Pretty Kills

cosmetics2

How many cosmetics or personal grooming agents do YOU use daily? The average woman uses up to 16 products per day and men around 6 per day.  Men, before you stop reading, consider this; don’t many of you use shaving balm or shaving cream, deodorant or antiperspirant, lotion, cologne, bath soap, face soap, toothpaste, or lip balm/chap stick?  Need I go on?

Ladies, let’s just dive on in shall we?  Do we really need to go there, because many of us could open a cosmetic booth in the mall with the number of products we own.  And before you say, “Our government protects us and monitors products that are being sold on the market,” here are some quick hard facts about regulations and regulating bodies.  The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates cosmetics under two laws:    1) The FD & C Act (Food Drug Cosmetic Act and 2) the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.  Long story short, cosmetics ARE NOT FDA approved but are said to be FDA regulated.  What???????  😨 This doesn’t even make good sense!

Here’s the kicker:  Cosmetics only need FDA approval if color additives are used, however, if a product on the market isn’t within compliance or a firm or individual goes against the laws, the FDA “can” pursue enforcement against them.  Oh, but wait a minute!  If no one is really diligently looking for problems, this makes our use of many products a huge experiment in my opinion.  Also, it puts the burden of reporting adverse effects in the consumers’ laps.

I know you may be thinking, “I only use things labeled as ‘Herbal, Natural or Organic‘”, but just know that there are no legal definitions for these terms.  Many companies prey on us by using these meaningless claims on their packaging.   Since the 1970s, it’s said that the FDA has only banned about 8 out of thousands of products.  I can imagine that this number is not complete seeing that there are so many cosmetic products on the market and growing daily.

Many of these products are deemed safe because of the amounts in which the ingredients that potentially or knowingly cause health hazards are considered acceptable; but what about the cumulative effects by the time we use even 2 or more of these cosmetics daily?  Not to mention what some of the products are doing to our unborn children.  Most of our children will be born with levels of the below toxins, not even having a fresh start in life.

Here is a very short list of commonly used chemicals in some of our favorite cosmetic products.  I will just say that I have much work to do to at the least, minimize me and my family’s exposure to these agents or avoid them altogether:

  1. Triclosan:  this agent is found in many antibacterial products such as toothpaste, lotion and soap.  There is some hinting at harmful effects in animals in studies done by the FDA and body hormone levels, more specifically the reproductive organs.  It may even be a cancer risk.  In addition, being an antibacterial agent may contribute to the increase in antibiotic resistance from certain bacteria.
  2. 1,4-dioxane:  many cosmetics contain a by product of this in low levels, however, it has been shown to induce cancer in rats and high levels may cause organ damage in humans.
  3. Lead Acetate:  I shouldn’t have to go any further with this one, but I will.  This is an extremely toxic metal associated with neurological and organ toxicity.  It may even play a role in the development of cancer and of course lead poisoning is especially dangerous for kids.  This may be in your favorite lipstick or imported cosmetic.
  4. Formaldehyde:  Can I say gross!  This is not only cancer causing but used for embalming the dead.  Do we really need to use it as a nail hardener?
  5. Mercury compounds:  Mercury is used mainly as a preservative in some eye shadows and other eye make-up as well as some skin whitening creams.  The FDA is said to regulate this.  This substance is extremely toxic and can be absorbed via the skin and into the brain, causing brain damage.  I am sure many of us have heard the theory on the link between mercury and autism in children.  There are mercury derivatives in immunizations and these claims have come up by physicians and concerned parents time and time again; however, that’s another story.
  6. Coal Tar:  a product commonly used in shampoos to combat dandruff, hair dyes, treatment for psoriasis.  It is a KNOWN human carcinogen.  This chemical causes damage to our DNA, thus can lead to a high risk of cancer development.  It also can cause increased risk of sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer.
  7. Phthalates:  there are multiple types such as DBP, DMP, and DEP.  These are commonly found in nail polish, soap, hairsprays, shampoos and perfumes.  They may cause risk to an unborn child and beware that perfumes don’t have to list that they contain these.
  8. Diethanolamine (DEA):  used in lotions, shampoos and other cosmetics as an emulsifier and foaming agent.  There are inconclusive results from the Department of Human Health Services that DEA is a carcinogen, but I would say, when in doubt, avoid!
  9. Mineral Oil:  can cause testicular tumors in babies, clogs pores and has not been proven to give the skin anything beneficial.  It’s also called liquid petroleum or paraffin oil.
  10. Sanitary pads and tampons:  some of these can contain pepsides and dioxins.  These substances can stay in your body for many years.
  11. Beware of cocoa butter products that are not 100%- they can contain a lot of mineral oil.
  12. All that glitters is not gold:  avoid products that have glitter and unnatural coloring.  In general, these products usually contain many of the above agents.

