Holly Pellham Davis discusses Beauty & Wellness

Holly Pellham Davis discusses Beauty & Wellness

                               Holly Pellham Davis, Founder of Clean Fresh Living, Inc. 10 Most Beautiful...

Probiotics & The Gut-Brain Connection.

Probiotics & The Gut-Brain Connection.

  By Holly Pellham Davis Many of us can relate to the feeling that our gut has a mind of its own, often over-ruling the main processing unit above our...

Back To School for Lunch

Back To School for Lunch

  By Holly Pellham Davis   With a staggering 1 in 3 children now clinically obese, it is more imperative than ever that we address healthy eating at home and in...

What's in the Water?

What's in the Water?

Water... Life's Most Valuable Componet (next to the Air we breathe) Photo by Joslyn Taylor     I wrote this article on water a while back, but water will always be...

Sun vs. Sunscreen

Sun vs. Sunscreen

Enjoying The Hawaiian Sun ******************   By: Holly Pellham Davis   Who knew sunscreen could be so controversial? But, as with most products containing...

Is the Air You're Breathing making You Sick?

    Take a deep breath through your nose, slowly filling up your lungs. Then slowly push the air out through your mouth. Think about your nose, which acts as a filter and...

All About Holly Pellham Davis

 

            

                Holly Pellham Davis, Founder of Clean Fresh Living, Inc. 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas, D Magazine.

 

 

 

By Holly Pellham Davis

Many of us can relate to the feeling that our gut has a mind of its own, often over-ruling the main processing unit above our shoulders. But, what would you say if I told you that our gut is often referred to as the “second brain?”

The gut is an extension of the brain connected through the enteric nervous system. The two work together to create a balance of hormones, bacteria, enzymes, and some 40 neurotransmitters. In fact, more than 90% of our bodyʼs serotonin, 50% of our bodyʼs dopamine, and 70%-90% of our immune system, is found in the gut. Simply stated, if the gutʼs not happy, our entire body is not happy (or healthy) and more prone to a variety of problems, conditions, and disease.

The root of all disease is inflammation. The immune system and gut flora have a symbiotic relationship. When our gut flora (microbiota) is imbalanced (more bad than good) we have Dysbiosis which disturbs waste removal in the GI track and leads to inflammation (increase in cytokines) and cancer.

This microbiota or gut flora is absolutely essential to our health. At birth, we are given vital bacteria through the birth canal that become the signal to activate the gut immune system. For babies delivered by C-section, they must depend on bacteria picked up from the skin and other surfaces, therefore having a completely different community of bacteria (in the body) sometimes leading to colic, increased risk of asthma, allergies and obesity. Frequently, those same children are prescribed antibiotics more often through life, compounding the root of the problem. But, they are not alone. Many of us suffer from imbalances in our gut bacteria. It is a battle of Good vs Bad.

Some Causes of Gut Microbiota Imbalance:

  • Use of antibiotics
  • Consumption of processed foods, genetically modified foods, and sugar
  • Illness
  • Stress* (See CRF below.)
  • Chlorine in water.
  • Drinking large quantities of coffee or alcohol (or both)
  • Aging
  • Taking H2 Inhibitors. These acid blockers can be devastating to the gut and can actually perpetuate the problem. Instead, talk to your doctor about treating GERD with high potency probiotics and take a digestive enzyme to restore balance. You should also cut processed foods and eat mostly dark green leafy vegetables.

 
What are the signs/gut feelings (no pun intended) that something is wrong?

  • Abdominal pain
  • Visceral pain — inflammation, bowel disease, GERD, kidney stones, endometriosis
  • Constipation
  • Cravings
  • Foggy memory, mood swings (an inflamed gut = inflamed brain)
  • Trouble sleeping/insomnia
  • Release of CRF (corticotropin releasing factor) — Often a result of chronic stress, the release of CRF can lead to changes in paracellular permeability, leaky gut / leaky brain (antigens leaking out into the bloodstream), toxic liver overload, irritable bowel syndrome, and systemic disease.

 
Now that we have a snapshot of what can go wrong when you have bad gut health, letʼs look at some things we can do to make it right.

