Live Happy, Live Healthy, Live Green

My tips for living happy, healthy, and green!

Category : Ways to be Green

Make Your Own Baby Food

Since my little man started eating a month ago I have been making all of his baby food. I started him on solid foods at 6 months old. He is loving eating solid foods! Making his food from the start is my way of influencing his eating habits for the rest of his life. I want to teach him from the beginning to eat healthy fruits and vegetables.

There are many benefits to making your own baby food:

1. You know exactly what is in the food! If you make it yourself you know there is no added sugar or preservatives.

2. Saves money…baby food in jars can get expensive. By making your own you can fruits and vegetables that are on sale, in season, or you can grow them your self.

3. Its good for the baby and the environment. No buying jars and recycling them. Think about how many jars of food you would go through in a month!

4. The food is Fresh. Even if you make a week or months worth of food at once and then freeze it, it will be fresher then the stuff in the jars at the store.

Its easy to make baby food. All you need is a pan, steamer baskets, and food processor or baby food grinder.

Step 1:

Wash and prepare fruit or vegetable. I leave the skin on until after I have steamed the item to keep more of vitamins and nutrients intact. I try to always choose organic fruits and veggies, this way I know they are free of pesticides and other harmful toxins.

Step 2: Steam fruit or vegetable. Place steamer basket over a couple of inches of water and cover. Timing depends of what item you are making. I just check the softness periodically.

Step 3: Peel fruit or veggie if needed.

Step 4: Place in food processor and blend to desired consistency. If stage 1 food you can add breast milk, formula, or water from the pan used for steaming to create a smoother consistency.

Step 5: If freezing place in freezer safe containers and place in freezer. Most items are good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I like to take a day each week to make a week to a week and half worth of foods. That is what works best for me. I know some people will make food once a month and that works also.

Cloth Diapering 101

So when my little man was about 4 months old I started using cloth diapers….we have been at it for about 3 months now and things are going well. I wanted to share with you a few tips that I come to use along the way.

First here is what I use so far:

I use the GroVia One Size shells along with the snap in inserts and some pre folds. I use the prefolds during the day when we are at home and I can change him often. I use the snap in GroVia inserts at night and if we are going out and about. Also at night I have started using the GroVia soaker pads which I have found to be very helpful. My little man is a heavy wetter at night and was soaking through every night until I started using the soaker pads. He sleeps about 10 hours every nights so its great now that when he wakes up his clothes are not soaked!

To start I would have to say you should have at least 3 shells and 12 inserts of some type. I started with less of both and ended up ordering more within in 2 weeks because I couldn’t keep up with the laundry. Currently I have 12 prefolds, 12 snap inserts, 4 soaker pads, and 3 shells. For my next purchase I will get 2 more shells and 4 more soaker pads and probably 2 more snap in inserts. After that I think I will be set at least for awhile. GroVia is the only brand I have used so far, but didn’t feel the need to try anything else because I really like the way they work. I did a lot of reading and talked with a few people before choosing and I think I made the right choice for me and my little man.

Tip 1: Have enough inserts and shells right from the start. If you are just starting and can’t get a lot to begin with…make sure you have some backup disposable diapers. There is nothing worse then getting ready to leave for the day and realizing that the load of diapers you thought you put into the dryer, you didn’t! Now you have no clean diapers and are running late.

Tip 2: Follow the directions! I know this may sound obvious, but you really do need to wash the inserts and soaker pads multiple times before using if you want them to be effective.

Tip 3: Remember that the inserts are not going to look brand new forever. I have some perfectionist tendencies and that has caused me to obsess over the smallest discoloration on the diapers.  Yes you want them to be clean, but there will be some spots you just can’t get out no matter how hard you try!

Tip 4: Figure out what works best for you. I did a lot of reading to try to figure out what I should do. Then finally I just went and got some stuff to start. You just have to start and go from there to see how it works for you.

Poison Proof Your Home

Did you know that poisoning is the 5th leading cause of accidental death among young children? And the leading cause of poisoning in children is HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS!

Why do we keep some many toxic and poisonous items in our home when it is not necessary? There are non-toxic options to the cleaning products we keep in our home.

Window Cleaner Options:

Make your own: Water and Vineagar

Buy Natural Products: Shaklee Basic H

Bleach Substitute:

Make your own: White Vinegar and Baking Soda

Buy Natural Products: Nature Bright

All Purpose Cleaner:

Make your own:White Vinegar and Water

Buy Natural Products: Basic H

Degreaser:

Make Your Own: Baking Soda and Water

Buy Natural Products: Basic H or Get Clean Scour Off

Make your home safe for you and your family. Go through you cupboards, closets, and pantries. Throw out all of the items that are toxic and poisonous. Now either stock White Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Lemons or buy safe natural/organic products. Believe me you will feel better after you do this. White Vinegar is awesome for removing hard water stains….I have horribly hard water that stains everything! I keep a large jug of white vinegar around at all times.

