Dying To Be Beautiful

Dying To Be Beautiful

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

The Gut-Brain Connection. Probiotics.

The Gut-Brain Connection. Probiotics.

  By Holly Pellham Davis Many of us can relate to the feeling that our gut has a mind of its own, often over-ruling the main processing unit above our...

Looking Beyond the Headlines

I am still hearing about the recent "News Reports" stemming from the Stanford Review comparing Conventional and Organic Foods on your health. All of the papers, news casts, tweets and posts have...

3 Keys to A Successful School Year

3 Keys to A Successful School Year

Photo by D Moms.          The most important meal of the day? Breakfast. (With coffee for mama, natch.)   By Holly Pellham Davis ******* We are...

Choose THIS over THAT for a Healthier Home

Choose THIS over THAT for a Healthier Home

Choose THIS over THAT!   by: Holly Pellham Davis, Clean Fresh Living for your Home.   Detoxing your home can feel overwhelming at times, but the truth is, it is...

Let's Go To the Farmers Market

Let's Go To the Farmers Market

By Holly Pellham Davis *******   They say, “you canʼt take the farm out of the girl,” and, well, I confirmed that this weekend. As soon as I stepped onto the grounds of the...

All About Holly Pellham Davis





By: Holly Pellham Davis




Every day, all across America, a mom gets up and douses herself in over 100 chemicals as she gets ready for each day. Beginning with aspartame in toothpaste, ozone depleting chemicals, hydrocarbons and isobutane in hairspray, aluminum in antiperspirant, sulfates and triclosan in soaps, lead in lipstick, coal in mascara, petroleum based lotions full of poisonous fragrance topped off with a splash or spray of perfume containing more fragrance, with a side of petrochemicals, in addition to diethyl-phthalate or DEP,* dressed in clothing washed with detergents containing cancer causing 1,4 dioxane, only to have an appointment later that day at the hair salon for a “Brazilian Blowout” exposing all in the room to formaldehyde, then a manicure polished up with more formaldehyde, Toluene and reproductive harming dibutyl phthalate (DBP), finishing off the appointment with eyeLash extenders applied with glue (super glue to be exact) containing more of... (you guessed it!).... FORMALDEHYDE.

What’s the big deal? All of it. But let’s look at Formaldehyde first, a known carcinogen (cancer causing chemical) and VOC (volatile organic compound) according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Formaldehyde has been shown to cause structural and numerical changes in chromosomes, with particular risk to embalmers and other occupations that expose workers such as beauty salon stylists. (I “grew up” in a beauty shop, so this part is even more personal to me.) These occupations carry an increased risk of blood cancers known as Leukemia, including Myeloid Leukemia according to a National Institutes Health Study published in 2009. Other increased risks are cancers of the nose, nasal cavity, and nasopharrynx and many reproductive problems including miscarriages. In 2011, the FDA sent a violation letter* to the maker of “Brazilian Blowout’s Acai Professional Smoothing Solution” after it found methylene glycol, a liquid form of formaldehyde, in its straightening serum. The box claimed “formaldehyde free” but methylene glycol when heated, turns into formaldehyde and releases into the air. Adding to their deception, the word “Acai” in its name, infers health as the Acai berry is considered a “superfood” high in antioxidants. Here is a list from EWG of Hair Straightener makers and Salons that COVER UP the dangers. 

All of that toxic exposure is bad enough, right? But, what if that same mom is pregnant? The fetus or unborn child, is exposed to everything the mother is exposed to. In fact, many of these chemicals, including DEP* (fragrance) has been found in cord blood. Our body absorbs these chemicals by inhalation (ie: air fresheners- a TOTAL oxymoron), ingesting them (alcohol in mouthwash), or by one of the most effective means, trans dermal transmission (face makeup, lotion, perfume). In fact, most things that touch our skin enter our blood stream in seconds with the possibility of affecting every cell in our bodies. That fact alone makes it essential to know exactly what ingredients and chemicals are contained in a product. It is as equally important to our health, as food and medicine is! You simply can not separate it and have whole health.


This is a point that must be a call to action for change in our system. Today, the 32 billion dollar cosmetic industry has little regulation and nothing requiring evidence of safety, or disclosure of harmful chemicals, often hiding behind classifying ingredients as fragrance, trade secrets and fair competition. What’s fair about poisoning society?


It is vitally important to keep your, and your children's exposure to these and other chemicals as low as possible. Start by educating yourself and supporting organizations like EWG.org , by reading the labels on your bathroom products, discarding (properly) the ones containing these (cited above) and other toxic chemicals, by claiming your air and by using the “power of your pocketbook” to increase demand for clean, non-toxic cosmetics and beauty products in the market place.


At the end of that day, you will find that true Beauty comes naturally from a truly Healthy place.


HEALTHY is Beautiful.






DEP in Fragrance: *According to research published by Washington Toxics Coalition 2009, found that exposure to unborn fetus can cause abnormal reproductive growth in baby boys and sperm damage in men. 
Formaldehyde in Hair Straighteners:
*Baby Products Tested http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=426
Holly’s Note: *Inquire with the Hair Salon about whether or not they offer “Hair Straightening or Relaxing” Treatments. See OSHA standards on “acceptable” formaldehyde levels. No open room, air ventilation system is effective enough. There is also exposure at the shampoo bowl. A salon is required by Law to Inform patrons of its use.





