Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Intellipure Ultrafine 468 Air Purification System - A Review

Hi, lovelies! I had posted about my Mold Story earlier in the week and wanted to do a separate post about this amazing Air Purifier I purchased. As I had said in the closing of my post, indoor air quality is becoming a major issue and the EPA is rating it the number 1 environmental risk facing humans, and not just because of mold! Ultrafine Particles, carbon monoxide, lead from paint and other chemicals in our consumer products, as well as dust, pollen, mold spores, and VOC's are quickly degrading our air, and not everyone has the knowledge or the funds to help combat this by avoiding certain contaminants. As much as I commit to living a very healthy lifestyle, I really can't afford an organic sofa and cork flooring. Not that there's anything wrong with these things - I would love them in my home! It's just not a possibility in my life at the moment. And with the environment changing constantly, it's almost impossible to completely avoid these things unless you live in a bubble! This is where things like air purification come in. It's an easy way to help improve the air quality in your home and also the health of you and your loved ones.

As far as research goes, I had my work cut out for me! I looked all over the internet, scouring article after article. I found this post on Surviving Mold especially helpful, because it talked about mold & mycotoxins, specifically. After really researching and being so sick at the time, I even ordered a pretty pricey unit after thinking I had finally found "the one" and promptly sent it back after having many issues from receiving one of the few units with a manufacturers defect. All I can say is, do your homework! But hopefully you don't have to, because this one is the bees knees.

In my search there were quite a few things I was looking for & were absolute requirements...

- Filters particles down to the smallest possible, including Mycotoxins & VOC's

- No or Low EMF's coming off the unit with running

- No ionizing of any kind, as to avoid ozone

- No hydroxyl technology, as the research states that the byproducts of this can be harmful

- ease of use, moveable from room to room, and energy efficient

- Cost of unit and also cost of replacement filters was also a factor

After my bad experience with the previous company, and the fact that I needed to find a stellar purifier since we decided to stay in our home, I decided that I was willing to pay a little more than initially intended. I just wanted to purchase a unit that would give us the best air quality we could find. I came across a review on Intellipure in that mold site article and I decided to start looking into them. I was extremely impressed with their DFS technology ,the filtration down to .007 microns, and the fact that they are also medical-grade and utilized in hospitals, medical clean rooms, government buildings, and military applications! After a lot of thinking I went with the bigger Ultrafine 468 model and am so glad I did! Some of advantages of this unit include:

Product Performance:

  • Patented DFS Technology- deactivates mold, bacteria, and virus in the filters through Microbiostasis condition, which prohibits the breed through effect, where living organisms captured can grow inside the filter and be released back into the environment
  • Proprietary blend of granulars proven to adsorb a high level of gases and odors
  • Greater lifetime filter performance due to lower density media, resulting in much longer lifetime performance of the filter
  • Reduction of dangerous Micro-plastics
  • High level reduction of mycotoxins
  • Highly effective on all speeds

Product Features:

  • Highest-quality EC motor results in 50% less operating cost than other machines on the market
  • Incredibly energy efficient
  • Highest CFM per decibel level or noise
  • Less dense media filters for maximum airflow and filtration power
  • Quick and easy filter maintenance and replacement
  • Individually tested and certified, guaranteed to be 40x more efficient than HEPA

I've had my unit since September 19th (funny enough, this is my birthday) and I absolutely love it!!! It has different levels of purification, meaning you can adjust it to pull in air on the low side, or on as high as turbo if you want to put it in a room and leave it. I wouldn't recommend this high if you're in the room, because Turbo mode is a little loud!! I was actually quite surprised at how quiet it is in the normal modes. Even on the middle setting, with it right next to me sleeping, it just sounded like white noise. And I'm a light sleeper!

The air quality is fantastic! I noticed a huge difference almost immediately. Because of the issues in our home and the fact that we couldn't run our central A/C all summer, some rooms would get humid and the allergens would really kick up. The Ultrafine 468 helped me with this immediately. I would wake up with asthma, horrible sore throats, and congestion and this went away once I started running my unit. It also helped with air circulation in my stuffy room. Even my cats love it. I'll find them hanging out in my bedroom when the unit is in there, because the air was is so clean. The bad air quality even effects our pets.

