Official Enviroklenz Affiliate! MCS-approved Cleaning Products

Hey guys! I’ve talked before about how much I love Enviroklenz, and I’m still using their laundry products and air filters every day. You can read my thoughts in-depth by clicking here.

If you’re interested in getting some of these environmental protection products for yourself, and supporting this blog at the same time, I now have a handy button at the bottom of every page on this site! When you order using that button, I get a little commission and every little bit helps me keep this blog up for you guys. Plus you get some great, safe cleaning products for yourself. Using stuff like this helps lighten the day to day chemical load you put on your body, which lowers your chances of MCS and other chemical reactions and helps keep you healthy.

I’m also going to put a couple of big banners in this post since we’re here and they’re cool.

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Ya need to clean anyway right? Plus, you know that I wouldn’t put a permanent button on this website for any product I didn’t believe in and use myself. I’m not going to sell out on you guys – this button is really here for you. I hate shopping for cleaning stuff. I read the labels to try and be informed and usually can’t find a single thing with little to no harmful chemicals and fragrances. I don’t have MCS or eczema (if you do then you probably already use things like these) but I’ve always been sensitive to fragrances products, especially laundry stuff. So yes, I really am using this and it really has helped me.

I promise to stop talking your ear off about it now! Just know that handy button will always be down there just for you the next time you need cleaners or air purifier stuff.

Love you all! And OF COURSE don’t forget to make a rage comic and enter the #spoonieragecomiccontest! It’s free and there’s prizes! Go go go!

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Reshare: Illness Saved My Sex Life

I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz on twitter and other blogs I follow about sex in relation to illness. I’m really glad people are talking about this because it can be a very difficult thing to navigate!

I wanted to take a minute to reshare a post I did a while ago for Hearing Elmo titled “Illness Saved My Sex Life” since it’s a hot topic right now. CLICK HERE to read it and keep the conversation going!

I know my blog has been a ghost town for a while. I’m still trying to figure out this whole “getting anything done with an infant in the house” thing. Hopefully this reshare and my last post about Linus and his blanket will tide you over while I work on some exciting things for you including a review of a really cool tool from The Allergista!

Stay tuned…

Invisible Illness Survival Kit – Purses

Hello blog people! I hope you had a lovely holiday and you’re enjoying some time relaxing. No, baby has not made their grand debut yet, and we are t-minus 12 days to the due date. It could be any day now!

Now, I don’t know how spoonie guys handle their invisible illness supplies, but for us lady spoonies, a purse is an absolute must. I know because I hate purses and would never carry one if I didn’t have to. Even I have to admit that carrying a purse has saved events and created extra “spoons” for me when there were none. (to read the “spoon theory” click here).

There are about a million things that can save a sudden onset of symptoms if you have constant access to them. Medication is the most obvious item. Some people are so organized that they can keep one or two pills from each medication in a fancy box, and there are services like PillPack that can do that for you:

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Or of course you could use a pill box, and if the SMTWTFS isn’t your style, check out the Do I Look Sick store for some cute ones!

But I’m lazy and usually just keep my prescription bottles in my purse. I don’t have a ton, so I can – people with a wider array probably can’t get away with that. Of course, most spoonies keep over the counter meds on them too, like tylenol for pain, benadryl for allergies, etc. No matter what, it usually ends up being more pills than one can really stuff into a pocket. Or at least the pocket of women’s pants.

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Maybe this is why guy spoonies don’t need purses.

Anyway, there are a lot of other handy things to keep on you at all times. Another big one is food. Whether you have allergies, stomach problems, or just need something to take pills with because sometimes it’s hard with just water, keeping snacks that agree with your digestive system and keep your blood sugar up are essential. You might show up to an event serving food you can’t eat, or you might end up staying out longer than planned and need a boost or food to take with medication. No one knows you better than you, so you know what snacks will get you farthest. Relying on buying the food you need while you’re out won’t always pan out, especially if you’re stranded with a vending machine or impulse buy candy at the register and nothing else.

