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

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

Healthy crackers

You will be the hit at the party if you bring these!

As I have said before I love my savory snacks when entertaining and I have already added a couple of dip recipes. What good are dip recipes if you don’t have anything to dip with?? Unfortunately all the available store bought snacks are full of trans fats and cooked with toxic vegetable oils so avoiding these is necessary. So we are left with super expensive health food store bought crackers like “Flats” (so good though!) or make your own.

I have been using a couple of recipes for a few years and have gathered a few recently which I love. One is from a gorgeous woman called Alexx Stuart from Low Tox Life fame. I found her when I began listening to podcasts and her show is all about reducing the toxins in your environment and she supports products with low environmental impacts and ethical practices. The second recipe is from Lorna Jane from the cookbook “Nourish”, however I change it to a gluten free version. The third recipe is a really easy one from Michelle Bridges new book “Food for Life”.

Along with the biscuits we cut up carrots, cucumber and celery to have with the dips to have a nutrient rich snack. Enjoy xo

Low Tox Life: Alexx Stuart (My Favourite) 

Ingredients

  • 1 chia egg (1 Tbsp Chia seeds, 3 Tbsp filtered water)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 80g sunflower seeds
  • 100g pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 fresh thyme stalks
  • 30g coconut oil

Method

  1. Oven to 160C fan-forced (180C normal)
  2. Place chia seeds in the filtered water and let the ‘egg’ form
  3. Place garlic and fennel seeds in a food processor and chop
  4. Add the seeds and process until it is a sandy type texture (you can’t really over-process)
  5. Add all the other ingredients and mix until well combined
  6. Place dough on a piece of parchment paper and put another one on top. Roll into a biscuit thickness or push/squash with hands.
  7. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  8. Allow to cool and then break into small biscuit pieces.
  9. Dip away!!

 

Seed Crackers in Nourish: Lorna Jane 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp linseeds
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 1/4 cups spelt flour or buckwheat flour if GF
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil melted.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Combine chia seeds and linseeds with the water and stand aside for 20 minutes
  3. Add all ingredients to the chia/linseed mix and mix with hands until well combined
  4. Divide dough in half.
  5. Roll each portion of dough into biscuit thickness between two sheets of parchment paper
  6. Remove top layer and place in the oven
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.
  8. Cool on trays before snapping into biscuits.

 

Curry Seeded Crackers in Food for life: Michelle Bridges 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup linseeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbsps chia seeds
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 3 tsp curry powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C fan forced (160C normal)
  2. Place all ingredients in 1 1/2 cups of filtered water and stir to combine. Stir occasionally for 20 minutes until it becomes gel like.
  3. Spread the mixture onto some parchment paper thinly and make sure there are no gaps.
  4. Bake for 1 hour until crisp and golden.
  5. Once cooled snap into small pieces.

This makes me so hungry and the smell of the biscuits is amazing. Enjoy 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