A BIG thank you to Abby Gregory and Lisa Petty of the Premier Dallas online Fashion Magazine, "DFW Style Daily" for featuring me in their "Obession Confession" segment.  What can I say, there is a commom thread between the way I dress, what I eat and how I live! 


Truth is, I believe that if your individual personal style reflects who you are, who you aspire to be and the energy you want to send out into the world... then you've acheived a look that will never go out of style. 





From DFW Style. Check out their always in the know, fresh approach to current fashion at     www.dfwstyledaily.com



By Abby Gregory



A sought-after organic lifestyle consultant, Holly Pellham Davis defines wholesome living. So, needless to say, we were especially giddy when this good girl agreed to take DFW Style Daily’s Obsession Confession challenge!



Through her company Clean Fresh Living, the Dallas entrepreneur and mom of two leverages more than a decade of research and experience in the wellness industry. In addition to helping families understand and implement healthy habits, Davis continues to expand her mission as a regular contributor to D Magazine, among other notable local pubs. Today, she confesses an aesthetic obsession that reflects her expertise. These sleek picks may inspire a dose of glamorous minimalism in your wardrobe, too.



The Obsession: Simplicity is a necessity for this multi-tasker, who craves “clean lines and balance” from work to wardrobe.

The Confession: “A pattern that’s cut just right, seams that come together perfectly, and fabrics that fall and drape effortlessly represent incredibly difficult craftsmanship,” Davis notes of her sartorial requirements. “These qualities define elegance.”

The Rationalization: Explaining her devotion to seemingly effortless aesthetics, Davis adds, “I am a big believer that true greatness is reflected by doing the most simple, beautiful things very well, because they present the greatest challenge.”



The Collection: Recalling a most memorable minimalist moment – her wedding gown – purchased off the rack at the Calvin Kleinboutique, then located in Highland Park Village, our expert describes, “No ‘foof,’ frills, or fittings! Just a well-designed, amazingly cut dress in a gorgeous fabric that fit like it was made for me. It was true love.”

Shop ItHelmut LangBrunello CucinelliRag & BoneJames Perse, and Vince rank among Davis’ favorite clean-lined labels. Shown above: Rag & Bone Blazer ($495), James Perse Tank ($45), and Helmut Lang Dress ($255). All via Net-a-Porter.


 Click here to read more DFW Style Daily Obsession Confessions!



Photo credits: 1. Headshot by Richard Krall, 2. BrunelloCucinelli.com, 3. Net-a-Porter.com.



By Holly Pellham Davis

Many of us can relate to the feeling that our gut has a mind of its own, often over-ruling the main processing unit above our shoulders. But, what would you say if I told you that our gut is often referred to as the “second brain?”

The gut is an extension of the brain connected through the enteric nervous system. The two work together to create a balance of hormones, bacteria, enzymes, and some 40 neurotransmitters. In fact, more than 90% of our bodyʼs serotonin, 50% of our bodyʼs dopamine, and 70%-90% of our immune system, is found in the gut. Simply stated, if the gutʼs not happy, our entire body is not happy (or healthy) and more prone to a variety of problems, conditions, and disease.

The root of all disease is inflammation. The immune system and gut flora have a symbiotic relationship. When our gut flora (microbiota) is imbalanced (more bad than good) we have Dysbiosis which disturbs waste removal in the GI track and leads to inflammation (increase in cytokines) and cancer.

This microbiota or gut flora is absolutely essential to our health. At birth, we are given vital bacteria through the birth canal that become the signal to activate the gut immune system. For babies delivered by C-section, they must depend on bacteria picked up from the skin and other surfaces, therefore having a completely different community of bacteria (in the body) sometimes leading to colic, increased risk of asthma, allergies and obesity. Frequently, those same children are prescribed antibiotics more often through life, compounding the root of the problem. But, they are not alone. Many of us suffer from imbalances in our gut bacteria. It is a battle of Good vs Bad.

Some Causes of Gut Microbiota Imbalance:

  • Use of antibiotics
  • Consumption of processed foods, genetically modified foods, and sugar
  • Illness
  • Stress* (See CRF below.)
  • Chlorine in water.
  • Drinking large quantities of coffee or alcohol (or both)
  • Aging
  • Taking H2 Inhibitors. These acid blockers can be devastating to the gut and can actually perpetuate the problem. Instead, talk to your doctor about treating GERD with high potency probiotics and take a digestive enzyme to restore balance. You should also cut processed foods and eat mostly dark green leafy vegetables.

What are the signs/gut feelings (no pun intended) that something is wrong?

