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  • Beauty

    9 Ways To Naturally Detox Your Lymphatic System

    The lymphatic system* plays an important role in your overall health as it works to eliminate bacteria, viruses, white blood cells, and other toxins from your tissues.

    Although your body naturally cleanses itself, sometimes stress and digestive imbalances can cause your system to work extra hard to rid your body of toxins. Overtime this stress contributes to inflammation that can damage cells causing a variety of health issues.

    Signs You May Need To Cleanse Your Lymphatic System

    Digestive issues, skin conditions, chronic fatigue, constipation, bloating, brain fog, inflammation, frequent headaches, as well as cold hands and feet, can all be a sign your lymphatic system is in need of a cleanse.

    How To Naturally Cleanse Your Lymphatic System

    1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

    Water is essential and especially important when it comes to cleansing your system. Be sure your water is purified with a high quality filter (we have the Pure Effects System and love it!) to remove heavy metals and other contaminates. Squeeze some lemon into your water to help mineralize the body and lymph.

    2. Move your body.

    Go for walk. Go for a jog. Go for a run. Jump on a rebounder. Bounce on a eco-ball. Do some quick 15-minute cardio outside or on the treadmill. Just get moving!

    3. Stretch daily.

    Stretching is so important for your health and anyone can do it. Regardless of how fit you are, stretch a little each day and soon you will see improvements and reap the benefits. Practicing yoga is great for your mind and body too!

    4. Heal your gut: Eat a healthy diet and avoid processed sugar.

    A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and whole foods like fruits and veggies including cherries, leafy greens, flaxseed and chia seeds helps to cleanse your system. Avoiding artificial flavors, artificial sugars, and processed foods is also key.

    5. Try Dry Brushing.

    Dry brushing exfoliates your skin while supporting lymphatic flow. If nothing else, you’ll have the benefit of healthy, glowing skin!

    6. Lymphatic Massage.

    A lymphatic massage specifically encourages the flow of fluids thus helping to eliminate waste from your system. Learn how to perform a lymphatic drainage massage here.

    7. Relax. Breathe Deep.

    Relax. Release Tension. Breathe Deep. Slow, deep breathing moves your diaphragm and abdominal muscles as it pushes fluid (lymph) through your vessels. Deep breathing is also an excellent remedy for stress. Laughter has a similar effect and releases ‘feel good’ hormones too!

    8. Alternate between hot and cold in your shower.

    Hot water dilates the blood vessels, while the cold water shrivels them. If you’re pregnant, skip this tip!

    9. Wear natural, loose-fitting clothing.

    Cute lounge wear is totally in right now! Opt for loose fitting clothing whenever possible as tight clothing may restrict your body’s natural drainage process.

    Now that you’ve cleansed your lymphatic system, be sure to keep your body in tip-top shape by drinking plenty of water, eating a proper diet rich in whole foods and don’t forget to exercising regularly! Remember to avoid chemical additives, preservatives, processed foods, food intolerances, and stress(!!) which can all cause your system to become congested.

    Stay happy and healthy!

    *The Lymphatic System consists of fluid (lymph), vessels, and organs that contain lymphoid tissue such as the lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen, bone marrow, and thymus.

    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which does not cost you anything. I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Healthy Home

    Delicious Pumpkin Spinach Rigatoni!

    pumpkin recipe

    Pasta is my guilty pleasure. Ever since I was a kid, I always loved topping my farfalle with loads and loads of parmesan cheese (I know, I know…not healthy!). While I still have a love for parm, I’ve expanded my palette a bit and now enjoy trying pasta with more unique sauces like the pumpkin recipe below. Try it out and let me know what you think! To my total surprise, both my daughter AND husband both loved it!

    * I used all organic ingredients in this recipe and linked them below!



    1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water. Be sure to save 1 – 1 1/2 cups of pasta water for your sauce before draining.

    2. In a large skillet, add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper (optional), stirring frequently. After a minute or two, add the spinach until it wilts (I chopped my spinach a bit, but that is optional).

