Be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out!

Being a Food Babe doesn’t stop at food. Once you’ve understood what chemicals can do in your diet – The next logical step is to understand what other chemicals in your surroundings can effect your health. Ever thought about what toxins are lurking in the cosmetic industry? Why there are so many chemicals in your shampoo or toothpaste? Check out this video for a fabulous explanation of why:

I am a firm believer that if I eat the way I do, I can avoid the impact of most of the chemicals in my surroundings, but I also want to vote with my dollars and I refuse to buy products from companies that continue to pollute the environment and our bodies with loads of toxic substances. I also don’t like the idea that something I wash my face with can potentially cause cancer over time.

Yesterday I counted the number of cosmetic products I used from morning to night – My number was 15. I’d like all my Food Babe readers to do the same little exercise! Count the number of products you use in a 24 hour period. And report back here!

Please share the results in the comments section below or on my facebook page – I’d love to find out your number!

Next – do this crucial step to become educated about what is lurking in those beauty products. Check the list below to find out if any of your products contain these dirty dozen chemicals.

  1. BHA and BHT. Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number. Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1″ or “Blue 1″). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
  3. DEA-related ingredients. Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look also for related chemicals MEA and TEA.
  4. Dibutyl phthalate. Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
  6. Parabens. Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
  7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance) Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  8. PEG compounds. Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol).
  9. Petrolatum. Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
  10. Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  11. Sodium laureth sulfate. Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
  12. Triclosan. Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Source – David Suzuki More details on these chemicals can be found here  

Ok so a lot your products have this sh&* in them – what do you do? Be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out!
*Apologies for the cursing – when I get mad I like to curse. It’s something I need to work on :)

Food Babe’s Tips: How to be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out

  1. Stop going to the drug store to buy your cosmetics – This may seem a little extreme – but this is probably your best way to avoid the dirty dozen.
  2. Shop in organic and natural grocery stores to look for new products – or even your pantry! Use oatmeal & salt for a body scrub, coconut oil to remove eye makeup and olive oil as moisturizer.
  3. Adopt a minimalist approach to your beauty regime – do you really need to coat your hair in a chemical bath of 5 different products every day? Think about the money you would save if you just used one or two safe products?
  4. Find brands that are committed to safe cosmetics at this site and stick with them.
  5. Use this tool at EWG to rate your current products and find new ones that are safe.
  6. Order products on the internet – I do this so I don’t have to search around town or go to multiple places to find my staples. This saves me money and time. I like Lucky Vitamin and Vitamin Shoppe for this and they have free shipping.
  7. Read magazine’s like Whole Living, Natural Health, and Alive for new product reviews that would be safer than the ones advertised in magazine’s like Glamour, Self, Men’s Health and Allure.
  8. Jillian Michaels is a huge support of natural beauty and cosmetics products – check out the ones she likes here
  9. I’ve been through a load of natural products – some are great – some not so great. Shop at stores like Sephora that allow you to bring back a product if it doesn’t suit you.
  10. A few times a week, give your face a rest. Spend a couple of days without makeup and allow your skin to naturally be rejuvenated – I do this almost every Sunday!


Don't fall into the trap of seeing celebrities wear certain brands of makeup - Revlon is one of the worst! Many of their products and other brands you see at your local drug store contain the dirty dozen beauty chemicals.
Ordering my goods at Lucky Vitamin and Vitamin Shoppe for the next couple of months!
No makeup Sunday!


Later this week I’ll share some of my favorite beauty products in a video post! Stay tuned!

Homemade Chick-fil-A – Now Open on Sunday!

After the ruckus I caused a few weeks ago by posting the ~100 ingredients in a Chick-fil-A sandwich on my Facebook Page and writing an article entitled “Chick-fil-A or Chemical-fil-A” about the harmful effects of those ingredients….I did some thinking about one particular comment I received regarding how someone didn’t want to give up Chick-fil-A because they had already given up so many other food vices in their life. Continue Reading →

Eating Through the Big Apple – Part Deux

Sorry, you missed Part 1? Check it out here


Before I start the story of pictures, I just want to mention, that you no longer need to travel the globe to experience the best in pizza, pasta or even pastries – Just go to spoiled rotten (so jealous I can’t stand it) New York City! A year ago the Eataly mothership of the best of Italy landed across from Madision Square Park and this year NYC is getting the famed Laudree, one of the best patisseries in the world right off the Champs Elysees in Paris. NYC is the closest and best melting pot food playground– if you haven’t been in a while – it’s time to go, but bring your elastic pants for the way home! Continue Reading →

Climbing to the Top – Hill Sprints Workout

Torres Del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile

This workout is inspired by the “least effective dose” that Tim Ferris discusses in his book 4 Hour Body, the philosophy of high intensity training that Jillian Michaels preaches about in Making the Cut, and the interval training experienced in the Insanity workouts.

