Chemicals, Kids and what we as parents butt-up against as we try to raise healthy children in a toxic world.
[Article in Nurture Magazine, Published in the Spring 2012 Issue]
By Dr Sarah Lantz
There is something intuitive about children such that they opt to play with wrapping paper and cardboard boxes instead of the plastic toys contained inside the present. Jedda, my two-year old daughter, enjoys shredding wrapping paper and running her little fingers over the silky ribbons. She likes texture. Adiva, now nearly 7, spends hours in cardboard boxes pretending she’s a cheeta. We have been known to feed the wild animal inside the box, only for her to growl back.
Play is at the heart of talking about ‘toys’. And play is important at all ages. It is literally a biological imperative. Children learn about themselves and their world through play – developing cognitive and problem-solving skills, personal and social skills, physical development. Play stimulates the senses and invigorates the mind. And yet, for the last century we have been endorsing large qualities of mass-produced, low quality, automated, plastic, disposable toys. And what’s the problem with this?
Along with the choking and stragulation hazards, massive toy recalls, excessively loud toys, projectile toys, toys that distract and over stimulate, there are a range of toxic chemicals in toys. And as a public health researcher and mama, it is these toxic chemicals that are the focus of my research and heart of this article.
Plastic – not so fantastic (Polyvinyl chloride)
Polyvinyl chloride (also known as PVC or vinyl) is a plastic chemical used in toy production. And its nasty stuff. Every stage in PVC’s life cycle involves the production, use, and release of toxic chemicals, with some of the culprits including dioxin, mercury, lead, cadmium, organotins, and phthalates. Because these chemicals are not tightly bound to the plastic, they can enter children’s bodies when the children chew or suck on the toys or the PVC packaging that the toys come in. These chemicals are all toxic to children when ingested. And there is no safe way to manufacture, use, or dispose of PVC products.
In 2008, one of the largest toy manufactures in the world, Toys R Us, made a promise to reduce the use of PVC plastic in the toys they sell and offer more safer PVC-free products. But Toys R Us have not kept their promise. A report released two years later, entitled Toxic Toys ’R’ Us, by the Centre for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ), found that Toys R Us continue to sell toys made with PVC – and lots of it. Almost 70 different toys, including well-known brands were tested. According to the report:
Toys that tested positive for PVC included well known toys such as Barbie, ‘Toys Story 3’ Woody and Buzz Lightyear figures, Disney Princess dolls, Zhu Zhu Pets, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and Diego figures, Club Penguin figurines, Imaginext toddler action figures and many others, from dolls and balls, to baby bath time toys and products, and even some children’s Sippy Cups.
Another report released in 2011 by the International Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Elimination Network (IPEN) and based in the Philippines found many children’s toys have dangerously high levels of heavy metals. The international study measured toxic metals in 200 children’s products with a focus on antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. Approximately 30% of the products contained at least one toxic metal above acceptable levels. 37 products (19%) contained lead at or above the Australian regulatory limit, and children’s toy cosmetics contained mercury levels 4 – 5 times higher than the regulatory limit. Given that the toy market is global, children all across the world, including Australian children, can be directly affected by these toys.
But isn’t there a regulatory agency for toys made, or imported, into Australia?
The regulation of toxic chemicals in toys in Australia is still sketchy at best. The Australian Toy Standard have been established, but these standards are voluntary, so there are no requirements for toy manufacturers and distributors to abide by them. Compliance essentially relies on voluntary testing. This is also the case for toys imported into Australia. Hazardous toys can only be detected by testing and analysing toy components, and given the large volume and range of toys imported into Australia, this prohibits Customs routinely testing all imported toys. In light of this, parents need to be diligent. And these are the reasons why…
There are no safe levels of lead and mercury for children. Lead directly attacks the nervous system and destroys brain cells. Mercury causes both chronic and acute poisoning, damages the brain and significantly disrupts hormones. Dioxin, a byproduct of PVC manufacturing (usually produced when burning chlorine), and is a group of persistent toxic chemicals. While children are not exposed to dioxin when they handle toys or toy packaging, dioxin is released into the environment during both the manufacturing and disposal of PVC materials. Dioxin then gets into our water ways and food production systems. Children consume dioxin from meat, fish, diary products and eggs. Dioxin is a potent cancer causing agent, and has reproductive (decreased fertility, endometriosis, decreased sperm counts, birth defects etc.), developmental, immunological, and endocrine health impacts.
