Let me start off by sharing exactly what I mean by “natural-minded” before I move on to what we no longer do as a family to stay healthy.
I don’t necessarily consider myself a “crunchy mom” which I believe the term crunchy comes from the stereotype of a hippie, natural mom who lives on granola and only wears flowy dresses and
That’s not me and neither am I the mom who buys only organic: organic baby clothes, organic toys, organic cheese crackers, or organic body wash. Oh wait, I think my body wash is actually organic!
But the point is, I’m all-in on the big things. Things like detoxifying my home, using truly natural ingredients whenever possible, and removing most of the processed junk we used to live on as a family.
What it Means to be a Naturally-Minded Mom
Naturally minded is a term I feel describes me, as a mom, to a tee. I’m always thinking about and considering the ways my family and home can be healthier and more natural and toxic free.
However, I allow myself room to grow into some of the major changes my family has made with no unnecessary pressure. For example, I won’t go broke buying all organic groceries, so I buy organic where it makes sense and if money is tight one week, I don’t.
Therefore, when I make decisions about what we eat, the products we clean our home with, or the personal care products we use as a family I consider these things… the cost (I’m just being real here), is it dangerous to keep using it, is it unrealistic to do this new thing in terms of time or effort.
In short, being a natural-minded mama means we read labels, stay informed, do our research, and make sacrifices to change things we feel may be harming our family. But we don’t beat ourselves up over how much coffee we drink, that our kids eat regular Cheez-it crackers instead of the ones with the rabbit on them, and we use disposable paper plates if we need it to survive.
What Naturally-Minded Families Don’t Do
I want to say this isn’t an exhaustive list, just the heavy hitters that have made a big impact on my family and other families in my natural-minded mamas community.
Please read this list with an open mind and heart. If you’re not an all-natural mom, know this… I’m not either! This blog isn’t about perfection it’s about making better choices one baby step at a time. Even if you make one simple change… that’s tremendous.
1 – Don’t Spend Tons of Money on Paper Towels
I used to be the paper towel queen! And let me be clear here, I do still buy paper towels but only to clean up things that are gross and I’d rather not have running through my washing machine.
Making the switch was actually my hubby’s doing. He bought a giant pack of
Plus, not having to buy a giant pack of paper towels every month is also worth it. And last but not least I feel good about not adding all those towels to the growing landfills.
2 – Don’t Poison Their Family with Highly Toxic Cleaning Supplies
If you haven’t made the switch to natural, non-toxic cleaners listen up my friend. Many of the most common cleaners on the market could be making you and your family seriously sick.
There was a massive international study that was done on the hazardous nature of cleaning products for home use. The study aimed to learn the longterm effects on the body when exposed to common household cleaners as well as how they affected the lungs.
Here’s what the American Lung Association has to say about most home cleaners.
The findings of this study are staggering and a real wake-up call. Here are just a few points:
- Longterm lung damage and a higher risk of cleaning-related asthma were reported in individuals exposed to cleaning products in the home. Yep, cleaning-related asthma is a thing!
- The effects of toxins in the body clearly affected women more than men. This is more due to the way these chemicals react in the bodies of women versus men and not due to the possible increased use of cleaning products by women over men.
- The lung damage from cleaner usage was compared to the same damage of long-term smokers of at least one pack a day.
- There was increased damage to lung function when using only one cleaner spray just once per week. I don’t know about you, but I clean my house more than once a week!
Read the study here for yourself. The results are scary but we don’t have to use these toxins in our homes and use them around our kids. I remember cleaning the bathtub and having to make my kids wait at least thirty minutes before taking their bath to let the air clear. That’s crazy!
We don’t live this way anymore. It was actually my amazing hubby (again) who found the best completely natural cleaning products through a close friend of his. The best part is they honestly work better than my previous toxic cleaners. I was
If you want to find out how we buy all our natural and non-toxic household products online and have shipped to us just like Amazon (and cheap too!) just click here! Too much to share here in this post.
3 – Aren’t Fooled by the Fragrance
This is a big one that so many moms are unaware of! Product manufacturers are always searching for sneaky ways to hide ingredients on their labels. They’re hoping that consumers will stay ignorant to which ingredients are harmful in the first place.
But for those savvy moms who do their research, they’ve had to get more creative and found a nice little loophole to hide in – fragrance. I’m not sure why the FDA allows this practice to continue but nothing ceases to amaze me with the overall negligence of our wonderful FDA.
Basically, product makers are being pushed back by consumers who are demanding safer products for their families. And are changing their formulations. But they also know consumers love their “smell-goods” in their products.
