Positively Midlife Podcast

Midlife Health: The Fight Against Household Toxins with Tee Forton-Barnes - Ep 60

July 26, 2023 Tish & Ellen Season 2 Episode 60
Midlife Health: The Fight Against Household Toxins with Tee Forton-Barnes - Ep 60
Positively Midlife Podcast
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Positively Midlife Podcast
Midlife Health: The Fight Against Household Toxins with Tee Forton-Barnes - Ep 60
Jul 26, 2023 Season 2 Episode 60
Tish & Ellen

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Ever wonder about the invisible threats lurking in your own home? All those cleaning products, fragrances, and even your laundry detergent could be filled with harmful toxins! I'm thrilled to introduce Tee Forton-Barnes, a seasoned warrior in the battle against household toxins, who will uncover the hidden dangers in common household items and their potential midlife  health implications.

Tee doesn't just provide us with knowledge, she gives us the tools to take action. She shares her personal journey in the war against toxins, with deeply rooted insights from her mother and grandmother's awareness of the dangers of toxic chemicals. Listen as Tee passionately coaches us on minimizing our exposure to these culprits, detoxifying our homes, and making safer, health-conscious choices. We even tackle the controversial topic of fragrances in laundry products, exploring safer alternatives and revealing the marketing tricks companies use to hide the truth.

But we're not just discussing threats, we're advocating action. Tee empowers us to become our own health advocates, stressing the importance of research and self-education. We emphasize the significance of small changes that can have large impacts on our well-being. We end with an inspiring talk about Tee's "Super Power" Where she  re-energies herself through elevating her legs and taking power naps.

Tune in and let Tee Forton-Barnes guide you in the journey towards a healthier, toxin-free life.

Tish and Ellen want to give a BIG thank you to everyone who helped support the show.  And, please support us with a monthly PATREON subscription and get a quarterly live  Q&A with Ellen and Tish.

Obsessions:

Tish - The HULU series The Bear!  A must watch
Ellen - harvesting  organic sweet 100 tomatoes from her garden!

Shop Tee's Organics here!

Give us a review...
Click here

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Email: postivelymidlifepod@gmail.com

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wonder about the invisible threats lurking in your own home? All those cleaning products, fragrances, and even your laundry detergent could be filled with harmful toxins! I'm thrilled to introduce Tee Forton-Barnes, a seasoned warrior in the battle against household toxins, who will uncover the hidden dangers in common household items and their potential midlife  health implications.

Tee doesn't just provide us with knowledge, she gives us the tools to take action. She shares her personal journey in the war against toxins, with deeply rooted insights from her mother and grandmother's awareness of the dangers of toxic chemicals. Listen as Tee passionately coaches us on minimizing our exposure to these culprits, detoxifying our homes, and making safer, health-conscious choices. We even tackle the controversial topic of fragrances in laundry products, exploring safer alternatives and revealing the marketing tricks companies use to hide the truth.

But we're not just discussing threats, we're advocating action. Tee empowers us to become our own health advocates, stressing the importance of research and self-education. We emphasize the significance of small changes that can have large impacts on our well-being. We end with an inspiring talk about Tee's "Super Power" Where she  re-energies herself through elevating her legs and taking power naps.

Tune in and let Tee Forton-Barnes guide you in the journey towards a healthier, toxin-free life.

Tish and Ellen want to give a BIG thank you to everyone who helped support the show.  And, please support us with a monthly PATREON subscription and get a quarterly live  Q&A with Ellen and Tish.

Obsessions:

Tish - The HULU series The Bear!  A must watch
Ellen - harvesting  organic sweet 100 tomatoes from her garden!

Shop Tee's Organics here!

Give us a review...
Click here

Want to start podcasting?  Click here to let Buzzsprout know we sent you, this gets you a $20 Amazon gift card if you sign up for a paid plan, and help support our show






What It's Like To Be...
What's it like to be a Cattle Rancher? FBI Special Agent? Professional Santa? Find out!

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the Show.

Website: www.thepositivelymidlifepodcast.com
Email: postivelymidlifepod@gmail.com

Ellen:

Today we are talking to Tee Forton Barnes on chemicals in the home, and this is a really big issue. We all need to be aware of what we're putting in our home and, Tish, I think my home is being like a really safe place. So I don't want toxins at all and it's hard for me to believe that today we really need to be so vigilant to make sure our homes are safe, you know.

