How to Choose the Best Shower Filter for Good Health

Most shower filters aren't worth it. Discover how to choose the best shower filters that are good for your health. Click to learn more or PIN to save for later.

Most shower filters are not worth it. It’s a bold statement. But, it’s true. The reason is pretty simple.

Most shower filter manufacturers use outdated filter technology. These outdated shower filters primarily remove Chlorine and a handful of other contaminants.

So, what about the other 200+ contaminants in your water? The best shower filters use advanced technology that reduces more contaminants like VOCs, lead, heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides.

You won’t find that kind of performance with most shower filters.

Why are Most Shower Filters Ineffective?

Why is the effectiveness of most shower filters so limited?

The older filter technology is limited by water flow rate. For a shower, you need a water flow rate of 2.0-2.5 gallons per minute. If the rate is any lower, you’ll have to dance around in the shower to get clean. Most manufacturers use filter materials that allow for a fast flow with the downside of limited contaminant reduction. The older technology is only capable of removing Chlorine, rust and the rotten egg smell at that flow rate.

Sure, the shower filters worked great for people who simply wanted to remove Chlorine. But, what if your water department used Chloramines and not Chlorine to disinfect your water?

These filters are not designed to remove Chloramines or most other contaminants. And, more water departments are switching to Chloramines as a water disinfectant. An estimated 20% of water departments use Chloramines now as a water disinfectant.

Why a Shower Filter Matters

So, why bother with filtering your shower water? It matters because your shower produces significant amounts of airborne contaminants.

How does this happen? The heat and water spray from your shower creates airborne contaminants. These airborne contaminants create indoor air pollution. Studies show that inhaling these airborne chemicals is more dangerous than drinking the chemicals in unfiltered tap water.

These contaminants can increase your cancer risk, cause birth defects and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

It’s a troubling thought, isn’t it?

How to Choose the Best Shower Filters

To choose the best shower filters, look for advanced filter technology.

The best shower filters use advanced technology like the Propur Promax shower filter. It has a good flow rate (2.0 gallons/min) and removes over 200 contaminants. That’s 40-50 times more contaminants than most shower filters remove. It also helps improve odor and taste.

This filter is high-efficiency. It uses a proprietary filter media that targets specific contaminants.

The Propur Promax shower filters reduce contaminants like VOC’s, lead, fluoride, heavy metals, pesticides, SVC’s, disinfectants (Chloramines & Chlorine), inorganic non-metallics, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, PFOA, PFOS, and micro-organisms.

When choosing the best shower filters, you should also look for third-party testing. It’s easy for water filter manufacturers to make claims, so you want to see the third-party lab results from a certified lab. If the test results aren’t published, then don’t buy the filter.

The advanced filter technology has opened the door for healthier showers.

Are You Thriving or Merely Surviving?

Are you Surviving or Thriving?

By Dr. Ellen Albertson – Reprinted with permission from Dr. Ellen

Are you thriving or surviving? Be truthful. In the evening are you exhausted and just happy to have made it through another day? Are stress and worry; rather than joy, peace, and passion fueling your life? Then you’re probably surviving and not living in a state of optimal wellbeing.

There’s a huge difference between surviving and thriving. Survive means to “continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship.” Thrive means to “prosper, be fortunate or successful, to grow or develop vigorously; flourish.”

Survive mode is characterized by:

  • Choosing the path with the least resistance
  • Experiencing lack rather than abundance
  • Reacting rather than responding
  • Complaining and blaming others for your circumstances
  • Feeling inauthentic and stuck
  • Fearing failure and viewing it as a sign that things are going wrong instead of seeing it as a necessary part of success

Thrive mode is characterized by what psychologist Martin Seligman refers to in his book Flourish as experiencing PERMA:

  • Positive emotions
  • Engagement and flow
  • Positive Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment

Many women, especially at midlife, want to thrive, and yet the majority of us are simply surviving. We want to feel vital, passionate, energized and excited about life, but the sense of flourishing we felt in our 20s and 30s has vanished.

Why are we surviving rather than thriving? The two main reasons I see with my clients are fear and habit. We’re scared of stepping into our brilliance and facing the unknown. Or we’re comfortably uncomfortable, stuck in a routine that’s kind of working but certainly isn’t making us happy. As I’ve discussed in previous posts there’s a nagging sense that you’re running out of time as if a Divine alarm clock has gone off signaling: “Get your shit together now and make something of this wonderful life before it’s too late.”

