Sunday, January 1, 2017

Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Preventing Illness

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a healthy lifestyle post, so I figured it was about time. I’m going to apologize in advance because I know this is going to be SUPER long (I have literally had it in my drafts for like 2 months and it has taken me hours to put together). I have learned SO much in the past two years (when our journey began) and we have made a LOT of changes around the Butler house. We still have a few things we need to work on, but overall I’m happy with the progress we’ve made in many areas. Progress…not perfection, right? Jonathan is now even super on board (which is so exciting to me), and I love that we are doing this together & appreciate that he is so supportive.

I am super passionate about healthy living and love to learn about clean eating/holistic lifestyle/green living/natural remedies…and then of course love to share what I learn with others. We really took control of our nutrition almost 5 years ago when we started AdvoCare. Nutrition is such a HUGE piece to the puzzle (& definitely the one I would focus on FIRST), but there are so many other factors that affect our overall health too. I’ve spent the last little while studying/learning more specifically about the environmental factors because that is something we can easily control. Obviously we can’t help our genetics, but lifestyle choices impact our overall health WAY more than we all realize. (I read somewhere that your genes can be turned off and on with food, chemicals, stress, and sleep.) Isn’t that GREAT news?? We are ridiculously in charge!

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It is SO interesting to me and I absolutely LOVE learning. (About things I’m interested in anyway. When it comes to something like learning to use a new gadget or appliance, the thought of that DRAINS me. I guess that’s why our InstaPot is still sitting on the counter, unused, since November. Oops!) Anyway…This has been such a fun journey for me, and that’s exactly how I view it. I have especially enjoyed seeing the results of our family being even more healthy than before.

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I really love to share what I’ve learned with others, but to be completely honest, I have found that most people ignore (& probably think it’s annoying) and pretty much disregard what I’m saying when it comes to this type of thing. Actually, Jonathan just told me the other day I should probably not share with someone anymore unless they ask my advice first. And he’s definitely right. It can come across as offensive or “know it all” even if that’s not at all how I intend it. I truly just want to help other people by educating them on what I’ve learned because I feel like we so many big companies & government agencies are doing us a major disservice. I don’t focus on it much, but it makes me angry to think about the well-meaning families who have suffered. Honestly, I can’t imagine the damage I’ve done from some poor lifestyle choices in the past (I literally used baby powder with talc multiple times a week for years, drank old water & Gatorade out of bottles that were in my car or batbag for who knows how long, ate WAY too many Happy Meals “so we could collect beanie babies,” and the list goes on and on!) So, I’m still going to continue to do what I feel is best for our family, and I am no longer going to pull the naivety/ignorance is bliss card when it comes to my family’s health. They are a gift to me and I want to steward that responsibility well, so I’m making it a goal to do my personal best by them. That means educating myself…PROGRESS, not perfection. And of course I’ll share with others who ask. (I do have a couple of friends who are into this type of thing too, and it is always so refreshing to spend time with them soaking up all they’ve learned and know.)

One of mine & Jonathan’s personal mission statements is to help strengthen families, and a huge part of that includes the physical and emotional health. So, hopefully you’ll find some value out of this.

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Here’s the thing.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

I hear people say things all the time like “Everything causes cancer, so why bother?” And yes, everyone knows the story of someone who drank 3 Dr. Peppers every day and lived to be 100. I totally get that mindset, but the reality is we can make small changes and different choices that will help our health significantly, especially over time. Our environments play a MAJOR factor in our overall health. Something as simple as taking your shoes off at the door (so you don’t track toxins in) or buying Free & Clear laundry detergent (& adding your own essential oils if you need a “scent”) can make a significant difference! It’s simple if you just know what to do differently and have the discipline to take action on it. And it’s only overwhelming when we view it that way. If you choose to feel like it’s empowering to educate yourself, and think of it as a fun learning journey, you’ll see that it’s really rewarding to start making better choices for yourself and your family. (P.S. We aren’t perfect. It’s all about baby steps & consistently making BETTER choices. It’s actually easier than you’d think & can be fun!)