The technology of Intellipure units is also really quite amazing. They utilize DFS Technology, which does not emit any ozone, gases, or other harmful byproducts. This short video explains it really well!

A further testament to how well this unit really works, though I wouldn't recommend this at all, is that when we had our remediation done last week, after they fogged our ducts, we ran the unit in my bedroom, to make sure the chemical vapors wouldn't be bad once we turned on the central air. Both fortunately and unfortunately, this worked really well! My room was definitely the least offensive as far as smell and contamination - I'm extremely chemical-sensitive. But the problem was that the unit worked so well sucking up the VOC's coming into the air from our ducts airing out, that it ruined 2 portions of filters - the prefilter and the VOC filter. There's no denying exactly how well the 468 works after this, but it's a bummer that I have to replace those filters. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend using it for things such as airing out a room after painting, laying down new carpet and wanting to minimize off-gassing (at least not immediately following installation), etc. Good old-fashioned open windows is good for that, and your wallet, too!

So as far as pro's to all of the Intellipure units, there's a million! I love mine, would consider getting the smallest one at some point for my sons room, or if I get the extra money, possibly the whole-house unit! I can't recommend it enough and it has absolutely saved me during such an awful time in my life. It makes me feel so much better knowing that it works so well to give myself and my family clean air to breathe. As far as any negatives, the only things that come to mind are cost for some. The units are a little on the high side, as are the replacement filters. But.... In this case, especially after having a bad experience with another fairly high priced purifier, I think you absolutely get what you pay for and I feel that any of the Intellipure models are worth every penny. DFS Technology is pretty amazing and I'm sure it's costly to manufacture units. And the filters don't need to be replaced as often as other units (annually for some and semi-annually for others), so definitely less than other units out there. There are also sensors alerting you when it's time to replace each filter. So no guessing! This can also save some money, as most units require guessing and you're either replacing too early, or running the risk of recirculating contaminants into the air with dirty filters.

If you have any questions on my experience with Intellipure, please let me know! I'm happy to give you honest feedback! And for more technical questions, the company offers amazing customer service - another huge plus!!!

Make sure to stop back soon to check out some more rec's on how I'm continuing to keep my home clean &  mold-free!

ps - this is not a sponsored post. This unit was purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

What's been going on - My Mold Story

Wow.... Has it really been well over a year since my last post?!?! I know I haven't been good at posting on here the last several years AT ALL, but I really do want to change that. What started out as an unintentional hiatus, turned into more and more time between posts, and then just... well... Life.

In my last post I was talking about all my health issues & struggles, and at the time, I just figured it was the stresses going on in my life that triggered everything. I had no idea what could have started this horrible snowballing of health problems, when I had been so healthy - probably the most healthy I had ever been in my life!! As much as I know about many things with health, I just never put some things together in my head. I was running this constant hamster wheel and had tunnel vision with one laser focus, and that was getting better!

Little did I know, that my tuning everything out, would delay my healing and put my life in a major upside down turmoil. This is where Mold comes in. Yes.... Mold. The nasty stuff you see growing on food and sometimes elsewhere. Mold was in my basement and I had no idea until I was already exposed and sick from it. And even though I knew Mold makes me sick (I'm highly allergic to at least 9 strains of mold), I had no idea what Mold sickness even was! And I never put two and two together.

