Saturday, March 31, 2007

Win a Dyson!

I have a Dyson and I LOVE it. You can enter to win one HERE It cant hurt to try!

No One is Perfect

No one is perfect ... except Jesus of course ;)

I used to have a friend who was alot like me - she loved to research and learn new things about nutrition. Even more than that, like me, she actually wanted to change things once she learned. BUT she always came off like she was perfect. She always seemed to be one step ahead, have more money, have kids that slept better and did more and knew more. Part of it was my assumptions but after a few years I came to realize that she always shared when things went perfectly but never when they went wrong, or the days she made an exception, or had a bad day and had a donut LOL.

We all have different standards for whats "perfect" and standards we hold ourselves to. Id encourage you to not get down about what you can't do (emotionally, physically or monitarily) as you work to have a healthier home, but rejoice in what the Lord has enabled you TO do! I love to research and learn and share it with others but PLEASE, please, please always remember I am not perfect. Only about 50% of our food is organic, I had french fries with my lunch today while out for lunch, and sometimes I even let my kids eat sugar now and then ;)

so there is my "Im not perfect at being healthy so please dont compare yourself to a nonexistent standard" disclaimer :)

The only way to fill in all the gaps is to PRAY. The Lord is the ultimate protector or our children and our health. If you have to paint with regular paint, or already have, or if you are tired and just give your child a hotpocket for lunch - just say a prayer for protection and grace and let it go. The Lord is kind, He loves our children more than we can fathom.

Have a great Sunday! God is good!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Green Paint

I found it quite ironic that while I am posting ways to have a less-toxic home I have had my face in paint fumes for hours at a time for the last week LOL

Our home was painted with flat paint when we bought it and after 2.5yrs of two little boys with dirty fingers and cars that like to race on the walls, well, they looked horrible. I just couldnt take it anymore. So Ive started to paint.

I researched and researched looking for paints that were safer when I was pregnant with Jayna and wanted to paint her room. On every paint can you can find the "VOC"s listed somewhere. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. This is basically a measurement of all the horrible nasty things that they've used for so long to make paint work well. At the time, only 9 or so months ago, I could only find no-VOC paints online and they were outrageous when you factored in shipping. But, more and more companies are creating low or zero-VOC paints which have no odor and will not release toxins into the air for years like regular paint will. (I was so grossed out when I learned that - ick! See the link below for more info)

We have a Sherman Williams store here and I found a great paint there, Duration Home, that is not only tough but is LOW-VOC and has their "Green Sure" label. This means it meets or exceeds the Green Seal criteria. You can read about what VOCs are Here. Its actually really interesting. And its great that now you can just look for that label and know you are getting something safer. Be warned, its more expensive. The Duration Home is $42/gallon *gasp* I know, I know. I actually bought mine during one of their monthly sales though and to me its worth it.

*Note: I did read on the GreenSeal site that the non/low-VOC rating is given for the paint PRIOR to adding color at the point of sale. I wonder how much that changes the VOC????

Sherman Williams has a new product called "Harmony" that is actually Zero-VOC! Im very excited about this. Its $38/gallon. I asked and they said its not as durable/washable but would be great for a childs bedroom so that its safe for them to sleep in there they day its painted. Its available in a satin finish so it would be cleanable. I plan to use this for our childrens rooms (my next project! why-oh-why do I have a husband that hates to paint!?!?!?!)

The Duration Home may be low-odor but I still feel icky after breathing in all the fumes. The good news is, my walls look nice and pretty and no longer have pen/crayon/jelly/black marks/etc on them! :) And a prettier, nicer house makes for a happier mommy :)

We are so blessed to have more options in the paint department. Now we can keep our homes nice without harming the health of our family! Amen! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


When you first stumble onto information about how toxic some food, cleaners, beauty procucts are, it can be overwhelming. I thought Id share the small steps we've taken over the last few years. As I learned about each new thing Id change what we could afford to, and move on, knowing I did my best. Some healthy options will actually save you money but all will give you peace of mind that you are doing your best for your family's health. Hopefully if you are overwhelmed with where to start this will give you some easy ways to start creating a healthier home!