Tish:

Ellen, I agree, this is a really big issue and unfortunately we can't just trust what's being marketed to us these days. And for me, you know how much I love everything that has a fragrance to it. So I really wanted to talk to Tee about this because I'm really getting worried about the level of fragrance in all my cleaning supplies especially, and I want to understand the complexity of this subject as well.

Ellen:

You know, Tish, I've never been a fragrance gal. This is a place where we differ. And those plugins and highly fragrance homes they've always kind of really been not a place I want to be when I smell things like that. But I'm really looking forward to discussing that point with Tee too, because it is really a big issue Are they good, are they bad? You know where are we going with fragrance and it is really hard to navigate what's safe out there. But we have an expert today who's going to take a step by step through this topic and I am really looking forward to diving in with her.

Tish:

You know, Ellen, I think I probably use hundreds of thousands of products in my home and a lot of them are so fragrance and the plugins and all that. One of my best friends, Constance. She can't even come to my house unless I remove the fragrance things and air the house out for a couple of hours. She really avoids being here. So that's telling me there's something really wrong. You know, yes, she's more sensitive than I am, but that tells me there's something going on here, I agree, and we're going to get to the bottom of it today.

Ellen:

And you know, from our dish soap to our laundry detergent, to our moisturizer, what we're putting on our skin, and our body too. So we have a lot to talk about with tea. But before we get there, you know, I'd love to find out from you, tish, what's your obsession this week?

Tish:

Okay, so my obsession this week is a series that I started watching with my oldest son, alex, on Hulu, and it's called the Bear. I love the Bear. I know you're a big fan of the Bear. Well, I have been binge watching the Bear and. But you know what, alan, I think we need to do a whole podcast very soon on life lessons that we can learn from the Bear. It's a very interesting series about people that work in the restaurant business and it is jammed packed with all kinds of issues and it's just fabulousness. You just have to see it.

Ellen:

I know, I know I could go on about it forever too, and I agree, we have an upcoming episode on life lessons from the Bear.

Tish:

But putting the Bear aside for now, what is your obsession this week, Ellen?

Ellen:

Well, you know, tish, how I love my little garden, that I grow every year herbs and tomatoes and my I think they're called Sweet 100. Little cherry tomatoes have come in with a vengeance. I'm getting 20, 30 a day and they are delicious and organic and I am making so much avocado toast with them. So I'm just obsessed with my little tomato garden I love it, I love it.

Tish:

I wish I was there to jump in.

Ellen:

I do too.

Tish:

Well, we would like to welcome Tee to the podcast today. Tee is a household toxin health specialist and coach and the host of Green Living with Tee podcast and an entrepreneur herself, and Tee and I also have a buffalo connection as well.

Ellen:

I love that. Welcome Tee. Can you share a little bit about yourself?

Tee:

I like to say go Bills first. Right, you know it.

Tish:

Love my job.

Tee:

Love my little Bills. Yes, I'd love to share about so. Born and raised in Buffalo, and I was very fortunate in the 60s and 70s, my mother was very apparent of all the chemicals that were being introduced on the market, from cleaning supplies to perfume to shower curtains, for that matter and she protected us and she was aware of it. And we shopped at a little co-op called the Lexington co-op all organic food. We had, all homemade food. We did not. We didn't know Burger King and McDonald's. It was a treat for us to steam and have pizza maybe once a week. So that's how we were born and raised five of us. Then, when I got a little bit older, I realized we were kind enough, the normal ones out there. We were called granola heads.

Tish:

I was going to say that is a really early time to be so aware.

Tee:

Yeah, very much so.

Tish:

She was cutting edge. Your mom was cutting edge.

Tee:

She was always like that and her mother was like that too. So it was all about using natural things as opposed to using toxic things. They were well aware of it and we cleaned with baking soda like their mothers did, and we cleaned with vinegar and those were our chores on weekends and cleaning toilets and bathtubs. That's what we use. So when I went to college, I went to Ithaca College. I had a major in business and a minor in health, because I wanted to open up a supermarket that everybody could see how great all these products were and learn about them. You know that supermarket as Whole Foods. I never pursued my dream.

