Grief + Health

June 6 1949 - my fathers birthday and May 26 1999 - the day my father disappeared and October 2008, the day we sort of found out what happened to him.

An almost 20 year battle with emotional trauma and the death of my father left me broken and grieving for most of my life... until this year. At 28 years old I have finally learned that closure is the cure to grief, for me at least. Throughout my life I have been embarrassed to tell this story - and now, I am not. My father, William Cutolo, was an amazing man - and I finally am able to honor him.

Emotional pain can cause many health conditions - it's overall devastating for the body. We are essentially in a 'fight or flight' mode, and as a result our body cannot heal itself, absorb nutrients, allow for proper rest or balance your hormones correctly. Adrenal fatigue is a real thing - and before we change our diet and introduce herbs or medication, we must confront the root of the problem because it will continue to show up in every area of your life.

So - in essence, to mitigate stress, declining health or to clear your energy you MUST start with confronting the root. This doesn't have to be a long or difficult process, but here's what I did.

Last year, May 2017, I decided that I needed to change my life, and I moved to Hawai'i with the most amazing, caring, loving man I've ever met. This was a leap of faith, but I knew that if I didn't trust him, and myself and just take the plunge - I would forever regret it. Along the journey from New York to Hawai'i, I made another damn bold move - I contacted my brother, who, up until a couple of months prior, I haven't seen or spoken to since I was nine years old. 

That was an incredible experience. Having my whole world implode at nine wasn't easy - but hiding this pain was worse. Reaching out to him may have been difficult, but it was the best way to confront my past and enjoy the great parts - like how damn similar we look, and act, and think - who knew family had such similarities - joking!

Fast forward a year - May 26 2018, my good friend made a simple comment to me "we should get Italian food and celebrate him" … WELL DUH. Why is it that we assume things have to be a dramatic thing? A simple celebration in a beautiful place - why haven't I thought of that?

… so my amazing fiancee' bought my father a royal lei - and we went off to China Walls to toss it into the madly waving pacific ocean at sunset. So freeing. The water went from calm to violently bursting crashing waves when I threw the lei in, that was my father, I know it.

…. I feel so free, so calm, so connected to his spirit - and finally, I can start to heal in an effective way.


Are my cosmetics poisoning me?


This topic has been of interest to me since I started college – as an environmental student, I learned about the vast and diverse amount of synthetics and additions in my body products and cosmetics. Now – this is near impossible to avoid, right? The convenience of walking into a store and grabbing something that works efficiently, is priced right and is in the same store as my groceries – that is such an easy sell, sometimes I even fall victim to it.


But is convenience and price really worth potentially damaging our bodies? I say potentially because there is always going to be a debate – but quite frankly, if you can’t eat it (albeit some plant products should not be eaten either) – why are we putting it onto our bodies?


This is a post that will be discussed over multiple posts because I feel it’s important to keep you all in the know about recent news on this topic. This week’s famous cosmetic poison headline: TOXIC NAILPOLISH CHEMICALS FOUND TO STAY IN WOMENS BODIES.


Super comforting, right?

Basically, this is it… Nail polish companies have been using a chemical found to have a highly negative effect on womens body – it’s shocking: an endocrine disruptor– Duke University just published a study highlighting the effect of this power trio of chemicals (here’s the link to that study HERE)

Here is a quote from a Fox News article on it: 

The study found that women who painted their nails with nail products including triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) had a metabolite of the chemical in their bodies 10 to 14 hours later. Their levels of diphenyl phosphate (DPHP), which forms when the body metabolizes TPHP, increased by nearly sevenfold, according to a news release.

“It is very troubling that nail polish being marketed to women and teenage girls contains a suspected endocrine disruptor,” study co-author Johanna Congleton, Ph.D., MSPH, a senior scientist at EWG, said in a news release. “It is even more troubling to learn that their bodies absorb this chemical relatively quickly after they apply a coat of polish.”
More than 1,500 nail products— including those made by Sally Hansen, OPI and Wet N Wild— contain TPHP, according to EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database.


Here’s a wrapup - triphenyl phosphate or TPHP (used as a plasticizer in nail polish, making it flexible) is a known endocrine disruptor – the system that regulates hormones, growth + development, sexual functions, sleep, mood – consisting of the following: pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries and testes. – What can this lead to? Accumulation of the toxin can lead to neurodevelopment issues, reproductive problems and more (look at the EWD site HERE + HERE for specifics) – this means by using these nailpolishes regularly you are accumulating this toxin (and the well know trio of nail polish toxins > toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate).



Want to ensure you’re using good products? Check out the Environmental Working Group Website – they also have an amazing app to track + check your products!


We will be hosting a few blogs about toxins in skin care and body care products in the coming weeks - hopefully with some guest writers as well! So keep checking our social media or sign up on our email list for updates!

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