In a couple of weeks, my beautiful daughter will celebrate her 6th birthday! As parents, we often reflect on the past birthdays, the fun trips, and the sweet baby we once held. This time last year, I was flown to New York City by Shaklee Corporation to share my personal testimony about how Shaklee products have changed the health of my daughter. At that time, I was asked questions about my daughter before using Shaklee cleaners and my daughter after changing products. Wow….at one point during my video interview, I thought I was going to cry. In fact, my mother was with me and she did cry! It was not that I had not realized how much her health had improved, but I simply did not think about her past anymore. Today, I want to reflect on my daughter’s health. But first it is important to know that I am simply a mom. A mom that did a lot of research to help her daughter. As parents, we must be advocates for our children and research what is best for them, while working with doctors.
With that said, here’s my reflection!
From 10-months on, my daughter was always sick (Please note I did pull all our insurance records to ensure accuracy)
On antibiotics 1-3 times a month except five months in a 27-month period
Chronic nighttime cough
Throw up at night from coughing so hard
Overall was always sick
Tubes placed in her ears
As my daughter approached her second birthday, it seemed she was getting worse. I was referred to a pediatric asthma and allergy specialist. At two-years old, she was diagnosed with asthma. After a few months of trial-and-error, they settled on five different medications. (Feel free to read more about her initial medications here). While we were able to control her cough better and get sleep, she was still sick all the time. I was told that it was normal and she would slowly grow out of being sick so much.
After a year on all these medications, I was able to wean her off a couple of them simply by changing the cleaners in my house! I never knew that toxins inside my home were hurting her and causing her asthma to flare up. Another year later, after continuing to see my daughter sick at least once a month, I was determined to do something different.
After researching more, reading stories from other moms with similar situations, listening in on health webinars, and chatting with an awesome health coach, I decided nutritional habits had to change. I learned that many of her medications were weakening her immune system. I learned about this weird thing called candida and how 80% of our health was connected to our gut, and all these antibiotics she had been on were ruining her gut flora. I learned that she did not eat enough protein. I learned I should stop dairy and sugars as much as possible during an illness. I learned SO. MUCH!
The best part of all my new knowledge was being able to apply it to my family, specifically my daughter. Since March 2013, Lenna-Grace has been taking supplements to help her be healthier. In return, she has been medication free for two years. Let me repeat that. Lenna-Grace, who once took FIVE medications daily to control her asthma and allergies, has been medication free for TWO YEARS. And since she has not needed to take daily medications, she has also not been sick in two years. The past two years, she has only had one sick appointment, which was when we decided to get a dog and her asthma flared up.
Today….I am excited to watch my beautiful, healthy little girl run outside, ride her bike as long as she wants, play in the snow without stopping to catch her breathe, enjoy running around chasing her brothers, and much more. Today, I am thankful for knowledge. I am thankful for friends who share their knowledge with you. But mostly, I am thankful for this beautiful girl!
In April, I shared about my daughter’s asthma. I shared some statistics about asthma, side effects of medications, and how supplements were helping my daughter. Be sure to read the post here if you have not already.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma causes 4,200 deaths per year (that’s roughly 11-12 people a day). If you look at my previous post, I quoted 9 people a day. That number has went up since the CDC’s recent data was published! The CDC also states that asthma costs $56 billion in medical cost, lost school and work days, and early deaths.
Lenna-Grace was previously taking the following medications (My daughter started these at only 2.5 years old):
Flonase – nasal steriod (1 spray in each nosil twice a day)
Flovent – Inhaled corticosteroids (2 puffs twice a day)
Zyrtec – allergy medication (1 tsp twice day)
Singulair – Leukotriene modifiers (1 tablet once a day, when sick or asthma/allergy was worse)
Albuterol – Short-acting beta agonists (2 puffs immediately before bed and if needed for attack)
Last year, I changed all the cleaners in my house to non-toxic cleaners. I removed all chemicals that could be bothering allergies. And in return, I saved money! (I was a couponer, but was able to save money on non-toxic, safe, green, and effective cleaners with Shaklee Get Clean Kit). You can see all my posts Healthy Cleaning on a Budget–All-Purpose Cleaner, Laundry, and Dishes. You can also read about why non-toxic cleaners are necessary! After making these changes, I noticed some improvement in Lenna-Grace’s runny nose and daytime cough. But she still needed her medications at night daily. She still was getting sick all the time. And she still needed extra asthma medications when she was sick.
