August 15, 2016

Raspberry Coconut Popsicles (Paleo, Vegan, Whole 30, AIP, Low FODMAP, GAPS, SCD)

It's another beautiful week! And what's going to make it even better are these Raspberry Coconut Popsicles. Yes these are pretty delicious my friends. And so easy to make! Seriously just wait until you see the recipe. You will thank me I promise. 

So let's see, what's been going on in my life since my last post... 
Studying, studying, and a little more studying. Oh and throw in a little side of work too. Yep, pretty exciting my friends. Pretty darn exciting. 

But you know what is exciting? The Olympics!

Have you been watching? Oh my goodness I'm obsessed. I used to swim competitively so swimming has been my sport of choice so far. And man are those guys fast! Like so fast. Penny Oleksiak is officially my new Canadian hero. 16 years old and she has already won 4 Olympic medals! It's insane. Especially as a Canadian. As a country we aren't exactly known as a swimming powerhouse that's for sure. I really hope this gets people excited about the sport of swimming in Canada over the next little while. It would be so amazing to see more success for the sport. 

The other sport I always love watching is gymnastics. How those men and women get their bodies to do the things that they do just amazes me. Such strength, flexibility and power all rolled into one. 

Oh and diving! That's another sport I would never dare to do! Throwing yourself head first from a 10 meter platform just terrifies me. So many chances for things to go wrong! I can only imagine how many face plants and miserable training exercises go into making those dives look as good as they do. 

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The other thing I have been dealing with lately is a back injury. I wish I had some epic story to tell you about how I hurt it, but the sad truth is that I honestly don't know! It's so annoying. I just woke up one day a few months ago with pain. I assume I did something during one of my workouts but I honestly have no idea. Anyways I have been doing lots of massage, cupping, rest, ice, heat and dry needling over the last two months or so trying to get things under control. And two weeks ago I finally started seeing an osteopath. And I can honestly say that that is the first thing that really seems to be helping! You guys know me, always willing to explore all aspects of integrative and alternative medicine, and osteopathy is one form of healing that I had never experienced before. It is a very interesting form of medicine if you ask me. 

The Canadian College of Osteopathy defines osteopathy as "a natural medicine which aims to restore function in the body by treating the cause of pain and imbalance. To achieve this goal the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner relies on the quality and finesse of his/her palpation and works with the position, mobility and quality of the tissues...The osteopathic philosophy embraces the notion that the body is naturally capable of healing itself. The practitioner of Traditional Osteopathy works with the body to enhance this natural ability to self-regulate and self-heal."

Fingers crossed that with a couple more treatments I will finally be feeling better! I am going a little stir crazy not being able to do the workouts I normally do. That sweaty stress release is so crucial to me! 

Have any of you ever tried osteopathy? What was your experience? I would love to hear your stories. 

But let's get to why you really came here. For these Raspberry Coconut Popsicles! You guys are going to love these I promise. Unless you don't like raspberries I guess... But who doesn't like raspberries? They are honestly one of my favourite fruits. Raspberries and blueberries. I'm not sure I would be able to pick if you asked me to. 

I also can't believe this is the first popsicle recipe I have made for the blog. How I let that one slide until now I do not know. Especially when making them is so easy! Trust me, even the worst of cooks will be able to handle this one. 

This recipe is also great because it is compatible with almost every special diet there is. Paleo, vegan, Whole 30, AIP, low FODMAP, GAPS and the SCD! And yes you read that correctly, Whole 30 compatible popsicles! Just because you are avoiding sugars doesn't mean you can't enjoy dessert once in a while.

I would love to know if you make these and what you think. 

As always I would love it if you followed me on my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter

Raspberry Coconut Popsicles Recipe 


12 oz fresh raspberries
1 cup full fat coconut milk (I use this brand)
2 TBSP coconut oil (this brand is my favourite
2 TBSP melted coconut manna or coconut butter (buy here
1 TBSP organic vanilla extract (Omit for AIP)

Optional: 2 TBSP raw honey or maple syrup (omit for Whole 30, use maple syrup for FODMAPS and vegan, and honey for SCD) 


1. Place all the ingredients into your Vitamix or other high speed blender
2. Blend well until smooth
3. Spoon the ingredients into your popsicle molds (I used these BPA free ones
4. Place the molds in the freezer for 6-8 hours
5. Remove from the freezer and run the molds under warm water for 30-60 seconds
6. Remove the popsicles from the molds and enjoy!

Yield: 6 popsicles

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. 

This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

August 08, 2016

Endocrine Disruptors

When it comes to your health I strongly believe that knowledge is power. Especially when it comes to skincare and beauty products. I would like to think that the FDA and Health Canada are doing a good job of regulating the products that make it on to the shelves but the simple truth is that they are not. And they openly admit this. It's pretty scary if you ask me. 

