The Best Of Clean Beauty 2018

The Best Of Clean Beauty 2018

We are at it again with the best of clean beauty 2018!  My girl Lisa from the blog This Organic Girl and I are dishing up our faves this year in clean and natural beauty.  This is our third year in a row and the post always seems to be a crowd favorite. 

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I’m going to give you a quick run down on some past favorites too that we can’t stope reaching for, plus some personal picks that I’ve tried and Lisa hasn’t.  But before I do, I wanted to share a little about two places that keep me well stocked when it comes to clean and natural beauty products.

The first is The Detox Market– 

best of clean beauty

Just some of the clean beauty you can find at detox market!

This was the very first green beauty store I shopped at.  I still remember angels singing when I visited the actual store in L.A.  Ok, maybe angels weren’t singing but it felt like I had arrived in green beauty heaven!  They have ALL the brands and more.  You want some Josh Rosebrook- they’ve got you covered.  Need some Osmia Organics in your life, sister they have it.  Want some Odacite?  No problem- they have the whole line.  It’s your one stop shop for all things natural beauty!  They have a list of ingredient standards, which lists ingredients they don’t allow in their formulations, so you can be sure your products are squeaky clean. 

I remember hearing about their pop up shop in 2010- I was salivating to go!  It was at the same time I had started to detox my beauty products.  It’s so crazy to think where The Detox Market is today!  There’s so many natural options, compared to 8 years ago.  I love their mission on educating the consumer and bringing awareness.  Forever a Detox Market fan!  You can basically get any clean beauty product from their store.  

Also, I love Boxwalla!  

best of clean beauty

Love this clean beauty box by Boxwalla. It hits all the marks when it comes to a clean beauty box.

This is a clean beauty box that you can get bi-monthly. In case you’re not familiar with Boxwalla allow me to introduce you.  This box delivers some of the best of green beauty.  I find that’s what sets them apart from other green beauty boxes is their thoughtful curations.  I always find they go out on a limb and really find brands and artisans that I haven’t heard of- which I love!  If you’re into trying new brands and discovering people that truly love their craft- this box is for you.  I also love that this box is bi-monthly versus every month.  It helps me to savor each box and really get to know the products.  Their selections are always cruelty free as well.  The products are also free of certain ingredients according to Boxwalla standards.  You can find the specific ingredients they avoid here. Another reason I love getting behind this box!  Plus, don’t get me started on their actual boxes the products come in- seriously next level.  I keep each box and give them to others with gifts in them because they’re so gorgeous!  Read below on how their boxes are made. A quote from Boxwalla’s website: 

Each box containing Boxwalla goodies is carefully crafted from tree-free handmade paper. A small company in India makes the paper for us, from cotton scraps, using the traditional art of paper-making that involves 9 steps and takes several weeks. The handmade paper is then meticulously fashioned into the boxes that you see in the pictures. The whole process is completely child labor free and employs 63 local villagers and 20 skilled artisans whose families have been making paper for generations. We love supporting socially and environmentally conscious businesses such as these: They craft beautiful products while preserving traditional crafts and skills that would otherwise be completely lost.

If you want to start the new year off right and start discovering the best of green beauty, sign up for a Boxwalla box here!

Here are past favorites of Lisa and I that we can’t get away from:

best of clean beauty 2018

Lisa and I wearing the beloved Mermaid Mask by Leahlani skincare.

Ok, on to the BEST OF CLEAN BEAUTY 2018!