So around the time that I first became ill, unbeknownst to me, my Air Conditioner had leaked all over a part of my basement that I couldn't see. It was in an area that I never walk back into and we had so much going on in life at that time, I really just went downstairs to work out in my "basement gym" on the other side and to do laundry. Sometimes I wouldn't feel great after being down there, but it was also a terrible allergy season, and I figured that was the issue. Even when I got a strange rash, even when the dead of winter hit and I started getting heart palpitations, and vertigo and all these strange things out of the blue, other than a weird basement smell, I had no idea. The following spring, when we put the air back on, I started having major issues - I got shingles and then a mono reactivation (which I talked about here). At that point, I was not able to workout at all, so I was no longer going in the basement. I still made no connection. Finally, one day we went in the basement and saw it and started contacting our homeowner's insurance to try to get it squared away. That experience alone between then and now, could fill a book. We got our moldy A/C replaced and a remediation company finally came out a few months later. We thought all was fine. Fast Forward to Spring 2019 when we go to turn on the A/C - moldy smell coming through the vents and I start having issues immediately, including..... ding ding ding - another Mono Reactivation! Come to find out, our ducts should have been included in the remediation, and the remediation itself, wasn't completed at all. Not only was there still mold, but it was a major issue.

In a nutshell, we tried to file a lawsuit. We had a case, but unfortunately, it's extremely hard to prove that medical issues are linked to mold without testing from your regular MD, and them signing off legally that you are sick from mold. Even if you have one that doesn't brush you off, a lot of the tests, at least where I live, are no longer done by labs. And most conventional MD's, at least Family Doctors, aren't versed in mold illness to be able to even understand some of the covered tests that can indicate illness from exposure. Anyway, long story short.... because of the fact that I could find no one to test me (I tried Internists, Allergists, Immunologists, and Infectious Disease Doc's), other than ND's which cost thousands out of pocket, we had to drop it. Honestly, at this point I've moved on from that. I think holding onto things and having to constantly relive things through telling Doctors, and a Lawyer, the story over and over, just wasn't healthy for me. So you might be wondering how I finally made the connection. An amazing ND that I follow on Instagram was talking about Epstein Barr Virus and Mono Reactivations, and the link to mold exposure. After learning more and more, and especially after having another mono reactivation right after being around mold, I realized this was my issue!

There is so much more to it, but it's way too much to type on here. It involves possibly moving, almost walking away from our home, and literally almost losing my mind. But luckily, other than the basement, the rest of our home wasn't too bad, and it wasn't Mycotoxin producing molds upstairs. This made it where we were able to salvage things and stay, which was good, because we really had no choice. Some people aren't so lucky, and they literally have to leave their homes with little belongings because everything is contaminated. Other than losing pretty much every belonging in our basement, we are ok and are so lucky!

We actually just got our basement remediated this past Monday, along with our HVAC and duct system, and we are all good! No more mold!!! So now, at this point, you might be wondering if you have mold, or if you know you do, you want to know how bad it is or what kind it is, etc. There are many tests out there that you can do yourself, and even though these tests are less than Environmental testing, if you have a big area or a potential major issue, call a professional. You want to go with a standalone testing company that does not do remediation. When they do both, this can create a conflict of interest. You are much better off calling just a testing company. It can be costly, but if this is a major issue, especially where your health might be concerned, it's worth it!

When it comes to remediation's (after having two companies screw us over), make sure you do your research!!! Make a list of companies in your area and look at websites, facebook, yelp, google reviews etc. Read every single one! Look for certifications and most important, a warranty. Make sure you do consults if they offer it, so you can get a feel for them in person. And if they come to your property to do a major remediation, and don't block off the moldy area and start putting protective suits on - kick them out. I mean it!

There is so much more in the world of mold to talk about, but for my friends on here that aren't into it, I'll spare you. Air quality, in general, is the next big world issue. This is already an epidemic, whether you realize it or not, and is just going to get worse over time. I solved this issue in my home, and will be doing a separate post on that this week.

In the meantime, if you have mold issues or think you might, and you have questions about my experience - drop them in the comments! I'm happy to help however I can. It's my hope that maybe by sharing my story, I might be able to help anyone that might be going through something similar. It's honestly crazy how many people out there are struggling because of mold exposure! I also post regularly on Instagram, so look for me on there, too!!

