Douse the Damage: 9 ways to protect your health + beauty during wildfire wreckage
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
Much of our landscape is draped in thick, hazy smoke and ash. As of 8:30pm on August 14th, there were 1,548 active fires in the continental US and lingering soot /air pollution extends far into the Atlantic Ocean. The fire season in the US now lasts about 2 months longer than historical averages. If you live in a northern region and did quick math, that means 8 of our 10-12 week summers are potentially going extinct. The added length we are exposed to oxidative air effects of fires is relevant for our wellness. It has become chronic instead of acute. The detriment affects our entire system.
This is a complicated reality of shifting climate patterns that deserves attention and discussion. The climate is changing. This is not a political opinion or view. It is simple fact. I won’t meander too deep into the vortex but I know so many of us can feel the Earth we love suffering, and our eyes/skin struggling.
I know it's a bummer to think about, and hope it's all right that this beauty post started with a glance towards a behemoth issue. There is a gossamer line of demarcation between our own own realities and those of the people, places and planet affected.
It won't do us any good to wallow. We need to act. I definitely get way more done, rage against way more bullsh*t, and feel more empowered when looking and feeing good. Thus...
NINE EASY WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR HEALTH, BEAUTY + SOUL DURING FIRE SEASON
1. VITAMIN C RICH WHOLE FOODS: The reigning antioxidant royalty. Vitamin C is easy and better to get from whole foods. Flathead cherries, one of the top sources of food-based Vitamin C, are in season. Other go-to high Vitamin C foods are parsley, kiwis and lemons. At the bottom of this post, we’ve included a recipe for DAILY ANTIOX WATER INFUSION which is high in Vitamin C and alkalizing qualities for internal support.
2. BETA-CAROTENE: One of the best food nutrients to provide your skin with a built-in sunscreen-like effect is also a protective element during hazardous air quality. You’ll see this nutrient as a reoccurring theme in our posts, for good reason. “Dietary Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene may attenuate peak expiratory flow decrements due to air pollution in subjects with chronic respiratory symptoms.”(2) Foods high in beta-carotene are often also high in Vitamin C, delicious and give you a gorgeous glow. I strongly dislike beta-carotene supplements because, based on research, the body does best when it is able to absorb beta-carotene slowly from fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
3. VITAMIN B: A 2017 study in partnership with Columbia University School of Public Health provides novel experimental evidence showing that an ambient particle exposure has unfavorable effect on cardiac autonomic function and the immune system but can be counteracted by B vitamin supplementation. Most US diets contain plenty of Vitamin B, but during high-oxidative stress, supplementation of this one is a good idea. I prefer a sublingual tincture to a pill. All health food stores have several options, usually low-priced.
4. SULFORAPHANE: This crucial component of cruciferous vegetables has shown incredible ability to disrupt cancer cells, protect internal systems from oxidative stress and strengthen embryo cells. It's found in all vegetables of the Brassicaceae family such as arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, radishes and watercress. Sulforaphane is inactive when exposed to heat over 60 degrees, and is dependent on myrosinase, an enzyme produced when you throughly chew your food. My go-to trick for getting sulforaphane without having to wash a Vitamix or think too much about it is Make-Ahead Chop-Chop Salads and eating broccoli sprouts right out of the bag. Broccoli sprouts are the highest food source of Sulforaphane in a bioavailable format, and may increase bioavailability of other nutrients in vegetables. Making a few Chop-Chop salads at the beginning of the week also allows the enzymes and nutrients to more easily absorbed by the body. See recipe below.
5. CHANGE YOUR CAR FILTER: Changing the filter in your car is really easy and inexpensive. Save yourself $30-$60 (which you can use to stock up on Antiox Daily Body Serum!), and change your filter. Ask any auto parts store for your correct filter, remove your glove box, and you’ll see the filter, which easily slides out. I add a few drops of essential oils to the filter which makes the car smell so fresh and so clean, clean… After you’ve changed the filter, keep your air controls on recirculate to minimize the exposure to pollution.
6. VACUUM REGULARLY: Reduce some of the exposure by keeping your indoor environments dust-free and using a vacuum with a good air filter in your car, office and home.
7. MAKE A DIY AIR FILTER: Quality air filters can run anywhere from a few hundred bucks to over a thousand. There are a few systems including ionic and filtration. I still can’t fully wrap my mind around how the ionic filters work (PLEASE HELP US UNDERSTAND! If you understand this, please submit a blogpost). Most other models are just fancy encasements for the simple filters that you can buy for under $15 at any home improvement store. Here’s the easy trick: Get a box fan, one of those square fans that are about 2x2, and stick the air filter right on the air intake side, making sure the air flow arrow is pointing the right way. Done. You just saved yourself about $800 and cleaned up your indoor air. Check out this video by University of Michigan Health System showing how easy it is to make your own filter.