  • Moss Skincare Beurre Céleste Honey Antioxidant Infusion Recovery Mask in Cleansing Baume- It was love at first swipe when I used this cleansing mask/balm.  It comes in a balm form and quickly melts in your hands and removes makeup and grime so effortlessly. Your skin feels so clean, and not stripped in any way.  I often use it in the mornings and leave it on my skin while I brush my teeth.  Such a unique formula too because it’s completely waterless- so no preservative!  
  • African Botanics Fleurs de’Afrique- An amazing plant based retinol oil that my skin LOVES!  I literally have seen a brightness in my skin and hyper pigmentation fade- no joke.  If you got it, then you know what I’m talking about.  I discovered this in a Boxwalla box- they are always dishing out the good stuff.
  • Kosas Lipstick- These lipsticks are the best.  To own a Kosas lipstick is to love it!  These are pigmented, long lasting and moisturizing.  I almost have all 8 colors in the collection and there isn’t a bad color.
  • Odacite Lip Serum- I had never used a lip serum like this on my lips until Odacite’s.  It helps to hydrate, minimize fine lines on the lips and plump.  I love applying as my last step in my skincare routine.  My lip’s nightly nightcap!
  • Laurel Sun Damage Repair Serum- This is a serum and oil in one that helps to repair sun damaged skin.  The formula contains 27 whole organic plants!  It helps to reverse the signs of aging that the sun brings.  It also helps to brighten and fade age spots.  The oil feels richer on the skin but it also seeps right in.  When I used it I noticed a decrease in overall redness, faded sun spots and clearer skin tone.  
  • Khus Khus Modern Herbal Fusion + RASA Restorative Potion- This is such a unique body cream. Not only does it contain adaptogenic herbs but Ayurvedic and Western nervine herbs as well.  It helps to bring a calm to the nervous system.  It feels so soothing and healing!  Plus, my skin feels so hydrated as well.
  • True Botanicals Cellular Repair Serum, Antioxidant Booster and Vitamin C Booster- The Cellular Repair Serum is designed to reverse the cellular damage caused by sun exposure and aging.  Pretty sure everyone wants to sign up for that-am I right?!  Besides reversing cellular damage it also replenishes moisture and plumps up skin.  It’s highly concentrated and goes past the surface of the skin to really get to the cellular level.  This Vitamin C Booster treatment is preserved in it’s freshest form.  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to even skin tone, brighten and fade wrinkles, stimulate collagen, plus firm and repair skin.  I mean every face needs this stuff.  You might be wondering why it comes in a powder form.  When vitamin c is mixed with a liquid it slowly loses potency.  By keeping it in powder form you can be assured it’s in it’s freshest form.  The Antioxidant Booster is similar to the Vitamin C Booster but it uses apple peel powder instead, which has actually been shown to be more powerful then Vitamin C!  It helps brighten dark spots, even out skin tone and firm skin.
  • Sappho Brow Pomade- When my beloved brow cream that I had been using for a couple year from Hynt was reformulated I was back to the drawing board to find one that worked just as good!  Thankfully Sappho answered my prayers.  This works so well. Leaves my brows looking natural and so easy to apply.  I wear the color dark brown black.
  • Honest Beauty Mascara- If you’ve followed me for a hot minute you know I’m OBSESSED with this mascara!  It’s the best I’ve found in green beauty. It gives my lashed definition, length and drama.  Plus, you can get it on Amazon and it’s under $15!  I know- we hit the jackpot with this one.  
  • Osmia Body Oil- I can’t get enough of Osmia’s Body Oil.  It’s like the biggest drink of water for your body.  Your skin will thank you and so will your mind as you wrap yourself in this goodness.  I apply mine right out of the shower or bath and my skin stays silky smooth all day.  I love the Night Oil scent- with notes of lavender, roman chamomile and atlas cedarwood. But if you don’t like scent you would love their naked oil- it has no essential oils in it.
  • Maya Chia The Optimist Hydrating Essence- I get SO excited for any new Maya Chia product and The Optimist was no exception.  This gem is housed in a dark glass bottle, preserving every last drop of goodness.  Smells divine with hints of neroli, sweet orange, and ylang ylang.  The formula itself feels so hydrating on the skin and refreshing with white tea, antioxidants, fatty acids and phytonutrients- just to name a few.  I can’t forget the actual spray function.  It works so well!  I know it might sound funny, but after truing hundreds of mists in my day, the spray function is actually quite important.  You don’t want the mist to feel like it’s attacking your skin or spraying you in the eye!  The Optimist sprays so well all over the face.  The founder Susanne nailed it!
best of clean beauty

Honest Beauty Mascara is my favorite green beauty mascara.

