Knot Our Pink Ribbon (reposted from BCACTION.ORG)

BREAST CANCER ACTION’S NOT OUR PINK RIBBON CAMPAIGN AT A GLANCE

I wanted to re-post the campaign directly from the BCACTION.ORG site – it’s impressive & rare to see an organization really put it to a big brand. Guys, BCACTION.ORG is SUCH a tremendous place I’ve been recommending for over a decade now, geez i hate to count! lol They are by FAR & away the best source for the honesty, such a diverse source of information not just @ breast cancer, treatments, prevention…in any case…they are grassroots & that means it takes the passion & commitment & energy of underpaid people to make it happen. That also means they need our help! And, EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS I SWEAR! Running my own biz i promise you, every little bit truly does matter…

So, the thought occurred to me…I wonder how many of y’all, or even me, knows just how many companies Estee Lauder owns (not that that is a bad thing at all, it’s CHANGING the great companies once they own them) & how many are actually NOT laden with carcinogenic ingredients. i often say to friends this or that brand (one of many veritably STEEPED in typical natural design & marketing esthetic), & they are surprised. Even they & many of my clients, the more educated folks out there re; all this, have no idea who really owns many brands (like those labels with the nice grandma on the label? owned by a major corporation? lol). It now occurs to me i may have a problem, but seriously, it’s usually just right there on the label, sometimes finding out that Coca Cola owns Lays it’s just a known fact, you know? I have no idea how i know that! Being in the industry though lends me some insight into who owns who & Estee Lauder owns a huge share of the entirety of the skin care market. Think about that sentence. There are other major players, of course!

Ok now for the actual BLOG! Finally right?

IT’S OCTOBER!!! IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT BREASTS AND BUYING A WHOLE LOT OF PINK STUFF RIGHT?? (boy this has always pissed me off…)

On the 25th anniversary of the pink ribbon, we’re not celebrating. We’re angry. Angry that a quarter of a million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Angry that more than 40,000 women die each and every year. And angry that women of color and underserved communities are disproportionately burdened.

There is too little to show for 25 years of pink ribbon awareness and billions of dollars spent on pink ribbon products.

The pink ribbon is one of the most widely recognized symbols…ballooned into a multibillion-dollar industry.

This October, we’re calling out The Estée Lauder Companies…for their role in launching the first pink ribbon. Twenty-five years later, we are telling Estée Lauder it’s “Knot Our Pink Ribbon” — and we’re putting a knot in theirs.

TAKE ACTION: TELL ESTÉE LAUDER TO STOP THE BETRAYAL

  •      Send your letter to Estée Lauder and tell them that after 25 years, it’s time to stop the betrayal and be honest tha
  •      Empty awareness and publicity stunts are a distraction and cannot “create a breast cancer-free world”
  •      No amount of positive thinking will prevent women from being diagnosed with or dying from breast cancer.
  •      The chemicals in their products may increase the risk of breast cancer & even interfere with treatment. Tell them to      clean up their products and stop pinkwashing!

So guys, i know, we are all busy…but it’s a simple note! Nothing to it! and i gotta tell ya, writing feels SO much better than typing after typing constantly! 🙂 However, you jam out a short but DIRECT and demanding letter? ALL SET! This would take all of about 10 minutes TOTAL. NOT AT ALL A BIG DEAL AND CAN YOU IMAGINE? DOING SOMETHING?! 🙂

PINK RIBBON HISTORY

DID YOU KNOW? Twenty-five years ago, there was no pink ribbon. But there was a peach one, started by grassroots activist Charlotte Haley that focused on prevention and political action. Estée Lauder’s pink ribbon began with a stolen idea—and when they turned the peach ribbon pink, they shifted the focus to marketing, awareness, and corporate gain. Pink ribbons have hijacked the movement and erased the real work and meaningful action needed to address and end the breast cancer epidemic.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS INDUSTRY MONTH

Breast cancer has become the darling of corporate America. Companies use the pink ribbon to sell their products and boost their image with consumers as they boost their bottom line. Major multimillion-dollar cancer charities that do nothing to address the root causes of cancer often join with these companies. Meanwhile, breast cancer rates continue to rise every year. It’s why we call October “Breast Cancer Industry Month.”

