Time to get back on board with those New Year's resolutions--just in time for spring! Here are a few ideas for healthy habits that are good for you and the planet.
1. Cook with Coconut
There’s been a lot of buzz about coconut oil recently. Early studies show how using coconut oil (especially virgin or cold-pressed) can help increase resistance to viruses and bacteria and improve digestive system functioning. Coconut oil contains an unusual blend of short- and medium-chain fatty acids that offer a variety of health benefits. It also contains lauric acid, which increases good HDL cholesterol (read more about coconut's benefits). Remember though, coconut oil is a saturated fat and shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of your daily calories. Barlean's Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is a fresh tasting oil that gives food just a hint of real coconut flavor.
2. Banish BPAs
Using storage containers made from polycarbonate plastics can allow synthetic compounds like BPA (bisphenol) to leach into food and beverages. Still under review by the FDA, BPA is worrisome because of possible health effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. Instead, use containers made from BPA-free materials like glass or metal. Wean Green's Cubes are stylish, tempered glass storage containers that are perfect for snacks, baby food or fruit. Or check out Kids Konserve’s Rectangle Stainless Steel Container, a safe, reusable lunchbox container for eco-conscious kids and parents.
3. Clean without Chemicals
Don't think you can clean your home effectively if you don't use serious chemicals? Think again. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Lavender Surface Scrub is a non-scratching powder made with naturally safe ash and oxygen bleach that gets the grime off tile, stainless steel and porcelain fixtures. And Biokleen's Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator uses natural enzyme cultures and lime peel extract to safely remove pet, food and beverage stains and odors on carpets, clothes and even diapers. Your home (and family) will thank you for it!
4. Get Your Nutrition from Real Food
Try getting your nutrition from the source! Whole food-based multivitamins are made from real food, meaning they're easier on the stomach and easier for your body to absorb. MegaFood Women’s One Daily, for example, is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and immune-boosters from whole foods, yeast and herbs. It’s a veritable buffet of good stuff like cabbage, brown rice, broccoli, berries and mushrooms in one tablet.
5. Keep Chemicals off Your Skin
Why risk using skin care made with synthetic chemicals? The Environmental Working Group tells us parabens, phthalates, fragrance, PEGs, tricholsan, oxybenzone and boric acid are all suspected toxins, and are commonly found in lotions, sunscreens, deodorants, soaps, diaper creams and cosmetics. Instead, turn to Pharmaca for a wide range of safe and effective alternatives. Customer favorites that rate highly with the EWG include Juice Beauty's Exfoliating Cleanser and evanhealy's Pomegranate Repair Serum. For overall body coverage, try Coola's Plant UV Body Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30.
6. Think Reusable, Not Disposable
Let’s make this the time to really commit to stop buying water in disposable plastic bottles. Mavea's stylish filter pitchers offer great tasting water that removes contaminants, toxins and micro-organisms. And when you want to take some with you, use the stainless steel Pharmaca Triple Insulated Hot and Cold Beverage Bottle or Lifefactory Glass Bottle.