(**most of this info was presented to us at TTAC conference.) Did you know that America is #43 in the world when it comes to life expectancy? Did you know there are 14 million new cases of cancer diagnosed every year, and there are 8.2 million cancer related deaths? There are projected to be over 15 million new cases diagnosed in 2020, and it is expected that the cancer epidemic is going to increase by 75% by the year 2030 with 1 in every 2 adults being diagnosed. 8/10 people in America die from cancer or heart disease. We are moving towards 2/3 of Americans being overweight, 1/3 obese, 1/4 diabetic, 1/3 diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and 1/2 with autism. The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists said in September 2008 that “90-95% of cancers have their roots in the environment and lifestyle.” The American Cancer Society said that “more than half of cancers can be prevented through lifestyle changes and healthier habits.”

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Some of the #1 causes of heart disease:

  • poor nutrition
  • environmental pollutants
  • physical inactivity
  • stress
  • lack of sleep
  • lack of sunshine

A few other causes of illness:

  • inflammation
  • toxins/metals
  • emotional wounds/unforgiveness
  • food allergies
  • psychological stress

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So, here are a few of the things I’ve learned that I wanted to pass along. Even if you can start small though, I consider that #winning. (P.S. Like I said, Jonathan & I went to a big conference in Texas back in October and we learned so much there, so most of this will be from my notes. They had several holistic doctors & experts sharing their knowledge. It was very empowering. And like I said, we are still working on a few things.)

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. These are just tips I’ve been implementing into our family’s lifestyle that are making a positive difference for us.

*Stress less. Just RELAX! Honestly, after hearing many lectures about what causes cancer, I feel like this is one of the biggest factors. They said it takes roughly 10 years to come full circle, but many times when someone is diagnosed with cancer, they can trace back about 10 years and will find an extremely devastating life event that caused a significant amount of stress. Sometimes we have the ability to remove stressors in our life (& just have to make the choice to do that), but other times unfortunately we do not have that luxury. I am not really a high stress person, but if you are, there are a few things that can help to cope. Oasis & Clear Mood. Deep breathing. Yoga. Prayer. Memorizing Scripture. Listening to praise music (or whatever kind of music helps you relax). Smiling. (Sounds lame, but it works to change your mood.) Thinking positive thoughts. Focusing on blessings. Exercise. Cleaning. Get a pedicure or massage. Do something you enjoy (for your hubby, maybe it’s going fishing, playing golf, going hunting, etc.) Make time to travel. Have a routine to unwind. Take a walk. (My personal faves are exercise, cleaning, yoga, prayer, deep breathing, and praise music.)

Jonathan said this verse specifically has helped him a TON…along with realizing that worrying isn’t really going to accomplish anything. (I love seeing it written in his handwriting. There is something extra special about that to me.)

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Try to sleep with your cell phone/computer as far away as possible (preferably at least 6 ft or in another room). In fact, try not to carry it on your body at all. (Still working on getting Jonathan not to carry his on his hip & trying really hard to stay off of mine.) Texting is a better option that talking on the phone & holding it directly next to your ear. Headphones/headsets are better option if you have them. Avoid using the cell phone when you don’t have good service. Do not let your kiddos play with the phone if at all possible. (Their blood brain barrier isn’t all the way formed yet, so they receive higher amounts of the electromagnetic radiation than we do as adults.) Be cautious where you carry your phone/laptop when you’re pregnant. You can even turn wifi off at night if you’re hard core. I have started trying to charge my phone in the hallway or bathroom while we sleep instead of right next to my head on the nightstand. I am also really working on not being on it so much! I am definitely trying to take a more “minimalist” approach to social media (for me, anyway). Honestly, this one is one of the bigger struggles for me, but I know it will benefit everyone for me to stay off my phone and computer more.

Get enough sleep. When we buy our new home, we will make the switch to organic mattresses and linens since you (hopefully) spend about 7-9 hours in the bed every single day. (Cotton is the highest pesticide sprayed crop in the world.) Some tips for helping you sleep better: We wash our sheets with lavender essential oils because it’s calming, & sometimes I diffuse it in the bedroom. We keep the room dark (except for a Pink Himalayan salt lamp, which is very relaxing & beautiful). We try to read before bed instead of any screen time (which can overstimulate the brain). I used to be better at taking a warm bath after kiddos are in bed to help me relax before bed, but that’s definitely something I want to start again. We try not to exercise or consume caffeine too late. If you need help falling asleep or staying asleep, I prefer Sleep Works. (Since I’m pregnant and can’t have it, I drink about 1/2 c of organic tart cherry juice instead.) It also helps to have a consistent bed time/wake time so your body knows what to expect. (DEF need to work on that one.)

