One of the problems I sometimes encounter, working and hanging out as I do, with savvy dog folks and herbalists and nutrition geeks, is I tend to forget that many people in the world are not all that aware of things like chemicals in the environment and the dangers that they pose. It’s kind of shocking, to be blunt, when I mention BPA or PFOAs and get a blank stare or worse, a dismissive “oh, we can’t live in a bubble…”…as I did a while back on Facebook, when I suggested – to an MD! that we might want to restrict the amount of toxin we expose our precious canines and other animals to.

The truth is, we’re about as far from a “bubble” as can be imagined, we are swimming in a sea of chemicals all day every day – drinking, eating, breathing it in – and, sad to say absorbing through the skin. It can be overwhelming and depressing to read about and I – like most people I know – have to take breaks from reading the bad news and warnings,  it’s just too much. That said, I always keep up with the science, because I feel it’s much better to know what to avoid and how to find safe alternatives. My point of view is; if it’s loaded with chemicals and I can avoid it, I will. I started making my own deodorant last year – simplest recipe ever – and wow, is it effective! Why would I use a load of chemicals on my body every day when I can use baking soda, coconut oil, and arrowroot powder? Recently too, I’ve started making my own shampoo – I’ve been doing it with the dogs for years, why risk exposure  to things like sodium lauryl sulfate myself?  I gave up all synthetic fragrance years ago and buy wonderful, exotic artisanal scents from folks like Ananda Wilson of Amrita Apothecary and Kiva Rose . Needless to say there are no harsh chemicals anywhere in this house or  garden. We have very good science linking lymphoma and leukemia in dogs to herbicides and pesticides; the terrible hemangiosarcoma is linked to arsenic in pressure treated wood. When we consider the skyrocketing cancer rates in dogs – and all the emphasis we put on natural nutrition for them – doesn’t it make sense to limit their constant exposure to chemicals? I sure think it does.

I plan to add a whole section here at TPC on environmental hazards and how to avoid them. Clients are sometimes taken aback when I ask them, during the course of a consultation, what cookware they use. PFOAs in Teflon are nasty nasty chemicals – banned in some parts of the world – I won’t touch Teflon or any non-stick surface with a ten foot pole!  Most people either know about this risk or are glad to learn about it, even if it does mean replacing some cookware. But PFOAs are also in, of all things, shampoo …  before I go further, here’s the rundown on them, where they are found:

In the next entry (after this one) I will share some simple, safe and lovely shampoo recipes I’ve used for over 15 years. For now, I want to offer you this site:

and  a simple home made deodorant recipe you have to try to believe. It’s incredible! And then, one less chemical-laden, plastic-packaged thing you need to buy.

Just take 1/4 cup of baking soda (not Arm and Hammer, as they are still testing on animals!) mix with 1/4 cup arrowroot powder, and stir in about 6 Tbsps coconut oil. Mix with a fork until a good solid consistency and store in a cool place. You can add essential oils (I like lavender and tea tree, just a few drops – 10? of each) – and use.


Because I’m so committed to a truly holistic view of health – and to shifting the way we think from simple, personal convenience to a global perspective, I’m going to add a couple of new categories here at TPC. The first one is all about toxins, how to avoid them, chemicals and controversies and ways to minimize exposure.  Look for loads more on this in the months ahead. Small changes can have powerful effect.

The shampoo entry should be up in a day or two. 🙂