Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lush Bath Bombs Are Not What You Think

If you read ingredient lists like me, I hope that doesn’t stop at just food.

Food chemicals are nasty, but the skincare and cosmetics industry is even worse. The FDA doesn’t regulate cosmetics as rigorously as pharmaceuticals or food – allowing companies to get away with using potentially harmful ingredients that are banned in other countries. Many cosmetics, lotions, soaps, and body scrubs contain toxic petrochemicals made from oil, known carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and neurotoxins.

If you’ve got teen girls at home, it’s a pretty safe bet you’ve heard of Lush bath bombs. It’s not just teens going crazy for their wide array of colorful bath bombs, lotions, and soaps, but adults are too. Lush has a full line of products all claimed to be “handmade”, “fresh”, “natural”, “cosmetics with nothing to hide”…  

Unfortunately when a company markets themselves like this, many people buy up their products without considering what the ingredients are, and that can be a huge mistake. Do you have any Lush products or have kids begging you for a bath bomb? 

A member of my team was telling me how she’s freaking out about the Lush bath bombs her daughter’s buying because she doesn’t think they’re safe.

Many of you are questioning Lush’s products too, because I’ve received lots emails asking to check them out…

“Please reinvestigate Lush boutique. There is such a craze going on with our preteens and even adults at that bath/body boutique. The salespeople are usually uneducated on what the products contain. They just say they are “all natural” blah blah blah and stick to their script. I read the ingredients of some products quickly that contained carrageenan and food dyes. Please educate everyone on this.” ~ Jonna H.

“I am constantly working to change the products in our home into something healthier with no chemicals, but that isn’t always easy. I have become so frustrated lately at how deceiving products are. I used to love the company Lush until I found out they use parabens and sulfates and gosh knows what else. I feel like they are so misleading because you walk into the store and supposedly everything is natural and fresh.” ~ Wioletta

I was instantly suspicious the first time I saw what a Lush Bath Bomb does to a bathtub full of water. You throw that chalky bomb into your bath and watch it slowly dissolve and fizz, while it releases a rainbow of swirls and glitter into your bathwater. It’s pretty cool looking…but the idea of soaking my body in a brightly colored concoction of chemicals isn’t my idea of a good time. To me, a bath should be a healing experience and not one that could put my health in jeopardy.

While I respect that Lush doesn’t test on animals and are advocates of eco-friendly practices, let me warn you about some of the controversial ingredients they use…

Artificial dyes made from petroleum – Those famous Lush Bath Bombs are loaded with synthetic dyes like Yellow 10, Blue 1, and Red 28, which are readily absorbed by shaven skin where they can go right into your bloodstream. These dyes can be contaminated with carcinogens. Blue 1 has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and some research suggests it’s a neurotoxin. Do you really want to soak your entire body in potential carcinogens and neurotoxins?  You’ll find these in some: Lush Bath Bombs, Soaps, Lipsticks, Fresh Face Mask, Luxury Bath Oil, Massage Bars, Bubble Bars, Shampoo Bars, Shampoo, Shower Jelly, Scrubs, and Fun.

Parabens – Preservatives like propylparaben and methylparaben are endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems. Parabens can be absorbed by the skin. There are brands using safer preservatives, and there’s no reason Lush can’t too. Using a small amount doesn’t protect you because endocrine disruptors are known to have a big effect at very low levels of exposure. You’ll find these in some: Shampoos, Conditioners, Cleansing Lotions, Eye Creams, Shaving Cream, Lotions, Masks, Scrubs, Eyeliners, Moisturizers, Skin Tint, Eyeshadows, Mascara, Hair Treatments, and Toner. 

