1 Produce Shopping Guide
Want to know which veggies and fruits have the highest levels of pesticides and herbicides, and which ones have the lowest levels? This will help you figure out when you should definitely buy organic and when you can get away with buying conventional.
Source Environmental Working Group
2 Seafood Shopping Guide
Eat healthy fish and shellfish that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury.
Source Environmental Working Group
3 Cleaning & Body Care Products Guides
About 1,000 new chemicals are created each year and the vast majority is never tested for safety. These chemicals are ending up in your cleaning products and body care products. They are potentially giving you cancer, respiratory issues, reproductive dysfunction, neurological symptoms, and depressing your immune system. Scary stuff!!
If you are concerned (and you SHOULD be!!), then use these guides put out by the Environmental Working Group. Common products are rated on their toxicity and safety. This will help guide you to make healthier and safer choices for you and your family. I don’t go shopping without these guides!
Cleaning products guide: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners
Body care products guide: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
Here’s a quick and easy recipe from the book Clean and Green to make your own non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner.
- 1 tsp borax
- ½ tsp washing soda
- 2 Tb vinegar or lemon juice
- ½ tsp Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Add very hot tap water, shaking the bottle gently until the minerals have dissolved.
GENIE APPROVED PRODUCTS
- Native Forest Coconut Milk
- JuicePlus (Whole food supplement)
- Cod Liver Oil
- Dandy Blend (Coffee substitute)
- Annmarie Gianni Aloe-Herb Facial Cleanser
- Amazing Grass GreenSuperfood
- Bio-Kult (Probiotic)
- Natural Deodorants (Celadon Road, Primal Life Organics)
- Ancient Grains (Jovial, Silver Hills Bakery)
1 Native Forest Coconut Milk
I love adding coconut milk to smoothies or using coconut milk in place of milk in some recipes (since I’m lactose intolerant). This brand has BPA-free cans for their coconut milk. BPA (Bisphenol-A) is an endocrine-disrupting hormone that you should avoid. For a list of other canned foods without BPA, click here.
I have been taking JuicePlus since 2006 and in my experience, they are the best supplements you can get for the price. I took them my whole pregnancy as they were recommended to me by a doctor and I've never stopped! Juice Plus is a totally natural, whole foods supplement (nothing synthetic) made from 17 organic fruits, vegetables and grains. Over 20 studies have been published in scientific journals showing the positive benefits. Even though I eat really healthy, it's even hard for me to eat the recommended 7-13 vegetables a day. So JuicePlus is a good way for me to ensure I am getting all the nutrients I need. By the way, I do not recommend that you take a multi-vitamin, as these are usually full of synthetic vitamins which can actually be harmful to your health.
They are now offering 4 years of the children’s vitamins FOR FREE, as long as a sponsoring adult is taking them. My daughter loves them! Contact me if you’re interested in getting more info.
3 Cod Liver Oil
This is the other supplement I take (in addition to JuicePlus) which I highly recommend. Cod liver oil is rich in vitamins A & D, and omega 3 fatty acids, EPA & DHA, all essential nutrients which are hard to obtain in sufficient quantities in our modern day diets. For more information on the health benefits of cod liver oil, read this article. Green Pastures Blue Ice is a wonderful product of very high quality which I have been taking for years. In my family, we take the fermented cod liver oil.
4 Dandy Blend
I gave up coffee for a variety of reasons, but I still love the taste of coffee. DandyBlend is the best coffee substitute I’ve tried. It taste just like coffee! And has tons of health benefits as well. Check out their website for more info: www.dandyblend.com
Stevia is an all-natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant in South America. It is extremely sweet and does not raise blood glucose which is what makes it such an attractive sweetener. You can buy it in powder or liquid form. I use it to sweeten my Dandy Blend (see above) coffee drink. The artificial sweetener, Splenda, is harmful to your beneficial gut bacteria and I recommend avoiding it.
This is the brand that I find at my local Whole Foods, but there are other ones out there that you can use. Just makes sure they don't have additives (FOS is ok as it's a pre-biotic).
6 Annmarie Gianni Aloe-Herb Facial Cleanser
Although it’s a little more expensive than what I usually buy, it’s totally worth the price. This cleanser is one of the few I’ve found that doesn’t dry out my face. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and it absorbs whatever you put on it, so I am very careful in choosing my skincare products. This one is pH balanced and free of harmful chemicals.
7 Amazing Grass GreenSuperfood
This raw powder has tons of antioxidants and includes nutritional powerhouses such as spirulina, wheat grass, chlorella, maca, mangosteen and acai. One serving has 15,000 ORAC value. ORAC values measure antioxidant capacity and this powder has a lot! I like the berry flavor and my daughter likes the orange dreamsicle flavor mixed into her milk. I gave this to my parents too since they tend to not have a lot of variety in the vegetables they consume.
8 Bio-Kult (Probiotic)
In our modern day diet, it's absolutely essential to supplement with a good probiotic. Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in our gut and make up over 70% of our immune system, help with digestion and even produce vitamins. Unfortunately most of the probiotics on store shelves have low potency and only a few strains of bacteria. I was pleased to hear that the probiotic product I have been using for years, Biokult, recently won the Best Supplement and Herbal brand in the 2014 Natural Pharmacy Business Awards.
Available on Amazon
9 Natural Deodorants
The active ingredient in antiperspirants is aluminum. While effective at blocking odor, aluminum is a known neurotoxin and has been linked with breast cancer and Alzheimer's. While occasional exposure may not be detrimental, antiperspirants may be problematic because we lather them on our armpits every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, for our entire life. I tried natural deodorants years ago and gave up because they didn't work at all. But now, about 10 years later, I'm happy to report that they have drastically improved and now there are so many more choices on the market.
My personal favorites are:
10 Ancient Grains
Whole grains can be a part of a healthy diet but they contain phytic acid (blocks absorption of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium), and enzyme inhibitors (interfere with digestion). In order to neutralize these effects, all grains should be soaked or sprouted prior to consumption. Unfortunately, todays grains are not typically treated this way unless the packaging specifically says so. The other problem with grains is that the modern-day wheat plant has been modified so many times that it is now a completely different wheat than what it was originally. It has fewer nutrients and more chromosomes, which many experts believe has led to the increase in gluten-sensitivities.
I don't have time to properly prepare my grains at home so I'm happy that quality products are finally hitting the market shelves. These two products take care of both problems. They are sprouted or soaked and are made from ancient grains (einkorn and khorasan). And they taste really good!
As a side note, some people with gluten sensitivity, do fine when consuming soaked/sprouted ancient grains. In the end, they are sensitive to modern-day wheat, not gluten. This does not apply to those with Celiac disease.