Check back soon for a review on the gadget I'm using in my home to combat poor air quality! And also some future posts about what I'm doing in my home to keep it mold-free and to combat my mold illness.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mourning Myself- dealing with chronic illness

Hi Babes! Obviously I don't get one here much lately. I've been dealing with a lot health-wise and just haven't been able to bring myself to post anything for quite a while. After I was sick, I planned to do a post sharing my story, but after a while I just got so exhausted with all the appointments, talking about it, thinking about it.... I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The gist of it is that I haven't been feeling great since before the Holidays last year. I ended up in the ER the week or two before Christmas with vertigo, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain. Everything checked out ok for the most part. Just some minor things that I've since addressed. I started feeling ok a couple months later, but never really got back to myself.

Fast forward a couple months and I end up with an ear infection (haven't had one since I was a child), and was put on antibiotics for weeks. I actually hate going on them because of all the things they can do to your gut, but the pain was bad and I couldn't hear out of one ear, so there was no way I was chancing anything. Shortly after my second round, I got Shingles. And everything went downhill from there. After being on antivirals and my shingles started to clear up, I really got sick. My throat swelled up and felt like I had the worst case of strep throat in my life. Every lymph node in my body swelled. I had headaches, vertigo, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, could barely get out of bed and was the most sick I had ever been in my life. The Doctors didn't know what to make of it and with all the questions they were asking me, with a tiny bit of fear in their eyes that they couldn't hide, I knew Lymphoma was on the table. Luckily, that was not the case!!

However, since I had been reading Medical Medium on my holiday break, Epstein Barr came to the front of my mind. Thankfully, the Nurse Practitioner I see is amazing, and after pressing it, she added an Epstein Barr panel to my battery of tests. It turns out, I was correct. I had Mono in High School, so I knew I had a past infection, which did show on the panel, but I also had a current active infection as well, which seemed to turn into Mononucleosis. And before you think that you can't get Mono twice, or even shingles twice, you absolutely can - I'm living proof of that.

Armed with a wealth of information from Anthony William (the Medical Medium) I started on his food and supplement protocol. I eliminated all of the virus-feeding foods, and took most of the supplements or teas he recommended - Berberine, Monoluarin, Oregano Oil capsules, Vit C, and my typical vits, and also Lemon Balm Tea. I got my infection mostly into remission. I say mostly, because as of late, I'm not feeling well again and I don't know if it's due to the infection being mildly active or from the damage it's done. Constant exhaustion, headaches, hair thinning and loss, and weight gain isn't fun.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. The part where I feel sorry for myself, as well as anyone else out there battling chronic invisible illness. I mourn for myself. I mourn for the old me. The woman, who just a year ago, was able to run 30+ miles a week, and was able to  do plyometrics and lift weights several times a week, every week. The me who was in the best shape of her life. And now, I'm lucky if I can even come home from my part-time job and do something other than getting in my bed for a nap. I'm sad. I'm angry. And I don't know why things like this happen. I've always been a person that is passionate about health. It's just not fair. But I know deep inside that I'll figure it out. I'll rally and start making appointments again, start getting all the tests done, and I will get to the bottom of it. I'm thankful that it wasn't something worse. My heart breaks for anyone that has major health battles. I know how this feels, I can't fathom something worse.

And at the very least, I hope my story helps someone going through the same thing realize that you aren't alone. There are many of us with these viral issues and with autoimmune diseases that they cause. I hope that any bit of information, from the things that I did to get better or just sharing my story, could possibly help someone else. If you are someone struggling, I strongly suggest you read Medical Medium. Anthony is not your average Health advocate. However, he knows his stuff and I've done the research to back up every bit of information in his books. Even if you don't follow his entire protocol, the main points being followed like I did, can be a huge help. Push for the tests you need, research optimal results (not just the lab results), and be your own advocate. I can't stress this enough!

I hope you don't mind me feeling a little sorry for myself. Some days it's just not easy. But I'm thankful for the self I do have and I'm hoping this all will pass some day. Just know, if you are going through something similar - I'm here for you. Leave me a comment, reach out to me on Instagram, or shoot me an email! There's strength in numbers and we can support each other!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Getting Real - Purity vs. Balance

Hey Lovelies! I can't believe my last post was October!!!! Where does the time go?!