So the law states that manufacturers do not have to disclose their ingredient list that comprises the actual fragrance. And unfortunately, that’s where many of the toxic ingredients live – right there in the smell good. This article goes into detail to show over 3,000 ingredients that are hiding in fragrance – many of which are extremely toxic.
This is super common with even the best “natural” products out there. Remember, many of them are owned by giant companies. Like Burt’s Bees is own by Clorox. And those two companies have very different agendas!
This is why it’s best to go with unscented or buy products from companies you trust and have fully researched. The products my family now uses is actually the best of both worlds because they have the most lovely scents but they are totally non-toxic and made with natural ingredients like essential oils. Click here to see what we use!
4 – Don’t Think Essential Oils are a Fad
I see you wagging your
Sure, essential oils will naturally make your house smell pretty amazing but they do so much more. Each essential oil has its own medicinal purpose and I’ve
Essential oils are highly potential oils extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree. Literally, just one drop can have powerful health benefits.
You can also use them to boost your mood and clean and refresh your house!
And there’s one essential oil maker that I’m so obsessed with and that’s because they’re so obsessed with making the
5 – Don’t Think Natural-Living is All About What We Buy
So much of living a natural lifestyle goes beyond buying safer products for our homes. It’s about living healthier in everything we do.
For me, there are three things that we do to live more healthy and natural. The first is simply to drink a lot of water. In fact, studies show we should be drinking half of our body weight in ounces of water.
Yep, that’s a lot of liquid. And it doesn’t leave much room for drinks like soda and juice. Plus, it flushes toxins, rehydrates your body that’s 70% water, and energizes you throughout the day. The added bonus is it makes you get up from your chair frequently to run to the bathroom!
The second thing we do to live more naturally is to exercise every day. Yes, exercise is living more naturally. Our bodies were created to move and not sit on the couch, at our desk, and in the car ALL DAY.
It doesn’t take much… even 10 minutes a day of vigerous full-body exercise is so much better than nothing at all.
And finally, the third way we live more naturally is to eat mostly whole foods. I didn’t say all whole and unprocessed foods. That’s unrealistic for most people. For example, my kids’ lunches will look like this:
- A sandwich with uncured meats (my daughter
- An orange, a bundle of grapes, and an apple sauce.
- A greek yogurt.
- A cheese stick
- Goldfish or Cheezits
- And a cereal bar
There’s a good mix of natural and whole foods and healthier convience foods, and some of their favorite processed snacks. It’s not about never having those fun foods, but about doing what you can with where you are.
Who knows, maybe in five years their lunches will be 100% natural and healthy! Baby steps, people.
6 – Don’t Let Natural-Living Steal Their Joy
Ok, this one might seem a bit out of place but it’s important. Transitioning your family into a more natural focused lifestyle can feel almost all-consuming of you let it. Kind of like when I used to be obsessed with extreme couponing. I almost lost my mind in the pursuit of saving money!
The same goes for natural living. It’s easy to go overboard and start throwing out all the snacks your family loves out of the pantry but if you take this approach you’ll lose your most important asset – your family’s support and your joy.
When my family started turning towards clean living, we took baby steps all along the way. We got the kids excited about each new change and I can’t remember a lot of resistence.
Your joy and the happiness of your family is more important than any green agenda. And if you take the simple, slow approach natural living can be a lot of fun.
7 – Don’t Get Caught in the Guilt Trap
I have a confession to make. My family recently moved into a newer home and our old house didn’t have a dishwasher. Ugh! It was awful.
Dishes would be piled up for me to wash every night. I actually hate washing dishes and guess who else does… everyone in my family. So I was our dishwasher.
During that season, I bought paper plates and disposable cups for my family to use to eat and drink at just about every meal. This literally was to save my sanity.
I hated the cost of buying them and felt guilty about using them. But you know what? I did anyway.
But when we moved into our new house, we have a glorious dishwasher! I can hear the angels singing now. And since we’ve moved I’ve never bought another paper plate or plastic cup.
I shared that because you need to do what you need to do. It doesn’t matter that your best friend chooses to cloth diaper her baby while you still drop some serious cash every month on your baby’s Huggies. I did too!
And on the flip side, if you decide to start using essential oils or cloth diapers, don’t let your non-natural friends make you feel silly for making your choice. Most of the time they end up jumping on board when they see how your life has been positively changed anyway!
Final Thoughts on Natural Living
Any step in the direction of creating a healthier environment for your family is a great one. Overhauling your life isn’t always the best way to make positive changes.
Though taking massive action is proven to be very effective in the change process, baby steps are also moving you too!
Which items are you excited to start working on? Share in the comments below!