The new year is here and it’s the perfect time to detox your products – from the kitchen to your vanity. 

Greenwashing is something I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time. I learned about the term around the time I downloaded Think Dirty – if you are into learning about the ingredients found in your favorite products, you HAVE to download this app.

Anyway. If you’re wondering WTF greenwashing is, essentially it means that a company claims that a product is environmentally friendly when it is not.

Let’s dig a little deeper, k?

Story time…

I had recently downloaded the Think Dirty App and went around my house scanning items to see how toxic (or not) they were. One of the worst products I scanned was Mrs. Meyers hand wash – the scent was Rose. The rating came back from Think Dirty and it was NOT GOOD. I proceeded to look at other Mrs. Meyers scents and products and they were all on varying levels of being toxic.

What’s cool about Think Dirty is that it provides non-toxic alternatives for your favorite products that are “dirty”. So I swapped out Mrs. Meyers for Puracy products and LOVE them.

Cambridge Dictionary says greenwashing is designed “to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is.”

There are countless other case studies across all industries though – those that are not sustainable/are toxic, and serve as examples of greenwashing — like the meat mega-giant Tyson, who got busted for false claims about antibiotic-free chickens. Or the fossil fuel giant BP (who changed their name to Beyond Petroleum and put solar panels on their gas stations) and then got called out for their green misdirection, and of course Coke, who has been accused of greenwashing through ‘natural’ sugar claims that it started marketing as a way to attract more health-conscious consumers.

There are a few tried and true (and super obvious) tactics that companies that partake in greenwashing use. Think of them as signs to stay the fuck away. Here are a few to look out for when you’re shopping:

When the color green is used on packaging

If you’ve seen the color green to imply that a product is ‘green’, you’ve seen greenwashing. Like a photo or illustration of a leaf, for example. They think you’re stupid and they’re succeeding. I say that because I fell for it, too! It doesn’t make us stupid though. The best way to know for sure is to read the ingredients list to see for yourself. Many times you’ll see an ingredients list full of shitty chemicals with the illustrated leaf. It’s a bunch of bullshit.

Use of the word “vegan”

Vegan literally means that animal products are not used. Great. That gives way for a million other chemicals to be used. It does not mean that a product is safe and healthy for use.

Omitting material information

Many labels stake “free of” claims, making them sound enticing in comparison to other products that may contain said compounds and chemicals. However, a particular ingredient can still be deceptively toxic if the product, package, or service contains or uses a substance that poses similar environmental risks. This tactic is especially stealthy, as it requires that we as consumers do more extensive ingredient research.

What we can do to combat greenwashing…

The best thing that you can do is check labels diligently. On food, on beauty products, kitchen products, etc. One big one to look out for is added fragrance and color additives. Those are the easiest to spot, but if your’e wondering about a particular ingredient listed, do further research on it before making your purchase. I’ve also begun researching companies, their CEO’s, their investors, and where they source their materials and ingredients. This information is so telling. AKA: follow the money.

Lastly, download Think Dirty as the app goes over all ingredients used and their safety.

xx, Lynn

A smoothie packed with raw almond butter (and fruit and greens) was my go-to breakfast for years because I thought that I was properly fueling my body – ya know, getting in those ‘good’ fats and nutrients from fruits and veggies. There was one big problem…I dealt with stomach aches almost daily after consuming these smoothies. But I chalked it up to anxiety at the time. 

It wasn’t until long after I stopped drinking smoothies that I know the real culprit of the stomach aches.

DUN DUN DUN…NUTS. Specifically, the ALMOND BUTTER.

Now, I didn’t stop eating almond butter or nuts for that matter after I quit the smoothies until a few months ago. And yeah, each time I would eat a substantial amount of almond butter (like 2+ tablespoons), I would get a stomach ache. Still chalked it up to a side effect of anxiety.

And then I came across Dr. Raymond Peat’s work. Ray is a biologist who specializes in hormonal and metabolic health and his approach on nutrition and lifestyle is very different from all the mainstream media views and fads.  

