Today I want to discuss toothpaste. Specifically Charcoal toothpastes. ALL charcoal toothpastes are BAD for you. I’ll just get that out there first.

This is so important to note because 1. toothpaste is in your mouth every single day, multiple times per day, and 2. all companies who sell charcoal toothpastes are lying to you for profit.

I have never felt so infomerical-y writing that, but it’s true, and I am so, so disappointed that it is legal to sell in the United States. Note: The American Dental Association (ADA) has not approved charcoal toothpaste as being safe to use.

I started using charcoal toothpaste out of curiosity about a year ago, and used it for about 6 months. Over the summer, Smile Brilliant asked if I wanted to work with together, and we began our working relationship. When I told my contact there that I was using charcoal toothpaste, she warned me of the dangers and sent me this link.

HOLY SHIT.

After reading this, I did a LOT of online research around charcoal toothpaste. And I mean a lot (just call me Doogie Howser).

Here is what I came up with {source}:

Not only do you risk overdose, several other risks of using charcoal toothpaste have been brought forward.  The biggest concerns include:

Abrasiveness. Used regularly charcoal can damage tooth enamel and gum tissue.

Over-absorption. Charcoal may absorb beneficial items such as needed medications.

Constipation. Intestinal blockages and constipation can be a result of long term use of charcoal, in addition to black stools and a discolored tongue.

After effects. Even those who love charcoal toothpaste report needing to use regular toothpaste after a charcoal treatment to rinse it away and give fresh breath, otherwise a black residue may remain

No fluoride. Charcoal toothpaste can’t be used in place of regular toothpaste as it doesn’t contain the necessary component of fluoride, which fights dental decay. “Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and can cut tooth decay by up to 40 percent.” Source: Daily Burn

Unknown safety. There are few studies on the benefits of charcoal as a dietary supplement, so both short and long-term effects are unknown.

Unknown effectiveness. Charcoal’s whitening effect is largely speculative. There have been no scientifically accepted studies that confirm charcoal’s whitening claims.

So, I quit using it as soon as I knew about the dangers. And I am sad to report that I have seen permanent damage from using a charcoal toothpaste: my enamel has been worn off on several of my teeth. This is devastating as I have put so much effort into the health of my teeth, from getting braces as a young teenager, making sure that I brush and floss regularly, and whiten my teeth.

The next step: I am visiting my dentist this month to explore options for restoring my teeth. If anyone has had experience with this, please let me know. I will also be pursuing a class action lawsuit against the toothpaste brand that I used.

I hope that my blog post prevents someone from ever using charcoal toothpaste.

xo, Lynn

Learning how to chart your basal body temperature, combined with other signs of fertility is very eye opening. Let’s just say that before I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I paid no attention nor had no idea about what was going on in my body.

I wrote a blog post awhile back about going off of birth control, which was scary and exciting at the same time. You can read it HERE for more details, but what I really wanted to do was rid myself of synthetic hormones and just let my body do its thing.

Before I gained the knowledge on how to track my cycles and what to expect at different times throughout my cycle, I thought thought that things were just the same until aunt Flo comes to town, and that conception can occur anytime you’re not on your period. Nope.

Why don’t they teach these things in school?

There are several factors to track when you’re tracking your ovulation whether it’s for the purpose of natural birth control (or FAM) or for trying to conceive. The top 3 are:

♡ Tracking your basal body temperature (BBT)

♡ Tracking your cervical fluid

♡ Tracking your cervical position

Today I’m focusing on BBT.

What is BBT?

Your basal body temperature (BBT) is your lowest body temperature in a 24-hour period. You’ll need to measure it every day for a few months to see if there’s a predictable pattern to your cycle that will allow you to estimate when you’ll ovulate.

To get an accurate reading, you need to use a basal thermometer, which is sensitive enough to measure minute changes in body temperature. {source}

Take your temperature when you first wake up in the morning – before you DO ANYTHING, even getting out of bed. I take my temperature before I even take a sip of water.

Before ovulation, your BBT may range from about 97.2 to 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit. But the day after you ovulate, you should see an uptick of 0.5 to 1.0 degree in your BBT, which should last until your next period. (You may notice your temperature occasionally spiking on other days, but if it doesn’t stay up, you probably haven’t ovulated yet.) If you become pregnant, your temperature will stay elevated throughout your pregnancy. {source}

Here’s an example of what your BBT chart could look like (this is not mine – just an example). You’ll want to start charting on the first day of your period.

Ok, so how effective is relying on your BBT to serve as birth control?

If used correctly and consistently, one study suggests basal body temperature monitoring is 99.6 percent effective.

Combine that with the other factors to track, and that percentage goes up.

How I like to take my BBT and what I use

♡ I use the Femometer Thermometer, and love it because it connects to the Femometer app, which is free. Plus it’s pink, so very All Gussied Up, right? I place it inside my nightstand, which is right next to my bed so I don’t have to get up to get it.

♡ I take my temperature at the same time each morning, as soon as I open my eyes.

♡ I take my temperature every single day. If I’m sick, I make a note of it as having a fever can affect your chart.

Ok, so let’s talk tracking. The old school way is to use a chart on paper, and you can find a great template in Taking Charge of Your Fertility, but I am more of an app gal. The best charting app that I have used is called OvaGraph, and it is free. It’s so easy to use and view your current and past charts at any time.

