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All About Holly Pellham Davis

Clean Fresh Kids

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Photo From D Moms Daily 

 

By Holly Pellham Davis

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Oh, the joys of a freshly sharpened pencil and brand-new school supplies! (They still make me happy to this day.) What do you say we increase the joys by ensuring our kiddo’s back to school goods are safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly?

Sadly, many school supplies are made with toxic chemicals that can cause asthma, allergic reactions, endocrine or hormone disruption, cancer, and neurological damage. Suffice it to say that definitely doesnʼt make this mama happy.

With the ban of six phthalates in childrenʼs toys in 2008, some ground was made in the crusade to rid our environment of dangerous chemicals. I say a “some” because these same chemicals that were banned from childrenʼs toys, are commonly found in school supplies.

Hereʼs what to look for to protect your child:

 

 

Plastic Binders & Folders: Look for PVC- free, non-vinyl labels or purchase paper binders and folders like Greenroom brand found at Target. With soy-based ink and recycled paper, it’s a green brand that I adore.

Writing & Erasers: Choose markers labeled “no / low odor.” Most permanent markers (aromatic solvent-based) contain xylene, a neuro, kidney and respiratory toxin. Opt for eco-friendly wooden pencils and only pink erasers. White or colored erasers contain phthalates. Avoid grips and cushioned wraps on pens and pencils that contain phthalates.

Paperclips: Avoid using plastic coated paper clips or any metal supplies coated in plastic. They might be cute, but they are made of PVC.

Art supplies & Glues: Polymer clays contain PVC and while they have an “AP” approved rating, no test has ever proven its safety for children. Paints can contain heavy metals used for pigments, so use caution. And stay away from rubber cement glues that contain hexane, and stick with good oleʼ Elmer’s.

Pencil Cases: Especially watch out for those high-gloss or faux leather pouch holders and pencil cases. Dig for a label and beware of anything made of PVC. Opt for hemp, fabric, poly, or nylon cases.

Backpacks & Lunch Boxes: Many licensed lunch boxes and backpacks that have been cited as containing PVC, so be sure to always look for a PVC free label. Also avoid products with the recycle3 or letter V within the recycle symbol as well as plastic coatings in water bottles. Stainless steel is your best bet for re-usable water bottles. And steer clear of neoprene lunch bags and products, as Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that uses lead as a compounding agent.

Here are my top ten picks for PVC -free backpacks and lunch boxes:

  1. JanSport
  2. Garnet Hill
  3. High Sierra
  4. Lands End
  5. Eco Gear
  6. L.L. Bean
  7. Thermos
  8. ECO Lunchbox (Sold at Whole Foods & REI)
  9. To-Go Ware
  10. Wildkin (available at Target)

 

Other Tips:

  • Ensure any nap mats are made of organic materials such as Sewn Natural.
  • Do not purchase any products made of Polycarbonate (recycle PC, 7) or Styrene (recycle PS, 6) or Poly Styrene filled.
  • If a product is not labeled clearly, contact the manufacturer with questions. Let your congressman know, the Consumer Product Safety Act section 108, should be expanded to protect all citizens from toxic office and school supplies. Share the knowledge by forwarding this information through your community and inquire with your child’s school about their use of supplies and products potentially containing hazardous chemicals.
  •  
  • Finally, use your dollars to only purchase products that are safe for our world. 
Our children are only as healthy as their environment.

 

Happy (green) back to school,

Holly

 

 

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By Holly Pellham Davis

 

Thereʼs nothing that says “Summer” like flip flops and a snow cone, but do they have to come with crude oil, artificial ingredients, chemicals and the multitude of potential health risks associated with these all to common toxic substances?

 

“No way!”, says me.

 

So letʼs do a little summer product makeover and replace these bad boys with non-toxic, safe, environmentally friendly options sure to keep your kiddos cool, happy, and healthy!

 

 

1) FLIP FLOPS

The No-Go: “ Jellyʼs “ or plastic varieties of flip flops are cheap and so darn c-u-t-e, but they have a dirty little secret. They are commonly made of PVC, also called "the poison plastic," which contains harmful plasticizers including BPA, a known endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in the body, increasing risk of breast cancer, testicular cancer, and causing reproductive problems. PVC is also destructive to the environment and can not be cleanly recycled without creating highly carcinogenic and deadly dioxane. The chemicals in the plastic flip flops degrade with body heat and are absorbed into the body. These chemicals bio-accumulate making them especially concerning and harmful. Look for the PVC materials label on the product, although it it not always labeled as such. 