Phthalates (Pronounced THA-lates) are chemicals added to plastic toys to soften them, fix scent in fragrances, and colour personal care and cosmetics, including children’s face paints. While Phthalates are no longer manufactured in Australia, around two million tons of phthalates are produced across the world each year, with more than 20 types of phthalates imported and commonly used in Australian toys. The total amount of phthalate contained in a toy product varies from about 10 to 50%, depending on the degree of softness required.
A growing body of research reveals that exposure to phthalates and their metabolites can cause a range of health impacts. Phthalates exposure has been linked to:
A 2012 study also suggested that high levels of phthalates may be connected to the current obesity epidemic in children.
Infants are exposed to phthalates from multiple sources including through the umbilical cord, breast milk, dust in the air and also from sucking or mouthing PVC plastic toys. And the cumulative impact of different phthalates leads to an exponential increase in associated harm.
The European Union (EU) introduced temporary bans on phthalates in children’s toys as far back as 1999. The EU has phased out the use of three phthalate plasticisers in toys and child-care items, and they will be permanently phased out by the EU by February 2015:
The EU further restricts three plasticisers from toys and childcare items that children can put in their mouths:
In 2010 Australia banned Diethylhexyl Phthalate (DEHP) in products used by children up to and including 36 months of age. While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) continues to collaborate with our chemical regulatory boards to monitor international research into phthalates, and may take specific regulatory action to address risks to people associated with the use of phthalates in consumer products, Australian significantly lags behind international standards. Therefore, while phthalates all have complex chemical names, it’s important to be able to identify some of the key ones to avoid exposing your children to them.
Many kids climbing structures – with their wooden gangways, turrets, and tunnels – are still made out of pressure-treated lumber (copper chrome arsenate – CCA) which contain arsenic – a notoriously deadly poison and established human carcinogen. While in 2006 the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) restricted the use of treated timber used in ‘intimate human contact’ applications such as children’s play equipment, furniture, residential decking and handrailing, it did not recommend dismantling or removing of existing treated wood structures, so many still exist. Authorities have been remiss in not carrying out soil or wipe test in children’s playgrounds.
Toxic Free Toy Selection
It is of no surprise that an increasing number of parents are seeking more natural toys for their children. Consider what it is to makes a good toy, a toy that is suited to the age of the child, and also your own families’ philosophies and health priorities. Here are a few suggestions:
Consider also that nature is the best toy of all. Children, more than ever before, are disconnected from nature – have reduced amounts of leisure time; spend more time in front of the TV and computerized toys; are over stimulated yet live more sedentary lifestyles than ever before. Richard Louv calls this phenomenon ‘nature deficit disorder’. Consider that it is in our best interest to reconnect to nature, not only because aesthetics or justice demands it, but because our mental, physical, and spiritual health depends upon it. Exposure to nature reduces diseases, improves cognitive abilities, and resistance to stresses. The health of the earth also depends upon it as well. How children connect with nature, and how we, as parents raise our children, will shape the conditions of future cities, homes, parks and the conditions of our animals, plants and ecosystems.
As mama I watch how my children, and other children, connect with nature with such ease and grace if we give them the space to do so. It’s like breathing to them. John Muir’s quote is apt here: ‘When one tugs at a single thing in nature, (s)he finds it attached to the rest of the world’
Time in San Francisco has given me space to reflect on our Buchi Kombucha venture…as well as drink plenty of local brews here. My favourite? Cherry Chai by GT Kombucha. Amazing!
So here is an update and a copy of our Buchi Bulletin that we hand out at the markets each month.
