Invest in houseplants to improve indoor air quality at home (and/or at work). The more plants you have in your home, the healthier the air you breathe will be. Given the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) seeping from paint and carpet, and off-gassing from furniture (especially in baby’s nursery), it helps to have plants working for you to combat these toxic gases. It doesn’t take a lot—one study found that small groups of Janet Craig (that’s actually the name of a plant) and sweet chico plants placed in indoor spaces reduced levels of certain gases up to 75 percent. That seems like a no-brainer. Plus, they look nice.
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Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation and is the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of the herbicide glyphosate, which it markets under the Roundup brand. They also brought us the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST, the hormone we are all trying to avoid in our milk and cheese products). They have also introduced “biological patents” in which they patent their seeds (seeds that have been engineered to produce sterile plants) which is a direct conflict with customary practices of farmers to save, reuse, share and develop plant varieties. They have extremely powerful lobbyists in Washington. Monsanto controls much of the world’s food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide; and whether you know it or not, Monsanto most likely added chemicals or GMOs to the food you ate today…and fed your children.
Anyone see a problem with the revolving door as indicated below?
Our kids love rice pudding for dessert (when we actually offer a sugary dessert) and we can feel good about the calcium boost and some extra calories after super active days. This is wholesome and delicious for the entire family.
Cardamom Spiced Red Rice Pudding
Please try to use all organic ingredients:
2 cups cooked Red Jasmine Rice (we used Whole Trade Alter Eco Coral Red Jasmine Rice)
2 cups milk (we used organic Vitamin D milk)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar (recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but I used less and it was still delicious)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup raisins (optional, but we love it with raisins)
Place cooked rice in a saucepan and add milk. Heat to boiling. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, covered 20-25 minutes or until milk is mostly absorbed. Increase heat to medium, add cream, sugar, vanilla, cardamom and raisins (if desired). Continue to cook until the mixture just begins to thicken again, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to individual serving dishes. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature.
Recipe Source: Whole Foods
PARTY TIME! I promise you will never buy another store bought cake again after baking this ridiculously easy, beautiful, and delicious birthday cake. People will swoon. Not a crumb will be left.
Since many genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) are found in most store-bought confectionery items, I have found that baking a cake for your child’s birthday is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at baking (or to perfect your already awesome baking skills). Here are some of the icky ingredients you will find in store-bought cakes and pastries: partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (transfats), corn syrup (GMO), corn starch (GMO), probably non-organic dairy products like milk and butter (or buttermilk), eggs, artificial coloring, and other chemical food additives. So, now you get to take control and make a “healthy” cake filled with carefully chosen ingredients (and by “healthy,” I am referring to the quality of the ingredients – organic and non-GMO – but this recipe still includes white sugar and white flour). Not to mention, there is a lot of pride associated with baking your own cake. You can let your little one decorate it…now THAT is fun.
This yellow layer cake is divine. It’s moist, flavorful, and I’ve yet to screw it up (having made it 5+ times already this year).
BEST YELLOW CAKE RECIPE (please try to use all organic ingredients):
A Smitten Kitchen Recipe
Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake Read all »
Ditch plastic this summer, and cool off with popsicles made in these Onyx stainless steel molds; BPA-free & phthalate-free. We made a batch of kale and strawberry smoothies today and froze them in these beauties. They are not cheap, but they are a summer investment and they should last forever. The only thing you need to continue to buy are the wooden popsicle sticks. These appear to be a better alternative to silicone, which is still a synthetic polymer. Give this kale smoothie recipe a try!
*Update: We found a CHEAPER version with a far better design.
Here is a list of 20 ingredients to memorize and avoid in food you consume or feed your kids. It certainly requires more planning, cooking, keeping a well-stocked kitchen, and packing your own food for outings. But, once you start, you’ll never go back.
It can be overwhelming at first until you get the knack of reading all labels and understanding what to avoid. Then, it actually becomes empowering!
Bringing it back to simple, fresh, wholesome ingredients is fun and delicious. It definitely takes more planning, and it helps to have a healthy-stocked kitchen. Start by cleaning out your own kitchen and purging all processed foods. Then, replace your cooking oils (especially canola), soy sauce, chocolate, coffee, tortillas, dairy products, fruits/veg, poultry with their organic alternatives – it doesn’t have to be all in one day/week/or even month. Give yourself room to breathe and digest it.
Read labels and avoid anything with soy/corn/canola in the ingredients (unless it’s organic); those are usually genetically modified and they are in 80% or more of the food products you buy. Don’t stress out – keep it simple, and continue to learn as you go. Every day that you eat “clean” helps rid the body of the icky toxins; a mini detox. There are cost-effective ways of buying organic as well – frozen and dried. Try an organic CSA farm box. Baby steps…each one helps.
The following is an article that outlines 20 important ingredients to avoid: Read all »
A kiss from your 3-year old. Time stops. Nothing else matters. This is the most important moment in the world…
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~Rajneesh
Image Credit: Carlie Statsky
As we know, it’s not just about a non-toxic diet, it’s about a non-toxic lifestyle and reducing your family’s chemical burden from everyday (seemingly safe) products. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families published an INCREDIBLE GUIDE to help you reduce your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals. They have broken down something otherwise quite overwhelming into easily digestible bites for parents to take action. They provide the name of the lurking chemical, where it is commonly found, the potential health effects, and tips to avoid it. The “Mind the Store” campaign is terrific and I hope we all get to benefit from the results: top 10 big retailers taking toxic chemicals out of their products, so parents don’t have to do CIA detective work every time we go shopping. There are 4 more days to have our voices heard, so be sure to add your name, too. Here is the first chemical featured, and the link below provides more.
By, Safer Chemcials, Healthy Families
This pesticide (yes, we said pesticide) is a hormone disruptor found in thousands of products like toothpaste, cutting boards, yoga mats, hand soap, and cosmetics. It can also encourage the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, and has been found in waterways and human breast milk. Read all »
Desitin Diaper Rash Cream, #1 choice of pediatricians and moms; practically ubiquitous in nurseries. How disappointing: This cream contains Methylparaben and Propylparaben, two hormone-disrupting chemicals (parabens) as well as an unidentified “fragrance” which most likely contains harmful phthalates (plasticizers that can affect the reproductive system). Opt for a non-chemical brand, such as Earth’s Best Diaper Cream. Keep those cute little bums safe!
Image Source: Google Images
A fun way to encourage your toddler to eat a variety of foods (different colors, especially green!) is to talk about “eating a rainbow” everyday. I ask my daughter what colors of the rainbow she has eaten, and what colors we need to add to complete our rainbow. Do we need to add blueberries to make sure we get blue? An avocado for green? An apple for red? Beets for purple? It makes it fun and she can take ownership of eating many healthy colors throughout the day. Draw or paint a picture of a rainbow and tape it up in your kitchen for reference. Have fun with it!