• By Sharon LaCroix
  • 12 Nov, 2016

It's not just about what we eat that affects our health

chemical free cleaners
chemical free home

At BonVie we talk a lot about how the foods we ingest can either help or hurt our physical and mental health. With the excessive marketing and consumption of processed foods and sugars in our diets today, we do need to pay attention to eating healthy.

But how about some of the other toxic elements that touch our lives daily: items in our home. You see it’s not just the food industry that has us reevaluating the way we live, it is also the items that we choose to have in our homes. From your couch to your dish towels, and your household cleaners to your flooring, there are many everyday household items that can be detrimental to our health. Many of these convenience items contain harmful chemicals that can have a detrimental effect on our health if exposed for prolonged periods of time. And just like with food, to avoid these harmful substances we must educate ourselves so as to choose the healthiest home products. Let’s take a look at some of the items in your home that might be making you sick:  

Plastic Food Containers

This is a common one. When we need to store our leftovers or other food items, we often turn to those convenient plastic food containers that just snap shut and make our lives a whole lot easier! (although where DO those matching lids disappear to!?) One of the most harmful substances are phthalates which act as an endocrine-disrupting chemical. Phthalates are commonly used in products to increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl. When the plastic starts to break down over time, these chemicals leak into the foods that you store in these containers. As you eat that food, those chemicals make their way into your body. Once in your body, phthalates can cause eye irritation, nausea, vestibular dysfunction, and even reproductive harm, to name a few.  Scary right?!

And we also know how damaging plastics are for the environment.   The healthy alternative is to use glass over plastic. There are so many great choices now for convenience-sized glass containers which provide for a safe alternative to plastics - and do not contain these harmful chemicals.

Non Stick Pans

Although nonstick pans make life (and clean up) easier when cooking dishes such as omelets and pancakes these actually can be very harmful to our bodies. Those pans serve to keep our foods from sticking because most nonstick pans contain traces of a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which is a man-made chemical that acts as a water and oil repellant contributing to the non-stick coating found on most pans. This is another chemical that we really do not want finding its way into our bodies. PFOA has been linked to cancer in studies that have harmed people who were exposed to it for long periods of time, . Even though PFOA in the nonstick coating that makes our breakfast routine a little easier, it is not worth the health risks over time. Instead choose some other option, like stainless steel and cast iron cookware with natural nonstick sprays and oils. Or at the least go with a great nonstick pan that is PFOA free. Check them out in your local kitchen or department store or on-line for some choices that will work for you, and your health.

Air Fresheners

Yes, even those little Glade Plugins and scented candles that make our homes smell wonderful can be harmful to our bodies. Many of these are composed of or include synthetic chemicals that can affect your health. Pretty much everything that we breathe in ends up in our bloodstream. That exotic “Hawaiian Tropical Breeze” scented wall plugin contains a chemical called benzene that can cause all kinds of health problem. Most people don’t know this, but when burned, benzene emits toxins that are harmful to our bodies. Many of these air fresheners contain phthalates which have been known to cause reproductive issues.

But this doesn’t mean that our homes can’t smell like a fresh ocean breeze and rainbows. There are healthy and great-smelling alternatives such as candles made with soy, essential oils and also natural air fresheners. Visit your local farmer's market, like the one here in Santa Monica, where you will find bouquets of flowers that will make your home smell just like a garden. 


Nearly all of us enjoy a good comfy sofa because, well, we all need something to sit on! Since the days of Freud the sofa has been all about creating a comfortable space.  While the objective here might not be to dive into the deep recesses of your mind, we still want a sofa to maximize relaxation – but at the same time does not sacrifice your health.

Almost all upholstered furniture contains industrial flame retardant chemicals which are extremely harmful to our bodies. Although these chemicals were intended for good reason - so that your furniture does not catch on fire, these chemicals are harmful to our systems. These toxins easily make their way from the fabric into the air or onto our skin, and eventually into our bodies. Finding furniture without harsh chemicals is a challenge but good news is on the horizon. Furniture inundated with chemical fire retardants are beginning to be regulated after research showed the dangerous effects of them in the mid 2000s. Today there is an abundance of toxic free upholstered furniture with no fire retardants or harsh chemicals.

For an example of a safe sofa fillings, you could choose certified chemical free foam or natural latex. And solid wood pieces finished with linseed oil and low VOC finishes. Go online and research companies committed to making safe furniture for your home.


This is not good news for many of us because we like that “fuzzy” warm feeling under our feet but what those fibers are made from can make carpet one of the most harmful objects in our homes. Just like sofas and other home items, most manufacturers make carpets sturdy and flame resistant - and soak them in numerous chemicals to do that. And while the intention is good – to prevent them from catching on fire and to help them maintain their structure, these chemicals have harmful effects on our bodies. The two main chemicals found in carpeting are formaldehyde and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Formaldehyde is a preservative that helps with maintaining the structure of the carpet. Fromaldhyde does a great job preserving dead bodies – but not so much when found in our homes. Polybrominated diphenyl ether is a flame-retardant chemical that is designed to repel flames in the event of a house fire. Both chemicals were designed with good intention, but with barefoot exposure and particularly for crawling and playing kids on our carpets they can be toxic to our bodies.

The safest alternative that still gives comfort and lovely aesthetic is wool carpet and rugs. Not only are they good for our bodies but by their very nature, wool carpets and rugs are good for the indoor environment . That's because wool, unlike synthetic fibers, rapidly absorbs common contaminants in indoor air like formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. Not only does wool keep the air free of many harmful pollutants, it will not re-emit them, even when heated. In fact, it has been estimated that wool carpets can continually purify indoor air for up to 30 years!