A few highlights:
A special shout out to editor of Peppermint Magazine Kelley Sheenan and her partner Ben. We feel particularly grateful to be working with on developing new Buchi labels which will contain all the ingredient listings and nutritional information. So stay tuned!
Yes, we will be ACO certified by the end of the year….its a thorough process!
We have Kombucha brewing kits at the markets now, so if you want to brew your own kombucha, come and see us at the markets or give us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org (We could always post one out to you).
And our ‘Taste of the Season’ this month is our Warming Winter Pear Kombucha. It’s delicious. Made with our 100% fermented Buchi kombucha, biodynamic pears, cinnamon, and lashings of passion and love!
Read a copy of our June Bulletin HERE.
[The photo is of a beautiful SCOBY bank (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast - commonly called the SCOBY or Mother)]
Did you know? The food in the average Aussie shopping basket has travelled about 70,000km and the meal on your average dinner plate has travelled around 2000km. Besides the impact on the environment, long haul food also poses food security risks. An Australian Federal Government report released by the Department of Agriculture, as summarised in The Age newspaper this week outlines a number of risks posed by long, concentrated food supply chains. The longer the distances travelled by our food, the more vulnerable it becomes to natural disasters and other factors that can break the supply chain and cut off food supply to communities. Have a read.
This is one of the huge advantages of Organic Farm Share. A key objective is to ensure a secure, local food supply. This is the reason behind the requirement that shareholders must live within a 200km radius of the farm. Based on the average Aussie meal travelling 2000km, at Organic Farm Share we envisage our food miles will be decreased by up to 92%. Up to 60% of the cost of food can be attributed to distribution and handling costs. By reducing the food miles, owning our supply chain and keeping it local, we can eliminate many unnecessary and hidden costs in food. Amazing!
For me to be good mama, I sometimes need to get away. I struggle with this at times…the martyre comes out ‘My children need me and I’m the only person to meet their needs!’ (I also think this stems from the neoliberal notion of living in individualised families without connection to a larger community) and then there’s the creeping fears that something will go virulently wrong when I’m away and I will feel the gravity of immense guilt for not being there. But when I can sit with these fears (and my own martyrdom) and let someone else (usually Jase) take the load for a while, and I relax into the embrace of being alone, I always come back home seeing the magic in my life, my children, and my partner again.
This time, I’m in San Francisco. Exotic I know! Five days of writing, meditating, eating, and another four days at an epigenetics conference in the heartbeat of San Francisco.
Travelling to the US always feels like coming home to me. I guess its because I was born here, and have travelled here many times before. There are parts of the US that touch me in ways for which I struggle to find words. Where I am staying now is such a place – Muir Beach. It’s near the majestic redwoods, close to organic markets, a beach, walking tracks, and the Green Gulch Zen centre. When I arrived yesterday it was like I was able to finally exhale – like taking off a pair of tight shoes.
Staying at beautiful places when I travel is important to me. I won’t go unless I can stay at beautiful places. Where I stay has to be a sanctuary for my soul – where it can rest for a while and feel a greater sense of harmony and ease. Here is such a place. And I give myself permission to find ease again.
[We highly recommend the services of airbnb when our family travels - we find our funky places to stay via them – alot.]
By guest blogger and friend from Organic Farm Share Filippa Araki
Many people believe that healthy and organic food simply isn’t affordable. At face value, this is a valid perception. Why spend $6 on a loaf of organic sourdough bread when you can buy a loaf of supermarket bread for $1.50?
Thanks to industrialisation and large supermarket conglomerates, food prices have dropped significantly but at what cost to our health? Since 1987, health expenditure in Australia has been increasing by an average of over 5% each year. In 2009-10, spending on health was $121 billion equating to an average of $5,260 per annum (over $100 per week) for every man, woman and child in Australia1.
Thanks to modern health care, we may be living longer but with what quality of life? Despite our increased spending on health care, the so-called “diseases of western civilisation” (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc.) continue to rise2. Highly processed and chemical-laden food grown in depleted soils simply does not meet our nutritional needs. Surely there is a correlation between what we spend on food and what we now spend on our health.
