Food. It’s the fourth love of my life (behind Jesus, my husband and my kid, of course). I don’t know what it is that fascinates me about food. Maybe it’s because food is the one thing we all share in common. I mean, everyone has to eat so we might as well talk about what we’re eating, right?! It wasn’t until I was married and in my own house that I found my love of cooking. I always tell Tyler that if I could have a do-over and pick a new profession, I’d go to culinary school. So, I’m serious when I say I really, really love food.
I’ve always had an interest in organic products but it wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized I should make a serious switch. Long story short, Cache is borderline lactose intolerant so I’ve had to give up most dairy (some things with dairy affect him, others do not). Sometimes I would slip up and put dairy in my coffee not realizing what I had just done. When it was time for his next diaper change, I would notice a bloody streak in his stool from what I ate earlier, which leads me to my next point: I saw this short video on Facebook about a family who made the switch from non-organic food to organic food. To show the massive impact it had on their diets, they took “before” and “after” urine samples. The “before” urine samples were filled with insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, etc. The “after” urine samples were completely clean. If my intake of small amounts of dairy affected him that bad, what were the non-organic foods and unhealthy snacking doing to him, too?!
Disclaimer: I’d be lying if I said all of these snacks were organic. Some aren’t. I’m working on that. My biggest interest at the moment is slowly making the switch over to organic while also eating healthy snacks along the way. This is a work in progress – always!
Here’s what I’m eating this week:
Nutiva O’Coconut: These are really good! They’re like little raw coconut domes. Perfect if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
Brown Rice Cakes: I love to put organic peanut butter and bananas on these for an afternoon snack. I like them!
Miso Cups: OH EM GEE. These things just saved my lunch. It’s amazing how quickly you can make a cup of miso soup and how delicious it tastes. It’s a powder that you pour into 8 oz of hot water and PRESTO: Miso in a bowl. It even has tofu and green chard pieces in it. Will be recording a hundred more packs.
“A Missouri jury recently ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 Million to the family of Jacqueline Fox, whose death by ovarian cancer was linked to her daily use of talcum-based Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. Johnson & Johnson knew about the cancer link but failed to warn consumers.”
I’m sorry, what was that last part? They knew about the cancer link but failed to let us moms know? As a new mom who’s still learning the ins-and-outs of parenthood, this article broke my heart and left me floored! Not only does Johnson and Johnson constantly claim that it’s “a family company”, leading every consumer to believe that they use their products on their own families, but we’ve been bathing Cache in their body wash (and used the baby powder on him once) and I feel so defeated. Like every mother, I want the best for my child, and I hate that companies lead us to believe they’re the best when they’re really not. I’m to blame, though. Had I known how to read a product label and had interest in safer products, it wouldn’t have been in my house. But I’m not going to sit here and pout. I’m going to do something about it!
I’ve heard that it’s easy to drop a habit when it’s for the health of your children. I couldn’t agree more. Example: I’ve been biting my nails since I was five. When I became pregnant, I stopped biting my nails – cold turkey – to avoid getting sick and weakening my immune system. I can even say the same for my diet! Cache is sensitive to cows milk, so I have given up most dairy and I eat at least one plant based meal a day.
So, we have officially made the organic + toxic-free switch at The Weir House, and while it’s going to take research and time to get it right, I look forward to blogging about all of my organic and toxic-free finds!
To start, I have gutted my entire bathroom. When I say the entire bathroom, I mean every.last.product. I had a friend recommend the Think Dirty app that allows you to scan products around your house and rates them. The app provides you with the knowledge to choose the safest and cleanest beauty + personal products for your family by rating the scanned products on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most toxic. I ended up filling two grocery sacks full of shampoo, lotion, hair spray, anything and everything that rated over a 5. Just look at my product ratings below: I was deep in a toxic hole and didn’t even know it. When I started scanning, I couldn’t believe my eyes – everything in my bathroom was a rating of 9, and that “coconut” shampoo that I thought was so “healthy” was a 10! A 10! That’s the worst it can get, folks! All of these products contain high levels of carcinogens, developmental and reproductive toxicity and allergies. Were these toxins entering my breastmilk and transferring to my baby? I’m sure of it!
After I chunked those items in the trash (some were still full and new!) I started to do my research. Days of scouring sites, following new instagram accounts and brushing up on my label knowledge led to making a list of products I would be switching out. Luckily, I found most of them in one place: Thrive Market. Beware! Thrive Market is addicting, and I’ve since become a Thrive Market junkie. It’s like Whole Foods meets Costco and it’s a great place to purchase organic products.
With that being said, below are my recent purchases (mostly found on Thrive Market) to replace what I currently had. I’m aware that I’m barely skimming the surface on thousands of amazig products out there (beauty counter, norwex, acure, zoe organics, etc. I’ve heard it all!) I’m also aware that some of these products may not be organic, but if they rate a 4 or less on my app and the label checks out, I’m doing better than I was. As of right now, my goal is to replace the current (read: terrible) products I own while continuing to do my research on new products that are just as good, if not better.
If you have recommendations, comment below! I plan to try everything out there. This is just the start!
The Seaweed Bath Company Shampoo + Conditioner : So far, I love it. The conditioner truly conditions my hair and leaves it soft and the shampoo is great, too. I will be purchasing again!
Tubby Todd Baby Body Wash : When Cache was born, he had a bad bout of baby acne for a few weeks. I remember wondering if it would ever go away! And it eventually did. But if I eat something that doesn’t sit well with him, his face will break out. Knowing that his skin is so sensitive, I wanted to pick a really skin-friendly product for his body wash. I tossed the Johnson and Johnson and chose Tubby Todd. I love that I can use ONE product for Cache’s hair + body. It smelled great and was gentle on the skin. Thanks to my friend, Bianca, for the recommendation!