    3. Add pumpkin puree, parmesan cheese, sage and salt & pepper. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water (or milk if you prefer) at a time, until sauce reaches desired consistency. You may

    4. Pour pumpkin sauce onto rigatoni and top with parmesan cheese!

    Enjoy! XO

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Regardless, we only recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

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  • Babies & Kids, Beauty

    Artificial Food Dyes: Are they actually harmful?

    artificial food dye chemicals dangers

    Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow 5, & Yellow 6 – Artificial food dyes are commonly added to many of the products we consume on a daily basis. From cosmetics to fruit bars to soft drinks, these controversial dyes have been linked to allergies, migraines, behavioral issues like ADD and ADHD, and even cancer.

    What are artificial food dyes and why are they made?
    Artificial dyes and preservatives are added to our food to make them more visually appealing and extend the shelf life of the product. Additionally, many synthetic food dyes are made from petroleum or crude oil and are cheaper to manufacturer than natural food dyes.

    The FDA approves them, doesn’t that make them safe?
    While the FDA approves 9 artificial colors for use in food and beverages, some studies suggest they are not safe. “Synthetic food colors are thought to cause behavioral symptoms in children because they may cause chemical changes in the brain, inflammation from an allergic response, and the depletion of minerals, such as zinc, that are involved in growth and development,” according to Healthline. Studies have shown improvements in behavioral issues when artificial dyes were eliminated. Additionally, in particular, Red 40 contains p-Cresidine, a ‘reasonably anticipated’ human carcinogen, according the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s enough for me to avoid it whenever possible!

    Are artificial dyes banned in Europe?
    In Europe, they ban or add warning labels to products with risky additives, yet the U.S. does not remove additives from our food until after they are proven dangerous. Often times, the warning label deters many companies from using artificial dyes in the first place.

    So what about the M&M’s you snacked on while binging on Netflix? In America, they may not be the same M&M’s that you would purchase in Europe. The ingredients listed are often changed to meet the stricter European standards and may not include dyes like Red 40 or Yellow 5.

    Natural Food Sprinkles and Dyes for Baking
    India Tree is my go-to brand when purchasing sprinkles and natural dyes for cakes and art-projects like DIY Edible Play Dough! India Tree plant based coloring products are verified non-GMO, kosher, and contain no corn syrup, artificial colors or synthetic dyes. We love these carnival sprinkles and use these natural dyes whenever a recipe calls for splash of color!

    DIY Food Dyes at Home
    Blend and create your own natural dyes in the comfort of your kitchen.

    • Red: beetroot or cherries
    • Yellow: turmeric powder
    • Blue: red cabbage
    • Pink: strawberries (our fav!!), raspberries, beetroot – just a pinch, pomegranate or cherries
    • Purple: blueberries or purple carrot
    • Green: spinach or matcha powder
    • Orange: pumpkin, carrot or paprika powder
    • Brown: cocoa powder or cinnamon
    • Black: black cocoa powder

    Interesting Reads…

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Babies & Kids, Clean Living, Healthy Home

    6 Ways to Detox Your Laundry Routine

    laundry clean nontoxic natural

    The fresh scent of clean clothes may actually just reek of chemicals getting ready to penetrate your skin and irritate your airways! That’s the case if you are washing your beloved cashmere sweater or cute cotton cardigan with synthetic fragrances, butane, or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) – common chemicals found in detergents and other laundry products. Detox your laundry routine today with these 6 simple steps.

    1. Purchase a natural, non-toxic laundry detergent.

    Skin irritation, asthma, hormonal issues, and even cancer are commonly linked to harmful chemicals found in our everyday products… and detergents are no different. Using a safer detergent is not only better for our health, but also better for the environment too!

    Artificial fragrance, propylene glycol, ethanolamine, ethanol, laureth-9, sodium hydroxide, diethylene glycol, benzisothiazolinone, and FD&C Yellow 3 are a few toxic ingredients found in many detergents on the market today, including the widely marketed baby detergent, Dreft. P.S. Pleassee do not use Dreft!

    Best Non-Toxic Choices: In my home, we switch between my personal non-toxic favorites: Meliora (my go-to), Eco Nuts (made from just soapberries!), Better Life, and Molly’s Suds.

    2. Ditch dryer sheets and use wool balls instead.

    Harmful chemicals added to traditional dryer sheets include acetone, acetaldehyde, butane, fragrance, and quats. The EPA states that there is no safe level of exposure for specific carcinogens like acetaldehyde and butane.

    Wool dryer balls are not only reusable and environmentally friendly, but they are free of chemicals and will save you money in the long run! You can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a fresh, natural scent.