On a less fun note, it’s also important to have your insurance on you at all times. If you’re chronically ill, you’ve probably been to the ER. There are many situations in which you may need to go to an ER that isn’t at your usual hospital. If you do, you’ll want all your insurance info, IDs, and medical alert tags/IDs on you.

So yes, despite my aversion to purses, I carry one. But I don’t carry some regular boring purse. I might as well like the purse I carry. For a long time, I used a little backpack I got as a kid –

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My walking pharmacy was disguised as an adorable cat. Yes, it’s the cat from Trigun, which I’ve never watched and know nothing about. Baby!Rachel just liked that it was a cat, and so does adult!Rachel. I recently switched out, though, for a tote bag that I actually received from a reader!

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I could not for the life of me find one of me holding it but it’s the cute blue tote in the background with the white lucky cat on it. Thanks Tosha! Check out her blog Bottled Time! Not only is it adorable but it has a little pocket at the top on the inside that I can stick my phone or keys in so they’re not lost in the sea of pills and miscellaneous flotsam in the main bag area.

Plus my mom’s all white cat Jane really relates to it on a spiritual level. This is a live picture of her right now:

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So you don’t have to go get some fashiony purse for your portable pharmacy if that’s not you. If you must have a purse, have one you love!

Or buy guy pants with pockets that are actually useful. 😉

Stay tuned, I do have updates on our birth center plans! Plus baby will be here soon, along with plenty of pictures!

Emily Dudensing, RDN, LD: What a Dietitian Can Do For You

The holidays are a time for family, so today’s interview is with my cousin Emily! Emily is a registered dietitian nutritionist and her advice has really helped improve a lot of my symptoms from both endometriosis and IBS.

We go way back.We go way back.

Now, I know it’s the holidays and you’re probably thinking “don’t give me the “eat right” spiel now, I’m already in the middle of a Starbucks holiday drink and these gingerbread men are literally hot out of the oven, just let me live!” I feel you. The good news is that this isn’t a post that’s going to make you feel guilty or that’s going to insist you make kale gingerbread men this year or anything like that.

This post is about dietitians, a medical professional that you may not have thought to seek out. My doctors will often tell me to “focus on eating healthy meals” or “try less dairy” or “you need more protein,” but they’ve never referred me to a dietitian. I have no idea why! Chatting with Emily gave me specifics on what to eat and why. She gave me tools to use instead of blanket statements like “eat right.” We all know what food is “healthy” and what food isn’t, but most of us don’t know what foods do what for our systems.

But enough about what a dietitian has done for me. What can a dietitian do for you?

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Emily, what exactly is a dietitian/nutritionist?

Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) are food and nutrition experts who help navigate and apply the science of nutrition into practical practices for a healthy lifestyle. To become an RDN, one must complete a 4-year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or Master’s program from an accredited University followed by or joined with an extensive 1,200+ hour dietetic internship. Once this education is complete, we sit for the registration examination. Passing this allows us to obtain the credentials, RDN.

*Quick side note: It is important to note that “nutritionist” and “dietitian” are not always interchangeable. If the above requirements have not been met, one cannot label themselves a dietitian. When choosing a healthcare provider, it is important to identify background education and credentials to ensure you receive adequate, science-based information.

What made you decide to become one?

When I began college, I really started to get into cooking, physical activity, health, etc. As I explored various career options I learned about registered dietitians and what the job entailed. I realized I could make a living doing something I love and help others!

Since then, I have truly come to appreciate the practicality of nutrition and health. It applies to every living being! I love helping individuals and families navigate the sometimes confusing world of food and nutrition, and making the best choices for their lifestyle!

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Who can benefit from working with a dietitian?

Anyone who consumes food can benefit from working with a dietitian! But in all seriousness, whether it is a mom who wants to make sure she is providing balanced meals for her family, an individual with weight loss goals, or maybe even someone who is on a tube feeding or experiencing gastrointestinal issues, a dietitian can be a huge benefit!

How can someone find a dietitian? (Do you need referrals, insurance, etc?)

