was going to give the leads to some new agents because they were so excited about the business and I wasn’t any more.  Definitely it felt like she slammed the door in my face…and on our friendship.  Today I find this incident amusing, but back then I couldn’t let it go.  I told everyone about it and because it was a good story got lots of support for how wronged I was.  All of that drama helped me feel justified in my anger towards this former friend, but it also kept me stuck in that negative place.

Actually, in retrospect I am  grateful for this incident because ultimately it was one of several key experiences that helped me realize I needed to move on and do something else…and she was right, I had lost much of my enthusiasm for the business.

Here are some steps to get to  this positive place more quickly with a shift in focus…

  1. Meditation.  Probably the single most helpful decision I ever made was to start meditating…which I did years ago.  Today I use a system of high tech meditation which is simple and easy to do and I practice it daily.  Meditation
    meditation and profitable new year

    Meditation helps tame anxiety and reduce stress.

    takes your focus off the exterior events of your life, helps tame the anxiety and negativity, and allows you to feel a profound sense of calm.  It’s easy to do, especially if you use the high tech system that I use.  Just put on your headset and close your eyes.  The technology does the rest.

  2. Positive affirmations.  Affirmations are great if they are stated in the present tense, are simple and are heart felt.  Try adding a phrase such as “in this moment” which draws your attention to the present and is more believable. For example, “Today, in this moment, I am excited about my life.”  Or “I am grateful for my family,” or “I love my house.”  In this moment anything is possible and believable, and…it’s all we have anyway.
  3. Smile.  Studies show smiling lowers your stress level which boosts your immune system.  So post reminders to yourself wherever you will see them regularly and remember to smile often.
  4. Go into your past and come up with times when you felt the very best…were happy, enthusiastic and full of life.  When things look bleak, sit quietly, take yourself back to one of these times and recapture that feeling to shift yourself back to a more positive place.

The bottom line here is to stay conscious, notice when you are shifting into negativity, and do what it takes to pull yourself out.  The pay off is a happier life…which means more energy and enthusiasm to do what you love to do..and isn’t that what it’s all about?

What tools do you use to shift yourself into a more positive place?


P.S……It’s hard to stay positive when you suffer from aches, pains and other health challenges.  CLICK HERE for information about an anti-aging breakthrough that will put a smile back on your face.



Jan 092013

This time of year our focus shifts to reaching  goals.

We talk about New Year’s resolutions which usually reflect goals for where we want to be  six months or a year from now. We also make huge promises to ourselves about what we will do and why this year will be different from the last one.   These goals and resolutions sparkle with promise on New Year’s eve when  anything seems possible.  And it is…possible that is…except…

On the one hand resolutions are very positive; they are a way to paint a picture of a different reality…and that is like

Setting goals can be like letting light and air into a stuffy room.

Setting goals can be like letting light and air into a stuffy room.

opening a window in a stuffy room and  letting in some fresh air and sunshine….a huge relief.  Unfortunately these resolutions rarely work.  All too often they are made and forgotten within a few days or a week.

Part of the problem with reaching goals or resolutions is that they are always about something out in the future.

This is not to discount all the analogies and arguments about goals. I know I can’t get from here to there without a road map, and if I plan on reaching goals I need to know where I’m going.

The problem with staying focused on the  future is that it removes us from the present moment.  But  ironically, the only way to really change the future is to stay planted firmly in the present because that’s where the power is…it’s only in the present that we actually take action. ..and it’s action that will manifest the goals.

So how do we move beyond this paradox of reaching goals but staying in the present?

The answer is to just bring the goal into the present where we can act on it.

For example, if your goal is to be 40 pounds lighter in 6 months what do you need to do?  Start by committing to a way to get the job done. For example, one  way to lose weight is to change your diet to one that is more alkaline…which means letting go of meat, dairy, sugar and coffee and shifting to a plant based diet that includes drinking green tea and sweetening with stevia.

But if you choose that route, you probably will need to do some research to find new recipes and create new

To lose weight create the habit of more fruits and vegetables.

To lose weight create the habit of more fruits and vegetables.

menus.  And then you will need to restock your kitchen shelves to be sure you have the ingredients you need.

In other words, reaching goals about weight loss out in the future starts with a shift in attitude about the food you eat today…and then taking action with something as simple as a trip to the grocery store  with a list of ingredients. Without any of that, your weight loss will remain a goal…unattainable and out in the future somewhere.  And what good is that?