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) – May be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is linked to cancer. You won’t see 1,4-dioxane on an ingredient list because it forms during manufacturing and the FDA doesn’t require a warning label. I don’t like the idea that something I wash my body with can potentially cause cancer over time. I believe exposure to carcinogens even at low levels is unsafe – especially in a product you wash your entire body in or use daily, like shower gels and soap. You’ll find this in some: Shampoos, Shampoo Bars, Shower Gels, Bubble Bars, Shower Jelly, Fun, Bath Bombs, Shower Creams, and Soaps.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – If you have dry itchy skin and dandruff, this could be the culprit. SLS irritates the skin and scalp by stripping away the natural oils that protect it. You’ll find this in some: Soaps, Shampoo Bars, Conditioners, Solid Conditioners, and Hair Treatments. 

Triethanolamine (TEA) – Particularly dangerous when combined with products that contain SLS (see above). That’s because when SLS combines with TEA it creates the nitrosamine NDELA – a carcinogen. This is a chemical cocktail that you don’t want to combine on your skin (such as using soap with SLS and then spreading on moisturizer with TEA). You’ll find this in some: Body Conditioners, Shaving Creams, Scrubs, Skin Tint, Color Supplements, Styling Creams, Eyeliners, Eyeshadows, Mascaras, Scrubs, Lotions, and Eye Creams.

PEG Compounds – When you see “PEG-100” or other “PEG” compounds on the label, these can be contaminated with Ethylene Oxide and 1,4 Dioxane, which are both linked to cancer. You’ll find this in some: Shampoos, Shampoo Bars, Bath Bombs, Bath Oils, Solid Conditioners, Hair Dressings, Facial Scrub, and Beard and Facial Wash.

Fragrance – It sounds so innocuous, but it’s not. Just like “natural flavors” in our food, cosmetic companies don’t tell you everything that is in these fragrances and they can include highly toxic ingredients, hormone disruptors, and carcinogens. My team contacted Lush and they said when you see “fragrance” listed as an ingredient on their website in black this means it contains some synthetic ingredients – but they could not disclose what they were. You’ll find this in some: Bath Bombs, Soaps, Shampoos, Conditioners, Shampoo Bars, Fun, Bubble Bars, Lotions, Masks, Cleansers, Shower Gels, Hair Treatments, Shaving Creams, Bath Oils, Scrubs, Deodorant, and Dusting Powder.

“The fragrances we use in our products are our very own unique creations, so for that reason we don’t provide an ingredient list for them on our website. They’re never petroleum or alcohol-based and we blend each fragrance by hand, using the highest-quality and most ethically-sourced essential oils and synthetic fragrance components (such as Synthetic Musk) to achieve our products’ unique personalities. Anytime you see the word “fragrance” printed in black that indicates that some part of it has a synthetic component. If it is a blend of purely natural or organic oils, it would be written in green.” ~ Email from Lush Customer Care

If you’re worried about the chemicals in your food, the skincare and cosmetics industry is even worse.

You’ve got to be your own advocate when it comes to what you slather on your skin. The FDA doesn’t regulate cosmetics as rigorously as pharmaceuticals or food – allowing companies to get away with using potentially harmful ingredients that are banned or not used in other countries. 

Many cosmetics…

  • contain toxic petrochemicals made from oil, known carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and neurotoxins.
  • have no laws banning their use, so companies keep using them.
  • pollute our bodies with chemicals that can stick around for years.
  • can create even more dangerous toxins when combined.
  • are labeled “Natural” or “Herbal” and this doesn’t mean anything because there is no legal definition of these terms.

(Source: The Story of Cosmetics)

Some of my favorite hair and beauty products are by the brand 100% Pure

The other day I was posting some pictures from a Truvani video shoot and a few of you were asking about the lipstick I’m wearing…

For the video shoot, I was wearing a bit more makeup than I normally do. Even then, I made sure to use only the safe cosmetics that I love, and that includes this lipstick – 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Pomegranate Oil Anti-Aging Lipstick in Poppy. I really love this color! The best part is I know that I’m not coating my lips with toxic chemicals.

All 100% Pure products are made with organic unrefined ingredients, no synthetic chemicals, and are cruelty-free. They even test each ingredient for pesticide residues!

