The Savvy Path

    Meet Margie | From Asthma to Interior Design Advocate

    “When you can’t breathe nothing else matters” was the campaign slogan of The American Lung Association in the mid 90’s. It came as a postcard with a photo of a cute little boy with an oxygen tube draped across his tiny face. It resonated with me as I sorted through the remaining pile of mail. As an asthma sufferer myself, I knew all too well the helpless feeling of shortness of breath and panic....how frightening it must be for a young child I thought.

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    A Story of a Runway Model

    My journey to living a toxin-free life began on a beautiful New York City afternoon when Armani's model booking agent sat at the next table at an outdoor café. It’s every model’s dream to be discovered by a happy accident and that happened for me. From that moment, my modeling career took off. Being a fashion model was exciting and exhausting at times. Endless amounts of makeup were dabbed, smudged, powdered, and brushed on my face and body.

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    Mirror, Mirror – The Beauty Fairy Tale

    Once upon a time, there lived a wonderful and most bat-shit crazy Queen. Within her castle were rescued animals galore, four princes, one spirited princess and the strongest coffee maker in all the lands.

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    Food Can Be Your First Love

    Health Was Becoming So Much Bigger Than The Food I Loved  

    As a food blogger, I knew the dangers of white sugar, refined foods, preservatives and super long words to avoid in foods. I knew how animals were treated in factory farms and how pesticides had caused health problems with field workers. I was eating and cooking healthy, shopping at my farmer’s market and buying organic or no-spray produce, eating less processed foods, working out. I thought I knew it all when it came to healthy living. 

    The more I explored the healthy eating community, I found more voices. And they had a lot to say, and they had facts to back it up. The voices started to get louder, and I couldn’t ignore them anymore. Health was becoming so much more than the food I ate.

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    A Before & After With Ursa

    The Before...

    Way back, ten years ago, I did what everyone else does –

      • visit the pediatrician when my kiddos were sick and on schedule,
      • take myself to the doctor when I was (REALLY) sick,
      • filled my prescriptions,
      • used the food pyramid as a guide – lots of grains and dairy,
      • colored my hair,
      • used off-the-shelf vitamins and supplements,
      • stocked microwave popcorn in the pantry and Yoplait Go-Gurt™ in the fridge, along with conventional meats,
      • bought all our personal care products at the local big box store
    … you know, the ‘normal’ life.

    The After....

    How does my life look different now?

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    When The Urge to Share Keeps Surfacing

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    Autoimmune Disease: Changing the Game Brynn's Way

    Really, it’s all about CHOICE.

    “A funny thing happened on the way to the doctor’s office…”

    But, there’s no punchline.

    There is a “thing” that happens when one is diagnosed with a chronic illness or disease: one changes. Is this a good “thing”? Is this a bad “thing”? In the fall of 2010 I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. An autoimmune disease with no known cure. It was like getting sucker punched.

    In the face. With a train.

    Sweet mother of buggernackles, friends.

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    My Full Fragrance-Fail Confession

    A Suspiciously Tiny Package

    My daughter skipped toward me swinging a two-toned striped bag.  With a glance, I assessed that nothing from Victoria's Secret, that could fit in that teeny tiny bag, should be in my 13-year old's hands.  I knew Victoria's off-shoot brand, Pink, had imprinted its marketing claws into my daughter's Pinterest page, but she had only 45-minutes with her besties to walk the mall while I scanned for Whole Foods sales. Images raced through my mind of red and lace and less. What could she have purchased with only $15 dollars cash? 

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    A Powerful Lesson of Mold

    That Nagging Voice 

    In the spring of 2000 I walked into the home for the first time and immediately knew something was wrong.

    I told my husband we needed to eliminate it from our house-hunting options, even though it was 5,500 square feet and would easily accommodate our eight children and three pets. We were preparing to move cross-country from Illinois to Colorado. Unable to find the right home, our realtor suggested we reconsider. “Think of the potential,” he said. My husband agreed. “It’s five levels. We’ll make it our own.” Chris’s optimism led me to a new vision for the house and how we might use it.

    A nagging feeling remained, but I pushed it down.

     We moved into the home in June. Within six months one of our children was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. Within a year our bird died and our dog was diagnosed with diabetes. Mood disorders surfaced in the kids. We were at the doctor repeatedly. I assumed it was the change in elevation.