- Soap. We use Kirks Castile Soap for the kids and plain Ivory bars for ourselves. The Kirks rinses off so easily - you'll be amazed at the difference. We buy it online in bulk and it lasts a really long time.

- Fabric Softener - we stopped using it and start using vinegar. Just fill up a downey ball and toss it in. Fabric Softener is toxic - more on this later. This is an easy and cheap way to rid your home of chemicals. They wont be as soft but they wont be staticy and you'll get used to it. Its well worth it.

- Clothes Detergent. Baby detergents like Dreft are a huge marketing scam. They are full of artificial fragrance and fabric softeners. We use ALL free and clear for all of our clothes. Anything "free and clear" will work. Costco even makes one!

- Open the windows! Just airing out your home will keep the air you breathe fresh and healthier. They say that the air inside homes is many times more toxic than whats inside. This didnt make any sense to me for a long time but as Ive become aware of the chemicals in paint, carpet, upholstery, wood finishes, etc. I believe its true.

- DONT EAT MARGARINE. This one should be first. Margarine is fake food, its has nothing in common with anything God made except the color they DYE it. Gross, gross, gross. Dont be scared of butter, its not a bad fat. Its from a cow and God made cows. Be much more afraid of margarine. If you do nothing else, stop eating this plastic food!!!

- Cut out the Soda Again, the only thing in this that is from nature is the water. Its full of chemicals, dyes, sugar or artifical sweeteners. YUCK. Drink some water with lemon or tea. A shot of tequila is better for you than a glass of soda (L you know Im talking to you!!!!)

- Lotion. Every lotion you can buy at the grocery store is full of chemicals. They have to use them to make it smooth and creamy and still affordable. Read the back of your lotion and think about all those names you cant pronounce - they all sound like harsh chemicals (sodium laurel suflate, methylparabens - cancer causing, etc.) because they are! Some healthy and easy alternative are: olive oil patted on after the shower, 100% Shea Butter (I use this on Jayna but its not for people with latex allergies), California Kids lotion, Aubrey Organics lotion (my favorite), Coconut oil, Emu Oil, etc.

- What Foods to buy Organic? We focus on the "Dirty Dozen" . First we switched to organic milk (although now we are mostly dairy-free anyways) and now I always buy organic strawberries and apples. Our Target Superstore even has most of these available so its easier and getting more and more affordable. We just recently began to buy our beef from Burgandy Pastures Beef which is a local farm and its really not that much more than buying quality meat at a grocery store.

- Cleaners. I make my own "windex" now and its not only cheap but easy and cleans just as well. I use that and hydrogen peroxide (naturall disinfects) to do all my cleaning). We also use baking soda for the bath tubs and my stainless steel pans and it works great. Here is one site with recipes for safe cleaners.

- Pans. For the most part Ive switched from teflon pans to Stainless Steel. I do still use my teflon pans for eggs and for backup when Im cooking a large meal. Whether or not teflon is dangerous is controversial but just knowing that cooking in teflon pans will kill birds - well....doesnt take a rocket scientist does it? ;) Duponts tips for not killing your bids when using their pans

- Sweeteners. Aspartame should absolutely, positively not cross the lips of your or your children. Its toxic. Here are some articles for you to read for yourself. There is no reason to use when you have other healthier options. Splenda is not a healthy option by the way. We now use STEVIA for sweetening drinks - its perfectly safe and derived straight from a plant.

About Stevia: Splenda is not a natural substance, it is an artificial chemical sweetener manufactured by adding three chlorine atoms to a sugar molecule. And again, because there have been no long-term human studies on Splenda to determine the potential health effects on people, no one can say with certainty that the substance is safe to eat. Source

There is no shortcut for our food that is going to be healthy. We have to stick to nature! The best replacement for sugar that Ive found is stevia. A couple drops in your water with some lemon juice and you have a delicious replacement for soda! Its not good for baking though because its a liquid, but Ive had good success replacing sugar with applesauce, honey, maple syrup, etc. :)

well I think I could go on and on and on and on but thats all for now. I hope this is helpful!

Rachel :)

A few more I thought of:

- Never microwave in plastic dishes and avoid the microwave as much as possible anyways. Never microwave with plastic wrap. I use a paper towel or plate.

