May 7, 1991, Nick’s First Birthday
Please don’t focus on my permed, teased, and overly-processed hair, and the god-awful 90’s tee, look at the little munchkin next to me. This little guy is not so little anymore. My oldest son, Nick, turns 30 today! This picture was taken on his first birthday after a year of so much stress and turmoil. We had such a BIG birthday to celebrate! The room filled with 100 helium balloons, party favors, a special cake, and catered food. We had SO much to celebrate!
A Big Birthday To Celebrate
Today we are quarantined so we can’t throw the big party with the balloons, just a small intimate gathering with immediate family. A year ago, he visited a friend in Bosnia and fell in love with a dish called Cevapi, which is made with two types of ground beef, lamb or pork, and served on pita bread. So we will eat Cevapi outside on the deck and sing Happy Birthday with 30 candles (that he shouldn’t blow out) on Portillo’s chocolate cake (his favorite).
Why Environmental Health Matters
When I was 17 weeks pregnant, during my first sonogram, the tech got very quiet and left the room to get the doctor. I couldn’t imagine what could be wrong. I was a young 23 years old, healthy, fit, and was doing everything right (or so I thought) to have a healthy baby.
When the doctor saw the scan, he grabbed my hand and said quietly and seriously…”Your child has a neural-tube defect, Spina Bifida, and may not walk and will probably have many other health issues. You have 3 weeks to make a decision.”
What?!? How could this be?
The doctor said his Spina Bifida was likely either hereditary or environmental. However, I found out it doesn’t run in our families. This was the beginning of my education on environmental health.
I used to believe that environmental health only encompassed the air we breathe and the water we drink. I had no idea about chemicals in cleaning products, hair products, laundry soaps, skincare, and cosmetics. I had no idea.
A lack of folate in your diet has also been linked to neural tube defects. Folate is derived mainly from dark green, leafy vegetables. I am the girl that could eat Brussel Sprouts every day and not get sick of them. I LOVE dark green, leafy vegetables, but did you know that hormone disruption can actually make your body process nutrients differently? Did you know that a good many chemicals out there today are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, infertility, allergies, and birth defects? AND…that the USA has no regulation regarding the chemicals in the everyday products that line our store shelves?
June 2018 at Jack Johnson Concert, Northerly Island, Chicago
If you know of someone who is needing to hear this information right now, please send them a link to this blog. Have them subscribe and contact me to chat further. I love helping people make safer choices with what I’ve learned over the years.
How To Navigate Through An Unregulated Industry
How do you navigate through an unregulated personal care industry? There are tricks due to the fact that companies can put whatever they want on their bottle labels since no one is watching. (Natural, Botanical, etc…) One place to start is to download the Healthy Living App by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Sometimes you’ll see that just because one product in a brand is clean, other products are not as clean as they should be. Clean beauty is the way of the future and I love that Beautycounter is leading the way for more health-protective laws for us, the consumers. Click on the icon below to watch a short video on how to use the app.