Organic Living, REAL FOOD

The problem with learning…

is that it entails change.

As I started learning more about what is really in the food at the grocery store, actually reading the ingredients, not just how many calories or fat grams, it caused me to change. I remember my first grocery trip after learning to really decode ingredient labels, I felt like an alien. Like I was in a movie where everyone was walking around like zombies mindlessly putting things in their cart and I managed to break free of the trance. Only problem was I walked out of the store with less than 10 items because I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything that had ingredients I now knew were not good for me (or more importantly, my children).

(Fortunately I soon discovered Harmon’s just down the street- where organic food has it’s very own section, so now shopping is relatively blissful- well minus the three rambunctious boys).

As I discovered other “weirdo’s” I started to learn more about how our man-made environment is causing our health problems such as ADHD, Austism and Cancer. It seems that most of the wonderful things scientists have created were implemented quickly and now the negative effects are starting to emerge. Now that I know more, I must change more. Change is not only often unpleasant, it’s expensive.

Here are a few things I’ve started changing or plan to change (most of these things I won’t start until we move in 6 months). {warning} if you don’t like change, you should stop reading now.

If you like change, then keep reading because I have a great list of articles that outline the specific chemicals that are in our food and home and what you can replace them with.

Sunscreen: I am a believer in sunscreen. I come from a long line of redheads who never wore sunscreen and who have skin cancer. I do not want my kids to have skin cancer. I use sunscreen religiously. However…I have read some disturbing things like this and this which have caused me to change and use a more natural sunscreen now. I will be ordering this Kabana organic sunscreen to protect my family.

Plastics: YIKES. 80% of my house is plastic and after reading some disturbing things about the chemicals leaching out of plastics, I plan on tossing it all when we move and storing my food in mason jars, purchasing a bunch of glass tupperware and these for food on the go. I ordered some Kleen Kanteen’s for our water bottles and are tossing the old nalgene’s and plastic straw cups.

Bedding: I have not made this change yet, but since we will be moving soon and will need new things, I plan on ordering new pillows and this organic cotton fabric and making my boys’ bedding.

TV: We tossed our old tv and will be in need of a new one. Who would have thought the dust your tv produced would be harmful to your health? Our next tv will be PBDE free.

Cleaning: I’ve replaced my lysol with organic cleaners (although I do sometimes use lysol to kill bugs- it works great and is hopefully less toxic than bug spray…)

Plants: I’ve never been a fan of houseplants. I plant herbs outside but most houseplants are dusty and dirty and if I had one now my two year old would be digging in it and spreading dirt all over the carpet. Not to mention the fact that I can’t remember to water anything that doesn’t cry. However after reading this, I will be reforming my ways and hope to *try* my hand at a houseplant when we move.

Ditched the Gum: After reading this slightly disturbing article and this I’ve switched from gum to fennel seeds…strange, but safe.

Toothpaste: I am a firm believer in good dental hygiene, but I don’t think I need things like propylene glycol or titanium dioxide in my toothpaste. Fortunately, there are several more natural toothpaste options available, especially for the little guy who regularly tries to eat toothpaste. And, since we’re no longer eating corn syrup for every meal, we shouldn’t be as cavity prone…

Deoderant: I’ve stopped using antiperspirant deoderant which is thought to be linked to breast cancer and since my underarms were wet even when using clinical strength antiperspirant, I figured I’d avoid the risk and stop ruing my shirts with yellow underarm circles. Instead, (after attempting to go au natural) I ordered a strange thing called Crystal.

Cosmetics: While I haven’t made any of these changes yet, I’m definitely going to be re-evaluating what I have and what needs to go. Anything that crosses the red zone I’m tossing, but the others I’m still on the fence with. See the links below for toxins in your shampoo, hairspray and makeup.

Obviously you can’t be paranoid about everything and to overhaul our life of man-made creations in a day would be quite expensive, but taking baby steps will help reverse the effects of many of these chemicals. And continuing to learn even when it may be scary and downright weird.

If you’ve read this far, it means you’re interested in learning more. Here are a few resources to get you thinking. And maybe even the dreaded word {change}…


What is Real Food?

How Ultra Processed Foods are Killing Us

Is Sugar Toxic? 60 Minutes Video

Processed Meats Cause Cancer

Dangers of Modern Vegetable Oils

Decoding “All Natural” Claims: 9 Deceptive claims, Ridiculous Food Labels, Decode Food Packaging, Food Renegade Decodes Labels

Why Artificial Sweeteners are Bad for You

Why Genetically Modified Organisms are Bad For You

Hidden Sources of MSG

Dangers of Food Dyes

House & Home:

How Chemicals Change Us & Chemicals and our Health

Keeping your Children Safe Interactive home hazards tour & compelling video

Dangers of Plastics

Safe Bedding

Clean the Dust

Toxic America CNN series

Toxins in your Cosmetics, Dirty Dozen Chemicals to Avoid and Safe Cosmetics Database

Real Food/Organic lifestyle websites

Food Renegade

100 Days of Real Food  

Deliciously Organic

Food Babe

Organic Authority

Natural News

Jamie Oliver

Must Watch/Read

Food Inc

In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan

Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan

Jamie Oliver

A Wake up Story

Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser


6 thoughts on “The problem with learning…”

  1. I tried the crystal in high school but it didn't seem to work for me. I really like I had really bad B.O. Yuck! But I know there are lots of other alternatives. Is it working for you? As for all your OTHER stuff, I need to look into some of it more. I've heard it all before but never researched it because, as you said, it will cause me to change and I just don't know if I can afford to change. It gets so expensive! Grr!

  2. It works ok so far, my problem is I get wet underarms but don't really smell even without deoderant, so it provides the little protection that I need. As a hormonal teenager I don't think it would work at all. And I may try other brands of just plain deoderant, but I'm not going back to antiperspirants any time soon since they didn't keep me dry anyway. I know, I've been trying to take baby steps, and sometimes you wonder if you're just being paranoid, but I figure better safe than sorry!

  3. Thanks for your post. My family and I are on the path to detox our bodies and household. We have started small and continue to work our way up. After watching Food Inc. and other Netflix docs I'm convinced it's all a conspiracy. Yikes! The ingredient this week that grossed me the most out was L Cystine. Human & duck hair in our bread and bakery items. I went to my bread in my pantry from my local grocery store and it was in it! Needless to say we don't eat that bread anymore. I could go on but really we just do our best and hope for better health because of it. It's definitely a lifestyle change that I haven't found to be too expensive. We just replace the other stuff slowly and don't eat as much junk food or eat out as much. Thanks for all the links too I will check them out.

  4. After using crystal all week in california I have to amend my answer…it does NOT work in warm weather. I'm definitely trying another solution and will post when I find something that works better!

  5. Hi Cari, thanks for your post. Have you ever tried the liquid version of the Crystal. I found it works better for me. I love the pomegranate. Here is the link:
    I also have made my own. It's really easy.
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/4 cup organic cornstarch or arrowroot powder
    5-6 Tbsp. coconut oil

    Mix all together. Add essential oils of your choice. I use tea tree and peppermint.
    Store in fridge, if you want it hard, which I prefer. I just store it in one of those small plastic containers, that way you can just pop it out and apply it.
    This has worked great for us.

  6. I have not tried the liquid form, but have been using a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda and that really works for me, I didn't have any cornstarch or scent, but I'm definitely going to try this, thanks!!!

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