Here are some favorites of mine that I discovered this year and I can’t not share:

  • Beautycounter’s Face Wipes- These wipes are the best I’ve found in green beauty.  They offer the perfect amount of moisture, and they remove all my makeup!  Plus, they’re biodegradeable.
  • Beauty counter’s Eye shadows- I love these shadows.  They get the best eye shadow award in clean beauty hands down!  They are so pigmented, go on smooth and stay on forever- the whole day.  Trust me- you will be hooked once you use them.  They are having a sale right now for 30% off their holiday eye palettes too!
  • Beautycounter’s Eye Makeup Remover- Ok, I seriously was so excited when I tried this eye makeup remover.  All you Mary Kay fans will get me.  Back in the day I used to be big Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover devotee.  It was the best I found and since I stopped using it I’ve never even able to find a replacement. Until now!  This eye makeup remover works like a charm- can’t say it enough. If you like having an eye makeup remover- you’ll love this!
  • Ilia Eye Primer- I have finally found my favorite eye primer in clean beauty!  This magic little wand does not mess around.  It keeps my eye shadows in place the whole day, no creasing, or smudging.  I can’t recommend it enough.
  • Tata Harper’s Clarifying Mask- I had tried this once before this year but nothing more. It had been a small sample. Then I got a full jar and lets just say, it quickly dwindled!  This helps purify pores, detoxify the skin and leave you with an overall glow.  Can’t get enough!

That’s it for The Best Of Clean Beauty 2018!  Want to see what The Best Of Clean Beauty 2016 and 2017 was?  Check out 2016 here and 2017 here.  

Go check out my girl Lisa’s take on all our faves, plus see what 5 products she discovered this year!

*Also don’t forget to check out our Instagram pages @gurlgonegreen and @thisorganicgirl to enter to win over $500 worth of clean beauty loot!  

See any faves?

What To Do When Your Child Has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

What To Do When Your Child Has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

In episode #21 we are learning what to do when your child has multiple chemical sensitivities from Steph Duford.  Steph Duford is from Wisconsin.  Born and raised a Midwest girl. Her husband, Larry and her have a 5-year-old fun and enthusiastic son named Frank. Recently, after 16 years, she left her profession as a hair stylist to be a full-time SAHM (stay at home mom) and homeschool Frank. There hasn’t been one defining moment that has made her passionate about lifestyle and wellness but a compilation of many.  Knowledge is her power. Steph loves to learn and research…often times to a fault. By personality, she is passionate, strong willed and determined. Her biggest tool has always been self navigation. At 1 year, her son Frank was diagnosed with multiple anaphylaxis to both food and environmental allergies…36 to be exact. He’s truly the bravest and most inspiring human she knows. It has been her mission to focus on healing him from the inside out and there really is no limit to how far her and her husband will go for her son’s health and freedom.

Along with many allergies, she’s also become well versed in chronic atopic eczema and multiple chemical sensitivity. The saying, “The best detective at work is the mother of an ill child” is 100% accurate! One thing she very much prides herself in is how her and her family create normalcy. They focus on experiences that can safely be improvised and work around limitations while still building childhood fun/memories. Steph’s mission is to share experiences that have shaped her in hopes to reach and help others. Her biggest satisfaction is helping others build a happier, healthier lifestyle for themselves and their families.

Connect With Steph-

Topics Discussed-

  • Who is Steph Duford and her story of having a child with allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities
  • Golden Hour moment or catalyst in her own health journey
  • Her advice for mama’s who may feel overwhelmed when caring for a child with allergies or MCS
  • Tips and protocols that have helped her and her family navigate having a child with allergies or MCS
  • Things she’s learned along the way to ensure her child still experiences life to the fullest
  • Tips that have helped her have courage and boldness to ask for what she wants
  • Things anyone can do to help make the environment around them safer for those who suffer from allergies
  • 3 health habits that have made the biggest impact on your life
  • Where people can connect with Steph

Links Mentioned In The Podcast-

  • Metaderm- Lotion that helped heal Frankie’s eczema skin

 

*Sponsorship- This episode is brought to you by:

 

Why We Love It?

  • Goat whey has demonstrated positive anti-inflammatory effects in the digestive system. Cow whey has shown increased inflammatory effects.
  • Cow whey is considered allergenic whereas goat whey is considered hypoallergenic.
  • Whey protein is the “gold standard” for serious athletes. Goat whey is the “gold standard” of that “gold standard.”
  • Goat whey is amazing for our immune systems, supporting lean muscle growth and repair, as well as optimal body composition.
  • Goat whey has the full range of essential amino acids in ratios that best support the athlete in all of us
  • It is really light and doesn’t ever makes us feel bloated. That’s because there is nothing added to fill up space, just the purest goat whey and flavoring.
  • Activ Whey is a goat whey protein that comes from goats that are grassfed all the way through their lifecycle. There are zero antibiotics or hormones used on the goats or the vegetation they eat from.
  • I personally know the creator and can vouch for the legitimacy of the protein and where it is sourced from.
DID YOU LOVE IT?!  

