This past week I headed home to spend time with my family for the holidays. Upon settling in, my mom handed me a book Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry by Stacy Malkan. A year ago I would have thanked my mom and tossed the book aside. My mom has constantly been on my rear about the amount of makeup and personal care products I use. I didn’t think it was a big deal. They sell the stuff in stores, there’s no warning label on them like there is on alcohol or tobacco. Could they really be that bad?
After meeting Sean and becoming a part of the Underground Wellness Team, I’ve learned to think twice about everything I put in or on my body. I feel like I’m going to live twice as long with all the knowledge I’ve gained! That’s what made me take a second look at the book. I skimmed the back and thought to myself, this book is SO Sean!
I started reading. The book mentioned that phthalates, a common ingredient found in personal care products, were toxic. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom to read the labels on my products. None of them listed phthalates as an ingredient. Phew! Then I kept reading. A study was done in 2002 where 72 popular beauty products were tested for the toxin and nearly 75% had phthalates. I couldn’t help but wonder whether I had been dousing myself in toxic chemicals for the past 25 years.
According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website, research suggests that phthalates disrupt hormonal systems, which can cause harm during critical periods of development. One of the ways that phthalates interfere with reproductive functioning is by reducing the levels of sex hormones, which are critical for development and functioning of the sex organs. Additional research suggests that these same mechanisms may link phthalates to breast cancer.
I know. I know. I was supposed to be reading The China Study right now. Sorry, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Not that I’m avoiding it at all. I honestly just have better things to do and more great books to read with the limited time I’ve got. I’ll get to it one of these days.
Instead, I pulled Robb Wolf’s bestseller The Paleo Solution off the shelf. Great choice. This book rocks. Full of great info and pretty darn funny, too! Robb’s got jokes.
Today, I’m getting my learn on about the many hormones involved in hunger and satiety. A lot of people I consult with just can’t stop eating. They’re perpetually hungry. Nothing satisfies them, especially the high-carb, low-fat diet they’ve been scared into consuming. Not so coincidentally, these same folks can’t recall the last time they got a restful night’s sleep. They either take hours to fall asleep or they wake up every 2 or 3 hours. Sometimes both. That’s gotta suck.
Ever since the books I read as a child led me to believe that I was delivered into this world dangling from the beak of a stork, I’ve been fascinated by that critical question. The idea of soaring through the sky wrapped in a tiny blanket to descend upon the outstretched arms of my jubilant mother and father on cloud nine left an indelible impression on my young mind. Made with love. Delivered by bird.
At some point, the birds and the bees took over for the stork. Exactly why sex and reproduction always had something to do with winged creatures still has me stumped. But eventually, the metaphors passed and the miracle of life turned real. There was no flying this time, just a whole lot of swimming. One lucky sperm penetrates a single egg, a union begetting new life on the horizon.
Conception to delivery was a complicated journey. Cells divided and differentiated; mitosis, meiosis, the stuff I learned in eighth grade science class and still don’t fully understand. It’s no wonder they made up that stork story. Reproduction can be rocket science.
The proven blueprint has been abandoned, resulting in recurrent manufacturer error. Quality control is at a historic low. Defective parts are ubiquitous. As expected, upper management denies all culpability, preferring to place blame elsewhere. Absent of a systematic rehabilitation of current practices, crisis appears inevitable.
The situation described above is certain to spawn public outcry. Picketers would line up in droves. The media might even show up. However, the manufacturing oversights I speak of are human in nature, not merchandise.
Milk and I have never been friends. Pasteurized milk, that is.
Even the tiniest glass of the white stuff is certain to give me a case of the bubble guts.
Caution: Highly Flammable
Growing up in a predominantly White community, I was intrigued by what pleasure my friends took in downing multiple cartons of the chocolate cow juice with no ill effects. I was perplexed and confused by milk’s inherent bias toward those with lighter skin; doing their bodies good while making mine feel so bad. Who knew a beverage could be so discriminative?
It just wasn’t fair. I wanted a milk moustache, too! I wanted strong bones and teeth. Just because my skin was darker didn’t mean that I needed less calcium than they did!
On occasion, I would just grit my teeth and bear it. But with each spiteful glass of dairy, the outcome never changed. I was doomed. Milk had failed me.