The Clean Fresh Flip Flop Alternative: We want Flip Flops that stay true to their native feel, so make sure they are made of earth materials like natural rubber (not synthetic which contains crude oil). These cutie patooties from Planet Flops hit the green trifecta by being non-toxic, planet friendly, and cute.. Also, Feelgoodz (available at Whole Foods too!)  do just that with use of their natural rubber & hemp materials and super fun designs for the entire fam including little boys who sometimes get the short end of the stick in the cute shoes department.

 

2) DEODORANT

The No-Go: Letʼs face it, a hot Texas summer can create LOTS of stink… but thereʼs no reason to douse ourselves & puberty entering kiddos with chemical cocktails! Store shelves & bathroom cabinets alike are chock full of aluminum -containing antiperspirants which prevents the body from sweating but also is a brain toxin attributed to alzheimerʼs, dementia, and kidney problems. Further AL bio- accumulates making repeated exposure high risk. Deodorants and antiperspirants (perfumes and colognes as well) contain artificial fragrances, such as carcinogenic synthetic musk, heavy metals, crude oil/petrolatum, and parabens, which act as estrogens and promote the growth of cancer cells. They can also contain other chemicals designed to transfer the chemicals deeper into your skin like propylene glycol (found in anti-freeze) or anti-bacterials like triclosan, which are proven endocrine disruptors and are passed into breast milk (Triclosan also reacts with chlorinated water). “Crystal” versions are really no better for you, as they only possess different toxic ingredients. Bottom line, itʼs no “Secret” that we need to “Ban” these and other toxic chemicals from deodorants and antiperspirants to a large “Degree.”

 

1


The Clean Fresh Deodorant Alternatives: We have tested a LOT of deodorants, and Iʼll be honest, if you’re really sweating, youʼre probably going to need to keep your arms by your side and discreetly head towards the bathroom where you can grab a soapy wet towel for a quick wipe off. But on your average day, you should be more than fine and your body systems will thank you as they work as they are designed to rid your body of toxins, not accumulate more. Alternative, clean deodorants are especially vital for kids and teenagers as their hormones are raging (we certainly do not need chemicals mimicking and interfering with them). Above are a few of our faves that keep us smelling sweet! Weleda has a few different scents. My daughter and I use the Rose which is wonderful and refreshing. My son likes the Sage which is fresh and pleasant. You can find them at Natural Grocer or Whole Foods. My husband prefers the Natureʼs Gate.

 

3)SPRAY SUNSCREENS

The No-Go: Deep breath. This is a hot issue for me. Spray sunscreens should be banned from existence. They contain harmful chemicals and nano mineral (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) particles that can be inhaled and enter the bloodstream through the lungs with the possibility of causing damage to vital organs. The FDA recently banned all SPF (nano) from loose mineral powders, due to this health risk. If you prefer a spray, please choose a pump instead of an aerosol and use a stick SPF on the face which gives better coverage without the added risk. Also be sure to look for brands without chemical sunscreens such as avobenzone and oxybenzone and refrain from applying spray sunscreens in public places, as it will put others at risk.

The Clean Fresh No-Spray Sunscreen Alternatives: Best advice is to stick with a mineral-based, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30. Make sure it is free of vitamin A and chemical ingredients that enhance skin absorption such as octinoxate. Also avoid sunscreen/bug repellent combos. My favorite healthy sunscreen for kiddos are the Badger Face Stick and Aubrey lotion. For myself, I love Renee Rouleau Age Defense MoisturizerEco Brand Sunscreen,  and Raw Elements Sunscreen.

 

4) LIP BALM

The No-Go: Thereʼs nothing worse than toxic kisses… Sadly, most lip balms aimed at kiddos are just that. Underneath the colorful packaging and candy-flavored goodness, they’re filled with high levels of crude oil by way of petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin flavored in saccharin. Oh and don’t forget the crude oil based dyes, toxic chemicals, fragrance, and heavy metals. YIKES!

The Clean Fresh (& Kissable) Lip Balm Alternative: I am addicted to lip balm. I have it by my bedside, in the console of my car, on my desk…everywhere! My very favorite lip balm on the planet is MyChelle Love Your Lips  in Raspberry Cherry Pineapple. It has good stuff in it like coconut oil, smells good naturally without any artificial fragrances and chemicals, and, most important, can be used by kids without fear they are harming their health. I have given away dozens of these and always hear how much people love them.

