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The SLN Blog

Groceries During Quarantine

Did you know March is the designated "Nutrition Month" by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? This is a bit timely considering many of us are getting used to the new norm with COVID-19 and are cooking at home more vs. eating out. Right now this means we need to rethink our grocery lists and budgets to account for more mouths to feed at home. So, how do you keep everyone happy and healthy while minimizing time spent at the grocery store?  First and foremost, give yourself a break, you don't need to become a 5-star chef overnight. You just need to get back to the basics starting with stocking your pantry with quick, easy-to-fix dishes. Next, try to commit to making a few less-easy meals every week. You can make this a fun, family activity where everyone learns to...

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Safer Scents: Why Fragrance Isn’t Always a Bad Actor

According to the Environmental Working Group, most scents in perfumes and colognes are produced from 3,100 stock chemical ingredients. Since our skin absorbs nearly 60 percent of what we put onto it, the hidden chemicals in perfumes can negatively impact our health so it is important to be informed about the fragrance products you choose to use.  However, associating fragrance alone with toxicity is inaccurate. The reality is, fragrance is a broad term for anything that has a scent. Fragrance alone isn't always a bad actor. It's the harmful ingredients that are sometimes added to fragrances that are bad.  Additional ingredients may include preservatives, allergens, phthalates, petroleum, and animal by-products. Many of the popular perfumes and colognes on the market today contain these harmful ingredients which is why we decided to make our own Scentient Being® fragrance oil blends. It’s always important...

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All That Shimmers - The Truth About Mica

Do you know what makes beauty products shimmer? It’s mica. Mica is a globally sourced mineral that is used in many of our day-to-day products—from automotive paints, to electronics, to beauty products. This mineral is used for the base of many color cosmetics and also can create a shimmer effect in pressed powders, lip glosses, and lipsticks. In short, if you are a cosmetic company, you need mica. Mica is a clean, safe ingredient. However, there is shadiness within its supply chain, including issues such as: child labor, wage theft, corruption, and forced labor.    Our partners at Beautycounter, spent over a year traveling the world conducting on-the-ground audits of their mica sources—and are committed to exposing the truth. They uncovered how the mica industry has some serious transparency issues and has partnered with two trusted organizations, Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation and Sourcemap,...

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What It Means to Live Naturally

I've been asked this question a few times before and think it's time I break this down since there is so much out there on living a natural lifestyle. So what does it really mean to live naturally? You may be familiar with the term holistic or naturopathic medicine which can be considered similar to when a person chooses to live naturally. Holistic/Naturopathic medicine is a treatment methodology that treats both the mind and body. There is also a focus on using natural remedies to align and heal the body so that it can work optimally and continue existing in a disease-free state. The common theme between this health approach and natural living is intentionality.  Natural living is a choice, it is about considering your whole world and how it affects your mental, physical and emotional life. This is why natural living and wholelistic living are...

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Fashion & Climate Change - The New Age of Circular Fashion

Is it possible to buy fashion without compromising the environment? To answer this, it's important to understand what sustainable fashion truly means. A comprehensive study on the environmental impact of apparel and footwear industries, demonstrated that over 8 percent of greenhouse gases can be attributed to the fashion industry and if things don't change, by 2050 this will rise to 25 percent of the entire global carbon budget! So, HOW does fashion impact climate change? The magnitude of carbon emissions take place at the mills where the fibers are spun into yarn and weaved to make fabrics. More than 75 percent of the carbon footprint in the entire lifecycle of clothing manufacturing takes place there. This means a company is only doing “sustainability” if they are lowering the carbon footprint of their mills. With the enormous wastefulness of runway show sets, luxury markets, and...

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First Major Legislation the House Will Take Up in 2020

Government is always slow to roll however, the EPA knows PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) can increase toxic body burden and cause adverse health effects, including developmental harm to fetuses, testicular and kidney cancers, liver tissue damage, immune system or thyroid effects, and changes in cholesterol. The new year brings continued momentum to protect people and the environment from PFAS. The first major legislation the House will take up in 2020 is a bill that would require the EPA to regulate PFAS, which are toxic chemicals contaminating U.S. municipal and private water supplies. The House will consider a bill on Jan. 9 (H.R.535) that would push the EPA to create nationwide protective measures against poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, and could vote on passage Jan. 10. PFAS are found in products like nonstick pans (e.g. “Teflon”), waterproof jackets, and carpets to repel water, grease, and stains. They’re also...

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Cultured Vegetables Help Relieve Symptoms of Food Poisoning and Stomach Flu

I am a huge advocate for eating cultured/fermented vegetables on a regular basis partly because of my upbringing (kimchi was a staple in our house), but also because I know when food poisoning hits, 8-10 tablespoons of cultured veggies and/or their juice throughout the day is the only thing that makes it better. The probiotics (good bacteria) in cultured foods work to attack the bad bacteria so eating cultured veggies during a bout of stomach flu or food poisoning can alleviate symptoms and help you get better, faster. My go-to's are sauerkraut and kimchi. Not only are cultured vegetables great for relieving stomach issues, incorporating them into your daily diet can prevent bad bacteria from infecting your body to begin with.  It’s estimated that roughly 70% - 80% of your immune system is in your gut so introducing good bacteria into the...

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What is Tencel? - Why Fibers Matter in Sustainable Fashion

Almost every industry right now is looking to reduce their environmental footprint, and the fashion industry is no exception. Designers are choosing eco-friendly alternatives such as organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp to reduce their environmental impact however, many people haven't heard of Tencel. Tencel is the brand name for sustainably grown and harvested lycocell fiber and is produced by Lenzing Fibers, headquartered in Austria. Lycocell is a type of rayon made from the cellulose fiber of dissolved wood pulp and can be used for any type of clothing including denim to silky garments. Tencel is an extremely eco-friendly material and when compared to cotton, it has a significantly smaller environmental impact, requiring 10 to 20 times less water and absolutely no pesticides. The fibers originate from renewable raw wood. These certified biobased fibers are biodegradable and compostable.  They are then manufactured by dissolving wood...

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$300-Million Funded Research Strongly Links Children's Chronic Disease to Toxic Exposure

Research funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants program and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) demonstrates that children in the U.S. are at high risk for chronic disease as a result of exposures to environmental toxicants. This 300-million-dollar funded research program identified toxic chemical exposure as playing a strong role in the development of asthma, obesity, ADHD, and cancer. Outcomes of these studies highlighted how toxic body burden in children not only puts them at risk for poorer health and learning disabilities, but can set the trajectory of health throughout their adult life.  I encourage everyone to read the full impact report to better understand just how much our environment plays a role in our health, not just in this lifetime, but for generations after us. This research, collected...

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Researchers Conclude This Inexpensive Action Can Protect You This Flu Season

Dr. Taylor, a pediatric oncologist, and her team of colleagues studied patients in a unit of a hospital to isolate factors associated with patient infections. While factors such as hand hygiene and number of visitors influenced infection rates, one factor demonstrated the biggest association with infection and that was.....DRY AIR. The research team was able to associate low relative humidity of indoor air with higher infection rates. “When we dry the air out, droplets and skin flakes carrying viruses and bacteria are launched into the air, traveling far and over long periods of time. The microbes that survive this launching tend to be the ones that cause healthcare-associated infections,” said Taylor. “Even worse, in addition to this increased exposure to infectious particles, the dry air also harms our natural immune barriers which protect us from infections." Since this study was...

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