Hello YTM readers! We are so thrilled to be guest posting for Hilary. We found each other right after we hit the blog scene, and have loved following each other ever since. We are two sisters - one married mama and one jet-setting twenty-something - who both share a passion for the more natural, chemical-free lifestyle when it comes to food and products. That said, we live by the 80/20 rule and freakin ‘LIVE for our indulgences in our 20%!! Mama still likes her wine!
When Leigh and I first started digging into the Organo lifestyle, we found ourselves feeling overwhelmed…information overload! Once you learn about all the crazy stuff that’s in what we eat, products we use, things we touch every day…it’s easy to want to hide out in your house and just surround yourself with plants. In order to stay sane while making our healthier choices, we decided to take baby steps and start with the basics:
Clean Up Your Cleaning Products
Before Dylan, I never thought twice about spraying down my counters with 409, or cleaning out my shower with Soft Scrub. It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I started looking into more natural cleaning alternatives. I learned that many cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals like ammonia, SLS, SLES, phosphates, formaldehyde, triclosan, and lots of other yuckies! Baby books do advise that you avoid these things while preggo, so I researched other options. First of all…the best multi-purpose cleaning you can use is simple white vinegar. It can clean literally everything, from your kitchen and bath, to your washing machine, coffee maker…it’s amazing. Check out this link, or hit Pinterest for other ideas.
Vinegar is extremely effective, but you may not get that strong “clean” smell like you do with other products. If you still want that clean smell, but don’t want it to come from chemicals…you can try a natural cleaning product from lines like Seventh Generation or Honest Company.
Know Your Plastics
Plastic is everywhere! We come into to contact with plastic dozens, maybe hundreds, of times a day. We didn’t learn until recently that some forms of plastics can be dangerous when exposed at high frequency. Have you ever noticed the little numbered triangle on the bottom of plastic products? That tells you what type of plastic it is, and can be your guide as to which are safe and which should be avoided (within reason – it would drive you nuts to avoid plastic altogether!). I wrote a post here about switching to glass baby bottles and food jars for Dylan, and it gives some simple tips on safer plastic use.
|Baby Dylan :)|
Read Labels and Go Organic where Possible
I started eating more organic food when I was pregnant with Dylan, and it’s a habit that has stuck! Organic food is free of pesticides, genetically modified ingredients, hormones, and antibiotics…which are all things we want to avoid. However, we all know that organic food ain’t cheap and hard to come by, in some areas. So, the best place to start is the dirty dozen…12 items that you should try your best to get organic, if possible, because they carry the highest amount of residual pesticide (which we end up eating!).
Also, start getting in the habit of reading ingredient labels – you’ll be surprised what you see in there! One ingredient that I’m particularly adamant about avoiding is food dye. If you see Yellow #5 or Red #40 or anything similar, put it back on the shelf. Food dyes are known to cause ADHD and Hyperactivity in children, and are contaminated with other dangerous chemicals. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need my kid to be MORE hyper! We signed a petition a few months ago, spearheaded by our favorite health blogger Food Babe (foodbabe.com) asking Kraft to remove Yellow #5 and #6 from its Macaroni and Cheese…especially since Kraft sells versions without dyes in other countries like the U.K.!
Check out Your Cosmetics
This is one area I find a bit overwhelming…all cosmetics and bath products are made with synthetic ingredients, which I wasn’t surprised to learn. But once you start to dig in and learn what’s in them, you may choose to make a few switches! Much like food, you may start to get into the habit of reading labels and making different choices. I personally like to buy products that are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and SLS wherever possible. I also discovered the beauty of coconut oil! This is another one that is sweeping Pinterest as a miracle substance that can do it all. I use it as my body lotion, face moisturizer, lip balm, shave gel, hair conditioner. It’s antimicrobial, which is why I can slather it on my face and not break out. I also use it all over Dylan: for diaper rash, scrapes and rug burns, mouth irritation from teething, and I put in some of her baby food!
These are just the basics but we think it’s a good start. We’re still learning about the organic lifestyle and would love to hear your tips and ideas! Pop on over and stay for a while. We’d love to hear from you!