I wasn’t exactly raised in a “healthy” and “natural” home. I remember that grocery shopping with my mother usually involved reading flyers to see what was on sale, rather than what was healthy or organic. Big brand names were trusted, and microwaveable meals from time to time, were considered okay. Well, times have changed. In fact, I haven’t owned or used a microwave in almost four years, and we have survived (the Toaster Oven can be just as handy). My husband and I had made this decision consciously, right before we had gotten married, as the first step into our more natural and healthy lifestyle together. Some people had laughed at us and even called us “crazy” and “health freaks” (whatever that means), but we have stuck to the plan of building a health conscious, natural environment for our family. From the food that we buy at the grocery store, to skin care and even cleaning products, we try to be aware of what we are bringing into our house and allowing our children to be exposed to. Bringing healthy and natural values into a home should not be a challenging task, or an act of a “crazy” or a “freak”. Rather it is about being aware, educated and dedicated to the ultimate goal, which is to live better and live longer.
Here are 5 tips on how to introduce a more healthier and natural lifestyle into your home:
1) Consult with your doctor: Your doctor is an awesome resource for healthy living. Chances are, they can definitely give you great direction when it concerns your health and wellbeing. Having said that, do not be afraid to ask your doctor questions about anything that they prescribe to you either. I think everyone should be aware of what their bodies are being exposed to, even if you are told that it is perfectly safe.
2) Do your Research: Just because something is marketed a certain way, or has a particular reputation, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best thing for your health and wellbeing. When Alyssa was born I had purchased her shampoo and lotion from a well trusted brand name. However, after her skin had developed an irritation, I had to stop using the products. After doing some research, I had found that as it turns out, these products were filled with chemicals and perfumes, which was probably what had caused her skin to be irritated.
I wish that I had read about this name brand and its products in advance, as I do now. Even if a product or brand is considered well trusted and advertised as recommended by “medical experts”, doing research and reading reviews on it can really save you the trouble.
3) Read all labels and all ingredients: All food products have to be labeled and all of their ingredients listed. But just because something says its 100% natural or healthy, doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the case. This is why reading the labels alone is not enough; reading the ingredients is much more important. I remember arguing with my parents because they would claim that a juice they had bought was 100% natural. Well the 100% and natural were written in big letters, while the word flavor was easily missed. 100% natural flavor doesn’t mean, 100 % natural fruit juice. Having read the ingredients, it was obvious that the drink in my hand was far from natural or healthy. If you are unsure about an ingrediant listed, you can always look it up, but the general rule is, if you can’t pronounce it, than chances are the ingredient is far from a natural one.
4) Practicing Healthy Living Routinely: Healthy living is something that is continuous in a household and occurs everyday. We have a routine with Alyssa. When she comes home from daycare, her first stop is always at the washroom where she washes her hands, and then changes into clean clothes. This routine is so important for us as Alyssa goes to a daycare and is exposed to germs all the time. Having to have her change her clothes and wash her hands everyday routinely, can very much help prevent the spread of germs, and us from being constantly sick from them.
Another great way to encourage your children to practice healthy living through routine is to watch and encourage what they are eating at home. It’s amazing watching Alyssa reaching over to eat an apple over candy, or a carrot over chips. We generally avoid bringing home overly salty or sugary snacks. Alyssa is always offered fruit after her meals, and would rather snack on celery and baby carrots. This doesn’t mean that we shelter her from candy and chips, rather we do allow her to eat these snacks occassionally, but typically not at home. Hence, she rarely asks for them and picks healthier choices, as they are routinely practiced .
5) Be a role model, show an example: That is the only way our next generation can learn, really. Whatever our children see us do, they will want to repeat and do the same. If we practice and value healthy living and natural choices, our children will do the very same.
Choosing a healthy and natural lifestyle does not have to start with throwing away your microwave, it could simply start by choosing the best red apple Michael and I had chosen to be more health conscious for our children, as we want to raise healthy beings in this world and enjoy our own health, while doing so. Wishing everyone else lots of luck on their awesome healthy and natural choices and of course much health while doing so!