Mamavation Founder and Eco-Wellness Guru, Leah Segedie, Shares Her Wisdom on Going Toxin-LESS:
I am excited to share with you advice on Going Toxin-LESS from Leah Segedie, Author of Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier (All Without Driving Your Family Crazy!), Founder of Mamavation, and Founder of Mamavation Influencer Network & ShiftCon Eco-Wellness Blogger Conference.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat today Leah. I LOVE the work you are doing! What inspired you to embark on your journey to Go Toxin-LESS?
Many years ago my father, uncle & aunt died of cancer within a five year span. Our family was torn apart from all the change and it made me realize how important it was to avoid chemicals that lead to chronic disease. I started my journey with weight loss and creating a community of thousands of women online and later I gravitated toward activism on toxic chemicals. Thinking of my lost loved ones and what they went through fuels my passion to protect people that are still here. This is why I spend so much time on investigations of different products. Not only do I want to know myself, but I want that effort to also benefit other people. Together can do so much more together.
As you know, Shiftcon was a huge influence on me to start my blog- thank you! Can you tell my Everyday Eco-Habits community what inspired you to start Shiftcon and what’s in store for Shiftcon this year in terms of its focus on reducing toxins?
ShiftCon came out of my labeling GMOs activism. When labeling was on the ballot in California in 2014, I organized over 650 bloggers across the United States and Canada from my blogger network to stand up for transparency and demand labeling of GMOs. We believed we had a right to know and through that network created over 650 MILLION impressions in two short months. After the election was over, we still needed a place to call home. The recent friendships and passions we had needed some IRL support. Through all the hard work, we had created real friendship, enjoyed access to independent scientists and other professionals, and really loved working with the safer brands. So I brought everyone together and founded ShiftCon Eco-Wellness Influencer Conference.
In it’s 5th annual year, ShiftCon has undergone some exciting changes and will be in Atlanta, GA, October 3-5! Ari Adams has stepped in as CEO to help us grow bigger and stronger. And I’m working behind the scenes to keep growing the community. We are looking forward to another year of intense education on green living and wellness topics, advanced social media topics, safer brands and lots of networking! You’ll see a bigger focus on supporting women of color at ShiftCon this year, not only from new leadership. But also more content and speakers. We have also brought in Alysia Reiner, everyone’s favorite prison warden from Orange is the New Black. And when it comes to toxic topics, we are looking closely at plastics, glyphosate & toxic chemicals in personal care.
Can you tell us a bit about your Mammavation website and your hope for the impact it can make to better our world?
Mamavation just turned 10 years old and has been a leading website in promoting safer food and products for some time. We’re most famous for our non-toxic investigations that separate brands into groups of bad, better and best based on the chemicals they use. This makes decisions easy for women who are busy raising a family. Here’s some examples of recent popular investigations:
Mamavaton is also famous for our private community on Facebook. Over five thousand women support each other daily as they strive to live greener lifestyle imperfectly.
I love the title of your book, Green Enough (Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier all without driving your family crazy) as it ties into my hope that people can feel inspired to take any little action to protect the environment and not get overwhelmed by feeling they have to do it all. Can you tell us a little more about your book?
Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier (All Without Driving Your Family Crazy!) is a handy manual on how to avoid dangerous chemicals inside your home. But the reason it’s so useful is it tells you the story in a way that is eccentric and fun. No kidding. I couldn’t write a boring book that made your eyes bleed. I had to write a book that my girlfriends would read and enjoy. It’s both very serious, useful and very approachable.
Finally, can you provide my Everyday Eco-Habits community with your top 3 tips to help us on our journey to Go Toxin-LESS? And, as a mother and Founder of Mammavation, what tips do you specifically recommend for moms?
My tip for beginners would be to start in an area that is easier on your family to handle emotionally. Especially if you have older children or a husband that is set in his ways, you may want to take it easy on them at first and do things that won’t really upset them like focusing on cookware. Cookware won’t be as disruptive to their lifestyle. You’ll want to avoid any non-stick cookware, including ceramic. Both of these types of cookware can leach hormone disrupting chemicals and other dangerous contaminants into your food. Getting rid of them is an investment, but it’s well worth it.
Second, before you go into anything else, I would focus more on making meals from scratch. The more you cook and process your food in your own kitchen, the less likely you’ll see contaminants and other hormone disrupting chemicals from processing. Eating more organic food will also allow you to cut down on the amount of hormone disrupting chemicals are inside your meals. I’d also recommend starting to purchase better quality meat, dairy, seafood & eggs. Grassfed, pastured, wild caught & organic are terms I’d look for.
And finally, I’d start to look into the quality of air inside your home. We spent more time indoors than we do outdoors and yet the air is anywhere 3-10x more polluted than outside. This is because of the products we use inside our homes and lack of ventilation. Start using greener cleaning products, pick up a hefty air filter, open your windows daily, dust more, and stop using products with synthetic fragrances like Glade Plug-ins. Chemicals like phthalates found in fragrance are hormone disrupting chemicals that are particularly bad for reproduction in men and women. And yes, babies are affected too because their sperm & eggs can be impacted. They are also linked to hyperactivity in children and obesity which are unwelcome.
Those three areas are great places to start!