 

5) SNOW CONES

The No-Go: Who doesnʼt like an refreshing and yummy snow cone, shaved ice, or icy-pop on a steaming hot day? I have several festive friends that have snow cone machines armed and ready! Itʼs such a bummer that neon blue, bright red, and psychedelic yellow have to be full of petro chemical based dyes, highly processed sweeteners, artificial flavorings, preservatives, binders, and chemicals that cause allergic reactions, hyperactivity and are just plain not good for your health.

The Clean Fresh Snow Cone Alternative: Just like there are alternatives to artificial colors and flavors in candy, there are alternatives in snow cone syrups! Try ordering some of these organic snow cone syrups from Natures Flavours. (The blueberry and strawberry would be perfect for July 4th). You may have to compromise on super bright, multi colors, but you will not compromise your families health by eating them – and the best part is, they still taste great and help you beat the heat!

 

Happy Healthy Summer!
XOXO, Holly

 

 

 

 

By: Holly Pellham Davis

 

To ensure we get the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals we need to grow and thrive, nature has given us an innate desire to eat bright, deep, colorful foods designed to support survival.

Cut to modern day.

Food companies have created scores of incredibly alluring and successful products built on that basic biological need, mostly ADVERTISED to our CHILDREN....

There are rainbow colored sprinkles in “yogurt,” brightly-hued beverages, fluorescent breakfast cereals, technicolor red “cherry” Jell-O, shelves teaming with gums, candies, lollipops (and even vitamins) in every color of the rainbow, and, the latest to make headlines, (yay Food-Babe) the “yellowest” of yellow#5 and yellow #6, Mac n Cheese.

To be fair, its not all about bright colors. What about caramel color (not the real caramel you melt in a saucepan)? Recently found to be highly carcinogeniccaramel color is commonly added to colas, sauces, baked goods, and candies.

So, what‘s  the big fuss you ask?

 

Well, consider the following:

  • Most artificial dyes are made from crude oil (coal-tar colors).
  • Artificial dyes from these petro-chemicals contain mercury, lead, arsenic.
  • Artificial dyes are commonly made in China.

 
According to The Feingold® Association, ingesting artificial dyes made from crude oil/petroleum can cause or contribute to the following:

  • Headaches
  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • ADD
  • Hyperactivity
  • Mood swings, tantrums, and fits
  • Deceases “good” bacteria in the gut and increases the bad
  • Alters gut microbiota and can damage intestinal wall
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Cancer

 
And they are not just in our foods and beverages. Artificial dyes can be found in toothpaste, medications, and cosmetics. In cosmetics, the likelihood of fragrance is also high, which too, is commonly made from a petroleum base. Yet food companies insist on using these dyes in lieu of safe and healthy food-derived natural colors to cut costs and increase profits…all at the expense of our health.
 
To date, the FDA has revoked its approval of 91 dyes that were once widely used in food. Further, according to The Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, “There are currently only seven coal-tar colors that have FDA approval for general use in foods (Blue nr 1, Blue nr 2, Green nr 3, Red nr 3, Red nr 40, Yellow nr 5, and Yellow nr 6). Two others, Orange B and Citrus Red nr 2, are allowable only in very narrow applications.” Not one of the remaining seven colors (really nine) should be considered “safe” by the FDA. In fact, many are banned across the globe.
 
The fact that the dyes are used in foods most commonly advertised for children should be of particular interest to mothers (and fathers). The FDA states, despite animal studies, science and plain old common sense (that crude oil isn’t good to feed to kids), that these additives are “recognized as safe” but, I’ve yet to come across a single study of the effects of these additives on children — the number one target of food companies.
 
But the good news is that our personal choices are powerful. Here’s what we can do.

  1. Do not purchase products containing colors on the ingredient label, especially with a number after them, as companies use them to save money. Instead, use your money to support organic brands.
  2. Petition or stand with others to convince the FDA to remove these artificial colors from its approved list.

 

Ok.. I must add one thing that’s bugging me.  I often tell my kids that just because its labeled “natural” does not always mean its good for you… For example, some “natural” food colorings are actually chopped insects(Holy &^%#!)  Public champion, Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA regarding industry bug use, citing an onslaught of allergic reactions. (And hello, it’s just plain gross.) The FDA partially relented by making it mandatory for companies to list on ingredient labels as: “ carmine and cochineal extract. “

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I want no part of a crude oil, tar-basted, belly-up bug on my dining table! So, join me in keeping ourselves and families free of these toxic and disease causing color additives in our food, medicine, and cosmetics. 

Together we can color our world, clean, fresh, and healthy.

 

With you,

Holly Davis 

 

 

 

By: Holly Pellham Davis

 

The single most mind blowing piece of literature on health I have ever read comes from Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter at The New York Times, Michael Moss, in his just released book, "Salt Sugar Fat."