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The Best Nontoxic Cookware

The Best Nontoxic Cookware

I finally rounded out the best nontoxic cookware!  I have received this question so much within the last 6 months that I knew I needed to write a blog post.  It’s crazy how many toxic chemicals can be lurking in cookware.  It might not seem like a big deal but over time these chemicals add up and produce a toxic load!

So What’s In The Average Pot or Pan?

I’m sure you’ve either used nonstick pots or pans or heard of them.  These pans may make it easy to cook your food with but unfortunately they carry dangerous toxic exposure as well!  Nontoxic cookware usually contains this chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA.  Science has shown that it can stay in human bodies for long periods of time.   It has even shown to cause cancer in lab studies done on animals.

While cancer is nothing to bat an eye at, it also can cause infertility, liver damage, plus delayed development just to name a few other things.  Of course PFOA isn’t the only ingredient you want to avoid in your cookware.  Things like aluminum, plastic, lead, teflon, and cadmium.  These all pose a serious risk to our health and should be avoided.

When living out a natural lifestyle one of the foundations is cooking your food.  It’s no secret that when you cook your own food, you’re getting more nourishment usually then when going out.  However, if the cookware we constantly use is leaching out harmful toxins we may be doing ourselves a disservice.  As I mentioned earlier it’s the toxic load over time that really adds up.  These chemicals are literally getting into the food we’re eating and then absorbed by our bodies.

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So What Is Safe?

There are some great options out there now when it comes to nontoxic cookware!  I will say some of the cookware definitely are a little pricier than non-stick- however the investment is worth it.  These pots and pans are going to last you a lot longer than many conventional pots and pans and won’t carry the toxic burden.

Favorites-

Cast Iron-

This was the first type of nontoxic cookware that I switched over too and I still love it.  It really has been around forever and that’s one of the reasons I love it.  It does take a little bit of time to get used to it but once you’ve worked with it you figure it out.  I really love the Lodge cast iron pans.  They’re easy to find at Target or you can order them on Amazon.  They’re also budget friendly!  I use this pan for cooking eggs,  meats, frying- really the list is endless. A couple tips when using cast iron.  Make sure and slowly add heat.  I found this works best instead of blasting the food with heat.  It helps to not burn food.  Cast iron retains heat very well.  Also, make sure you season it regularly. This helps to create a type of natural nonstick surface.  If you’re unsure how to season it, The Wellness Mama did a whole blog post on it here.  When you season a cast iron it’s basically adding a good oil to keep it hydrated and then baking it.  I avoid cooking acidic foods in cast iron because it can break down the seasoning or patina that’s been made on the cast iron.  Cleaning cast iron can seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually not.  You don’t want to use soap with cast iron- it can damage the seasoning and dry it out.  Instead, use some salt to clean it.  I just shake salt on top and then take a scrubby and scrub away.  Then rinse with water. Then you want to dry it and rub in a cooking oil. *The one caution I would make is that cast iron has been known to leach iron so if for some reason you have an abundance of iron you might want to switch up your pans every now and then.  I’ve been the opposite more anemic so I welcome all the iron I can get! Check out Lodge Cast Iron here!