  • Abdominal pain
  • Visceral pain — inflammation, bowel disease, GERD, kidney stones, endometriosis
  • Constipation
  • Cravings
  • Foggy memory, mood swings (an inflamed gut = inflamed brain)
  • Trouble sleeping/insomnia
  • Release of CRF (corticotropin releasing factor) — Often a result of chronic stress, the release of CRF can lead to changes in paracellular permeability, leaky gut / leaky brain (antigens leaking out into the bloodstream), toxic liver overload, irritable bowel syndrome, and systemic disease.

Now that we have a snapshot of what can go wrong when you have bad gut health, letʼs look at some things we can do to make it right.

Keys to Gut Brain Wellness:

  • Eat a diet rich in organic plants, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, some whole organic grains, and eggs. Superstars include: avocados, freshly ground flaxseeds, and omega 3 rich foods.
  • Avoid food additives, artificial colors and dyes, preservatives, refined sugars, pesticides, genetically engineered foods, and MSG. They all alter gut microbiota and can damage the intestinal wall.
  • Decrease exposure to environmental toxins — drink pure, clean water ( de-chlorinated and DBP free), breathe clean air, avoid toxic household chemicals, and remove plastics and styrofoam from your home & office.
  • Increase Omega 3  and decrease Omega 6.
  • Exercise.
  • Decreases stress to aid in the release of beneficial hormones and weight loss (bonus!).
  • Get adequate sleep, ideally at least 8 hours of per night. Your ability to sleep well will increase with good gut health.
  • Reduce Stress! This is absolutely vital for gut health and whole wellness. Volunteering, meditation, yoga,exercise, massage therapy, journaling, support groups, and gardening are all great ways to reduce stress and nurture your soul.

Probiotic Supplements
While not a cure-all, you can also help improve gut health by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement every day. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a supplement:

  • Look for one that is encapsulated and extended release which allows the bacteria to pass through stomach acid.
  • Choose one with multiple strains- most contain 10-12. The more strains the better.
  • Look for numbers that reference how many cells at best by date (not manufacture date).
  • Do NOT take probiotic supplements within one hour of hot drinks or heated foods. The heat will kill the cells. This includes the popular suggestion to take probiotic with hot lemon water.
  • For anyone in a “gut wrenching state,” you may want to look into prebiotics and digestive enzymes. They are a tremendous help and support for gut health.

Probiotic Foods
Including probiotic foods in your family’s daily diet is another way to help promote good gut health. Probiotic foods include: miso, oats, wheat bran, legumes, chicory, banana, dandelion greens,blue-green algae, kimchee, garlic, onions, pickles, tempeh, sauerkraut, beans, flax seeds, leeks, artichokes, Kefir (fermented dairy), and yogurt. I’ll dive  into a few of these foods below.

Yogurt: We’re firmly in the midst of a yogurt craze with food giants eagerly jumping on the bandwagon in the name of “health.” Any yogurt containing excessive sugar, artificial flavors, colors, toppings/mix ins should be considered a dessert or junk food, as any benefit received from the small amount of bacteria it may contain is voided by harmful additives. I prefer Stonyfield Greek Plain Yogurt for my family.

Fermented Drinks: My husband gags when he sees me take a swig of Eden Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar . I admit, it takes some getting used to, but being a long time Kombucha Tea drinker prepared me for the intense flavor. The list of health benefits of fermented drinks like vinegar is vast, including: aiding in alkalinity/ ph balance, improving digestion, encouraging skin health, possessing anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory  properties, aiding in weight loss, and helping to reduce blood sugar levels. It can even be used as a mouth wash! The Kombucha story is a bit more complicated, as each maker touts their brew to be best, but remember the integrity of fermentation (raw culture) is what creates the good bacteria. Look for lines that clearly state specific strains contained and all ingredients. Also beware of high sugar content (double check the servings per container). A brand I enjoy is High Country. I love the ginger, and my son fittingly adores Wild Root. For moms out there wanting to create their own “mothers,” there is an easy starter kit.

Fermented Foods: Fermented foods have been a staple in ancient cultures often being referenced as the root of good health and survival. Miso, sauerkraut, kimchee, tempeh are examples of some of those foods. Try them out!

At the end of the day, I think momʼs advice to “listen to your gut” has taken on a deeper meaning on our ongoing journey to wellness, donʼt you?

Stay tuned!

XOXO, Holly



Clean Fresh Living on Twitter

cleanfreshlivin RT @OrganicLiveFood: Children who regularly drink water treated with #fluoride have higher level of #lead in their blood researchers say ht…
cleanfreshlivin RT @DavidPerlmutter: Our ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats at a ratio closer to 1:1. Today? It’s closer to 25:1 https://t.co/CyCV
cleanfreshlivin #FBF When someone had a "Crush" on me 😊 Feelings mutual @DMagazine https://t.co/TnxFBLyCqq
cleanfreshlivin Looking back to this fun Q&A I did in 2011! "Almost all diseases are linked to our environmental exposures & diet" https://t.co/k758j8NYgl
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cleanfreshlivin The Fam cheering the #Mavs to VICTORY tonight!!! 👏 https://t.co/dMk7L0WOju
cleanfreshlivin RT @OrganicLiveFood: Glyphosate is found in more than 75% of #rain samples n over the last decade, #glyphosate use has increased by 1,5… ht…
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