Five easy ways to be healthier (that are NOT diet or exercise!)

We’ve been making small changes around here, all in the name of healthier living. I’m betting your family would not even notice these small changes with big impact!

Organic Produce and GMOs. I’m no organic freak, but I have at minimum been buying organic the items on the Dirty Dozen list for a few years now. You can sign up to their email list and get a pocket sized version to keep with you while you shop. (I also keep one on the fridge door, see photo). I don’t see why anyone would be ok eating and giving their kids pesticide-covered food. It can’t be washed off – much of it is absorbed into the flesh during the growing season. Yikes. How different would the grocery store be if EVERYTHING were organic, and the few items that weren’t were labeled “Pesticide-Coated”…???

As far as GMOs, most organic food is free from GMOs, which are Genetically Modified Organisms. Basically, the DNA has been artificially modified in a lab in hopes of making the crops resistant to bugs and other detrimental invasions. Since this is a new technology, there is no way to know what the long-term ramifications of consuming these lab-modified crops might be . Eating organic is a good way to avoid a huge amount of GMOs. My goldfish-cracker-obsessed  kid has been switched to Annie’s Bunnies, all in the name of GMO avoidance. Just this week I found these at Target! If they weren’t so pricey I would’ve loaded up. They are new, so I’m sure the price will come down. In the end,  I say, play it safe: Avoid GMOs and pesticides!

Sunscreen This all started with our many road trips to Florida. Additionally, both kids are on swim team, so they are out in the sun A LOT. After I learned about the nanoparticles that are inhaled from those convenient spray-on sunscreens being an irritant and carcinogen, big changes were made around here. Unreal! (Even after we switched from those, you still inhale the particles from anyone spraying nearby. bleh). Smells so good, but so so bad! We switched to lotion sunscreens, and made sure the ones we chose do not contain vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and retinoic acid. Basically, check your sunscreen ratings here, where you can also read up about all these chemicals and decide for yourself. We mostly use this one, as you can see above. We also did end up finding a spray that isn’t carcinogenic, if you like that convenience.

See ya, dryer sheets. We switched to DRYER BALLS! I love that Downey scent as much as the next person, but after learning about the toxicity of fabric softener, I’m happy to let it go. My source for credible information like this is most often the Environmental Working Group. My favorite dryer sheet was rated an F for toxicity, to my family and also to the environment! So, the dryer balls. I throw three of these wool balls into the dryer, and that’s it. See photo: Mine are getting a little worn out I guess….! I tried adding scented essential oils to them beforehand, but found that the scent just didn’t transfer to the clothes at all, so now I skip that step. It is funny to find a missing dryer ball in a sweatshirt sleeve or pillow case. And if you have a labrador retriever, be steadfast about them bouncing to the floor when taking out the clothes. Might be the end of that ball! I use these, but I’m sure any would do the trick.

X-rays I do not know how my grandmother got Alzheimer’s (neither does anyone), but I DO know that she had lots of fillings, bridges, crowns, and consequently had lots of x-rays to her head. There’s more than likely no link, however since the technician is protected during the process, I’m not totally on board with an over-abundance of x-rays. At least not for my kiddos. In my (non-physician!) opinion, they do not need x-rays of their baby teeth every year. I understand that’s about the only way to detect their cavities, but I’m also not super-sold on the fact that baby teeth need fillings at all. Obviously if there’s pain or risk of infection and the dentist convinces me otherwise, fine. But for the most part, I’m happy passing on this. My kids get x-rays maybe every two to three years (most recent pre-braces x-ray shown in photo – yikes!), and as time goes on, the radiation levels in these x-rays are going down more and more. Win. Win.

WIFI On the radiation topic,  I’m also happy to err on the side of caution with the EMF radiation that comes from tablets and phones. There’s an easy solution! See photo, and my post all about that, here.

I’ve got so many more easy tips, but will hold for a future post as this is getting long!! Try making one or two of these changes. Just a little effort will be rewarded with so much peace of mind.