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Microwaves- just no. It is my goal to never use a microwave. I unplugged in completely in our last rental and hope to not have a microwave at all in our next home. You can heat food on the stove top/oven. Use a tea kettle to make hot water. Thaw foods in the sink. Yes, all of this takes longer, but it is worth it to avoid the radiation. Plus, it changes the compounds of our foods & zaps nutrients. I personally have no problem eating food cold, but Jonathan always likes me to heat his up so I’ve just been using my iron skillet on the stove top.

Think about your skin. 100% of what you put onto your skin is absorbed by the body, so this is really important. Think about shampoo/conditioner, shaving cream, lotion, soap, hand sanitizer, perfume, makeup, skin care, clothes/sheets, laundry detergent/fabric softener (read about issues caused by fabric softeners here), even feminine care products etc. There are so many things that should be avoided when it comes to things we put on our skin…it’s almost overwhelming. In fact, I think this is one of the tougher ones. But, it’s possible. I found a great resource (posted below) that shares some of “The Green Queen’s” favorite brands. I am still trying different things to find what I love, so eventually maybe I’ll write a post with all of my favorite products. But for now, I’m still in the experimental phase.

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Breakfast, yo. Eat like a king for breakfast, queen for lunch, prince for dinner. Snacks in between and high protein/low carb snack before bed. Just do it.

Eat “lean, clean, & green.” Veggies, veggies, veggies! Raw nuts & seeds. Grassfed & organic chicken & beef, wild game, and wild caught fish. Some fruits. Organic eggs. Avocadoes, coconut oil, olive oil. Juice & make smoothies. Fermented foods. (We haven;t really incorporated this yet.) Make real food (at home) & avoid anything processed (man made or in a box). Cook with herbs and spices. I think people a lot of the reason people get overwhelmed with how expensive healthy foods are because they’re trying to buy healthy alternatives to junk.

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SO, I’m the first to admit that although I love sticking to a budget, one area I splurge is our food and I’m totally okay with that. I’d much rather pay for quality. A few of the things we do to help though: We love to shop Farmer's Markets/local, choose fruits and veggies in season, & stock up on some things at Costco (like olive oil, quinoa, raw almonds, ground flax, etc.) that are cheaper per unit. Also, check out this post: How to Feed a Family on $125 a Week at WHOLE FOODS

You can also have a garden or some of your own animals if you’re able. We haven’t tackled that yet, but it’s in “the plans.”

**Choose organic when possible, especially for the dirty dozen and meat/dairy.

Wash your hands often with normal soap & warm water. (Scrub for 20 seconds.) Antibacterial soap can be an endocrine disrupter and over time, all of the antibacterial stuff we are using might be developing an immunity to antibiotics (which I try to avoid, but want them to work should we ever truly need them!).

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Drink LOTS of clean water. I cringe when I think about how much “dirty” water I have drank in my lifetime. I try my best to avoid tap and even bottled water if I can help it. We have Berkey water filter and I love it.

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The sad reality is we are flushing so many toxic chemicals down our drains & toilets every day, and many of those things make it right back into our water. Hopefully we’ll have well water at our next house, but even still we will probably put a water filtration system on the entire house. I also recently bought an Aqusauna water bottle to carry around with me so I can drink clean water even when we’re out.

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Speaking of drinking, consume bone broth, apple cider vinegar, & green tea regularly.

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Cleanse regularly. Over time, toxins from our food & environment build up in our systems, making it more difficult for them to function the way they should. A regular cleanse (not TOO often- we shoot for every 90 days- and I don’t cleanse at all when pregnant or nursing because the detox could get to the baby through the placenta or through breast milk.) After a cleanse, your body will absorb nutrients better, your body will flush toxins leaving you more energized, and basically everything works better. We prefer the herbal cleanse because it’s gentle & uneventful, but still very effective. You can literally FEEL the difference after doing a cleanse and following the plan. Jonathan says day 3 is the day on a cleanse when he wakes up with more clarity, focus, energy, & feeling lighter and leaner. He’s actually starting the ALL IN challenge on January 2nd with thousands across the country. I am a little bit jealous because I would love to do a cleanse…but this sweet baby makes it worth the wait!