Now that you have the cleaning products taken care of you can move on to personal care products. Did you know that your cosmetics probably contain the following…Formaldehyde, phenol, benzene, toluene, xylene. Then there are the parabens that are found in many personal care products. Parabens are preservatives found in about 90% of all cosmetics. There have been many studies linking parabens to cancer in lab animals. So not only are these products poisonous if ingested they are not good for you either. There are many options for paraben free products…Dr. Hauschka, Burt’s Bees, Weleda, and Shaklee Beauty Products.

Below is an excerpt from: Poison in the Home By Dr. George Grant, Toxicologist/Analytical Chemist/Microbiologist, Founder of the International Academy of Wellness www.academyofwellness.com

“More children under four die of accidental poisonings at home than are accidentally killed with guns at home. The average home today contains more chemicals than were found in a typical chemistry lab. Go into your kitchen and your bathroom and look under your sinks where you keep your cleaning and personal care supplies. What have you found? Window cleaner? Bleach? Dishwashing detergent? Shampoo? Toothpaste? If you read the label on toothpaste, it says not to swallow the paste!” For more of the article click here.

The Power of Breastfeeding

I am a new mom, my little guy is now 4 months old. And being a new mom I research everything, I want to give my little guy the best and healthiest life possible! So I am breastfeeding him exclusively until he is at least 6 months old. I know there are moms out there that absolutely love breastfeeding, I would not say I am one of those people but I do it because I know that it is best for my baby boy. And another great thing is there are benefits for you as well as your little one.

Here is a list of some of the many many benefits to you and your baby!

  • The “Early Milk” Colostrum is a thick yellow milk that is full of the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs and is the perfect amount for their tiny tummies.
  • Breast milk changes from Colostrum to mature milk about 3 to 5 days after the baby is born. The mature milk is full of the right amount fats, nutrients, protein, and antibodies your baby needs to continue their growth.
  • Breast milk is much easier on the your little ones tummy and easier for them to digest. Your babies digestive system is not full developed when they are born, so breast milk is much easier on your baby and you. If your baby has an upset tummy you are going to hear about it!
  • Breast fed babies have a lower risk many diseases. Formula cannot match the unique chemical make up of breast milk. Babies that are formula fed have a higher risk of asthma, obesity, childhood leukemia, type 1 and 2 diabetes, SIDS, and many others.
  • Newborns need physical contact to feel safe and secure. Breastfeeding is the perfect time to provide that to your baby. It is a time where you have to relax and sit with your baby. It is a great time to bond with your new bundle of joy! This bonding time is also great for the new mom, you have sit and relax which is something you need to do.
  • Breastfeeding can save you a lot of money! According to womenshealth.gov the formula and feeding supplies can cost well over $1,500 each year.
  • Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and postpartum depression is the mother.
  • Breastfeeding is “Green”, there is a lot of waste reduced by breastfeeding. Less formula packaging and bottles in our landfills.

These are just a few of many many benefits for you, and your baby! Here are few links that have more information.

http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/why-breastfeeding-is-important/

http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/index.htm

http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1028/mainpageS1028P0.html

Why I Chose Shaklee

I am not a great sales person that is for sure. I am pretty quiet for the most part, especially around new people, so why did I choose to sell Shaklee products.

I chose Shaklee for many reasons. The number 1 reason is because I completely believe in there products. I am not interested in pyramid schemes, or just selling to sell. I only want to supply people with a product that I use, believe  in, and that can really help them. I want people to live a happy, healthy, and green life!

Everyday I turn on the news and hear about more and more health problems, many that could be prevented if people would begin to take care of themselves. I mean how difficult is it to grab a glass of water and swallow a couple of vitamins each morning? But how many people out there don’t do it? I know there are millions of vitamin companies out there and people don’t know which one to choose. Here is a testimony that may help you choose:

My husbands grandparents are 91 and 95 and still live in there home, go to church every Sunday, go to bible study every Thursday evening. Papa who is 95 actually still teaches to bible classes at the church. He also chops wood for the winter to heat there home. Papa is also no medication at all! If you ask them both of them will tell you the reason they are still doing so wonderful is that they take there Shaklee Vitamins everyday! And they have been for over 40 years.

Papa with his new John Deer tractor this summer!

Nana with one of her Great Grandson’s!

Another thing I love about Shaklee is that they were “Green” before the “Green” trend began. They have been creating “green” products for over 50 years! A quote from the Shaklee website “Every product that goes into every Shaklee bottle is designed to improve health, work without compromise, and be gentle on the planet.” I don’t know what else I could ask for.

