chemicals, Children

Sunscreen health

Let’s talk sunscreen shall we. With the increase of skin cancer over the years it’s been obviously recommended that sunscreen be used anytime that you’re outside for more than 15 minutes. At the same time, however, there’s also been an increase in the amount of toxins that are in most conventional sunscreen products. The amount of nasty toxins and chemicals used are really astounding. Things that cause changes in hormone levels, endocrine disruptors, even carcinogenic ingredients are being used. Some of the chemicals are heavily linked to infertility.

We take this cream (that’s supposed to keep us healthy and safe) and slather it all over ourselves and our children. Yuck!

With all of that bad news, I’m here to tell you some good news! There are several options and brands available with much healthier and safer alternatives. Companies are starting to realize that consumers are starting to pay attention.

We’re starting to learn.

We’re starting to become educated.

I have looked at multiple options and here are a few things that I have learned along the way the past four years.

Let’s look at DIY first. I tried to make my own sunscreen before. There are actually several DIY recipes that use Non-Nano particle zinc oxide. You all know how much I love DIY, but this is one area where I shy away from. There was a study that showed how DIY formulas that are not mixed and done in a precise way can actually cause miniscule areas to become unprotected. I actually purchased lots of ingredients and tried my hand at making it but now rely on the DIY spray below for small sun exposurea and non toxic Sun screen cream from a few safe companies for longer Sun times.

Heres an easy way to make SPF 15-20 Sun screen spray for small exposures.


You simply take a bottle of Young Living LavaDerm, which is amazing for skin health, then add 20 drops of carrot seed oil which has an SPF of 15-20 and 20 drops of raspberry seed oil (which you can purchase at health food stores or online) which also has an SPF of 20. (You can purchase lavaderm and carrot seed oil here –

Add the oils to the LavaDerm bottle and you’ve got a handy 15-20 spf spray.

I don’t think this is a bad alternative for small Sun exposures but for being outside for prolonged period of time I want to rely on non DIY. So, I began looking into lots of healthier brands.

Environmental working group (EWG) has an amazing list of resources to help you figure out what are some healthier Alternatives. You can find them at:

Another great resource to help figure out what products are saved is the Think Dirty app. You can go to your Google or Android App Store and download it for free.

These are the four products that my family uses.


As you can see, there are multiple Brands and products are available to keep our families safe and protected from the Sun but at the same time not rubbing chemicals and toxins all over. All of these products are rated 4 or lower period and can be found at multiple places.

Enjoy the summer!


Food and recipes

“Fat” is our friend? Beneficial snacks

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, “fat” and “calories from fat” took on a big negative step back. Everything was packaged as “fat free” and everyone thought they were eating the healthier options. It had to be better, right?


The calories and fat were removed but replaced with nutrition void fillers.  In fact, our bodies NEED healthy fats to maintain health. I am not talking about fat from Big Macs. I am talking about healthy fats from almonds and avocados.

I love avocados and spent years avoiding them because they contained so much fat. As I learned about healthy fats, that was the first thing I incorporated into my diet. Guess what happened! I lost weight.

Our bodies will store sugars and calories into fat if our bodies are being starved of healthy fats. Coconuts are another healthy fat and they are amazing.

There are 2 kinds of coconut that you can easily purchase – young coconuts which looks like this: th

And older coconuts, which look like this.

Coconut on a white background

The main difference between white/young and brown/mature coconuts is that the white/young coconut produces more water, the brown/mature coconut produces more meat. The meat of the white coconut is gelatinous and not very flavorful. The meat of the brown coconut is thick, fibrous and full of flavor.

We recently purchased an older coconut. It is important to shake it first to hear the liquid inside. If you do not heard the coconut water, then it is either bad or has had a crack that has leaked the water. You do not want this.


We used a screwdriver (gently pounded in by a hammer) to make 3 small holes that we could drain the coconut water. After we removed the water, we strained it and drank it. Its also great for cooking and recipes.


We then took the hammer and pounded until a hairline crack would go around the coconut. We were then able to break it apart. After we removed the outer hard shell from the coconut meat, we then took a veggie peeler and pleaded the thin inner layer off.


The best part of the coconut meat is that it is soooo filling and full of fiber and nutrition. Its the perfect car snack and midnight snack.


HEALTHY fat is not our enemy and something our body needs. Don’t hesitate to grab an avocado, coconut, or almonds and ENJOY!


Simplify and Minimize

Minimizing. Not what you think you might see in a health blog. But, hear me out.

As I have mentioned before, this blog is about my journey of healthy living. A current progression and movement. I am not an expert in health or nutrition but I want to share the things that I have learned in the past 3 years since I began my journey.

