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Good Words

Friends, my playlist is about to get a major Mama makeover. Elliott and I have never been the kind of parents to keep our preferred music away from our son. Sure, some of the content got watered down once little man’s ears started to pick up on words, but we never fully converted our music of choice over to a Kidz Bop-approved variety. Over the last year or so, Brooks – our son who is now five years old – has taken a special interest in singing along with me to the songs that are on my playlist. We sing in the car, he sings along with the music while I work out or while we run down back country roads. It’s kind of become our thing. When we get to the songs that are filled with uplifting messages – messages that reinforce our faith or encourage self-confidence – I always say, “Listen, buddy! These are good words.” After a few months of me reminding him to pay close attention to the lyrics in certain songs, Brooks has now started to ask me, “Mommy, are these good words?” wh

The Journey of Switching to Safer

Not long after Elliott and I started AFP, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although we had always considered ourselves to be healthy, active people, our reignited passion for fitness and wellness went into overdrive after the diagnosis. We cut back on sugar, dairy, fried foods and red meat. We drank less alcohol and a lot more water. We ramped up our intake of organic foods, especially fruits and veggies. (Side note - Green Blender has become one of our most favorite finds during this process. More to come in future posts, but you should check it out! We're obsessed.)

The first time we met with my mom's surgeon, Mama asked if there was anything she could have done to prevent the breast cancer. Her surgeon of course said no, that if we knew the answer to that, then we would finally have a way to prevent all breast cancers. But here's what he DID say: Women in the United States are more likely to get breast cancer than women in other countries, just because we live here. We are exposed to things in the U.S. that make us more predisposed to getting breast cancer than women who live in other countries.

Let that sink in for a second. Read that last paragraph again if you need to.

Needless to say, these words hit me hard, and I started to make it my mission to find a way to make our family as healthy as possible. Exercise and nutrition were of course at the forefront, but I had also started to hear more and more about a company called Beautycounter - a cosmetics company that's mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone.

I started to read facts like the United States has not passed a federal law regulating ingredients in personal care products in 80 years. I learned that while the European Union bans over 1,300 ingredients from cosmetic products, the U.S. bans only 30. And that some of the ingredients allowed in our personal care products - that we use daily on ourselves and our families - have been linked to infertility, learning disabilities...and cancer.

This new knowledge grabbed hold of me and wouldn't turn loose. It caused a fundamental, eye-opening, jaw-dropping shift in my thinking. All this time, I had been so consumed with my workouts and making sure I was giving my family all the right things to put IN their bodies, and I never even considered what we were putting ON our bodies.

Think about it like this. Your skin is the largest organ your body has. And whatever you put all over your body will be absorbed through your skin. Have you ever taken the time to read the list of ingredients on your bath, makeup or skin care products? I sure as heck hadn't. The thought truly never even occurred to me.

Enter Beautycounter.

When I learned about this company, and the impact that it's making not only in the cosmetics industry but in the world of government through advocating for safer products, I jumped in with both feet. All the way in. After toying with the idea for only a few weeks, I signed up to be a consultant. Now that I knew better, I wanted to do better...and I wanted to help as many folks as possible know and do better too.

This isn't me trying to give you a hard sell to buy products from me, or from Beautycounter in general. But this is my attempt to challenge you to examine the lists of ingredients on your personal care products. If that sounds overwhelming to you, just pick a place to start. If you have kids, that's a perfect place to start. Look at what's in the shampoo, body wash or sunscreen that you put all over them. Check the safety of the brands you use at (Environmental Working Group).

I hope you'll do your own research. I hope you'll take the time to consciously think about the products that you put on yourself and your family. And once you do, if you develop an interest in Beautycounter, I would be honored to hear from you. Comment here, email me or of course browse products at

Cheers, as always, to finding our best selves and to being as healthy as possible from the inside out.

(P.S. - My mom had a single mastectomy on April 10, and she's doing AWESOME. We are so incredibly blessed and thankful for how well her surgery and recovery have gone.)


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