A great resource for finding an RDN in your area is to visit: http://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert

All practices may be different, at Lemond Nutrition we receive a large number of referrals from doctors, however, it is not required. Individuals may contact us on their own and we will have an appointment set up. In regards to insurance, again, all practices are different. At Lemond Nutrition, we do accept insurance. It is best to contact the dietitian/company you plan to work with and ask what their set-up and requirements are.

How can a dietitian help someone with a chronic illness that isn’t digestive-system-based?

As I am sure anyone with a chronic illness or certain disease state can attest to, there is not usually a “one-size-fits-all” treatment or diet that will magically work across the spectrum. Meeting with an RDN allows individuals to discuss their lifestyle and eating habits, letting the dietitian make adjustments or additions as they see fit for that particular person in lines with the most current science-based practices. Dietitians can assess macro and micronutrient intake to ensure all nutritional requirements are met, eliminating any nutritional shortfalls.

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What kind of difference can diet make that medication can’t? Can diet replace other treatments in some cases?

Food is powerful! Just as an example- let’s look at those with high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol levels. While some are more prone to these conditions genetically, nutrition therapy put into practice has shown that consistent modifications in diet and lifestyle can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and the impending risks that come with those conditions. While medication absolutely has a role in treating certain illnesses and conditions, it is important to not underestimate the value and importance of taking care of our bodies with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Is a dietitian just for extreme diets, like gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo, etc?

That is a great question! Short answer- absolutely not! Dietitians can assist those wanting to increase vegetable intake or help a child who is a picky eater, all the way to those with extreme food allergies or rare/specific nutritional needs.

How has being a dietitian impacted your own life/diet?

As a dietitian, I constantly think about food- which is a good and a bad thing! I strive to practice what I preach. Most recently, being a dietitian has impacted the way I feed my son, Denton, who is one and a half. He is a toddler, so naturally he has occasional picky eating tendencies or prefers the sweeter, less nourishing options. Rather than focusing on one certain food or food group, I make efforts to provide balanced and nourishing meals daily. I follow the MyPlate meal set up at each meal, exposing him to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. Anything we miss at meals, we incorporate into snacks.

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What’s your favorite part of your job?

Without a doubt, my favorite part of being a dietitian is working with clients from all walks of life. No client is ever the same as the next, so it is always exciting and challenging to individualize nutrition therapy to that particular person. I love hearing their stories and joining in on their journey to the healthiest version of themselves- physically/nutritionally, spiritually, emotionally!

What do you wish more people knew about your job?

For me personally, I wish more people understood the thought process and the importance of science-based nutrition therapy for every part of the life cycle. I think there is sometimes a fear associated with food and worry that a dietitian is going to restrict food or limit food groups.

As a dietitian, my goal is to show people what they CAN eat, rather than focusing on what they CANNOT eat, no matter the circumstance! I want people to enjoy food and enjoy life to their fullest potential.

Emily works with Lemond Nutrition (lemondnutrition.com) – be sure to check out their website and blog for tons of useful info on diet and nutrition!

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Review: EnviroKlenz, Personal Environment Protection for Everyone

Since I started blogging, I’ve learned a lot about MCS – Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. People like Kathryn Treat taught me that each person has a chemical load, and if it gets too heavy, your body will fight. Kathryn went from a normal life to being “Allergic to Life.” Her body began to fight everyday chemicals in soaps, fragrance, cleaning products, and the air itself as if it was fighting a deadly illness – that means she became extremely ill when exposed to these every day things.

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Each person is different, and there’s no telling how much of a chemical load your body can sustain. It makes sense, then, to cut as many chemicals as you can from your every day life BEFORE you HAVE to for life-threatening reasons. I haven’t done anything crazy – I stopped using perfumes, and only use deodorant and soap with natural fragrances.

