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As much as I wanted too, no filter, no edits

I am 42 and have never Botox'd or altered my appearance with injectables, knives or otherwise.  Maybe it is apparent, maybe it is not.  Some may think I have aged well, others may think I look my age... or older.   Regardless, the 40's have heightened my awareness that my 1 and only body is my vehicle for the next 50+ years.  While I do want to look good, I recognize that the choices I make today could impact my ability to live a full life of adventure, later.   For me this means avoiding exposure to non-elective (environmental) and elective (food, cosmetics, etc) toxic substances.  

Skin is the largest organ in the body (yes I was a physiology nerd in college, and yes skin is an organ).  Whatever we put on our skin ultimately gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make its way to other important organs.  The highly profitable beauty industry is not as regulated as one might think, in fact there are over 1,400 chemicals used in products in the US that have been banned from European nations.  The result of these toxic ingredients are things like asthma, infertility, cancer, hormonal disruption, and for pregnant women inhibited fetal brain development, among many others.  Why don't we hear about the maleffects more often?  Good question!  There is a lot of money to be made on us, by the beauty industry, talented lobbyists that need paychecks, and ultimately an FDA that does not have the authority to eliminate many of these substances from mainstream use.  So it is up to us to regulate what ingredients make their way into our bloodstream.  I don't know about you, but I am too busy living life to have time for cancer or thyroid problems or unknown diseases yet to come.  For me this means no Botox and as close to a non-toxic skincare and beauty regimen as I can get.   Soooooo........

A few years ago I trashed every beauty product I owned with toxic ingredients.  It was pretty much everything in my drawers, cupboards, medicine cabinets, etc.  Not only was it disgusting how much I had accumulated over the years (sucker for advertising), but it was shocking to see how many brands used toxic ingredients (drug store, high end, and in between).  Slowly I replaced all of my old staples with brands that use safe ingredients.  Not all of these companies use only only natural ingredients, some use synthetics in tandem with natural.  However, note that not all synthetics are toxic, and not all natural ingredients are non-toxic.  Here are my personal recommendations after 3+ years worth of "oh s*** I'm 40" / anti-Botox / non-toxic product experimentation.  You will notice that many of these suggestions come from Beauty Counter.  It is the 1 line I have experienced consistent results with *most* of their products and hence is my baseline.   Others have been favorites or supplement gaps of products I didn't love in the Beauty Counter line.  These are all authentically part of my daily regimen, based on my dry to normal skin with occasional breakouts.

Morning (for me this happens after my workout):


I love seeing women aging gracefully, allowing their makeup to accentuate their natural beauty rather than covering it up.   Therefore I prioritize a skin care regimen which allows my skin to be the star.  I personally like to dramatize my look with eyeliner and a bold lip.  Find your flare and have fun with it!  Somedays it's just moisturizer and mascara, others it's the full shebang!  Just  do me a favor and don't cover up your natural beauty with powders and heavy foundations!  Give your skin time to rid itself of toxins and I promise you won't need coverups.



  • I mix equal pumps of this and this and lather all over!  (Fresh out of the shower while your skin is still damp is best to absorb the beneficial ingredients)

  • Deodorant  (This one is pretty thick so you have to rub it in a bit, but it works!)

  • Body Shimmer (think Beyonce... love this!)


Note: these are "safer" chemical sunscreens, I have not found a mineral one that I really like yet which is the only true non-toxic sunscreen... stay tuned!

Happy detoxing your beauty regimen!  Stay healthy, happy, and well!  


*Some product links may be affiliate.  Any recommendations are authentically those of the author.

#saferbeauty #nontoxic #nontoxiccosmetics #nontoxicbeauty #health #wellness #botox #beauty #agegracefully #selfcare #beautyproducts

Thank you to my brother + sister-in-law for the perfect sentiment!