Organic Farm Share aims to provide the most affordable organic food in Australia. By owning the land where our food comes from and keeping production and distribution local, we can cut out so many steps in the food chain that add unnecessary cost. And by following the highest standards of organic and biodynamic farming, we can grow and produce high quality, nutrient-dense food.
1AIHW 2011. Health expenditure Australia 2009-10. Health and welfare expenditure series no. 46. Cat. no. HWE 55. Canberra: AIHW.
2ABS 2011. 3303.0 – Causes of Death, Australia, 2010. Accessed 25.5.12 http://www.abs.gov.au
Have been on and off for years, but have moved on to Coconut Oil more recently, which tastes simply luxurious compared to the Sesame Oil I’d been having years ago. Inspired by Jess Ainscough’s (aka the wellness warrier) post about oil pulling, I too wanted to share my expereinces of oil pulling, particularly from a mama’s perspective.
I started oil pulling after the birth of Adiva, about five years ago. An Ayurevdic health practitioner started me on the practice after experiencing a pregnancy that was bound with severe Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) a form of morning sickness with unrelenting, excessive nausea and vomiting which went on throughout most of my pregnancy. And because I vomited so much during pregnancy, sometimes 10-15 times a day, my teeth and gums now carry scars that will never go away – deteriorated tooth enamel from the acid, cracks, and sensitive gums. (The pregnancy with Jedda was much the same). Pregnancy is notorious for the development of teeth issues – we carry 50% more blood in our bodies, we often have food sensitivities, and we are growing a baby that takes from our body what it needs, sometimes at the expense of the mama.
Hence my now passion for oil pulling.
But what is oil pulling (OP) you may ask?
It’s a little known fact that Ayurevdic medicine historically prescribed Sesame Oil swishing in the mouth as one of the daily routine habits in the morning for oral and dental hygiene (yes, Jase initially liked to make giggly boy chatter about ‘oral oil pulling’ – classy I know. I think most partners will probably make the same simple jokes). Oil pulling was introduced to the modern world in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach, MD. Dr. Karach claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders.
How does it all work?
My morning ritual, while making our morning tea, is to swish coconut oil in my mouth for about 10-15 minutes. Because it has been chilly in the morning here in Brisbane, sometimes I need to put the coconut oil jar in hot water for a minute so that it turns from a solid block back into liquid. And sometimes if I don’t have time, I will put a tablespoon of the solid block in my month until it melts and then swish. Not as pleasant, but still effective nonetheless. I sometimes also add a couple of drops of oregano oil (great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal oil) and simply spoon it into my mouth. One tablespoon is all you need. Then I swish the oil around my mouth for 10-15 minutes (and 5 minutes if that’s all I can manage for the day and 20 minutes if I am having a peaceful morning). And believe me this really is the best start to the day!
Remember, don’t swallow the oil, the swishing will render it full of toxins. And brush your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly oil pulling.
If the first few times your gag reflexes kick in, decrease the amount of oil you are using and definitely don’t worry about the essential oil. Persist though – it’s worth it.
What are the benefits?
There are so many: • Whiter teeth • Healthier gums • Prevents bad breath • Increases energy • Decreases headaches and migranes • Clears sinuses • Alleviates allergies • Clearer skin • Regulates menstrual cycles • Improves lymphatic system • Improves PMS symptoms…and more…
There’s not much research done. But there’s a dearth of research done on the benefits of both coconut oil and oregano oil that you can’t ignore the practical application of oil pulling. And there is a fabulous book on the topic called Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing by naturopathic physician Bruce Fife. He states:
‘The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it ‘pulls’ out bacteria and other debris’.
‘As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.’
I think I will always wear the scars of bearing two beautiful girls, but my gums feel healthier, my teeth whiter, and my head clearer as a result of oil pulling. I would love to know your experiences of oil pulling. And if you haven’t tried, give it a pull!
