Eat Organic
While more and more people are eating healthier organic and naturally raised foods, many people don't realize that what you put ON your body has just as much impact on your health as what you put in your body - if not more. In fact, while our digestive systems are able to partly detoxify the things that we ingest, substances that you put on your skin are absorbed almost immediately, and go directly into your bloodstream. On average, when you apply a product to your skin such as a lotion or makeup, 65% of the ingredients are absorbed within 26 seconds.

Did you know that the average woman wears approximately 515 chemicals every day?!? Men aren't exempt either. More and more men are using personal care products such as moisturizers and lotions, not to mention deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and all the other products that we all use regardless of gender.

Is it any wonder the rates of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and autism have skyrocketed over the past few decades? Now more than ever, it's essential that we take steps to protect our health and take control of what goes into our bodies! Using all-natural products on our skin is a great start, but they can be somewhat difficult to find. Many products marketed as "natural" or even "organic" still contain harmful chemicals. There are a few companies consistently producing healthy and safe personal care products, and we recommend using these instead of their chemical-filled conventional counterparts. Check out our Products page for some recommendations.

Today, I'm giving you a run-down of just a few of the most common chemicals you will want to avoid. Get familiar with these, make a list and carry it in your purse or wallet, and consult it when shopping. Get used to reading labels, and learn to identify "hidden" chemicals that may be harmful to your health. Here are 9 common ingredients to look out for:

Giving Thanks
This week, in honor of the season, I thought I'd get a little personal and share some of the things I am thankful for this year! After all, those who have studied success, spirituality, or well-being know that gratitude is one of the most powerful forces for good in the world, with many amazing benefits for those who practice it.

From simple peace of mind and a positive outlook, to humility, improved relationships, and possibly even the ability to attract more good things into your life, gratitude can improve your life in a multitude of ways. And people have been realizing these benefits for centuries; the power of gratitude is explored in works as old as the Bible, all the way up to modern best-sellers such as Think & Grow Rich, The Attractor Factor, and many more.

I think it's just wonderful that we have a holiday devoted to it!

It's been an amazing year for me, and here are just a few of the things I'm thankful for. Please also feel free to share your own stories of gratitude with us in the comments section below!

Organic foods
Organic has become quite the buzzword in recent years, and most mainstream grocery stores now stock at least a small section of organic foods. The benefits of eating organically grown foods are many - from improved nutritional quality, to fewer ingested potentially harmful chemicals, to preserving beneficial soil microbes, to reduced pollution of the environment at large. But it can seem daunting if you are trying to feed a family on organic foods, as they often come at a premium when it comes to cost. However, there are definitely things you can do to make eating organic foods more affordable.

Here are 4 tips that can really help cut costs when it comes to buying organic:

Last week I discussed an article which disturbed me with its assumptions regarding success, health, and general well-being.  If you haven't read it yet, be sure to check out last week's blog post for the first two points - you won't want to miss those, especially if you are, or have been, having financial difficulties!

This week, I've got one final point for you, as well as the answer to taking back control of your life and health. This third assumption may affect you regardless of your income, and it can have a very harmful effect on your future health!

Assumption #3. Other People (e.g. Doctors, Therapists, etc.) Are Responsible for Your Health & Well-Being

Homeless man
I recently read an article by a woman who implored others to be more forgiving and less judgmental towards "the poor," who have little resources and therefore have a difficult time bettering their lot in life. This woman listed a litany of unfortunate things that had befallen her, as well as a number of reasons why her lack of money prevented her from having the opportunities that those who are better off have access to - such as physical and mental health care.

The first thing that struck me about this article was actually my negative reaction to it. Despite the many Facebook comments commiserating with the woman, I found myself quite indignant at some of her assumptions.  (Upon further reflection, I found this rather interesting, considering that I was in a position not that much different from her just a few years ago, and I realized just how much my mindset has changed in that short time period!)

If you are in a similar position to this woman, I hope you will take these observations to heart, and realize that YOU have the power to change your circumstances if you don't like where you're at!

Here are several assumptions that may be keeping you stuck feeling like you're one of the "have-nots" - and what you can do about it: