Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not So Lush

So I just discovered Lush in Sears/Fayette Mall this weekend (apparently its been there for 2 years and I've just walked by it everytime I've been there). I was intrigued by a store that sells so many colors and scent sof soaps, lotions, hair colors, etc and claims to be all-natural.
According to the sales associate, some of the ingredients in a few of their products are petroleum based but they are working on finding all natural and organic alternatives for the few chemical products they use. THis is good news. I grabbed their catalogue/newsletter that looks like a newspaper, and sniffed a few products before I headed out.

Well, the sales girl didn't lie. There are a few ingredients in various products that aren't natural, but the company doesn't try adn hide them. All the natural products are in green print and the chemical ones in black print throughout the catalogue. So if you want to buy a face cleanser, just look for the one without Perfume in the ingredients list (Love Lettuce mask and Angels on Bare Skin roll).
Two other things to watch for is that Lush has a few products that aren't vegan friendly (eggs and sea-shells) and a number of ingredients form other countries (for those of you who are pro-local, eco-friendly). They do have a few vegan friendly products though (their Non of Your Beeswax lip balm for example).

However, if you're looking for variety, Lush is certainly an option. They have tons of scents and colors and blends to choose from. I'm interested in trying their massage bars (with scents from relaxing lavender and neroli to stimulating black pepper and ginger) and their T'eo lemongrass deodorant.

Monday, March 14, 2011


When making the transition towards organic and detoxing my life, I had a lot of questions not only about what was healthy, but what is cheap? Like many people, I have to balance my desire for a pure lifestyle with what is reasonable.

Some of the best ways I’ve found is to be willing to make compromises. However, these need to be safe compromises. These include taking things slow. Instead of quitting all conventional cleaners and foods cold turkey, I would take things a step at a time. For every commercial cleaner I used up, I would replace it with a natural one or make a bottle of baking soda, vinegar mix. For every eyeliner I bought that wasn’t organic, I’d make sure to buy natural, organic lipstick – haha.

I did learn a few tricks though:

When it comes to buying produce, buy organic staples in the kitchen. For example, I make sure to buy organic potatoes. We eat them all the time and potatoes tend to leech toxins in the soil so easily. On the other hand I don’t stress over buying onions organic as they’ve been shown to be less likely to pull in toxins.

Here’s a short list of fruits and veggies to buy organic as they are the most likely to be filled with toxins:













Sweet Bell Peppers

A short list of non-organic produce you may not need to worry about as much:







Sweet corn, peas and potatoes




These lists are edited from the 2009 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.

Also to add to the list of things I’ve done to go green in the last post:

Add a bottle of water to the back of my toilet tank to prevent an unnecessary waste of water

Buy a EPEAT Gold label laptop made with recycled materials

Obtain a used, rather than new mattress

Give kudos to clubs for recycling bins

Friday, March 11, 2011

Eco Change

Many of you know I just finished reading Sleeping Naked is Green by Vanessa Farquharson. The book is hilarious, blunt and educational. Farquharson writes about life after making the decision to make 1 green step again for a year (which starts out as 365 days then ends up being 366 thanks to a Leap Year). I especially love the part about the horror of returning home to her green apartment after it has been house-sat by her very ungreen sister – it simply sounds like something that could happen to me…only replace sister with well-meaning but clumsy friend or other relative…not to name names. I also feel some sort of bond with the author over evil felines who run the household and resent any natural change forced upon them.

I mention this book not only because its one of the best green books I’ve read all year but also because its made me think about the healthy and/or green changes I’ve made over the past year and about the changes I’ve been meaning to make or try but haven’t gotten around to.

