Young Living Bamboo Diffuser Review

For those that haven’t read my bio, here’s a quick history about me.  In 2009 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, put on synthetic thyroid hormone & told I would feel better within a few weeks.  Not only did I not feel better I felt progressively worse.  In 2012, after many doctor visits and being told “I don’t know why you still feel bad”, “it’s not your thyroid”, I’d had enough!  I decided to research what lifestyle changes I could make.  When I first started making lifestyle changes back in 2012, I did so after reading a book called “No More Dirty Looks” (available in my Amazon store here:  http://amzn.to/20Ab2LC ).  Once I got to the point where my personal care products were free of toxic chemicals, I wanted to clean up the household products.  The first thing that came to mind was getting rid of synthetic fragrances, especially since I knew they were affecting me.  How were they affecting me?  When I was using personal care products with synthetic fragrances, my jawline would break out in hormonal acne that was cystic in nature, painful & itchy.  It cleared up when I stopped using synthetic fragrances.  It recurred when my husband started using an old product that had fragrance in it.  It also recurred when I inadvertently bought a product with synthetic fragrance.  I say inadvertently because I purchased a different line by a brand that I previously bought that didn’t have fragrance & I didn’t check the label of the new product line I purchased.  When I started to break out again, I decided to check the label and you guessed it, there was “fragrance” on the ingredient list.  When I stopped using it, the acne cleared up!

One of the first things I did around our home was to pull out the plug-in fragrances and stop using traditional air fresheners.  Because I didn’t really know where to start, I simply didn’t take action in the fragrance department in our home.  I hung on to my candles in case of an odor emergency in the mean time.  In 2013 I found some candles made of beeswax & scented with essential oils, at which time I threw out the old paraffin wax candles scented with synthetic fragrances & lead wicks.

Until last year, I hadn’t really found a replacement for the plug ins.  When I attended a natural health symposium, I came across a representative of Young Living essential oils.  They had a diffuser and starter oil kit, which I purchased because I absolutely loved the scents of all the oils, even the lavender, which I normally abhor!  Things got busy and I didn’t really use the diffuser or oils much.  The exception was that I used the oil called Stress Away in a diffusing necklace to help me deal with the stress of my commute & job.

We moved off post right around the time that I left my full time job and I made it a point to put the diffuser in the living room.  It’s very modern looking with clean lines, which I love!  Since it’s visible, I’m using it quite a bit more and I absolutely love it!  My favorite scent is Thieves, because it is very spicy.  Lots of cinnamon & clove notes, which is my favorite scent of all time.  Most of the time this is the type of scent that it impossible to find when it isn’t the holiday season, but I like to use it all the time.  Because cinnamon has antimicrobial properties, Thieves oil is great to help support the immune system.  I have been battling seasonal allergies for the last several weeks so I’ve been using it a lot, and I do feel better on the days when I use it.

While the oils are expensive, they are definitely of higher quality than some of the other brands I’ve tried.  I’m  not saying that other brands are bad, just pointing out the difference in quality.  Young Living is the only company in the world that has their own farms from which they produce their oils.  The farms are available for the public to visit.  I really admire the way they do business.  I’m a fan of transparency and caring for the earth and the people on it, which aligns with Young Living’s values.  Actually I’m such a fan that I signed on to be a distributor!  Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested in trying their oils.

As always, thanks for taking time out of your day to stop by My Crazy Nontoxic Life!

Tru Melange Candle Review

The first time we purchased Tru Melange candles, pretty much everything else in our home was non-toxic.  It hadn’t been high on the priority list, though I figured it would need to happen at some point.  Most candles are made with synthetic fragrances, which had been making my allergies worse.  After reading quite a bit of research, I came to the conclusion that I needed to look for candles that were free of synthetic fragrances (read about the dangers of synthetic fragrance here).  My allergies were making it difficult to function in every day life.  Synthetic fragrances were one of the things aggravating my allergies, so I was willing to take any measure that might help that, no matter how small.  Even though I hadn’t been using the toxic candles since learning about the dangers of synthetic fragrances, I hung on to them because I always liked having candles and didn’t want to get rid of them until I had their nontoxic replacements (just in case I was in a pinch and needed to make the house smell better).

