15 years ago my life changed.

My whole family’s lives changed when my father was diagnosed with dad timeParkinson’s disease.  At the time, none of us really knew what that meant other than it was a neurological condition that had no known definitive cause. The neurologist suggested joining a support group, but other than that there was not much information about what to expect or about how all of the new medications would help.

As time moved on, my father’s symptoms changed and didn’t fit the typical PD diagnosis. After several years of trying to get in with a neurologist in Pittsburgh, he finally got an appointment and was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. It falls under the Parkinson’s umbrella, but is recognized as an Atypical, or “unusual” Parkinson’s.

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a neurodegenerative brain disease that has no known cause, treatment or cure. It affects nerve cells that control walking, balance, mobility, vision, speech, and swallowing. Five to six people per 100,000 will develop PSP. Its symptoms typically don’t occur until later in life (around 60). My father was diagnosed at 55.

My curiosity led to research.

Lots and lots of research! Of course I was curious about what caused the condition, and was also concerned about whether or not it was genetic. The interesting thing that I discovered is that environmental toxicity may be one of the causes of this debilitating disease.  Of course there could be other contributing factors but this discovery spurred a lot of questions in my mind.

My father had been a barber for 40 plus years. Was it the cigarette smoke of customers that filled his tiny, little barber shop or was it the barbicide he used to clean his clippers? Was it the chemicals that he used to spray weeds around our house? Was it a virus that he had when he was younger that had slowly attacked his brain? Was it the constant stress of being a business owner and providing for his family? Did any of these factors play a role in his condition?

Seeking to understand my father’s condition began my journey into the wonderful world of nutrition, and to studying the relationships between stress, food, toxicity and our overall health.

When I realized how much toxic exposure we have on a daily basis, I wanted to tell the world. I wanted to help people understand how this might affect their lives. My own lifestyle changed drastically, and sometimes I feel like my dad getting sick saved my own life.

My passion is to educate people about the things we put into our bodies. But what about what we put ONTO our bodies? It’s not just the MSG or aspartame that has been linked to such neurological conditions, but other toxins as well.

 What you put onto your skin may be just as harmful as what you eat.

So, what is so special about our skin? Our skin is our primary defense mechanism against infection and protects our internal organs from injury. It helps us detoxify through sweating as well as seals in moisture for proper fluid balance. Our skin also produces vitamin D, which is essential for optimal health.

Did you know that almost all of the commercial beauty products that you buy in the store have several chemical compounds that are harmful to your body? It’s a $50-billion industry in the US alone.

Enticing scents and the promise of eternal youth most certainly come with a price.

Things you should be on the lookout for:

Parabens

Parabens are used as preservatives in