If you’ve tried to shop smarter in a similar fashion, you know how often you end up reading every label on an aisle only to find there are NO chemical-free or even less-chemical options, especially for cleaning products. And while it’s one thing to chuck out perfume, cleaning products are a bigger mental block. You buy them to get rid of odors, so don’t they need fragrance? Without fragrance, your laundry wouldn’t smell fresh and nice, your kitchen would smell like old food, and your house would smell like dogs and cats! And of course by you, I mean me.

But remember that products like Fabreeze or scented candles only mask odors anyway. What you really want is to get rid of odors for good – not spray chemicals periodically to continue covering them up. That’s why it’s really cool that OdorKlenz took an interest specifically in their customers with chemical sensitivity, and worked to develop a line of cleaning products that is not only effective, but safe for everyone to use.

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So today I’m looking at their awesome products one by one, and stay tuned at the end of the post because I have a special discount code just for Do I Look Sick readers!

First up: EnviroKlenz Laundry Enhancer!

I already use exclusively “free and clear” laundry soaps because I’ve always been allergic to fragrance in detergent. Since companies don’t need to list what chemicals are in “fragrance” I’ll never know what it is I’m allergic to. To be safe, I also quit using fabric softener. Instead, I use vinegar, which works great and doesn’t leave an odor in the clothes – you’ll smell it while the washer runs, though. But one of the best things about laundry is a fresh scent, right? So I spike my jug of vinegar with a few drops of essential oils, and I also dab them onto my dryer balls. Perfect set up, right?

Well, sadly I’m not perfect. That means that sometimes (a lot) I throw a load in and forget about it for a while. Then when I open the washer, there’s no nice essential oil smell – there’s just mildewy ick smell. So when I find it, I usually have to run the wash again. Which is wasteful.

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Enter the EnviroKlenz Laundry enhancer! A combination of liquid and powder, you simply add it to your load with your normal soap – but it CANNOT be used with vinegar! But I can say from first-hand experience that there will be no icky washer smells, even if you leave a load of wet clothes in overnight. It’s pretty amazing!

But for this particular product, I have to say I wouldn’t use it all the time. I’d probably only throw it in if it was late and I knew I’d probably go to bed before I could dry the load, or if the washer was just getting funky-smelling in general. And it’s not just because I still like using vinegar when I can. There are a couple of downsides to this stuff.

One is that the liquid is like milk. At first, that’s merely surprising when you first dump it in. But after a wash, there’s a milky residue on the washer itself, so you either need to rinse it out or run a load without the enhancer before you add vinegar again.

Another drawback is that the powder can leave a residue on clothes. For me, it only happened on small items like panties and socks, so they probably just got folded into a larger item of clothing and didn’t get rinsed properly. Still, next time I’ll probably use a bit less than the recommended amount of powder.

The good news is that it works with any type of laundry. I tried it with clothing, towels, a rug, and even a hand-sewn costume piece (Husband’s poncho from D23). All came out great except for the aforementioned powder residue on a couple of things. But no colors ran, nothing came out looking weird or different at all.

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All in all, I’d recommend it if you’re specifically having trouble with your washer creating an odor.

Next, the EnviroKlenz Odor Eliminator and Absorbent Neutralizer!

This is what’s probably gotten the most use at our house. The odor eliminator is a great surface cleaner and works pretty straightforwardly. It’s great at cleaning up messes on the kitchen counter or tile/wood flooring. A disclaimer though – I’ve only used this on very small messes. We just put in wood floors and I’m still slightly paranoid about them, so I haven’t tried it on a large area for fear of discoloration or…I don’t know what. The floor was expensive and I’m afraid of it. That’s not what this post is about though.

What I really want to do is sing the praises of the Absorbent Neutralizer. This product is a powder like substance that works similarly to baking soda, if you’ve ever used that to clean up a smelly mess. If not, think of it like kitty litter for other wet stinky messes. Not only does it suck up the moisture, it takes the odor with it.

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There’s a reason Dudley looks so guilty.