Tee:

I had a business plan in 1985 and then Whole Foods in the late 80s, but I went on to becoming a party and event planner and Buffalo for the last 38 years and planning over 700 events. But I never lost my passion and love for helping people detox their homes and keeping chemicals out of their home. And it was an uphill battle because it very hard to get people to pay attention to you unless they were sick, unless they got cancer. So a lot of cancer patients were coming to me and a lot of people thought I was kooky for avoiding all these chemicals. And then I was helping people along the way and friends would start realizing the damage that some of these chemicals can do to them, to their children and so on.

Tee:

And so in 2020, when the pandemic hit, I decided I really wanted to focus a lot more on my green living gurus and what I really wanted to do with it and where I was going to take it. And the pandemic destroyed my event planning business because there were no events. And so I really dove into green living gurus and here we are today and I have a podcast and I have a product line and I'm still developing what I am offering out there in my green living guru world. But it's a large, big, crazy world out there of chemicals and the more I dive into it every year and the more courses I take, the more I want to do it.

Tee:

So here we are, glad to be talking with the both of you today. You too.

Ellen:

Tee, I have to say that there seems to be a lot of regional difference too. I'm here in Marin County, California, where so much organic, such a focus on a breast cancer cluster that was here, and a lot of this more type of. We still have our granolas and a lot more people, I think, are focused here on this, but for a lot of our listeners I do think this is a totally new topic and subject, so so happy to have you here today.

Tee:

Yes, it is. No, I mean, I encounter it every day, so I try to get you know. If somebody can change one thing in their home, they're going to start realizing other things that they're going to be more aware of. This is probably the number one thing that people really need to pay attention to.

Tish:

No, no, Tee what I found really interesting, because I know I get overwhelmed like what to do, what to choose. You know I got to pick my battles. You know financially I can't just change everything over, but you've actually started coaching people. Is that correct? And so is this what you help them through.

Tee:

Yes, I do, and I've been actually doing that for probably 30 years On the side, not as a business per se, but going through people's homes and showing them where these chemicals are in your home and could be getting into your bloodstream and your system, specifically cancer causing chemicals. But so many of the chemicals out there cause other issues in our health, but women especially is really my wheelhouse is helping older women realize all of these chemicals and how it can really affect your health in so many different ways.

Tish:

And so one of the things that you advise someone, especially at midlife, is to change or to avoid some of these toxic chemicals.

Tee:

Absolutely, because we have to be our own health advocates. We have to be our own watchdog. Too many people think that the FDA or the EPA, cdc whatever are watching over us and making sure these products are not harmful, but the problem is so many companies are their own watchdog Right and they Tell me what you mean by that.

Tish:

I want to make sure I understand what you mean by that.

Tee:

So let's just say cleaning supplies. There's nothing. You can make a cleaning supply, put it on the market and you do not have to have that approved or regulated. Oh, food, and the FDA is different with food, that's all right.

Tee:

But when it comes to cleaning supplies, a lot of personal care products, the manufacturers are not necessarily required to list all the ingredients in their product and there's just a lot of gray area there. And specifically, and I will I bring up fragrance in probably almost every conversation I talk with people to, because if you have a shampoo, a cleaning product, in that word fragrance is on there. They can put in dozens, even hundreds of chemicals in there and they do not have to tell you what's in there. And that comes from an old law back in the 1940s when Chanel number five went to the government didn't want to disclose what their trade secret was, what their Sure.

Tee:

So that law is that old that you can put the word fragrance on there and you can put benzene in there, known to cause cancer. You can put all these different dilates. These are a whole family of chemicals that are typical preservatives or enhancers for a product and they make your product smell and last longer. That's why your sheets with your fragrance from your laundry detergent continue to smell over and over and over if you're using fragrance laundry. So it is not ocean breeze, it is not lilac, it is not lemon. It's a myriad of chemicals that you are breathing in every single day in your clothes, in your laundry detergent, and it's in the air in your house because you're cleaning and washing and drying in your home. So that's where there's a whole fine line. People don't understand how bad fragrance is. It is something that we call it the other F word in our industry. I love that.

Ellen:

But T how do you start If the first thing you do you go into someone's home, is it the laundry detergent? 100%, 100%.