On March 1, I made the change. I waited until Lenna-Grace was not sick and after I started adding extra protein to her diet. I started giving her daily a children’s multivitamin, vitamin C, and an immune system builder. It is important to note that Lenna-Grace was already taking a Flintstone daily vitamin. However, I made the switch to an all-natural supplement that has no artificial flavors, no toxins, and is created and tested by the #1 Natural Nutrition Company in the United States.
Now….7 months later and I am happy to report that Lenna-Grace is doing AMAZING! She has had no asthma or allergy medication since March 1. She has not been to the doctor once (except her 4-year old check up). She has not had any asthma attacks. She has not had any major illnesses. She caught a 24-hour tummy bug once. She also had a cold. The best part though…the cold lasted less than 5 days AND she needed NO asthma medications!!! A year ago this would have been unthinkable. When Lenna-Grace had a cold, she needed to double up on her inhalers and usually ended up at the doctor’s office.
This is so amazing to me that I am going to say it again. Lenna-Grace has had NO asthma or allergy medications, NO doctor visits, NO antibiotics for 7 months, and NO real sicknesses.
I am well aware that allergies and asthma is typically worse during certain parts of the year. Last year, Lenna-Grace was the worst from August until March. We survived March and August, and so far September. I am well aware that flare ups can still occur. My goal is to be proactive and help her to be a healthy little girl!
Just so you are aware of the medical costs–
From August 2012 – February 2013, our insurance records show the following:
Medical Costs $1,522.54 before insurance ($778.66 paid out of pocket)
Pharmacy Costs $392. 54 before insurance ($236.66 out of pocket).
Did you see this is $1015.32 out-of-pocket in only seven months! For the past 7 months, do you know what I have spent?
**I also have Alfalfa ($16.45/330 tablets) on hand when I see allergies occurring, such as runny nose, for all the kids.**
From August-Feb, we spent $145.03 a month. From March – September, we spent $21.64 a month! WOW!
$145.03 compared to $21.64!
$123 difference PLUS I have a healthy child. I have spent less hours caring for a child coughing continuously. I have spent less time at the doctor’s office. I have spent more time enjoying my healthy children! Did I mention that NONE of our four children have been to the doctor for any illnesses in this past seven months? (Dalton did get a rash on his booty).
Here’s our happy and active little girl–with no asthma symptoms in SEVEN months!
In a few months, I hope to update you these same results.
If you would like to hear more, please join me Monday, September 23, at 9 PM (EST) for a wonderful, and free, webinar (Register here). I have the wonderful privilege of guest speaking with Nutritionist Barbara Lagoni, with over 30 years experience, and Dr. Steve Chaney, Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine for the webinar “Asthma – Natural Approaches to Strengthen Immune System and Reduce Environmental Toxins and Irritants.” Dr. Chaney received the rank of Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He has been teaching medical and dental students at UNC since 1972. He also ran an active cancer research program and has published over 100 peer review scientific journal articles.
Please note that I am not a doctor. I am simply a mother who longed to have a healthier child. I did a lot of research. I also kept (and still have) all asthma medications on hand in case needed.
Over the past week, I have shared with you the great financial benefits of switching your cleaners to concentrated cleaners. I discussed using an All-Purpose cleaner that would last you over a year and only cost $10.25 (or $0.22 a gallon). Then I discussed some AMAZING laundry products that were extremely low in cost and worked better than any product I have ever used AND could be used for every type of laundry cleaning need (newborn clothes, cloth diapers, sheets, quilts, carpet, etc.). Finally, I discussed a $9.50 automatic dish washer product that could last you 3-6 months depending on how often you run your dishwasher (3-6 months is based on 4-7 times a week running the dishwasher and having regular water, not hard). Can you really beat these prices?
I have clearly shown that the prices are great and very budget-friendly for those of us who really budget and spend our money wisely. Now it is important to understand why using a safe non-toxic cleaner, that is affordable, is important.
Allergies, Asthma, ADD, Psoriasis, Autism, and much more. These are all common issues that fly around the American household so much now. It’s the norm to have someone in your home (or everyone) with at least one of these issues. We see it as something to just accept and move on to medicate. Have you ever considered that the toxins in your home could be triggering any of these?
Did you know the following?
- Organic pollutants, found in many common cleaners and even air fresheners, are present at levels 2 to 5 times higher inside your home than out.
- Common cleaners give off fumes that potentially can increase the risk of kids developing asthma, the most common chronic childhood disease.
