Healthy Home, Happy Life
Healthy Home, Happy Life
A Conversation with Victoria Gleixner, founder of b. kind Wellness Boutique
In 2017, Victoria Gleixner found herself waiting in yet another cramped, germ-ridden emergency room. Plagued with another neurological “episode,” as her doctors called it, she was shaky, faint, and on the verge of passing out. This was one of many episodes —coupled with severe anxiety—that affected her for years.
After undergoing an MRI and being administered a heavy dose of antibiotics, she was instructed to leave the hospital; the diagnosis was yet another sinus infection. She was unhealthy, unhappy and feeling on the verge of a breakdown at only 21 years old.
Two years later Gleixner is the proprietor of b. kind, a wellness boutique and collaborative event space in the center of West Hartford. Natural Awakenings asked why she became so passionate about making homes healthier.
What did you discover during your journey back to health?
I began to ask, why are Americans so unhappy and unhealthy? Why do so many people, including myself, struggle with chronic pain and diseases, leaving us joyless and hopeless?
According to the National Health Council, chronic diseases affect approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40 percent of the total population of this country. By 2020, that number is projected to grow to an estimated 157 million, with 81 million having multiple conditions.
These numbers affect children as well. About half of all adults have a chronic condition, and approximately 8 percent of children ages 5 to 17 were reported by their parents to have limited activities due to at least one chronic disease or disability.
The more I researched, the more I asked myself, “What is the solution?” This was the beginning of a lifestyle change for me; living toxin-free, mind and body became a mission. It was time I started being kind to myself.
How did you make changes that mattered for you?
My journey began with observing the products I put into and onto my body—from daily cosmetics to household cleaners. I became mindful of the chemicals affecting both my physical and emotional health. My first step to living a natural lifestyle was to develop a home plan.
As I researched common chemicals, I realized that cosmetics and cleaners were only the tip of the iceberg. Chemicals are found in many of our common household products—shampoos, body washes, toothpastes, hairsprays, sunscreens, soaps and even oven cleaners. I looked at the products and their ingredients in every room of the house—from the bathroom, to the bedroom, the yard, the laundry room and even my medicine cabinet. I slowly replaced products with natural, organic alternatives that were chemical-free.
Can you give us specific examples of products readers might want to replace?
Let’s start in the bathroom. Consider the soap in the dish. What type of fragrance is emitting that fantastic smell? Look at the ingredients. Common fragrances are linked to cancer, asthma, hormone disruption and central nervous system disorders. Many bars of soaps also contain triclosan, a chemical linked to thyroid problems, weakened immune systems and asthma. No wonder so many of us are sick!
In the kitchen we find household cleaners, degreasers, oven cleaners and your everyday detergent. Detergents contain phthalates, which are chemicals linked to hormone disruption, breast cancer and infertility.
How about cosmetics?
Foundation and mascara often contain BPA, DEA, MEA and TEA, which are linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, liver tumors, hormone disruption and other tumors. The same goes for cleaners, hairsprays, shampoos and toothpastes, which contain chemicals such as triclosan and oxybenzones, which are linked to cancer, skin irritation and hormone disruption.
What can readers use instead of conventional products?
There are natural alternatives to all these products. For natural fragrances, essential oils work wonderfully—with the added benefit of aromatherapy. Most local health food stores offer a large variety of organic and natural products—from nutritional foods to organic body scrubs. Take the extra time to read labels!
Walk room-to-room, researching products and their ingredients, and seek natural alternatives. Creating a home plan is the first step to living a natural lifestyle. Join me in creating a life overflowing with joy and good health!
Victoria Gleixner is principal of b. kind, a wellness boutique located at 1000 Farmington Ave, Suite 100, West Hartford. For more information, call 860-338-5499 or email [email protected]. See ad, page 11.