Whole Foods was where I first discovered these nontoxic candles.  They had quite a selection, and after smelling just about every single one, I picked a few favorites and purchased.  When I got home that evening, I lit every one of the candles and let them burn for a little over an hour.  At the time we were in an 850 sq ft one bedroom apartment temporarily, so there wasn’t much area to cover.  It left a pleasant odor in the entire apartment, and not much smokiness in the air when I blew them out.  We’ve since moved into a two story, 1,800 sq ft house, and when the candles are burned, the room they’re burned in has the wonderful smell of the candles.

Tru Melange Candles are made from a blend of beeswax & non-GMO soy, wicks are braided cotton (no lead!), and scented only with 100% pure essential oils.  The come in a variety of scents & sizes, including pillars & some in metal or glass containers.  They range in price from $5.49 for a small jar to $20.99 for a 3″ x 5″ pillar candle.  Not much difference in price from toxic candles, so it’s kind of a no-brainer!

Scents we purchased are:  Aphrodesia (floral w/ lemon & ylang ylang), Harmony (vanilla & peppermint), Passion (clove bud & vanilla), and Uplifting (litsea & lemongrass).  We paired Aphrodesia with passion in our bedroom (wink wink!), and Harmony & uplifting in our living room.  Both combinations compliment each other nicely.  If you want to detox your home but still want to have nice smelling candles, Tru Melange is the way to go!

I hope you found this information helpful.  As always, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read!

Whatever Unscented Cleaner by Better Life

In late 2012 I started a journey to using non-toxic products in our home i hopes to help clear up some of my hypothyroid symptoms.  Household cleaners were a big hold-out for me.  One thing to know about me is that I’m a clean freak.  I want the house to be clean and clutter free at all times.  Our home used to be filled with the typical products you find in many American homes.  Bleach, air fresheners, scented detergents, scrubs, etc.  Over the years I became so accustomed to the strong odors, I felt like that was how I knew the house was clean.  But, over the years I also started to notice that every time I cleaned the house I would get a headache, especially when using cleaners with bleach.  This happened regardless of how well-ventilated the room was or how diluted the bleach was.

The first thing I cleaned up was personal care since they come into contact with the skin.  Then I cut out gluten and dairy.  Next, I started the journey to less toxic cleaning products.  While at a shopping trip to TJ Maxx, I noticed Whatever Unscented cleaner which is made with plant-based ingredients.  At that point I hadn’t done much research on cleaners, so I took a chance and purchased this product.  My husband and I both weren’t sure what to expect so we conducted a test.  Unfortunately I don’t have before and after pictures because at that point I had no idea that I would end up starting this blog (and now we don’t have tile!).  Because it had been raining a lot around that time and we have dogs, our floors were pretty dirty in the house we were renting.  So we sprayed Whatever Unscented on one tile & the grout around it.  We sprayed Tilex on another tile a few tiles away that was just as dirty.  After they both soaked for the same amount of time (no scrubbing on either tile), we were amazed at the results.  The tile and the grout around the tile with the Whatever on it was noticeably cleaner than the tile with Tilex.  Neither of us expected that.  Like so many others, we assumed that there was no way that a nontoxic, plant based product could out perform a synthetic chemical.

When my husband left to go serve in Korea, I stayed behind because I had just been promoted (& we didn’t want to live there for two years).  Since we lived so far away from where I worked, we decided to move me to an apartment closer to work.  The toxic cleaning products got left behind at the rental home and we purchased mostly Better Life Products to clean our new place with.  We’ve never looked back!  No more toxic cleaners, no matter where we live.

We recently hired someone to help us clean our house since I was commuting and my husband was really busy at work too.  One day she used a traditional cleaner in our bathroom by mistake.  She finished cleaning at 1pm, and when I got home at 6pm I could still smell the cleaner she used.  That’s how sensitive I am to those odors.  It’s crazy to think that when you’re around them all the time you don’t really notice the smell.  But, when you cut them out and then you’re around them again, you absolutely notice a difference.  We purchase our cleaners either online or in a health food store, because I can’t breathe when I walk down the aisle in a regular store because of the odor of all those synthetic fragrances.

