March Natural Beauty Box Roundup

March Natural Beauty Box Roundup

March Natural Beauty Box roundup is here!  Can you believe it’s March?!  I felt like January and February flew by- literally.  So excited we’re getting closer to Spring!  I’ve got the lowdown on all the clean beauty boxes.  First up this month is Beauty Heroes!  Keep checking back as I update the list.

Natural beauty box

Excited to share with you Beauty Heroes March Discovery box!

Beauty Heroes: March Discovery BLUH Alchemy

So excited to share this month’s Beauty Heroes Box with you, BLUH Alchemy!  I’ve loved getting to know the product and also learning the back story behind this natural beauty brand.  

 BLUH Alchemy was started by Becky Bluh who had a strong desire to help her daughter’s skin heal from itchy, dry and sensitive skin.  Becky knew she was on to something when her daughter’s skin began to heal.  She realized she wanted to pursue the power of plants even further and really learn of their medicinal properties. 

Besides experimenting on her own, she also was trained in cosmetic chemistry where she collaborated with top natural chemists to create BLUH Alchemy.  Not only does this innovative skincare line help protect against environmental effects, but natural aging, and daily oxidative stressors.  Using botanicals, BLUE Alchemy treats the skin with intentional products that produce results naturally.

I have never used any BLUE Alchemy products and was so excited to try the products out!  Once a product junkie, always a product junkie.

Heroic Product- BLUE Alchemy Multi C Serum

If you thought you knew about Vitamin C, step aside.  This is a new Vitamin C you have yet to use!  This is a quote about the product:

A breakthrough in botanical technology, Multi C Serum features the world’s first full- spectrum photoactive Vitamin C, a cellular extract from the kakadu plum that boasts 50 x more antioxidant potency than a Florida orange.

It’s actually more stable than any other Vitamin C!  This serum has a multitude of Vitamin C’s all wrapped into one.  From quandong and sea buckthorn berry oils.  When you combine them together they are a force to be reckoned with!

It’s no secret Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can brighten, lighten and create a glowing complexion.  Plus, this unique formula has peptides that help to firm the skin, green coffee, and ferric acid.  Say bye to dull, ruddy skin and hello to glowing, radiant skin!  I use it after toning my skin at night and in the morning.  I noticed an improved overall texture, glow and evenness to my skin.  I love how it absorbs so effortlessly into the skin.  And can we talk about the luxe frosted glass bottle?  I love how it pumps how and has a cap- so easy for travel. I can’t wait to keep using it!  

BLUH Alchemy Toning Elixir- 

The sidekick this month is just as good!  This deep hydration toning elixir takes your skin from parched and dry to hydrated and supple.  Not only does this toning elixir contain bioactive and antioxidants but hyaluronic acid and hibiscus to keep moisture intact.  This hydration helps to firm your skin while helping to fade fine lines and of course when skin is hydrated it naturally glows!  

One of my favorite things I found to be in this toning elixir was Niacinamide which is vitamin B3.  This is a powerhouse ingredient for your skin!  It has long been applauded for it’s ability to soothe the skin, calm inflammation and help clear acne.  Not too mention helps strengthen the skin.  This really is such an amazing toning elixir!  I spray this on my skin and pat in with my hands morning and night.  I can’t get enough of it!

Best part is you can get this fabulous box right now for such a steal!  This box is valued at $209 but you can snag it for $42.95…I mean what are you waiting for?!  This box has been one of my very favorites and I don’t want you to miss out on it!  Hop on it now if you’re thinking of getting it before they sell out!

Boxwalla April Box

Boxwalla’s Beauty Box for April featuring Malaya and Flowerspice.

Boxwalla March Box-

This is a bi-monthly box. I really love that it’s bi-monthly!  It makes you really savor each product.  This month we are seeing two different brands in the box.  Flowerspice and Malaya.  

