Why I chose to believe in the low tox way.

When we were first presented with the idea of having to reduce the toxic load in our home environment Damian and I were a little apprehensive. “Why haven’t we been told this before?” “Is this lady taking us for a ride?” “Why do we have to change everything if the government thinks it’s ok to put on the supermarket shelf?” These were some of the questions we were contemplating in 2015 when we were searching for another way forward to reach our health goals and to reach our ultimate goal of starting a family.

We had just been told by the fertility specialist that we would have to use a donor egg to start a family, and now we were told that changing our external environment and our internal environment was going to increase our chances of falling pregnant naturally. We were so excited but we were also wary, we knew we were desperate but we also wanted to make sure we weren’t being taken for a ride. So we decided the best way forward was to dive in, head first into the internet and research and find out whatever we could in order to really buy in to this new way of living. This included reducing our toxic load in the house but also in our food, reducing our stress and using plant based, natural medications over the synthetic stuff.

Wow, there is so much research!!!!!! There is so, so much information on the internet if you are looking. Why isn’t this in the mainstream? Why are we not being told these things? Once I saw what was happening we decided that the way forward was to get rid of all our current personal care and cleaning products and start again. Why are we using chemicals on our bodies, with our skin being our biggest organ, when we can find beautiful, ethical, sustainable brands that are plant based. We all know how good plants are for us.

Our journey involved searching through many, many, many websites, many ingredient lists, online low tox courses and of course trial and error. I will share with you a few tools that helped us reduce our toxic load and start to clean up our internal environment so our bodies could detoxify when we needed.

  1. The Low Tox Life podcast: Alexx Stuart is the brains behind the brand and had a health journey which led her down this path. She has done some incredible interviews and I have loved every one of her podcasts so far. There are even hormone and fertility specific podcasts to look at.LowToxLife-Logo
  2. The Low Tox Life e-course: Wow, so much more info here, if you want to get to the bottom of your low tox needs then do this course! It was so informative and she gives so much content for the price. I am so impressed with this course and I hope some of you will jump over there and do the course. It will be worth every cent to your health.
  3. Skin Deep Website : You can write in the search bar all of your products (well, most of them) and find out the toxicity level for yourself. You can also type in each ingredient and work out the toxicity level. Then you start to know what kind of ingredients you should be avoiding. (Phenoxyethanol, fragrance, parfum, perfume, SLS, Parabens etc) These are all known endocrine disruptors and should be moved quickly out of your cupboard.
  4. Think Dirty App: Free app to download and type in your products to see the toxicity level. I think it is American so maybe not every single Australian Product is in there so make sure you search around. thinkdirty_app_mock_1000x627-900x564
  5. Chemical Maze App: This guy saved me so much time. This is the Skin Deep website in an app. Write in your ingredients (food and cosmetics) and you will get a little green man, or a little red man to tell you whether its to be avoided or not. (He is $10.99AUD)chemical-maze-showcase

6. Love.Oil.Collective: You can also come to my low tox workshops (if you are in Perth, WA) and find out some great ways of reducing your toxic load and using plant based alternatives to clean your home and use for personal care. The Love.Oil.Collective was founded because of my passion to teach others what I had learnt. If I had gone through 3 years of fertility treatment and not known about this then how are others supposed to find out. I want to share this information with people, before they have to find out because of a health issue, or have to begin medical treatment when there are so many options to improve your health.

Love.Oil.Collective

If you have any questions just hit me up and I will answer them the best I can. Learning why we should go low tox is the best way to make it sustainable and a life long habit. So start looking into it today and your future self, children and family will thank you for it!

Kym x

Low tox Living

Over the last couple of months I have had the absolute pleasure of starting to do some workshops to introduce people, in my circle and theirs, to a different way of living. It has made my heart burst just thinking of all the people I have started to help change their lives for the better, getting their homes a little healthier and bodies less toxic. Most people are just surprised and completely unaware of the level of toxicity in their every day products, but equally surprised that there are so many easy, great options to change to, even in the big chain supermarkets.