Since cosmetic companies aren’t required to ensure that a product is safe, it’s a great idea to replace products that may be deemed risky with natural things.  If you just MUST use something, prioritize.  Let’s be realistic, we all need some form of odor protection.  Be kind to those around you!  So, my list of things to start finding a replacement for are the common everyday things such as:

Deodorant: there is a very good tip I found while cruising Hipster Veggie’s YouTube Channel about using lime juice daily applied to the armpits.  You will need to find what works best for you.  Also, look for a deodorant free of aluminum.  Be good to your brain and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

Soaps: Look for soaps that are pure and 100%.  I am finding that I need to order from online small companies that really take ownership in their products.  Go local and know your cosmetic provider if at all possible.

Moisturizers:  the best moisturizer I have ever used is coconut oil for hair, body and face.  I have sensitive skin and can’t use a lot of products anyway.  Used after patting dry after a bath or after washing my face leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.  Make sure you have a product that is organic and 100% coconut oil.

Hair products:  the internet is full of ideas on maintaining healthy hair.  The old mayonnaise as a conditioner worked for me growing up.  A combination of honey, hemp oil and olive oil has been great as a natural styling gel for my hair for many years.

These are my priorities and a few ideas that have helped me.  I am already a lover of the natural and things that heal rather than things that go against our health, so I ‘m willing to do without nail polish, makeup, hair dyes and goops in a bottle, etc.  The time you invest in shortening your list of things that contain the above products can actually buy you time in your actual lifespan exponentially!  I hope that you decide to research how you can limit your exposure of the chemical hazards above and use more natural products.  Although not convenient, maybe even be inspired to make your own.

Helpful resource:

US FDA Cosmetic List Recalls

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Garden Whisper

This poem and mood was inspired by my modest window garden.  I truly miss planting in the earth and having a big back yard, however, sometimes you have to stir what you got!  Be grateful in all that the Most High gives and He will increase what you have beyond your dreams.  Such order in nature and as I observe the growth of my tomato and melon plants, avocado, lemon and pomegranate trees, although small, I get a sense of calm as I care for them and watch the progress made from week to week.  Did you know that since the mid 80’s hospitals began to take advantage of the calming effect received by patients who suffer from pain and anxiety.  These are huge sources of stress that damage our immune systems.  So, test this theory out on a stressful day and take a stroll through a garden.  Even consider starting your own.  Even a window garden like mine can be beneficial.  Isn’t your health worth it?

Go Go Goji!

Goji berries are amazing, and although small, are packed with so many vitamins and nutrients. They are also known as lycii fructus, lycium barbarum, wolfberries and even Red Diamonds.  Top 10 reasons to incorporate them into your regular diet:

  • High antioxidant action
  • Improves immune function
  • High in fiber and nutrients
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Fights cancer
  • Detoxifies the liver and kidneys
  • Enhances eye health
  • Increases fertility
  • Energy, sleep aid and mood booster
  • Blood health

In addition, it has been said that they prolong life.  Goji berries contain beta sitosterol which decreases the development of cancer, aids in arthritis and allergies and prevents premature aging. Goji berries have neuroprotective effects due to their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Goji up for Cold and Flu season! These berries are packed with Vitamin C and Iron which also helps to boost our Immune Systems.

Other nutritional facts in 28 grams:

  • 3 grams of protein
  • 18 Amino acids which includes all of the essential ones
  • 22 trace minerals
  • Loads of fiber
  • Vitamins C, A, riboflavin, iron, potassium, copper, thiamine, zinc, selenium, and calcium.  This is nature’s multivitamin!