Stainless Steel-

This is another option.  It is unique because it comes in many varieties and types.  In other words not all stainless steel is created equal. Stainless steel is made up of a combination of metals.  Some of the most common metals are chromium and nickel.  The chromium is what helps to protect against rusting and is nontoxic for the most part in the body.  Our bodies do need chromium in small amounts but it’s not that much and if you eat a fairly healthy diet you may already be getting more than you need.  Nickel on the other hand is used to give stainless steel that extra hardness and to give it that polished look.  However, it isn’t great for our bodies.  There is virtually no reason for us to consume nickel.  Your best bet is to buy food grade stainless steel.  When shopping you will see numbers like 200, 304, 316 and 430.  These numbers represent the series of stainless steel.  For example, a 300 series may corrode easier then a 400 series. Whereas a 400 series is going to be the strongest and have almost no nickel.  Of course the 400 series will cost more!  I wouldn’t buy anything less than a 304 for overall quality. You will also see numbers 18/8, 18/10 or 18/0. The first number represents the amount of chromium and the second number the amount of nickel.  It’s also important to not use harsh cleaners when cleaning stainless steel because it can cause damage to the lining. When the lining is damaged the heavy metals can leach into the food a lot easier.  Personally, although this option is safer than many I still prefer not to cook with it all the time because of the possible metal content leaching into food, especially if the food your cooking is acidic. Also, many stainless steel cookware has a layer of aluminum in between the stainless steel.  So it’s important to note that if your stainless steel was to get scratched you need to stop using it. You may also see copper sandwiched in the in-between layer as well.  They do this because both aluminum and copper are heat conductors.  From what I’ve read and researched since the aluminum isn’t coming into contact with the food and is protected by stainless steel it’s fine to have it in the cookware. *Some people already have high levels of heavy metals in their bodies and cooking with stainless steel wouldn’t be a good idea.  However, many people might be fine.  I know a lot of people who use it only for certain things and then other foods that might be more acidic they use different cookware.  One more important tidbit is that commercial kombucha is brewed in large stainless steel vats and since kombucha is acidic it is soaking up all those heavy metals. Even though it’s housed in glass it’s best to steer clear of  store bought kombucha and make your own at home. Check out this great set of stainless steel cookware here!

Xtrema

This has been my newest cookware option that I’ve started to use for the last several months and really have come to love!  It is different than both stainless steel and cast iron.  From the glaze on the cookware to the core it’s made with 100% ceramic.  Ceramic is awesome because it’s completely inert- meaning it won’t leach any harmful toxins.  All of Xtrema has been tested for heavy metal content and is free from glues, polymers, coatings and dyes. If you want to see their testing results check them out here.  Plus, it’s dish washer safe- something all the mamas can get behind! It heats very evenly too.  You can even take a dish from the fridge to the stove or oven- it’s very versatile. It also can withstand high temperatures.  It’s easy to clean Xtrema cookware too, just use warm soapy water.  You can also use baking soda or an abrasive scrubby if you need to.  The best way to heat an Xtrema is to turn the heat on low or low medium.  Since it’s so great at heat conduction you don’t need or want to crank the heat up to high.  Doing this would result in foods sticking or burning.  It’s best to turn the heat on a couple minutes before you start cooking and then add a little cooking oil once it’s heated.  I like avocado oil, ghee or coconut oil.  Don’t add the oil to a cold pan, wait until it’s heated up or it will cause foods to stick.  Personally, I love cooking with Xtrema!  I have their 8-inch Versa Braiser.  It’s nice because it has a lid and can be used for cooking meats, quiches, casseroles etc, but also can be used for cooking eggs with.  *Beware, there is a lot of deceptive marketing around ceramic cookware.  It may say ceramic but it is coated with a nonstick chemical.  The only company I’m aware of that is a true ceramic, with no additives is Xtrema.  Xtrema

Porcelain Enamel-

There has been a lot of confusion I’ve noticed about this type of cookware.  It is cast iron but then has been given a coating of enamel.  This enamel is a type of glass.  It is completely safe.  There has been some controversy about the enamel being made of clay and therefore having lead but from various tests performed on it, there has been no lead detection reported.  A common brand you may think of is Le Creuset.  Their cookware is made in France.  One might think that porcelain enamel is similar to cast iron and that is true but it does have it’s differences.  Porcelain Enamel will not rust where regular cast iron can if not seasoned properly.  Also, porcelain enamel won’t leach iron because of the coating, where cast iron will.  Porcelain enameled is also nice to have for acidic foods like chili or spaghetti sauces.  Acidic foods as I mentioned above can strip cast iron of it’s seasoning, especially when simmered for a long period of time.  For cleaning you can use some mild dish soap on it and a scrub pad of some kind.  For stubborn stains or food that’s stuck you can boil some water in it with a few tablespoons of baking soda.  Let it sit for a few hours or overnight.  *Personally I love having a porcelain enamel skillet on hand too.  It’s great for using with acidic foods or making stir frys, soups, or stews.  I would stick with Le Creuset.  To my knowledge they are the only ones that have been tested for lead content and come back negative.  The only small trace amounts that were found were on the outside of the lids and pots where there was some color but not inside.  Also, I’m a skeptic of things made in China as they have been known to have higher metal content and most of the other porcelain enameled is made there. Check out Porcelain Enamel cookware here!

