I recently met the Jack N’ Jill team at Natural Products West. I am always on the search for kids toothpaste that my kids actually like. I have been using Tom’s but wanted to dig deeper into the healthy toothpaste world. This stuff is the real deal. All natural ingredients (check), safe to swallow (check), SLS free (check) & no fluoride, preservatives or added color! OMG I’m in love… Ok so lets start with my review…
Jack N’ Jill Bio Toothbrushes have a compostable & biodegradable handle and soft nylon bristles for kid friendly brushing. My daughter loved the bunny logo and cute handle. The ergonomic handle is made from 100% Corn Starch. Easy to dispose of – just break off the toothbrush head and recycle it then place the handle in your compost! It typically takes 90 days to break down in a commercial compost. Wow..genius. Did i mention the corn starch handle is Non-GMO corn starch? What, what?!
The first flavor toothpaste we tried was Strawberry. My daughters first words were “yummy.” I like that it’s a easy to apply clear gel & the first ingredient is Xylitol, which even my conventional dentist recommends.
Ingredients: Xylitol, Purified water, vegetable glycerin, silica, certified organic natural strawberry flavor, Xanthin Gum, cert. organic Calendula Officinalls extract. Suitable for 6+ months.
Tonight we will try the blackcurrent (which I already tried) and it tastes like blueberry. **update** my kids enjoyed the blueberry more then the strawberry because it is a unique taste.
All in all it is a good quality toothpaste. What I like best is that it’s a clear gel and doesn’t make a chalky mess on the toothbrush or the bathroom sink. Goes on easy on really seems to clean teeth well.
I will buy this toothpaste in the future. Check it out for yourself…
or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JackNJillNaturalToothpaste
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I’m happy to report I went plastic bag free as my New Years resolution this year. I had planned on drinking more water again for the third year in a row but let’s be honest it’s a hard resolution to follow…
Here’s how I went plastic bag free and you can too:
1. Keep 1-2 Envirosacs http://www.envirosax.com or ChicoBag https://www.chicobag.com in your purse at all times.
I love the Envirosacs because they are beautiful and compact and can hold up to 40 lbs. OMG have you seem some of their new prints?!? People compliment me everywhere I go and I am constituently spreading the word on these babies…
Chicobag is just as lovely and very affordable. I was just at a Natural Products convention and representative gave me two bags. One is a lovely shopping bag that folds small and the other a cross body tote. It hold 25 lbs. The colors are vibrant and fun!!
2. Keep reusable bags in your car. I have two envirosacs in my glove compartment because my husband is notorious for taking bags (& useful stufff) out of the trunk. Yes, I married a neat freak..If I forget my bags I can either just put my stuff in the cart and leave the store or run to my car quickly to get my bags..I don’t always remember them!
3. Keep reusable grocery bags in your kitchen pantry and bring them with you to the store. I usually always shop on Saturdays after receiving my CSA (local harvest box) & just grab my bags before I go. If I forget them I always have the back up of two bags in my purse and two in my glove compartment. Yes, I keep two in each car glove compartment so buying a total of 6 is recommended. I won’t reveal how many re-usable bags I have in the fear you might call Hoarders on me. I will say they were mostly all given to me…
It is not a hard thing to completely go plastic free. With a little pre-planning & small investment you can help make a big impact on the environment. Our town voted to be plastic free and soon stores will no longer provide them for free. If you are a big Target shopper like me you get .5 off your bill for bringing your own bags. That in itself pays for my beautiful and fun re-usable bags.
Please share your tips if you have anything to add
Recently I made a thankful tree at my MOPS group. It will become my centerpiece for my dinning
room table. The instructions are for each member of the family to write one thing they are thankful for on a scrapbook leaf. My six year old was more concerned about staking claim on a pretty leaf then what she was thankful for. Although I can’t blame her since there is only one pink one. It go me thinking about what I would put on my leave. It is a short list but one to contemplate..
1. I’m thankful to be AGING… My wrinkles, sun spots and occasional grey hair are all reminders of a life wonderfully lived.