    3. Avoid fabric softener and use vinegar, if needed.  

    Did you know traditional fabric softeners make clothing “softer” by using a array of not-so-great chemicals? These chemicals are known to cause respiratory problems, reproductive issues, skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, asthma, coma, and even death.

    Cleaning grade vinegar can be used as a natural fabric softener – and no, your clothes will not smell like vinegar!

    Note: It is possible to damage the ‘rubber’ hoses of your washing machine when using vinegar on a regular basis, specifically in front loading washers. If you do choose to use this method, always dilute cleaning grade vinegar and do not add it directly to the drum to protect your washing machine hoses. Special thanks to one of readers for sharing this article!

    4. Stop using “Scotch-Guard” and “Wrinkle-Releasing” products!

    These products contain chemicals, including PFOS, which are known to cause reproductive and developmental issues, cancer, environmental harm, and respiratory issues like asthma. Avoid!

    5. Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks AKA deceptive marketing.

    Greenwashing occurs when companies provide misleading information about how products are ‘clean, green, and organic’, when in fact, they are not environmentally sound at all. Just remember: Even if a product claims to be “organic”, “non-toxic”, or “free and clear” does not mean it truly is.

    Here are a few examples of greenwashed products: DREFT, All Free & Clear, Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent, and Mrs. Meyer’s Laundry Detergent.

    6. Wash your washer & clean dryer vents regularly.

    Chemicals linger in your washer and dryer, just as they linger on your clothes. Occasionally, remember to give your washer a rinse!

    As for the dryer vents and lint traps… Did you know chemicals from in and around your home all build up in the lint trap and dry vents? This includes flame retardants too! Be sure to clean these components regularly to prevent fires and eliminate toxins from your home.

    Don’t over stuff your washer!

    When you over stuff your washer, nothing is getting cleaned properly regardless of the products you use.

    The following non-toxic detergents are some of my personal favorites, that we use in our home. To learn more or purchase the product, click the image below or visit my Amazon Storefront for even more safe choices for your family. Thank you for reading!

    Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links.
    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.


  • Babies & Kids, Beauty

    Cold Sore Prevention & Treatment Remedies!

    If you are a cold sore sufferer, you EXACTLY what I am talking about…the itchy, burning sensation followed by a painful, unsightly sore that seems to “pop up” right before your next big event! Worst. Nightmare. Ever.

    For as long as I can remember, I have suffered from cold sores. These little sores can be be both physically and emotionally draining, so much so, that I refused to leave my house! Over the years, I’ve researched everything from prevention to speeding up the duration of a cold sore. And today, I’m going to share everything I know AND what actually works for me!

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are based solely on my opinion and personal experiences. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Any opinions are my own and all products have been used by me personally.


    According to, “Cold sores — also called fever blisters — are a common viral infection. They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. These blisters are often grouped together in patches. After the blisters break, a crust forms over the resulting sore. Cold sores usually heal in two to four weeks without leaving a scar.”

    Cold sores are highly contagious even if the sore is not visible and are spread by person to person contact. They are tiny fluid filled blisters, that appear on and around your lips, not to be confused with canker sores which appear inside your mouth. Cold sores are caused by a herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, which is related to, HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes. Once an individual has the virus, the virus never leaves the body. It simply lays dormant until it is able to re-emerge. There is currently no known cure. While the cold sore virus lays dormant in 80% of the world’s population, symptoms do not occur in most people.


    Reducing cold sore triggers can help prevent outbreaks in the future.

    1. Stress
    2. Exhaustion
    3. Hormonal Changes
    4. Illness / Fever
    5. Weather | UV Exposure; Extreme Cold, Heat, & Wind
    6. Contact with someone who has spread the infection
    7. Unhealthy Diet | An unhealthy diet aids in the suppression of your immune system which can cause an outbreak. Eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies is key!


    Prevention and treatment can ease the pain of cold sores.