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Get some good quality vitamin D in every day. I’m talking sunshine, people…there is just no substitute for the real thing. There are so many people who are now deficient in vitamin D, and I think it’s because we all avoid the sun like the plague. I do avoid “tanning” (as in laying in the sun for hours and hours with afro sheen like I used to do back in the day!), but I try to make sure we all get outside for at least a little while every day if possible. I can definitely do better in this area!

When indoors, keep the blinds & curtains open to let in the natural light. We aren’t big sunscreen people either because so much of it is just SO full of chemicals. We just try to avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day & wear a hat/stay in the shade during direct sunlight hours. When we do go to the beach or pool, I use a non-toxic sunscreen. I’m still using the Ava Anderson we stocked up on a while back, but I’ll have to find something new when we run out. Also, it may be worth supplementing too (especially if you’re deficient). Coreplex & Calcium Plus are both a great source, and I love that they are both a multi-faceted approach and have other important vitamins in them that are important for absorption.

Purify the air. Did you know the air INSIDE is significantly more toxic than the air outside? Like 2-10 times more?

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Open the windows every chance you get, get live plants to keep inside, invest in a pink Himalayan salt lamp (we have one in every bedroom and the kitchen and living room- LOVE them! they release negative ions that help purify the air, help neutralize electromagnetic radiation…along with several other benefits you can read about here…oh, and they are also gorgeous & make a perfect nightlight in the boys’ rooms), change the air filters regularly, dust and vacuum often, & consider investing in an air purifier. We plan to have one wired into the HVAC system of our next home.

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Take supplements. I 100% believe vitamins & supplements are an essential part of a healthy diet, and in my own experience I had no idea just how good I COULD feel until I implemented a regimen of quality vitamins (taken at the correct time). I personally use, LOVE, and recommend AdvoCare. If nothing else, I recommend these 6 things: Multivitamin (Coreplex), probiotic (Probiotic Restore Ultra), calcium (Calcium Plus), omega (Omegaplex), amino acids (Catalyst), & turmeric (Turmeric 3D) (not AdvoCare but phenomenal).

Avoid chemicals when you can. This means eliminating pretty much anything with fragrances. (scented candles, scented lotion/perfume, air fresheners, most commercial cleaning products, pesticides, weed killers, laundry detergent/fabric softener, etc.) Take a few minutes to research some of the harmful effects of burning a fragrance candle.  **You can use a soy or beeswax candle or diffuser instead. Also, sometimes I slice an apple and add it to a pot of water with lots of cinnamon on the stove and it smells awesome!

When it comes to cleaning products, I LOVE Norwex! My favorite is their cloths, the dry & wet mop, the dryer balls, & the rug. (I have a friend that can help answer your questions if you don’t know someone who can hook you up.) I also use vinegar + water + essential oils when cleaning bathrooms because I like the smell. (I prefer citrus like orange, grapefruit, & lemon.) I really need to get a glass bottle.

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Take your shoes off at the door. Okay, this is embarrassing to admit, but I remember putting my shoes on the counter one time and honestly thinking nothing of it until Jonathan called me out on how gross it was. He was so right! I had never even really thought about it, but there is literally NO telling what is on the bottom of our shoes! They definitely don’t belong on a counter, but I had never really thought about all that we are tracking in on our floors. Floors my babies crawl and play all over. I know you can’t always help it, but you can do at least do this small thing in your own home. I always thought when people asked you to take your shoes off at the door it was to keep the carpet clean. That is one advantage, but think about all of the germs you’re leaving at the door too! I don’t ask guests to do that (because I think that seems kind of rude), but we have all started ditching our shoes when we first walk into the house.

Use glass instead of paper/plastic/styrofoam & avoid non-stick cookware. I made a switch to glass food storage containers a while back & have been so happy with that. I am working on making some other switches too- like my water bottle. Right now we have mostly been eating off paper plates & it’s driving me crazy, but it’ll do for a while to we get back to our dishes. I also love cooking in cast iron.

Try natural remedies first. Snotty noses, coughs, bugs…those things are still going to happen no matter how healthy you are. Instead of rushing to the doctor for every little ailment, try researching natural remedies first. There are LOTS that WORK! Ask your grandmother- I bet she has some good ones! I give our boys probiotics & vitamins, juice a couple times each week, try to avoid antibiotics & fever reducers or OTC medications, make sure they get plenty of sleep, and take them to the chiropractor regularly. They are pretty healthy, but if they’re under the weather, I get them to drink bone broth (usually have to make it in chicken soup), avoid sugar, have them rest (even if that means they have to watch more tv than normal), elderberry syrup, and make sure they drink plenty of fluids.