And, all of those controversial ingredients I just discussed (that Lush and many other brands use) are not in any 100% Pure products… there are no parabens, SLS, SLES, or synthetic fragrances. Instead of using artificial dyes, all 100% Pure products are pigmented using fruits and vegetables. How cool is that?

Best of all, they’ve also got amazing bath products, body scrubs, moisturizers, and shampoo – so if you love Lush products, now is the time to make the switch! 

I just partnered up with 100% Pure so that I could offer y’all a great discount on their products: 

Whenever I’m headed out and want to wear a little makeup, these are some 100% Pure products I personally love to use…

Tips for cleaning up your beauty product routine:

  • Stop relying on fancy marketing and celebrities to choose brands. 
  • Look for products made with simple organic ingredients.
  • Choose fragrance-free products, or those that are only scented with essential oils.
  • Adopt a minimalist approach – do you really need to coat your hair in a chemical bath of 5 different products every day? How many products do you use on a daily basis? Think about the money you’d save if you just used a couple safe products.
  • Try using coconut or sesame oil as a moisturizer and makeup remover, and oatmeal & salt for a body scrub. If it’s safe to eat, it’s safe to put on your body.
  • Give your face a rest a few times a week. Spend a couple of days without makeup and allow your skin to naturally be rejuvenated.
  • Vote with your dollars. Stop supporting companies that are harming the environment, your family and most importantly your own body with crazy chemicals!

What works for me, may not work for you – there are so many great natural products available now, you WILL find some that suit you. It might take you some time navigating through the world of natural beauty! God knows, I’ve been through several trials and errors.

I hope this information gives you inspiration to replace some of your toxic products with safer alternatives. If you know anyone who has kids begging them to buy rainbow colored Lush Bath Bombs (or if they’re buying Lush products for themselves!) please share this post with them. Let’s spread the word about what’s really in the products at Lush and not be swindled by their marketing any more!



P.S. The 15% off discount code “FOODBABE” for 100% Pure expires on Thursday (3/22), so get in before it’s too late

Posts may contain affiliate links for products Food Babe has approved and researched herself. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same (or at a discount if a special code is offered) and Food Babe will automatically receive a small referral fee. Your support is crucial because it helps fund this blog and helps us continue to spread the word. Thank you.

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Roasted Broccoli with Tahini Dressing

Hi, guys! Happy Tuesday to you!

So, I have ANOTHER tahini recipe for you. Tahini Tuesday, anyone? 🙂 Clearly, I’m allllll about the tahini lately! But, first, a quick recap of my morning!

I’ve been digging this breakfast lately, especially on the days that I work out in the morning. I need a little something in my stomach, but I don’t want to be stuffed either. Listen to this combo: Half of a mashed banana mixed with almond butter (or peanut butter), ground flaxseed, and cinnamon. Mmm! It’s so good! Then, I mix my iced coffee with SFH and/or collagen for an added protein boost.

After breakfast, I got Quinn and myself ready for the day. Just before we were about to leave, I ran upstairs to grab something from our bedroom and saw this ridiculous creature crushing our pillows.

The workout at CrossFit this morning was a total lung smoker. I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath AT ALL, but it was a fun one. I finished just over 12 minutes.

Back at home, I was more than ready for an early lunch. I whipped up a batch of tahini dressing that turned out so well. I’m already dreaming about having it on roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner! 🙂

Homemade Tahini Dressing


  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp honey

Ingredients: Combine ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over your favorite roasted veggies!

My gosh, it’s so darn delicious. I’m pretty sure I’m going to put tahini dressing on just about everything! 🙂

Question of the Day

Anyone else already thinking about dinner? Yes? What’s on the menu?

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Wired To Eat…1 year in!

A Look At Swerve Sweetener

Carrots ‘N’ Cake Spring Nutrition Challenge

Let’s do a meal plan together and keep each other motivated! 

Register for the 8-week CNC Spring Nutrition Challenge, and I’ll be your meal plan buddy – supporting you all along the way right into summer!

