Tuesday, March 27, 2007

BABY STEPS

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.

5 comments:

Kelli in the Mirror said...

We buy from Burgundy Pastures sometimes too. They deliver to the door, and we're not local. It's great.

I still like my soda though... working on that.

ksl said...

Even though we drink some soda we don't use any artifical sweeteners at our house either. My husband used to drink diet coke all the time and he had symptoms of tennis elbow and carple tunnel. He heard on a radio show it could be caused by aspertame and 3 days after he stopped drinking it he was fine. He outlawed artifical sweeteners from our house and said it was never to pass our lips again. It hasn't. Don't you just hate when people put that stuff in baby bottles? Yuck!!!

Seth said...

When you purchase your Kirks Castile soap online, do you buy directly from the mfg? That is the best deal that I could find, just wanted to see what your experience was.

Alli said...

Thanks thanks thanks! I was hoping you'd post about some of this stuff. I just can't research that much without feeling like my head is going to explode. It's nice to just have someone tell me what's safe, what's not and what to do! LOL!

I'm working on using natural cleaners. I'm still on the fence about buying organic though.

Can you get Stevia in the grocery store?

Now if I could just convince Gary to quit the sodas!! It's kinda hard given his professtion.

chewymama said...

kelli - thats so cool you use BPB too! I havent tried anythign yet but I plan to tomorrow.

ksl - what a story about the aspartame. how scary! Im so glad you figured that out. I cant even believe people give kids soda, much less babies. ick!

seth - I bought mine from Kirks site too, that is definitely the best deal. Enjoy!

Alli - hey you :) Dont tell hubbie Im working against him ok ;) My Kroger has Stevia. Otherwise I get it at the little health food store in town or at Central Market. Im sure you can find a deal online somewhere. They even have crazy flavored ones, although Ive never tried it.