If you are like me, you are trying to balance a greener living and eating a healthier diet. I want to reduce the toxin load on my body and my family’s which may be directly related to cancers, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases and illnesses. This is sometimes easier said than done. We are a family of 5 and can’t always afford organic in the volume of food we need each week. My trips to the grocery store have become longer as I focus on labels and ingredients and not just buying what we want or like. It also has to be affordable and my kids have to like it which makes buying groceries increasingly complex.
I am sharing a list of five things that are important to me when I buy for my family. These are items I rarely compromise on and that are very easy and affordable for everyone. It will help you reduce toxin exposure and give a nutritious boost to your family’s diet.
Choose Soaps, Shampoos and Bubble Bath Very Carefully
This is a very important one, especially for babies who soak in baths for a long time. Their skin will absorb toxins that they are exposed to in the bath water so if possible purchase natural or organic body products. Read the labels though as labels can be very misleading. There are some great products on the market now that are free of toxins and cost less than the most popular (and much more toxic) baby brands. Organic is best but definitely avoid Phthalates Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Parabens and PEGs whenever possible.
Everyone loves Popcorn
Popcorn is popular snack around here. Buy corn kernels in bulk (even better, look for non-gmo or organic) and organic coconut oil for popping it. At first it may seem expensive but both will last a long time and provide many nutritional benefits. Go old school and use a pot on the stove. You really do want to avoid microwave popcorn since many brands contain partially hydrogenated oil which is a source of trans fat and microwaving any food may alter its molecular structure.
Hormone and Antibiotic-Free Meats
Whenever possible purchase more natural GROUND meats especially for tacos or spaghetti sauce. Natural ground meat often is priced similarly to the conventional meat. Be aware that when buying deli meats “natural” can be even higher in sodium and may still contain nitrates even when the label implies that it is free of nitrates. “Cultured celery extract,” a form of sodium nitrate. “People think its natural, but it’s not,” says registered dietitian Shauna Lindzon in an article this year appearing in The Star.
If Your Child Loves It, Buy Organic
Carrots and apples are often the favorite healthy snacks around here so if they are going to eat a lot of them, it’s worth it to spend a bit more on organic and avoid the pesticides. Most big chain grocery stores have organic brands that are priced similarly (and even cheaper sometimes) than conventionally grown produce. This is a very easy choice that has health and environmental benefits.
Nutritional Boosts for the Family
We add flax and/or chia are added to most muffins and smoothies for a boost of omega oils and fiber. Make sure to use ground, not whole flax and chia, as the seed can pass through your system without providing the benefits of omegas if not ground. Try to eat fruits and veggies raw. Just heating natural foods may lessen the nutritional value of the food and it’s much easier to prepare when no cooking is required—that’s right moms, NO COOKING!!! (you’re welcome).