What's in the Water?

What's in the Water?

Water... Life's Most Valuable Componet (next to the Air we breathe) Photo by Joslyn Taylor     I wrote this article on water a while back, but water will always be...

Sun vs. Sunscreen

Sun vs. Sunscreen

Enjoying The Hawaiian Sun ******************   By: Holly Pellham Davis   Who knew sunscreen could be so controversial? But, as with most products containing...

Is the Air You're Breathing making You Sick?

    Take a deep breath through your nose, slowly filling up your lungs. Then slowly push the air out through your mouth. Think about your nose, which acts as a filter and...

DeTox Your Home of Toxic Cleaning Products.

DeTox Your Home of Toxic Cleaning Products.

  :        Holly was recently a guest on, "Beautiful You" TV and chatted with host, LeeAnne Locken about truly having a "clean" home, free of toxic...

Holly Pellham Davis Picks Non-Toxic Polish

Holly Pellham Davis Picks Non-Toxic Polish

Photo by D Magazine for DMoms Daily-  Holly Davis' Picks for Non-Toxic Nail Polish   By Holly Pellham Davis My daughter and I love pretty nail polish colors. But,...

Dying To Be Beautiful

Dying To Be Beautiful

        By: Holly Pellham Davis   ***************************   Every day, all across America, a mom gets up and douses herself...

All About Holly Pellham Davis

Water... Life's Most Valuable Componet (next to the Air we breathe) Photo by Joslyn Taylor



I wrote this article on water a while back, but water will always be in the forefront of any conversation about healthy living.  As I have said many times, our health directly depends on the purity of our water, air and food.  Today, while water coming out of any and every faucet across America may be deemed "permitable" to drink, it is still contaiminated with heavy metals, industrial chemicals, disinfectant by products, hormones such as estrogen and pharmaceuticul drugs. 


EWG just released another look at bottled water. While the point maybe that most bottled water is commonly municiple, faucet water in a toxic plastic bottle with a nice price tag for convenience, I find the true point, to be how poor our water quality is and the causes. 


By: Holly Pellham Davis


When my kids tell me they are tired, don’t feel well, or basically grumble for any reason at all, I tell them to drink water. It’s pretty much my answer to everything… But, they know it comes with lots of stipulations, and it’s really not all that simple. Here’s why.


All water is not created equal. The formula for which about 70% of the earth is made of, 1 oxygen to 2 hydrogen atoms, is merely the tip of the iceberg. There are pollutants, minerals, additives, chemicals, and treatments to consider.


Let’s talk water types:


Tap or Municipal Water – The water flowing form our faucets typically contains additives like fluoride, which was introduced in the 1940s by a town in Michigan after studies that showed fluoride strengthened teeth. Many people believe the push for fluoride was a double mistake along with the use of mercury in fillings, both highly toxic and poisonous. Fluoride is a neuro-toxin which has been shown in studies to cause decreased and impaired cognitive development and lower IQs. After studying the effects on developing brains, we now know it is especially critical that fluorinated water never be mixed with infant formula. (By the way, the same dangers lurk in your average toothpaste. Opt for fluoride-free). In January 2011, the CDC reduced the levels of fluoride added to municipal water supplies after a report indicating that 2 in 5 children in America showed signs of fluoride poisoning. I believe that number to be higher. In cities all over America we are mass medicating the public with uncontrolled doses of toxic, poisonous Fluoride.    


Tap water is also contaminated with pharmaceuticals such as Prozac, Viagra, blood thinners, cancer drugs, and statins. (Even found in waters in the Arctic.) The threat is alarming, and its effects are inconceivable when you ponder what the combination of these drugs could possibly do to a developing brain or any living thing for that matter.


Treatments, such as the water disinfectant Chlorine, have become a necessary evil. While its a good thing that the chlorine kills the bacteria in the water, it’s usually our bodies that are left to filter the chlorine, and its highly toxic. Chlorine, when combined with organic compounds, result in disinfection by-poducts* or DBPs, which, according to the CDC, have been linked to liver, kidney, and nervous system problems, and are carcinogenic.


Bottled Water – Unbeknownst to most consumers, about 40% of all bottled water is tap water. (Nestle has recently been sued with claims of misleading consumers.) So not only do you need to worry about all of the above factors from the tap, but you also need to consider the toxic plastic bottle the water has been stored in. Ugh. We have to read the fine print and look for sources. Best bets are “Spring” or “Spring Mountain Water” with the source labeled clearly on the container. If it states, “municipal source,” forget about it. You are better off getting a glass form the tap and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It will naturally evaporate off many of the toxic DBPs, making it safer to drink. (You still get the pharmaceuticals, fluoride, etc though.)