Flowerspice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturizer- This moisturizer is so lovely!  It completely hydrates your skin but doesn’t leave it feeling greasy or oily.  The scent is so nice too.  Very different but I love it.  It’s a mixture of rose and coriander.  It comes in a glass jar.  I would scoop some out and apply it to my skin after my serums at night.  My skin would feel so hydrated and supple in the morning.  I even have been using it for my hands as they have been drier and loving how moisturized they feel.  This isn’t your average moisturizer.  It’s filled with aloe, prickly pear and Swiss Mountain Spring Water.  A serious treat for the skin!

Malaya  Advanced Repair Mask- This mask is unlike any mask I’ve used. It is both clarifying and nourishing at the same time.  Made with neem flower honey, bentonite clay and aloe, this mask really is a powerhouse when it comes to hitting all the skincare needs.  I love how my skin feels cleared, yet hydrated and glowing after using it.  And the smell!  I just love the smell.  It’s a lemongrass, blue tansy smell that I can’t get enough of!  I love how the ingredients are soothing like aloe and blue tansy, but at the same time clarifying from the honey, and clay.  Can’t stop using it!

I would snag this box soon!  It’s a $160 value but you can get it for $49.95!  Get it here!

 

March Clean Beauty Box

The March Clean Beauty Box is all about Indulge!

The Clean Beauty Box-

This month’s clean beauty box is filled with Beneath Your Mask.  This brand is known for really repairing and rejuvenating the skin and helping to reverse damage caused by environmental toxins. The brand fits so well with the theme, Indulge.  It’s all about indulging your senses and your skin.

Total Body Elixir- This elixir is such a indulgent skin treat.  It not only deeply nourishes your skin with 18 pure plant oils and botanicals but it also help protect it from the environment.  Your skin is left glowing and radiant!  The ingredient deck is stacked too.  With Baobab seed oil, white camellia seed oil, pomegranate seed oil and sea buckthorn berry co2.  These oils not only hydrate but also help heal stretch marks and scars and calm redness.  I apply the oil to slightly damp skin after showering and my skin is left feeling so soft.  

Skin + Hair Serum- This is such a unique product.  Not only can you use it on your skin but also your hair.  With nourishing ingredients for your scalp like neem this is perfect for calming scalp inflammation but reducing dandruff.  I applied it on my scalp and ends of hair at night and then slept in it.  I would shampoo my hair the next day and it would feel so hydrated.  I didn’t need to apply that much since my hair is fine and thin.  A little goes a long way.  For my skin I would apply as the last step in my skincare routine at night.  My skin would feel hydrated and moisturized but not greasy.  It has such a nice vibrant scent with the lemongrass oil in it.  Really adds a glow to the skin.  Such a great product for travel too!  A two in one!

This box is valued at $90 but you can get it for $41.95!  Such a steal for a green beauty box!  Get it here!

 

Detox Box for March

The Detox Box for March is featuring W3ll People’s 5 minute face!

The Detox Box March-

I always love seeing what’s in the Detox Box!  Sometimes it’s makeup, other times it’s skincare and then sometimes you get hair products. This month it’s all makeup and I couldn’t be more excited!  

We are seeing W3ll People in this month’s box.  It’s all about the 5 minute face!  You get the Bio Baked Bronzer Powder, Bio Brightener Loose Powder, Expressionist Mascara, Luminaria Eyeshadow,  and then you also either get the Optimist Lipstick in Soulmate, and a Kabuki Brush, or Optimist Lipstick in Choose Love, Expressionist Liquid Eyeliner and the Eye Contour Brush.  Your basically set with all you need to create the ultimate green beauty makeup look!  You get all of this for $49.95!

I would hop on this box- such a good one I have a feeling it may sell out quick! Grab The Detox Box here! 

If you want to read about past boxes, check out my February Box roundup here!

 

clean beauty box faves

Sharing March clean beauty box roundup in natural beauty.

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?!  

If you did, don’t forget to subscribe on Itunes!  And while you’re there, could you please leave us a “golden” review? It would really make our day and help spread the word about healthy living.

We love hearing from you!  If you enjoyed this podcast, take a screenshot of you listening to it on your phone and tag us!  @gurlgonegreen and @roseangove and hashtag #thegoldenhourpodcast  

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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?

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