“If your not aging your dead”-unknown
2. I’m thankful for my FAMILY. Every year my side of the family comes to celebrate the holidays at Thanksgiving. My side of the family puts the FUN in disFUNction. My husbands family could not be more opposite. We are a crazy bunch but on this day we put all the craziness aside and embrace our differences. Half have Tofurkey and the other half have Turkey.
1. Use 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide. Make sure to buy at a health food store as the kind in the stores can contain chemicals/metals.
2. Add a few drops of essential oil (peppermint or lemon) &/or baking soda for an extra boost.
3. Apply with a Q tip and let soak in for several minutes. Rise with water.
4. Store in a glass container in the fridge
*The hydrogen Peroxide makes a nice mouth rinse also if you want to use it after brushing your teeth. I mix it with water since it’s pretty strong stuff.
1. Equal parts Lemon Juice and Witch Hazel
2. Store in a glass container in the fridge for several weeks
*I like to add a fresh lavender spring since it smells so good.
Darker eye brows:
1. Seep a black tea bag in a small container of water until it is dark. Apply the color to your eyebrows with a Q-tip. Leave on for 10 min and wipe off.
2. Make a new batch each time.
*I use Tazo tea bags. I make a cup of tea and just take the tea bag out after a few min and let it sit while the remaining water makes a nice dark color.
Enjoy your beautiful face!
After learning the dangers of everyday cookware I set out to find a healthy alternative. The main things to avoid when buying Eco friendly cookware are PTFE’s, PFOA, and Teflon. These harmful chemicals leach into your food and get consumed. Metal pans coated with synthetic polymers can cause flu like symptoms in people. The labels warn again cooking these chemicals at high heat but a few minutes at medium heat is enough to release these chemicals into your food and in the air. Studies have shown them to be deadly to birds that were kept in kitchens next to the stove.
Here are a few alternatives:
Stainless steel: They do not contain any synthetic polymers or non-stick surfaces so there are no chemicals released when cooking with them. They can be hard to clean, stain easily, and require lots of oil. Professional chefs prefer stainless steel because of its ability to brown foods better. A good set can be pricey.
Cast iron: is very durable and provides with your family with a healthy dose of iron. Every kitchen should have at least one cast iron pan even if used occasionally. The downside is they need to be seasoned properly and even a little water can cause them to rust. They require high maintenance and not always visually appealing.
Eco-friendly non-stick cookware: We recently purchased a set of really nice looking pans called green pan from Costco. The price was comparable to the set we had before. They are PTFE and PFOA free. They are ceramic coated and works just as good as Teflon coated pans. Even the box they came in was recyclable. We were surprised how nice they look hanging from our pot rack. There are several Eco friendly cookware companies available.
If you are stuck with your current cookware but want to take steps to avoid to toxic exposure:
*Never cook on high heat
*Do not use in an oven over 500 degrees
*Always use an exhaust fan over the stove or fan in the kitchen
*Do not use the self-cleaning function on your stove as it heats things so high and causes the non-stick coating inside the over to release toxic flames. If you must do this make sure no one is home and open all doors and keep pets outside.
*Choose alternative cookware when it is time to replace your old set
Low-calorie snack ideas (printable)
Here are some great and yummy snack ideas. Remember that each snack item needs to be one serving. Avoid cooking in olive oil (use spray) and read labels carefully. 10-14 chips are usually a serving. Put all snacks you tend to over indulge with in snack bags with only one serving in them. Drink water between bites to feel full faster and avoid over eating (especially at snack time).
1. Yogurt parfait with greek yogurt and frozen (or fresh) fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon for a dose of anti-oxidants. Avoid granola as it can be high in calories. If you must sweeten use agave not artificial sugars!
2. Medium apple and 1 string cheese
3. Smoothie with greek yogurt, frozen fruit, protein powder, fruit juice (try a carrot/orange blend) and ice. Add flax seeds, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast or all these above to make extra healthy. Add chocolate chips (about 10) to help curb a sugar craving.
4. Chips with lots of chunky salsa. Do not eat chips out of the bag. Pre-measure a serving.
5. Half a bagel with 1 tablespoon light cream cheese, thin slice of meat (or meatless meat), large slice of tomato, and onion (other favorite veggies.) Add an egg in place of cream cheese.