Keys to Gut Brain Wellness:

  • Eat a diet rich in organic plants, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, some whole organic grains, and eggs. Superstars include: avocados, freshly ground flaxseeds, and omega 3 rich foods.
  • Avoid food additives, artificial colors and dyes, preservatives, refined sugars, pesticides, genetically engineered foods, and MSG. They all alter gut microbiota and can damage the intestinal wall.
  • Decrease exposure to environmental toxins — drink pure, clean water ( de-chlorinated and DBP free), breathe clean air, avoid toxic household chemicals, and remove plastics and styrofoam from your home & office.
  • Increase Omega 3  and decrease Omega 6.
  • Exercise.
  • Decreases stress to aid in the release of beneficial hormones and weight loss (bonus!).
  • Get adequate sleep, ideally at least 8 hours of per night. Your ability to sleep well will increase with good gut health.
  • Reduce Stress! This is absolutely vital for gut health and whole wellness. Volunteering, meditation, yoga,exercise, massage therapy, journaling, support groups, and gardening are all great ways to reduce stress and nurture your soul.

 
Probiotic Supplements
While not a cure-all, you can also help improve gut health by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement every day. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a supplement:

  • Look for one that is encapsulated and extended release which allows the bacteria to pass through stomach acid.
  • Choose one with multiple strains- most contain 10-12. The more strains the better.
  • Look for numbers that reference how many cells at best by date (not manufacture date).
  • Do NOT take probiotic supplements within one hour of hot drinks or heated foods. The heat will kill the cells. This includes the popular suggestion to take probiotic with hot lemon water.
  • For anyone in a “gut wrenching state,” you may want to look into prebiotics and digestive enzymes. They are a tremendous help and support for gut health.

 
Probiotic Foods
Including probiotic foods in your family’s daily diet is another way to help promote good gut health. Probiotic foods include: miso, oats, wheat bran, legumes, chicory, banana, dandelion greens,blue-green algae, kimchee, garlic, onions, pickles, tempeh, sauerkraut, beans, flax seeds, leeks, artichokes, Kefir (fermented dairy), and yogurt. I’ll dive  into a few of these foods below.

Yogurt: We’re firmly in the midst of a yogurt craze with food giants eagerly jumping on the bandwagon in the name of “health.” Any yogurt containing excessive sugar, artificial flavors, colors, toppings/mix ins should be considered a dessert or junk food, as any benefit received from the small amount of bacteria it may contain is voided by harmful additives. 

Fermented Drinks: My husband gags when he sees me take a swig of Eden Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar . I admit, it takes some getting used to, but being a long time Kombucha Tea drinker prepared me for the intense flavor. The list of health benefits of fermented drinks like vinegar is vast, including: aiding in alkalinity/ ph balance, improving digestion, encouraging skin health, possessing anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory  properties, aiding in weight loss, and helping to reduce blood sugar levels. It can even be used as a mouth wash! The Kombucha story is a bit more complicated, as each maker touts their brew to be best, but remember the integrity of fermentation (raw culture) is what creates the good bacteria. Look for lines that clearly state specific strains contained and all ingredients. Also beware of high sugar content (double check the servings per container). A brand I enjoy is High Country. I love the ginger, and my son fittingly adores Wild Root. For moms out there wanting to create their own “mothers,” there is an easy starter kit.

Fermented Foods: Fermented foods have been a staple in ancient cultures often being referenced as the root of good health and survival. Miso, sauerkraut, kimchee, tempeh are examples of some of those foods. Try them out!

At the end of the day, I think momʼs advice to “listen to your gut” has taken on a deeper meaning on our ongoing journey to wellness, donʼt you?

Stay tuned!

XOXO, Holly

 

 

Photo by D Magazine for DMoms Daily-  Holly Davis' Picks for Non-Toxic Nail Polish

 

By Holly Pellham Davis

My daughter and I love pretty nail polish colors. But, sadly, the seemingly harmless act of getting a mani/pedi can be rife with nasty toxic chemicals that bioaccumulate in our bodies.

Most nail polish, removers, adhesives, gel manicures, acrylics, and some nail “art” contain a long list of extremely powerful chemicals that can pose a serious threat to a person’s health through both contact with skin and inhalation. Just being in the same room where certain nail products are being used can put you, your child, and especially unborn children at risk.

