Detox Challenge: Detoxify your Cupboards

A Blog Post by Elizabeth Farrell

It's time to clean the house of toxic chemicals... but where to start? Let's start with simply getting to know what products you are using in your home and on your body. Start by going through your cleaning supplies and then personal care products.

The Environmental Working Group makes this process a little bit easier for all of us curious about what is in the products that we are using in our home, putting on our skin, and putting in our bodies. Even though an all natural or organic product says that it uses all natural ingredients, it might contain carcinogenic compounds, endocrine disruptors, and other toxins.

For years, I used mineral based makeup thinking that this was better than using any of the other leading brands like Cover Girl, Chanel, or Lancome. I ended up doing a heavy metals toxicity test and found high counts of Bismuth in my body along with Cadmium. I wondered where I might have gotten Bismuth and Cadmium. I looked at my makeup and there it was. Bismuth oxychloride as one of the leading ingredients. Bismuth oxychloride is a by-product of lead and copper smelting as well as a known irritant which can cause acne break-outs. Take a look at what's in your cosmetics bag or in your personal care products. I just discovered that the mascara I have been using is carcinogenic, so it's time to find another one. It's best to look carefully at the ingredients and then look up what you find on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Now, onto our cleaning products.

Take a look at our dish soap, both say that they are natural and include natural ingredients. Which one do you think is better to use? Well, neither of them are that great. The Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid received a D grade on EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning and the Ultra Dishmate received a C+, which is not much better.

The best cleaners that I have found to use are: bleach, white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon essential oil, and Bon Ami. Yes, Bon Ami gets an A from the EWG. It does deep clean, and it's safe.

In the spirit of cleaning your pantry and personal care products, I am sharing with you my homemade face salve. I used to buy a $60 cream made out of organic ingredients until I decided that I could make it for cheaper and could control the ingredients. This face salve can be used as a general salve and is good on extra dry skin.

1. Place a mason jar in a sauce pan with water. Heat the water on medium high heat. Not boiling.

2. Add in the following ingredients, and let sit over the heat until combined:

-1/2 Cup Grapeseed Oil or Almond Oil

-1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

-1/4 Beeswax ,grated

-2 Tablespoons Organic Shea Butter

-2 Teaspoons Pomegranate Seed Oil or Rosehip Seed Oil (You can purchase both ingredients at Mountain Rose Herbs.)

-Essential oils of your choice. I used Geranium, Lavendar, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Frankinsense, and Grapefruit. You can use as many drops as you like of each.

3. Once all of the ingredients are combined and the beeswax has melted, let all ingredients cool. Then, use. You can use this salve for more than 3 months.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Elizabeth at or complete our Contact Form. Thank you and happy detox!


The Energy Behind Food Cravings

In Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems, food is life and eating a meal is a sacred practice equipped with specific traditions like chanting, prayer, and lighting of candles. Even the preparation of the meal is a sacred act. Our modern day lives have changed our eating patterns and the sacredness of food itself.

How often do we grab food in a hurry? How often do we eat out? How often do eat emotionally and not think about what our body is really craving? It’s not the sugar we are craving, but the comfort of sharing a meal with our family, friends, and loved ones. Dr. Vasant Lad says, “Food becomes consciousness at a cellular level.” The food we eat, how we eat, and what we eat has a lot to do with how we are feeling. Eating is emotional, and the foods we eat change our consciousness.

Think about it: if you eat a McDonald's meal every day, how would you feel? What about chocolate chip cookies and other sweets? What if you ate a plate of steamed vegetables grown in your own garden with a locally raised organic roast chicken, and sat down with your family or friends and honored the food in community? How would you feel? I know that if I ate McDonald's and sweets everyday I would be very depressed and sick. This is the case of most Americans who eat this way. The energy of the food matters, as does the company with whom we eat.

When you crave something it’s a desire for what is known in Ayurveda as graha - a grasping. We all crave specific foods, but what are we really grasping for? If food is emotional, the food that you crave says something about what you are energetically craving. Craving sugar? Maybe you need more nourishment in your life, or something is missing. Craving coffee and caffeine? Maybe it’s sleep you’re missing. Craving comfort foods like baked goods, stews, and other nourishing foods? Maybe you are feeling imbalanced.

The question to ask yourself when you feel a craving arise is: why am I craving this food? What am I missing? Am I missing the nutrients, or am I really craving something else? What am I feeling when I eat that food? We need to bring the love of food and preparing a meal back into our daily lives. I encourage you to take time to honor your food through preparation, healthy ingredients, and sharing a meal so that eating becomes a sacred act. Through this practice, your cravings will become less as you feed yourself with love.

By Elizabeth Farrell