Tag Archives | Whole Foods

Real Food Tips

I’m on a mission. It’s a slow one but I’m determined to get my family on track with clean, whole foods. That doesn’t always mean shopping organic; even though this is is the easiest way to avoid GMO (genetically modified) food. If you talk to enough people at farmer’s markets and in your community, you can find clean food that is grown locally. . . you just need to ask. Once you find farmers that are proud to share their farming practices and open the door of communication of what seeds are used to grow food and if they are no-spray, etc. you can shop with produce that is ‘in season’ rather than buying really expensive organic food that is being shipped thousands of miles from where you live. This is how I purchase food for our family. If my husband goes to the traditional grocery store, he’s buying packaged food or organic produce. Where I shop, and this is the food that is slowly becoming the ‘majority’ in our house, it’s with small, local farmers or stores.  I learned a great tip when I was researching honey and syrup that I wanted to share. Actually two tips:

Raw and Unpasteurized: for many products like honey much of the nutrition is lost when it’s pasteurized to sell in stores.  Omega 3 fish oil is another nutritional supplement that has increased value in the fermented rather than processed fish oil that is heated.  The honey you find in the supermarket has been ‘cooked’ and the beneficial enzymes have disappeared during this process. Raw or unpasteurized honey can actually sit in your pantry without being refrigerated because it acts as it’s own preservative. Did you know raw honey can be used for healing wounds because of it’s antibacterial properties? Just add a dash of honey to your next scrape and see all of the benefits!

Less than 5 Ingredients: Best tip for real food newbies like me! When looking at ingredients on packaged food, stick to two rules – you have to understand all of the ingredients and be able to pronounce them and keep ingredients to less than 5. The best example of the under 5 ingredient list was when I was researching syrup for our weekend pancakes. I snapped this photo of Aunt Jemima syrup and there are 11 ingredients listed. Very few that the average person could explain…nothing that actually looks like real food. I checked the bottle of syrup that I purchased at my local Farmer’s Market and found only one ingredient ‘maple syrup’. It’s the perfect example and also highlights the scary fact how cheap corn products (corn syrup), preservatives and dye ingredients are compared to real food. Here is the visual to confirm these ingredients..would you have guessed syrup if I showed you this label and not said what food it is?

I had a great talk with a very green mama today and she made a great point “the food that fills our kitchens and cupboards isn’t actually real food!” It’s truly sad the amount of time it takes to investigate the food in your home…but step by step it’s worth knowing. If it feels like an overwhelming task or just one more thing you don’t have time for – think about the long term health benefits. You do the research once, find people you trust to shop for food, and feel like a new chapter has started in your life.
Related Articles:

What are GMOs?

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Clementine Art – Naturally Artistic

A few months ago I received Clementine Art soy crayons to review which is great because I’ve always wondered how a soy crayon stands up against Crayola and no-name brand crayons.  Not to be a crayon snob…but there is such a big difference in quality with the amount you pay for art supplies and crayons are no different!  When I opened the box of these soy crayons, I sensed immediately I was going to be a fan.  The shape of them are just perfect for kid’s hands as you will see from the image below.  The quality of the crayon is also amazing and it’s tough to use regular old crayons after using the Clementine Art crayons. Interesting when you read the desciption on the Clementine site, you see the word ‘creamy’.  I thought it was such a funny word to describe a crayon, but it’s actually a perfect description because the crayons simply glide over the paper. With my 4 kids that craft, color, or draw every day, even I’m searching for one of these unique soy crayons to color with because they are so easy to use. I remember when my twins were at the age where the fun world of coloring and drawing started I purchased the plastic round ink ‘dabbers’ that were marketed for a very young child.  I thought “great idea” thinking the round shape of them would work well and be easy for them to navigate. This was simply not true and they turned out to be a waste of money. The shape of the Clementine Art crayons are perfect for all hand sizes and would be my pick for children of any age to begin exploring or that love art. Check out the below picture to view the unique crayon shape:

natural_soy_crayons_image

So why all-natural art supplies?  These 6 products under the Clementine Art umbrella are not only a step-up in quality (you get what you pay for), but a better choice for our children and the planet. Traditional crayons are produced with petroleum and synthetic additives (yuk!) and the packaging is not always eco-friendly.  Clementine Art is one of the very few companies to list their ingredients and you will enjoy reading this list including; kosher soy wax, mineral pigments, beeswax, carnauba wax, vegetable stearic acid, calcium carbonate (chalk), natural brazilian rosin, and titanium dioxide. No chemical dye or additives.  Whew!  – our parents never would have believed the crayon world could be so complicated.

The story of how Diane, the founder of Clementine Studio and her wonderful art products is lovely because she is actually a dedicated art teacher from Boulder Colorado.  Her studio was a place where children were encouraged to get messy and creative with glue, glitter, paint, and more! Wondering what actually was included in the description of ‘non-toxic’ with all of these products, Diane started making her own play dough and paint and Clementine Art was born.

