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Here Comes The Sun! Protecting Yourself Naturally
Do you see what I see? Is that the sun poking out from behind the clouds?
We’ve had a pretty grey and dreary winter, and the sun is indeed a sight for sore eyes. And while we certainly don’t want to block out all of its health-giving attributes (vitamin D, anyone?), rates of melanoma – the deadliest skin cancer – have tripled over the past few decades.
It’s important to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. But if you’re concerned about avoiding products that contain ingredients that may be harmful to you or your children, you may be unsure where to turn.
At Kardish stores, we carry two of the best brands of barrier sunscreen, that we know you will love. Green Beaver products are made just down the highway in Hawkesbury, and are made from the safest ingredients available, and Badger products have equally high standards. Both brands offer sunscreens for a variety of needs, including for babies, kids, and active lifestyle.
Natural sunscreens also tend to be made by product makers – including these two brands - that do not test on animals, which is always a good thing.
What’s the difference?
Barrier sunscreens use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to form a physical barrier to block harmful UVA and UVB rays, whereas chemical sunscreens use chemicals to react with the skin to protect against sun damage.
Physical barrier sunscreen starts working the moment that they are applied to skin, but conventional sunscreens need a bit more time to react, and unlike barrier sunscreens, can be absorbed into your skin. In fact, they use specific chemicals that absorb UV light to prevent burning. (Barrier sunscreens can sometimes result in a “whitening” effect when applied – this is a good thing! It’s the barrier that’s protecting your skin.)
The Environmental Working Group has warned consumers to avoid products with oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Oxybenzone is found in most chemical sunscreens, and it can penetrate the skin, cause allergic skin reactions and may disrupt hormones.
Sunscreens containing retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A) may irritate the skin and increase photosensitivity, and concerns have been raised about developmental and reproductive toxicity, and the potential for biochemical or cellular level changes.
Barrier sunscreens are also easier on our environment; oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate and other compounds commonly used in conventional chemical sunscreens have been found to pose threats to the environment.
So how can you ensure that you’re protected?
- Avoid sunscreens containing oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate
- Check the label to confirm that the product offers UVA and UVB protection (or “broad spectrum protection”).
- Know that SPF protection does not increase substantially with an increased SPF number. An SPF of 15 absorbs 93 per cent and an SPF of 30 absorbs 97 per cent.
- Reapply your sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating
- Opt for lotions over sprays, as lotions provide more even coverage.
- Limit your time in the sun, wear a hat and cover up.
- Keep young babies out of the sun – cover them up and opt for shady spots to sit or picnic.
- Keep kids and children out of the midday sun to prevent burns.
Fall Fitness Tune Up
Sweater weather is finally here and all you want to do is curl up with your pumpkin spice latte. But it's important to keep moving to ensure your mental and physical health stay in check. We’ve put together some tips to help you get moving, have fun and feel great this fall and winter!
Schedule the Time
You would never miss an important meeting with your boss or child's teacher, right? Schedule each workout and treat it just the same, like something you cannot miss. Take it a step further and jot it down in your calendar or day planner. Turn your phone off like you would in a meeting and avoid any interruptions.
Create a Program
Some personal trainers offer customized programs that you can do on your own at home. Utilizing a program can be an affordable alternative to personal training sessions in a gym. It is also fairly simple to create your own program through online resources and YouTube videos. Programs allow you to have a well-planned and focused workout routine that will provide optimal benefits in the least amount of time.
Find a Workout Partner
Find someone who has similar goals to your own to keep you on track. Recruiting a spouse or a friend to keep you accountable will provide valuable support and increase your odds of working out regularly.
Workout at Home
Don't have a gym membership? No problem! Purchasing a simple resistance band and perhaps a few hand weights can be enough equipment to feel the burn. Utilize the stairs in your house for cardiovascular exercise and take advantage of body-weight exercises which require absolutely no equipment! If you have limited space in your home take your workout outside or to a public park. Utilize the length of your driveway, patio stairs and benches to increase cardiovascular benefits. Head to your deck or front lawn and try a power yoga routine, which requires just enough space to fit a yoga mat. Try to incorporate a resistance band workout, which also requires very little space and is a great workout routine to do while traveling (resistance bands take up very little space and weigh virtually nothing!).