Dosage:

Generally this depends on your condition. Here is a reference which may prove helpful.

dosage suggestions

How to use them in your diet:

These berries are Berry versatile! They can be purchased at health food stores as dried fruit and used in salads, in smoothies along with chia seeds, in trail mix or homemade granola bars, or just as they are. You can also use them to make a tea, smoothies, shakes or juice if bought fresh.

Caution!!!  ⚠💊Consult your healthcare provider before starting if you take high blood pressure meds or blood thinner medications such as warfarin or anti-diabetic medications.  Goji berries may interact with these medications.

I recently started using them in breakfast pancakes and cake recipes to add more fiber and nutrients to give a fuller feeling. So far, they have worked well to suppress my appetite. Give them a try and let me know what you experience!😄🍒🍇

Guest Artist Maddie’s Double Platinum


My neice Maddie’s most recent performance from a national competition entry.  My family’s business, Caruthers’ Creative Center Dance Studio in Missouri, is one of the few African American owned businesses in the area that has stood the test of time. Congrats Maddie on your double platinum as well as the Competitive & Photogenic Award and 11th overall out of 80 dancers! Tough competition!

This multitalented teen was also nominated for All American in Cheer leading and made varsity squad as well as the competition team as an incoming freshman.  In addition, she excels at tumbling.  She has won numerous state band awards as well and is currently the only female trombone player.  She has recently had a dance gig with Kaufman Center and to top it off, she does all of this while maintaining a 4.0 G.P.A along with winning many academic accolades, including the President’s Academic Award.  She is an inspiration to those around her and a great influence on teens internationally.  Great job Maddie and keep it going!

Thanks for reading and if you support our youth, SHARE it with someone you love, LIKE👍  and or COMMENT💬 below!!!  ⬇⬇⬇  After all, the youth of today are our future.

 

Recycled Capitalism

Blood soaked economic system, Private ownership

Solely for profits, Echoes ring from cracks of the whip

Old face Britain & Amsterdam, New face honors the Duke

New York’s stench from lies, Can’t mask the truth

Made legal to own African people, forced to build The Wall

Pillar of oppression, that Eagle, Babylon must fall

18th century slave code, Now born with bar code,

Auction block to auction market, 11 Wall Street Manhatten tortured souls sold

Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, Are we just derivatives

Of greed laden trades and transactions, Deliberate and annihilative

Auctioneer, broker, big board, Lehmen’s cotton,

Aetna’s insured slaves, Same players, different names & days, fleshly crops gone rotten

Sold to the highest bidder, Merrill and Goldman supply the collateral

Capitalism with a botched facelift, devil in the mathematicals

What goes up must descend, was never worthy to wear the crown,

be found blameless in these days,

Repent, seek truth, change wicked ways, be heavenbound

For the end will not delay

 

Quick Easy Quiche

Quiche is such a versatile and filling dish.  It’s packed with nutrition and the star ingredients, eggs, have some bragging rights as well.  There was a time that eggs were shunned and thought not to be so healthy for us.  The logic was that since they are high in cholesterol (213 mg/large egg), that eggs are big culprits for heart disease.  After a 25 year study, it was found that saturated fats in foods were the main culprit for high cholesterol in the blood, thus linked to cardiovascular disease.  Dairy products high in fat and fatty meats are examples of foods that can trigger the production of cholesterol in the body.  As of 2000, the AHA (American Heart Association) has revised its dietary guidelines so that an egg a day is fine and a cholesterol limit of 300mg/day is currently recommended.

Why are eggs good for us🍳:

Eggs contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are powerful disease fighting nutrients and antioxidants.  They are a great source of protein (7 grams), 75 calories and 340 grams of carbs.  Of the 5 grams of fat, they only contain 1.6 grams of saturated fat.  The choline content is good for our brains and the carotenoids that they contain may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.  In addition, eggs contain Vitamin A, Folate, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Vitamins D, B5, B12, B2, Phosphorus and Selenium (and Omega-3 if you use pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs).  Eggs have also been found to increase HDL (good cholesterol).