WHY ESTÉE LAUDER?

Estée Lauder has built their brand around their self-proclaimed “commitment” to breast cancer. As part of their Breast Cancer Campaign, each October Estée Lauder distributes pink ribbons at cosmetic counters, sells a variety of pink ribbon products, spearheads large events to illuminate international landmarks, hosts star-laden galas, and more. None of these will “create a breast cancer-free world.”

…Positive thinking is not prevention…!!!

Estée Lauder tells women facing breast cancer to “choose happy,” “laugh often,” and “smile.”

Their website and social media platforms are filled with pink flowers and soothing tips suggesting that with the right attitude and beauty products, we can all become better, more beautiful breast cancer patients. (FROM SUKI: ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME??) Estée Lauder says “Having gratitude and a positive attitude can always help.“ But we know that no amount of positive thinking will prevent women from being diagnosed with and dying from breast cancer. It’s time to stop blaming women for their breast cancer, or telling them the “right” way to go through cancer, and instead honor the diversity of women’s lived experiences.

End pinkwashing

Estée Lauder tells us to buy their products because they care about breast cancer.(FROM SUKI: AND THIS IS WHAT HAS ALWAYS KILLED ME ABOUT THIS PINK RIBBON STUFF- THOUGH BCA SAYS MANY I HONESTLY CANNOT THINK OF A SINGLE ESTEE LAUDER OWNED BRAND THAT IS FREE FROM SYNTHETICS OR CARCINOGENS!): many of their cosmetics contain chemicals of concern such as hormone disruptors that may increase the risk of breast cancer and might even interfere with treatment. We call this pinkwashing. And it’s time for companies that care about breast cancer to stop pinkwashing.

ISN’T THERE ANYTHING GOOD TO SHOW FOR THE PINK RIBBON?

Estée Lauder is proud that in the past 25 years they have donated $70 million for global breast cancer awareness, research, and education. Some might argue that’s a lot of money, but last year’s donation was just half of 1 percent of annual earnings!

Join us in putting a knot in Estée Lauder’s pink ribbon. 

For more information, read our campaign brief by clicking below or download the PDF by clicking here.

SCARY SIDE EFFECTS OF TOPICAL ACNE MEDS …

As any sukifan knows, 60% of what goes “on” the skin goes IN the body & affects our long-term, & short-term health…do you know the side effects of the creams & lotions prescribed by a derm or doc have many if not more of the same side effects as some of       the more toxic drugs on the market (i’m talking PILLS here) – yea…sucks doesn’t it?

Why are we as a culture so late to the game in so many ways on things that seem to me to   be so…intuitively ummmm how can i put this….oh yes…simply, DUH!

xoxo

– Suki

avoiding toxins during pregnancy

LEARNED & UNCOVERED – THE TRUTH BEHIND “BEAUTY” BIZ MOTIVATES NEW CHOICES

Becoming pregnant shone a whole new light on every choice for Christine…she & I, for very different reasons, have been on a quest for good health (& yes you can have beauty when you choose health darn it!!!) & to uncover the truth behind all those empty promises of cures, “anti-aging,” the next best thing in skin care, & on & on…

Here, Christine shares her story & why she decided to ditch synthetics & toxic food, beauty & healthcare FOR GOOD! xo -Suki

 

petrochemical refinery

THE INDUSTRY HASN’T CHANGED FROM THE 20’S!

Topicals have a deep effect on the internal workings of the body – especially in babies, where you are programming early whole body wellness…This ridiculous “info” is put into the universe as gospel by well-meaning but uneducated, non-digging bloggers, or perpetuated by uneducated estheticians, dermatologists & the like.

I mean, let’s face it: most mainstream doc’s “thoughts” are placed there by their latest drug rep; estheticians, by great marketing & packaging from their latest skincare brand; derms, They rely on the prescription pad & latest fillers to make more dollars quick! everyone is a consumer, plain & simple – our docs & other pros are not at all immune, & our decades old treatment system was built in the 1920s (!) with rarely any fresh perspectives within the industry (& when they come along, whew is it hard to get folks to just think!).