When you are a busy mama raising a home grown family, I find that most of the time I’m not in my body at all. In fact at the end of a long day, just before sleep, I usually find myself saying ‘oh, there you are’, like somehow I’ve lost myself for the whole day only to find me again at bed time. And then I lose myself the very next morning again. Inspired by mindfulness I have started writing a ‘today’ gratitude list. The main gist of this is to write down whatever I am feeling grateful for in your life…right now; here and now; in the present.
This is the first one I am sharing. It’s a lovely practice for busy mama’s. You might want to give it a go. Beauty and simplicity surround us all the time and if we are not careful we can miss it.
I took time to meditate for 5 whole minutes.
I had coconut oil melt in my mouth for breakfast.
My egg yolk is like a creamy sunset.
Someone made me soup at the organic cafe for lunch.
I ate sweet juicy pink guava. They are nearly out of season. Goodbye guava. Thankyou.
I watched Adiva’s abundant joy as she showed me the gap where he tooth once was.
Thinking that it’s time to surrender to the ever-expanding laundry pile. I loose. You win.
I need to ask for more help with my busy schedule.
I watched Jedda sit on the trampoline eating mandarines and talking to her dolly named Raspberry (see photo).
Happy anniversary my dear Jase. Eight of the best years of my life. I feel blessed to be travelling this journey with you.
I was wondering what to do with our beautful rosy and plump Rosella’s in our garden (jam, yes, but I did that last year) so yesterday I made a special ‘taste of the season’ Kombucha and named it Spicy Rosella. It’s amazing. Tenderly hand picked by Adiva and I, steam softened to maintain as much of the potent antioxidents as possible, and sweetened with hints of delicious cinamon quills and apple. If you are in Brizzy come down for taste at Northy St markets this weekend, or give me an email and I will put a bottle aside for you because there are only select number. I feel most happy when I am crafting and creating. Give it go. It’s good for the soul.
We are bringing Kombucha to Northy St Organic Markets! (in fact my post is a little late as we’ve been there for a few weeks now, sorry). We feel so grateful to be so well received in this beautiful community. It’s very satisfying to be around people equally passionate about fermented foods and health. And to be honest we’ve been struggling to keep up with the demand for our Kombucha. It’s been a sell out every week. But we hope we have it all handled now with over 1000ltrs of blissful brewing Kombucha. And we just got word from Saturday’s West End Markets and they have a spot for us too (no weekends for us anymore, but bringing kombucha to the people feels very right).
So if you are in the Brisbane area come and visit us for a sample. We have four different Kombucha varieties: i) Buchi Mama Origional (made on the SCOBY mother and that’s all); Deep Green Kombucha (yes, we use the Miessence Deep Alkalising Green mix with loads of blue green algae (spirillina), wheat grass, barley grass, kamut grass etc); Ginger Tumeric Kombucha (packs a punch for people who like that ginger kick); and Hibiscus Pine Lime Kombucha (this was made for people transitioning to Kombucha and who need a little sweetness in their drink).
And for people who are not in the area, but in Australia, you can still contribute to our crowdfunding (Pozible) for the next few weeks and we will send some delicious Buchi Kombucha your way. Check out our site http://buchi.pozible.com and make a pledge. Don’t worry about your location, we’ll be shipping Buchi all around the country to say thanks for your support.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still ‘pushing’ through life, despite my earlier reflections. I grind away at a marking essays. I push through the pain to get to an article done. I force myself to drink that green smoothie in the morning when I don’t feel like drinking it. I fight through a headache. Some would say that this ‘pushing’ is an admirable quality – committed and not afraid to go after what you want. But to be honest it doesn’t feel so good being a bulldozer. I’m often in struggle. And it’s exhausting. And there’s no peace.
I heard Sheryl Crow’s song on the radio this morning, ‘Soak Up the Sun’… and the line: ‘It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got’ that reasonated with me. Graditude. Living in the flow. And when there’s no flow, to let go.