I would recommend any of the Clementine Art products as wonderful stocking stuffers this Christmas. The soy crayons and natural paint are way high up on my list with Santa this year. I’ll need to request another pack of the crayons into my own stocking because my kids keep calling dibs on the soy crayons so I’m stuck with the cheap, broken crayons at the art table. And when your kids notice a difference in art supplies…you take notice.  I can’t wait to try the paint and will be on the look-out at my local Whole Foods until the Clementine Art site lists more online retailers.  The other 5 products Clementine Art offers via Whole Foods (and smaller stores over the next few months) are: soy crayon rocks, natural glue, modeling dough, natural paint, and natural markers.

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Quick Reference Guide When Shopping For Personal Care Products

When you’re out shopping and trying to remember what products are safely recommended or what ingredients are best to avoid, all while the kids are acting up in the cart…it starts feeling impossible to start reading through confusing ingredient lists.  Well the kind folks at EWG (Environmental Working Group) have produced a printable wallet card listing ingredients to avoid while shopping for cosmetics and personal care products so you have something to quickly refresh your memory.  I printed off something similar in the summer when searching for non-toxic sunscreens for my kids and found it very handy!

I also found this list of products to avoid very interesting from the EWG site..hmmmm off to check if my liquid hand soap contains triclosan…

Cosmetic products to avoid:
• Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids
• Hair dyes with ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene, and all dark permanent hair dyes
• Liquid hand soaps with Triclosan, aka Antibacterial hand soaps
• Nail polish & removers with fermaldehyde
• Skin lighteners with hydraquinone

I just checked my liquid Softsoap (common brand of liquid hand soap) and although it doesn’t contain Triclosan, it does contain an ingredient on the ‘naughty’ list: DMDM Hydantoin.  This ingredient is listed on EWG as a toxic contaminant.  To think I started the de-tox of toxic household products 8 months ago to discover stuff like this is very frustrating.  Makes me realize I haven’t even scratched the surface.  You can’t trust the big names in the beauty industry since my Softsoap is manufactured by Colgate-Palmolive.  The only name bigger than these two companies is Johnson & Johnson and many of their personal care products for babies contain phthalates and chemicals.  Yuck!

One large store that is North American, UK wide that I’m really impressed with is Whole Foods.  I’ve heard they conduct secondary testing of products they carry.  This means they do not just trust what companies tell them blindly so they run testing in-house.  They also have a list published on their site of unacceptable body care ingredients.  It’s great to know that every ingredient the Environmental Working Group listed on their printable wallet card is included in this ‘unacceptable’ list from Whole Foods.  They can’t guarantee that none of their products will contain these ingredients, but at least they’ve publicly announced that they are taking ever effort to source products not containing them.  To view the ingredients on this list, click here.  Hmmm I see a large forum on the Whole Foods site too.  Hard to find forums talking about natural topics…might be worth checking out.  For a list of Whole Foods locations, click here.

We all know I’m a big fan of EWG, but it’s nice to see there are other companies looking out for our health by carrying natural products, minus the chemicals. One Mommy Footprint reader recently told me that Whole Foods carries their own line (365 Everyday Value brand) and the prices are very reasonable. (Thanks Sabrina!) Shopping for natural products no longer needs to break the bank!  

January will be the month of talking about ways to rid your home of toxic products and link to places to find healthy alternatives here at Mommy Footprint.  Next up is natural nail polish….I’ve been looking to paint my twin’s nails since the summer and I’ve finally found a safe, biodegradable brand!  Stay tuned.

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Non-Toxic Sunscreen For Kids – Badger, California Baby, Blue Lizard, TruKid, Alba Botanica?

Please note: In May 2010 the EWG strengthened their safe sunscreen requirements so the top list has now changed in the EWG sunscreen database. To read more on these new recommendations, please read the latest Mommy Footprint article called EWG Sunscreen Guide & Surprising Truths Parents Need To Read.

Well, I didn’t know when writing my previous article on safe sunscreen for children, that it would be this difficult to actually get my hands on the brands that came highly recommended by EWG (Environmental Working Group).  It has been a challenge to source these, but I have some tips and hope it saves you research time.

Badger sunscreen SPF 30 if very difficult to find in stores.  Whole Foods and Planet Organic would love to carry it but are having a tough time sourcing it.  My friend Leah (thank you Leah!) sent me the link to Victoria’s Health that sells Badger online, BUT after you pay for the sunscreen and shipping you are looking at $30 per bottle (82 g).  I will need about 5 bottles to last my kids this summer, so it’s just not a practical solution for me.  Still, I’m not deterred….I figure this can’t be hard.  Hmmmm keep reading. Continue Reading →

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