Do you have grass in your backyard? If so, is it treated with pesticides? If you have kids playing in the grass, or babies crawling on it with their hands (that subsequently go into their mouths), consider asking the person who cares for your lawn to stop treating it with chemicals (you, spouse, friend, gardener?). This will also greatly reduce the amount of pesticides tracked into your house on the bottom of shoes or little feet. It is amazing what you can learn by just asking the question. If you don’t specify “no pesticides,” the default will most likely be that your grass is treated with chemicals. Our own lawn is a case in point; it was years before I asked the question. I cringe when I think about my children playing on it. As a side note, we have had no brown spots since we stopped treating our lawn and it looks beautiful. Seems as if we didn’t need those nasty pesticides in the first place. Scientific evidence shows that contact with these chemicals is not healthy for your little ones and has been linked to adverse long-term health effects.
Image credit: martinan / 123RF Stock Photo
Spent a glorious summer morning in the garden with the kids. As a first time gardener, it is so incredibly gratifying to go outside everyday and harvest these beauties. The kids love it and the amount of vegetables eaten along the way is incredible. There is something very special about watching a 3-year old and 1-year old grab kale leaves and nibble on them as we go about our morning harvest. I am absolutely hooked! How does your garden grow? #tinytotgardeners #newfamilyritual
By guest author and friend, Katrina Loop. Katrina is a yoga instructor, nutritionist, physiotherapist, health & wellness expert and founder of Honey Health.Nutrition.Yoga based in Sydney, Australia.
Clean Eating – What exactly is it, and why should I eat clean?
Chances are you have heard people throwing around the words “clean eating,” but maybe you are not really sure what it is or why you should bother eating clean. If this is you, read on. If you already know the low-down on eating clean but you would like a fresh recipe idea, just skip to Honey’s recipe section to check out the featured “Clean eating chicken salad” recipe. I cooked up this little number the other night and it went down a treat!
What exactly is “clean eating”?
Clean eating is about consuming food as close to its natural state as possible. It is not a fad diet or a quick fix and it does not require calculations of any kind. It is very easy to adopt (so you can breathe a sigh of relief!). Clean eating is a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation that if adopted will help you on your journey to improved well-being through nutrition. Read all »
SOME TIPS TO HELP NAVIGATE THE WORLD OF SUNSCREEN AND HOW TO AVOID TOXIC CHEMICALS
We are deep into summer now, which typically correlates to ample pool and/or beach time with the kiddos and LOTS of sunscreen. We love summer and have been spending as much time as possible outside – in the garden, going to the pool, hiking, frolicking at the beach, or just playing outdoors.
We generously slather sunscreen onto our kids’ sensitive skin with the intent of protecting it from the sun. One would think that it would be as easy as walking into a store and buying a sunscreen marketed specifically for kids and that these products are seemingly safe. Alas, we live in a day and age where food products marketed to kids are filled with high fructose corn syrup and artificial food coloring, and sunscreens marketed for kids are laden with carcinogenic chemicals. The onus falls on us, as parents, to do the CIA-like detective work and make our own educated choices about what we are feeding our kids and what products we are using on their bodies during a critical time of development for their brain and organs.
Given that skin is our largest organ and that it acts as a giant sponge to any products we apply to it, it is a good practice to avoid putting chemicals on our body that will subsequently be absorbed into our bloodstream. In your quest to protect skin from the sun, arm yourself with the knowledge of how to spot lurking toxic chemicals, which unfortunately are found in most conventional sunscreens; many of which are household names such as the ubiquitous Water Babies or Coppertone Kids Spray, both of which fall into the Hall of Shame for safe sunscreens. Read all »
We love taking a dip in the pool on a hot summer day, but we don’t love the all of the chlorine and chemicals in public pools. Chlorine has been associated with a number of adverse health effects, including asthma. “A 2006 Belgian study showed that use of indoor chlorine pools especially by children younger than 7 promotes the development of childhood asthma. More disturbing still, the researchers found that the kids who swam most frequently had proteins associated with increased risk of asthma at levels similar to those found in regular smokers.”
Here are two EASY ways to mitigate chlorine absorption for kids, because we certainly are not going to skip the pool!
1. Coconut oil protection: Apply a thin layer of organic coconut oil to your child’s skin (and hair) before swimming. This layer will provide a barrier between the chlorine and skin, decreasing exposure and the amount of chlorine that will be absorbed. It also acts as a natural sunscreen (SPF 4), although you should still use a non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen as well. Badger makes a great non-toxic sunscreen for kids that does not contain any hormone disruptors (often found in conventional sunscreens). Coconut oil also acts as a moisturizer for your skin. We keep a big tub of it in the kitchen for both cooking and for a pre-pool slather.
2. Rinse before and after: Dry skin and hair are more absorbent than when wet. Rinse with non-chlorinated water prior to swimming to lessen the amount of the element that can be absorbed. Rinse off when you are done to remove the chlorinated water left on your skin.
If you have the choice, opt for an outdoor pool versus indoor swimming.
We hope you are enjoying summer!
Image source: BlueOrange Studio (123RF)
Easy superfood snack idea for tots: soak a cup of dried organic goji berries in hot water to soften, let cool for 2 minutes, and serve up as a finger food (you can cut them in half for babies). Goji berries can be purchased in bulk at Whole Foods or your local health food store or they can be ordered online. They are rich in powerful antioxidants and vitamin A. The goji berry is also called the wolfberry. It is a bright red berry that comes from a shrub native to China and has been eaten in Asia for generations for its health benefits. Also delicious to drop a handful into a mug of hot lemon water.
Image Credit: Mark Uliasz (123rf)
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