Try a Tabata Workout
A Tabata is a high-intensity interval workout that can be done in under twenty minutes. You may be thinking such a short workout would have no benefits, but each exercise is to be done at your maximum effort for an increase in heart-rate and therefore an increase in metabolism. Each Tabata consists of four exercises lasting 20 seconds each, followed by a 10 second rest period. Each exercise is repeated up to eight times. Try this ten minutes Tabata workout to get you started!
Five Facts About Healthier Cleaners
Does anyone else’s house need a bit of a dusting and a refresh? Okay who am I kidding, my house needs a full-on deep clean, and if you’re anything like me, yours probably does too. Many people are interested in opting for greener and healthier cleaners over conventional chemical cocktails, but are not certain of the benefits of these healthier products, or of their efficacy. If you are about to bust out or re-stock your cleaning products, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind.
Fact 1: They actually do work
Because companies like Seventh Generation and Nature Clean do not use harsh or toxic chemicals, some people assume that they cannot effectively clean. If you are concerned, look for brands that have third-party certifications, like Green Seal, EcoLogo, ECOCERT or Design for the Environment (DfE); these certifications also include performance standards.
Full disclosure: You may have to let them sit on the problem area a bit longer before scrubbing.
Fact 2: They can kill germs and bacteria
Harsh chemical compounds are not the only thing that kills germs: Tea tree and thyme oil, and plain old vinegar can also do the trick. “Disinfectant” is a legal term and is considered to include bactericides, fungicides, virucides, mycobactericides, tuberculocides, sporicides, sterilants, or combinations of these. Ingredients in disinfectants are regulated and tested by Health Canada and display Drug Identification Numbers (DINs) on their label.
Fact 3: The chemical agents within them are safer for you and your family
Who spends more time on the floor than your kids and pets? Because of this affinity for being horizontal, they are more susceptible to the chemicals in cleaning products than adults; In fact, young children are 10 times more vulnerable to carcinogenic chemicals than adults. Gentler, more environmentally conscious products that are free of carcinogens, harsh chemicals, and phthalate-based fragrance are a safer option than conventional cleaners.
According to Seventh Generation, chemicals of concern can hide behind the term "fragrance" in ingredient lists on your cleaning products - chemicals that have been linked to serious health effects including allergies, asthma, cancer, and reproductive harm.
But please, even if you use a greener cleaner always keep children and pets away from the area being cleaned and always keep cleaners in a secured area.
Fact 4: They are better for the environment
The major concern is the chemicals which are contained within conventional cleaning products. There are thousands of chemicals in common use, which may pollute streams and rivers and may take a long time to degrade into harmless products. Some may not break down at all but may persist in the environment. These may enter the food chain, being eaten by aquatic creatures and perhaps eventually by us.
Fact 5: They aren’t way more expensive
There’s absolutely no cheaper cleaner than vinegar and baking soda. However, if you like to just grab a bottle and run, alternative cleaners have become more popular and have dropped in price in recent years. Plus this month, we have a great sale on Seventh Generation, which was one of the trail blazing healthy cleaning companies!
Allergy Friendly Easter Treats At Kardish!
We know that this year, Easter festivities may be more difficult to celebrate than ever. Because many are practicing social distancing, we aren't able to host the big family events that we may be used to. Why not pick up some allergy-friendly Easter treats from Kardish to make sure everyone can feel included?
Best of all, you can use our free home delivery and curbside pickup program if you don't want to come into the store yourself! Just call your local Kardish at 613-224-1414 or click here to order online.
In this post we’ll share some of the fun and delicious treats we have at Kardish that make Easter just a bit more inclusive. (PS. Pass it on to the Easter Bunny so he knows what to bring!)
Moo Free Chocolate Rosie Rabbit and Chocolate Eggs
Dairy-free, gluten-free and soya-free
Moo Free's chocolates are made from their multi-award winning, dairy-free rice milk chocolate, and taste just like a delicious, quality milk chocolate. Their organic chocolate rabbit bars and Easter eggs are also dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free and soya-free. Let everyone feel included and pick some treats from Moo Free up this year!
Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars & Snack Bars
Free from wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, casein, potato, sesame, sulfites
Enjoy Life is a go-to brand for parents who have children with allergies or food sensitivities. All products make by Enjoy Life contain absolutely no wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish. Products are also made without casein, potato, sesame, sulfites and artificial ingredients. They have recently produced three versions of their dairy-free chocolate bars - dark chocolate, rice milk chocolate and rice milk crunch.
Annie's Homegrown Bunny-Shaped Pasta
No artificial flavours, synthetic colours or preservatives
Annie's has created a variety of bunny shaped treats that are perfect for Easter, like these Bunny Shaped Pasta with Yummy Cheese. All products by Annie's Homegrown are free from artificial flavours, colours and synthetic preservative and are always made without genetically modified ingredients.
Free from peanuts, wheat, dairy, sesame, tree nuts, soy, egg, fish and shellfish. Organic and NON-GMO project verified
MadeGood granola bars and granola minis are wildly popular among little Kardish shoppers. With a variety of awesome flavours like chocolate banana and mixed berry they are sure to be a hit at your Easter egg hunt!
Free from peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat/gluten, fish,
shellfish, and corn. NON-GMO Project verified & vegan certified
Finding marshmallows that are free from harmful additives can be hard enough without factoring in allergies and a vegan diet. Thanks to Dandies this is no longer a struggle! Try making these Dandies Classic Crispy Treats for the little ones at your Easter dinner.
Tips For Surviving Allergy Season
About 25 percent of Canadians suffer from allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as seasonal allergies or hay fever. Environmental triggers that bring about seasonal allergies are grass, pollen and mold. Seasonal allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to something (i.e. grass, pollen and mold) that would typically not effect the average person. This immune response causes symptoms like nasal congestion, burning/itching eyes and excessive sneezing. Keeping your immune system strong and robust is a key factor in surviving allergy season; luckily there are many ways to do this. We'll provide diet, supplementation and lifestyle related tips to help you thrive throughout the whole year!
Try these supplements
Histamine is produced during an allergic response and causes inflammation. Quercetin is a powerful natural antihistamine that can reduce inflammation and symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
We have all heard that vitamin C is important when suffering with a cold or flu, and that is because this vitamin promotes immune health. Like quercetin it is also a natural antihistamine.
Astragalus is known for its ability to protect and support the immune system. It has been shown to reduce symptoms in people who suffer from seasonal allergies.
The beneficial bacteria in probiotic supplements help to support digestion. As humans we are more bacteria than we are human cells, making friendly gut bacteria a crucial aspects of living a healthy life. Our gut bacteria is also directly linked to our immune function.
Eat and drink more of this
Lemon juice is one of the best sources of vitamin C, a vitamin that we mentioned earlier is important for promoting immune health. Add lemon juice to water and enjoy first thing in the morning.
Turmeric is also referred to as curcumin, the active ingredient extracted from turmeric root. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that sooths inflammation throughout the body that can worsen allergy symptoms.
Bee Pollen + Raw Honey
The key to this tip is to purchase locally produced honey or pollen. There is some evidence to support that the consumption of raw honey can improve symptoms of seasonal allergies in some people (source). Raw honey is also anti-bacterial and therefore can help to protect the immune system. To learn more about this super-food, see our previous post on the benefits of raw honey.
This one is simple, drink more water! When we are properly hydrated our air passages stay moist. When we are not, more mucus is produced to protect these areas, leaving us more prone to congestion.
Consuming more of this fermented cabbage dish will not only liven up you dinner plate but also provides beneficial bacteria, like those found in probiotics. Kimchi contains chili pepper, making it fantastic for blood circulation, which will support healthy immune function by allowing nutrients and white blood cells to travel efficiently.
Make a few lifestyle changes
Using a Neti Pot and salt solution to flush nasal passages will help to clear sinuses and decrease congestion. It can also help to flush allergens from the nostrils and sinuses before you immune system has the opportunity to react.
Breathing in essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can help to open sinuses and improve circulation. Add a few drops to an oil diffuser within your home.
Using an air purifier in your home will help to remove pollen from the air and improve your breathing quality while reducing overall symptoms.