Combining all three philosophies yields dramatic results, and this hill sprint workout does just that. When you train at an incline and add sprints you are able to experience the cardio, strength training and fat burning benefits of exercise all at once. This is some serious booty burn and engages your fast twitch muscle fibers, which is one of the only ways the human body can naturally release Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH is the key to allowing your body to build and maintain muscle as you grow older. This is muy importante! As you get older, you slowly loose your muscle mass and this is the reason people gain weight as they age. We must prevent this from happening to our booties!

Running or doing any type of cardio at the same pace at the same incline over and over and over again will continue to lead to the same results and you probably won’t see much change in the shape of your body. It may get smaller, but you might still be flabby.  Running long distances isn’t very natural either, our ancestors did not run mile after mile with no rest. They completed short bursts of exercise to hunt. My workout is an example of the type of exercise our ancestors thrived off of and will change your body composition over time.

Note of caution – I would not preform this type of training after a strength workout on your legs. This is something, however, I LOVE to do before a Hot Yoga Class or when I am short on time before an early work meeting.

Below is a good starting point, if you require modifications, please feel free to facebook me or email me.

Food Babe’s Hill Sprints Treadmill Workout – 35 mins

Warm up

5 mins at 4.0 mph, 3 incline
5 mins at 3.5 mph, 10 incline

For the next 20 mins alternate:

1 min sprints at 5.0 – 6.0 mph at 10 incline
1 min rest intervals at 3.0 mph at 10 incline

Cool Down

5 mins cool down at 4.0 mph, 3 incline


I completed this exact workout before Hot Yoga today and my heart rate got up to 177 several times, about 94% of my maximum heart rate – Incredible! During class when it was time to do the Warrior series… I could really feel it….My hamstrings were burnin’…. ahhhh yeah!

I am adding this type of training at least twice a week to my workout schedule, along with the stair monster at the gym. We are prepping to climb Japan’s tallest peak and possibly Bali’s in a month! We plan to conquer Mt. Fuji at night, in the dark and cold to make it to the top by sunrise. Watching the sunrise atop of Mt. Fuji is called Buddha’s Halo and we want to experience it with a big bowl of noddles in hand (That’s what you do when you get to the top….and you drink hot chocolate too!) We have been researching the climb and hear it is going to take 4-6 hours to get to the top, which doesn’t really sound that bad considering we have experienced pretty difficult hikes through our travels like when we went to Patagonia last year.

Ringing in the New Year in Chile at Patagonia Camp - Wait a minute - Is that my drink? No way - I was not drinking before our grueling hike the next early morning.
A view of our Mongolian hut called a "Yurt" at Patagonia Camp
Planning for the long hike ahead with our guide masters
We hiked the first day with our friends Ruba and Michael - Check out the lushness of the greenery up against the coldness of the mountains
This is summer time in Chile! Glacier Lake near Grey Glacier
No swimming in the Glacier Lake - Duh.
Ice Ice Baby! Brrrrrrrrr.........
Ice chunks were washed up on the shore
Our hiking map on the second day - 9km to Las Torres
This hike was one of the best we've ever experienced - So many terrains throughout the day - at about hour 2, you start going through a beautiful forest - the scenery was amazing.
Filling up our water bottles with fresh glacier water right off the mountain - Extremely cold and refreshing!
Almost to the top - The hardest part about to come... STRAIGHT UP through big rocks!
We made it..... soaking it all in...


Getting ready to enjoy a well deserved picnic.... teetering our booties on the side of the mountain
Chilly in Chile. The temperature at the top quickly shifted from a little cold to freezing cold - Good thing we had hot vegetable soup to snack on :)


Loving this moment a little longer before our hike back......
I won. I am not bragging, but I was the first one back. This is proof, I touched the car first. Ok maybe I am bragging. A little.
A view from the inside of our Yurt, shortly after arriving back from our hike.
We saw a beautiful night filled with stars approaching through the sky light in our Yurt as we took a nap after our long hike.