So how do you move from survive mode into thrive mode? Fortunately, there are scientifically proven strategies you can use to live a vibrant, happier life. The first step is to admit you’re merely surviving and want to thrive. Like Maya Angelou make thriving your mission in life!

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. –Maya Angelou

After you set an intention to THRIVE start using the 10 strategies below!

  1. Feel

Remember a period in your life when you were thriving. Spend time re-experiencing how thriving felt. Think about what you can do now to get that feeling back.

  1. The Gratitude Visit

This one’s simple, but effective. Think of someone who has had a major impact on your life and tell her how she’s helped you. You can send an e-mail, a letter, call or visit.

  1. Exercise

Engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. You’ll improve the health of your brain and body and feel more vital and energized.

  1. What Went Well

Every evening write down three things that when well in your life AND what you did to make them happen. (This is one of my favorite exercises in Seligman’s book.)

  1. Welcome change and challenges

Be optimistic. Rather than avoiding change and challenges welcome them as powerful tools to help you grow and learn. Believe that you have the resources and ability to thrive when faced with change and challenges. Not challenged? Do something that scares you. Click HERE for ideas.

  1. Discover your strengths

Make a list of your strengths. (Ask someone to help you or take Seligman’s FREE VIA Survey of character strengths test by clicking HERE.) Once you identify your strengths find new ways to use them.

  1. Increase positivity

According to psychologist Barbara Fredrickson experiencing more positive emotions when we interact with others is key for wellbeing. Be positive when you interact with others and encourage others to do the same for you. Surround yourself with people who are positive, thriving and supportive and limit your exposure to people who are negative

  1. Savor

Take the time to savor all life’s joys and pleasures. When something good happens to you take it all in. Be mindful. Slow down. Pause for a moment to take in the good around you. Congratulate yourself when you do well. Spend time with people you love. Fill your life with pleasure and give yourself permission to enjoy.

  1. Increase flow experiences

Flow, also known as being in the zone, is the mental state where you are fully engaged, focused and involved in an activity. Find at least one activity (such as dancing, painting, singing, bird watching, hiking, playing a game or instrument, writing….) that puts you in this state of enjoyment. Do it several times a week.

  1. Be kind

imgresOne of the most powerful ways to thrive is simply being kind. Being kind is easy. Yet doing a kind act creates a powerful, scientifically proven increase in wellbeing. Don’t take my word for it, experiment with kindness today. Find one completely unexpected kind thing to do and just do it. Notice how your mood shifts. For ideas click HERE. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself. It’s a fabulous way to practice self-compassion.

Set an intention TODAY to thrive rather than merely survive. Yes, choosing to thrive will push you out of your comfort zone and may feel harder than surviving especially initially. But is surviving really that comfortable?

Need help thriving? Click HERE to contact Dr. Ellen and schedule a complimentary coaching session.

About the Author

Dr. Ellen Bio

Dr. Ellen is a Psychologist, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Wellcoach® and Reiki Master. The Glow & Grow Coach, Dr. Ellen teaches women at mid-life how to harmonize the dance of their lives with the song in their hearts and flow with grace, beauty and ease. She’s passionate about helping others let go of who they think they’re supposed to be & embrace who they are.
Learn more about Dr. Ellen

Connect with Dr. Ellen on facebook and on twitter.

8 Reasons to Love Your Home Air Cleaner

Is a Home Air Cleaner right for you? Check out these 8 reasons to own and love your home air cleaner. Click to read more or Pin to save for later.

Several years ago, I bought a home air cleaner. I put it in my bedroom and loved it. Then, I bought more. In fact, now I have six home air cleaners scattered throughout the house.

I placed air purifiers in the bedrooms, my office, the room with the kitty litter box, and the kitchen/dining area.

Why do I need so many? The air cleaner in the bedroom removes airborne allergens like mold, pollens, and dust.

Yes, dust!

It also removes VOCs generated from the shower and bath. These VOCs are created when the water chemicals used to disinfect water are heated and sprayed. The right kind of air cleaner can absorb these VOCs for cleaner, healthier air.

The one in the kitchen and dining area removes cooking odors, reduces VOCs from cooking on the gas stove, absorbs fireplace smoke particles, and reduces airborne dust. It also cleans up formaldehyde, benzene and other VOCs from new products we bring into our home. Finally, it clears the air when you’ve burned food while cooking.