8. USE SALINE EYE + NOSE WASH: Our nose and eyes suffer right now. So bad! Use an eye-specific wash nightly, and a nose saline rinse. I can’t deal with the neti pot, nor do I have that kind of time. I keep Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist and an eye wash with one of those eye cups in the shower. Multi-task all the way.
9. SLATHER UP WITH GOOD SKINCARE: There's a reason we used the highest quality antioxidants and regenerative ingredients in our Age-Defying AM/PM Body Care Formulas. We know it's tough out there. Envelop your beauty in a protective, nourishing shield during the day with our BRILLIANT DAILY BODY SERUM ANTIOX MULTI_TASK ELIXIR, a potent combination of Vitamin C, E, Tea Extracts and Strawberry Seed Oil; then rinse the day away and support your skin's detox and rejuvenation at night with a slathering of CELLULAR LUMINOSITY CREME OVERNIGHT AGE-DEFYING TREATMENT. Use code wildchild88 and get a $10 credit towards your age-defying AM/PM body care ritual.
Above all else, THANK A FIREFIGHTER and their families. They are working so hard, and their job is getting more stressful and dangerous. It’s a good time to practice gratitude. What we are dealing with temporarily right now is daily life for many people around the world.
Keep scrolling for a few recipes. Be kind to yourself, don’t expect big outdoor energetic workouts and send sympathy to the people, places and animals suffering way beyond our discomfort.
DAILY ANTIOX WATER INFUSION
Make this in a large beverage dispenser, leave it in the fridge, add water to it each day, and then redo the whole thing every 3-5 days.
1/2 Bunch Parsley
1 Organic Cucumber
1 Organic Lemon
1/2 Basket Organic Flathead Cherries (or your local variety. Please do not use non-organic berries for this)
1 tablespoon Drinking Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar or Flavored Vinegar of your choice
Scrub clean, cut into chunks, and squish it all into infuser of a beverage dispenser. Add water and dash of vinegar. Let sit overnight, then refill after filling up daily water bottles in the morning. The lemon and vinegar helps keep everything stable and helps your body microbiome absorb nutrients while strengthening metabolism.
CHOP-CHOP SULFORAPHANE SALAD:
Make enough of this to last a few days. I sneak it into Husband’s diet by wrapping it in a tortilla and telling him it’s a burrito. Works every time. This is one of the most economical, nutrient dense food combinations possible. Savvy Intelligent Badass Beauty!
Canned beans (garbanzo or cannellini are a favorite), rinsed/drained (sorry, keto/Atkins peeps, but beans are great food and gentle on the environment. I like meat, but daily meat consumption is a whole other convo.)
1 head Purple Cabbage
2 English Cucumbers
1 bunch Parsley or Basil
Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Oil (I like a big spoonful of it)
1 package LOVE BEETS (I'm obsessed)
1 Red Onion
Other Veggie Ideas: Green Onion, Radish, Cauliflower, Jicama, celery
Lemon Juice (Squeeze 1/2 lemon)
Mustard Powder/Black Pepper
Apple Cider Vinegar
Run all the vegetables except arugula, tomatoes and beets through the best kitchen gadget ever, the simple Chopper (or chop all into small, uniform pieces). I can’t deal with kitchen stuff that takes too long to wash or I have to be precocious with. I like it quick, easy and healthy. This simple, genius little gadget is one of my all-time favorite kitchen tools.
The beets can be messy, but so worthy, a powerful blood tonic. Cut the bag open right in the bowl, let the juice become part of the dressing, then use a knife or fork to cut the beets into quarters right in the bowl. Add the rest of the vegetables, mix everything up, and add seasonings of your choice. I keep it simple: Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Black Pepper and a dash of Mustard Powder. The mustard helps release the active enzymes of the Brassicae family and a tiny dash goes a long way. When I am getting really fancy, I will add a few teaspoons of Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayo or Feta Cheese. Separate into glass to-go containers, add a handful of Arugula to each and eat up, buttercups.
Take good care of yourselves. We have a lot to stand up for and need our strength + strut.
*p.s. For the record, Chopper and I Love Beets probably have no idea we exist. This is not a sponsored ad. Although if either one ever wants to know how many people now have their products because of my obsession, and maybe want to send me some, I'd figure out how to share it!
1. https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/smoke_from_fire.htm August 14 8:00pm
2. Modification by antioxidant supplementation of changes in human lung function associated with air pollutant exposure: a systematic review.
Tashakkor AY, Chow KS, Carlsten C.
BMC Public Health. 2011 Jul 5; 11:532. Epub 2011 Jul 5.
3. Zhong, J. et al. B-vitamin Supplementation Mitigates Effects of Fine Particles on Cardiac Autonomic Dysfunction and Inflammation: A Pilot Human Intervention Trial. Sci. Rep. 7, 45322; doi: 10.1038/srep45322 (2017).