- If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you generate more than 20 pounds of hazardous household waste each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).
- “More children under four die of accidental poisonings at home than are accidentally killed with guns at home.” -National Safety Council
- “Of Chemicals commonly found in homes, 150 have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities.” -Consumer Product Safety Commission
- “After analyzing 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products, 884 were found to be toxic.” -National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
- “Indoor air pollution is one of the most important environmental health problems.” -Environmental Protection Agency in a report to congress
What about children?
An AMAZING research article on Environmental Health Threats to Children can be found HERE. I encourage you to read it. It states (and much more):
Children are more heavily exposed to environmental toxins than adults. Pound-for-pound, children breathe more air, drink more water, and eat more food than adults. Thus, they are more exposed to whatever toxins are present in those media. Children’s exposures are further increased by the fact that they tend to play close to the ground and to engage in repeated hand-to-mouth activity.
Children are less able to metabolize and excrete most toxic substances.
Children’s rapidly developing organ systems-the central nervous system, reproductive organs, immune system, and lungs-are highly susceptible to toxic insult.
You can also check out this article that has supporting researchers on Toxins in your home. Or see this post which also contains research about toxins in certain cleaners and their proven long-term effects on health.
Maybe you use “Green” products and think you are safe. However, many cleaners are labeled “green” or “natural” but do not disclose all their ingredients and have toxins still in them! Check out the EWG (Environmental Working Group) “Cleaners Hall of Shame” This lists products that are labeled “green,” “safe” or “non-toxic” but in fact contain hazardous materials. It also lists products that are fatal if inhaled, products that burn the skin, products with asthma-causing ingredients, products that are BANNED in other countries, and much more! You would be surprised!
What is different about Shaklee Get Clean Products? See here excellent resource on why Shaklee is an exceptional value!
No Harmful Fumes
No Volatile Organic Cleaning Compounds
Kerosene, Phenol, Cresol,
Lye, Hydrochloric Acid, Sulfuric Acid,
Sulfamic Acid, Petroleum Distillates, Ammonia,
Sodium Hydroxide, Butyl Cellosolve, Phosphoric Acid,
Formaldehyde, or Morpholine
Outperforms or matches 15 national brands
100% money-back guarantee
Sustainable ingredients from natural sources
Recyclable dryer sheets
No chlorine bleach
No volatile organic cleaning compounds
No animal testing
WOW! Checkout this amazing review of Shaklee Get Clean products.
So we have discussed the great value. We’ve discussed the reason or non-toxic products. And we have discussed the outstanding difference in Shaklee, a company that has been around for OVER 55 years and was “going green” before it was the thing to do.
If you would like more information on anything I discussed, please contact me (or the person who sent you here). Be sure to check out all the great products offered by Shaklee’s Get Clean line.
Here it is, part 3 on Healthy Cleaning on a Budget. Be sure to check out Part 1 on an All-Purpose cleaner that is very inexpensive, safe, natural, and words, and Part 2 on an exceptional Laundry detergent that is also Natural, Safe, Effective, and Budget-friendly.
Today we are looking at the DISHES! Now–this was the last switch I made. I actually made my switch to Shaklee’s Get Clean Dish Washer Automatic Concentrate 10 months after I switched all other cleaners! You are probably thinking what I did before I made the last switch. Why do I need a natural cleaner for my dishwasher? I keep my dish detergent out of reach. My kids do not get to it. Natural cleaners cannot be better than Cascade! Simply put….there’s NO NEED for an all-natural, toxic free dish detergent. Right?
WRONG! According to mamashealth.com, “The #1 cause of household poisoning is dish detergent. Dishwashing liquids are labeled ‘harmful if swallowed.’ Each time you wash your dishes, some residue is left on them, which accumulates with each washing. Your food picks up part of the residue — especially if your meal is hot when you eat it.” I could leave you a ton of great articles and reviews on the dangers of dish washing detergents. You can see here, here, or here. Should I list some more?
But that is not what changed my mind. What did it for me? My sweet and smart little man. While we sat in the kitchen floor fixing Zachary’s toy, Dalton found the Cascade PODS. At only 12 months old, he knew how to move the lock on the dishwasher, pull it down, and play! Why is this a bad thing? Well, the dishwasher is ready to go, which means the POD was ready to go in the dishwasher! He got a good bite in his mouth–liquid and powder. This was my second time calling Poison Control. He threw up three times within five minutes and I was worried! I was told to give him water or milk constantly for the next couple of hours. He was still breastfeeding so this was easy for him. Just offer to nurse and he was good! (Did you know poison control will call you back every so often to check on your child when you call?)