Tish:

I see. No, I don't want to trash any product, for sure, but what is it you're looking for?

Ellen:

Any fragrance or certain fragrances. Any fragrance.

Tish:

Any.

Ellen:

Okay, I use all free and clear. Is that something that's better but not good enough?

Tee:

On a scale, it's not great, it's not good, it's okay. You still have so many chemicals in all free and clear, and that's part of their marketing ploy too. If you compare those ingredients to, let's say, I'm a big advocate of Mali, suds or Maloria these companies have come on the market because they've seen how toxic all those other laundry soaps and detergents are. And seventh generation if you can get seventh generation, that's the stuff in the right direction, because they are the betters out of the betters.

Tee:

They have done their research. They were bought by a huge conglomerate out of Germany. I believe I've interviewed the lead scientists there. They promised me they stayed with their original recipe. So I've looked at seventh generation. Yes, and you get that almost anywhere.

Ellen:

Anywhere really, at least out by me. Tish, is it available? Have you seen?

Tish:

seventh generation. Most of the stores have it down here.

Ellen:

So once you stop, you have your clothes in better right washing and you're not using I'm assuming dryer sheets either again a way to make things smell good and feel fresh.

Tee:

Yes, yes, dryer sheets are, if not more toxic than laundry detergent. You will never see an ingredient on a dryer sheet ever. All chemicals and so many of these chemicals. They don't want to tell you what's in there, because many of them are known to and linked to cancer, linked to reproductive problems, linked to developmental disorders messing with our endocrine systems. They also can be neurotoxins. They can affect your respiratory system. I've known people that I've gotten off of their laundry soap. They'd wake up every morning with a scratchy throat, a sore throat, or maybe they blame it on allergies and they're wheezing a little bit and they feel like, oh, it's allergy season. I get them off of all of their laundry detergent, get them off of their fragrance, and all of those symptoms typically depart. And that's what these chemicals can do. And you're sleeping in them. I know if I sleep, I mean I can't, I can't even.

Tee:

I've had to sleep at a friend's house once and I had to cover. I now bring my own pillows and sheets and everything. I gave up on it because it's the headache. My throat hurts, I don't feel good the next day. And these are. This is what these chemicals can do to you. Everybody acts differently. My sister's got an autoimmune disorder. It can send her into a migraine for five days. It sent her to the hospital once before because she can't even breathe them in. They're so toxic.

Tish:

Well, I wanted, I wanted to add to I'm a beekeeper right, and part of battling against mites in your hive is to put a dryer sheet in there, because it kills them, it traps them and kills them. So I guess it would go like yeah, so something's going on there, Something's going on there, right?

Tee:

Yeah, dryer sheets are pretty toxic.

Ellen:

Yeah.

Tee:

So alternatives? That's what we all like to say. There's alternatives to dryer sheets. Yes.

Ellen:

We've talked about wool balls in your dryer In the past. They've been one of Tisha's obsessions, which right. They help things dry faster and they do a lot of the same things as a dryer sheet, but they don't smell good.

Tee:

Well, the that's where essential oils, 100% essential oils, can come in, because I have dryer balls. I typically don't have static. I don't, I use pretty much just cotton, so the static is going to come from. You know pretty much your the ester.

Tish:

Yeah.

Tee:

And so I don't really need them that much. But people like to have smells. Sometimes I have the dryer, I have one where you can put essential oils into the and then you get. I like lemon.

Tee:

So I use a lot of lemon essential oils. But you have to be really careful, because the fragrance industry is is massive and they're very powerful and they know that they can say natural fragrance. Now, right, you see the word natural on anything. Run the other way too, because that is the code word for Chemical. Oh one, if they use essential oils in their products and say, made with essential oils, something has to be 2% essential oils, so then it could be 98% chemicals.

Tish:

Oh, wow, okay.

Tee:

They I mean marketing, marketing 101, they pick up on the latest trend. And essential oils is definitely out there and people see scented with essential oils. It's deceptive and a degree of toxic blend of synthetic chemicals and preservatives that you're really putting in your house on your seat, whether it's lotion, shampoo or detergents or cleaning supplies for that matter.