Next, look for how its been treated. You want reverse osmosis at a minimum. Reverse osmosis systems remove most chlorine, inorganic, and organic contaminants as well as about 80% of fluoride and DBPs. Carbon filtration is another good layer of protection. Only use plastic bottled water in extenuating circumstances or if you have a brand in particular you use for health reasons. I have one I consume daily with my workout, guaranteed to be free of arsenic, DBP, chlorine, fluoride, MTBE, chromium 6, and the most difficult, trace pharmaceuticals. Note that with most RO water, unless minerals are added back, the filtering process also removes vital minerals. Make sure you add some back into your diet for proper balance. Take a good manesium supplement and liquid minerals to your RO water.  


Also, when you do need a bottled water, its comes from a friendly source and does not cause the surrounding people hardship and ALWAYS RECYCLE.  

Beautiful places do not always beget beautiful water.


Distilled Water – Another item to avoid is distilled water, as it has been boiled, which takes out the beneficial minerals and can be harmful to your health if consumed repeatedly. It is also very acidic. Save it for your iron.


Vitamin Water — So called “Vitamin” Waters are usually accompanied by high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and synthetic vitamins. It is nothing but a deceivingly healthy sounding, high-priced chemical cocktail.


Coconut Water – An excellent source of potassium and excellent in treating dehydration (especially associated with a holiday party hangover), coconut water can be a healthy choice. But remember that large soda companies are behind some brands. For example, a container of Zico typically contains 22 grams of sugar (almost the same amount that’s in soda), and that’s the plain version. Added-fruit varieties only increase the calorie count. If you are a coconut water fan, reach for the raw, naturally processed brands. (There are very few.)  Know the difference between Coconut water: the water the comes from the inside of the coconut. It is clear and thin and Coconut Milk which is actually from the flesh of the coconut and high in saturated fat and calories.  If you have had a hard workout and need electrolytes, add a dash of Himalayan salt to purified water, stir and drink. 


Be sure and support clean water by refusing to use chemical yard services, fertilizer. Purchase or grow organic food, know what's in your water in your area and hold industrial businesses accountable (meat processing, Chemical companies, Industrial farms, mining, etc) 


Here's to your health,






Enjoying The Hawaiian Sun



By: Holly Pellham Davis


Who knew sunscreen could be so controversial? But, as with most products containing chemicals brought to us by cosmetic companies, it's all to common today. So what are the best products available? What do we look for and how do we best protect our families from the possible harmful effects of too much sun?


We know the sun’s radiation, UVA (long wave) and UVB (short wave, most damaging) rays cause free radicals to increase in the skin.

Sun exposure damages cellular DNA, increases the signs of aging and increases risk of skin cancer. But before you run inside and put your caftan and XL brimmed chapeau on, that awesome star of our galaxy has some major benefits to health also. Let’s chat about a couple of those first.


           Vitamin D:      It’s actually not a vitamin at all, it’s a hormone.

(Background: In the 1930’s the dairy industry began fortifying milk with “vitamin” D)  Vitamin D is vital in mineral metabolism, supports the immune system and is essential to bone health and growth making it especially important to developing children. Recent studies demonstrate the importance of healthy levels of Vitamin D and a wide range of benefits to our health, specifically a reduction in risk of colon and breast cancer. Recent trends show Americans to be deficient in vitamin D due to the use of sunscreens which block the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin and the overall decrease in outdoor activity. To increase  your bodies vitamin D hormone, simply get direct sun (meaning without sunscreen) skin exposure for about 20 minutes per day. Your body will naturally  produce the hormone vitamin D you need.  Vitamin D supplements can be taken daily for those not wanting the direct sun approach, in addition to a diet rich in foods that support Vitamin D production such as wild salmon, organic free range egg yolks and mushrooms. 


         Be Happy.       Sunlight makes us happy. Like the chemical reaction in the body that causes the hormone, vitamin D to be produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight, the body has similar reactions that release other hormones and signals to the brain and body. Sunlight exposure helps regulate our sleep cycle, decrease stress and depression. Making a short daily dose of sun part of your wellness regime can be life changing.


So, what about skin protection for everyday exposure or the pool days of Summer?


