DIY Natural Alternative for Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap

how to make hand soap

Since school has been out my children have been playing outside in the backyard non-stop. They’ve been digging in the dirt, making mud pies, watering the gardens, and playing with our chickens, so as you can imagine, it’s pretty dirty. I’ll put it this way, there has been a lot of hand washing going on in my house lately.

Almost everywhere you go these days you’ll see anti-bacterial hand wash in the bathroom. I’m talking about the commercial products with synthetic anti-bacterial chemicals like triclosan. Triclosan is polluting our water and damaging aquatic life. It’s been discovered that it alters hormone regulation in animals (and possibly in humans) and may be a contributing factor to the newly forming superbugs. Even the FDA has stated on it’s website that there is a possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

The overuse of chemicals like triclosan is bad for the earth and the life it supports. Each time these products are used it contributes just a little bit more to the pollution and the ever expanding superbugs. In  my opinion, it should be outlawed, but government agencies still claim there isn’t enough evidence to say it should be avoided.

So What Can Informed Consumers, like you and I, Do?

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How Safe is Your Kid’s Sunscreen? The New List of Brands to Avoid.

how safe is your kids suncreenOn the topic of sunscreens, first I always like to talk about how they are generally overused. This overuse is a detriment to our health. The primary reason for this is that sunscreens block the absorption of Vitamin D which is a widespread deficiency in the United States. We’ve been brainwashed to fear the sun and to protect our kids from it at all costs. This philosophy should be questioned.

This article is worth a read. It cites some studies and articles that propose sunscreen is causing much more harm then we realize. It states that lack of vitamin D can actually be a cause of a very aggressive type of skin cancer. This is the exact opposite to popular belief.

Not only do sunscreens inhibit our ability to create Vitamin D, but many of them contain unfavorable ingredients that can cause health problems. Slathering our bodies with lotions that contain questionable chemicals isn’t the answer to avoiding cancer, in reality it could potentially be a cause.

With all of this being said, there are people with very fair skin, and times when minimal use of sunscreen is needed. I personally avoid the use of sunscreen unless we will be in direct sun with exposed skin for many hours. When you do use sunscreen, be sure it is a safe and natural option.Continue Reading

Two Ways to Make Your Own Healthy Perfume

two ways to make healthy perfume

If you’ve ever worked in an office full of women who are really into fashion, beauty, and trends (like I have) then you know how it feels to spend your day breathing in a variety of different perfumes and fragrances. It can be nauseating. Honestly, it only takes one person in a small enclosed space who layers on the perfume to make it unbearable.

The reason isn’t because it smells bad (although some of them do smell really bad) it’s because of how the fragrances make us feel. Headaches, dizziness, and a feeling of being light-headed are common reactions as well as nausea, fatigue and irritability. These are all reactions to the synthetic cocktail you’ll find in popular fragrance products.

The truth is that fragrance makers do not have to disclose what they use in their product. They can use virtually any chemical and do not have to put it on the label. When you purchase a fragrance, it could contain any number of the 3,100 or so stock chemical ingredients used by the fragrance industry. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, explains:Continue Reading

The Sneaky Way I Get My Kids to Eat Kale

the sneaky way i get my kids to eat kale

Generally, my children eat well. I’ve been putting vegetables on their plates ever since they started solid foods. Sometimes they eat them all, sometimes they don’t. Most of the time they will choose to eat the other items on their plates first and then get around to the veggies afterwards. Like most Moms, from time to time I wonder if they get enough.

Kale is one of those vegetables that’s not easy to get kids to eat. First, it’s green and then it’s bitter. I love kale, but for a kid it’s not always an easy sell. Kids certainly don’t care that kale is the newest trendy veggie either. Five years ago, I never saw kale on the menu at a restaurant but now there is a kale salad at every new restaurant in New York City.

The reason why I buy kale every week isn’t because it’s trendy. Continue Reading

How to Talk to Your Friends About Natural Living Without Being Pushy

how to talk to you friends about healthy living without being pushy

Years ago when I first learned about how the USDA’s food pyramid guidelines were created based on making money for certain types of crops and not based on optimal health for the American people, I was furious. Good nutrition is actually pretty simple but public nutrition policy is heavily dictated by a corporate agenda to maximize profits. I heard those words and my jaw dropped. It was the first time I fully understood the statement – Question what you are told.

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Essential Oils That Help Keep the Bugs Away

essential oils that keep the bugs away

As soon as the first sunny Spring day hit, my kids have been outside. When we get home school, they run right into the backyard without even coming inside. My biggest struggle has been just getting them to come in and eat dinner! I absolutely love that they like to play outside. Some of my best memories from childhood are from those warm summer evenings when all of the neighborhood kids were running around until our parents made us come in to go to bed.

Of course as a kid, I never worried about a thing. Bug bites happened but they seemed to be a minor annoyance that came along with all of the fun we were having. Being on the other side now as a parent, I’m glad they are having fun, but I do get concerned about the bugs.

My daughter especially reacts quite strongly to bites. They swell up and become large itchy bumps for a week or better (the best remedy for that has been tea tree oil or my handmade salve). They bother her to the point where sometimes it disturbs her sleep. Not only are they itchy and annoying but we have diseases, like West Nile Virus, to worry about too.

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