Glass Cookware-

This is a great budget friendly option that’s available almost anywhere cookware is sold.  One of the most common glass cookware is called Pyrex.  It is inert, meaning it doesn’t add or take away from the food.  I have several casserole or baking dishes whatever you like to call them.  I use them for both casseroles and special desserts.  I also have a round glass dish with a lid that’s great for soups or stews that I use a lot.  For making breads I like to use a glass bread loaf pan too.  *Glass is a great option for those starting to detox their cookware and looking for accessible and budget friendly options.  I have even seen really good deals on Pyrex glass sets at Costco! Check out this Pyrex set here!  Check out this great set by Anchor Hocking here!

Bakeware-

When it comes to baking you can use a lot of the cookware I mentioned above but there are a few other options too.  For the ones mentioned above you can use cast iron to bake breads, or porcelain enamel for desserts such as crumbles, cobblers or pies.  Also, glass cookware is a great option for baking too, as well as stainless steel.  Stainless steel is especially nice for cookie sheets or cake pans! These are a great option for stainless steel cookie sheets! If you’re still concerned about the possible metal leakage just use some parchment paper.  I love this brand that doesn’t leach any toxic chemicals.  I use parchment paper when baking always because it makes clean up so much easier and is sometimes essential when making cakes.  You can also get stainless steel muffin trays.  Another option I haven’t talked about is stone cookware.  They have stone baking sheets, loaf pans and cake pans.  I personally haven’t used them.  I know that you have to be really careful when cleaning as you can’t use soap or get them wet.  They’re also heavier too. Rada is a good American made brand that is lead free.  *When it comes to bakeware think about what you use the most and swap that out first.  As I mentioned earlier, you can always buy some nontoxic parchment paper and use that as a protectant too.  I also like these nontoxic paper muffin liners. 

I have never used silicone for cooking or baking other than some silicone muffin liners.  However, I stopped using them because I started to wonder if they were actually safe.  I had read a lot of information saying there just isn’t enough research out there yet and I agree.  Until more long term studies come out, I’m going to stick with using silicone when food isn’t heated or cooked.  

I do think it’s important to switch out your cookware because this is something you use all the time and the accumulative affect is great.  Even if you could replace one item every quarter, by the end of the year you would have a whole new cookware set!

What nontoxic cookware option do you love?

Sprouts Community Giving + Vitamin Angels

Sprouts Community Giving + Vitamin Angels

I’m back talking about Sprouts Community Giving + Vitamin Angels!  This company really gets better and better the more I learn about them.  They really have created such an amazing place for people to learn about health from the groceries they buy to helping support their local community.

Sprouts has moved beyond just making healthy living accessible and really embraces the important idea of giving back.  I love that!  Every year Sprouts supports local nonprofit organizations from food banks and service groups though in-kind and direct donations.  SO amazing!  They are really showing that healthy living starts with us and we can make a difference in our local communities.

Food Rescue Program

I’m also a huge fan of their “Food Rescue Program” that helps those in need by providing food, plus feed for animals and nutrients for agriculture soil.  Sprouts takes food that can no longer be sold but is perfectly edible and  donates it to local hunger agencies.  The agencies then disperse them to families in need.  Since the Food Rescue Program started in 2013, over 43 million pounds of food have been donated!  SO cool!  That’s 35 million meals.  Even if the food is not ok to give to hunger relief agencies, it is then donated to local dairy farms and cattle ranches as feed.  This offers a more nutritious feed, plus lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, food is also donated as compost which makes the soil our crops grow in so much richer.  Over 18 million pounds of food have been given since this was started in 2014. Sprouts is raising the bar when it comes to using all resources to create a positive change in the world.