As I continue to learn about health, finish up going completely chemical free, and learn about nutrition, one thing that I keep seeing is the toll that our distractions take in our life. Maybe its the therapist in me.

Have you ever sat and watched a dramatic show and looked down and your snack was completely gone and you don’t remember eating it… at all? Just as the movie distracted us, so does the busyness in our lives. At face value, it might not mean much but it can take a toll on our emotional health as well as distract us from more meaningful things.

I am guilty as most of us are of distraction. I have had my little boy tell me “put down your phone mommy”. Yikes. We seem to seek out distraction. Like if it validates us or makes us important. But, what if we sat outside on a park bench without our ipod, cell phone, or book for a few hours? What if we just sat and took in our surroundings? Could most people even do that for more than a few minutes?

In the same fashion, as I have started thinking about the idea of minimizing chaos, I have noticed how many “things” I have that do not add value. Not only do they not add value but they distract. Who needs 4 sets of shampoo and conditioner in a shower? A month after taking 2 sets away, I realize how less chaotic my shower felt. Silly example, but its true. 3 lotions on the bathroom counter in addition to the other 15 products were overwhelming not to mention making it harder to clean. Who needs 5 things on their piano? 2 looks much better and adds relaxation.

I spent the past 2 months simplifying things around the house. I am no where close to feeling organized or in control of the excess but the steps that I have made have felt wonderful.

Right now, I am thinking through these 3 steps to simplify my life and have a healthier home:

  1. Does this bring me happiness?
  2. Does this add value to me, my family, or my home?
  3. Clearing the space for a few days and introduce a few things back and see what you think. Its amazing how the excess things lose their value when you step back and see less chaos.

I invite you to take an inventory of the chaos of your life. The busyness. Are you able to find joy in life? If you are like me you love life but you could use a little less distraction. Minimizing. Simplifying. It all has a part in a healthy life.

Essential oil, Food and recipes

Cooking with essential oils

Most of you know that you can cook/bake with essential oils. Maybe you don’t know but let me tell you how easy it is!!

Just like herbs (the dried leaves), essential oils are the liquid distilled from the plants. They can but used the same way.

Basil in your pasta sauce, Lavender Lemonade, Peppermint brownies, Lemon and Thyme on grilled chicken. The list goes on.

One thing to keep in mind – – a little goes a long way! I use only THREE drops of peppermint in my brownies.

Cooking with oils also allows you to be creative. So fun. We decided to make some organic orange dark chocolates. Sure, its dessert but sometimes you gotta splurge.  Even when you have some treats, it can still be health-ified. Wait, is that a word?

Check out what my 4 yr old and I made today! Organic orange dark chocolate roses.


For a beyond easy hack, we took some organic chocolate bars from Traded Joes and added some solid coconut oil, a little shreaded coconut, and sliced almonds.



After melting it, we added 4 drops of Young Living essential oils (click here to order yours: http://www.tinyurl.con/KellyMcCormackYL) before pouring into molds. 20 minutes later we were eating our dessert. So YUM!


chemicals, DIY products

DIY (and of course chemical free) oven cleaner

I don’t know about you, but our stove top gets dirty….often! Things spill and get baked/cooked on the surface. After a while, it starts to look horrible. About twice a month, I like to do a deep cleaning.

I decide to clean off the stove this morning. Our nasty cleaning chemicals are long gone. So what do I use?


We use only one general cleaning product – Thieves cleaner –  for all of our cleaning needs. But, sometimes you need a little bit more scrubbing help. This is where my non-toxic soft scrub comes in. Anybody can do it. Including my four-year-old.

You simply sprinkle baking soda on your surface and then add lemon essential oil to make a paste. (You can order Young Living Lemon essential oil here –> ). If you need more moisture simply spray a little bit of Thieves cleaner. You could add a few drops of water in a pinch. Grab a paper towel, fold it into a small square and gently scrub. It’s that easy!

The baking soda has a gentle abrasive quality, while the lemon oil loosens the grime and baked food.

Cleaning does not have to be toxic to your family. There are SO many options to use to clean without transforming your home into a chemical diffuser.

Every time you mop your floor with chemicals and walk across it with your feet, you are in essence ingesting toxins. People clean counters or cutting boards with bleach then grab it the next day to prep their food. Yuck. I know I certainly don’t want to do ingest that myself let alone my growing child.

Now, after 3 minutes I have a sparkling stove top. My mom was visiting and watched . Her comment was on how simple it was. Yes, it’s that simple. Going chemical-free doesn’t have to be hard.

While we use our Thieves cleaning spray for day-to-day mess, we do this deep cleaning once or twice a month. The best part besides chemical-free, is the fact it looks clean and shiney for about $0.40!!

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