Chemical Cleaners

This is a no-brainer. The chemicals in cleaners, from your toilet bowl cleaner to your glass cleaner contain many harmful chemicals that wreak havoc on our systems. Although these cleaners are good at what they do, all you have to do is read the fine print on the label to be warned of the dangers of improper handling such as burns, reproductive issues, and poisoning. Although we do not intentionally ingest these chemicals, they find their way into the air, into our lungs, and eventually into our bloodstreams. We really don’t want “Drano” running through our veins, right?

Today we have many choices of effective cleaners free from harmful chemicals to keep our homes fresh. Healthy and safe alternatives are available pretty much everywhere with an increasing number of companies making a commitment to making their products safe and clean.

A Chemical Free Home

We all want a nontoxic environment that we can come home to and where our children and pets can be chemical free. With real risks such as potential for reproductive issues and cancer associated with these chemicals, it is worth the effort to make our homes as toxic free as possible.

Think about throwing out those nasty cleaners and choosing kitchen cookware and carpets and furniture that are chemical free. Every little change counts towards a healthier home environment.

BonVie Weight Loss - Ideal Protein

By Sharon LaCroix 10 Dec, 2017

Christmas just ahead and are you concerned about what all the celebrations will do to your waistline and clothes size, yet again this year?  Here are some tips n how to minimize holiday weight gain - and maybe even shed a few lbs...

By Sharon LaCroix 07 Nov, 2017

Because Omega-3 fatty acids  may help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. They help your heart in several ways like curbing inflammation in the blood vessels (and the rest of your body). At high doses they also make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of blood fats called triglycerides. And they can slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels.

By Sharon LaCroix 01 Nov, 2017

We call that resistant fat around our mid section a muffin top, jelly-belly or beer belly and no one wants it hanging around. Regardless of what we call it, that Visceral fat lies deep within the abdomen and is stored around vital internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestine.

By Sharon LaCroix 28 Sep, 2017

Do you weigh yourself? Daily? Once a week? Or just occasionally?  We have been brought up (often obsessively) to chase that number on the scale to determine if we have gained weight or have lost weight. Well guess what – your scale May Be Lying!

Without a body composition monitor on your scale, weight alone can be very deceptive. Why? Because unless you are living a low carb - high protein lifestyle like we teach at BonVie Weight Loss & Nutritional Wellness you may well be burning down muscle rather than burning fat, especially if you are just counting calories. If you are eating too many carbs and too little protein, your scale may show a weight   loss, but it will be mostly muscle, not fat that you have burned. 

By Sharon LaCroix 15 Jun, 2017

Have you wondered how alcohol is metabolized, and how that affects your ability to lose weight?

Alcohol is a big issue when it comes to weight loss and for more reasons than you think. Yes it adds extra calories to your diet, but alcohol also stimulates you to eat more food, and alters the normal digestive process. Not only are the extra calories an issue, but the changes in food breakdown turns those extra calories into unwanted body fat.  

By Sharon LaCroix 23 May, 2017

When it comes to weight loss and how our clothes fit, most of us are concerned with belly fat – you know, that “muffin top”, “beer belly”, or “jelly belly”.

You know by now that what we eat and drink, how much we eat, and how often we eat, are the primary factors in determining fat loss and fat gain, but exercise does matter. 

But when we think of exercise it’s most often aerobic exercise that we have in mind. 

Did you know that your weight loss will be more successful if you do anaerobic exercise ( Interval training )   rather than aerobic exercise?

Aerobic exercise is when you exercise at a moderate rate for a sustained period of time (like jogging, cardio machines, running, cross country skiing and spinning).   And Aerobic exercise has little effect on visceral fat.

By Sharon LaCroix 03 Apr, 2017

The Ideal Protein method we utilize at BonVie is known as a rapid and safe weight loss method. This science based physiological approach keeps it from being a radical diet, like the kind leading to health issues, or the kind that leads to “yo-yo” fat regain. The Ideal Protein protocol gives you the tools to lose body fat fast, but also insures you will not regain that hard earned weight loss.

By Sharon LaCroix 22 Mar, 2017

Whether you are currently on the Ideal Protein protocol at our BonVie clinic, or are a graduate, or just curious about why the method works so well, this article will help answer your questions. 

By Sharon LaCroix 19 Mar, 2017

Now why would I even say “mostly”? 

Because depending on your personal metabolism, and the kind of alcohol, and - the quantity of alcohol you drink, it could be “maybe”.  But do understand this – that maybe will either vastly slow down the rate of your fat-burning weight loss, or - stop it altogether.

By Sharon LaCroix 01 Mar, 2017

At this time of year lots of people are exploring different types of diet programs. The Ideal Protein method we employ at BonVie Weight Loss & Nutritional Wellness is a medically designed, 4 phase-weight loss program focused on pancreas and blood sugar balance, resulting in rapid and safe fat loss. This protocol spares muscle mass, lowers high blood pressure, high insulin and high cholesterol.

The Ideal Protein protocol is a short coarse of weight loss, moving you quickly and safely through 3 active phases into the 4th maintenance phase. We focus on rapid fat burning for energy, rather than relying on glucose and muscle stores for energy. You never want to burn down muscle on a diet because muscle uses fat for fuel.

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