- Store food in glass whenever possible. Never put hot or acidic foods (like spaghetti) in plastic. I cover it with aluminum foil when hot then go back and put on plastic wrap when it cools.

- Use metal or silicone-covered silverware for babies and children instead of plastic.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Air Fresheners

Basically air fresheners are toxic. There are no government regulations on what they can put into a product to make it smell good and they are allowed to just label it "fragrance".

The commercials get me the most. You know the Febreeze commerical where the mom goes in her teenage son's room and it smells so she starts spraying that stuff all over? Then she opens the closet and it smells worse so she sprays and sprays and sprays? HELLO if your child's clothes and shoes smell WASH THEM - dont spray toxic chemicals all over them to cover them up. That doesnt even make any sense!!!!!

Yes I know, teenage boys smell. So keep their shoes in the garage. Use some baking soda in your wash - do what you have to do. But people, if something smells, spraying it with Febreeze is not the answer.

The other Febreeze commericial makes me crazy too. In that one a lady is in her kitchen just spraying and deeply inhaling the smell "mmmmm, smells so good". All I see is CANCER, CANCER, CANCER.

If you dont believe me do a search for "air fresheners toxic" and read a couple of the hundreds of sites that come up. One I found is here: Let's Clear the Air

Get that junk out of your homes. Its toxic for you, your children and your pets. If it says Glade on it, just throw it away. If you have to have a smell in your house boil some cinnamon and apples on the stove or burn a healthy candle made with essential oils instead of artificial fragrance. But its clean, and you have something healthy cooking for dinner, your home should smell good anyways ;)

signing off,


(My other blog wont show up on my account so here is my first post copied over!)

So some of you may have heard the term "crunchy" before - as in granola. This usually refers to someone who is really into natural things. I picture a women with plain clothes, birkenstocks, no makeup, hiking up a mountain eating trail mix LOL. In the cyber land of motherhood this may actually mean one uses cloth diapers, "gentle discipline", breastfeeds, cosleeps, doesnt vaccinate or vaccinates on a delayed schedule, feeds their children organic food, cares about the environment, etc.

At the other end of the spectrum some moms refer to themslves as "soggy" because they use disposable diapers, dont worry about saying no to their children, etc. (cant say too much more without making that side sound horrible - feed their kids junk, dont care about the environment, LOL. Of course that extreme isnt true for most! this is really a reactionary label, rebelling against the crunchy people)

Then some moms like me fall in the middle. Hence the label, "chewy".I have changed a lot as a mom and while I fall many times on the "crunchy" side of things, my political and person fews do not fall in the liberal category often associated with an all-natural lifestyle. We breastfeed, cloth diaper, discipline our children (i.e. dont believe time-outs will cause irreversible harm!), try to eat as organic as possible,avoid plastic (because its toxic), eat weird healthy food LOL..... but we are conservative, republican Christians :) Im not into politics at all except that we are pro-LIFE and support our God-given President and our troops *thumbs up*

I actually hate labels. I always have. Thats why I like "chewy" because its really a non-label. I can make a choice on either side and still be what I say I am. The only other label Ive ever been ok with is "follower of Christ". That I am proud to be. But I dont call myself Baptist or Calvinist or divide my views into categories - all I will boast in is Christ, crucified for us.

A passion God has given me is research. I love to learn. I dont believe in taking anyone's word as Truth except for the Bible. So if my Dr. says "xyz is perfectly safe, give it to your child 3x a day" I go home and research it online first.

I love a good conspiracy theory and our government (especially the FDA) is full of them.Sometimes I step back and look at our culture and what we feed ourselves and our children and its almost comical. Ask the typical person whats actually IN the food they got out of a box and they have NO idea.

No one questions things anymore.And then there is motherhood ...and one of my favorite topics....childbirth. You will see many ranting, raving posts about this from me in the future. Its another case of "America the country of Sheeples". Time to think for ourselves ladies! What makes sense? Strapping women to a bed and drugging them up to the point they need someone else to tell them how to push their own baby out , or working with the body God created to birth the baby He hand-crafted just for us? (the second is the right answer btw!)

Thats enough for just my simple introduction ;) I need a place not hold back and this is now it. More later!