There is also the Shaklee A Million Trees. A Million Dreams. project. Click here for more details. In 2009 the millionth tree was planted at the Shaklee Headquarters. And when you sign up “And to offset the carbon emissions of shipping the PAK, Shaklee will plant five trees!”

Shaklee has many products to chose from…vitmains, weight loss products, home and cleaning products, baby products, and beauty products. Click here to learn more about these products. And if you are interested in joining and sharing these wonderful product with your family and friends click here.

Being Green Everyday

Here is a list of few things we have started doing to continue to be green…

  1. My husband got a bike to ride to work, since we moved a couple months ago we are now only 3.5 miles from my husbands office.
  2. Join are local freecycle group. This is an online group where local people can offer items for free and people can post things they are looking for. A great way for items to be reused and not just thrown into the land fill!
  3. Stopped using paper towel for cleaning. Rags work just as well and this also saves money on buying more paper towel. I use old t-shirts and dish towels as rags which is another way of reusing!
  4. I try to no longer get plastic bags when I grocery shop but there are the times I forget or don’t bring enough bags. So we use the plastic bags for picking up poop…we have 2 dogs and use the bags when we take them out. Much better then buying the special bags to dog poop.

What are the little things you do everyday to continue your green lifestyle?

How To Blanch Tomatoes

My garden has been producing a ton of tomatoes! A great way to store them is to blanch them and then freeze them. This is easy to do and doesn’t require any items that you don’t already have in your kitchen. This way you can save the tomatoes for making fresh salsa, spaghetti sauce, and chili throughout the fall and winter!

Items Needed:

  • Large pan of boiling water
  • Large bowl of ice water
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Strainer
  • Bowl for compost
  • Freezer bags

Step 1:

Boil water and place tomatoes in for 30-45 seconds, I usually put about 5 in at a time.

Step 2:

Using slotted spoon move tomatoes from boiling water to the bowl of ice water

Step 3:

Peel off tomatoes skin and cut tomatoes into quarters

Step 4:

Remove seeds and squeeze out excess liquid, then place tomatoes into strainer

Step 5:

Place stained tomatoes into freezer bags and freeze

Tip: leave tomatoes in stainer for a couple of hours or overnight to drain out all excess liquid

Now you have tomatoes ready to thaw and use. Also the seeds and peels are great to put into your compost.

New Get Clean Mini Kits

Shaklee’s Get Clean Products are now available is 3 New Mini Kits:

Get Clean Kitchen Mini Kit:

  • Hand Dish Wash Liquid Concentrate (16 fl. oz)
  • Dish Washer Automatic Concentrate (32 oz)
  • Dish Washer Automatic Dispenser (empty)
  • Hand Wash Concentrate (32 fl. oz)
  • Hand Wash Dispenser

Get Clean Household Mini Kit:

  • Basic H2® Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate, 16 oz. (1)
  • Basic H2® Wipes (35 count)
  • Germ Off Wipes (35 count)
  • Scour Off
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Dropper Pipette
  • Spray Bottles (3-pack)

Get Clean Laundry Mini Kit:

  • Fresh Laundry Concentrate HE Compatible Regular Scent (32 fl. oz.)
  • Nature Bright (32 oz.)
  • Nature Bright dispenser (empty)
  • Soft Fabric Dryer Sheets (80 count)
  • Soft Fabric Concentrate (32 fl. oz)
  • Measuring Cup

Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Making your own baby wipes is a great way to save money and it only takes a few minutes.You probably have everything you need already.

Start with a roll of paper towels….I use Viva (less then $4 for 2 rolls)

Cut the roll of paper towels in half with a bread knife (now you have 4 rolls for wipes)

In a bowl combine:

1 C Water

1 T baby wash

1/2 T Olive Oil

1 t lavender or tea tree oil (optional)

Pour mixture over one of your four rolls in a tupperwear container with a lid. Let sit for 10 minutes and then flip over and let sit for another 10 minutes. Now pull your roll out and remove the center cardboard and you have a roll of wipes, store in a air tight container.

My next project is to learn how to sew my own cloth diapers…that will be a real money saver! I can’t believe it costs me over $10 for a 30 pack of newborn diapers!

New Get Clean Water from Shaklee

Get Clean Water Get the new “Get Clean” Water filtration pitcher from Shaklee.  We all know that there can be harmful contaminates in our water and who wants to be constantly going to the store to buy bottles of water…not to mention all the plastic used to make those bottles and the amount of waste they create. The “Get Clean” Water filtration pitcher is a great way to save money, be green, and know that the water you are drinking is safe, clean, and tastes great!

I can’t wait to get this product. I am tired of buying bottled water or gallon jugs of water. The water we have in our new house is not something I want to drink without it being filtered first!

Click Here for more information and to order the Get Clean Water Filtration pitcher!