Just last week I had a gorgeous friend thank me for opening her eyes, and the changes that they implemented from some of my recommendations allowed them to fall pregnant naturally after many visits to the IVF specialist. I had tears when she told me she was expecting, and I realised this is what I want to do. I want to help people change the course of their life before they are sick. Not only just in starting a family but living a longer and happier life. We seem to be dying for longer these days rather than living right up until the end, so I want to educate people of the importance of these very easy lifestyle changes!

So, I would like to start by talking about one of the toxins that is in our every day products and ways of making sure we are lowering our exposure.

  1. Phthalates:
    • These are chemicals that are in fragrances, body care products, make ups, raincoats, cheap kids toys, yoga mats, perfumes, the food that we eat and the list goes on.
    • They are hormone disruptors, which means they mimic the action of our hormones and can attach to receptors on the cell membrane. This can either open the channels and allow things to pass into the cell which is not meant to be there or shut the channel to not allow nutrients in.
    • They pass into the growing fetus from the mother and can affect the growth of the testes and can cause reduction in sperm counts (50% lower sperm counts in the past 50 years)
    • Girls are reaching puberty at 8 now and there is a link between phthalate exposure to the lowering age range.
    • Repeated exposure is the issue with phthalates. This can cause the liver to become overloaded and over worked and can be a factor in the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

So, how do we reduce our exposure to these chemicals?

  1. Eating organic where you can: Check out the Clean 15 and Dirty dozen 2017 list to determine the worst offenders. There are farmers in Perth and around Australia that will be advertising their fruits and vegetables as ‘spray-free’. This means they have eliminated the herbicide and pesticide exposure but haven’t gone through the rigorous protocols to make them ‘certified organic’. These are a good, affordable option and you can find these guys at most farmers markets.
  2. Reduce plastics in the home: Only buy children’s’ toys that have been marked phthalate free, DO NOT heat your food up in plastic containers!!
  3. Go to sites such as The Nourished Life and Biome to get natural body care products. When you are checking the labels make sure the word ‘fragrance’ is not there. Products infused with essential oils are the best.
  4. Use essential oils and diffusers instead of the fake smells in the supermarkets. If you would like to see which oils I use just click here.
  5. Margaret River Perfumery is a beautiful pop up shop displaying amazing organic, hand crafted perfumes and skin care products. The owner, Chrissy, is so passionate about low tox perfumes and about her products you can’t help but be inspired!

As you can see these chemicals, that have been researched and proven to be hormone disruptors, are everywhere. However, there are really easy options to swap to to become a little healthier and especially improve the health of our families. There are plenty of options out there and I haven’t named all of them but please start to at least look for the word “FRAGRANCE” with a little more understanding.

If you have any questions about anything I have said above please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kym xo

 

Top 5 changes I have made for my health

As you are aware our health had deteriorated to a point where it made it very difficult to have children (and is still ongoing….). The funny thing was we were never sick! We thought we were healthy, we ate well, we exercised more than the average Jo but we were still having significant trouble in conceiving naturally and with assistance. There comes a point where you realise that there must be more than just trying IVF for the 6th time or resorting to a donor egg. This thought led us to a place where we cannot come back from. You can’t unlearn this stuff, it sticks with you which makes it damn easy to change your lifestyle.

Below are some of the things we have changed in our life that we were surprised about but haven’t looked back. And believe me there are plenty more where these came from but these are the top 5 changes we made for our health and the health of our future children.

  1. We went Plastic Free: This one seems to be on everyone’s lips lately but no one really takes the leap to try and change a significantly ingrained habit. Plastic is made from chemicals, these chemicals can leach out into our food and water and can cause harm to our bodies. This study  shows that even the BPA free bottles are harmful. This one shows that exposure to plastic compounds in the embryonic development stages can increase an animals chance of developing adult onset diseases like PCOS, Obesity and kidney disease.

There are so many studies out there now that are supporting all of this so why stay in the dark. When you know that this can effect you negatively why would you not change those habits!! A couple of easy to do things that will make this transition a lot easier for you.

A. When Pyrex dishes come on sale go and fill your cupboards!! They are safe to cook in and store all of your food in. Just don’t put the plastic lids in the microwave! (Catch of the day always have sales

B. Change to a glass water bottle, stop using the plastic ones! (Try and get the ones that are surrounded by a silicon protection to avoid the glass breaking, or Voss bottles are relatively cheap from any Supermarket)

C. If you are not at this stage yet to change your beloved Tupperware, please don’t cook your food in the microwave with plastic or glad wrap!!

