The Pits

I’ve been aluminum free for 10 days now and I am happy to report that it’s been easier than I anticipated.  Thanks so much for the feedback that, no matter what form of deodorant you use, you will go through a stinky period when you eliminate the chemicals.   In the past I’ve used the natural stuff for a few days then tossed it aside for something stronger because I figured it wasn’t working.  Now I know that my body is in an adjustment period and nothing but (natural) soap and water will keep me completely fresh.

Over the last week I’ve been using the apricot stuff I bought a while back and while I don’t love it, it’s okay.  I loved getting all of your suggestions in the comments to the original post and look forward to trying some of the products recommended but for now I’ll stick to the ones I’ve already purchased (waste not, want not 😉 ).

I would love your help with some more natural product recommendations!

What’s your favorite green clothes detergent?  How about face soap? Hand soap?  Shaving cream?  I am almost out of these products at home and while I’ve been buying green for over a year, I have yet to find a brand I LOVE.

Have you seen the amazing video The Story of Cosmetics put out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics?

I am very sensitive to sensational claims and extreme accusations so I don’t necessarily believe everything in the video or that I need to go 110% chemical free.  I do however believe that for many companies consumer health is not their biggest concern because it’s incredibly difficult to pinpoint whether it was their product that caused harm.   I also believe in putting my money into companies that illustrate a concern and respect for my health, the health of their workers, and the health of the planet.  

It can be really challenging to distinguish “natural and green” from “chemical laden and nasty”.    Regulations surrounding the claims natural and organic are vague and I do not believe that they have the consumers best interest at heart.  What’s a girl to do?  More and more I’ve been seeking out companies with full transparency about their ingredients and mission statement.   Burt’s Bees is one of those brands, what are some others?

Do you think “greening” up your cosmetics and cleaning products is necessary?  Do you think it’s a waste of money?  Have you noticed a difference in your health by switching to green products?  I know that I will be exposed to trillions of “unwanted” substances in my life: soaking in through my skin, my lungs, and from what I eat, but I feel good about proactively limiting my exposure and supporting companies whose beliefs align with my own.


Simple Home Exercises

On the topic of trends, I want to bring one back around-the ball!

Physio ball, exercise ball, stability ball, fitness ball, call it whatever you want but the fact remands that it’s an awesome piece of equipment.

I know that the ball is still a common fixture around gyms but their popularity seems to be waning, how many of you have one in your house that you haven’t touched in weeks months years?  I’ve had one for over 5 years but it wasn’t until I switched it out for my desk chair at the clinic that I began using it for exercise again.

There are a bijillion exercises that you can do with the ball but here are two that work the entire body and are a little less common (probably because they are hard!).

Push Up

If you are new to this exercise start with the ball stabilized against a wall, like above.

The push up works your core, triceps, and shoulder stabilizers A LOT more than a traditional push up.

Hand position is important: fingers point down so the elbows can bend out to the sides as the chest comes down.

Ready to take it up a notch?

Get away from the wall.

Oh hell yeah.

Taking the wall away demands even more core work as you attempt to keep the ball still during the movement.

Remember, your push up may only be halfway to start (body only lowers a few inches).  Even if you can rock out 20 full push ups on the ground you may find these so challenging to start that you only do a few before you need a break.

The Balance

Looks simple right?  Just try it.

This exercise is very similar to balancing on a Bosu except it works on your inner thighs a lot more.

Kneeling and balancing is an exercise in and of itself but if you want to kick it up you can always grab a hand weight and do a variety of exercises; bicep curl, overhead press, lateral raise, overhead tricep press, and front raise are all great options.

Maybe, just maybe, you take your hand off the wall…

Note: my ball is on the soft side, which makes these exercises a little easier.

Please share your favorite exercises on the ball, I could use a few more to try when I get bored at work. 😉

P.S. It was really hard not to title this post something “dirty” but I am the type of gal who tries not to offend others.  But, come on, writing about balls made it too easy!