After that….I made the SWITCH!
Well, now you know why I switched and to be honest costs was not even a concern at this point. However, I have since learned that Shaklee’s dish cleaners are very budget friendly.
Cascade Complete Shaklee Dish Washer Automatic
75 oz 32 oz.
On sale with coupons $5.50 $9.50 (membership price)
Fill both dispensers (~1.5 oz each) 1-2 tsps. per dispenser**
Approximately (25 load) Approximately 48-96 loads**
**Depends on water, I use only 1 tsp. per load; therefore, getting about 96 loads a package. If you have hard water, you may need to use more. This would hold true for Cascade as well. As a family of 6, we purchase our Dish Washer Automatic Concentrate once every three months. We use the dishwasher once a day.
If the costs does not seem that important, what about the ratings of Cascade? All Cascade Dishwasher Detergents receive a D or F rating. EWG ranks the Cascade Powder Detergent an F overall because “Regulatory violation; May contain ingredients with potential for cancer; acute aquatic toxicity; chronic aquatic toxicity”
We can see that Shaklee is SAFER and budget-friendly. What about other GREEN products? I never couponed with Seventh Generation, but a quick breakdown since it is comparable to Shaklee.
Seventh Generation Powder Free and Clear
Fill both dispensers (1-1.5 oz each)
About 15-22 (depending on hard water)
Seventh Generation Powder Free and Clear actually received an A rating and is certified Green. However, an A rating is the average. There are a few ingredients in this product that are listed as potential harm- such as, PG-10-Laureth-7,which there is “Evidence of cancer; developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; damage to DNA.” **Please note that the other Seventh Generation Dishwasher detergents received a D or F rating**
The other comparable company would be The Honest Company. The Honest Company’s Auto Dishwasher Gel, Free and Clear, also received an A rating but contains enzymes that have “concern for general systemic/organ effects; general ecotoxicity; biodegradation.” The Honest Company’s rinse agent scores a C because there are many concerns for allergies, asthma, environmental factors, cancer and a few more. Also, the pods do not score high due to these concerns as well. **Please note that the Honest Company IS NOT certified a Green product.
The Honest Company’s Auto Dishwasher Gel
Fill one dispenser (1.5 oz)
about 26 loads
I hope this cost breakdown helps you see how economical it is to use Shaklee’s Dish washer concentrate. More importantly, I hope from some of the reviews and articles, you see how dangerous dishwasher detergents can be. Fumes given off can affect your respiratory system, reproductive health, and much more. Then there’s the residue left on the dishes after being cleaned that you ingest–your children ingest. Be sure to take this into consideration when picking the right cleaning products!
As always–Shaklee’s Dish Washer Automatic is SAFE, EFFECTIVE, GREEN, and BUDGET-FRIENDLY!
Shaklee’s Dish Washer Automatic is phosphate-free, bleach free, and preservative free. It contains no hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acids, sodium hydroxide, nitrates, artificial colors, and much more! And is in environmentally friendly packaging! Be sure to check out The Shaklee Difference!
Yesterday, I discussed Basic H2, an all-purpose cleaner that was Safe, Green, Effective, and very cheap! Today, I want to discuss LAUNDRY!
When you are expecting a baby, you read all the information about washing children’s clothes with special detergent in order to avoid chemicals and irritate their skin. Or maybe you use cloth diapers and buy a separate detergent to meet those needs. Maybe you buy whatever is on sale. What about those HE washing machines and buying the proper detergent for those. There are some many reasons people buy certain laundry detergent. What if you could meet any and all your needs with one detergent?
REALLY?!?! One detergent that is safe, chemical free, and gentle enough for the newborn. One detergent that does not cause sudsy build-up in your amazing HE washing machine. One detergent that is perfect for cloth diapers. One detergent that is effective on those tough football or baseball stains (Or spaghetti hand prints all over dad’s work shirt). One product that can clean it all, in any machine, that is safe, non-toxic, and affordable! Could it exist? It does!
First–why does it matter if your laundry detergent, softener, or stain removal is non-toxic? What is so bad about it….I mean you wash it off, right? Actually, many of the toxins stay on your clothes! When we changed all our cleaning products to Shaklee, we took our oldest son, Jamie, off his allergy meds. I am confident laundry was one of the products adding to his allergy problems. How do I know this? Because laundry was the main change (only change) I truly made for a month or two!