2. Gluten free/Dairy Free/Sugar free:  This is a triple wammy! There are many reasons for each one of these and they each deserve a blog post in themselves. One of the main reasons for a change in these foods for me was down to an intolerance or reaction to these foods.

Gut health and food intolerance’s are at the forefront of the health and wellness space at the moment. When someone has a food intolerance (ie. feels tired, fuzzy head, bloated, gassy, generally uncomfortable after eating) this is the bodies immune response gearing up for assault. If you are continually eating/drinking foods that are causing these reactions and increasing the immune response there is a constant slow irritation and inflammation of all the structures in the gut lining. This can lead to problems with weakening of this lining and foods/nutrients that weren’t supposed to pass through can start to circulate in the body, affectionately known as ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’. This is not an ideal environment to thrive in so ideally people need to avoid the foods that cause this reaction.

The function of food is for nourishment, to provide the cells in the body with enough energy and appropriate vitamins and minerals to help the cells function optimally. If the gut lining is compromised the food is not digested properly and the nutrients aren’t absorbed as well and this leads to poor health.

Gluten, Dairy and Sugar are the big 3 which are inflammatory foods, and most people find these difficult to digest properly in general. However, there are exceptions to these rules so listen to your body. If you are experiencing bloating, fuzziness, fatigue, farting and just generally not thriving then please get it investigated, or see how you go with a reduction in these foods in your diet.

Sugar is also a major blood sugar spiker, which has many health problems associated with it. Read more about this here.

3. Toxic free self care: Wow, we put so many chemicals on our skin!! The skin is the bodies largest organ and we are slathering it with chemicals every single day. This article is a little scary, but is important to show us the harmful effects of toxic self care products. 168 chemicals a day! Seriously! Why are we doing this to ourselves?

There are some amazing toxic free products on the market now and they are so easy to find. The Nourished Life and the local health food store is where I shop for all my products. The costs to your pocket are comparable but the benefits to your health far outweigh any negatives. If you wanted to go really deep like myself (nerd alert) there is a website called Skin Deep and you can write in each ingredient and it will tell you the toxic load and if it is safe. Unfortunately there are some brands that say one thing and still have harmful ingredients in their lists. If you want any specific information about any products I am happy to let you know the ones I use, just send me an email or comment in the section below.

(Perfumes, or anything with fragrance in the ingredient list are toxic, maybe doing your own research into this would be helpful)

4. Toxic free cleaning: This is along the same lines as the self care products but the world’s obsession with cleaning and sanitising are affecting our gut microbiome and are causing some health issues. Abode and Eco store are my two favourite non-toxic brands and they are an equivalent price to normal household chemicals. Say NO to bleach, hand sanitiser and air freshener all together and start using beautiful products like Enjo and substituting your detergents, dishwasher tablets, spray and wipe with natural alternatives that do a fantastic job with none of the adverse effects.

The rise of 100% pure essential oils with Doterra and Young Living is the way forward for fragrances in your home. The artificial chemical fragrances are toxic, they contain phthalates which can disrupt your hormonal regulation and this is how the body sends messages around the system. It’s like having a disruption in your everyday communication system and can’t send messages/emails/phone calls etc to others because their inbox is full, not ideal for organising life and business. So please only use the 100% essential oils with a diffuser and open windows to improve the smell of your home.

If you would like any more help with this just let me know or you can participate in the Low Tox Life e-course which helps you to change your ways over a period of weeks.

5. Meditation: I know this sounds weird but all the personal development books I have read and podcasts I have listened to have focused a lot of time quoting the benefits of reducing stress and adding regular meditation into your daily routine. It has taken me a while to form this habit and admittedly I am not crash hot at it yet. However I have noticed a significant improvement in my ability to handle stressful situations and I feel calmer in general. Stress can have a significant impact on your health via your gut-brain connection. This has a direct impact on hormone production which effects the bodies ability to send messages around the body.

So my advice to you would be to dabble in a bit of guided meditation to start, try and make it a habit of five minutes a day and see how you go. They say that a habit is formed in 21 days so give it that long. There are loads of free meditation apps, or you tube channels that you can start with.