At first, I was nervous about the background noise, but I find I can sleep soundly with the air cleaner purring quietly. It makes enough sound so I no longer hear the house’s creaks or the cat meowing outside my bedroom door.

Reasons to Own and Love Your Home Air Cleaner

Here’s a list of eight reasons to own and love your home air cleaner.

1. Ditch unhealthy air fresheners.

Why? Because the best air cleaners remove odors. As a result, you won’t need air fresheners. It’s better to avoid air fresheners because so many brands contain harmful substances that simply aren’t good for you.

2. Stop worrying about how your house smells.

You will never have to worry about your home smelling odd to guests because your air cleaner will reduce pet, cooking, fireplace, and moldy odors.

3. Dust less often.

While you’ll still have to do some dusting, you will discover that you won’t have to dust as often because a good air cleaner reduces the amount of airborne dust.

4. Live healthier.

Your air will have less mold, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses making it easier for you to live healthier.

5. Sneeze fewer times.

With fewer allergens in your house, you may have fewer allergy symptoms. A good air cleaner removes 99.97% of airborne allergens.

6. Help your immune system by reducing inflammation.

If you buy an air cleaner that removes chemical irritants, you will help your immune system by reducing inflammation. According to Dr. Mimi Guarneri, the body sees polluted air, chemical irritants, second-hand smoke and pesticides as foreign invaders. These “foreign invaders” turn on our immune system which can lead to chronic inflammation. Read more about VOCs and how they impact your health.

7. Remove neighboring odors.

Living in tight spaces typically means that you are more aware of your neighbors than you’d like. A home air cleaner can remove odors from cigarette smoke or cooking fumes, or whatever else your neighbors might be up to.

8. Reduce pet odors.

Let’s face it, pet odors caused by litter boxes or damp fur can make your place smell bad. An air cleaner can reduce dander and pet odor.

How to Choose the Best Air Cleaner

To get the benefits, you must choose the best home air cleaner designed to reduce allergens and VOCs. The best air cleaners have true medical HEPA filters combined with a special carbon filter. Check out the air cleaners we use in our home and our unbiased air purifier ratings and reviews.

Shop now for our recommended air cleaners!

How to Choose and Safely Install Wood Flooring

Remodeling? Learn how to choose and safely install wood flooring. Avoid issues with formaldehyde and other indoor air pollutants.

One of our readers recently asked us about how to choose safe wood flooring and how to install it safely.

“We are considering changing the flooring to hardwood instead of carpet. From the little research I did, the cork floor might be more eco-friendly, but I do not like the look and colors of cork. So I have opted for engineered hardwood from an eco-friendly company like Kahr’s or Green building supply. Is that a good choice? Any brands you would recommend?

Also, what should I look for in a safe brand (which would be formaldehyde free?) Some green standard?? For installation of the wood floor, I was considering getting water based glue which has low VOC’s. Is that good? Any safe brand adhesive you suggest?”

We know how difficult it can be during a remodeling project to find safe and healthy materials. Below are our recommendations for purchasing safe wood flooring as well as how to install wood flooring without creating indoor air quality problems.

Safe Wood Flooring

Before we talk about engineered wood flooring, I just want to cover a few topics about cork and laminate wood floors.

Although cork floors are eco-friendly, they do have some drawbacks. Many require glue down applications, and the glues can be a problem. Also, cork is not as durable and can’t be refinished. Based on these considerations and the fact that you didn’t like the look, you’re probably better off with engineered wood floors.

It appears that you are not considering laminate wood floors. As you’re probably aware, some laminate wood floors can be very toxic, but not all are bad. This article gives good advice on how to find safer laminate wood flooring.


What to Look for When Buying Engineered Wood Flooring

Here’s what to look for in engineered wood flooring.

Engineered floors are a combination of a solid hardwood top glued to a plywood base. The thicker the hardwood top, the more time the floor can be sanded and refinished. A thicker hardwood top increases the longevity of the floor.

  • Check a cross section of the engineered floor to ensure that you are getting at least ¼” of solid wood and not a laminated floor
  • Find out what type of glue was used. Water-based, non-toxic glues are best. Kahrs, EcoTimber, and other companies use non-toxic glues
  • Look for the Green Guard certification which ensures that the flooring passes indoor air quality requirements
    • Shaw & Armstrong have some Green Guard certified engineered wood floors


How to Safely Install Engineered Wood Floors

Ideally, you should use nails rather than glue because as you know, glue can release dangerous toxins. If you have to use glue, use Zero VOC adhesives like Bostick’s TKO or EcoTimber Healthy Bond.

