healthy home

Five Things I'm Loving Now--November 2018

I love “top five” lists—how about you? I peruse Pinterest, blogs and other sites all the time to learn about new products, pick up tips for a healthier household, and ideas to make life easier. I thought it might be fun to make my own top five list, and who knows, maybe there’s something here that will resonate with you. If so, I’d love to hear from you!

  1. Thieves Wipes from Young Living. I keep a box of these on my desk at work, and once a week at minimum, wipe down my phone, keyboard, and desk. There are several versions of the story about the origin of Thieves oil, but the most common version goes back to the 15th century and the Bubonic plague. The story is that a marauding pack of thieves went from house to house stealing from the recently departed, and they lived through their criminal spree because they wore masks that were treated with a mixture of herbs, spices and oils that prevented them from being afflicted with the plague. I don’t think there’s an actual plague in my office, but clean surfaces and the great smell—I’ll take it!

  2. The Babbel app. I’m having fun with this, trying to learn enough Italian to at least get me through an upcoming trip with a better handle on basic things like money, ordering food, and asking for and understanding directions. Oh I know, almost everyone in Italy speaks at least a little English, but why not try to meet halfway. I tried another language app previously, but I never found much use for the phrase “The horse drinks the water”. Babbel actually includes phrases I will use, like “Io vorrei un vino rosso”. I mean, let the horse have the water—I want red wine!

  3. My Pocketopia capris from Skirt Sports. Love, love, love these! Why? They have totally eliminated my need for a waist or arm belt when I run. A pocket on the outside of each leg, plus a zipper pouch on the back, a key pocket on the waistband, super-soft compressive fabric and the high waist make this one of my favorite bottoms. I have three pairs of them! Phone in the leg pocket, ID in the zip pouch, key on the waist and I am good to go! I have a growing wardrobe of Skirt Sports products, but the Pocketopia is definitely a fave. If you order from Skirt Sports, just tell them I sent you with the discount code 1232Joyc on your order.

  4. Body Lotion from Life’s Abundance. I’m a Life’s Abundance rep, so it’s probably no surprise that a Life’s Abundance product will make a top five list for me, anytime. I’m especially loving the body lotion right now, and eager to see its effect on my skin as we head into the winter season. This all-organic lotion is thick and creamy, without being greasy. Greasiness is probably my biggest complaint about lotions. This absorbs quickly, but leaves my skin feeling really soft.

  5. The Fresh 20 Meal Planning Service. If, like me, you enjoy cooking but occasionally run out of ideas for healthy, do-able meals, you may like this too. I don’t follow it to the letter—sometimes substitutions are necessary because hubby doesn’t like certain foods, or we have farm share veggies to use up—but it’s a great source of basic planning. Plus, if you don’t love what’s on the weekly plan, there are searchable archives (by season, by ingredient, etc.) so you can explore recipes. To me, this is way better than a delivered meal service because I control what goes into it—e.g. local ingredients, controlled salt—and it adds some new things to the repertoire, and it’s budget-friendly. If you think The Fresh 20 is for you, you can check it out here.

That’s my November list. We’ll see what’s floating my boat in December!

8 Things You Can Do To Make A Healthier Home

When you say "healthy lifestyle", most people will automatically think that you're talking about what you eat or what you do for exercise. But healthy living doesn't start and end with diet and exercise! We spend a lot of time in our homes (ok, sometimes it seems like not enough, but...) so shouldn't we pay just as much attention to what's happening there on an everyday basis? These are just 8 of many simple things you can do to make your home healthier, and maybe make yourself healthier and happier in the process.

  1. Replace your non-stick cookware with cast iron, stainless steel or glass. If you're stuck with non-stick, be careful not to overheat it, which releases toxic fumes. 
  2. Opt for glass over plastic for containing food or leftovers. Never microwave food in plastic containers.
  3. Kick the habit of drinking bottled water. For water on-the-go, get a reusable water bottle that's glass or stainless steel, not plastic. Plain water not your thing? Choose a healthy water enhancer, like Minerals & Antioxidants from Life's Abundance. 
  4. Limit canned foods, cooking with fresh or frozen whenever possible. Why? Most food cans are lined with BPA, a toxic chemical that leaches into food.
  5. Stop using air freshener! Most contain a number of toxic chemicals that contaminate the air you're breathing. Opt instead for diffusing a natural essential oil to clean and freshen the air.
  6. Choose fragrance-free personal care products. It's hard to know what's in a product if it's vaguely labeled "fragrance", so it's always safer to choose products that are fragrance-free.
  7. Clean with non-toxic products. Most homes can be cleaned with a few non-toxic ingredients, like vinegar, baking soda, water, a HEPA vacuum, microfiber mops and cloths, and some elbow grease. A great multi-purpose, kid-friendly, pet-safe cleaner is the Bio-Base Floorwash Concentrate from Life's Abundance. 
  8. Try non-toxic alternatives to pesticides or insecticides. As a household that struggles with weeds, this is probably one of the hardest for us. But ultimately, we've decided we'd rather live with the weeds and do our best to control them naturally than to expose ourselves to the toxicity of commercially-produced weed and bug killers. 

Your home should be your safe haven....the place you retreat to at the end of a long workday, a place that feels comfortable and that invites rest. With some fairly simple steps like these, you can improve not only the health of your home, but your own longterm health. Here's to healthier, non-toxic living!