Pizza bread. Lots of pasta sauce, light shredded cheese, and veggies: mushrooms, tomato, spinach, onion, bell pepper, ect. Heavy on the veggies.
6. Pita pocket with hummus, lots of cucumber, tomato, sprouts (or lettuce/spinach) and thin slice of meat (or meatless meat)
7. 2 Hardboiled eggs
8. Banana and small yogurt
9. Small baked potato with cottage cheese, salsa and sautéed veggies
10. Sliced veggie platter with hummus
11. Protein bar
12. Fruit salad (watermellon is low calorie and high in water)
1. Eat a wide variety of colorful foods. Antioxidants are extremely important part of building your immune system. Eat a rainbow of colors at each meal. Such as: broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, and sweet potatoes. Plant derived phytonutriets can be found in vegetables, colorful fruits, nuts, beans, and even red wine.
2. Keep moving. Daily physical activity is very important. Enjoy small bursts of activity thought the day. Or make it a priority to exercise the same time every day. Getting your body into a routine helps you stay motivated. Find ways to drive less and move more.
3. Think positive thoughts. Mental health and physical health go hand and hand. Worry and fear stress the immune system and weaken its ability to heal. Try to look on the bright side and find positive things in your life. Don’t worry, be HAPPY!
If you are like most people you have a few extra pounds that just won’t budge. We tend to hold onto weight from having a baby, lessening your exercise routine, working a stressful job or just getting older. Diets do not work for most people so changing the behaviors that are causing your body to hold onto those stubborn pounds is your best defense. Bad health behaviors are a hard thing to change but by slowly making changes and not denying yourself, it can be done.
Here are a few tips that helped me lose the baby weight after my second child. The first thing you must do is find your daily calorie consumption for your ideal weight. Know that number and stay within reason. A pound of fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories. Set a time goal and follow these rules:
1. Do not deny yourself your favorite foods. Whether is salty, sugary, spicy or all foods you crave the first way to lose the weight battle is to deny yourself the pleasure of eating them. When I tried to eliminate sugar from my diet all I wanted was sugar. Instead I decreased the amount of sugar I consumed and indulged in a low calorie “treats” when I had a craving. Know the serving size of your daily indulgence and try to limit it to one serving a day.
2. Snacks must be healthy. Try cut veggies and hummus, strawberries dipped and Greek yogurt, or an apple and a cheese stick. All low calorie snacks. Again, know serving size.
3. Drink water all day. Staying hydrated will help you determine if your hunger is actually hunger or dehydration. Sipping water in between bites can help you feel fuller. Add lemon or natural low calorie flavors (no artificial no-calorie drinks!)
4. Eat slow. Enjoy your food in small bites and your satisfaction level will increase. It will also give your brain time to realize it is full. Cutting down on overeating.
5. Use smaller plates. This will cut down on serving size and overeating. Very important if you are the type of person who must eat everything on your plate.
6. Never eat out the bag/box. Always put food on a plate (a small one) if you can. It is easier to track serving size and calorie count.
7. Keep junk out of the house. This might be a hard thing to do if you are not in control of the grocery shopping. If you must keep junk in your house put it on a high shelf out of reach. Or ask those living in your house to hide it. Out of sight, out of mind.
8. Make exercise a priority. If motivation is your problem find a friend in your neighborhood to exercise with or ask your husband or kids to go with you. Sign up for a group class or hire a personal trainer. If time is the issues then do little things everyday like walk at your lunch break, chase the kids around the yard until you are out of breathe, or park far away when running errands.
9. Follow the 80/20 rule. Eat 80% healthy and 20% splurge. Just make sure you stay within your daily calorie consumption.
10. Do not eat “diet” foods, eat real foods. This includes diet coke. Artificial sweeteners set you up for failure later on in the day by making you feel less satisfied. Study show that artificial sugars can set the brain up to think you need to consume more calories. Plus they are not healthy for you and shown to cause cancer. If you must drink soda drink a 100 calorie serving of the real thing and take time to enjoy it.
If you find yourself back to your old habits just admit what those habits are and slowly find strategies to change them. Your brain will adjust to those new healthy patterns and weight loss will be your reward.