Now, this package arrived right around the same time that the vet said that our dog needed to take allergy medicine. Listed in side effects was excessive urination. And excessive is right. I had a nightmare on my hands. The dog had climbed into bed with us overnight, and he wet the bed. A lot. And oh Lord, it was the smelliest mess. I’m thinking I’m just going to have to throw out my expensive sleep number bed now because I don’t even know how to begin to clean it. We sprayed it with vinegar and mopped up the mess as best we could but it was still moist and the smell…..the ungodly smell….

I couldn’t find our baking soda, but while I was looking I spotted the new package of EnviroKlenz cleaners. I pulled out the powder, dumped it on the mattress, and said a prayer. I let it sit for hours, waiting, hoping. And sure enough, it saved the bed. After we vacuumed it up, the smell was gone. The bed was dry. My wallet was relieved.

This will definitely be a staple around here. It passed its trial by fire and I know I can count on it for NORMAL messes. Because if my dog ever needs this medicine again, we’re boarding him until he’s over it.

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Anyway. If you have a similar situation, google about using vinegar and stuff because that part was an important base. But this powder saved the day and I think it worked much better than baking soda would have. If you’ve got a dog, buy the odor neutralizer. Just do it.

A word about ingredients: on the labels and the website, it lists the active ingredients: Magnesium Oxide (MgO), Zinc Oxide (ZnO), and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) powders. I’m not savvy enough at label terminology to know if that means that’s everything in the products, or just the active ingredients. I do know that generally speaking, the less ingredients there are in something, the safer it is for use with allergies or newborn babies. Plus we know these products were developed specifically for people with MCS, so I doubt they’d leave things off the label.

Finally, the EnviroKlenz Home Air Purifier!

This is the one I was most excited to try. We have a small air purifier in our bedroom and I think everyone should have one. I sleep much better at night, and our bedroom never smells like dog even though he spends plenty of time in there. Plus there’s very little dust. I knew I wanted to get one for the baby’s room too, because their little lungs would need it even more than I do!

Disclaimer – none of us have any asthma, breathing problems, or allergies. We got one just for basic wellness, so I mean it when I say it’s for everyone.

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The EnviroKlenz purifier is much bigger than the little one we picked up at Walmart. It also has way more settings. High will clear out heavy dust and odor, but it’s pretty loud. No worries though, because medium and low are very soft, and it even has a “whisper” setting if you want it silent. And WOW, does it do a good job. Our downstairs area is completely open, with a high roof and open floor plan. This air purifier has no problem handling that huge space. I don’t know how to describe it except that the air is just fresher. Breathing is just nicer. And that room feels as airy as it looks now!

And, if the odor powder got a trial by fire, my husband decided the air purifier needed one too. He’s been putting in the new wood flooring downstairs, which means tearing up carpet and creating a lot of dust. I’ve been spending my time upstairs to keep baby from having to breath whatever all that gunk is. So he decided to do one better and set up the air purifier at the foot of the stairs. Any air currents that head upstairs get filtered through the purifier, and I haven’t had a whiff of dust, old ratty carpet smell, or the weird new wood smell upstairs at all.

When I found out it was the air purifier that was creating a barrier for me, I thought that was probably asking it to do a lot more than it was meant for…. but clearly it was working just fine. So this thing means business. It’s going to purify the crap out of your air, no matter what.

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According to their website, this air purifier uses hospital-grade technology to remove chemicals, VOCs, dust, and other allergens from the air. It’s also HEPA certified, so no worries there if you do need it for medical reasons.

You can check out this video for more info on how exactly it all works:

So, ready to get some for yourself? Because I’ve got a very special code JUST for readers of this blog!

Just go to https://enviroklenz.com/shop/ and when you get to checkout, use the code:

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To get 20% off from now until September 28th!

This is an awesome company that, rather than turning a blind eye to their chronically ill clients like most companies, they went and developed an entire line of products just for them. That’s the kind of company I want to support when I vote with my dollars, don’t you?

Thanks EnviroKlenz for seeing the invisibly ill, and doing something to make the world a better place.

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Full Disclosure: I was given samples of these products in return for my thoughts, but the opinions here are all my own.