Seventh Generation Baby Wipes : No chemical smell, which is always a win-win. The wipes have a salty/ play-dough scent. I like them, and they get the job done!
Kiss My Face Sunscreen : Seriously, this sunscreen is GOOD. We live at the beach, so if there’s one thing I should have in my repertoire, it’s picking out good sunscreen. This stuff had ZERO scent. I’m used to putting on sunscreen and it smelling like chemicals, but this one was totally different. It was also thick and white, so I could see where I was putting it on Cache’s face. I recommend this sunscreen!
Dr Bronners Toothpaste : I know what you’re thinking: cinnamon toothpaste? Ick! But it’s NOT ICK! I actually liked it. This was kind of an impulse purchase on Thrive Market, because I read the comments and people really seemed fond of it. I can see why. It’s not a strong cinnamon taste, and the cinnamon doesn’t linger in your mouth after.
Tom’s Toothpaste : This isn’t the worst toothpaste, but it’s also not my favorite. It has a weird aftertaste that I didn’t love. My favorite toothpaste so far is a brand called Jason at Wholefoods. My husband prefers the Dr Bronners Cinnamon toothpaste (linked above) but I like a spearmint taste in my mouth so Jason is a win for me!
The Seaweed Bath Company Body Wash : The smell of this body wash is intoxicating in the best way. It smells like the massage oil you get when you get a professional massage, minty and fresh. I really love this. Probably my second favorite purchase behind the bar of soap.
The Seaweed Bath Company Detox Bath : This was interesting. I didn’t know that seaweed smells fishy (…makes sense) so this Detox Bath smells a little like salty fish. They give you a porous bag to put the seaweed in and the directions say to run it under the faucet as your bath is filling up, so that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t hate it! It’s just different.
The Seaweed Bath Company Cellulite Soap : Probably one of my favorite products in this whole pile up. Immediately after I got out of the shower, I added 2 more bars to my cart. It’s got a great texture and feels like a body scrub on your skin, but in a bar form. I really, really like this. UPDATE: I still love this soap but after one use, it got really goopy in the shower and every time I pick it up I feel like i’m holding mud. I remind myself that if this is what it means to buy natural, I’m ok with it!
EO Makeup Wipes – drier than your average makeup wipes. One swoop over my eyes and my eye makeup was gone!
Herban Cowboy Mens Deodorant : I got my husband two types of deodorant because 1. he’s a big time sweater and 2. he’s really picky about his deodorant. I actually thought he would hate both, and I’d have to hunt down more organic deodorant. To my surprise, he loved this one. It’s got a manly scent and even better – it’s aluminum free! He did say, “I can’t believe I’m wearing a deodorant called ‘Herban Cowboy’.” Hahah.
Toms of Maine Mens Deodorant : He hasn’t tried this one yet but it smells like lemongrass or something. Not as manly of a scent.
Nourish Organic Women’s Deodorant : This is not my favorite deodorant. The smell is great but after a few uses, the deodorant became textured and bumpy and it’s kind of painful to apply. It doesn’t glide on like normal deodorant. I don’t know if it’s the beeswax inside of it or what!? I will be looking for another kind.
Nourish Organic Face Lotion : This is not my favorite face lotion. It smells like citrus meets rubber. Not a very appetizing smell for your face. I will be looking for another kind.
Nourish Organic Face Cleanser : This stuff is really milky. I was in the shower reading the ingredients and as I was about to pour it on my rag, it was guzzling out of the nozzle. I liked it, though! And I do remember thinking that my face felt soft when I got out of the shower.
Dr Bronners Unscented Shaving Soap : I haven’t tried this yet. Check back!
Dr Bronners Pump Soap : this stuff felt sticky when I first washed my hands with it, but boy does the lavender smell good. My husband used it after dinner and said, “I like this soap!” so I guess it’s a winner?! UPDATE: I really like this hand soap and plan on purchasing more!
Man, oh, man! I’ve been on a HUGE gingerbread kick this holiday. I made my first ever – from scratch – gingerbread men last week, and they turned out so good that I wanted to make gingerbread pancakes next! This recipe is adapted from allrecipes.com.
1 1/2 cups all purpose baking flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground, dried ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups water
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside. Beat the egg in a separate mixing bowl with the vanilla and molasses until smooth. Whisk in the water until completely incorporated. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until just combined (ours looked really watery at this point but our pancakes turned out great!)
Heat a lightly oiled griddle (we used vegetable oil) over medium-high heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto the griddle, and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry. Flip, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.
I should’ve known by the reviews just how GOOD these cookies would turn out. I was in the mood for something that not only tasted yummy, but also looked pretty, and these crinkle cookies are IT.
If you follow my instagram, you’d know that one of my 2017 resolutions is to bake more. I love cooking and spending time in the kitchen, so I think baking is just the thing I need in 2017! Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Hershey’s Kisses candy cane flavored
1. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil and eggs with whisk until well mixed. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extract.
3. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper. Place powdered sugar in small bowl. Shape dough into tablespoon-sized balls; roll into powdered sugar. Place on cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
5. Bake 10 – 12 minutes, until cookies crackle and dough doesn’t look raw. When cookies are done, immediately place KISSES candy in center of cookie and press lightly. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely until candy is set.
I am SUCH A SNACKER. I eat more snacks than I do actual meals, and I truly think snacking is what keeps my weight down and my metabolism up. I’m not sure how I found this amazing company, California Crisps – perhaps it was through an accidental instagram search – but I love their stuff so much!
The dried pineapples are my total fav, and they even make suckers with their dried fruit. You have got to check them out! And if you’re a snacker like me, these need to be in your pantry. No flavors added! Just good ol’ natural fruit.