Another piece of this puzzle  is that while resolutions may be a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room, they probably are not by themselves powerful enough to really clear the place out.  If you are overweight, chances are it took you awhile to get there and involved taking on some habits that will keep you stuck unless you change them.

So the next step in reaching goals is to create some new habits that support the resolution.  That way you’ll be more likely to stay on track.

I used to think that changing habits was difficult and took a long time.  I’ve learned that isn’t the case.  Recently I took part in a free mini-course on habits which changed the whole way I think about them.    The network marketing company I am committed to has a daily motivational and training call which I usually miss due to other commitments,  but I have access to a recording which is available for 24 hours.

I had the intention for weeks to listen to that recording every day, but most of the time I didn’t.  After taking the habits course I used what I learned there to create the habit of listening to that call. It took less than a week.  Now I rarely if ever miss it. And this habit supports my goal of sharing a powerful anti-aging product and increasing my income.

Do you make resolutions in the new year?  Share your experience with resolutions.  If they have helped you, what have you done to make them come true in your life?

Happy New Year everyone!  Celeste

Have you resolved to make serious changes in your health this year?  If so CLICK HERE to learn about a breakthrough anti-aging product.

Dec 182012

If you must doubt something, doubt your limits.

I have heard this piece of advice many times and always nod yes…great advice.  But what does it mean?

Today I just happened to show up at someone else’s blog…just happened…and saw this video.  I think I followed a link from Facebook to get there, I don’t remember that part…and I also don’t believe in coincidences.  I was drawn there and stayed for the powerful message and was so inspired I decided to share it here as well.

Limits for me are artificial barriers we put in place to keep us from really being who we are…from fully expressing ourselves.

And if we aren’t fully expressing ourselves, I believe not only are we missing out on a lot of possible joy, but we are depriving others of what we are here to share.   Definitely a lose-lose proposition.

Limits  usually show up in the form of fear…fear of speaking out about something I believe in, fear of doing something other people might consider unconventional, fear of making a change, fear of making a commitment….lots of possibilities out there.

How many times have you stayed in a job, a relationship, a city because the fear of moving on, fear of taking a risk, fear of making a change, or just because it was all just too overwhelming?  I know I have.  The last time I decided to quit a job I knew before I quit that I would look back with relief knowing it was behind me.  I also acknowledged to myself that I had already stayed too long, that nothing positive was coming from being there.  But still I stayed on…so apparently the pay off was that  it was just easier to stay.  I didn’t have to make yet another change, I didn’t have to explain myself.  I could remain comfortable, low key and out of sight.

I did finally leave the job behind …and made the decision to share my knowledge and expertise in health and wellness through this blog where a few posts back I shared my intention to help change our health care system through encouraging people to take responsibility for their health.

In spite of my best intentions, I still give in to fears and limitations.  So it helps to hear a story from someone else…someone who has challenges beyond anything I could imagine, and who has moved beyond the fear and found a way to express who she really is…big time.  Rather than give away the punch line I will embed the video and let you enjoy it for yourself.  It is definitely worth the short time it takes to hear this amazing woman’s story.


Share how you have learned to overcome fears and express yourself.


PS…If you want to share your experience through blogging CLICK HERE and you can get started today.








Dec 122012

For good health it helps to burn fat..especially the kind that accumulates in your belly.

There are actually two types of abdominal fat according to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch.   Subcutaneous fat appears between the skin and the abdominal wall, while visceral fat actually surrounds the abdominal organs.  It is visceral fat which is linked to a variety of different and scary health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and both breast and colorectal cancers.

burn fat to live younger longer

Burn fat to live younger longer.

Your body type may be an indicator of the type of fat you accumulate.  Pear shapes accumulate fat lower down on their bodies, while those who look more like an apple, with fat around their center, are more prone to visceral fat accumulation.  A quick way to determine if you are at risk is to measure your waist.    If you are female and your waist circumference exceeds 35 inches you have cause for concern.

However, slim waisted women are not necessarily off the hook.  Even if you aren’t noticeably overweight, you can have visceral fat which in some cases may only be visible via some type of imaging such as a CT scan.

Why is belly fat dangerous?  Unlike some fats that just sit waiting to be used when the body needs a source of fuel,  visceral fat seems to function like an organ.  The Harvard Women’s Health Watch calls it “biologically active.”  It produces hormones and other health damaging substances making it more akin to an endocrine gland than to a depository for excess fat.  As a result, if your body has this kind of fat there is a good chance your hormones are out of balance which can cause weight gain or disruptions in blood sugar and increased insulin resistance.