There’s another great quote by Abraham-Hicks that reminds me of my pushing and righteous. I hope you like it and it gives us all the grace to let go…
In my last post I said to stay tuned for more information about going commercial with Kombucha…and here it is! Jase (my partner) and our dear friend Matt are now brewmasters for Buchi (pronounced ‘boochi‘) Kombucha and are seeking crowdfunding so that the people of Australia will be able to access high quality, low-cost, local, sustainable, certified organic, raw Kombucha. And for people who contribute to the crowdfunding project they will all receive some awesome in-kind rewards…umm Kombucha!
Kombucha is a fermented health elixer that is just packed with vitality and goodness. The bacteria converts sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time, and linked to a range of health benefits including organ cleansing, detoxification, improved digestion, better skin, stronger immunity and anti-aging benefits.
The link and video below show the boys, their passion for Kombucha, the business plan, why its a glocal production, and how to get some free Buchi by becoming a supporter and contributing to the crowdfunding. Have a watch and vote with your dollars:
>CLICK HERE to support Buchi Kombucha and find out more about this amazing project.
It’s been a few months since my last post – the longest writing drought since I started writing this blog nearly three years ago now. I’ve felt somewhat paralysed to write lately, not exactly knowing my path in life anymore, feeling unsure, sensitive. In numerology I’m in a year one of the nine-year cycle. A new beginning which holds the promise of new adventures and daring feats, and yet while the prospect of starting something new is certainly exciting, it is also a little daunting….and to be honest it had me a little stumped as to how I move forward. And when I do take steps it’s often feeling a little ungainly, like a newborn colt trying to stand up after birth.
This year I’ve said goodbye to my postdoctoral research (although my next book is still in the wings) and old ways of doing work. Jase and I have made the decision to take concrete steps towards financial independence and freedom of time. We’re getting responsible for generating our own ethical wealth and want to break the cycle of trading our time and money (for someone else). Our experience of working is one reminiscent of Robert Frost‘s quote ‘By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually become the boss and work 12 hour days’. Instead, we want to move even closer towards more everyday sustainable living, conscious health, deliberate wealth. And the path is not always so clear how we do that yet.
What is clear though is that to get something we’ve never had, we need to do something we’ve never done before. So I have started to do just that… and I try to remember that from little things, big things grow!
So this is how I have become unstuck (sometimes anyway)…
In January I started making my own sour dough bread. Our family mission is make and bake our own real bread from now on. To do this we have become the proud parents of a beautiful sourdough ‘starter’ culture that we feed and house and in return she provides us with a spectrum of bacteria that raises and ferments our dough and tastes sour and magnificent. Nothing better than a warm sourdough bread for in the morning with real butter…and lots of it! We get beautiful creamy yellow butter made from cultured cream from Northy St organic markets here in Brisbane. We have churned our own butter before, but it’s not particularly cost effective so far. So until we have our own cow, we will stick to with the butter that the butter man sells at the markets.
Later in the month I conquered the software program Prezi and made my own ‘Start your own ethical organic business in 2012’ presentation (with the help of some supportive friends). It took me a while to get my head around this program, but it was worth the brain strain to produce a presentation that is visually stimulating and compelling. I have been delivering this presentation across Brisbane and to international audiences via webinars. If you want to check it out, just let me know.
In February we started making our own kombucha. Kombucha is a passion of ours, as are fermented foods generally. Jase is now our very own brewmaster and making us our very own delectable fermented brews. Like our soughdough starter culture, we are now the house to many healthy kombucha ‘mothers’ who’s symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts breathe life into our sweetened tea. The microorganisms ferment the tea, converting the sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time. We have equally passionate friends who are embarking on this endeavor commercially with us. Stay tuned as we go into large production later in the year…
And then there was the Earth Frequency Festival in the Sunshine Coast…
And at the Bodhi Festival in Newcastle we had a Miessence nutritional stall and I managed to sneak in a yoga practice and a healing with the Shanti Mission…
And in March was the Glocals Forum organized by Organic Farm Share that I spoke at. I felt particularly honoured to be on the panel and alongside some of the most incredible local community leaders. Glocal is a term which defines local leaders actualising transformative ideas that have the capacity to regenerate both society and the environment we currently live in. And it’s a privilege to be part of the organic farm share community.