Changes I have made and am proud of:

Switching to bottled water over tap, which includes the change for my husband and my cat

Re-wearing clothes as often as possible

Re-using towels

Buying organic root vegetables

Enforcing a 1 green vegetable a day rule

Use less detergent for dishes and clothes

Use organic or eco-friendly sponges

Recycle cans and bottles as regularly as possible

Support local co-op and fair trade stores

Research local eco-friendly activities

Make my own bath and beauty products

Integrate more raw foods into my diet

Try switching to a natural cat food (and was forced to switch back after Halloween threatened to fast for her right to choose her food)

Walk to work when weather and time permits

Use organic honey gathered by Damon’s grand-father

Use organic beeswax in products

Create a healing hemp salve to use on wounds

Research and promote legal hemp agriculture in Kentucky

Rent DVDs and borrow books from library rather than buying new

Buy only used books, movies and music from Half Price Book Store

Support Raw vegan stores, educators, etc. with co-opetitions like Best of Raw and Hot Raw Chef

Commend public places for their green efforts such as recycling bins and organic choices

Insist on recycled paper when discussing publishing of new book

Eat humanely raised beef

Use ceramic pots and pans

Support eco-charities

Use incense and oil burners instead of air freshener

Meditate and promote a relaxing, natural health-style

Choose almond milk over cow’s milk

Use Pine Pollen as a health supplement

Switch to fluoride-free toothpaste

Switch to natural deodorant

Remind myself and everyone there are more important things in the world than post after post of why they hate Beiber, Twilight and Lady .

Start my own eco-friendly business

Changes I still want to try:

Go 75-100% Raw Vegan for 1 month

Switch to organic cat-litter if Halloween permits

Buy shower water filter

Research switching to bio-diesel

Invest in some handkerchiefs

Request organic alcohol when out

Invest in bicycles for outdoor dates

Buy and use recycled razors, toilet paper, paper towles, etc

Recycle all recyclables

Attend Lexington Green Drinks and some other local green activities.

Find a green job…or work for a place with green ethics

Have book picked up by a green publisher

Switch from bottled water to re-usable jugs of water refilled at Good Foods

Research fair trade or humanely, sustainably mined silver, gold and other jewelry related materials

Figure out the best way to prevent pregnancy preferably without ingesting toxins on a daily or monthly basis

Support Anima School and other eco, green, natural, etc groups.

Eat local – especially once the farmers market starts back up

Try Magnesium Calm and Adya Clarity

Try out natural dental care products and use a recycled toothbrush

Stop eating fast food all-together

Teach a class or two on how to make natural products, henna, etc.

Have an eco-charity, EcoGoth promoting club night

Ask for and give green gifts for Christmas and birthdays

Green my kitchen

Green my lighting

Invest in a personal solar panel for phone, computer, etc.

Buy only used or organic clothing

Buy a recycled rubber purse – not something I need…just think they’re cool

Only use my thermoses for water, tea and juice

Learn Mandarin…not green or anything just feel that if I post it on here I’ll be more motivated to actually do it.

Request to not receive receipt, recycle all receipts given to me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I am sooooo lame. I haven't blogged through February and I totally forgot to post my congrats for the Best of Raw winners (which everyone was a winner for being so cool as to create the media, businesses, foods, etc and just being awesome people...I corny) and the Winners of the Living Light Hot Raw Chef Contest (actually my congrats for this was on the EcoGoth blog).

I wanted to especially congratulate Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes-Monarch for their high score votes all through the co-opetition. Their blogs were the top two, their radio show number 1, their t.v. show on YouTube came second, and their store was NUMBER 1! Wooh-hoo! I personally love The Raw Food World and order a few of my own products there (both for myself and for EcoGoth). Maybe they'll be up for another Best of Raw catagory, best retreat? I love seeing all the work they do on their property in Vilcabamba, Ecuadore.

I also wanted to send out my love to Kevin and Annamarie Gianni. I love their show and totally voted on Kevin Gianni as top raw educator because his book High Raw inspired me so greatly that I created EcoGoth and worked on my non-fiction writing more. The Renegade Health Show is great and encourages viewers not only to incorporate more raw foods into their life but also informs them that its not just about what you eat but also about what you do. The Giannis also host a number of webinars, interviews, etc. I loved the Great Health Debate that went on in February. Be sure to check them out.