Point is, like most articles, this totally misses the mark on eczema & the underlying causes of skin issues & how to treat them … so sad! no helpless infant will be saved long-term with Vaseline – & big surprise, the intuitive, easy connection here between eczema & later major side effects, “inevitable in most cases”, like asthma, etc. is just not made! not to mention how getting babies addicted early to petrochemicals preps them to need cortisone later – kinda like a sugar loaded diet prepares one for diabetes.

if people don’t head to naturopaths & other practitioners, get informed hardcore & demand better commitment to a well-rounded & current education from their doctors (who are supposed to be detectives, not pill dispensers), instead of short-term Rx fixes & BS topicals that provide no real nourishment or healing, they will create a cycle of long-term harm & more problems that must be treated – perpetuating a lifetime of both external & internal imbalances, discomfort & insecurities. boooo & grrrrrrr.

Check out the Huff Post article here: http://huff.to/2hw1P5K

& of course…know your beauty!! xo – Suki

FEAR SELLS ANYTHING…EVEN A BAD MOOD

a beautiful beach!

What’s wrong with this picture? I’m not there soaking up that sun & walking on that beach!

Ok, no seriously: “Before you even think about heading outside – even for a few moments – be certain to cover every inch of yourself with protection.” &, do not educate yourselves about what chemical blocks do to your insides, nor, to your skin, in fact do to your melanin production! Just do what we say! Proof? Ehhhh. Spin! Yeeeahhh! See we don’t say MALIGNANT melanomas when we speak, we just say skin cancer, we say melanomas. That is all…we like to confuse. Buy buy buy!

Ok, let’s try this again: “Before you head outside in the sun (um…yea…where the ozone is actually closing…WAIT? what? Later…), into the natural world, before you allow the evil, toxic sun (or is it our source of life & we’d actually be dead without it? I SO wish someone would tell me what to think here!) be absolutely certain to slather every inch with toxic chemicals that will at BEST clog your pores, create skin problems & keep you from getting any vitamin D, at WORST, cause reproductive toxicity, cancer or other long-term disease, IN-BETWEEN, we have the simple misdiagnosed fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, restless leg even & other such random aching that if you’ve ever had a vitamin D deficiency, you know it hurts like a….!” Ok got it!

Sure sounds more than illogical, just darn stupid when you lay the stone cold truth on the table, no? So why then are we robotically, going along with the brainwashing we’ve been sold for years now on the, “dangers of the sun?” Why are we buying sun care products in droves for our drives to work? When that is usually our ONLY time “outside?” Just like, why are we feeding our children legal speed to deal with their “diseases” of ADD, OCD (just as long as they aren’t outside running around god forbid!)? Are we so out of touch with our basic intuitive skills? Our own good judgement?

We inundate ourselves with pills to treat our real pain, yet never do the necessary work to solve the real problems we have. We look to our ‘doctors’ (note I did not say healers here), who do not even THINK to check for say…allergies, vitamin deficiencies, intestinal issues (where it all begins), or other such problems before going right to the most severe symptom treatment. We are over-prescribed antibiotics (further killing our bodies’ ability to develop the tools to heal), & even in the face of dermatologists (well, the you know, “edgy, weird ones”) who are actually, finally saying yes, non-malignant melanomas are not only highly treatable, but have nothing to do with malignant melanomas (which in turn have next to nothing to do with the sun!) but more in fact, to do with genetic disposition, lifestyle factors OTHER than sunshine…& do we relate this to the BOOMING business in sunblock each year? Nope. Call me cynical, but I’m also the one running on the beach happily, knowing the belly of the beast (the skincare industry) from the inside & knowing how little western physicians know…remember, nutrition is a one semester course to become a doctor…oy!