Visceral fat also produces substances which promote heart disease, inflammation and elevated blood pressure, while  studies also link it to breast and colorectal cancer in women.

It’s definitely not a substance you want to have living in your body.  So how do you increase your ability to burn fat?

  • Keep active.  If you want to burn fat, especially belly fat it is essential to exercise regularly.  Find something you enjoy enough to do every day and go for it.
  • strength training causes you to gain muscle and burn fat.

    Strength training causes you to gain muscle and burn fat.

    Strength training helps.  Just having muscle and fat on your body causes it to burn fat.  However….it burns 35-50 calories for every pound of muscle and only 3-5 calories for every pound of fat.  This means if you convert fat to muscle, your body will automatically burn more fat.

  • Eat a  healthier diet by increasing the number of plant based foods that have lots of complex carbohydrates.  Eat few if any animal products.  Don’t cut back drastically on calories.  This may convince your body you are facing starvation, causing it to store fat to keep you alive during what it anticipates are coming lean times.
  • Eat many small meals throughout the day.  A good rule of thumb is to multiply your desired weight by 10 to get the minimum number of calories you need in a day to stay balanced and out of starvation mode.
  • Drink ASEA.  Research on athletes found that drinking ASEA freed up fatty acids to be available to be burned as  fuel in the body.  This freeing up of fatty acids happened prior to exercising, an amazing and surprising result as normally it takes months of training to get your body to this place.  If you want to burn fat, whether or not you are exercising,  and burn more fat when you do exercise (which of course you will), drink ASEA.

If you want to live younger longer, incorporate these solutions to burn fat….you’ll be a whole lot healthier and have a lot more fun.

Share what you are doing to stay healthy.





Dec 052012

I have lots of health conscious friends who  eat only organic food, but who are totally oblivious to the toxic cosmetic ingredients lurking in their skin care products.

Some grow their own food, raising it organically,  and take supplements to fill any gaps in their nutritional program.  Everything they do is green, natural and organic….except…

Toxic cosmetic ingredients

Live Younger Longer when you read labels and avoid toxic cosmetic ingredients.

Visit their bathroom and if you’re nosy, you might end up getting sick reading the list of toxic cosmetic ingredients in their personal care products.

Toxic cosmetic ingredients such as sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, phthalates, parabens, dyes, lead, formaldehyde and petroleum  are common in personal care  products of all kinds.  If you haven’t read the labels on your products lately, take another look.  Then do some research on what you’re using.  Unless you are using very pure products you will be horrified when you see what you’re putting on your skin, and into your bloodstream.

Believe me, I know…I used to be very casual about what I used…until I started doing some serious research.

So you might ask, “What’s the big deal.  I’m just putting them on my skin, it’s not like I’m eating them, right?”

The answer is, any toxic cosmetic ingredients that goes  on your skin goes right into your bloodstream.

In contrast  food goes into your digestive tract where enzymes help filter it out before it goes to your liver for more detoxification,  not so great for your liver but nevertheless marginally better for the rest of you than putting chemicals directly on your skin.  If that isn’t bad enough, the Environmental Working Group (which maintains a huge data base of information about personal care products and toxic cosmetic ingredients) reports that 56% of products in their data base contain penetration enhancers which assist the ingredients in their products to more effectively get through your skin.

Use of  these toxic products can cause damage to your immune system, your eyes (think about the mascara and eye shadow you use on the skin around your eyes which is especially sensitive) and your hair.  Since some of the chemicals are endocrine disruptors they can contribute to weight gain and negatively impact a developing fetus in women who are in their child bearing years.  Some of the ingredients are also carcinogenic, building up in your system over time putting you at risk for cancer.

Cosmetic companies argue that the ingredients aren’t harmful in the quantities used in a particular product.  That may or may not be true, but most people don’t use just one product….they use several.  Think about your morning routine…you use toothpaste, contact lens solution, soaps, gels, shampoos, conditioners, foundation, mascara, eye shadow, moisturizers, shaving creams and lotions….the list goes on.

Are you at risk of exposure to toxic cosmetic ingredients?

A 2004 study by the Environmental Working Group found that “one of every five adults is potentially exposed every day to all of the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to personal care product ingredients — hydroquinone, ethylene dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs, and acrylamide. ”

But aren’t personal care products regulated?  Doesn’t some agency like the FDA make sure only safe chemicals are used?  The answer is no.  Cosmetic companies are pretty much on their own when it comes to what they put in their products and what they tell you about them.  The FDA can’t require that products be tested for safety prior to use.  Nor does it have any systematic program for assessing cosmetic product safety, but rather relies on the industry to police itself.

