We all want our families to be as healthy as possible. That’s a given. As parents we spend tons of energy, time and research on finding the BEST and most perfect products for our families. It’s so wonderful to have so much information available in our connected world, but also SO overwhelming.
Today I want to focus on some REALLY simple things you can do to help reduce the toxic-load on your family. I’m NOT suggesting you go out and do all of these things tomorrow- that WONT happen and defeats the purpose of SIMPLE.
1. Spend time in nature- the further “out in the middle of nowhere” the better. We’re talking about breathing really clean fresh air and filling our lungs with fresh air.
2. Bring the outdoors inside- do you have live plants in your home? They’re a great way to improve air quality inside your home. If you live in a place that doesn’t have a lot of air pollution then open your windows too!
3. Eat Organic and/or local- I know that it can be expensive. BUT I also know that Farmer’s Markets often offer the BEST deals of all. Ask questions- the food doesn’t HAVE to be certified organic- ask about their farming practices and whether they use pesticides.
4. Drink Clean Water: There are more than 300 pollutants in US tap water. We are VERY blessed to live in a country where running water is the norm. That said, even though the water doesn’t make us sick immediately, there is plenty of toxic overload lurking. Make sure to drink filtered water every chance you’re able. Because this is important to us, we have a water delivery service once per month that is very affordable AND super easy.
5. STOP using so many beauty products- Keep it simple with a few toxic-free products. Avoid fragrances. Use natural oils like jojoba and coconut oil to save $ or seek out toxic-free options for lotions, face washes, creams, etc. Makeup is another BIGGIE. I’ve become a huge fan of Ava Anderson products which are priced just slightly higher than drugstore brands in most cases. This may seem tedious, but in fact I find I save both time and money by limiting the number of products I use.
6. Dump Your Tupperware and Cookware: Just like you, we’re slowly cleaning up our home. We’re ridding ourselves of our super fancy non-stick cookware we received as a wedding gift over 10 years ago and embracing cast-iron and toxin-free ceramic. We’re also throwing out our tupperware little by little in favor of glass Pyrex containers.
7. Make cleaners with vinegar and baking soda: It’s amazing how easy and quick it can be to make all-purpose cleaners at home. If DIY isn’t your thing there are lots of great brands like Mrs. Meyers and Ava Anderson out there. Here’s a great link to a BUNCH of simple cleaning recipes from my friend Adrienne at Whole New Mom
8. Keep chemicals off of your kids: Babies and kids don’t need colored bubble bath, fancy lotions or shampoos or chemical laden diaper creams. Our Raise Them Well Zinc Oxide Powder is fabulous for making at-home skincare products for the whole family (including diaper cream and sunscreen- get our FREE Ebook with your purchase) and we can’t wait to bring you an all-in-one solution for baby and kid baths really soon! Use coconut oil for moisturizing and for things like cradle cap and baby acne.
9. Eat more GREENS: Unlike any other vegetables the phytochemicals/antioxidants in green and cruciferous vegetables help to cleanse the body. Almost ALL Americans (even those who think they eat enough) are largely lacking in the vegetable department. No- 1/3 cup of green beans at dinner is NOT enough veggies for the day. Add kale to your smoothies, eat a salad for lunch or dinner daily, and load up on sauteed veggies whenever possible. Eat raw veggies for snacks and add cooked veggies to soups, stews, etc.
More than anything- rather than stress over all of the things you AREN’T doing, just focus on one small change at a time. Maybe it’s time to seek out some better skincare products or add a cast-iron skillet to your Christmas list. Baby steps add up to big steps. The journey- like most in life- aims not for a destination, but instead enjoying the scenery and the improved health that results.