Ingredients that are linked to cancers, birth defects, infertility and hormone disruption are allowed to be used in everyday skincare and beauty products, and they don't even have to be listed on the label. Let that sink in. THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE LISTED ON THE LABEL. It makes my blood boil just writing that. When companies use words like "fragrance" or "scent" they are not required to disclose what those ingredients are, so there could be many harmful chemicals hiding under those umbrella terms. 

So in my mission to help empower you to make safe skincare choices I decided to start by discussing endocrine disruptors and the ingredients you need to avoid to keep these out of your skincare and beauty products and your body! 

So, what is meant by the term endocrine disruptor or hormone disruptor? To keep it simple, they are chemicals that act a lot like our bodies'  natural hormones do. For this reason they are also known as endocrine disruptors since hormones are what make up the body's endocrine system. 

When you apply these ingredients or chemicals to your skin, they get absorbed into the bloodstream where they mimic our own natural hormones, in turn confusing our bodies into thinking that the synthetic chemical is actually a hormone. This ultimately leads to hormone imbalances within the body. 

Hormone disruptors are commonly found in skincare and personal care products. They hide under the terms phthalates, parabens and phenols. And while you might think that the low doses that are likely absorbed through your skin won't be that harmful, it is actually these low doses that do the most damage. This is because your body doesn't recognize these small amounts as foreign, so these chemicals are allowed to wreak havoc on your endocrine system, without your body raising the alarm that anything is wrong. 

Scary right?

So let's talk a little more about these hormone disruptors. 

The three phthalates most commonly used in personal care products are diethyl phthalate (DEP), which is found in scented products, including perfumes, deodorants, soaps and shampoo, and di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP), which are used in nail polish and cosmetics. Studies done in the lab and on animals show that DEP, DnBP and DiBP have estrogen-like properties and anti-androgenic properties (androgens are the male type hormones found in the body). 

The parabens used most often in personal care products are methyl, ethyl, butyl and propyl paraben, which are used as preservatives and antibacterial agents in cosmetics. And like phthalates, parabens have weak estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity with they are studied in the lab (in vitro) or in animals. 

Two phenols are also commonly used in personal care products. Triclosan, which is an antimicrobial compound used in liquid soaps, acne creams, deodorants, shaving creams and toothpastes, has been associated with changes in thyroid hormone levels in animals, and BP-3, also called oxybenzone, is used in sunscreens, lip balms, and other sun protection products. BP-3 acts like a weak estrogen in the body, and studies have shown it to cause increased breast cancer cells. I have talked about the dangers of many of the chemicals used in sunscreens before. If you missed that post you can find it here. 

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Unfortunately, the use of these hormone disruptors is so common within the personal care and beauty industry, that when they do studies, the breakdown products, or metabolites, of DEP, DnBP and DiBP are detected in the urine of more than 96% of Americans. In other words, basically everyone has endocrine disports in their systems! Methyl and propyl parabenes have been found in more than 90% of individuals, BP-3 in 97%, and triclosan in 75% of people. Those are some scary statistics if you ask me. These chemicals have no business being in our bodies. 
And you know me, scientist at heart, I always like to look at the evidence when I do my research. And the great news is that there is scientific evidence that changing your skincare and beauty products can really make a difference! 

Recently, UC Berkely published a study (found here) showing that, when teenage girls stopped using toxic skincare products for just 3 days, their levels of hormone disrupting chemicals reduced by 27-45% in just 3 days. It's pretty incredible. What we put on our skin really does affect our entire body. 

And how is that companies are allowed to use these ingredients when they are known to be harmful or toxic? It's simple. There is almost no regulation when it comes to the skincare and beauty industry. 

In fact, the last time a law was passed regulating the skincare industry in the United States was 1938. That is almost 80 years ago! That is just crazy to me. There are currently over 80,000 chemicals in commerce today and there is safety data on only 10-20% of them. Meaning that the majority of the chemicals used in our products and in our environment, HAVE NOT been proven to be safe. This is why you need to be your own best advocate and only stick with brands and ingredients that are known to be safe. 

I personally use and trust Beautycounter, 100% Pure, and Neal's Yard Remedies products because all of their ingredients have been tested for safety. But there are many other companies that are also committed to only using safe ingredients as well. 

One easy way to check if a product is safe is by using the EWG Skin Deep Database. They also have an app that you can download for free. I only recommend using products that rate a 1-2 on that guide. That way you know for sure that they are safe. Not only for you, but for your family and friends as well. 

So please, start reading those labels and avoiding the ingredients that are known to be endocrine disruptors! And spread the word, because you vote with your dollars, and the more people that start switching to safer skincare and beauty products, the more likely is is that industry and government will have to start listening and making changes. Your health is too important to ignore. 

If you would like any information on Beautycounter products please let me know. I am happy to provide product recommendations and samples if you would like. And if you are looking to do some more reading on this topic here are a couple references for you to start with: 

Health and Safety Videos
EWG's Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. 

This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!