Aug 012017


The US National Library of Medicine says:

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl. … Phthalates are used in hundreds of consumer products.

Phthalates are used in cosmetics and personal care products, including perfume, hair spray, soap, shampoo, nail polish, and skin moisturizers. They are used in consumer products such as flexible plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, wallpaper, vinyl miniblinds, food packaging, and plastic wrap.

Phthalates are also used in wood finishes, detergents, adhesives, plastic plumbing pipes, lubricants, medical tubing and fluid bags, solvents, insecticides, medical devices, building materials, and vinyl flooring.”

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They’re everywhere. So?

  • Why Be Concerned?

Chemicals are all around us. We can’t escape them. We can, however, limit our exposure to them. That should be of concern to us because harmful chemicals can disrupt the way our bodies work and cause us to have health problems. For instance, phthalates, according to the NIH, “are suspected to be endocrine disruptors.”

What that means in a nutshell, is that they “… may interfere with the production or activity of hormones in the human endocrine system.” The human endocrine system controls many body functions, which include hormone production, pancreas, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, and male and female reproductive glands.

  • What can you do?

You can try to reduce the amount of phthalates you are exposed to. The way I see it, putting something directly on my skin or in my hair, (cosmetics and personal care products, including perfume, hair spray, soap, shampoo, nail polish, and skin moisturizers) that contain phthalates just doesn’t makes sense.

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Washing my clothes and dishes in detergents that contain phthalates doesn’t make sense. Cleaning my house with products that contain phthalates doesn’t make sense.

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I ask myself why I would do that when I know I can purchase high quality, economical products, WITHOUT phthalates. We can’t completely eliminate phthalates from our environment, but we can greatly reduce the amount of phthalates we are in direct contact with. Therefore I use products that are free from chemicals, including phthalates.  If you would like to learn about the products I use, contact me (Martha) at 505-750-7857 or is a health and wellness website that promotes healthy lifestyles and products.


Jul 292017

Over the last decade or so, the terms teamwork, team, and coach have proliferated in business discussions. This article explains more about the anatomy of teams and teamwork. I think you will find it insightful and quite detailed.

It explains the team and its dynamics (many members change over time) and how individual and team goals change over time. Team diversity is an important factor in interpreting team goals and context.  If your team is geographically diverse, as well, differences in the availability of certain resources can be challenging.

The need for a system, goal articulation (why), a shared mindset and strong leadership (coaching) are all important elements in the success of your business team. I am associated with a company that has understood the concept of team work for over 30 years. It has made my activities more effective and much more profitable.

For Moms (or Grandmas and Memes) who want to work from the luxury of their own homes so they can be there more for their children, grandchildren and families, this might be something worth a peek.

teamwork concept chart with business elements

Jul 272017

I really appreciate this article about allergens in the home. Many of us experience difficulties with allergies.  The attached report offers some tips on how to protect against allergens in your home.  Page 5 of the report references that the cleaners you use to rid your home of the problems, could be problems themselves.

I get my cleaning products from a company that provides all natural cleaning options.  They REALLY work!

Jul 132017

Her sleeplessness had finally gone


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says:

Learn how much sleep you need for good health.

People will often cut back on their sleep for work, for family demands, or even to watch a good show on television. But if not getting enough sleep is a regular part of your routine, you may be at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, poor mental health, and even early death. Even one night of short sleep can affect you the next day. Not surprisingly, you’re more likely to feel sleepy. On top of that, you’re more likely to be in a bad mood, be less productive at work, and to be involved in a motor vehicle crash.

How much sleep you need changes as you age. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend:

Age Group Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day

Infant 4-12 months 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

Toddler 1-2 years 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

Pre-school 3-5 years 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

School Age 6-12 years 9-12 hours per 24 hours

Teen 13-18 years 8-10 hours per 24 hours

Adult 18-60 years 7 or more hours per night


  • Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
  • Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot or too cold.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime. *

* National Sleep Foundation Recommendations

Also, natural sleep aids may help.

  • Try herbal teas, such as Chamomile.
  • Try a natural supplement containing herbs and natural ingredients such as calcium, melatonin, valerian, L-theanine, passion flower, spearmint. These ingredients are not harsh, non-habit forming, trusted and reliable.
  • A warm bath before bed can help relax you.
  • Try listening to soothing, calming music before bed.
  • Read a book. That always helps me get sleepy when I can’t sleep.
  • Essential oils such as lavender can have a calming, soothing and relaxing effect.

Proper rest has been linked to optimal immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions. But we live in a fast-paced world. Deadlines, multi-tasking, and worries can make getting the true rest you need difficult if not impossible. In fact a December 2013 Gallup® report found that 40% of adults are not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night.

Martha maintains , which is a health and wellness information website that promotes healthy living for all aspects of life (including physical, mental and emotional, financial, and natural) and products for healthy living. For more information contact Martha at or 505-750-7847, or check out Martha on Twitter as MrsProfQuack or RobardsHealthyLifestyles . com on Facebook.