While I have hypothesized, known for some time to some degree, and am not shocked by the findings, revelations, and insider trade secrets that Moss masterfully accounts in his book, it is, none the less, life changing information.

Reading this book was an emotional experience for me. I was struck with feelings of betrayal, disgust, disbelief…anger. Learning of the hypocrisy and greed of an entire industry at the expense of health in children and adults alike was sobering. It’s a slow death killing field out there, with corporations manipulating the public (and pharmaceutical companies waiting in the wings, eager to “save the day”) with “family friendly” images, falsely pretending to be worthy of consumers trust, while chemists are busy at work creating concoctions in laboratories that promise to get consumers addicted to their product by achieving a “ bliss point.”

 

Moss pierces the veil of secrecy, exposing a food and beverage industry that plots and plans ways to get our children craving their products at a young age in order to build brand loyalty. These companies make foods “craveable” with just the right balance of salt, sugar, and fat (the holy grail), which, in turn, causes the brain to respond like that of a cocaine addict, wanting more and more, all in the name of increasing profit.

While processed food corporations cited in the book like Kraft, Frito-Lay, and Coca-Cola increase profits, many of our loved ones are filling doctors offices, hospitals, and funeral homes due to health problems like obesity, diabetes, alzheimer’s (termed Type 3 Diabetes), and heart disease. Due to our dependence on diets high in salt, fat, and sugar, these diseases are at epidemic levels and continue to rise. After a failed attempt in 1999 to gather the super powers in the processed food and soda industry to address the alarming warning signs of a country in a health crisis, attention quickly shifted to creating foods that seemed to be a healthier choice, deepening the deceit.

Yes, I know everyone has free will and a choice of what they put in their mouth. But in my opinion, to knowingly create something with the intent to cause a human to become addicted, knowing that a product will do them harm, is no different than Phillip Morris making cigarettes and enticing kids to smoke.

So, why are the food and beverage companies so enamored with sugar, salt, and fat?

  • Sugar:  It’s a miracle ingredient. It extends shelf life, makes everything taste better, creates a chemical bliss feeling in the brain, and creates long-lasting cravings for more, addictive properties. Sugar is also sourced as starch (think potato chip) which converts to sugar and absorbed more rapidly than common sugar.
  • Salt:  It immediately tantalizes the taste buds (especially Kosher Salt which has a hollow molecular structure allowing it to react more powerfully with foods.) It extends shelf life, adds crunch, color, and creates a sense of “flavor burst.”
  • Fat:  It has twice the calories of sugar, but there is no “bliss point” for fat. When combined with sugars ‘s sweetness, our brain is tricked into wanting to eat more fat than we normally would if we consumed it on its own.

 

The attributes above merely scratch the surface. This video expands on some of the findings contained in Moss’ book. I have only briefly highlighted the surface here. You can also read an excerpt of the book on The New York Times website.

And, for those of you ready to dive in completely, I would highly recommend purchasing the book.

Knowledge is power…Knowledge also brings responsibility. Increase your knowledge. Use your power to chose foods made to fuel you, not fool you.

 

"Mom Crusader,"  Holly Davis

 

 

 

Brominated Vegetable Oil:

PepsiCo agreed to remove BVO (Bromine) from Future Citrus Gatorade selections, but declined to remove it from Mountain Dew and Amp.
Coca Cola will still use BVO in its Fanta Orange & Powerade drinks stating that it believes its safe.

The FDA has allowed BVO in the food supply "on an interim basis" for $) Years (Gasp!!!) That was 1970.... HOWEVER< THE RATS that were fed it for 80 days in 1969 did NOT feel that way... In fact, it made them sick from high levels of toxicity, liver distress etc... I wonder what it does to the small children drinking it at soccer practice???

Europe- Not Approved
Japan- Banned
India-Banned

Check Out the "company" BVO keeps on the FDA's Interim List:

 
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Here's a Very Cute, Catchy Video Lightly Educating on the Dangers of Sugar. I hope parents will share it with their Children.

 

EDUCATION is KEY to Health... You must CARE about what you are putting into your Body for your Children to Care about themselves. I have to say with this Video, I am concerned that some people switch to Alternative Sweeteners. They are Extremely dangerous - any parent allowing their children to consume Diet Cokes etc is Child Abuse in my book - even some alternative's touted as "Natural" are not acceptable.

 

I also don't like the Bears pouring the Soda's out into the Ocean. Our Oceans are filled with garbage as it is... But, its a Great Video ;)

 

 

 

Video originally posted at www.therealbears.org/#video 

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