When I first started looking at his research on dairy specifically, I was a little skpetical because what he was saying was so contrary to lots of what I’d learned before. But I leaned in to the triggering approach and applied some of the lifestyle recommendations to my life. And they worked. And they’re still working. Ray Peat challenges you to be a critical thinker when it comes to mainstream advice and in general to start thinking for yourself and not just to follow blindly what mainstream media and governments tell us to do. 

Back to the nuts. 

I read Ray Peat’s research on the negative effects of nuts and then I dove in deeper and explored other outlets and research. I was so.fucking.relieved to realize that my stomach aches were due to the nut intake. Not that I am glad about having had them, but I knew why and it wasn’t from anxiety. I haven’t had one since the last day I consumed a heavy dose of nuts. Side note: yeah, I’ve had some nuts here and there and ate a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or two recently. 😉 I just don’t go out of my way to eat them now.

Ok, if you’re like, ‘come on Lynn, just get to the damn point’ – here are 3 reasons to re-think your nut (and seed!) intake.

  1. Nuts and seeds contain high levels of the wrong fats

So many people believe nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, which in truth, they are anywhere from only 5% to 30% protein. {via}   The rest of the nuts and seeds calories come from fat.  Personally I have never been scared of eating fats. Have you ever heard the very true saying, “fats don’t make you fat”? However… I am against the anti-metabolic polyunsaturated fats (PUFA’s).  Ray Peat also has a ton of information of PUFA’s that I highly recommend reading, which covers what they are, what they’re in, etc. PUFA’s are commonly found in soy, corn, legumes, AND nuts and seeds.  The PUFA’s in nuts and seeds are actually used as protection toward hungry animals and from the cold winter weather.  However, what is protective to the seed has been shown to be toxic to humans.

According to Dr. Ray Peat:

“Polyunsaturated oils defend the seeds from the animals that would eat them, the oils block the digestive enzymes in the animals’ stomachs. In addition, seeds and nuts are designed to germinate in early spring, so their energy stores must be accessible when the temperatures are cool, and they normally don’t have to remain viable through the hot summer months. Unsaturated oils are liquid when they are cold, and this is necessary for any organism that lives at low temperatures. These oils easily get rancid (spontaneously oxidizing) when they are warm and exposed to oxygen. When the oils are stored in our tissues, they are much warmer, and more directly exposed to oxygen, than they would be in the seeds, and so their tendency to oxidize is very great. These oxidative processes can damage enzymes and other parts of cells, and especially their ability to produce energy (cellular respiration).”

  1. Raw nuts contain phytoestrogens.

Phytoestrogens are molecules from plants that resemble the body’s natural estrogen, but do not quite match it. This means that they sit at estrogen receptor sites. Sometimes they increase estrogenic activity – depending on the type of estrogen receptor present in this kind of tissue, say, in this case, the skin – and sometimes they increase it, like in the ovaries.

In either case, eating a lot of nuts can negatively impact female hormone balance. It’s worth noting at this point that combining phytoestrogenicity (this is not a real word) with inflammation is a big problem for menstrual cramps. If you have trouble with cramping and regularly eat nuts, they may be to blame. {via}

  1. Nuts are Trypsin Inhibitors

Nuts and seeds contain trypsin inhibitors.  Trypsin inhibitors, like phytates, are anti-nutrients.  Their function is to protect the seeds of plants from insects by blocking enzyme function. Just another protective mechanism mother nature has given seeds and nuts. These trypsin inhibitors prevent protease enzymes from digesting protein in the human digestive tract.  Therefore, the little bit of protein you may think you are getting from your nuts and seeds may not even be digested. {via}

Ok, now for a medical disclaimer: I am just sharing my experiences and my research here and what works for me – this might not work for you, so please don’t take it as medical advice – instead educate yourself and figure out a lifestyle that supports your optimal health and happiness. I just wanted to share it since my life changed a lot to the better ever since I started to follow my gut (literally), intuition, and research. 