I know, I know.... I always start my posts off that way.... But in all honesty, it's been a really rough year. I came down with my second case of shingles last week, after a really really long run with severe stress. The crazy thing is that I wasn't always such an anxious person. Many years ago, I was. But in the last several years, I was pretty zen. I never got stressed out over anything and was basically a living yoda. So what happened? Life in all its gritty glory is what happened. In January 2017 my Father in Law was diagnosed with Lung Cancer, and to say it rocked our world is an understatement. That year was such a blur of heartache, sadness, and stress, that I almost forgot anything else that happened in that period of time. Add in every day life stresses - raising a teen boy, financial commitments, vet bills, things in the house crapping out, then you just have a recipe for a nervous breakdown. I don't think I ever got to that place, but I got close.

Anyway, I think so many months of constant stress just took it's toll on my body and I came down with a really bad case of shingles. So bad, in fact, that I've been on bed rest this entire week. And what do you do when you're on bed rest? Other than catch up on reading and Netflix bingeing, of course. You think. And you think a lot! So I've been thinking about the last couple weeks and this blog and really just pondering what I'm all about. This is where I get real, get raw, and get honest. Going through what I went through, what so many people go through every single day, really puts life into perspective. 

Recently, I had some conversations with some friends on Instagram about being a Purist. If you're not entirely sure what being a Purist is, it basically means someone that lives their life completely chemical-free. Like nothing, nada, zilch. I am by no means saying there's anything wrong with this! Not at all. If this is what works for you, that's amazing!!! I once strived to live this lifestyle, but I realized that it just doesn't work for me. I may or may not have mentioned before that I'm a perfectionist. It's something that can serve me well professionally, but not well at all in my personal life or for my mental state. Years ago, I attended IIN, which I absolutely LOVED, and don't have a single regret about doing. However, the reason why I don't currently practice as a Health Coach is because of my perfectionist personality. I could never eat, sleep, and breathe Holistic Health. It would make me a very unhappy human. As much as I love this lifestyle, and know that I have a lot to give the world as far as helping others live a healthier life, I choose to try and do it through this blog. I tend to get obsessive with the lifestyle and am really working on balance at this point. For me, it's necessary for living MY healthiest life. Does that mean I don't recommend IIN or other programs? Absolutely not the case. That really depends on you and what you want in life and is really a whole other post. But if you're someone, like me, that tends to obsess and worry over every little ingredient, what it might be doing to you, etc, that might just be a "rabbit hole" you don't want to venture down. Just sayin. 

So what does this all mean as far as me and this blog.... Nothing really has changed. My lifestyle really hasn't changed for the most part. I still use and love green & clean beauty. I just don't stress about some preservatives here and there that a Purist might avoid. I have a lot of sensitives and allergies to foods, ingredients, chemicals, and even completely natural and organic components. So honestly, when I find a product with mostly organic ingredients, but doesn't contain something like chamomile, for instance..... I'm severely allergic to chamomile by the way.... and it's in EVERYTHING!!!! So if I find something that's mostly natural, but has phenoxyethanol in it, I will use it and if it works well, I'll recommend it. I've learned to be ok with that. It's my truth. But I do worry about coming off authentic to all of you. That is something that's very important to me. I didn't always venture out of the Purist realm and I'm not going to be using any conventional products, ever. But I want to make sure that I'm always transparent with all of you. Which brings me to the perfect example:

Recently in my quest to try out some conscious beauty products, I jumped the gun and got involved with a nail company. One of my biggest gripes is that when I paint my nails, it always chips off so quickly. Especially because I've always used many of the green beauty brands. Think 100 Percent Pure, Pacifica, etc. My little digits have been looking rather haggard lately, and it finally drove me to try something that wasn't completely up to my standards as far as ingredients. But being that it was 8Free and 1 ingredient shy of being completely clean, I was ok with this, because it was such an innovative product and solved a lot of issues for me as far as painting my nails. After doing what I thought was my diligent research, I jumped in, and starting using the product, starting a new Instagram account (which you won't find now because I deleted it), and even recommending to my inner circle. When the product was on my nails, I loved it. I ignored the sensitivity in my nails, the rashes I was getting when I scratched my skin with them on, and the irritation I was getting on my fingers. I thought "I haven't used anything but Clean nail polish in years, maybe I need to adjust". Until I started reading about many others experiencing the same exact thing. 