Keep in mind that we still must not go overboard as with any food.  In about 30% of people who have been found to be “hyper-responders”, eggs can cause high LDL (bad cholesterol) and higher total cholesterol levels but in the majority of people, eggs have no impact at all on blood cholesterol.

Quick & Easy Broccoli & Mushroom Quiche Recipe

First the Crust

You can either buy it or make it yourself.  This recipe may look overwhelming, but trust me, it’s not that bad.  If you are making it yourself, here is a very quick rule to remember.  As a rule of thumb, use 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part water.  More exact amounts are as follows:

  • 8 ounces/1 cup of butter (cold)
  • 2&1/2 cups of self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 6-8 tablespoons of ice cold water

Add dry ingredients into food processor then pulse a few times.  Add half of your butter to the food processor and pulse 6-8 times.  Add the rest of the butter and pulse again 6-8 times.  Sprinkle in about 2 tablespoons of the cold water and pulse again.  Continue adding the cold water a tablespoon at a time and pulse after each addition.  Do a pinch test of the crust mixture to see if it holds together and when it does, it’s mixed thoroughly enough.  Take the mixture out and put it on a flat surface and begin to flatten it with the palm of your hand.  Work it into a ball.  Don’t over work the dough or it will be tough.  You will see the small pieces of butter in your dough and this is good for a flaky crust.

Once you have formed a ball, divide the dough into 2 and lightly flour it.  Wrap the pieces in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour.  After an hour, take it out and let it sit at room temp for about 10 minutes to let it soften.  This will make it easier to roll out.  Roll the dough with a rolling pin into the shape of your pan.  Roll it onto the pin and quickly transfer it by unrolling it into your pan.  Be careful to fit the dough into the corners of the pan.  Cut away any edges that hang over the pan.

Use parchment, wax paper or foil and lay on top of the dough then add dry rice or beans filling the pan 2/3 of the way.  Bake at 350 degrees F/175 degrees C for 20 minutes.  Take out and  poke wholes in the bottom of the crust and after cooling a few minutes return it but without the dry rice/beans.  Let it bake another 10 minutes.  Take it out and let it cool completely.

Filling

Saute any veggies that you want for your quiche.  My favorites include broccoli in combination with mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onion, fresh garlic and a very small amount of your choice of cheese (optional).  Lightly salt and pepper to taste and add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and sweet paprika.  A dash of cheyenee will spice it up a bit!  Saute all veggies over medium heat in a few tablespoons of olive or sunflower oil until onions and red bell peppers are beginning to carmelize, being careful to stir every so often to prevent sticking.

At the same time, you can mix your eggs for the quiche.  For my family of 6, I use about 7 eggs, beaten in a medium size bowl, about 1/2 cup of flour added slowly while mixing, about 1/4 cup of milk (almond is great to add more nutrients and keep saturated fats at a low) and a pinch each of salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.  I love to add a small amount of thyme as well.

Putting it all together

Take your crust in your pan and place your veggies in it, being careful to drain off any liquid.  Now is the time to add low fat cheese or if you use your favorite cheese that is high in fat, use very little (1/2 cup or less).  Now add your egg mixture over the veggies and cheese.  Bake at 350 F/175 C for about 30 minutes.  Oven times and settings will vary so watch closely and check it after about 15 minutes.  It should be firm but not hard or runny.

Hope you enjoy and by the way, don’t feel guilty about the butter.  Remember, this amount is spread over the entire pan and in my opinion, if you’re gonna make your crust, there’s nothing like real butter!  Enjoy your quiche for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Serve at room temp or even cold.

So if you liked the info on eggs or the recipe, comment back and or like.  Always love to have the feedback!

 

 

Common Myths About Moisturizers

Found this article helpful and thought I would share the grest info written by a fellow blogger!😄

simple Ula

There are a lot of myths about using moisturizers that could be causing you issues, stopping you from looking your best, and dealing with your problem skin. Where these myths have come from, nobody knows, but the reality s a lot different to what you might hear from a wide variety of sources. Here are some of the most common myths surrounding moisturizer use that you need to know to make a real difference to your daily skincare routine.

cream-1327847_960_720Image source

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Happy Shavuot

Chag Sameach to all celebrating Shavuot tomorrow, whether you are here in the Land of Israel or in the Diaspora! I pray it be reflective and a very enjoyable feast for you all.