May 112017

SaveYourSkin 5-16_5-11-17


Summer is quickly approaching.    On some days in Arizona, it feels like it’s already here.    Sunny days are ahead.

Now is the time to start thinking about sunscreen.    Wearing it all year long is a great idea, but for those who think about it more when they feel the heat, now is the time.

  • Limit Exposure, says,

“Skin cancer — the abnormal growth of skin cells — most often develops on skin exposed to the sun.”

It goes on to say what to do to reduce the risk, by stating,

“You can reduce your risk of skin cancer by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.”

Sunscreen will help you reduce and avoid that exposure.

  • Choosing a Sunscreen

Choose a sunscreen that has a high SPF.    What is that?    SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Although there seems to be controversy on this, generally the higher the better.    A sunscreen with less chemicals in it, for many, is a better choice.

SPF measures how well a sunscreen protects against UVB rays (the radiation that causes sunburn and damages skin) and UVA rays (also damages the skin, but deeper).     According to,

“UVA, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, has long been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling (photoaging), …”

Have fun in the sun, but be proactive and take steps to protect yourself and your whole family by buying and using a high quality sunscreen.

Martha maintains , which is a health and wellness information website that promotes healthy living and products for healthy living. For more information contact Martha at or 505-750-7847.



Nov 292016

Although this article is a few years old, I felt it was worth sharing.  mlr



Personal care products, especially those used by baby, should be chosen with caution. You would think we could trust the safety of products labeled for baby-use, but alas, that is not the case. The New York Times recently covered the announcement by Johnson & Johnson to remove potentially harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde, from their baby products by the end of next year.


Another group of scary chemicals that have been found in baby products are phthalates. Scientists are making connections between exposure to phthalates and hormone related diseases, such as diabetes and thyroid disease. Medical News Today published an article about a study by US researchers that found phthalates in the urine of babies that used baby shampoo, baby powder, and baby lotion.


Phthalates are hormone disrupters and seem to especially affect male development. Products that contain phthalates are not easy to identify. They are often added as a component of fragrance, or added to plastics to make them more flexible. Therefore, they are not required to be listed on ingredient labels.


A PubMed study found emerging evidence that phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), another man-made chemical, may also have thyroid disrupting properties.


Even though phthalates may not be listed on labels, products with phthalates are commonly found in a variety of personal care products.Prevention Magazine describes how easy it is to be exposed to phthalates.

This article was published with permission.

If you would like help in finding non-toxic products for your baby, contact me, Martha L. Robards, at, or call me at 505-750-7847, or private message me on my Facebook business page,

Jul 112016

Food additives:  ugh!  Here is some of the latest information.


“Deciding what foods to buy was simpler when most food came from farms. Now, factory-made foods have made chemical additives a significant part of our diet.

In general, it’s best to avoid the following ingredients.

  • Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin, Sucralose
  • Food dyes
  • Mycoprotein (Quorn-brand meat substitutes)
  • Partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat)

And don’t forget to cut back on sugar and salt, which cause more harm than all the other additives combined.”



Jun 082016

SummerSunSunglasses FDP w ack 6-7-16


All of us (yes, I’m a big kid!) kids, big and small, look forward to summer! Outdoor sports, hiking, playing ball, running and walking in the park, swimming and going to the lake are all things we love to do in the summertime.

Being in the sun is fun, but it can also be dangerous. Our bodies can overheat and cause us to get sick. The Arizona Department of Health Services has a list of things that can help you be safe in the sun. Here are a few of them:

  • Use Sunscreen Every Day! Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can damage your skin. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply 10 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 ½ hours or sooner if perspiring or engaging in water activities. Wearing sunscreen every day is as important as brushing your teeth!

  • Wear a Wide-Brimmed Hat and Lip Balm! A hat with a wide brim offers better protection for your scalp, ears, face and the back of your neck than a baseball cap or visor . And, protect lips with SPF 15+ lip balm.

  • Wear Sunglasses! Sunglasses reduce sun exposure that can damage your eyes and lead to cataracts. Check the label and choose sunglasses that block at least 90% of UVA and UVB rays.

  • Cover Up! Wear long sleeves and pants if possible to protect your skin when playing or working outdoors. Darker colors and fabric with a tight weave provide the most protection.

  • Limit Time in the Midday Sun! Limit your outdoor activities when the UV rays are strongest and most damaging (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Remember: Look for your shadow—if no shadow, seek cover!

  • Take Cover! Find something fun that doesn’t involve exposure to direct sun. Take cover under a tree, ramada or find an indoor activity inside a gym, library or classroom during peak UV.

For more information, go to:

You can reach me (Meme) at or by going to my website Send me questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you. Meme’s News No. 2 (June 1016) © 2016

 Martha Robards Headshot