You’ll have your own personal nutrition coach, who will determine your macronutrient goals and design 8 weeks of customized meal plans just for you. (I’ll follow a similar meal plan, but customized to my own personal goals and food preferences, but we’ll do the challenge together!) Your meal plan will tell you exactly what to eat (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) in portions that align with your specific macronutrient goals while keeping in mind your individual food preferences, activity level, and personal diet challenges.

Your meal plan is created weekly by your assigned Designed to Fit coach, which means you’ll receive ongoing communication, support, and adjustments as needed. With this meal plan, we do all of the planning for you – right down to the grocery shopping list. I mean, isn’t that the most annoying part about meal planning?!

Your Spring Challenge meal plan includes:

  • Weekly meal plans customized to your specific daily protein, carbohydrate, and fat settings to align with personal goals (workout and rest days included)
  • One-on-one coaching and accountability
  • Login access to our software to review meal plans, recipes, and track your progress
  • Weekly weigh-ins and progress check-ins with coach
  • Macronutrient adjustments as needed
  • New macro- and prep-friendly recipes each week
  • Personalized grocery shopping lists with simple food prep instructions
  • Ongoing community support via a private CNC Spring Challenge group
  • Meal prep tips and videos from me
  • Bonus downloads and recipes for me
  • Motivation, motivation, motivation!

We start on Monday, April 9th!!! 


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^^ Well, having many a lilac bloom is definitely a bonus for having a harsh winter! Our winter hasn’t exactly been harsh here in Virginia – it’s just been long and dreary. I feel like normally, by this time of year, we are having half-warm days in the 60s and 70s and half-winter days. I think we’ve only had ONE warm day thus far. (I also think my standards for warm are warmer than most people’s.) But perhaps I am just remembering previous winters wrong!

The above quote came from Lilac Girls, which I finished last week. I really can’t put a finger on how I feel about the book now that it’s over. I didn’t realize until about mid-way through that it’s based on a true story of the women-only RavensbrĂĽck concentration camp during WWII. As I read the author’s notes at the end of Lilac Girls, I realized that all of the main characters were based on real people and the book was based on as much truth as possible. It certainly made me think differently about the story. While Lilac Girls is far from the top of my favorite books list (I enjoyed The Nightingale so much more), I found myself missing it when it was over. And I have a lot of respect for the amount of research that went into Martha Hall Kelly’s writing process.

In other media news, we LOVED The Handmaid’s Tale!! It’s definitely worth doing a free trial over at Hulu to watch. (Although I will say we have had some technical trouble with Hulu being overloaded in the evenings and the show not loading for us on Chrome.) The show definitely got a bit darker towards the end, but we couldn’t wait to watch each episode. The next season comes out April 26, so I have cancelled Hulu for now and will do another round when it comes out.

We didn’t love A Wrinkle In Time, which we saw in the theater over the weekend. While the costumes and scenery were beautiful, we just didn’t love the plot, characters, or the acting. The only conclusion I can come to is that a book from the 1960s doesn’t translate well to film. I didn’t connect with the main characters at all, and we thought it was quite predictable and cheesy. (And I like cheesy things!) I don’t like not giving something a good review and I absolutely love Oprah, Mindy, and Reese, but I left the theater really disappointed. (It crossed my mind that maybe I just wasn’t the target audience, but we all three loved Peter Rabbit a few weeks ago! I thought everything about that movie was super well done.)

Here is a lovely lilac smoothie for you with mixed berries, banana, oats, milk, spinach, and Vega vanilla. I had a side of cinnamon chip toast and butter with coffee for the warm part of breakfast!

I want to read something lighthearted, modern, possibly romantic, and a potential page-turner next. I would love your recommendations!

Happy birthday to my mom!

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Clean Eating Butternut Pecan Quinoa Salad Recipe

This clean eating butternut pecan quinoa salad makes a great side dish or even a main course for vegans and vegetarians!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a quinoa recipe! I just got away from… Read more →

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Episode 386 – Dr. Ruscio – Healthy Gut, Healthy You