Xx, Lynn

I have been on a continued health journey which has involved unlearning so much and re-learning. One of the experts who has actually walked in my shoes in the research arena and beyond is Loren de la Cruz. Loren is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP), Root Cause Protocol Consultant (RCPC), Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDNP), and more. Seriously, she has done.her.research.

So I was thrilled to be able to interview Loren on so many things in the health and wellness arena. There was so much that Loren and I could have talked about, but that podcast episode would’ve been hours and hours long.

In this episode, we talk about omega-3’s and why they’re BAD news, she shares an adrenal cocktail recipe, how to prepare your body for conception and beyond.

There are so many takeaways in this episode but I wanted to share my top 3 with you. After you read this post you will want to go listen if you don’t already, and you’re going to love it if you’re interested in upping your health game.

With that, here is Loren’s episode.

3 takeaways and topics that I think you will really enjoy hearing:

♡ Focus on nutrition before you consider adding to your diet with supplements.

I asked Loren about her stance on supplements, and we really got into it in this episode. She recommends starting first and foremost with clean water and a healthy diet. Loren gets into what a healthy diet includes and we dig deep – as in talking about ingredients added to certain foods you’ll want to avoid – but when it comes down to it, eating whole foods.

♡ Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s are not ideal for optimal health.

I don’t know about you, but I had been programmed to think that Omega-3’s are good for you. They are commonly known as omega-3s and make up DHA, EPA and ALA. Omega-3’s put a strain on our health and Loren shares a study for you to explore on why you may want to reconsider mega-dosing Omega-3’s. Omega-3’s are PUFAS, AKA Poly-Unsaturated Fat. PUFAS can do many things but a few include suppressing the immune system and affect thyroid function.

♡ How to incorporate dairy back into your diet.

I was selfishly curious to chat with Loren about adding dairy back into my diet as it is something I’m currently exploring very slowwwwwly. And that is exactly what she recommends when someone has not consumed dairy for a long amount of time. Loren also recommends starting with butter and then moving on to hard cheeses when you’re looking to reincorporate dairy. Additionally, try taking an enzyme while you’re adding dairy back into your diet can be very helpful.

xx, Lynn

Welcome to the best part of the year! I love to curate gift guides because I am one who likes to give the perfect gifts. Each of these gift ideas were carefully selected and are also some of my favorite products that I’ve used and loved for years.

You’ll find many small businesses, eco-friendly, non-toxic, and cruelty-free gifts featured here. That doesn’t mean that everything in this guide is pricey, they’re just the best. 😉 I don’t want you guys to do the work – let me showcase it all for you.

Just click on the guide above or access it here and flip through the pages.

xx, Lynn

I have been totally immersed in nutrition and wellness for a long time, however now I feel like I am truly honing in on what actually works, what’s innate to human health, and how to truly live your best life. And that starts, in part, with what we eat. The gut is the second brain – haven’t you heard?

Hippocrates said over 2,000 years ago that all disease begins in the gut. And it’s also clear that health begins in the gut.

Over 80% of the immune system resides in our gut and the gut produces 75% of our neurotransmitters! SO…we need to take care of our precious guts. {via}

Ok, now let’s get really specific on bacteria AKA gut flora in the gut. We are made up of over 100 trillion microorganisms, or bacteria, which reside in our gut. That’s 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body. Having lots and diverse gut flora promotes healthy gastrointestinal function, keeps us protected from infection and illness, helps to regulate metabolism, and recent research has even shown that a healthy microbiome can reduce anxiety. {via}

A lot of people suffer from not so ideal gut flora due to stress, antibiotics, Overuse of NSAIDs, eating a poor diet, and chronic infection.

Ok, so how the eff do we take care of our gut flora? The answer can be complex, but some general tips include:

♡ Consume whole foods

♡ Reduce inflammation by eating turmeric and ginger and remove or reduce foods that are inflammatory from your diet

♡ Take a probiotic

♡ Eat gelatinous foods

…AND here’s where we get into gelatin and specifically, the GUMMIES. Which is why you’re here, right?