To live younger longer, it is essential to read labels and only use very pure cosmetics and skin care

live younger longer

To live younger longer choose only pure cosmetic products.

products.  If you buy your products at big box stores or at your local pharmacy, chances are they are toxic.  And don’t assume that they are safe if they say natural or organic.  Carcinogens are common in products with these kinds of labels which may actually have only a very few ingredients that are genuinely natural or organic.

How careful are you about the skin care products you use? Do you have toxic cosmetic ingredients hiding in your bathroom?

Please share this info and leave a comment.  Thanks.


PS…the EWG publishes a list a cosmetics and lets you know how safe they are.  CLICK HERE for information about a very safe alternative to conventional skin care.



Nov 272012

Back in October I made a commitment to blog daily for the entire month as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  I managed to keep up for awhile, and then gradually I let other activities take over and I stopped all together.  In fact it has been that long since I wrote a single blog post.

Part of me wants to rant and rave at myself and say what a failure I am, and the rest of me, fortunately, knows how pointless and counter productive that would be.

I once knew a guy who is a coach…I was never lucky enough to be one of his clients, but I do know that one of his favorite pieces of advice was if you lose, don’t lose the lesson.  So what are my lessons here.

to live younger longer create great new habits

Blogging daily is a habit that is easy to create.

First, is that if I had been a little more thoughtful about signing up for the challenge, I would have realized that doing a blog a day in October would require some pre-planning and the need to do more than one post a day for at least 7 of the days.  This is because in October I participated in a meditation retreat for a week.  I know from past experience that this type of retreat takes up all of the available time leaving little if any for blogging…  The intensity of these retreats means that I need to plan at least a day or two to rest afterwards…meaning it would have been possible to do some posts then, but challenging.  So maybe under the circumstances I should have waited for the next challenge…or at least been willing to plan in advance when I would do my posts.

Second, I learned that daily blogging is a habit.  Once I got going it wasn’t that hard to keep it up…until the retreat happened.  During that time I also regularly visited other blogs, made comments, tweeted content I found appealing and posted to the Blog Challenge Facebook group….other great habits which when continued would surely have a payoff.

Third, I learned that having quit, I quickly formed a new habit which was “not blogging.”  Suddenly I had a million reasons why today wasn’t a good day to get back on track and I ignored my blog for weeks until I realized this was not a habit I wanted to maintain.

How do you form a new habit?

That got me thinking about how to form a new habit.  How does it work?  A quick Google search landed me on the website of BJ Fogg, PhD, a productivity expert and part time professor and researcher at Stanford.  Fogg has a lot of interesting things to say about forming habits.  He says that creating or breaking a habit requires three steps.

The first of these is a trigger  which is something that reminds you to act or not act.  For example, if you want to break the habit of eating chocolate, a trigger might be not having any in the house. You must also have the ability to change the behavior…in the chocolate example it has to be where you can’t reach it.   Finally you need motivation..such as, you are over weight, chocolate causes you to break out etc.

While most people focus on motivation when attempting to make or break habits, in fact Fogg says that the critical issue is the trigger.  If chocolate isn’t available at all or it’s hard to get to, you won’t eat it, but just motivation to eat less in and of itself probably won’t be enough.

I didn’t realize it, because I hadn’t visited Fogg’s website yet, but when I decided it was time to get back to blogging, my trigger was a commitment I made to my accountability partner.  She and I agreed I would start blogging every day at

Extra pounds may be motivation to eat less.

Extra pounds may be motivation to eat less, but may not be enough to keep you on track.

4:00 pm and that I would get back to her when I was finished to let her know the post was online for the world to see.  While it was a little later today (not much) than that when I actually got started, still and all here I am blogging so the trigger worked.  Clearly the ability and motivation were also there, but they have been there all of this time, and it took the trigger to cause my behavior to change.

Fogg has a free online course called 3 tiny habits which I also signed up for… I believe it will give me an opportunity to learn more about this process of changing behavior and creating new habits.  Visit his website to sign up (a new one starts every week)…or stick around and I will let you know how it goes.

Getting back to my Ultimate Blog Challenge, am I sorry that I signed up?  The answer is no, not at all.  I learned that I really can blog daily if I want to,  I just need to create the habit.

What habits would you like to break or create?  Share below!


PS, If blogging is something you want to do, start now by visiting here now.  This is the easiest way I know to get started today.