Beauty, Lifestyle, Wellness

Striking A Balance

Striking A Balance With Information Overload

How many of you get utterly confused by all the chit chat with “going natural” with your beauty routine, your food intake, the products you use for cleaning and so on and so forth? Even with a better-than-average knowledge of chemicals and subsequent reactions from their use, I have to say it’s all a bit confusing to keep aligned myself. 

In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any products made that consumers shouldn’t use and in an even more perfect world there wouldn’t be anything made that would counteract or react with things you’re already using. Hmmm…maybe we should create an app for that! An app where you can input everything you’re using on your skin or in your body and it will tell you if two or more things are canceling one another out or worse, if they are reacting negatively together and need to be used at different times. I bet that’s my million-dollar idea that I just put out on the internet for some developer to see, make and take my money. Remember, you heard it here first!

While I have always been interested in the chemical makeup of beauty products and how they uniquely address concerns for different people, I have become more and more fascinated by the world of nutrition within the past year. Most of this curiosity was awakened while pregnant with my third child and dealing with (yet again) issues concerning iron absorption. After a long list of attempts to get my iron levels raised — mainly to avoid the needle at every single visit to the OB — I decided to dive into research myself. Surprisingly, there were common things I was doing that were hindering the absorption of iron without me even knowing. For example, I was told to drink a glass of orange juice with my iron supplement to aid in absorption but was not told that orange juice “fortified with calcium” actually blocks iron in the system. Here I was thinking I was doing more of a good thing by buying the orange juice with the added calcium!  Isn’t calcium supposed to be great for your bones? Geez! 

In addition, I had my list of iron-rich foods that I was tediously trying to follow but wasn’t made aware that some of those foods are actually not supposed to be eaten within 2-3 hours before or after taking an iron supplement. Further, that good ol’ prenatal vitamin isn’t supposed to be taken at the same time as an iron supplement either. When I had been prescribed iron three times a day it made for some very specific meal planning around the clock for what I could eat and when, which supplements and vitamins to space out and things to be excluded all together.  That whole traffic jam of food, pills and timing had to be maneuvered while dealing with the negative side effects of iron deficiency: fatigue, headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, etc.

Suffice it to say, through aggravation, frustration, curiosity, and sheer willpower, I worked through the iron debacle but it opened my eyes to so many other things in the never-ending search for “wellness”. Now I’m no stranger to the “unnatural”, processed, chemical-burning temptations of the world and I by no way shape or form claim to give up some of those things (hello caramel Goetz candies and lunchables made for adults on the go) but I AM interested in making my living environment more natural, albeit organic, for myself and family as well as swapping some of my chemical laden cosmetics and hair products for more eco-friendly and body-friendly versions.  Warning: I will not give up my Chanel or Dior, though!  

That being said, this blog is my humble attempt at learning more, navigating the tough terrain of definitions, ingredients, and product knowledge and coming out the other side sharing what I find. I wholeheartedly welcome your feedback and comments and hope that you’ll share your knowledge with me, as well. 

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”

Abigail Adams

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