Even I used to believe we should only be in the sun of the morning or evening, come to find out THAT isn’t true! Midday sun, actually, is the best time for the body to receive UVB rays – not the UVA rays which cause melanomas. We NEED those UVB rays…so when you do go out, & I cannot plead with you enough to have your lunches outside, right there under the sun, unblocked, screened, shaded (& see the mood lift you get from it – hey, anything that makes us feel this good without a hangover can’t be bad :)!) for 15-20 minutes for a pale gal like me, longer for deeper skin tones. See for yourself after a few months how you feel. Do a vitamin D test, not to mention a full screen for vitamins, minerals, food allergies including a test for delayed food reactions – your doc will look at you like your insane…& in that moment you’ll know it’s time to keep him/her as your primary care & find a fabulous naturopath to be your detective, like, uhhhh “House”! What doctors used to be & no longer have the time for since they have insurance companies telling them they get 7.2 minutes’ per “customer”. Naturopaths, chiropractors (the GOOD ones only), homeopaths, & it’s true of all healers, you need to get a couple recommendations, there are the good, the bad & the lame…but your first visit should be extensive & take about two hours (no I’m not kidding).

By the way, you know Lyme disease, the epidemic of late? Most doctors will not find it with the ‘standard” test. You must go to specific labs who do the extensive Lyme testing & it will cost $$. Same for thyroid disease & many others. If you do not test for 3 things you will be told you do not have a thyroid condition even if you DO. Happened to me. Happened to several people I know with Lyme, so they ended up on antibiotics & fairly unable to do anything for YEARS. They could have died. This is the curse of the American medical system, & anyone’s innate trust in it… You see, we are in charge of our health. We are not babies who fall into a doctor’s arms without dong our own research. That’s just crazy, the best Western physician will agree. Haven’t we heard enough about people accidentally dying from bad or stupid prescription mixing or misdiagnosis, or doctors not doing the research they need to. Women being told they are depressed & years later, they finally find a TUMOR?!

Folks, do some in-depth reading on this…then dump the screen. Get some sun, a hat, & have some damn fun!

How did this hatred & fear of the sun come to pass? Think of a few expressions: someone who is generally cheerful is said to have a sunny disposition. There are hundreds of happy songs about riding to the beach with the convertible top down. & really, our moods change dramatically when the days turn from stormy to sunny, from cold to warm…in a heartbeat. Again, what’s wrong with this picture: someone who enjoys tending their garden sees the petals of the flowers & the plants’ leaves literally turning toward the sunlight each day, but nonetheless never ventures outside without first laying on the highest spf they can get their hands on.

Imagine this little Q&A: How does your garden grow? Fab! What makes it grow? Plenty of sunlight, plenty of water & lots of TLC. Do you treat yourself to the same? He**, no! I drink lots of water, & well, the sun is so toxic & will make me old before my time! I avoid it at all costs! This could not make less sense, but MOST people – gardeners or not – think exactly this way.

Consider the facts: there is increasing evidence that people who use synthetic sunscreens have a much higher incidence of skin cancer than those who refrain. According to one study, fully 85% of American citizens – the most sun block-worshipping people on the planet – suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, it’s also the only real source of essential vitamin D, despite what the chemical companies, mainstream synthetic skincare companies & not remotely in-the-know dermatologists will tell you…you cannot get the same form of vitamin D from synthetic vitamins, mock natural forms, or from food, & it just don’t work that way. Nature already made the perfect form…& everyone under the sun – there’s another one of those pro-solar expressions – would benefit & lower your risk of a host of debilitating diseases including colon, breast, prostate & ovarian cancer. Further, wearing an SPF of higher than 15 contributes to skin cancer! The higher the spf, the lower the UVA protection, & it’s UVA that is linked to DNA damage, which in turn is linked to malignant melanomas (which are linked to environmental & genetic predisposition).

Some other facts – it isn’t going to age you! All this talk about how the sun is the major cause of aging is I SWEAR, as much of a lie as that ANY cream can turn back the clock! &…SO frustrating! there is absolutely no evidence that the sun causes premature aging. Now, tanning & burning the skin, THAT is cause for concern and I would NEVER recommend this. But getting a healthy dose each day of screen-free sun…that will never cause you ill health, premature or unnecessary wrinkles. Ever. All it will do is keep you happy & healthy. & it really angers me that people have been made afraid of something so key to their good health. To sell products.