 

In conclusion: Be open to adding some health improvements into your life, before you have the negative big impact life changing moment. The people that are in health and wellness always have a health challenge so be the person to change because you want to be the best version of yourself, not because you have to.

xo

Sugar

It has been a long road to get to where we are now with our eating. Until you learn what something does to your body you will resist changing and you will find it hard to stick to. June 2015 was the initial change in a life long habit and I will never look back on. We were sitting on the plane heading home to Perth from Sydney after visiting our family and we started watching ‘That sugar Film’ whilst eating a Crispy Cream, how’s the irony :). This movie changed me, if you haven’t seen it please make it a priority in your life. We are all very much aware that the white stuff is bad for us but the movie is fantastic in letting us know that its not just the white stuff in lollies and ice cream but it is hidden in pretty much everything processed in our supermarkets. I could not believe the impact of this stuff on Damon Gateau’s health, what an eye opener!!

We had already been eating fairly ‘clean’ up until this point because we were sill trying to lose our ‘Heathrow injection’ from 5 years prior… but not to a point where the weight was dropping off. Sarah Wilson and I quit Sugar came next and we started to get really creative in the kitchen and continue to cook pretty much everything from scratch. The weight fell off Damian, he lost about 13kg in 6 months which was a shock to everyone as he didn’t look like he needed to lose any. I lost about 5kg a little more slowly but it made a difference and we never looked back.

I have always carried a little bit of extra weight, not that anyone would say that to me but I was always about 5-6kg over my ideal weight. Even though I played State League Netball and did high intensity exercise the weight was always difficult to maintain and it seemed to be my struggle “always”. Now I am aware of other health issues like PCOS and thyroid issues which have contributed to my struggle. Knowing this has made my need to be ‘no sugar’ a lot more important as sugar is directly affecting these problems and my risk of diabetes is high. With the role of epigenetics playing a part I can now do some things to control this risk and I will continue to do this as much as I can in my power.

So my advice to you would be, watch ‘That Sugar Film’ and read ‘I quit Sugar’. These are the two best places to start. Good luck xo

A little background to my journey

In my last post I eluded to the fact I needed to change my life but I must give you a little bit of background into why.

The story began when I met my husband 17 years ago, we were high school sweet hearts. Fast forward 12 years following a load of partying, travelling and living life without consequences, we were married and planned to start a family when we were both 29 years of age. As everyone knows at this point in your life once you are ready to have a baby, you are more than ready and quite impatient. Damian and I were no different but unfortunately my body had other plans.

After 6 months with no cycle after stopping the contraceptive pill (on it since age 15) we were thrown onto the fertility rollercoaster. And we didn’t get off for 3 years straight, which included 3 different fertility specialists, 7 ovulation induction rounds, 5 IVF cycles, some embryonic testing and the news that we would have to have a donor egg to have a baby.

Once we got off the roller coaster we decided at that point that donor egg was not the way forward for us. We decided to try the natural fertility route and this is where our story took that turn right and we have had the most amazing and eye opening experiences into our health and wellness since this time.

Gabriela Rosa’s 14 day challenge was my first port of call. She is a natural fertility specialist in Sydney and has created a Free challenge where she imparts her knowledge onto many “infertile” couples who have been trying for a baby for more than 2 years. We were perfect candidates for this. The things that we learned from her daily videos was incredible and nothing I had heard before, which I found infuriating considering its all evidenced based and the Fertility Specialists who were treating us in the past did not mention it at all.

I will let you look up her website and join her challenge but once I did the challenge I found myself fascinated with any podcast, interview and book she was a part of. I devoured her information left, right and centre and we started to change the way our house was and the products we used and the way we ate. It all made complete sense to my husband and I so it was easier to make some changes.

The other thing Gabriela offered was an exclusive program which was not free but you had access to all the resources, a personal naturopath, fortnightly Q and A’s, Emotional Release sessions and a Facebook group where you had personal access to Gabriela herself. I was hooked at this stage and my husband and I decided to go down this path before seeing another ‘regular’ Fertility Specialist.

We have never looked back. We haven’t finished our program yet as we don’t have the healthy baby in our arms, however we are extremely positive about our chance of creating this baby in the next couple of years.