Community Awareness + Giving

Sprouts really is all about being part of the community and giving back.  They have supported 830 community events with volunteers and in-kind donations.  This effort has reached over 2.75 million residents!  I was also impressed with Sprouts efforts when it comes to national disasters.  Sprouts has given over 16,000 pounds of food and water to those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma.   It didn’t stop there, Sprouts also raised over $350,000 for the American Red Cross too!  They also have this annual drive during the holidays called “Grab and Give” where they have provided over 2 million meals.

Vitamin Angels-

Vitamin Angels is a program that helps those in need and at high risk, such as expectant mothers, young children and new moms.  It’s goal is to really serve undeserved communities around the U.S. and in 74 countries around the world.  To learn more about Vitamin Angels, their financial transparency and accountability, head to vitaminangels.org.

The whole idea of Vitamin Angels was birthed out of a strong desire to give mothers and children the best possible life through nutritional help.  Sprouts has committed with Vitamin Angels to help support their initiative to eliminate infant mortality due to vitamin deficiency disease by year 2030.  This initiative will help mothers around the world get the prenatal vitamins they need to ensure healthy babies.  What an amazing movement and cause to be a part of!

Since 2014 alone, Vitamin Angels and Sprouts have reached over 6 million kids with vitamin A and de-worming tablets.  They are literally changing the course of these children’s lives one supplement at a time!  Through August 29th at the Mill Creek Sprouts, every time a product is purchased from a list of more than 1,000 qualifying items throughout the store, .25 will be donated to Vitamin Angels.  These add up quickly and provide change for so many!

As you can see, shopping at Sprouts is a no brainer.  When you shop there you are creating ripple effects for generations to see!

I can’t wait for you all to experience Sprouts!  If you’re in the greater Seattle area then put August 15th on your calendar, Sprouts grand opening in Mill Creek.  This is the first Washington store!  For more information on the Mill Creek opening check out the press release here.

Have you shopped at Sprouts yet?

Best Organic Pillow

Best Organic Pillow

Have you been searching for the best organic pillow like I was?  Well, if you have don’t worry, I’ve got your back!  I’ve tested out many options and I’m here to report on my favorites.  Finding a pillow shouldn’t be a hard process, but it can be if you don’t know where to start.  I take the guess work out so you can find your perfect pillow, minus the toxic load.

So why should you avoid conventional pillows?  

Well, for starters most pillows are either filled with polyester, or cotton.  Polyester contains a toxic chemical ethylene glycol, most commonly known as the deadly substance in anti-freeze.  Cotton contains harmful herbicides and pesticides- many are carcinogenic.  If you think about the amount of time you spend sleeping on your pillow it adds up to a toxic load.  Even memory foam pillows are a toxic recipe since they’re off gassing VOC’s(volatile organic compounds).  As you sleep you’re breathing in all those harmful substances.  These VOC’s have been known to cause a host of problems from irritation to the throat, nose, eyes, headaches, nausea, damage to liver, kidneys and nervous system, some of the organic compounds have even been found to cause cancer in humans.  No thanks!

Besides the toxic load it puts on your body, investing in a conventional pillow also puts a toxic load and burden on the environment.  The herbicides and pesticides are then thrown back into our environment where they end up in our streams, lakes and rivers.  Then they make their way into our water streams.  I think sometimes people forget that when you purchase something you are casting a vote for the kind of world we live in.  Good or bad- it’s up to us to make our voice heard!

As you can see picking up a new pillow requires a little more thought than just going to Target.  Whenever I think about detoxing my home, I really have to stop and think about what kind of impact this will have on my health.  In my opinion, pillows are pretty high on the priority list.  Since you spend so much time sleeping, the toxic load of your pillow adds up.  I want the peace of mind knowing what I lay my head on at night is not negatively impacting my health.

Something to think about…

I’ve seen “organic” pillows popping up in Costco or Target and other major retailers that aren’t necessarily organic.  Allow me to explain.  Marketers are catching on and realizing consumers want to see the word organic.  So they’re putting organic on anything and everything these days.  I’ll see “organic” pillows at these stores for $10 or $15- which isn’t possible if it’s truly organic.  What they really mean is the cotton sheet encasing the fill of the pillow is organic but not the actual fill of the pillow.  Which can be hard to know unless you’ve done your research.  Bottom line: don’t be fooled by marketers and always ask lots of questions!  If it seems to good to be true it often is.