I’ve been happy to see the tide finally beginning to turn on attitudes about sun block. But this is an area where I still expect to be met with great resistance, not only from the mainstream media (however I did see a piece in Oprah on the need for vitamin D so we are getting somewhere) but also from people who have been told for so long that the sun is our enemy that they actually came to believe it…which, let’s face it, is most folks.

In the spirit of my tag line “know your beauty” it’s time to truly get past the scare tactics & to the truth — the sun is just one…but, here are a couple books to check out: The Healing Sun by Richard Horbday & The UV Advantage by Dr. Michael Hollick. You can check out Mr. Horbday’s site at: www.thehealingsun.org & Dr. Hollick’s at: www.uvadvantage.org

Enjoy life &…to your good health & MOOD!

xo
– Suki

 

THE SLEEPING BREATH

This is from good housekeeping…By Emma Louise Pritchard,
Nothing is worse than lying awake at night, willing your brain to shut down so you can rest. Warm milk, lavender oil, and counting sheep —
we’ve all tried them. But the new solution could be simply learning to breathe.
when i was a kid, i used to lay in the grass looking up at the clouds. Life wasn’t easy, but looking back, it seemed easier than it does today…i can’t remember the
last time i just spent a little time looking up…relaxing…

THE NATURE RX: WINTER WONDERLAND EDITION

there’s nothing like a dose of sunshine, unscreened, unblocked, vitamin D absorbing (yes, morning & / or afternoon sunshine)…so healthy &…so energizing! when I saw this video I wanted to share it…cause it’s also too true, how many chronic diseases (that we’ve given all our new names too – chronic fatique, fibromyalgia too) could be prevented, treated…by some outdoor exercise, relaxation & sun exposure (which will not cause skin cancer or….aging for that matter…in moderation!).

however, I can’t help but notice how warm & green those woods in the video look. right now it’s 27 degrees in Massachusetts & one of the last things I want to do is go outside! however, research continues to show that vitamin d from sun exposure is linked to better mood & health. but my natural inclination is still to hibernate…in Norway they even have a word, “koseling”, for that winter cozying-up with plenty of blankets, tea, maybe a roaring fire.

but too much coziness can lead to less pleasant feelings like laziness, idleness & restlessness, especially after an excess of holiday cheer. if you work in an office all day, then come home in the darkness, it’s easy to become disconnected from the outside world for months at a time, spending only enough time outdoors to take the dog for a quick walk or shovel the driveway—last year, Massachusetts got a whopping 108 inches of snow, so can you blame us?

to cite a more serious scientific review of research on the health benefits of natural environments, exposure to outdoor green spaces is associated with lower levels of stress & anxiety, it helps kids with ADHD focus & even improves symptoms of depression. there are many hypotheses as to why this is, but these researchers suggest it’s partly due to “soft fascination”, or a scene that captures attention while it also soothes—as opposed to the “hard fascination” of urban life…attending to not getting run over by a reckless Uber driver or sending a regrettable email, for example.

the-nature-rx-winter-wonderland-edition-photo-1.jpg

now, there isn’t much green to be had outdoors this time of year, but if you head to a local nature reserve or wildlife sanctuary, there’s a little bit in the form of evergreens peeking through the snow. & more restoring still is the sense of quiet contemplation, the bare, somber trees against the sky, the scurry of wildlife foraging for nuts & berries, the general sense of peace & solitude that’s hard to come by on a slushy winter commute, or staring all day at a computer screen only to emerge into a world that’s already dark at 5 p.m. I take ballroom dance all year & many people swear by hot yoga in the winter, but getting outside offers a kind of restoration that you can’t find in an artificially heated & lighted gym. (of course, enjoying this frozen wonderland is tough on the complexion, so check out my winter skin care tips if you want rosy cheeks rather than winter sandpaper skin!)

so bundle up & get outside! even if your parka won’t allow for much vitamin-d exposure, just the sight of the sun glinting on the snow or the scent of pine needles will refresh your spirits—& if you happen to live somewhere warm where there’s plenty of sun & maybe even water that’s warm enough for swimming…congratulations, I’m officially jealous of your life choices  just kidding…you don’t find views like this in sunny California:

the-nature-rx-winter-wonderland-edition-photo-1.jpg

do you have a favorite way to get in your prescription for nature in the not-so-green months?

xo
—Suki

SHOWDOWN: LOCAL VS. ORGANIC

imagine this: you’re at your local co-op & you see a package of organic celery from California on sale—but wait, right next to it there’s a pile of leafy, elastic-bound bunches from a local farm, but they’re not organic. which do you choose?