Here are some tips and guidelines to ensure protection from exposure to harmful rays as well as potentially harmful chemicals commonly found in sunscreens:


  • Clothing, the first line of defense: Shade and protective clothing including hats, shirts and sunglasses are among your first lines of defense. Sunglasses or water googles with UV added protection for the eyes is also strongly advised for children and adults alike.
  • Stay out of O-Zone: Avoid sun exposure on high ozone days which can increase free radicals, skin damage and exacerbate problems with breathing. 
  • Liberal Application: Apply a BROAD SPECTRUM, (Block both UVA & UVB Rays) Sunscreen often and a LOT of it. Tests reveal, in order to have maximum protection, sunscreen must be applied in a large dosage that delivers the product completely over the skins surface. Half the “dosage” only gives half the protection.
  • Don’t get High on Numbers: Resist the temptation to get caught up in a numbers game when choosing sun protection. Products boasting SPF 50 do not always translate to greater UV protection or that you can stay in the sun longer. Go for an SPF in the 30 range, apply often and take breaks from direct exposure by seeking some shade.
  • NO SPRAY Sunscreens: Deep breath. This is a hot issue for me. Spray sunscreens should be banned from existence. Harmful chemicals are inhaled and can enter the bloodstream through the lungs with the possibility of causing damage to vital organs. In addition, many sunscreens contain powder, talc and other micro, nano properties that can be harmful if inhaled. The FDA recently banned all SPF (nano) from loose mineral powders, due to this health risk, but exempt small companies to make the change until December of this year. (Say what?)  If you must use a spray, please refrain from applying in public places as it will put others at risk. 
  • No Mixing: Don’t mix Sunscreens and Insect Repellants. It’s simply a toxic chemical cocktail. Use light colored clothing in addition to layering your mineral based sunscreen first, then apply your deet-free insect repellant. (More on that another time.)
  • No-Go Ingredients: Refrain from using any sunscreen product (including lip balms) containing these commonly used chemicals:

          Oxybenzone and/or Octinozate- Both have been shown to cause reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption and hormone mimicking activity in humans. These chemicals are highly toxic and pose significant risk to people as well as animals and aquatic life. 

           Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A)- Research shows retinyl palmitate acts as a photo carcinogen, speeding up the development of skin tumors and legions on sun, UV radiation exposed skin. With sun exposure alone, free radicals are are formed and damage to DNA strands occur which contribute to the cause of skin cancer. With the presence of vitamin A, that skin damage increases, including tumor and lesion growth, compared to those without vitamin A.  In my own research over the last several years, I examined the findings of studies such as this one and strongly believe retinyl palmitate should not be used in sunscreens, skin lotions or other applications for sun exposed skin. It can take 10-15 years for this type of research to reach mainstream and be “applied” to products. I want you to be informed now. Read your labels carefully.    


Best choices for sunscreens are mineral based, zinc oxide & titanium dioxide.

Despite the fact sunscreens and loose powder mineral makeup with SPF contain nano particles which carry a risk of inhalation, mineral based sunscreens are safer and less toxic, making them a better choice than chemical sunscreen varieties. Zinc oxide is king. Keep in mind the sunscreens that cause you to look like Casper, have lower levels of nano sized particles in them. We can all stand a ghost effect in the name of health and true anti aging benefits can’t we? 


Some of my trusted, personal favorite sunscreens in my beach bag for kiddos include California Baby Sunscreen stick which I love for the easy application to the kids face and shoulders, Aubrey Organics is a brand I totally trust. The SPF lotion goes on a little thick and white so the kids may bark a bit, but this mom loves its protection!


And, for me it’s Devita’s SPF 30 for body  and Renee Rouleau’s spf 30 moisturizer for face. 


If you would like to dive into the deep end of sunscreens a little deeper, check out  Environmental Working Group’s “Guide to Safer Sunscreens”! You can find the complete report here  which includes awesome information including ratings on the sunscreens they tested. 


Here's to a safe summer vacation!


Holly Pellham Davis




Love, Respect, Responsibility for our home, Planet Earth

by Holly Pellham Davis




We see evidence of Global Warming and our Earth in distress all across the  globe with headlines of drought, violent weather storm patterns, science fiction-like algae taking over lakes and all that is in them, sea levels rising, species of plants and animals becoming extinct or deformed, acidic oceans killing thousands of fish and other aquatic life, a slew of plastic  in the Pacific Ocean the size of the state of Texas. 


As our precious Earth suffocates under a blanket of Co2, we too are dying a slow death.    You simply can not separate the relationship between us. What we do to the Earth, we do to our bodies and worse, to our children. We must reverse the pattern that has been set in motion and each person has to do their part. Through educating ourselves and teaching our children that we are responsible for the health of our world through the daily decisions we make, we can make a difference.


