Outside the Big RK

A couple of years ago I became very frustrated about my health and over all well-being. Although I was at a healthy weight and exercised regularly, I had no energy, no umph. While shopping in GNC for a headache miracle cure, I came across Kat James’ book “The Truth About Beauty.” It had nothing to do with the miracle I was looking for but it intrigued me and I bought the book. It did turn out to be a serendipitus purchase as it began my long journey back to better health and well-being. The takeaway from her book is this: question everything. Just because it smells good, feels good, or is expensive, does that mean it is effective, safe, and healthy? Ingredient lists on beauty products are long and geared for a scientist. But with the internet we can easily research these ingredients, find what they do, and see if there has been research done on them to evaluate their safety and effectiveness. Just be leery of all sources as they all have their own agendas, slants, and financial interests to protect. Once all that can be weighed through some truth can obtained. I am especially skeptical of those who give one side of research to support the sales of their product, um they all do that don’t they?

One can not change overnight and it has taken me a few years to be artificial preservative free, in diet and beauty products, consume zero hydrogenated oils (as much as I can control), eat only wild-caught seafood, avoid artificial sugars at all costs, and decrease inflammatory food consumption.

Just recently I discontinued my 20 year use of a famous skin care and cosmetics line in search of a line that is artificial preservative free. In my quest, I ran into Suzanne Patterson at my Chriopracter’s office and not only is she a famous makeup artist she has a wealth of knowledge in skin care and wowed me with all kinds of fancy words. She did send me in a few directions to conduct my own research. I found her articles to be concise and helpful. I also understand her warning about companies who are “greening” and effectively touting “organic” as smarter choices, one must research these claims as well. All natural does not always mean all good. Some naturals can be just as creepy as the chemical laden goods. But in the article on her site about parabens, I will still vote no, I know too many gals with breast cancer. I am currently trying My Chelle skin care and Shikai hair care products, sold at Whole Foods, and so far I am liking the results. Both of these products’ ingredients list have satisfied my quest of doing without the bad and controversial chemicals.

A couple of weeks ago I came across this article about a miracle anti-wrinkle cream on the cheap. It is Aldi’s very own skin care line. Aldi is a little grocery store I frequented while living in Germany. The Albrecht brothers own Aldi and Trader Joe’s. Their little miracle cream has made a huge hit in Europe, winning awards and beating out the competition in effectiveness. I was unable to acquire an ingredient list so it is unknown to me whether it contains some of the “No-No’s.” But I still felt that I had to get my hands on this cream, and for £1.89 in British pound means about $3.70 USD. I Googled the nearest Aldi and found one in Langley Park, Maryland. The ride took about 25 minutes, long enough to get excited about revisiting one of my Germany memories. I drooled over the thought of the pastries, chocolate, and the possibility of a miracle cream. The treasure hunt was on! Well Langley Park is not a quaint German Village and the American Aldi experience is not the same. No pastries, a no name brand chocolate, and no miracle cream. The only thing that was the same was that I had to put a quarter in the lock to release my cart. If you were wondering, you do get the quarter back, a small incentive for returning the cart. I was also very happy to see that my car was still there when I returned to the parking lot. So here is my hope, if the cream is such a huge success in Europe, maybe the brothers will get a hair-brained idea and “create” a miracle cream on the cheap for Trader Joe’s. I will hold my breath!

There is much confusion in the ever changing beauty and nutrition world adding further muddle to the consumer’s shopping experience. But with the nifty invention of the internet one can riffle through multiple sources and derive their own educated decision about which purchases will satisfy their individual needs. Be a savvy consumer and ask, “What’s in it for me?”

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