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for many of us who are trying hard to make healthy & ethical purchases, it’s a common dilemma. for those of you still shopping at Whole Foods, it’s a massive one since they are still not labeling their GMO foods! yikes!

it’s only heightened this time of year, when many of us have the pressure of cooking for a big holiday meal, & when buying locally, we aren’t getting the cornucopia of foods we do in summer (ahhhh summer, I should really live in California, you know!). should we pre-order our turkey from that farm on the other side of town, grab an organic one from the Co-op, or just use that coupon for the conventional Butterball the local grocery chain sent out? does it really make a difference? oh yes, it does! if only the sake of the animals’ well-being, & I for one think if you’re gonna eat it, you owe it to the animals to visit both a commercial & a real down home slaughterhouse to see the difference in the treatment of animals. trust me, it will effect what you buy forever, unless you don’t have feelings of course 😉

but seriously, as far as meat goes, “organic, free range, etc.” these terms are totally meaningless on the shelves of your grocery store. there is actually no legal definition for free range eggs in the U.S.! the chickens must have “some” access to the outdoors, but this could mean time on a screened porch for as little as an hour a day! how is that “free” in any way? small, local farms with animals you can see grazing in front of you…that is the way to go for anything animal & that’s a fact.

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in this PBS article & video on local vs. organic, the experts weigh in on the side of local. in one way, it’s all about carbon. when you buy local, you are cutting down on carbon emissions. same with organic, but maybe less so if your produce has crossed more U.S. states than your last road trip.

on the other hand, it’s just possible your neighbor selling tomatoes from his front porch is spraying them with heavy-duty pesticides. knowledge is always the best policy. most farmers or small producers are happy to tell you about their methods—in fact, they are probably proud of the effort they put into their products & will tell you more about homemade compost or crop rotation than you ever wanted to know!

even so, the benefits of organic over conventional are huge. if all tillable acreage in the United States began to be farmed using organic methods, this would be the same as taking 216 million automobiles off the road, which amounts to 25% of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions!

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so, according to this, the answer is simple: should you buy local or buy organic? yes!

both options usually cost more than the conventional produce you find in the aisles of a big chain grocery—but not always. farmers might cut you a deal for buying in bulk, & those organic sweet potatoes might go on sale just in time for you to whip up a batch of your signature holiday casserole. in choosing organic, you also avoid the hidden costs to your health & planet.

did you know that studies have found that organic produce contains up to 69% more antioxidants than conventional & is 4x less likely to contain toxic pesticide residues that have been linked to cancer & neurodevelopmental problems? yikes! that’s got to be worth the extra $2 for a carton of organic blackberries!

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if the product you need isn’t grown in your region (you’re not gonna find any Massachusetts oranges, for example!) go organic. given the choice between certified organic & a reputable local farmer who hasn’t sought that label, support your community & buy right from the farmer’s market or the farm itself. also look into CSA shares in your area—you might be able to bring your very own sweet peas & strawberries from farm to table. many CSA farms also have winter shares, which are great for cooking big, sustainable holiday meals.

xo

—Suki

FRAGRANCE FACT & FICTION

perfume1scents surround us every day, from that less-than-refreshing lemony bleach smell of a public restroom to a coworker’s unfortunate obsession with Axe body spray. there’s even a trend toward scented jewelry!

we can’t avoid scent in public spaces (short of wearing a gas mask to the office or the mall in protest!) but what about the products we bring into our own home? learn the surprising truth (& industry lies) about your favorite berry-scented lip balm or “summer breeze” in a spray bottle…

FACT: perfumery is as old as civilization

“…the Graces bathed [Aphrodite] with heavenly oil such as blooms upon the bodies of the eternal gods—oil divinely sweet, which she had by her, filled with fragrance.”

