We have been sharing this natural living journey now for three years. How time flies!
At the beginning of my “Natural Living Mamma” journey I had just had a new born baby and wanted to nurture her in an environment that was full of love, hugs, and cuddles and as free as possible of toxins. That is hard to do when you live in an apartment building that sprays for bugs monthly but I pushed on trying to keep our home as chemical free as possible.
I removed as many toxins from my house by switching to natural cleaning products. You can do so much with a few natural alternatives like baking soda, vinegar, salt, and essential oils as I discussed in my Apartment Homesteading series. My Natural Bathtub Scrub, which I also use in the toilet and on the sink, is a great example. You can use the same ingredients to clear your drains too!. You can clean your counters with the power of vinegar and orange peels with this DIY Orange Cleaner, mop your floors with a few easy ingredients, clean your dishwasher, and even make your own laundry detergent and wool dryer balls.
After paying closer attention to the toxins in our environment I started modifying my eating habits from a real whole food diet, to more of a paleo diet. This transition took a year and a half with much resistance from me. I did not want to give up the gluten! Lets be honest, who wants to give up that steamy yeasty loaf of gluteney goodness? I did give it up though during my second pregnancy and it was the best thing I have ever done for my health. You can read all about my health journey starting here where I was infertile, overweight, depressed and hopeless, to part 2 where I still had health problems but managed to get pregnant with my daughter who is a thriving three year old now, and in part 3 where I gave up gluten during pregnancy, gave birth to my son, and how that all worked out.
Today I am still struggling to find the perfect diet for my personal health. I am somewhere between auto-immune paleo protocol and GAPS in terms of food choices, but keep my family primarily on a primal/real whole foods diet.
Something you will find a lot of here is me talking about DIY recipes, keeping life as simple as possible, knowing where you food is coming from and what is in your body care and health products. Why do you think that is? Certainly a part of it is that we don’t have a lot of money, and the money we do have has to go toward paying student loans, mortgage, and for real wholesome foods. You can certainly save money while going green and eat real food on a budget. I think something you will see a lot of here, and something I have learned grudgingly is that if you want a high quality all natural product, you have to do the work your self.
You won’t find an all natural shampoo in the stores without ingredients you can’t pronounce. “Natural” body butters, salves, skincare, face scrubs and more all have preservatives that may cause anything from skin sensitivity to cancer, even if they are “all natural” or “organic”. Green washing happens every day in your local store. The most infuriating thing is THESE THINGS COST SO MUCH MONEY! It is insane how much one can spend on a natural household only to still have toxins in the home.
At the end of the day it is not only more eco-friendly, but also more financially friendly to make things your self.
Now you may say to your self “Well that is all fine and good but I am busy! I have a job, three kids with different food allergies, an aging dog, and a husband who travels 90% of the year. Who has time for that?” Let me fully admit, when I started “green living” I was chronically ill, depressed, in constant pain, and especially useless. It was effort for me to prepare the most simple meals every day, but I did. If I couldn’t, my husband made hamburgers on the grill and we ate it wrapped in lettuce. Some days things didn’t happen, and that was ok. As I started getting healthier I was able to do more. Now I am a work at home mother of two. I publish a wonderful Magazine and Herb Box subscription at Natural Herbal Living, I run this blog, do virtual assistant work helping others manage their social media, manage my own social media for both companies, and sell content on the side for some extra dough. We do daily activities with the kids, make three real food meals a day (or eat left overs) and my house is… well… livable. I am still able to find time to do most things like make my own skin and body care because I enjoy it, or making my own cleaning products because it is so darn easy and CHEAP. I will admit though, I am not super woman. My house is never spotless, my laundry is never truly done, I quit cloth diapering because it took too much time with my darn “energy efficient” washing machine, and the poor dog needs to go on more walks.
At the end of the day we can’t do it all. This is OK. In society today women are expected to have a career, raise children into functional adults, look good, keep a clean house, cook meals, and somehow stay sane. How is that working out for us? I am here to say it is OK if you are not “perfect” in the eyes of society. As long as you are loved by your self and your children, what else matters?
Now for the advice to the “crunchy curious”. If you are starting out on your natural living lifestyle don’t stress. There is so much to learn, so much to do, so much to follow that it gets extremely overwhelming. I did not start out making everything from scratch, and still don’t make everything my self (dishwasher detergent I am talking to you). My best advice is when you run out of something, be it a prepackaged food, face lotion, or cleaning product to go online and see if there is something you can make your self to replace it. If you just don’t have time to make homemade oreos, you can at least go to the store and buy organic oreo knock offs. Little steps. This is a journey that will last the rest of your life. There is no rush to be perfect because, lets be honest, no one is perfect.
So thank you friend for sharing this journey with me. I am excited for what the next three years will bring. I am so glad you have joined me and taken the time to read this. I love learning from you and hearing how you are doing.
So much love,
How is your journey going? What could you use some help with? What would you like to see me write about? Do you have any sage advice to share with the newbies?
- 15 Natural Life Hacks Using Tea - August 12, 2014
- Gut Soothing Herbal Tea Blend - August 7, 2014
- Heath Benefits of Tea – Camellia sinensis Materia Medica - August 5, 2014
- Honey and Hemp Shampoo Bar Recipe and Cold Process Soap Making Book Review - July 17, 2014
- Watermelon Rosemary Lime Infused Water - July 10, 2014
- How to Teach Your Toddler About Money - July 1, 2014
- How To Eat Gluten Free On Vacation - June 26, 2014
- Crockpot Chicharon and Black Bean Tacos Recipe - June 25, 2014
- Natural Living Monday - June 22, 2014
- Natural Herbal Living Magazine – Print Edition - June 20, 2014