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Jack N’ Jill’s toothpaste review

IMG_0482I 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…

http://usa.jackandjillkids.com

or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JackNJillNaturalToothpaste

Please see my Facebook site for more details. https://www.facebook.com/dailyhealthtipsformoms

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Plastic bag free shopping tips

plastic bagI’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.

Happy shoppping…..

Please share your tips if you have anything to add

What being thankful means to a mom

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.

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Darker eye brows, Whiter teeth and brighter face naturally

Beauty naturally

Beauty naturally

Whiter teeth

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.

Brighter face:
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!

Healthy cookware


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

12 Low calorie snack/lunch list (printable)

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)

Win the battle of the bulge

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.

The power of acidophilus

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Acidophilus is a live microbial organism that is abundant in our digestive tract. This so called “friendly” bacteria helps improve our immune function, enhance the protective barrier in the digestive tract and decreases our cancer risk by killing bad bacteria. Acidophilus also helps create a healthy gastrointestinal tract and vagina function. It is a wonder microbial organism since it helps synthesize vitamin B12, K, thiamine and folic acid. It also helps treat irritable bowl syndrome, bloating, and yeast infections.

Acidophilus can be found in yogurts, kefir, powders, capsules, and liquid form. The amount of acidophilus depends on the product. Yogurts high in sugar are not a good source of acidophilus. For maximum results in supplement form look for at least 1 billion live organisms in each pill.

Wonder tea

 

Rooibos tea is an excellent summer drink. It is rich in anti-oxidants and flavonoids and caffeine free. It is also high in iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, zinc and manganese. It has been known to help alleviate stomach problems, constipation, stomach cramps andaid in the relief of colic.

Rasberry Rooibos Fizz

2 cups rooibos tea

2 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

2 cups raspberry fruit juice (100% juice only)

2 cups sparkling berry flavored water

Add everything together and refrigerate with ice.  Add strawberry, watermelon, or mint pieces (optional).

Healthy fridge, healthy home

Cleaning the fridge might seem like a daunting task but a clean fridge is part of a healthy kitchen.  You look at your fridge several times a day so why not make it a clean and enjoyable experience.  With just a few supplies and less than an hour you can have a beautifully clean fridge.  I recommend cleaning your fridge every six months.  It will make the next cleaning easier. 

Supplies

A clean sponge

A Scrubbing sponge

All purpose cleaner (use a environmentally friendly one if you have kids)

Box of baking soda

Gloves

Directions

Take everything out of the fridge and try to keep categories together so when you put items back in the fridge it will be faster. Do not worry about throwing out old food yet.  Do this when you put things back.

Start top to bottom. This way if crumbs drop (and they will) you can get them at the bottom.

Take out the shelves if you can.  Scrubbing them in the sink will help conserve energy and allow you to see the grime better.  If you have stuck on food, soak the area or get it wet with a sponge to help loosen it up.  You can use baking soda since it is a good safe abrasive and will help absorb odors.

Once you have cleaned all the shelves and baskets it is time to start putting your food back.  Check expiration dates and throw out any old or moldy food.  I always keep food categories together.  For example I keep all my bread together on a shelf and containers of the same item stacked on top or next to each other.  Food that needs to be eaten right away also stays in the front of the shelves.  This way it gets reached for first.  Put junk food in the back, especially if it keeps, which it usually does. 

Make sure to make a grocery list of the things you need to buy or replace. 

Having a clean and healthy fridge is important.  Stuck on foods and mold in the fridge can potentially be consumed.  Cleaning is easy and does not take much time. Now step back and enjoy your clean fridge.  Don’t forget that box of baking soda as a finishing touch.

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