If you’re a parent, I highly recommend ordering this book too. It is absolutely NO disrespect to doctors so don’t let the title fool ya…I am so incredibly thankful for the work they do, the knowledge, and their commitment!  I just believe we highly overuse them & overmedicate as a society. (I think they feel pressure from patients because they want something prescribed.)

How to Raise Healthy Children in Spite of Your Doctor

Incorporate essential oils, but do your research first! (Or at least find an “expert” to help you.) I am loving everything I have learned about essential oils and truly believe they are “nature’s medicine cabinet.” But, unfortunately I have read about and seen so many people doing things (or recommending things) that are major no-nos.  (For example, from what I understand, you are not supposed to use peppermint or eucalyptus on babies or small children, and pregnant women should not ingest ANY oils. They also aren’t recommended during the 1st trimester.) I certainly do not pretend to be an expert. In fact, I have been putting off using them because I haven’t been ready to spend the time tackling the research yet, and I have a responsibility to do that before I dive in. So,this is a newer endeavor for me, but I’m loving what I have learned so far. It’s very important to seek out an expert or someone who has some training because there are also specific ways the oils should be used. For example, some oils should be diluted with a carrier oil if being applied topically. Also, know that just like supplements, not all essential oils are not created equally. There are some things that are WORTH paying for when it comes to quality.

Some of the best (in my opinion) are frankincense, myrrh, lemon, thyme, lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, and ginger.

Pray about birth control. Personally, Jonathan and I have decided that I will not take any oral contraceptives, have an IUD, etc. I do think it is a personal decision, but it is not something we agree with. And to be honest, I did NOT pray about it before I started taking it initially to help with my acne. I was told it was hormonal, given some harsh topical creams, and told I should either take BC or Acutane.

Anyway, I stopped taking it in 2012 and will not take it again. There are other ways. It was suggested that we wait at least 2 years between Jase and our next baby to give my body optimal chance to recover from a c-section and give my body the best shot for a successful VBAC. So we did that (without BC) and they are 25 months apart. The shortest time they recommend between babies is about 18 months so your body has time to recover and recoup. (Kade & the next baby will be 20 months apart. Again, without taking birth control.) Ultimately, we trust the Lord & seek HIS timing when it comes to adding to the family… and we trust HIS plans above our own. Children are such a blessing from the Lord!

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Avoid food dyes, GMOs, soy, hydrogenated oils, processed food, aspartame, smoked meats, pork, shrimp (so sad!), & limit dairy, wheat, and sugar. (Again, progress…not perfection.)

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Get moving. Exercise has SO many benefits for the body. Even if you’re not following a specific program, shoot for 15,000-20,000 steps a day. Sound like a lot? Well apparently sitting is the new smoking. Our sedentary lifestyle is killing us. Also, try walking barefoot outside when possible. It’s called “grounding” and is good for you. I tried to let the boys spend plenty of barefoot time outside when it was warmer.

GREENS. We juice a couple times each week, but Jonathan also uses AdvoGreens daily for the probiotics & prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and phytonutrients (from things like spirulina, chlorella, and wheatgrass) that we wouldn’t ordinarily consume in our diet. Loving it! Some of the greens a “detoxifying” (which is a good thing, except when you’re pregnant and nursing) so I’ll start incorporating them in another year or so when I’m done breastfeeding. Till then, I’ll have to just keep eating lots of veggies!

Do your research & pray about decisions concerning vaccines. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Keep vices in check. Nobody is asking you to be perfect or completely give up everything. I mean, who wants to give up ice cream or cookies for life? Nobody! (Well, not me anyway.) But, whatever it is, it HAS to be in moderation. I can’t remember where I heard it (I think it was a sermon), but I heard someone say once that if you can’t lay something down for a month, it’s an addiction. It’s important to know whether something is truly a treat for you, or an addiction that needs to be given up all together.

Deep breathing. Some good ole oxygen is good for the body. Take a minute or two to be intentional about deep breathing every day. I heard one doctor share that they breathe in for 7 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, then exhale for 7 seconds and repeat 7 times. Maybe do some deep breathing at red lights, or even  before bed. This is one of the reasons I love yoga- it causes you to focus on your breath & there is something so relaxing and therapeutic about that.