If you’re wanting to make the switch but not sure where to start, I would definitely recommend trying Better Life products!  This is an all purpose cleaner, so start here: http://amzn.to/1TLenTU.

Hope you find this helpful.  Thanks for reading!

Nontoxic Cleaners for the New Year

Is one of your new year’s resolutions to use safer cleaning products but unsure where to start?  Do nontoxic cleaners work as well as the ones you’ve been using all your life? How much do they cost?  Where does one find them?

These are all questions I had when I started this journey.  When I was struggling through hypothyroid symptoms and ready to eliminate endocrine disruptors from my home environment, I decided to jump right in and try some new products that were safer.  I was apprehensive about trying new products because I’m a clean freak, and I didn’t want to sacrifice that to use safer products.  The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice cleanliness for nontoxic products. Before I switched I was wearing a mask to avoid the noxious fumes from the old cleaners I was using.  Now I can clean without getting a headache or wearing a mask!

Just to be clear, I’m not being paid by any of these companies, I’m simply offering my honest opinion of some cleaning products that I’ve used.

Here are some safer brands that I recommend:

  • Better Life Products – They’re all plant-based and scented with essential oils.  These products can be ordered from their website, are available at some big box retailers, and I’ve even found them at discount stores.  I found a 32 oz bottle of WhatEVER at TJ Maxx for $3.99.  You can also buy in bulk which will save on the cost, and the paper containers the products come in reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of plastic waste left behind.  I’ve tried several of their products and have yet to be disappointed.  WhatEVER cleans anything, hence the name.  I prefer the unscented version, though they have others.  I Can See Clearly Wow is a glass cleaner that works great and doesn’t have a strong odor, which I love.  Even The Kitchen Sink is a great cleaner for sinks, tubs, etc.  No odor and it removes stains and grime.  Natural Stain and Odor Eliminator can be used as a cleaner to remove stains or as a spray to eliminate odors.  My only complaint is I’m not a fan of the smell, but that’s because I don’t care for Lemongrass or Lavender.  If you like them you will probably like this scent.
  • Earth Friendly Products – so far I’ve only tried two of their products, and I think I’m in love!  They can be purchased online, and this is another brand I’ve found at both discount stores and health food stores that carry green cleaners.  The Free and Clear Auto Dishwasher Gel with built in rinse aid gets our dishes clean without any powdery residue.  The dish detergent in Natural Pear smells amazing gets our dishes just as clean as any traditional detergent.  It doesn’t create much later, but remember – you don’t need lather to get clean!
  • Seventh Generation – I’ve tried several of their products, and my thoughts are mixed.  Some products I like, some I don’t.  The products are easy to find since most grocery stores and big box retailers carry them.  They are a bit pricey compared to their traditional counterparts, though.  The unscented dryer sheets are a product that I love.  The toilet bowl cleaner in Emerald Cypress and Fir works great, and the smell isn’t too strong.  I’ve also used the Free and Clear dish and laundry detergents and they work great without any odor.  The dishwasher tabs always left a powdery residue on our dishes.  The cleaning wipes in Lemongrass Citrus smell like bug spray to me, so I only bought them once.
  • Dr Bronner’s – even though it’s not pictured here, I do like to use this brand of products.  They are available at many big box retailers, grocery stores, health food stores, and of course, online.  The prices may seem expensive at first glance, but because the soap is so concentrated, a little goes a long way!  I like to use the Castile soap in peppermint for household cleaning and personal care.  The great thing about this brand is that the same soap can have so many different uses.  It’s a great multi-tasker, and peppermint has antibacterial properties, so it makes a great cleaner!

I hope this helps you get your new year off to a great nontoxic start!

Detoxify Your Home

Here’s how I detoxed our home:

  • No synthetic fragrances in ANYTHING – essential oils only (more on this later)
  • No Paraffin candles – they release benzene when burned (Recognized by the IARC, NTP, EPA, and NIH as a known human carcinogen)
  • Use nontoxic detergents and cleaning products with a low rating on the Environmental Working Group database (see http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners)
  • Drink water that is free of fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, medications and more (more on this later)