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    Perceptions of 'Health' and a Teenage Athlete

    Meg Payne reveals misconceptions, struggles, epiphanies and turning points highlighting the life of a teenage athlete and the perception of health.  How much of her story resonates with teens you know? What perceptions of health are we teaching the next generation as adults, coaches and parents? 

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    Living Joyfully | Rising Above Ulcerative Colitis

    Founder's Note: Not many of us were born with a 'sustainable bamboo spoon' in our mouth or raised crunchy green. Many 'arrived' to Savvy after an a-ha moment that shook our beliefs about health. Meet Amanda. Amanda exudes joy but behind her constant twinkle is the story of a fighter.  I am proud to share Amanda's story knowing many will identify with the hurdles she faces.   

    It Makes Me Physically Ill...

    Stress doesn't just make me irritable or snappish with my husband and young children, ages 7, 6 and 1 – it makes me physically ill. I have ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disorder that causes severe pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and fatigue. The more stressed I get about stuff like mounting deadlines for the public relations business I own or the writing contracts I’ve signed, or just navigating the complicated waters of parenthood while working from home, the more likely I am to have a flare-up.

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    When A Pop-Tart Fanatic Grows Up

    Founder's Note: How often will we wonder "When will I see results? Is change happening?" or "How hard should I try?"  Do you hear a tiny voice chiding, "Are we creating mini-monsters who will rebel against our high standards?  Or are we raising responsible healthy citizens?" Trusting our heart is all we have - until you meet someone like Julia.  It is an honor to feature Julia's confession as one of Savvy's first blog posts, offering a delightful glimpse of what 'can-be' when we embrace this journey.   

    When I was a little younger than I am now, my favorite breakfast food was a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart.

     I would pop it in the toaster and eagerly watching the wires glowing red inside, evidence of the mini oven at work. I can remember that first glorious, sugar-filled bite; the perfect balance of sweet, gooey filling and crispy cracker crust. The toaster oven always melted the insides just right. Most of my mornings began with a trip to the toaster oven. Eggo waffles, french toast sticks, those cinnamon roll things with icing in the middle… I was the freezer aisle’s biggest fan. I was young, I didn’t really care where my food came from, and I just cared that it tasted good. If I ever felt the inkling to eat healthy I would reach for Special K or Cheerios. Because those were good for you, right?

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    Is Savvy for the Not-Exactly-Green?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I am a sucker for double stuffed Oreos.

    Especially when they’re dipped in milk, and it’s not often organic milk.

    I try not to get on my own case about my choices for the same reason I try not to judge other people for their decisions:  going green is a process, and we are each on our own path. It isn’t always easy. I spend a lot of time reading labels to determine if the ingredient list is safe, and I feel let down when I learn that a company I once thought was eco-friendly actually isn’t. I question when a product says “Eco” or “Green” in the name and wonder if they are being truthful?

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    Eve_profile.jpgI love seeing how we women band together to change the world. Savvy reflects so much of my own personal beliefs and the conclusions I’ve drawn after years of study. I love that we can share and learn together. It’s not a “my way or the highway” kind of place. Join in.Find your home.You’re always welcome here! 

     ~ Eve Bynum  Founding Savvy Writer 

    Andrea_Fabry_1-185589-edited.jpgMy goal is to encourage every woman to listen to her instincts as she seeks to sort through the complexities surrounding today’s toxic world. I look forward to sharing the Savvy Women’s journey with all of you.

    ~ Andrea Fabry, Author of It Takes Time Blog & Founding Savvy Writer 

     

    Julia_Condon-763943-edited.jpeg

    It wasn’t until I sat in on a Savvy Board meeting that I truly understood the complex workings of this amazing organization and the scope of their efforts. I was immediately proud to be part of something so much larger than myself, and a company that I believed would truly change the world. I knew from that day forward that I would take any opportunity to be a part of Savvy again as it was established and grew.

    ~ Julia Condon Founding Savvy Writer 

    I wish I had had a network like this when I started my health and fitness journey. I want to help other women just starting out to cut through the endless pages of Google results, confusing articles, and conflicting information that have lead many to give up or never start. I want to empower women to take their health into their own hands and become aware of what they’re eating and how what they’re eating can change their mood, energy levels, and bodies. As I continue my own journey, I want to share what I’m learning with health, nutrition and other allies that are dedicated to making the world and our bodies a cleaner and healthier place.

    ~ Aimée Suen Founding Savvy Writer