Take care of your teeth. I think we highly underestimate the importance of good dental health. I’ve heard several doctors suggest getting the mercury out of your mouth & avoiding root canals. Some scientific research suggests a link between the metals/root canals and cancer.

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Also, skip the fluoride. I know you hear one thing from some doctors and dentists (like, you need it), but based on the research I’ve done, we are avoiding it.

READ! Turn the tv off (especially the news!)  & spend some time reading. We like personal growth stuff- marriage, parenting, leadership, business, etc., but read whatever keeps your interest! Reading is one of the BEST  ways to grow- in any area. It is so rewarding! I laugh when people tell me they don’t have time to read, and I remember saying that myself. But the truth is, I wasn’t making it a priority. I’m not telling you to never watch t.v., but maybe track just how much t.v. you watch every day for 7 days. Like, really track it. Multiply that times 4 and see how many productive hours you could add back into your life by simply turning off the t.v. for a month (Not that it all has to be spent reading…but is there anything in your life you feel like you don’t have enough time for? Maybe reprioritizing could help add some time back in to your day.) I am personally a paperback kind of gal and love having a book in my hand so I can highlight and make notes, but I listen to books on Audible every day too (while I am making breakfast, lunch, and dinner and cleaning. Jonathan LOVES listening to books and absorbs a ton that way. He listens in his truck and at the gym.                                                                                                        

Create a new morning routine. From Ty Bollinger…“Let’s be frank − there’s an overabundance of information out there about what we “should” do. You can spend your whole day reading blogs and articles about what this guru says or that doctor suggests.  But there’s only one thing that really matters… how much of it you’re able to actually put it into practice. Simple as that. Information is useless until it turns into action. So if we know what we’re supposed to be doing, why aren’t we doing it? The hardest part for almost everyone is just knowing where to start. (Much less to maintain the New Year’s Resolutions we say we’re going to do.)With that in mind, I want to give you the secret… The #1 thing you need to change to make all of this work…It’s your daily habits. Specifically, your morning routine.”

So much truth! I love my morning routine, and it consists of quite a bit. Every morning I drink 1/2 Spark + Rehydrate, some bone broth, and a warm lemon + ginger water. I take my morning supplements (Catalyst, Probiotics, Calcium, & Turmeric) with a big glass of (clean) water and then spend about 20-25 minutes doing Bible study (BSF). I cook breakfast for the boys & myself and go get them up so we can all enjoy breakfast together. Typically I make scrambled eggs with avocado (& pink Himalayan salt + fresh pepper) and salsa, OR boiled eggs, + either cinnamon raisin toast, Ezekiel toast with peanut butter, or oatmeal (made with quick cooking oats, ground flax, chia seeds, Himalayan salt, & sliced almonds). The boys also take their vitamins and either drink a homemade lemonade (& I put their probitoics in it) or milk (Kade drinks almond milk) with chocolate Amazing Grass (greens powder) for kids. I listen to an audio book while I’m cooking and cleaning up afterwards. We do protein pancakes or french toast on the weekends as a treat. I have it down to a science and it takes 7-8 minutes.

Spend time with people you love, doing things you love, & think POSITIVELY. I know life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows (or grapes and lollipops as Jon says), but if you’re intentional about this, life will be filled with more JOY.

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FORGIVE!! Heal emotional wounds. This is very much a spiritual thing for me, but growing in my walk with the Lord, studying Scriptures, and praying has helped me be emotionally healthy. Hanging on to bitterness and unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It affects you the worst, and God CALLS us to forgive.

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Everything from here down on this post is from Jennifer Hankey - The Green Queen. This is all of her info & opinions and nothing of my own(she sent some resources over to a group I attend and they e-mailed it out to everyone. I asked for permission to post because she’s got some great stuff in here that I thought was worth passing along.) All of the resources & product recommendations are hers too. Here is a link to her site: http://www.thegreenqueen.com/

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RESOURCES!

Here are some great resources and websites where you can learn more and get a less toxic home! Share with friends and family who may not understand why you are learning and making changes!

Where you can download our Healthy Snacks and Lunch Guides for free!

