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Your life is super-busy. You may have heard about additives in food, pesticides, etc that make you wonder a little. But it seems so time consuming to figure it all out now. If you don’t have the time to sort it all out now, check out today’s show with Super Natural Mom(c) Beth Greer. She’ll be joining me at 1pm ET today to talk about her wake-up call and the steps she took that anyone can take (even busy moms) to improve their health and limit their exposure to harmful chemicals.

I’ve been on a quest for a long time to be more aware of my surroundings- to really understand the impact different choices have on my life. In my memory, the first book that made me really think was “8 Weeks to Optimum Health” by Andrew Weil. I learned about food coloring, high fructose corn syrup and trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and how these assaulted my system. That was 1995. It was more difficult back then to find processed foods with more natural ingredients. Now even my small town has a healthy market.

Somewhere along the way I learned about organics, reducing or eliminating animal products, genetically engineered foods, and labeling requirements (rather the LACK of labeling requirements). So we joined a local organic coop a few years ago and do our best to stick with organics and shop the local grocery store with Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” & “Clean 15” in mind.

We’ve eliminated most household cleaners in favor of vinegar and water. We keep trying different choices in dishwasher detergent, but haven’t had much success- but we’ll keep trying. For laundry soap, we use soap nuts (sustainably harvested) and occasionally a perfume and dye-free detergent. We’ve stopped using fabric softener at all (about 3 years ago) and the clothes still feel nice. I also use vinegar in the rinse cycle for some hot loads.

We don’t buy polyester pajamas for the kids- no matter how cute they are. I’m not willing to have my girls sleeping, curled up with a chemical flame retardant. We use other natural fiber PJ’s that don’t require additional chemical treatment. I expect as we replace worn mattresses, the new ones will be organic.

The whole family has been (nearly) water-only- meaning no shampoo- for 18 months or so. I was very skeptical about this- how would our hair get clean?! I was using spiking glue on my very short hair at the time. Would water actually get that out? It did- and now, in addition to being shampoo-free, I also don’t use conditioner because I don’t need it. I figured out a secret – shampoo is why I needed conditioner, because it stripped away the natural moisture in my hair. So I’m saving money, too!

There are other small changes- I go to CosmeticsDatabase.com before I buy makeup or creams or new/different bath soap, just to check out how the ingredients will possibly affect us. I use the EWG.org safe sunscreen guide and generally opt to go with the recommendation of long sleeves and a hat when we’re in the pool.

There are more small changes, but you get the idea. There are a lot more things I want to do, too.

This didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a process for over 15 years. But one small change at a time I became more prepared for the next change and the next. And now, with my girls and their health at stake, it’s even more important to me.

(If you miss the live show, you can download the podcast here.)

What changes have you made in your life? Do your thinking change once you became pregnant or now that you have children?

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