So what materials should you look for in an organic pillow?

  • Organic Cotton- Make sure it is certified GOTS ensuring it has gone through testing to vouch for it’s pureness. Cotton is a firmer option, but not the firmest.  More of a medium firmness.
  • Organic Wool- Naturally flame resistant and pest resistant.  Also, naturally microbial.  It’s also comfortable in the summer and winter because of it’s insulative properties.  Some people can be allergic to wool, so something to consider.
  • Organic Buckwheat- These pillows are made from buckwheat hulls.  They offer firm support for your head.  They are great at circulating the air, which helps you stay cool throughout the night.  They’re also naturally resistant to pests.
  • Kapok- It’s a natural fiber that comes from the Ceiba Tree in Central America.  This is a vegan option for those who like a down pillow. It’s fluffy like a down pillow but plant based.  It has an overall lighter feel than cotton as well.
  • Latex- Shredded latex is great for those who like a soft pillow.  Your head will sink into these pillows.  They will keep you cooler too.  It is similar to conventional memory foam but without the toxic chemicals. It’s also mold and mite resistant, 100% biodegradable, and even antimicrobial.

Ok, now that you know the different types of materials to look for in a safe natural pillow, let me review the natural pillow options I’ve personally tried.

White Lotus Home sent me 3 different pillow options to try.  They are store that offers pure and natural mattresses, bedding, and home furnishings all made in the USA.  It’s your one stop shop to clean up your bedroom!  When I was choosing my pillow options to try out they were so helpful.  Walking me through the whole process and asking questions to ensure I had the best options for how I sleep.

I ended up with the Shredded Latex pillow for my husband, the 100% Organic Cotton pillow for myself and the Kapok Travel pillow to try out as well.

Shredded Latex Pillow- My husband LOVES this pillow!  I’m not just saying that.  He probably tells me at least twice a week how much he likes his pillow.  He had been on me for  while to pick up a new pillow.  He’s a side sleeper and likes his pillow to have some softness with it, but still offer some support.  The shredded latex pillow hit the nail on the head for him.  He said he’s never had a pillow he’s loved more!  The overall weight of the pillow is pretty heavy, it reminds me of a down pillow a little.  What’s great about White Lotus Home is you can customize the fill amount.  Just get a zippered case for the pillow when selecting the type of pillow and you’ll be able to take latex out if it’s too much.  I love this feature!  I did try my husband’s pillow too and I have to say I really loved it as well.  It offers the support I like but still felt fluffy.

100% Organic Cotton- So this is the pillow I got for myself.  It offers more of a firm support then the shredded latex. This is especially great if you sleep on your stomach.  I don’t sleep on my stomach but I do like a decent pillow firmness.  I used to sleep with two pillows before getting this one.  I also got the medium fill because I knew I could always take some fill out if I wanted too.  It felt a little firm initially so I did take some of the cotton out.  Another perk of getting the zippered case!  That helped a lot.  Then I felt my head could sink more into the pillow and not be so stiff.  It’s also nice because once the pillow flattens out a little, I know I can go back and add more fill that I took out.

Kapok-  A great option for a side or back sleeper.  This one felt light on the head and not as firm as the cotton.  I like how it molded to my head after a while and didn’t feel as firm as it did in the beginning.  It seemed more breathable than my cotton one too.  The pillow we got to try was a travel pillow so it was a little harder to get an accurate idea of what a kapok pillow might be like since the pillow itself is smaller but overall I was happy with it.  I think the next time I order one I would order a kapok pillow.  I’ve been letting my 22 month old use the travel size pillow and she loves it!  It’s the perfect size for a toddler pillow.  The kapok pillows are also more budget friendly compared to the other two options above.

If you’re looking for a good quality pillow that isn’t going to off gas toxins I would definitely look into White Lotus Home.  They really offer so many great options for natural pillows.  I didn’t get to try out their wool or buckwheat options but they’re reviews look great for both of those pillows as well!  What I love too about White Lotus Home is that each of their pillows comes in a smooth 100% organic cotton sateen pillow casing.  You can know your pillow is doted on from start to finish!  Use Coupone Code: GGG for 20% off your order!!

Have you swapped out your conventional pillow for a natural alternative?  If so, what was your favorite pillow you’ve tried?

 

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