The struggle has been real in finding a natural deodorant that actually works. I’ve tried most of the deodorants stocked at Whole Foods, but still haven’t found one to properly do it’s job. (The fact that the natural/organic deodorants are more expensive and packed with fillers doesn’t help either.)

Why is there a need for a natural deodorant?

Since our skin is our largest organ, we need to take measures to ensure that what we put on it is as natural as possible. Here are five harmful chemicals found in deodorant that can play a part in the diminishment of our health.

1. Aluminum Compounds

Aluminum compounds are added to deodorant to block the pores from sweating. Aluminum, like other heavy metals, may interfere with the ability of estrogen receptors to correctly process the hormone and are linked to breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

2. Parabens

Parabens are preservatives used in some deodorants and antiperspirants that have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells. This chemical disrupts hormonal balances and can lead to early puberty in children and hormone-related cancers in women and organ toxicity. The belief that parabens build up in breast tissue was supported by a 2004 study, which found parabens in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from human breast tumors.

3. Propylene glycol

When this chemical is paired with other chemical additives, it can be extremely dangerous. This ingredient causes damage to the central nervous system, liver and heart. Even in small concentrations (2 percent or less), propylene glycol provokes skin irritation in those with sensitive skin. Moreover, some manufacturers have made deodorants with 50 percent propylene glycol content. Believe it or not, you’re likely to find this in many “natural” deodorants.

4. Triclosan

Triclosan is classified as a pesticide according to the FDA. Although the FDA uses are not regulated under pesticide law, EPA considered these exposures in the aggregate risk  assessment. In deodorants, triclosan is used as an antibacterial agent and preservative, and reacts with tap water to create chloroform gas, a potential carcinogen. This chemical can also possess endocrine disrupting properties that has shown up in human breast milk and blood.

5. Steareths

Usually listed with a number (like steareth-15), these additives come from a cheap process that makes harsh ingredients more mild. The process (known as ethoxylation) produces carcinogenic 1,4-dioxanes during manufacturing.


I finally have found a simple DIY recipe that calls for basic ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen.


1/4 cup of baking soda

1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

20 drops of your favorite essential oil  *I like to use lemon as it has a fresh scent and also has antibacterial qualities*

6-8 tbs solid coconut oil


Combine baking soda and arrowroot (or cornstarch) Add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Combine the coconut oil by the tablespoon and work it in with a fork until the mixture is firm but pliable. It should be about the same consistency as commercial deodorant; solid but easy to apply. If it’s too wet, add more arrowroot powder or cornstarch. Scoop the mixture into a small container with a lid (like a 4-ounce Mason jar, or buy empty deodorant containers off of Amazon, which is what I do.) Apply with your fingertips if in a jar, or use like regular deodorant if you buy the empty containers. I store mine in the fridge, to avoid any melting.

Love Your Skin

Love Your Skin

As much as I stress the importance of fueling your body with quality, whole foods, I have also been on a personal mission to apply this mentality throughout all aspects of my life.

Yes, it’s important what we put IN our body. But what about all of the products used daily that we put ON our body?

I have a daily routine of using soaps, body lotions, face makeup, shampoo and perfume. Most of these products are all chemical ridden, and unfortunately tested on animals.

Your skin is your largest organ and absorbs up to 60 percent of what you put on it.

With the average woman putting between 12-20 chemicals on her body due to beauty products, it’s worth it to me and my well-being to dig a little deeper into the ingredients in my beauty products.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s hard to just throw away your whole collection of lotions and perfumes you have collected and spent money on over the years, but I have made a conscious decision to buy beauty products that are chemical free and NOT tested on animals.

The best thing we can do as consumers is read ingredient lists carefully in order to avoid chemicals that are known to be harmful, even though they continue to be widely used.

There is an app I found called The Think Dirty App, that helps consumers identify potentially toxic chemicals in your favorite beauty products, all by the scan of a barcode, and suggesting similar products that are cleaner.

This can help with making more conscious decisions of what we put on our bodies AND down the drains.

Over the past 3 months I have cleaned out my lotion and makeup drawer and have incorporated new products into my routine.

Kirkland’s Organic Coconut Oil– I buy this in bulk at Costco and it’s organic! Kirkland signature organic Coconut Oil is cold pressed and never chemically treated during production. Beside cooking with it as an olive oil and butter substitute, I use it as body lotion and makeup remover. It is easily absorbed into the skin and has a sweet coconut aroma. I couldn’t believe the first time I used it as makeup remover to take off my mascara, and how well it works.

Taspen’s Organics-  I have three products that I have been using from this family-owned business based out of Colorado. What I love about this company is they are passionate about safe, chemical free, organic products. Each of their products is made with high quality certified organic herbs, oils and pure essential oils. They do not contain GMO’s, gluten, parabens, petroleum, chemicals, preservatives, fragrances, synthetic or artificial ingredients and are not tested on animals.

