This world we live in is completely chaotic. It’s really difficult to know whose advice to follow to be healthy. The main thing that I’ve learned (especially since becoming a mom) is that mainstream recommendations from media and even doctors is often biased often because of who is sponsoring what. Media outlets like newspapers and magazines tout products from their biggest advertisers. Bloggers often are given products for free and even when they have the best of intentions, when you receive something for free, there is some effect. Even health organizations like the American Pediatrics Association and the American Heart Association are funded by companies that they unsurprisingly recommend as well. See my post with world-renowned nutritionist Kimberly Snyder about the American Heart Association’s funding by the Canola oil Council). So really, who can you trust to give you unbiased opinions?
That’s an answer that I’m still grappling with. But I do have several blogs and resources I follow that I think do a great job of getting to the bottom of things.
Let me start by explaining a bit about myself and what I believe is healthy–because it may be more than you bargained for. I’m totally Type A when it comes to health and especially the health of my daughter. I try to eat plant-based for the most part when I can. I believe that organic is better than conventional (after much research on the topic). I also try to avoid other toxic substances in my life as much as possible. That means avoiding BPA in plastics when possible, and avoiding toxic home-cleaning products and personal products like makeup.
And pimpin’ ain’t easy! Figuring out, which products are safe and what chemicals should be avoided is a full-time job. Unfortunately, it pays next to nothing and the majority of the world is happy snacking away on processed food and ingesting toxic chemicals. But I have found several great resources who do care about these things!
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a FANTASTIC organization dedicated to empowering people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, they drive consumer choice and civic action. They are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. They research everything from beauty products, cleaning products, tap water, pesticides and more. They do a great guide to healthy sunscreens every year–it’s terrifying what’s in most mainstream brands. They also have a database of beauty products–you can check and see what’s lurking in what you’re putting all over your skin. You can also check cleaning products to see, which are the most toxic. The work they do should be read by everyone. Visit the EWG website to learn more.
Then next, I read some bloggers that I think are truly incredible women. Both of them do so much research it makes my head spin.
First, Gimme The Good Stuff helps busy, conscientious parents easily avoid toxic products in their homes through their in-home consulting service, personalized shopping guides, and online store.
They simplify the process of navigating the confusing world of “natural” products, so their readers, customers, and clients can enjoy peace of mind and confidence that their home is a safe, healthy place for their families.
She’s also hilarious, on her website she asks, if you are a person who asks yourself the following questions, her blog is for you:
- Which numbered plastics are most toxic, again?
- Is it sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate that I’m supposed to avoid when buying shampoo?
- What’s the difference between partially and fully hydrogenated oil and why exactly are they bad?
- Will my toddler be smarter if I let him watch Baby Einstein or will he end up with ADHD?
But if you have no idea what these questions are even talking about, she’s there for you too, to help navigate the insanely complicated world of “natural” products. With more products than ever for parents to choose from, it’s exhausting—though important—to educate yourself about safety of all of this stuff. And she takes some of the hard work out of doing so!
And finally, my latest obsession is I Read Labels For You. Irina helps empower consumers with resources and information to make the best decisions for your family.
Before she writes about any product, she researches it thoroughly. And when I say thoroughly, I mean thoroughly. She contacts companies directly, and not every company wants to deal with me, requiring lots of follow up. You can read all about what goes into her blog here.
She has several guides about detoxifying your home, healthy baby products, hair dyes and more.
She has so much integrity and truly can’t be bought–which trust me, in the business of blogging (and life) is VERY rare.
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