Tish:

Is there any potential for the government to start regulating any of this, or have you seen any movement that goes in that direction? Or it really is on the consumer's shoulders to figure out and decode all these secret words and what they mean?

Tee:

That's a very good question. Yes, there has been movement and I sit in quite a bit on slated panels with different organizations environmental working group or defend your health. We are very lucky now. I mean 10, 15 years ago it was just environmental working group and maybe some rain up, but now there is pressure on the government. The problem is the fragrance industry is basically the chemical industry, which basically owns our government. So the money behind chemicals from Monsanto to Dupont, whatever billions, trillions of money and their lobbyists are all over the politicians.

Tee:

Now there is some movement because of the cancer rate that just keeps climbing. A lot of these chemicals are in our water. So that's a big thing right now, all of the chemicals from a lot of these different products that are being used. Our water is a major. That's another major. I would never drink tap water anywhere if I were anybody in this country. It is horrific how bad it is. And it's pharmaceuticals you're drinking. You're drinking these PFAS chemicals that are known to cause cancer. And now the government is starting to see this. I just read an article yesterday. Actually, fort Myers does reverse osmosis on their water down there, and that's where we are probably headed in the United States. Everybody's gotta have reverse osmosis. It's the only thing that's gonna get out these chemicals. So the cancer rate just keeps going up everywhere. I feel like it's just I mean kids getting cancer. The amount of kids.

Tish:

I think my first memory of hearing about like being poisoned in our environment by chemicals was love canal. So for a lot of our mid-lifers, I think you're gonna remember hearing about love canal but it's actually north of Buffalo and it's still an issue in that area, and that was from the seventies.

Tee:

Yeah, so you know how many love canal type landfills are around this country and this bill off of? I mean just the amount of people. It just floors me that people are still spraying their lawns with Roundup and Roundup is known to cause cancer and Monsanto still has it on the market and people are. How is that possible? How is that possible that we so much money? There's over 150 lawsuits against Monsanto or that have already been won. It's still on the market. I know Home Depot. I think Home Depot is pulling in the next year or so. I know it's just. But guess where all that goes Goes into our water. It goes into our water.

Tee:

They're not cleaning our water of all these chemicals. They're putting stuff into, kill bacteria not to get the pharmaceuticals out, not to get the pesticides or besides. So water is a big issue and if anybody's listening, all you have to do is go to environmental working group and plug in comma water and you can then plug in your zip code. Yes, they have scientists at environmental working group that analyze all of the water in every different region of the country. It will show you what's in your water they get them.

Tee:

So I got the water report from Buffalo and because I was doing all this research, because we had a lot of problems with fish and fishermen and I'm like there's chemicals in our water, I wouldn't even touch that water Anyway. So I started reading this report. I'm like, oh God, it's like you gotta be a major scientist. And then I realized environmental working group does all the reports for us Makes, but you don't be surprised what's in your water.

Ellen:

You know T I ran into environmental working group about 10 or so years ago when someone shared it with me about sunscreens and my children and that was kind of one of the first things I think they did. But you can go and plug in almost any product there. It is amazing and I know we'll share the app. The app is a different name, but it's something all of us should have on our phones, Absolutely, and just looking at sunscreens, that was such an eye-opener for me those 10 or 12 years ago when I did it. It's amazing. So what a great resource, I think, to bring up for our listeners. I wanted to ask you about menopause, of course, because so many of our listeners are midlifers. A lot of us are either in it perimenopause, menopause, postmenopausal, you name it. What do you want to share around? Household chemicals for those of us in menopause?

Tee:

Yeah, that's interesting. So I interview a lot of people in this field of menopause perimenopause, as you said and that are advice in their clients on getting the chemicals out of their life, because so many of them can be affecting a woman's endocrine system and mimicking what they basically do, these chemicals that are in almost every product, except, of course, the ones without them, but they mimic hormones, so our bodies are so confused. And then add the stuff that women are taking to replace hormones, right.

Ellen:

Right.

Tee:

And so usually doctors or gynecologists that have switched over into more of a holistic approach of not prescribing synthetic hormones but analyzing what they're eating, what they're using on their skin, because everything you use on your skin is going into your body and somehow has to come out.

Tish:

So the skin is the largest organ in the body. So when you're putting stuff all over, I mean it's absorbing.