I endured arguably the biggest injury of my life last week. I was on a girls ski trip and took a major tumble down what could be considered the most benign slope we skied all trip. Wrong patch of snow, wrong edge, wrong timing, too fast, just careless enough, BOOM!!! As I flew through the air and crashed into the slope I felt my skis eject, and my left limb as well. When I landed and realized that my left leg was, in fact, still attached, I knew I had dislocated my hip. Plenty of thoughts raced through my brain: excruciating pain being the dominant, followed by "well if ski patrol can just pop it back in I'll be on my way", and back around to "there's no f'ing way I can ski myself off this mountain". A girlfriend was close behind me, raced off to call ski patrol, then hiked back up with another girlfriend to help ski patrol load me into the sled, as I agonized over any micro-motion of the injured joint. Considering the sky's status was blue bird and the light, fluffy snow we had been enjoying, this was the first dose of lemons.

The first patroller on the scene was Kim, one of the few badass women to patrol for their winter living. She advocated for me the entire way down the slope, moving swiftly, yet checking in often until she handed me off to the base crew. The ambulance arrived after a painful 20 minutes or so and we descended the hill to the ER. Another painful series of boxes were checked before they took xrays, consulted the on-call ortho doc, and aligned all ducks in a row to prepare for my hip reduction. Prior to being put into conscious sedation, I was told that the xrays showed an acetabular fracture (aka a pelvic fracture). After the hip reduction I would get a CT scan and 1 of 3 paths would be determined: rest & heal, get back to Denver for surgery ASAP, or another ambulance trip to Spokane for emergency surgery. 2nd dose of lemons.

The first attempt proved to be unfruitful in reducing my hip, but fruitful in an audible "grind/pop" in my knee, perpetuating what was probably already a torn ACL. More lemons. The second reduction attempt was successful and I awoke to the hum of the CT scan. The hospital team had prepared me for the worst and I tasted the first, sweet & satisfying, sip of lemonade when I learned that the CT scan came back clean! No pelvic fracture, no ambulance to Spokane, no emergency surgery! This of course made the torn ACL seem like lemon meringue pie.

Upon discharge I joined 14 of my best girlfriends back at our ski chalet for dinner, war wound talk, and so much TLC. The next day of rest was welcomed as the group headed out to ski, but then the snow started to fall. By evening it was DUMPING snow & the group woke up to ~14" of fresh POW. An opportunity that graces skiers dreams, on the regular. This is when the tears started to fall. I maintained a relatively stoic persona throughout the series of horrific events and into recovery, and my default is always a positive attitude. As the gravity of the 9-12 month recovery set in, and the snow continued to accumulate leaving me with a beautiful view but no fresh tracks, I declared it my "SAD DAY".

You see, even the most committed optimist needs permission to be sad. We are human, emotion is what makes us normal. I covered the gamut that snowy powder day on the couch: anger, why me?, sad, scared, lonely, insecure, what if?. And consciously I thought to myself: get it all out today on this SAD DAY, because tomorrow it's onward & upward. Head up, chest high, smile on, and I will move forward. And that is exactly what happened.

As humans we can't and shouldn't pretend everything is always ok. We need to feel our deepest pains and sorrows and show them to the world. After-all, what is a life of constant happiness without any contrast? What is equally as important as allowing ourselves sadness, is the ability to pick up the pieces and course correct. For me, the mental countdown of a "sad day", was what I needed. It is what I needed to mourn the injury, the grueling recovery, and the activity I was missing out on. It was also what I needed to pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward on the journey of life.

How have you managed to turn the corner when adverse events occur in your life?

February is Eating Disorder Awareness Month. It is not a topic that most people enjoy talking about however, its presence in our human race is significant. And the impact of eating disorders is devastating.

  • At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.

  • Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.

  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

  • 13% of women over 50 engage in eating disorder behaviors.

  • In a large national study of college students, 3.5% sexual minority women and 2.1% of sexual minority men reported having an eating disorder.

  • 16% of transgender college students reported having an eating disorder.