 

The big 3 harmful chemicals we find in nail polish are:

  • Formaldehyde – A known carcinogen that has been proven to cause leukemia and other blood cancers, as well as severe damage to tissue in the human body, DNA, gene mutation, and chromosomal breakage.
  • Toluene — Also used as an additive to gasoline and in the production of benzene (one of the most deadly chemicals on the planet), Toluene has been shown to cause neurological and cognitive damage, reproductive dysfunction and damage, kidney and liver damage, and “harm to unborn child during pregnancy.
  • Dibutyl phthalate DBP — Phthalates, especially DBP and DEHP & DDP have been heavily studied and are proven developmental and reproductive toxicants. DBP exposure has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor and can cause fertility and reproductive abnormalities, especially in males (marked sperm reduction in the last 40 years, increase in testicular abnormalities and deformities.) Studies show contact with the chemical can result in an increased risk for breast cancer, prostate and testicular cancer, liver toxicity, and fetal skeletal abnormalities. What’s more, studies have confirmed the presence of DBP and other phthalates in breast milk, amniotic fluid, urine, and serum.

 

In a world where we are inundated with toxic exposures from many different sources, changing our Mani/Pedi habits can be an easy, doable change. Here are a three easy tips for sussing out toxic nail offenders.

  1. Do A Background Check: Know your nail products. Find a brand you can trust. Understand that just because the product states  that it’s free of Formaldehyde,Toluene, and Dibutyl Phthalate doesn’t mean it’s true. Check for yourself here. I was relieved to find my trusted Zoya brand to be one of the only left standing as truly “3 Free” after a random testing from a San Francisco store.

2. Be Salon Savvy: Know your salon safety rules, especially where your little one’s are getting their polish on. Make sure the areas are well ventilated with no artificial nail applications in the same room; take your own “3 Free” nail polishes, base, and top coats; skip the UV top coat and drying station, as dermatologists have been reporting dramatic increases in skin cancer attributed to the UV-light exposure from the lamps.

3. Steer Clear These Toxic Badboys

  • Acrylic and Gel nail applications, which are made of toxic synthetic polymers and contain Methyacrylic Acid (in nail primer) and Ethyl Methacrylate (EMA), an artificial nail liquid. Exposures to these substances while pregnant may harm your unborn child. Plus, the need to soak in acetone to remove is a double toxic whammy.
  • Acetone and other nail polish solvents and thinners.
  • Butyl Acetate and Ethyl Acetate.
  • Camphor, which is a plasticizer also commonly used as a fragrance and is highly irritating to the 
lungs and skin. Camphor is very toxic and at high dosages, can be lethal. (Note: There are several “all-natural” products such as lip balms, lotions etc that contain camphor, such as “Burt Bees.” I do not recommend them.)
  • Formaldehyde resins: Really? We need to distinguish from Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde resins? Formaldehyde causes cancer, in any combination, mixture or form. (Note: Melamine plastic tableware, commonly used in kids plates and cups, is made of a melamine-formaldehyde resin and can be released into food at high temperatures and when in contact with acidic substances. That’s a little more than we bargained for with the little one’s cup of Orange Juice.)

 

Never fear, there’s still nail fun to be had. Following are my favorite Clean Fresh nail polish brands.

  1. JENNA HIPP!!! BEST COLORS, LOVE the Brush and its 5 Free! 
  2. No Miss –  Super Fun colors that are super long lasting. (Sidebar: They have a polish remover but it doesnʼt remove much.)
  3. Mineral Fusion — From the colors to the awesome base and top coat, I love everything about this line. Their polish remover is awesome too.
  4. Zoya – My daughter Landry's fave!!!
  5. Butter London- THE BEST BASE & Top Coat that are long lasting! Not in love with the brush though... it's definately needs a do over. 

 

Let's show some #girlpower and join together, demanding non-toxic products for our pretty little fingers, precious princesses, (not to mention the environment) more and more safe polishes and nail products are being created to meet demand. Letʼs keep ʻem on their toes Mamaʼs!

Healthy is Beautiful!

XOXO,

Holly

Clean Fresh Living on Twitter

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