Tee:

Yeah, and potentially it goes into your bloodstream within 10 seconds, that's insane.

Tee:

So then the other big thing that I've talked to a lot of these holistic doctors and doctors for that matter. So let's just say you're putting all these chemicals in your body whether you're eating or using them, or cleaning supplies. Nobody knows how all these chemicals are mixing. So if somebody says, well, they say that the amount of chemicals in my laundry detergent is, or whatever it is is safe, well, if that's all you're using or eating, okay, so maybe your body is made to get that out of your system. But women are using on an average of 164 chemicals a day in the different, just products that they're using.

Tee:

I'm not even talking about men are closer to like 70 ish. So we don't know. We don't know what is happening and how they're exiting us. And people that don't work out and don't sweat takes a lot longer for those to come out of your system too. So it's scary, but it's not. You take it one step at a time and try to change one thing here, one thing there that you eventually will become more aware. The biggest thing I try to help people understand is that do not just read the front of the label. You have to turn it around and look at everything on that label and realize my sister, my whole family. We grew up like this. My sister said if I can't pronounce it, I'm not putting it on my skin, that's like I love it.

Ellen:

I love it too. I love that. You know T. One of the things Tish and I chatted about before we talked to you is that it seems like it's so expensive to be natural and organic right that it's really only for the rich, the organic food, the cleaner products, and can you share any insight on that? Is there a way I know you mentioned baking soda and white vinegar, but you know, is this doable for the average American to get rid of these things?

Tee:

Yeah, I disagree with that theory. I think they put this in, they as in the manufacturers and the marketing companies. You do not need 10 cleaning supplies in your home. As I said, I grew up with baking soda and vinegar Perfectly fine. I never get sick. That's a whole. Nother thing that all these chemicals can do is weaken your immune system, because your immune system has to fight them off somehow. Your organs are working so over time and trying to get them all out of your system. You do not need 10 things.

Tee:

I go in friends' homes or people's homes that I like. They have like a basket of all these different cleaning supplies right there alone. You don't need all that and all the fragrance in there. That's probably one of the hardest things for people to understand and get rid of. I mean my best friends to this day still think she needs to use this hardcore chemical on her counters that her kids and her grandkids or fingers are going in. You don't need all that. I mean that's all we've ever cleaned with. Yes, do it yourself. Great stuff out there. You can make your own. Okay, as I said, I make my own and I sell it, but people can make their own with vinegar, water and essential oils. There's hundreds of different recipes out there, but it's the mindset that you don't need all those items.

Tee:

Now, with the organic produce, farmers markets are ideal and the best. Wherever you live, you should be visiting those. That is the best way to get your food. California, you probably have it all year round, buffalo I mean. We have winter farmers markets and we go to. We get what we can.

Tee:

But my husband and I are very cautious about I never will throw anything away because it is more expensive. So we are very cautious of how we buy our produce. We don't even throw away the ends of carrots. We don't throw away anything. It all goes in. We make our own stock out of it. We put it in the bag, put it in the freezer and every couple of weeks boil the leftover ends of things and make our own stock. So we value our shopping and our produce so much that we try to get the most. Same with the chicken we always boil the bones and get bone broth out of it. So those are. I mean, is it more expensive? Yes, it is, but there's ways. You know. Aldi is a great option. Traders Joe Joe's is a great option too. I shop at our little co-op in Buffalo. We're members, we get a discount. So it's a matter of being frugal but smart about it, and visiting farmers markets is key as well.

Tish:

You know, I know we talked about the effects of chemicals with menopause. How about with autoimmune diseases? There seems to be a rise in the amount of people that have these autoimmune diseases. Is this in part because of all this chemical barrage that we get every?

Tee:

day 100%. I mean autoimmune illnesses. My sister has a serious one. We have no idea why she doesn't use chemicals. We think it was from a blood transfusion she had to have years ago, but the it's weakened immune systems. I mean cancer is an autoimmune disease as well and the, as I said before, I mean people are using chemicals in cleaning supplies, then they dry cleaners, painting some varnishes, have it in it.

