While my story is years in the making – this career of mine, that is – I’m taking you back to year 28. That was the real turning point in my pursuit of cleaner living.
I’m going to take you to that summer – August to be exact. I had just wrapped up my first year of graduate school at the University of Colorado. I had been engaged for roughly six weeks. I was in England nearing the end of a 198-mile hike from one of England’s coasts to the other. It was there, sitting on my hotel room floor somewhere in the Moors, that I made a phone call that would change my life forever. My fiancé had discovered what would later be determined as two tumors. He was 29.
Now, cancer wasn’t terribly foreign to me. My grandfather had passed away from prostate cancer when I was younger. My Dad had fought and beat cancer four years prior. But, this one. This was my brand new fiancé. The guy I was just starting a life with. The one I was supposed to grow old with. And, there we were, planning his treatment at the same time we were planning our wedding.
And, then, there I was navigating the role of sole caregiver thousands of miles from either of our families.
But, I did it, of course. He beat it – thank God. And, I am happy to report that he has been cancer-free for nearly 11 years.
But, that role of caregiver, I determined, was a role I want to do everything I can to avoid doing again.
Fast forward, two years later, we welcomed premie twins into the world – two beautiful 4-pound baby boys.
I knew just enough to be dangerous in terms of toxins in baby products. I, at least, knew to avoid the items they give you in the hospital even though I wasn’t entirely sure why. So, I ventured to the health food store and bought baby lotion and shampoo and brought it home to research the ingredients -- only to find carcinogens in it.
To say I was shocked is an understatement. What the heck? Why is something known to cause cancer in a baby product, first of all. Second of all, this is supposed to be organic or at least natural. The bottle was green. I mean, there was a plant on it anyway. The name sounds organic (hello, greenwashing…grr…). How is this possible? How is this allowed? This isn’t right. People need to know about this. I need to do something about this. And, by the way, I am not putting something that is known to cause cancer on my tiny babies, so I’m going to throw this bottle right on out.
That’s when Pandora’s box officially opened for me. That is where I discovered my passion. I started researching environmental toxins and sharing what I learned with anyone who would listen. And, I haven’t looked back.
I have since turned this passion for educating and advocating on the importance (and how-tos) of limiting exposure to environmental toxins into a career. And, I absolutely love what I do. I love helping you navigate this world that can be too often toxic, overwhelming, and full of not so kosher marketing tricks. I love helping you discover great products that are both safe and high-performing. I love being this resource for you.
By the way, it isn’t lost on me how lucky I am to call this my job and how thankful I am to all of you for your support – my readers, followers, clients, and cheerleaders. It really does mean the world to me. Thank you for trusting in me as your go-to source for ‘all the things’ safe and healthy.
Cheers to switching to safer one-step at a time and to cleaner living made simple!