Top offenders against the health of our Earth are:  vehicle emissions, trash, plastics, fertilizer, deforestation, coal fired plants and industrial emissions.  


Key ways to begin making a difference:

Conserve, reduce energy use in your home.  Energy star appliances, Radiant Barrier Insulation such as reflectix, put a plan in action to reduce energy use, such as thermostat settings, lights off, unplugging unused devices, etc. have each family member sign the commitment agreement.  Use alternative energy sources such as solar energy or wind energy.


Transportation choices: Vehicle emissions leave one of the largest carbon footprints on Earth. Not only is it the greatest polluter of the air we breathe leading to cancers, asthma and brain disease, but burning these fossil fuels is also causing the Earth to be diseased and sickened due to the blanket of carbon covering us.  Reduce heavy duty trucks, petition to stop producing and slowly cut out diesel engines. Plan to carpool / ride share, use community transit, purchase and drive only high fuel economy vehicles, reduce your driving time by planning out any daily trips and cutting idle driving time. Turn off your car during carpool.


Stop the use of Fertilizer at your home, office, city parks and schools. Excess nitrogen (fertilizer) in water and soil kills the life giving oxygen in our air and water.  When applied to the yard and or soil, the nitrogen is heated from the sun and evaporates into a gas into the air, rising up to form a blanket which warms the Earth. The same fertilizer is responsible for the horrific algae blooms, as it runs off the land into gutters, alleys, waterways, ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans strangling the oxygen, killing almost all life except for algae, noxious fish and jelly fish. Contact your local officials and inquire about what chemicals are applied to parks, fields and community land. Educate others on the dangers and petition them to stop. Build awareness. Cease all use of all “lawn greening” products every where you have influence. Have a no bag policy in place for your lawn clippings. Mow over them and nourish the soil naturally. Your yard and the air (no trapped gas), will love you!


Reduce,Reuse,Recycle, Respect, Responsibility... & Ban Plastic:  


We have all heard of the     You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video“3 R’s”     and most can probably sing the Jack Johnson song, but when the rubber meets the road, do we actually practice it? As usual, having a plan in order is supreme. Reduce your water use. Turn off the faucet, don;t keep it running. Install water & energy saving shower heads like this one:

Available at Home Depot and most Hardware stores

Plant native landscape. Use Reduce the amount of trash you create by evaluating the current trash you have. Devise a plan to at least cut it in half. Buy in bulk. Reuse glass containers to store foods in. Reuse bags, clothes, electronics, etc. Simply don’t just throw anything away.. PURPOSE a PLACE for it... give it another life plan through reuse or recycling. Beware of toxic recyclables and reusables such as tires, synthetic rubber, PVC, most plastics and all styrene, styrofoam.


Purchase only items that will last and not negatively impact the environment. We have a symbiotic relationship with the Earth. For example, if we purchase cheap plastic toys for our children, they are toxic to their little bodies, possibly causing cognitive problems, disease etc... those same throw away, cheap toys are floating in the ocean, sitting in a land fill poisoning our planet. 



We will talk more about TRASH next week, but for Earth Day, involve your children and educate them on the importance of NOT LITTERING our world. Beginning with not throwing chewed gum on the ground, to candy wrappers or fast food bags & containers it all harms our Earth.  Take them for a visit to a nearby land fill so they can see and smell first hand that the trash we create does not just “go away.” 



Family Earth loving activities:

  • Plant a tree in an effort to clean the air and increase life giving oxygen. Make it a yearly tradition in honor of someone's memory or birthday. Make it meaningful.    
  • Plan to reduce trash, reuse or repurpose most things.  Recycle electronics, batteries, trash. Stop using all styrene and styrofoam products. Cut your plastic use dramatically,
  • Do not throw away old nail polish, paints, solvents, old medications etc in main trash. Contact your city trash department and find out where, how to properly dispose of these and other toxic materials.
  • Turn off, unplug & live more energy efficiently. If your not using it, turn it off or unplug it. 
  • As a neighborhood, church group, friends or family, come together and clean up a heavily polluted or littered area. Begin your own crusade to clean up our world.  
  • Research with your children images of trash, the oceans, the Pacific trash vortex and other impact studies to broaden their perspective, gain knowledge and increase personal responsibility.


We are only as healthy as the home, environment we live in. 


As stewards, we are called to be care takers of the Planet Earth. Let's commit to the call to care for our home, everyday. Our future and our children’s children’s future depend on it... Let’s not let them down. 


Here's to a healthy world,

Holly Pellham Davis


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