Also, want to take the time to say thanks to all of my subscribers for the support.  What a wonderful journey it has been and I plan to continue to work hard to bring content of interest.  Please spread the word and ask others to subscribe.  Also, don’t forget to like and comment!

Say Their Names

After tragedy strikes, yellow tape stripped away

Broken lives, dreams shattered, discontinued birthday

Bad news, knock on the door, “Mam we have news to relay”

SAY THEIR NAMES

Someone’s son, father, wife, daughter

Sister, brother, can no longer comfort one another

Loved one, GONE, a generation goes no further

SAY THEIR NAMES

Precious children, gutted aspirations, never to graduate

Stolen time to ponder, contemplate on life, or reevaluate

Holocaust proven by history, can hate be innate?

SAY THEIR NAMES

He is not happy with the bloodshed, innocent souls cry out

Those with bloody hands, punishment coming, no doubt

Prayers for perseverance, let justice swiftly come about

SAY THEIR NAMES

Let the fallen never be forgotten.  Let their families be comforted.  Let us see the day where we don’t have to say another name

of a soul perished from this injustice.

Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction:

for thy word hath quickened me.


Akiel Denkins-Sandra Bland-Trayvon MartinAlton SterlingPhilando Castle-Tamir Elijah Rice-Michael Brown Jr.Aiyana JonesOscar Grant-Renee Davis-Frank Clark-Akiel DenkinsGregory GunnsSamuel DuBose-Brendon Glenn-Freddie GrayNatasha McKennaWalter Scott-Christian Taylor-Ezell FordEric GarnerAkai Gurley-Laquan McDonald-Yvette SmithJamar ClarkRekia Boyd-Shereese Francis-Ramarley GrahamManuel LogginsSean Bell-Ronald Madison-Kendra JamesAmadou DialloLaTanya Haggerty-Margaret LaVerne Mitchell-Jason Michael RobinsonRicky WhiddenChase Anthony Tuseth-Jamal Rollins-James Rich JrGerald HallTerrence Thomas Jr-Anthony Eddington-Ryan JosephMarlon LewisLavar Douglas-Earl Eubanks Jr-Waltki WilliamsRedrick BatisteMark Hicks-Norman Gary-Bruce Johnson IIDavid Crosby DowdyJason Stringer-Irecas Valentine-Abdul ArtanTerrell WalkerRichard Grimes-Jerome Harmon-Cloetha MitchellKajuan RayeTalif ScudderIvory Pantallion III-George Bush IIIErickson BritoDarius Jones-Samson Fleurant-Dontrell CarterRasheem SingleterryAndrew Depeiza-Ritchie Harbison-Darryl ChisholmJoshua BealFerguson Laurent-Keenan Bradley-Michelle ShirleyTerrence ColemanJason King-Thad Hale-Malcolm HicksonRoy RichardsAaron Ballard-Demetrius Moore-Deborah DannerDarius WimberlyKirk Figueroa-Deric Brown-Larry MatthewsJaguar MathisChristopher Shackleford-Donte Jones-Carnell SnellReginald ThomasNajier Salaam-Jacquarius Robinson-George Richards MeyersDouglas RaineyChristopher Sowell-Alfred Olango-Oddis Colvin JrKeith ScottPhilip Hasan-Kadeem Trotter-Dahir AdanTerence CrutcherNicholas Glenn-Tyre King-Markell BivinsTerrence SterlingGregory Frazier-Sadiq Idris-Robert BrownMoses RubenJerome Damon-Michael Thompson-Levonia RigginsJaqwan TerryAlfred Toe-Donta Taylor-Kelley ForteBrandon ColesOmer Ismail Ali-Kenney Watkins-Colby FridaySylville SmithKendrick Brown-Fred Barlow-Darnell WickerJawari PorterJamarion Robinson-Demarco Newman-Joseph MannKorryn Gaines-And in no way is this a conclusive list-Say their names-Say their names!

For more info:  The Guardian-The Counted