I am so glad that I have been enlightened on this whole cycle process. Let me warn you though: once you start, you will be hyper-sensitive to what is going on with your body. You’ll look at the toilet paper when you go to the bathroom and you will know just from looking what stage you are at in your cycle. lol!

My advice: do more research and listen to your body.

xo, Lynn

If you watch my Instagram stories, you’ve probably seen a bunch of my favorite candles featured there. I am so addicted to candles, and they are my go-to gift as well. You can never go wrong with a Le Labo, Diptyque, or Jo Malone candles. The quality is unbeatable. When it comes to fragrance, I have high standards. It must smell expensive. I am not a fan of vanilla, overly sweet candles, pumpkin spice, ya know what I mean. Let me know if you want me to share a round up of my favorite candles?

The title of this blog post honestly makes me want to roll my eyes. BUT, I found this information so useful, and had to share. I had no idea that there was a proper way to burn and care for your candles, until I purchased a Jo Malone candle at Nordstrom, and was given a lesson.

HOW TO BURN CANDLES THE RIGHT WAY:

Use the right tools. You’ll find out why below, but investing in a wick trimmer and a snuffer is so important.

Make sure the wick is trimmed. Why? To eliminate smoke and soot. Keep the wick trimmed to 1/8 inch at all times. The wick should be trimmed every 4 hours of burn time, and if you see smoke, extinguish the flame, let the candle come to room temperature, and trim the wick to 1/8 of inch before relighting.

Light it up and keep the flame going. When you burn a candle for the first time, you should let it burn for 3 hours, unless it is a small candle. In this case, 2 hours should do the trick. Why? When the candle burns for the first time, you’ll want an even layer of melted wax to avoid uneven surfaces. Burning for 3 hours will maximize the lifespan of your candle.

Use a snuffer to extinguish. Why? Blowing your candles out can make the wax become uneven, and can cause lots of smoke.

Light your candles with matches. I had used a lighter for so long (mostly because I am scared of matches. That is a story for a different day), BUT using a match helps avoid that black ring around the inside of your candles.

xo, Lynn

I had never met someone who loves weddings more than I do until I met Marissa.

When Marissa and I met, we instantly bonded over business, Instagram aesthetics, and yep, WEDDINGS. Marissa has offered so much advice to me as I plan my destination wedding, and she helps her clients live out the weddings of their dreams. Seriously, she is so talented at bringing a creative vision to life.

I had to bring Marissa on the podcast to share her insight on wedding planning, tips, trends, and valuable advice on being a wedding planner.

+ Listen here

+ Follow Marissa on Instagram @marissareneeevents

+ Visit Marissa’s website

+ Subscribe to the podcast

Intermittent Fasting is EVERYWHERE these days. When I first heard about it a couple of years ago, I had zero interest in trying it because not eating for long periods of time set off my anxiety. BUT, curiosity caught the cat and here we are. I have been practicing intermittent fasting for 6 months and I fucking love it.

This is my experience. Please consult with your doctor and look into the topic more if you are interested in giving it a try.

If you’re new to intermittent fasting, here is the definition {source}:

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.

It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.

In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.

Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.

Fasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year-round. Sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat.

As a result, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time.

In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day.

The method that I choose is the 16 hour fast, 5-7 days per week. We already “fast” while we sleep, so that 8 hours of sleep accounts for half of this time. My usual routine is to eat my first meal at 12 pm and my last meal by 8 pm.

HOWEVER. I can’t quit coffee, so I do have a cup of coffee right when I wake up, and I do add a little Califa Farms unsweetened almond milk.

I thought for sure I would feel shaky, uncomfortable, and anxious not eating for 16 whole hours, but I have been so surprised by how easy and calming it is. One of the most amazing parts is that I had always wanted to do consistent fasted workouts, but was too scared of passing out to try it. I’ve felt faint before while working out later in the day because I hadn’t eaten enough, but this is different. As long as I work out first thing in the morning, I am golden.

The benefits I have experienced:

♡ Increased energy: I have noticed that I have so much more energy during my morning workouts – and I burn more calories than if I work out after eating.

♡ No cramping during workouts: Before, even if I had eaten a handful of hours before working out, I would still get cramps while running. Not with IF.

♡ Increased productivity: I feel WAY more productive, especially in the mornings. I don’t have to worry about food until lunch time, and I have experienced the elimination of brain fog.

Here are some more benefits of intermittent fasting:

• Promotes longevity and reduces aging. {source}

• Increases autophaghy. Autophagy is the process that your body uses to recycle cells. It’s linked to many health benefits including reduced risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. {source}

• Can increase human growth hormone. Human growth hormone helps increase energy, increase bone density, and increase/retain muscle. {source}

• Reduces inflammation {source}

• Improves gut health {source}

• Improves cognitive function {source}

• Some people have better skin when fasting (maybe due to autophagy).

• Helps with weight loss. {source}

There are so many different options if you’re wondering what’s right for you when it comes to timing. Try different time intervals out if you’re not sure what will be most comfortable to you. And never starve yourself. There is a huge difference between fasting and starvation. I want to note here that while I was researching intermittent fasting, it is advised that those with eating disorders proceed with caution as IF can disrupt progress you’ve made.

I have loved IF and plan to continue until I feel that it is not working for me — I will always listen to my body. And I want you to do the same.

Have you tried intermittent fasting? If so, what has your experience been like?

xo, Lynn