When your gym is toxic to your health

I work out at Planet Fitness probably 5 days a week. I’ve been a member for about a year and I joined because I wanted to be in an environment where I could get back into shape and purify my body through sweat and exercise.

However, for me it’s not just about exercise. Its about nutrition and the products that I use on my body and in my home. Many household products have ingredients in them that can lead to cancer, hormone disruption, infertility, asthma, and blindness according to the Environmental Working Group. That’s why over the past few weeks I have become increasingly concerned because although I’ve stopped using certain products in my home, I am forced to breathe these potentially harmful chemicals into my lungs and thus into my body at the gym.

Let me just say that I commend Planet Fitness for maintaining tidy facility and a regular cleaning schedule. However, I just don’t think that this facility is aware that the products they are using contain chemicals which can be fatal if inhaled, or burn or blind and certainly do not support or encourage optimum health. Isn’t optimum health the reason why we go to the gym?

So what to do? I’ve already tried to work out at different times, but it’s not always effective and I shouldn’t have to schedule my workouts around their cleaning schedule. So how do I as a mere single customer talk with my Planet Fitness manager about the chemicals they use and get them to change brands? Do I write or start an online petition?


Guilt free organic desserts!!

I have a sweet tooth..I’m not ashamed to say it! I love to bake and eat desserts. My mom is a chef so I grew up around various desserts: pineapple upside down cake, brownies, and apple crisp etc. So needless to say when I decided to go back to cutting out non-processed foods, white sugar, and flour, I realized that I had to create a new repertoire of guilty free organic desserts. I sought out to find “desserts” that are comprised of real food with nutrients that my body can use, such as:

  • dark chocolate for antioxidants
  • finely ground almond meal or hazelnut to use in place of flour
  • Spelt or amaranth flour instead of whole wheat flour
  • Ground flaxseeds with water or applesauce in replace of an egg
  • Raw coconuts, coconut oil, coconut flour, or low glycemic coconut palm sugar for flavoring
  • Using date sugar (pulverized dates), grade B Maple syrup, or honey
  • Adding almonds, walnuts, or pecans with fruit (bananas, apples) for texture and flavor
  • So without further ado, here are my favorite organic dessert recipes that I’ve found so far on the web!

  • Food Babe’s Pound Cake with Chocolate Frosting
  • Natural Mother’s Network Healthy Brownie Recipe
  • Sprouted Kitchen’s Brown Butter Expresso Chip Muffins
  • Minimalist Baker’s Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut
  • Sprouted Kitchen’s Meyer Lemon Loaf
  • Eating Rule’s Maple Peanut Nougat Chocolate Clusters
  • Down 15ibs, 25 to go!

    So I’m down 15Ibs today. Then I realized I’m just 25Ibs away from my previous weight. I’m very excited. 40Ibs seemed very overwhelming but 25Ibs is doable!! My plan is to go beyond my old weight and really get into the proper BMI range for my height which is between 100-125. One day at a time…but I think this summer will be great.

    Be chic!

    Truth in labeling…not just GMOs!

    I’m sorry to tell you but according to Tom Mueller your olive oil may not be from 100% pure olives, but instead mixed with other cheaper oils or deodorized by a chemist! I’m currently reading his book Extra Virginity and it’s an eye opener. However his blog gives you useful tools for finding authentic olive oil.

    If that doesn’t blow your mind I know this will: Your orange juice may have had the oxygen removed…then put on a shelf for a year and brought back to life with flavor packs! Ever notice how store bought OJ tastes the same year round?

    And thats not all..many conventional spices and other products are irradiated…meaning put through radiation…which extends its shelf life but kills the natural enzymes and fighting power! But don’t take my word for it, just read what the research says.

    Many people know, but I don’t think they are conscious that store bought milk, dairy, and butter are most likely pasteurized (unless labeled raw), which is a process that uses high temperatures to sterilize foods, similar to irradiation. In terms of dairy, the Weston Price Foundation notes that:

    Pasteurization warps and distorts the enzymes and other proteins in milk so that the body thinks they are foreign, and has to mount an immune response. This makes pasteurized milk very difficult to digest.

    I know what you’re thinking, I’ll just buy raw and/or organic. Not so fast..Raw Almonds are now a misnomer. “Raw” almonds, depending on where you by them, are now pasteurized but they are still labeled raw..which is obviously purposely misleading. According to renegade health, the pasteurization rule could be driven by eliminating competition and price control. If you go to a small health food store and not a chain they usually have truthful labeling, additionally if you are an almond connoisseur you can tell the difference by look and taste 🙂

    Lastly, companies are allowed to use antibiotics on organic apples due to a bacteria called firebright. Yes antibiotics on a certified “organic” label! And of course the bacteria is mutating and the antibiotics are no longer as effective. This is just a cycle that they know will continue to happen..so why do we continue to use it?