Tee:

Anything you're using in your house to construct, anything you go outside of your house, automobile fuel and smells from automobiles, moth repellents, I mean this is where it gets a little overwhelming too. By the way, your receipts that you take from a store has BPA in it. Bpa is a known carcinogen that's going on your hands. I never touch receipts, by the way, or I ask them if there's, if they're BPA free receipts, garby markers I mentioned before Anything plastic for that matter shower curtains, carpeting, people that think they're using air fresher. So it's just being conscious of it. And, yes, I talked to a lot of people with multiple chemical disorders which they can't even be around any of these items, just like your girlfriend. I think it was you, tish right, that mentioned your girlfriend that comes into your house and you've got to get the fragrance yeah you have to get all, have to wipe them out for a long time really air things out, and that's really kind of what made me.

Tee:

Yeah, it's hard to get rid of those smells. If they were natural smells they would go right away, but if they're chemical smells it's very difficult, like when I, if anybody borrows a piece of my clothing, if they they've strict instructions not to wash it. I've never worn it back before and I can't even bring it in the house. I can't even wear it again. Yeah, that's in the fibers and that's what chemicals do. It's nothing natural about it.

Ellen:

You know, t that's so funny because I'm using the fragrance free laundry detergent and when people borrow things of mine, I always am like, oh, it smells so good. When it comes back I'm not going to use that. But you know, I have. I'm both a cancer survivor and I have two autoimmune diseases, so you know conditions. So I really take this seriously. But I think a lot of this too is intergenerational and I'm not going to, you know, talk bad about my mom, but she really sprayed me and my brother with a lot of bug spray when we were growing up in the 70s. Honestly, I think that's a big place. You know we would have mosquito abatement flyover back east, where I grew up too, and so you know, I think when we get to midlife, we've had a lot of different influences on this. So really keeping our homes like you know what we can control, I think, is a great area to start, and so I really appreciate all of the information that that you've given us today, because it's a lot of different places, it's not just one thing.

Tee:

It is, and you know bug spray is a is it's bug spray and sunscreen? You mentioned both of those. Those are very serious things that we all pretty much need at some point, but they're safe alternatives out there. Yes, and yes, the bug sprays, the chemicals and deep and bug sprays is horrible. Hopefully I'll have a bug spray in next year or so, because I use a bug spray out of Syracuse, new York. That is the best it's for dogs and and it's all essential oils basically with I think it's coconut oil there too. But and then the sunscreen on the same note. I mean I've changed so many people over to better sunscreens because basically you are baking chemicals into your body, baking sun, those chemicals that you're putting on your skin to sit out in sun, that you think the sun is actually causing cancer. Right, fortunately, the amount of chemicals in there and chemical cancer, potentially cancer causing chemicals you're putting on your skin. So there's this whole gray area where the the, the sunscreen company wants you to think that the sun is causing cancer.

Tish:

It could be a combination of the sun and here and here's the thing too I think that we've become desensitized hearing about all these issues and and stuff in our environment, to the point where we're like, yeah, we know it's there, yeah, we believe it, but it's almost like we're desensitized to understand how much impact it has on us. And so I really want this podcast to really be a wake up call and to start to make those small changes that you're talking about, t yeah, because they are going to have a big impact on you, your children, your grandchildren. You know, start moving in that direction. You know, do we think people can do it all overnight? Probably not necessarily, but, you know, start taking those steps and really hear what's being said.

Tee:

Yeah, it's absolutely. I agree with you. You know, and there's there. There are other things you can do. You get an air quality monitor in your house to show you the chemicals that are in your house. You can get an air purifier to get rid of a lot of the chemicals in your house, which is important in my mind. You can have your blood work or your urine actually which I did tested to see what types of chemicals are in your body, so you can take your own health into your own hands and see there's so there's so many great resources out there.

Tish:

And I. What are some good websites that people can go to, like trusted websites that people can go to for more information? Well my favorite. Okay, sure, and so please give it what is your website. Yeah, we're going to put a link as well.

Tee:

Here are the green living guruscom Great, okay. And then a few more. The food babe is a great one. Food babe. I think it's food babecom, but there's only one food babe, yep. And then I rena is I read labels for you. She's fabulous, oh, great. Jen smiley is another one who is, oh, what's her website? And these are all people I know pretty well, but hers is also about reading labels. Jen smiley, she's really good. Great Instagram pages to free content all the time Mine and all. There's two, and there's plenty more out there, but those are some. Those ones have been around for quite some time, so they are.