HEALTHY GREEN SCHOOLS http://healthygreenschools.com/recipe

http://www.healthygreenproducts.net

HEALTHY FOOD EXCHANGE

Here is the website where you can download our healthy snacks and lunch guides for free! You can also order here as well.

HEALTHY GREEN SCHOOLS BOOK

Where to look up the toxicity of your personal care products and search for safer brands

The SKIN DEEP DATABASE

This is a good site for the safety of your appliances and other home goods. They don’t take into account many chemicals of concern for personal care so I don’t use this guide for those products

The GoodGuide

Search to find out how toxic your cleaners are and what health issues are linked to each!

The EWG CLEANERS DATABASE

CLEANERS HALL OF SHAME (IN FULL)

Learn more about the chemicals in our environment

An overview

These chemicals are getting into our bodies and the bodies of our children

287 Chemicals found in the cord blood of newborns

More Info:

American Academy of Pediatrics calls for safer chemicals

All the statistics I spoke about can be found here

Foods:

AAP calls for reducing pesticides for children

How to do this? Start with the CLEAN 15 and THE DIRTY DOZEN

AAP links pesticides and ADHD

WATCH THIS 2 MINUTE VIDEO BY CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA. It could change your life.

WATCH THIS TRAILER! Learn about GMOs in 10 short minutes

Learn about GMOs in the full documentary

New chart showing use of Roundup (sprayed on GMOs and autism) Correlation is not causation but this is compelling

Want to avoid GMOs? Check out the NON GMO SHOPPING GUIDE!

Here are some other great documentaries I recommend! I recommend in this order too!

WATCH THIS TRAILER! FOOD INC (A MUST WATCH!!! This is a trailer..available on Netflix)

FED UP

SUPERSIZE ME

GMO OMG

FORKS OVER KNIVES

Here are some great books to read!

WHEAT BELLY

GRAIN BRAIN

FOOD POLITICS

IT STARTS WITH FOOD

If you or someone you know suffers from asthma, allergies, eczema, autism this is a MUST READ! This has been a life-changing book for me and my daughter. It teaches you how to heal allergies, asthma, eczema…

THE GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME

More great book ideas

Thanks again! Let me know how I can help you in your quest for better help in your school!

Feel free to email me anytime at Jennifer@healthygreenschools.com


PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS

Here are some great companies and brands to look for! Most are available on AMAZON, some in Whole Foods or Target (CA Baby) and some only on their sites! I have spent the better part of 4 years doing nothing but researching ingredients and testing products to see if they work! Here is a cheat sheet! You can check out my product recommendations to just click on links to www.organicbabyuniversity.com

· Get the toxins out of your LAWN!- Simply Organic Turfcare but you will have to keep up with your own weeds and use acidic vinegar because ALL lawncare services currently in Atlants use toxic weed control. Even the “organic” ones.

· Best Air Purifiers- Austin Air (remove flame retardants and toxic gasses in the air), or for a splurge IQAir

· Best Vaccuums to remove toxins- HEPA FILTERS such as Oreck

· Best baby care lines- Earth Mama Angel Baby (everything!! MY FAVORITE), California Baby (sunscreen and tea tree shampoo to prevent lice), Badger Balm (everything), Everyday Shea (bubble bath and shampoo ONLY), Poofy Organics (everything)

· Best soaps-Dr Bronners, Plantlife, Zum, Poofy Organics, Vermont Soap

· Best bath care for mom- Plantlife, Zum, Poofy Organics

· Best shampoos/ conditioners for mom- John Masters and Just Natural Organics

· Best place for non-toxic mom care and makeups- www.saffronrouge.com

· Best non-toxic makeup- Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques, Rejuva Minerals, Dr Hauschka (some…check database for safety of specific products)

· Best Lotions for mom- St Francis Organics or Just Natural Organics, Poofy Organics, Solay Wellness is my new favoriate!!