Some of the things I have learned:

  • There are many toxins in the family home which can effect fertility and general health.
  • Act pregnant now to get your body ready for a baby.
  • Woman can put an average of 168 chemicals on their bodies every day which can mimic and affect the hormone balance in the body
  • EMF and wireless internet can effect the body and hormone balance
  • Minor factors that effect fertility (ie, PCOS, thyroid, heavy metal toxins, leaky gut) can all add up and cause a perfect storm for infertility. Each minor factor must be addressed before optimal fertility can be achieved.
  • Our bodies are deficient in many vitamins and minerals due to the standard Australian diet and processed foods.
  • Gluten, Dairy and Sugar can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body and can have an effect on hormone regulation
  • MTHFR does cause methylation problems in the body and has an effect on many functions, especially the liver.
  • High intensity exercise can increase your stress hormone cortisol so we are better off with a lower intensity exercise like Yoga and walking.
  • The chemicals in plastic containers leach into the foods, especially when you heat them up which can cause problems with hormone regulation.

Plus so much more. This only scratches the surface.

Gabriela was the catalyst and my research has been significant and widespread since this time. When we first started changing things we were a little unsure and worried that we were being taken for a ride, but then when you start researching this stuff IT IS EVERYWHERE. Why doesn’t every single person know this stuff?? Why is it not main stream??

I must admit, I initially did try to change everyone in my circle to the way we were living but realized that this is a bit of a process and everyone is at a different stage in their life. Unfortunately it takes a health crisis most of the time before someone will have the motivation to change their life. Ours was ‘sub-fertility’ and we are still trying to master the new way of living and its been 18months.

If you have any questions relating to this or anything in general about our IVF journey or anything else just get in contact with me, I am always willing to chat about our experience. If we can help one person or a couple to change their life and create a healthier life for themselves and their family I will be happy.

xo

 

Things that have motivated me to change my life.

Everyone has a story, I’m no different but I am not in the business of sharing a sob story on this website. I will let you know one thing though, I did start writing that sob story and it has helped me immensely! Writing some posts about my health journey over the past four years helped to put everything in perspective and somehow gave me so much motivation to continue working on changing my life for the better. I wrote four blog posts and it made me remember how far we had actually come and gave me so much clarity in continuing this journey. Everyone has their own journey to live, mine has taken a big turn right and I am seeing so many positives in it. Before I wrote these things down I didn’t realize how much it was holding me back, so I encourage everyone to write their stuff down! Let it go and move forward, that’s what I did and this has really opened my eyes to a very bright future. My story hasn’t finished yet, there are still many chapters to go until I will write the book!!

Apart from writing things down I had some help from some amazing people. I would never be able to tell them directly, however I would like to acknowledge them here and maybe someone else will be able to get some nuggets of wisdom from these people. I have found that watching their films and documentaries, reading their books and listening to their podcasts has given me a more in depth understanding about health and wellness in all aspects of life. Most of these people have come to their own realization that their health was at a point that was affecting their lives negatively and this is how they found their way out. I will list them here but will write a little more about them in the coming weeks and months as they deserve more than to be in a list for helping me change to living my best life.

  1. That sugar film- Damon Gameau ( http://thatsugarfilm.com/)
  2. I quit sugar- Sarah Wilson (https://iquitsugar.com/)
  3. Balance your Hormones Balance your life- Dr Claudia Welsh
  4. A Healthy Life- Jessica Sepel (http://www.jessicasepel.com/)
  5. Taking charge of your Fertility- Toni Weschler
  6. Gabriela Rosa: Naturopath (https://naturalfertilitybreakthrough.com/)
  7. A Miracle morning: Hal Elrod ( http://www.miraclemorning.com/)
  8. FMTV: Food Matters TV- James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch (http://www.foodmatters.com/)
  9. The Wellness Couch Podcasts- The Natural Nutritionist, the Wellness Guys, Kale Brock, That Paleo Show.
  10. Low Tox Life podcast- Alexx Stuart
  11. Melissa Ambrosini- Mastering your Mean Girl ( https://melissaambrosini.com/)

I am sure there are many more that have helped me along my journey but these are the ones that have stood out and helped me to get on top of my health issues. If you need any help in finding them I am very glad to steer you in the right direction.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up”- Thomas A. Edison