Eating gelatinous foods can help protect you from getting a leaky gut. More health benefits of gelatin:

♡ Gelatin contains 18 amino acids which help balance your diet

♡ Reduces wrinkles and cellulite – like HELLO, sign me up! {via}

♡ Supports digestion

♡ Helps to build strong muscles

♡ Enhances gastric acid secretion and aids in restoring a healthy mucosal lining

♡ Reduces joint pain {via}

If you would’ve asked me months ago if I would go out of my way to purchase gelatin or gelatinous foods, I would have said “fuck no”. But referencing the beginning of this blog post, I have realllly begun to dig deep into what is best for optimal health. And I need to put my neurotic disgust with certain foods aside. And yeah, I’m still working on that. I am having a lot of issues with dairy mentally…not physically. I can’t stomach the THOUGHT of it. Gelatin is similar but not quite as bad. I’m telling you this because you might be like me. Sensitive mentally to certain foods. But I am putting my own neuroticism to the side to benefit what’s best for me. Kind of similar to what I did when I stopped being vegan.

ANYWAY.

After looking into the best ways to get gelatin, I came across gummies. Like gummy bears but healthier. The deets on the ingredients:

THE GELATIN

I did what I do best and I researched the hell out of what kind of gelatin to get and I decided on Perfect Supplements Unflavored Gelatin to make the gummies I’m about to share with you. So many gelatin brands add fillers and cut corners but Perfect Supplements does not. It’s important to purchase the right type of gelatin with abundant nutrients and amino acids. It’s rich in amino acids, minerals and is 98% protein. Gelatin is sister to collagen which is the only thing I use to up the protein in bars, shakes and smoothies. They’re nearly identical in amino acid profile, the only difference is gelatin “gels” and collagen does not.

Perfect Supplements Gelatin is exclusively sourced from pastured cows, is non-GMO and is free from hormones and pesticides.  

TART CHERRY JUICE

I knew I wanted to make gummies that were kind of sour, like sour gummy worms but without all the refined sugar. Tart cherry juice is perfectly tart and it is also rich in phytochemicals such as melatonin, the natural sleep hormone. So eating these in the evening may help you sleep in addition to healing your gut. Make sure you buy a tart cherry juice with no additives. I got mine at Whole Foods and it’s the 365 brand with zero additives or preservatives, including sugar.

HONEY TO SWEETEN

I love using a local honey to help with allergies and also to support local businesses. Honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to your gummies.

THE RECIPE:

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, pour half of the juice and sprinkle gelatin over the juice to “bloom.” Whisk to combine and set aside. It will become very thick – that’s a sign that the gelatin is blooming. 
  • Set the saucepan on medium heat, add the remaining juice. Bring to a gentle simmer, while consistently stirring to make sure all gelatin is dissolved. Set aside for a few minutes to cool. FYI this will smell like a barnyard. Not going to sugarcoat it. It’s pretty nasty…a huge turnoff. And at this point I thought, I will not be able to eat these gummies if this is how they taste or smell.
  • When gelatin and juice is slightly warm to the touch, add honey and stir well. You want to make sure not to denature the honey, so letting it cool is important before adding it in.
  • Pour in silicone candy molds – I bought these cute heart molds on Amazon and they work great. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator for 2 hours to set.
  • Invert the silicone molds to remove the gummies. Store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. Best be kept in refrigerator.

I’m pleased to tell you that the nasty barnyard smell goes away once the gummies are cooled and set, but if they do warm up, like if you leave them out for a bit, the flavor will creep back in so I like to eat mine cold. And they taste like delish tart cherry gummies!

Eating gelatinous foods like these gummies with muscle meats (think steak, chicken thighs, bacon, etc etc) is so important because it balances out the amino acids we eat when we eat meat.

Peace, love, and GELATIN!

xx, Lynn

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