Have you ever gotten so excited about finding something new and something that you thought was really this great thing that you kinda whisper to the world about it, and ignore that little inner whisper inside you telling you that it might not be a good idea? Yea, that happened. I'm a human, what can I say. I make mistakes. But I will never ever compromise my moral standards or integrity and recommend something to any of you that I wouldn't use on myself, or on my own family. On this occasion, I may have been a little late to the party as far as listening to my inner voice. But I realize now, and can promise you that moving forward I won't jump the gun on myself. I can't always promise pure, but I can promise safe!!! I'm not here to bash any companies, and I recognize that this product might be ok for many others out there. I just happen to be one of the many that had an issue, unfortunately. And because of that, I cannot recommend them to you!

This will always be a place where I share my healthy & SAFE options, but will never be place for preaching purity or making anyone feel inferior for their lifestyle choices. I may have been guilty of coming off this way in the past, I don't know. If I have, I apologize. I just want to help others live a healthier lifestyle. Whatever that means for you. 

Oh, and if you have any recommendations for a good "green" nail polish that doesn't chip off after  days, please send them my way!!! 


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

MyHeritage DNA - A Review

I don't know if I've mentioned on here in the past, but I am super into Ancestry. A couple years ago I did a trial on and traced my family history on one side all the way back to the 1500's! Crazy right?! That side of my family was actually Mennonite (big surprise!), and went back to parts of Europe that I had no idea were even in my background.

Fast forward to a couple months ago, when MyHeritage reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their Genealogy DNA kit. Obviously, I was stoked and jumped at the chance, of course!!! What is it exactly? It's a kit that the company sends you with 2 swabs, one for each cheek. You register your kit, swab the insides of your cheeks and send it back to them. Then you just wait for the magic to happen.

Since I had been working on my Family Tree again this past summer, I was pretty familiar with some of my lineage. So I was really curious to see how the results would compare to what I already knew. I got my results about 5 weeks after I sent them in and they did not disappoint!

As you can see in the pics above, it shows the percentage of my DNA from certain regions and then goes on to tell you the countries that might be included in the results. This is a bit broad and I wish there was a bit more information provided, but it's still really cool! This did not bother me at all, as I already knew the specific countries included from my Family Tree background. It was still awesome to see exactly how much of a percentage of each region is in my personal lineage. For example, I had always thought I was more Irish than Italian, but it seems that Northern/Western European and Italian is the bulk of my background.

So the bottom, line.... Would I recommend this test? If you are really familiar with your background already, you might not have the need to do this. However, if you want confirmation, or if you're adopted or not sure of any information from a whole side of your family, this would be amazing! Or if you're someone like me, that just likes to geek out over ancestry related info, you would love this!

Another cool feature that I discovered this past week.... If there is anyone else in the database that has had a DNA test done, that matches your DNA, the company will email you their info, as well as the way you might be related, i.e. 4th cousin twice removed, etc and give you the option to contact if you're so inclined to do so.

Pretty cool, right?! Have you ever traced your family tree back far? What about a DNA test? I would love to hear about your personal experience! Genealogy is so fun!!!

ps - The company is offering 30% off all kits until October 16th! That makes the test $69, instead of $99. I do not compensated for this, I'm just passing the info along, since that's quite a bit of savings! If you do the test, let me me know! I would love to see your results! 

make sure to check out MyHeritage on Instagram - Twitter - FB



DISCLAIMER: I did not receive any financial compensation for this post. This post does not include any affiliate links. However, I was provided a kit as a PR sample,. in exchange for my honest review. As always stated, all opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.