If you are installing the floor over concrete, you can float the floor to avoid glue. Check to see if your floor is designed for a floating application.

Always cut the wood floor outside!

Why? Because wood dust can be a carcinogen.

If you need to fill floor cracks, try one of these products:

  • Custom Brand Non-Sanded Grout
  • AFM Brand Caulk
  • Plaster of Paris (100% gypsum)
  • Murco Joint Compound (made of starch)
  • Portland Cement

When installing baseboards and quarter rounds, use nails only without adhesives. If you’re using pine, then paint or seal all sides prior to installation using no VOC paint or no VOC sealant. Using oil based paint? Then you’ll have to use a low VOC paint.


Armed with the facts, you can now purchase safe wood flooring. And, you can install it without worries.

Send Us Your Questions – Ask Pure Living Space

Do you have any questions about creating a pure living space in your home? Send them to Ask Pure Living Space. We’ll do the research for you!

How to Choose Whole House Water Filters

Do you have questions about buying a whole house water filtration system? Get the info you need to make the right decision. Click to read the full article or PIN to save for later.

One of our Dallas readers sent us this question about how to choose Whole House Water Filters.

“I want to install a whole house water filtration system but not crazy expensive. Are there one of two companies you could recommend? There are tons listed in the area and I’ve heard there are a lot of flaky companies out there.”

Our response – Here’s How to Choose Whole House Water Filters

We know what you mean about purchasing a whole house filter and not knowing who you can trust. Many companies make claims that just aren’t backed up with facts and third-party lab results. These are the steps we recommend to choose whole house water filters.

Do Some Background Reading

If you haven’t yet, please consider reading our article on Whole House Filters – Confused about Whole House Filters? This will give you a good start. In this article, you’ll discover three critical things you should know before purchasing a filter.

Confused About Whole House Water Filters?

Know Your Water Department’s Chemical Disinfectants

You should start by understanding which chemical disinfectant your water department uses. Why? Because it will determine which type of whole house filter you need. You wouldn’t want to purchase a filter that is primarily geared to removing Chlorine if your water department uses Chloramines as a disinfectant.

Since you’re in the Dallas area, I think you probably get your water from Dallas County Park Cities Municipal Utility District and they use Chloramines and not Chlorine as a water disinfectant.

How do you find this information?

Simply google the name of your city including the term “water department” or “water quality”. You should easily be able to find your city’s water quality report. When you read the report, it will be obvious which disinfectant they are using.

We Recommend Austin Springs Whole House Filters

We recommend the Austin Springs Whole House Filter which is third-party tested and NSF certified (#42 & #53) to remove certain water contaminants. Aquasana, a well-known name in water filtration, makes the Austin Springs filters in the USA and supports them with a 3-year warranty.

Whole House Water Filter Austin Springs

Any licensed plumber can install this whole house filter. After installation, you can change the filters without tools or help from a plumber.

If you decide to go with a different system, we recommend only buying filters that are third-party tested and certified by NSF. You’ll want to look for NSF certification #42 & #53 for your whole house filter.

PLUS, you need to ask for the lab report.

Why? Because even certified filters perform at different levels. For instance, the Austin Springs Whole House Filter reduces 90% of chloramines and other filters may only remove 50% of chloramines.

Don’t Buy it without Third-Party Lab Report

We advise people to only buy water filters with a third-party lab report. Trustworthy water filter manufacturers hire a certified third-party lab to test their filters and they publish the results.


Want a Custom Whole House Filtration System?

If you want a custom system (perhaps with a reverse osmosis tank, etc.), then look for certified professionals:

  • Certified Water Specialist (CWS) 
    This designation is best suited for professionals who provide solutions to “problem water” issues and health-related contaminants.
  • Certified Installer (CI) 
    This designation is ideal for professionals who specialize in installing water quality improvement products.

Don’t settle for uncertified businesses because you only want to hire certified professionals.

Armed with the facts, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed when choosing a home water filtration system.

Send Us Your Questions – Ask Pure Living Space

Do you have any questions about creating a pure living space in your home? Send them to Ask Pure Living Space. We’ll do the research for you!