    Its sad that eating real food requires that you become a food sleuth and investigator. You have to keep up on the laws that are being passed and the changing regulations for labeling. Many times companies change the names for common ingredients, such as “yeast extract” instead of MSG, and according to the Organic Prepper, “natural flavoring” could actually mean dead fragments or extrement from insects or animals!! I wish I was making this stuff up!!

    Stay chic..

    How I eat biologique chic

    I came across this article by Linda Zurich and she summed up very nicely how to eat nutrient dense foods, and for me this is how I aim to live biologique chic! According to Linda:

    Here are examples of some of the most nutrient dense foods available to us today:

    Animal products including meats, organs, eggs, and raw, unpasteurized, unhomogenized dairy products that come from non-factory farmed, non-GMO fed, non-drugged, pastured, (ie grass fed) humanely raised and/or wild livestock.

    Long cooked, mineral rich homemade broths made from the bones of these same kinds of properly fed and raised animals described above, and home cooked soups stews and sauces made with such broths.

    Wild caught fish and seafood.

    Traditionally consumed fats, including butter and cream from grass fed cows; animal fats like tallow, lard, and poultry fat from pastured livestock; tropical oils from coconut and palm; and cold expeller pressed oils of olives and sesame seeds.

    Enzyme enhanced lacto-fermented dairy products, veggies, fruits, beverages and condiments.

    Fresh, organically grown, non-factory farmed fruits and vegetables, preferably locally and seasonally cultivated in mineral rich soil.

    Nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes which have been soaked, sprouted or leavened to neutralize their anti-nutrients and improve digestibility.

    Seaweeds harvested from clean ocean waters, and other aquatic plant foods such as spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae and marine phytoplankton.

    Wild grown foods harvested directly from nature, such as huckleberries, blackberries, chanterelle mushrooms and dandelion greens.

    Culinary, medicinal and adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms, which are often good sources of various different vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients, may also be considered to be nutrient dense foods.

    Things I want to try/learn how to do

    I discussed my habits in a previous post. Now I want to talk about what I want to try and what I am curious about! As I begin these things I will take photos and post.

    I want to try making my own soap (hard or liquid castile). I know you need some safety equipment, oils, and lye.

    I want to try making my own (black) hair products to keep the texture of my hair soft, conditioned, and shiny. I know that honey opens up the hair follicles and Shea butter helps to seal in moisture.

    I want to try buying some things directly from a trusted farmer (such as beef tallow and raw unpasteurized butter and yogurt, and also eggs with different colors that come out of chickens :).

    I want to try gardening and growing my own herbs (stevia, parsley).

    I want to experiment with organic cosmetics without the harsh chemicals that interfere with hormones. I already found a polish by Honeybee Gardens that is patented to come off with just rubbing alcohol!!

    Lastly, I want to create and share my own homemade recipes and condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, and pickles, etc.

    Basically..I want to (and have begun) finding a healthier, cost effective alternative to everything that I eat, drink, and consume in my body.

    Weightloss update, new cooking discoveries

    So I finally made it out of the 170s, yay!! After a few weeks of no movement I went from 171 to 169 and when I left home to visit the fam I was 167.2 on thurs April 25th. So it’s very exciting 🙂 now of course I want to cross the 160 threshold!! Interesting…when I got on my parents scale it said 164. So who knows! I know there is at least a 2ib weight difference. So I’m doing great either way.

    I’ve had to suspend my strict organic rules while being home..my parents mix and match conventional and organic..which is realistic/understandable..they like to cook a lot for the week so we can just heat it up…When I am by myself I buy all organic but smaller portions..I always look for the organic version and do not shop at conventional supermarkets. They have a really tasty chicken parmesan recipe and they use Kraft Parmesan cheese, which I’m not crazy about..I think it’s such a shame most of the dairy in this country is pasteurized…and that there are random rules state by state about buying raw dairy.

    I came across the blog the healthy economist and the blogger, Karen turned me onto “bright yellow” raw grass fed butter and I’m anxious to try it! I also want to try raw yogurt..and also beef tallow. Supposedly butter has vitamins A and K that are crucial to brain development and it’s gotten a bad wrap. Additionally, beef tallow was used by McDonalds for fries until the 1990s when it switched to vegetable oil and all hell broke lose (just kidding :). Karen also has some cool videos on how to make beef and chicken broths to use when cooking soups and rice..yum!!

    Lastly, I ordered a cast iron pan but I haven’t tried it out yet! I was looking for something that is non stick but non toxic and so I decided on a pre-seasoned pan. I saw a video on YouTube and a woman was making scrambled eggs and nothing stuck so I was hooked! I know some iron will leach into the food if I use acidic ingredients like tomatoe/citrus but I think for menstruating women it is fine. One should also check your hormone levels to know where you’re at. I need to do that!