Tish:

And your website is going to have your products that you do carry right.

Tee:

My products I carry and also all these other products that I promote because how they've been made, and I also have a whole store on Amazon. I just put products in there I use or I know to, and then one other, one other one. I want to mention who I really is. They do quite a bit of work when it comes to products, like you can go on their website, anything they recommend. You can guarantee that they are safe for you, and it's called made safeorg, and there they actually analyze the products, whereas environmental working group doesn't analyze the 10 or 20,000 products they have out there. Made safe does like you, so it's a really rigid process to go through. So, and I work closely with them. I just love that organization semi, semi new, probably within the last decade, so and they now have a label that will go on products that if it's a made safe or product. So there's a lot more and I, I I try to I mean, I think I share a lot of that on my website as well and social media too.

Ellen:

So I love that. I think having resources and free content for people is so important, given the breadth of our conversation today. Right, we could have done a deep dive into oh, so much of this, so I don't know, if you have any of these subjects. But I think this is a really good. As you said, tish, wake up call. I know tish. You have a last question for T.

Tish:

What would be your advice for midlife listeners? What would be your like? You know what would be the biggest piece of advice.

Tee:

Yeah, and the number one piece of advice that I to you you, all of us, everyone, me, you we have to not trust organizations to tell us a product is okay. You have to do your own research and you have to look. I mean, I get all the time people sending me snapshots of the label and what do you think of this? And that's what you have to start doing. You have to start really question and keeping track of what all the products that you have. Don't throw everything away. Replace it. Start to make one change here, one change there and slowly you will start to see. I think you will start to realize you never want fragrance in your life again, because you will start realizing how horrible it is for you.

Tee:

I also have a guide a free guide on my website called Toxins to Avoid. Actually, I think it's $5 and it's a free download. It just gives you an idea of where and how you should avoid some of these toxins. It's just very basic, but it saves you time to know where we're trying to get you to realize where you need to Right First and foremost.

Ellen:

Where to start. I love that, tee. We'll definitely put a link in our show notes to that, because I do think a lot of us just want a little primer on what's really the place to begin. We always ask all our guests this last question here, which is what's your superpower? Can you share that with our listeners?

Tee:

My superpower is my afternoon 20-minute nap that I take every day with my feet on the wall or my feet on pillows on the couch, with my dog right next to me. Of course it is a life-saving. My mother had this inversion table growing up and I'll never forget it. She always taught us 20-minute with your feet in the air is worth two hours of sleep, because it gets the blood blowing back in your body. I'll tell you after. I take that 20-minute nap almost every single day and typically I will fall asleep. I have to set the alarm once a while, but I literally lay there like this with my hands crossed and my feet in the air. When I get up, I feel like I'm a whole new person. If I ever had a big corporation, I would have these sleep rooms. I would make it. I lay down on my floor in my office sometimes and just put my feet up on the desk if I feel like I'm getting a little tired, because it just revives me and I work much better and I feel much better. That's my superpower.

Ellen:

I love that. I love naps. In yoga, we do a lot of inversion against the walls. There's definitely some good advice there and some lengthy yoga teaching around it. Tee, I have to say I felt like when we started I had a good handle on this topic, but I have learned so much today. I just want to thank you for sharing this with our listeners. I'm walking away really with this idea that we have to be our own advocate, to really understand what's going to work for us and to take it one step at a time. Those are the two pieces I'm walking away with today. Thank you so much for being here.

Tee:

You're welcome and thanks for everything that two of you are doing, and good luck in the future and let's stay connected.

Tish:

That sounds great. I'm going to commit to starting to go fragrance-free. That's a huge one. That's huge for me. Thank you so much for sharing all this information and hopefully inspiring some listeners to start going chemical-free.

Ellen:

That's right. Okay, I'm going to commit life first.

Chemicals in the Home
Detoxifying Homes and Avoiding Toxic Chemicals
(Cont.) Detoxifying Homes and Avoiding Toxic Chemicals
Dangers of Fragrance in Laundry Products
Chemicals and Autoimmune Diseases
Health and Safety Concerns
The Power of Napping and Self-Advocacy