Have you seen some of the chemicals in common laundry products and what they can do? Did you know that it could cause your eczema, allergies, or even aggravate your asthma? Did you know it could effect your fertility? There are links to hormone and reproductive effects of some of these chemicals! Check out this list on chemicals to avoid in laundry products. What you put in your washing machine stays on your clothes! Some chemicals in our laundry detergents are banned in other countries!
So you are thinking–“I am okay. I use Free and Clear” or “I buy from the Honest Company” or “I use Seventh Generation” These are great companies. I am not here to bash any of them. But have you checked their ratings or ingredients? The Environmental Working Group gave the Honest Company’s Stain remover an “F” rating due to some concerns in allergies, asthma, and skin irritations, and HIGH concerns in reproductive toxicity! They received a “C” rating for the Free and Clear detergent because “May contain ingredients with potential for acute aquatic toxicity; respiratory effects; damage to vision.” Seventh Generation’s Concentrated Free and Clear received a “D” rating, stating, “May contain ingredients with potential for acute aquatic toxicity; developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; respiratory effects”
WOW….we are washing our clothes, our children’s clothes with this?
So–is there something SAFE out there that is AFFORDABLE and works?
SHAKLEE Fresh Laundry is:
I have established how great it is, but is it affordable?!?!?!
Remember my post from yesterday? I broke everything down using coupons. Well, let’s do the math again!
Tide Free and Gentle Shaklee Fresh Laundry
56 oz. 5.5 lbs (That’s 88 oz.)
40 loads 88 loads OR MORE
On sale with Coupons $5.50 $18.10 (membership price)
Now…I know what you are thinking–“Amber, that is $0.06 more a load!” Technically, yes! But I have to tell you that I do not use 1 oz. per load. I use HALF an oz. or an ounce for kids’ dirty dirty clothes! So, I really personally get about 120 loads. Now let’s do the math….$0.15/load.
So–it’s is not necessarily cheaper IF you coupon. If you do not coupon and get the best deals, it is definitely cheaper! AND it is SAFE, Environmentally Friendly and can be used on HE, regular, front-load, top-load, and all clothes!
Shaklee’s other amazing product is Nature Bright
This can be used a pretreatment for stains, brighter in the wash, carpet cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, shower cleaner, grout cleaner, and much more! As you see, it is more than just for laundry! Check out this great post on how effective it can be and what it can be used for.
Since it is so versatile, I cannot accurately compare it. BUT…I will try a little:)
Shout Triple-Acting Stain Remover Nature Bright
30 oz 32 oz
Price with coupons $1.75 $9.30 (membership price)
Price per galloon $7.32 $2.33/galloon
(mix 2 T per 16 oz. water)
Clorox Bleach for Colors Nature Bright
77 oz 32 oz
27 loads (according to site) 64 loads (1 T)
Price with coupons $8.00 $9.30 (membership price)
$0.30 per load $0.15 per load
To be honest, if you are just buying a regular fabric softener with coupons, it is cheaper than Shaklee. Shaklee’s is about $0.13/load. Gain Fabric Softener with a coupon would cost me $0.06/load. BUT I could not use it on my children’s clothes (it has chemicals that can remove the flame resistance on children’s clothes). It is not Natural, toxic free, and biodegradable. It is cheaper than Seventh Generation whose is $0.16/load.
That is a lot to take in! The important thing to note is that Shaklee’s Laundry can be used for everything–baby’s clothes, linens, stains, cloth diapers, and much more!
If you purchase Nature Bright, Fabric Softener, and the Fresh Laundry, you will pay the following:
Fresh Laundry $18.10
Soft Fabric $8.80
Nature Bright $9.30
Monthly Costs: 13.89**
**Depending on if you use fabric softener with every load and how often you use Nature Bright, here’s the monthly Breakdown of what I PAY (I am a family of 6 washing about 8 loads a week so 32 loads a month).
That is $14/month for SAFE, EFFECTIVE, GREEN laundry products!
*Our family, couponing, spent $15-$20.00/month depending on sales on laundry products that were not safe, were not Green, and did not always Work. And only added to asthma and allergy problems in our home!
Tomorrow we will discuss the dishes!
In the meantime, check out Harper’s Post on Four Ways You Can Love Laundry!