Safer Sunscreen

☀️ Summer is here and we’re outside more and using sunscreen more and on more of our bodies. But how do you know your sunscreen is safe? Does the label say dermatologist recommended? Did you find it at Whole Foods? Unfortunately those alone aren’t enough.

The Environmental Working Group recommends a mineral sunscreen that provides a physical barrier between you and the sun. But sometimes those even have junk in them.

Have you used this Sunscreen from Neutrogena?

NO THANK YOU:

AVOBENZONE – chemical sunscreen; not reef safe; concerns of damage to the DNA with exposure to UVA light

OCTOCRYLENE – chemical sunscreen; not reef safe

PEG-100 STEARATE – known to be contaminated with carcinogens

DISODIUM EDTA – linked to organ toxicity

FRAGRANCE – a blanket term for many ingredients that do not have to be disclosed because it is proprietary

Have you used this Sunscreen from Aveeno?

NO THANK YOU:

AVOBENZONE, OCTOCRYLENE, FRAGRANCE, PEG-100 STEARATE, and DISODIUM EDTA for the same reasons listed above.

OXYBENZONE – linked to reproductive hormone disruption like degraded sperm quality and endometriosis

Have you tried the baby line from Neutrogena?

This labeling is a good example of Green Washing. It uses words like “pure”, “eczema association accepted”, and “#1 dermatologist recommended”. It sounds good and it is certainly better – it is a zinc based sunscreen (mineral sunscreen). This is a recent reformulation. Here is what the EWG used to rate this sunscreen as:

This sunscreen from Alba Botanicals must be better, right?

NO THANK YOU:

AVOBENZONE and OCTOCRYLENE for the same reasons listed above.

HOMOSALATE – possible endocrine disruptor; linked to organ toxicity; sunlight breaks down this chemical into toxic byproducts.

CITRUS PEEL OIL – sensitizes the skin to UV rays (which is why I do not recommend citrus essential oils applied topically to skin that will be getting sun exposure).

**All information about ingredients obtained from the EWG’s app Healthy Living.

I hope that learning this doesn’t make you feel fearful. My intention is to empower you with knowledge, because once you know better, you can make the empowered decision do better.

And, luckily, Beautycounter’s Countersun has made on the EWG’s recommended sunscreen list! It is my go-to sunscreen because it is 1) effective, 2) safe for me, and 3) safe for the planet.

What’s your go-to sunscreen?

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Strawberries

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Strawberries

This is the most exciting of all the foods and it’s likely not new for most people. There is just something about strawberries that I just can’t get enough of. For me, berries also mean summer. Ahhhhhhh. I’m pretty much a snob about my berries though…I only eat fresh berries when they are in season and I only buy them from Tomatero Organic Farm in Watsonville, CA. I choose Tomatero for three reasons: 1) They are local and organic. Organic is a big deal with strawberries as they absorb many of the pesticides that are sprayed on them and they are consistently on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen. 2) They grow several varieties of strawberries, all of them great, but this season I have been loving the Sweet Anne. 3) Also, I used to slang berries for them at local farmer’s markets for four years. You know, the whole “know the farmer” idea. 4) They are the best!!!! (I know, I said three reasons 😉

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests serving strawberry sauce on pancakes instead of syrup. I LOVE that idea. I also had sliced strawberries in a turkey sandwich with arugula (think: turkey and cranberry sauce) at an amazing place called Centrally Grown in Cambria, CA.

Food Facts:

  • Wild berries and heirloom varieties have more nutritional value and more phytonutrients.
  • Strawberries do not continue to ripen after they have been harvested, so should be
    picked ripe. This also means that if your strawberry has traveled some distance to arrive to you, they are being picked when only three-quarters ripe.
  • Underripe strawberries are less nutritious than fully ripe berries. (Maybe we should all just grow our own, huh?)
  • Most supermarket berries are large, firm, white-fleshed, and hollow. This variety has been chosen because of their ability to travel well and last longer. There are many other varieties with other flavor profiles, softer textures, pink flesh, and juicy. I HIGHLY encourage you to go the farmers market and taste them all.
  • Jo Robinson, of Eating on the Wild Side, suggests that consumers up their standards for produce, especially for berries, so that the stores will have to supply higher quality produce (ripe, not moldy, flavorful, etc.).
  • Organic berries offer more of an anti-cancer effect than conventional berries.
  • The antioxidant activity of berries increases when left out at room temperature. The antioxidants contained in strawberries include: ellagic acid, anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
  • They help to fight against inflammation, cancer, and heart disease.
  • Good source of vitamin C, folate, and manganese. They are also rich in vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Good source of fiber.

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard.

Photo Credit: Luv Kreativ Photography https://www.instagram.com/luvkreativ/?hl=en

The 52 New Food Challenge – Peaches

Welp, I’ve fallen off the wagon. The “post a new food each week” wagon. But this week I’m getting back on the wagon. Rather than trying to play catch up for about 2-3 months worth of foods, I’m just going to start with the current food of the week: PEACHES!!

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests that you grill peaches (I’ve done this: YUM!), make peach ice cream, or try making fruit leather. Recently I made some paleo turkey meatballs with Thai chili and peach jam. Jim said, “the peaches are what make this dish!”. 

A little background: I started this challenge to encourage myself, a notoriously picky eater, to try and to LIKE more foods. This is my first post on the blog, but I’ve been posting these since December 2014 on my Facebook page and my Instagram page. I was a very picky eater as a kid, and although, I’m much less picky now, there are still more vegetables that I would like to ENJOY eating. From personal experience, I’ve found that the more often that I am exposed to a vegetable, the more I like it. This has been my experience with Kale, Beets, Tomatoes, and Cilantro.

Food Facts:

  • Peaches and nectarines are identical except for one gene – the “fuzziness” gene (it also happens to affect a couple of other minor traits)
  • Nectarines can spontaneously appear on peach trees and vice versa (WOW!)
  • Stone fruits, including peaches, are picked when unripe and continue ripening after being picked but if not kept in ideal conditions, they become mealy, brown, leathery, or dry. This is what causes most conventional grocery store peaches to leave people feeling disappointed. (read: buy your peaches at the farmers’ market)
  • White-fleshed peaches and nectarines have more antioxidants than yellow-fleshed peaches and nectarines
  • The white-fleshed fruits are also sweeter
  • Peaches and nectarines are consistently on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, so you should buy organic and eat the skins (it is the most nutritious part)
  • Peaches and nectarines are good sources of vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, niacin, and copper. Peaches are also a good source of vitamin K and manganese
  • Good source of fiber
  • High in antioxidants – especially carotenoids and flavonoids (white-fleshed have less carotenoids)
  • Peach extract has been shown to inhibit breast cancer cell growth
  • They help to protect against Heart Disease, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome

From The 52 New Food Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Super Foods by Tonia Reinhard

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

peaches - in season in august
Peaches – In season, in August