When I had my first child I had every intention of using cloth diapers. I bought a few to try out and after returning to work I gave up my cloth diaper dream. I compromised by using mainly the chlorine free diapers even though they cost more. Now, three years later I find myself no longer working and a new enthusiasm for cloth. I have done what most moms do and asked other cloth diapering mama’s about benefits of cloth diapering. I was pleasantly surprised to find that facebook has a huge cloth diapering community. I researched this wonderful new world and these are the reasons I am going cloth the second time around.
11 reasons to use cloth diapers
1.Less waste in our landfill. It is estimated that a baby uses approximately 2,555 disposable diapers a year. 7×365=2,555. Assuming your child is out of diapers by three years that is 7,665 disposables in our landfill per person. This is only an estimate. It takes over a hundred years for a normal disposable to biodegrade. These diapers will outlive all of us.
2.Potty training may be faster. Studies have shown that babies who wear cloth are more aware of their elimination and therefore potty train faster than those in absorbent diapers.
3.Luscious bottoms. A cloth diaper does not leave harsh chemical and gel residue. Cloth-diapered baby’s bottoms are softer and parents report that luscious bottom syndrome.
4.No harmful chemicals. Diapers contain dioxin, a carcinogenic chemical linked to causing cancer. They also contain sodium polyacrylate, an absorbent polymer banned in tampons due to Toxic shock syndrome and fragrance (perfume) to mask the smell.
5.Saves energy. Disposables take more energy to produce. They contain petroleum, a non renewable resource, which when low in supply, drives the price of diapers up. They take energy to box, transport, and finally the consumer needs to drive to pick up the diapers or have them delivered.
6.Saves money. 7,665 diapers at $.30 each is approximately $2,299. Most diapers cost more than $.30 each. Pull ups and night-time diapers cost more. Cloth diapers are anywhere from $10-$25 and one size will cover a baby through year three. Cloth diapers are also easily re-sold for around fifty percent, or more, of the purchasing price.
7.Disposables come with a warning. If parts are ingested, they require a call to the poison control. If a dog eats a disposable diaper (and most will if given the chance) they can die from the absorbency chemical response.
8.Better health for your baby. The chemicals in disposables were proven to give rats cancer. Chemical burns, skin sensitivity, and asthma are a few side effects we are seeing in disposable wearing children. Disposables contain phthalates, bleach, polyethylene, fragrance, and dioxins (a carcinogenic by-product from the paper process). If you call most disposable diaper companies, they will not disclose all the ingredients. We do not know exactly what the “secret ingredient” is.
9. Trendy. Cloth diapers come in all sorts of beautiful prints and colors.
10. More environmentally friendly. Keeps feces out of the landfill and in the septic and sewer system where it belongs. Also keeps toxins out of the land, air, and water system. Disposables use wood pulp which comes from trees. If you dry your diapers in the sun you are also cutting back on your electricity use.
11. Connects moms to the community. Cloth diapering moms are a part of a special group of supporting and nurturing moms. There are social networking sites, blogs and websites that help support the cloth diapering movement.
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Genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods are found in 60-70 % of our food supply. The main sources of GMO foods are soy, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, zucchini, and yellow squash. Here are a few tips to help you avoid GMO foods.
When buying fresh produce look at the number (PLU code) and if it has an 8 at the end, it’s a GMO. Organic are not GM and the PLU code for organic proceeds with a 9.
Buy foods with the organic seal. It is especially important to buy dairy and soy organically. Organic foods are not allowed to be GMO. They also prohibit the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, synthetic substances, and antibiotics.
Buy locally. Most small farmers do not have the need to plant GMO foods. They are on a small scale and understand the need for growing safe produce.
Look for “non-GMO” on food labels. We will start seeing this more and more as GMO’s are seen as a health risk. The non-GMO project is a non-profit organization committed to testing for GMO products. Words like “No rBGH or rBST” or “artificial hormone-free” are all examples of GMO free foods.
Avoid common GMO foods unless they are a part of the Non-GMO shopping guide. Download the guide at the app store under shopnoGMO. The crops to avoid are conventional soy, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, zucchini, yellow squash, sugar (not pure cane sugar), and dairy. Buy these foods organic or locally.