    1. The most effective way to stop the virus dead in its tracks, has been Valacylovir. While I always try to use natural alternatives whenever possible, I always have a filled prescription on hand. This has been the most effective treatment method for me personally. The drug is most effective when taken at the first sign of the virus, can prevent a sore from emerging, and cuts the duration time in half! As soon as I start to feel a tingling sensation, I take the recommended dose of 2 grams now and 2 grams 12 hours later. If you don’t have a prescription, your doctor can prescribe one for you. Other prescriptions include: Famciclovir Penciclovir, and Acyclovir, but Valacylovir is what worked best for me.
    2. This FDA approved red-light device has been shown to help reduce or eliminate cold sore outbreaks. This works by deadening the nerves and Studies have shown this treatment is effective for over 93% of people and cuts duration to 1-2 days. According to their website, they also offer a 6 month 100% money back guarantee, so as a cold sore suffer, it seems like a win-win! Red-light treatments for cold sores are offered by some dentist offices as well. And while I haven’t tried red light therapy yet, as I haven’t had the need to (knock on wood!), I have done a bit of research on this type of therapy and it seems promising.
    3. ABREVA and other over-the-counter ointments haven’t worked well for me, but that is not to say they won’t work for you. Each person is different. When in doubt, try it out!
    4. Consider a lysine supplement. Take 3 mg per day AND consume foods high in Lysine / low in Arginine when you have an outbreak or feel one coming on. Arginine is an amino acid that triggers cold sore outbreaks.
    5. Try a cold sore bandage to keep the virus from spreading and help conceal it. When my daughter was almost 3 months old, I developed a cold sore and was hysterical! Even though I never touched it and constantly washed my hands, I was so worried I would spread it to her so I bought these patches. They did the job and helped put my mind at ease (a little bit!).
    6. Ideally, use a lip balm that contains zinc or SPF 30.
      • Year-round I use this lip balm to protect my lips from the elements to help prevent an outbreak.
      • When I am experiencing an outbreak, I apply the lip balm with a cotton q-tip to the affected area. Then, use a new q-tip to apply to surrounding areas to prevent cracking. The key is to not cross-contaminate anything!
    7. Apply ice to help suppress the virus and soothe the area. Repeat every half hour for 10 minutes.
    8. Apply Vitamin E oil or a healing ointment when the sore is in the healing stage especially. Vitamin E can also provide itch relief.
    9. Use tea tree oil to dry out the sore. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties which really help soothe the sore!
    10. Apply aloe vera. Known for its healing properties, aloe vera can soothe and accelerate the healing process. Be sure to use 100% pure aloe.
    11. Consider hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and other remedies. Proceed with caution! Using these remedies may be painful, but from my experience, has helped with the duration of the sore. I’ve even used toxic acetone when I was desperate which DID work, but I don’t recommend it.
    12. Throw out your toothbrush and lipstick, and anything else you apply to your lips, AFTER the sore has healed – you don’t want to risk it coming back. I also err on the side of caution, and sanitize my makeup brushes or replace them all together.


    A proper diet can give your immune system the nutrition it needs to keep viruses at bay. Be sure to incorporate high lysine foods into your everyday meal plan.

    1. Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day. Avoid sugary, processed drinks.
    2. Eat organic foods. Organic foods aren’t overloaded with pesticides and chemicals like conventional foods. This can all wreak havoc on your immune system and the effect way your body functions.
    3. Strengthen your immune system with immune boosting herbs and supplements like garlic, cinnamon, and ginger. Learn more ways to boost your immune system by visiting my recent blog post.
    4. Incorporate a healthy diet, rich in foods with high lysine/low arginine content. My go-to’s are: apples, pears, cherries, apricots, mangoes, cauliflower, and green peppers. Flounder was my choice of fish prior to becoming a vegetarian because it is very high in lysine. Other fish are good options as well. See ‘Lysine’ above.
    5. Eat yogurt with live cultures which are said to help prevent the virus from replicating.
    6. Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking. Alcohol depletes your immune system of essential vitamins and nutrients, leaving room for the virus to begin brewing! Beer, especially can trigger an outbreak due to the yeast it contains. Smoking is overall bad for your health, but your fingers harbor bacteria and viruses which may trigger an outbreak as well.
    7. Avoid processed sugars, acidic foods, greasy foods, nuts, processed meats, beer, and chocolate (I know, I know!)


    • DO wash your hands often and avoid touching the area all together.
    • DO use caution around to babies as it can be fatal and do not let anyone kiss your baby!
    • DO NOT share drinks, utensils, plates or towels if you have a cold sore or if someone else has a sore.
    • DO NOT kiss anyone until the sore is completely healed.
    • Avoid triggers in the future as much as possible.

    Comment below and let me know which remedies work best for you!

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