  1.  Facial Moisturizing Cream- I use this product daily, both in the morning and night. I love that it contains high antioxidant and natural SPF containing oils.  I have the citrus scent, which is really refreshing and soothing. I am really in love with the way this makes my skin feel so hydrated.
  2. Water Resistant Sun Cream- I am a sunscreen junkie, as I’m scared to death of wrinkles. However, with the amount of sunscreen that I use, i know that I needed to find another alternative because sunscreen is FILLED with harmful chemicals. This sun cream has an equivalent to SPF 30 and needs to be reapplied every two hours.
  3. Restore and Revive Remedy Stick-  This is is my go to for scrapes, burns, cuts, dry/irritated skin and even works on my psoriasis. Basically an all natural neosporin!

Taspen’s Web site offers other products such as a facial toner, eye cream, body wash, insect repellant, diaper rash salve and baby powder among many other products.

Support local! Support organic! Support your body!

Reading Labels: Rethinking Your Meat

Reading Labels: Rethinking Your Meat

What’s the deal with all these different labels anyway and do you really understand what are buying? From packaging depicting “all natural,” “grass fed” or “organic,” the labels can be misleading and confusing.

With concerns on animal welfare, pesticides , hormones and antibiotics, you SHOULD be reading the labels, educating yourself, and thinking twice about what type of fish, poultry or meat you buy.

Flashback a year ago and my trip to the supermarket would be to head straight to the meat aisle and pick out the nicest looking and cheapest piece of meat, for no rhyme or reason. I grew up eating “normal” (what I thought was normal) conventional, cheap meat and just didn’t question it. I was never educated, or even thought to look into the quality of meat that is provided in our supermarkets.

Hold up… You mean to tell me that hormones and steroids are pumped into the foods we eat?

The average person eats between 150-200 pounds of meat each year, and added hormones and antibiotics have the ability to weaken the human body as well as kill it through unnatural cell growth. The age-old saying “We are what we eat holds true.” If we are consuming protein sources with added hormones and antibiotics, these are now in OUR bodies. Here are a couple of great articles from the USA Today and Pomegrante Market  that are worth checking regarding added growth hormones to protein sources.

We as consumers should be aware of what exactly is going into our bodies and how it affects us and be READING the labels of what we buy.

Let’s take a look at some common meat label titles and look into them a little bit.

100% Organic- The National Organic Program of the United State Department of Agriculture has standards that focus on four main areas: housing, feed, health management, and processing/packing. These animals must have access to the outdoors, must be fed organic feed, cannot be treated with antibiotics and must be processed in a certified organic processor.

Organic- Foods containing 95% organic ingredients.

Made with Organic Ingredients- Foods containing less that 70% organic ingredients and will not display the USDA seal.

Grass Fed- There are three leading “grass-fed” labels, certified by the Food Alliance, the American Grassfed Association or the USDA, requiring that animals eat a diet exclusively of grass/forage. The standards apply to ruminant animals only- beef, bison, goat, lamb and sheep.

  • USDA– USDA’s grass-fed marketing standard requires only that animals “must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.” It does not necessarily mean that the animals spent their entire lives in pastures or on rangeland. The USDA also does not address antibiotics or hormones.
  • Food Alliance– This sustainable agriculture certification program supports “healthy and humane animal treatment with no added growth promotants or subtherapeutic antibiotics; soil and water conservation; integrated pest, disease, and weed management; pesticide risk reduction; wildlife habitat and biodiversity conservation; and safe and fair working conditions.”
  • American Grassfed Association– This grassfed certification standards are a diet fed only of grass and forage from weaning until harvest, animals are raised on pasture without confinement to feedlots and never administered hormones or antibiotics.

Natural- This is probably the most misleading label of them all. The USDA defines natural meat as being minimally processed with no added preservatives or coloring. Natural labels do not touch upon animal welfare or the diet it is fed. Animals can still be given antibiotics or growth hormones and still be labeled as “natural.”

As if it wasn’t confusing enough, it’s also good to note that grass- fed is almost always organic, but organic is not necessarily grass-fed. Organic meat means the cows were fed organic grain, which they shouldn’t be eating to begin with anyway, as corn and grain upset a cow’s stomach, creating a natural acidity in their gut. It makes the cow sick allowing parasites and disease to flourish. Antibiotics now come in to play, which is administered to the cows to keep them from getting sick.

Personally, I generally always look for grass fed, hormone free and antibiotic meat when making my purchases. Did you know Whole Foods only carries hormone and antibiotic free meats? I now make all my shopping stops there. Sure, it may be more expensive than you regular “conventional” meats, but to me, knowing what is going into my body is worth it.