· Best Anti-aging/ Acne care for mom- Just Natural Organics or Be Natural Organics, Solay

· Best Sunscreens-Badger Balm, California baby

· Best deodorant (THAT WORKS!! Works better than traditional!!) Solay, Miessence, Poofy Organics

· Best Feminine care- Maxim Hygiene or Naturecare- moms don’t think about this but it is very important as traditional brands contain HIGHLY toxic ingredients

· Best Nailpolish- Poofy Organics

· Best thing for eczema- find out the food allergies! Most is caused by a DAIRY ALLERGY! I use Nubian Heritage Organics Shea butter with Tea Tree oil and Lemongrass IN THE TUB ONLY. After 100 creams it is the best I have found. I know a lot about this so let me know if you have questions

· Best non-toxic toys- www.childtrek.com(you can set up wishlists for birthdays and Christmas etc), Green Toys, Landmark Maple

· Best Baby Wipes- #1 is Jackson Reece, Earth’s Best and Natural Value

· Best car seat (FOR TOXINS-probably Diono Storm or Radian versions or Clek Foonf…all are pretty toxic)

· Best clothes- Sage creek organics, Hanna Andersson, best is anything GOTS certified, second best is Oeko-Tek certified

· Best stroller- American brands. Most European brands are coated with flame retardants, NONE with ANY FOAM. There is a new trend to add flame retardants to strollers. ANY with foam will have flame retardants.

· Best organic bedding and mattresses- Holy Lamb Organics, Naturepedic, Lifekind

· Best Dish Detergent- BioKleen

· Laundry Detergent- Greenshield, Healthy Green Schools brand, Yoreganics.com has the best stain removers and bleach alternatives!

· Best Cleaners-Greenshield, Healthy Green Schools brand (available at the end of the month)

· Best Bug Control- Ecosmart (providers that use this are Stinger, Atlanta Environmental, On Target, North Fulton, DIY use EcoSmart and google bug cookies to kill cockroaches..these will kill for 6 months or more and work!, Mosquito Barrier (mosquitobarrier.com), termites (diamascous earth) or for a service www.thegreenqueen.com

· Best Green Cleaning for the home- www.thegreenqueen.com

· Best Carpet Cleaning: Dirtblasters http://dirtblasters.com

· Best Water Filters- www.friendsofwater.com

· Best Meats-http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok

· Best Fresh Local Veggies, Dairy etc- (other than farmers markets) http://www.naturesgardendelivered.com if you are one of my schools be sure to order once your school has started the CSA! DO NOT ORDER BEFORE because you can earn money for your school!

· Best Formula-Baby’s Only

· Best Baby Food- (Make your own with a baby pureer) Yummy Spoonfulls

5 comments:

Alicia said...

This is great! Thank you so much for posting.

I am curious which diapers you use for your babies? I feel like I've gotten in a bad habit there, and looking at making a switch.

Erin said...

After reading about your lifestyle, i'm surprised you aren't all about Home Birth as well. Come to the dark side!! ;) Just kidding, it's not dark. :) It's AMAZING and INSANELY safer than a hospital birth, with the proper care from a midwife, of course.

Elizabeth Price said...

Have you ever heard of melaleuca? I'd be curious of your thoughts about the company. A lot of people here in Kentucky use it and advocare simultaneously. Their cleaning products (particularly soluguard) is the only natural cleaner to kill MRSA. So safe and effective.
I don't sell it, it doesn't work that way.
I enjoy your posts and particularly liked this one. You put a lot of thought and work into it. Thank you.

Lori Alexander said...

Great, informative, and thorough article, Danielle! It's easy to make homemade bone broth. I make it all the time for soups and it makes the soups so much more delicious!

Have you tried the Norwex body cloth? It has become my favorite thing! It's so soft and I wash my face with it every night with just water! It's great.

When we stay in WI, we have well water and we tested it and it's clean of any toxins and bad bacteria but higher in iron and alkalinity which I find interesting since most women are iron deficiency. We drink it right from the tap!

Frankincense is the king of essential oils! It is expensive but wonderful. I have stopped ingesting any of them, however, since I believe they are just too strong and concentrated for the digestive tract.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Frankincense is the reigning champ of EOs. Couldn't agree more. And speaking of face cloths, I just ordered a 10 pk of muslin cloths (w/pre-stitched edges) for my face and for a DIY dryer sheet project (to which I have added Frankincense) after hearing some dryer sheets release dangerous fumes, like formaldehyde! No thanks! I'm guessing this may have contributed to a sensitive respiratory tract. :(

Also using Rejuva Minerals makeup now b/c of those sensitivities and others. Their stuff is very clean and verified by EWG.org. Makes me feel better! Love the foundation. All of the ingredients are naturally derived and certified organic too. Bonus! :D

Thanks for sharing your ideas and goals in a 'judgement free' manner! It was very refreshing, informative AND entertaining :)