  • In a study following active duty military personnel over time, 5.5% of women and 4% of men had an eating disorder at the beginning of the study, and within just a few years of continued service, 3.3% more women and 2.6% more men developed an eating disorder.

When we think about being our best selves, exploiting our inner badass, it requires us to engage every facet of who we are. To look at our whole self. Our bodies and our energy are paramount to maximizing our potential. Based on the statistics above, many, many people are challenged with eating disorders, limiting them from living life to their full potential. One of our community members was courageous enough to share her story in hopes that it would bring awareness and trigger help for others.

Here's Heidi's story, in her words:

I was a dancer growing up, and I began developing faster than most of my friends, which made me quite embarrassed. I had to have been nine, maybe 10-years-old, when I remember sitting in the bathtub and actually hitting on my chest for my boobs to go away. (Ironically enough, many years later, it was my extreme dieting for my first fitness competition that caused me to lose my boobs, therefore, have a breast augmentation to get them back).

In Heidi's words: I looked “in shape”, but I was sick

Back to the beginning… as a dancer, I began to watch myself in the mirror and compare my body to the other girls. I didn’t do anything extreme, but I did do some obnoxious things. For example, once at the Ice Cream Truck with friends, while everyone asked for Astro Pops and Pop Rocks, I ordered a Sno-cone without any flavoring. Seriously. And, after being at a barbeque with my family, as we were driving home I was in the back of our SUV doing sit-ups and crunches all the way home.

It was in high school when I took things to the extreme and began making myself throw up. At first, it was here and there after a big meal, but once I discovered how easy it was for me to do this, I actually began eating things with the intention to throw up. I also began working out more than ever. These habits were manageable until my boyfriend confronted my parents. While no “actions” were taken, I did put the brakes on my bulimia. Well, it slowed down immensely where I knew I could throw up if needed, but it wasn’t something I planned to do anymore.

During college and into my early 20s, I struggled with body image, but I didn’t go back to the extreme purging. Enter 2006—when I began training for my first fitness competition—that the eating disorder finally took control over me!

Heidi's 1st fitness competition to qualify for Ms. Fitness USA

During my first fitness competition I dropped an extreme amount of weight, which by looking back at photos now seems incredibly unattractive. When the show was over, and I went back to my normal diet—which wasn’t unhealthy by the way—this is when I really developed a skewed image of myself. I had to do anything to stay lean and fit, so I did.

This sickens me because as a fitness trainer, I was encouraging my clients to be healthy and good to their bodies, while I was being so cruel to my own. This lasted for six years, until I began rolling out my yoga mat regularly. Things shifted.

What I failed to mention before was that when I lost my boobs after my extreme dieting, I also lost my menstrual cycle (for six years)! I came home from yoga one day and was bleeding. I believe my body was trying to get back into balance, and I didn’t want to fight it. It was that day that I decided I would not allow bulimia to be the boss.

While I do have the negative chatter here and there—mostly about my wrinkles—I can honestly say I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. Life is too short not to enjoy some sweet treats… And, to me, it’s also a gift that shouldn’t be thrown away by throwing up.

Heidi today. Healthy, strong, beautiful!

  • On average, 149 weeks pass before those experiencing eating disorder symptoms seek help. That’s almost three years, 37 months or 1,043 days.

If you think you may have an eating disorder or are struggling, here are a list of hotlines.

  • On top of this, in a YouGov survey conducted for EDAW, more than one in three adults (34%) in the UK, who gave an answer, could not name any signs or symptoms of eating disorders.

Here are common signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.

The sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full and fast recovery. If you notice someone struggling, speak up, you could be saving their life!

When asked what advice she would give someone struggling with an eating disorder, Heidi says: "To you, who may be searching for the light at the end of the tunnel...you are beautiful, strong, and brave—and not alone. I encourage you to find something that may help to give you peace. Because that’s what you deserve."

Thank you Heidi for sharing your story! You are a true badass on every account!


Full of energy! Beautiful inside & out!

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