Homeric hymn, 7th century BCE. 

aromatic substances like rose oil, labdanum, myrrh & ambergris were symbols of status & wealth from ancient China to Rome. many also had sacred uses. back then, all the raw materials came from plant or animal sources. today, 90% of fragrances are synthetic, created in laboratories to mimic natural aromatics at lower cost.

ancient perfume

(perfume making in ancient Egypt)

FICTION: fragrance is regulated for safety & quality.

there is no governing agency that regulates scent in commercial products, & little monitoring of the few standards that exist. companies don’t have to disclose specific ingredients in these formulas, hence the generic term “fragrance” you see on many ingredient lists. allergy testing before marketing is not required, & when testing occurs, it’s often on animals who are doused with toxic levels of the fragrance in question. (check out this list of companies that—still, in 2015!—test on animals.)

FACT: fragrance can have powerful physical & psychological effects.

fragrant botanicals contain active ingredients that can alter mood, memory, appetite & arousal. also, some fragrances are allergens, irritants, carcinogens & hormone disruptors (often synthetics, but some natural essential oils, too!). strong fragrance can also make some people feel ill—hence those signs in gyms, yoga studios, etc. requesting a “fragrance free zone”.

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FICTION: natural fragrance = safe.

whether a product is natural or synthetic is not itself an indication of safety. natural essential oils have longer histories of use, but processing methods can vary widely. for example, essential oils are often extracted with toxic hexane gas. there’s also no legal definition of “natural”, so perfume marketers (like many other industries) often use this term misleadingly.

aromaptherapy1

pure essential oils have a 2,000+ year history of helping people with conditions from anxiety to hormonal imbalances, so there’s no need to totally fear fragrance—I use a natural, gentle citrus aroma in many of my skincare products. look for organically sourced oils & consult a trained aromatherapist or do your own research. respect your allergies & follow usage instructions carefully, especially when oils are used topically rather than diffused.

so what scents inspire you & which make you want to rush for the nearest window?

xo

—Suki

PERMISSION TO FEAST

Thanksgiving’s just around the corner & I’m going to say something shocking now. are you ready?

have like…a LOT of butter &…wait for it…even second helpings of everything, including dessert! treat yourself to whatever you’d ordinarily say “oh, I really shouldn’t…”. after all, what the heck are the holidays about if you’re not going to ENJOY the simple pleasures in life? it drives me crazy, reading endless articles about how to avoid all that delicious food—Thanksgiving is about appreciation & not self-denial. now, if you have some kind of allergy that will hurt you, be wary of that…but otherwise INDULGE away! give yourself permission to partake in all the classics. or maybe you have your own spin, like tofurkey or gluten-free rolls; it’s not the old days where being green or vegan meant a tasteless, chewy meal that no one enjoyed! there is truly an abundance of riches in the gluten-free & vegan world nowadays! let yourself fill a totally decadent plate & enjoy every bite. it’s not about glorifying consumerism, but celebrating the abundance of family/friends surrounding your table. & let’s face it, food is comfort, history, pleasure…it’s just pretty awesome too. 🙂

Thanksgiving6

at my company, some of our team members made a poll of their Thanksgiving dinner must-haves: mashed potatoes were a popular choice & the favorite of customer service mavens Rachel & Melanie & production assistant Meghan. our accounting manager Tina put a twist on the potato theme by choosing sweet potato pie…& pies, of course, held their own in this little contest. Mike in shipping went with classic apple pie, while marketing assistant Whitney chose gluten-free pumpkin pie, heavy on the whipped cream. lab manager Mike can’t say no to a good breadcrumb stuffing, Dan had to go with the classic turkey, accounting assistant Rosalyn is crazy about gravy & my assistant Johanna just loves it all, as do I…since I really enjoy a meal that has multiple ‘tastes’ rather than one big entrée, Thanksgiving is awesome to me! 🙂

what nostalgic favorite or new culinary creation are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

with gratitude,

Suki