This is a year that is certainly thrusting me, us, our family into new projects. I don’t know yet how to make these passions into a generous sustainable income for my family, or how they fit together, but I am clear that taking small steps in sustainable living is crucial to living a more connected, content life. And if you are like me, taking small steps do not come naturally. I usually have a clear path. So here are a few tips I’ve learned over the last few months to cultivate more trust and patience:
Trust my Intuition: Intuition is our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason. When I feel overwhelmed by uncertainty I often panic and make my decisions with my head rather than my heart. I don’t listen to that strong, initial gut response and I start polling people around me for an answer.
Feel More – Think Less: ‘Drop’ into yourself. Ask yourself what is the next step that makes you feel happy, that feels ‘right’.
Exercises in gratitude: In times when I feel uncertain as to my path I can often spiral into a self-conversation about scarcity and I wait wondering when things will all fall apart around me (or that I will fall apart). I am learning to sit with uncertainty and be appreciative for what I have in these precious moment. I’m not sure that it will ever be easy for me to do this, but I have learned to trust this practice.
I grew up in a family of readers. Everyday from the age of 4, my mother would send us to our rooms to read for at least 1 hour. It didn’t matter that my brothers and I at that time couldn’t read. We all sat in silence and flicked through the colorful pages of books. This ritual still lives inside of me today, and I am passing it on to my chicks. And as I am reading them Dr Seuss I am reminded by his famous saying ‘The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’
There are many books that have helped me become a stronger and more vulnerable woman in 2011. Here is my top 10 list in the hope that others on a similar journey will find these useful:
What were your highlights of 2011? What books would recommend to others? I for one am keen to know….
When we asked Miessence Director Narelle Chenery to create a special product for the holiday season, we knew that she would deliver an exceptional treat – and she has! The environmental-saving Darling Salt Glow is an eco-conscious body scrub made from salt sourced from the troubled Murray-Darling Basin located in southeastern Australia. The salt in the body scrub is produced naturally from underground saline aquifers that have been lying dormant for thousands of years. By utilizing these waters the salinity problems are reduced, the environment is improved, and a unique, pure, inland salt is produced. I haven’t found a product on the market that is this environmentally conscious.
The Darling Salt Glow helps to reduce the serious salinity problem in the Murray-Darling Basin. The impact of salinity is immense, resulting in losses in fertile productive land and decreased biodiversity in the native wetlands. An area the size of a football oval is being lost to salinity every hour. So scrub up!
Exfoliation of the skin has significant benefits.
● Blended with nourishing, organic coconut oil ● Delicious organic citrus and spice essential oils ● Revitalizes skin, leaving it feeling silky soft and smooth ● Exfoliates dead, dry skin cells, revealing plump, fresh skin ● Boosts circulation and stimulates the senses ● Smooths rough, dry areas ● Leaves skin supple, glowing and nourished
And here are the certified ingredients for the Darling Salt Glow:
*Cocosnucifera (coconut) oil – Virgin coconut oil from the Pacific Islands, collected, grated, and cold-pressed within hours of opening the nut. Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, soothes, softens, smooths. Relieves dry, rough and wrinkled skin.
*Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil – Cold-pressed from the bean of the desert plant in Argentina. Emollient, moisturizing, high in vitamins, skin protective, helps regulate PH, soothes inflamed skin.
*Certified Organic Ingredients
The Darling Salt Scrub is only around during the festive season so if you want to try some CLICK HERE
Happy scrubbing for your health and the environment!
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My resume looks something like this: mama, university lecturer and researcher [currently at the University of Queensland], nutritionist, writer, author, presenter, health coach, ethical business consultant, and all round chemical conscious parenting nut.
Along with our research grants, our Certified Organic Business allows us to expand Chemical Free Kids, conduct research, and explore conscious parenting, deliberate, non-toxic living. The products are raw, certified organic, potent and made fresh!
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