Sorry I'm kind of playing favorites today on the blog. Everyone else on the Best of Raw competition is awesome of course. I mention The Raw Food World and Renegade Health couples only because they have had the most impact on me over the last year as I slowly reform my life and my health. Thanks.

Congrats also goes to Amber Shea Ford who won the Hot Raw Chef contest through Living Light. I thought she was adorable and her recipe so easy to transfer from raw gormet how to show into our own kitchens. See my full thoughts and congrats on the EcoGoth Blog.

Herbal Contraceptives

I am going to be blunt (I know, I know, nothing new here right? I mean I am the same person who wrote a whole article about constipation and the Perfect Bowel Movement...and continued this phase through a whole webinar ont he topic...I am sadly forever labeled the Poo Lady by my own family) today I am going to blog about menstruation and contraceptives.
That's right guys, I'm tlaking about my period. Men can now run for cover if you were reading at all.

There are so many ways to relieve colds, flus, aches and pains naturally in the world but when I go to ask about how to prevent pregnancy, regulate my periods (or stop them all together) I am immediately recommended a pill that has so many varieties and side effects I almost have an axiety attack over the choices. Everytime I'm around a tv that has cable (not ours) I see ad after ad for birth control and just as many ads of lawyers calling all women who have suffered from side effects of birth control to submit their cases to the courts (if they're still alive, that is). Its crazy!

I come from a background of having the worst periods in the history of woman-kind. I bled too much, had horrible pain, low iron, etc. At one point I bled off an on for three weeks straight (I was afraid I was dying by the end of it though my doctor assured me he knew of no cases of a woman bleeding to death because of her period...then again he was male...). Too much information? Yeah, however, I just want to add that I've heard story after story of other women who have had similar problems. One friend of mine spent years having to go through a box of pads a period because she bled so heavy.

On a side note I totally recommend moon pads. Yes they are reusable pads made of fabric that you can wash in your washing machine. This may sound icky but seriously? Whats ickier? A bag of used pads or tampons made up of plastics and other non-biodegradable junk going into a landfill or throwing the re-usable unmentionable in the washer with other intimates? Plus, you'll save sooo much money in the long run.
What about the moon cup? Eh...I give kudos to women who use it and love it. I have never used one. I have a friend who has and was frustrated by the inability to wash it out in public restrooms. Another friend pointed out how small it seemed and if you bleed heavy...well you get the point.

Now, I know there are many herbs out there that can be utilized ot relieve cramps, bloating, fatigue, moodiness and all the other symptoms of PMS and PMDD. I think most tea brands have at least one blend that is said to sooth even the most tempermental woman on her period. I have no issue with these blends as I have used them myself and have been happy with them.
My argument is on the lack of herbal birth control.
I'm married but that doesn't mean I'm ready to spawn. However, this doesn't mean I want a load of toxins filling my body and making me susceptable to breast cnacer, stroke, heart attack, etc.

I did some research on natural birth control. The most common suggestion is to follow your cycle and abstain from sex during your most fertile week or set of days. This is a fine suggestion for someone who is regular. I, however am not nor have I ever had a period that could really be planned on.

When researching herbal birth control I found a few sites that had articles on how research was being done, how women who used to practice or prescribe herbs to prevent pregnancy were persecuted as witches, and a number of sites that listes herbs that could indeed prevent pregnancy but also make the woman infertile forever or poison them...
So...not much info available. I followed the leads I had on the herbs suggested to prevent pregnancy and that were currently being tested. The gist of this research is in my article Herbal Contraceptives on Suite 101.

I don't plan to try any of these natural contraceptives any time soon as I'm not sure I want to risk a chance at getting pregnant. My main point is to relay the research and encourage others to look into it. Maybe if more women showed an interest then perhaps more research will be done and an herb or natural contraceptive will be proven.