12 Easy & Healthy Resolutions

toy house with stethoscope wrapped around it on white backgroundThese easy-to-implement healthy resolutions can help make 2014 better for you and your family. So tell me: What’s your healthy resolution?

1. Buy less bottled water.

Bottled water may be convenient, but it’s not exactly safe. Most plastic bottles contain hormone-disrupting BPA, which leaches into the water you drink. Plus, bottled water isn’t required by law to be tested for safety, and has turned up positive for lead, copper, chlorine, mercury and—ick—giardia. A better bet is filtered tap water—even a BPA-free plastic filter pitcher will do—and a stainless steel reusable water bottle for when you’re on the go. Plus, avoiding bottled water can save the average family $50 per month! [Read more…]

6 Ways to Nix Pesticides at Home

yellow wine poured into glass against white backgroundWhen talking about limiting kids’ contact with pesticides, I’ve been accused of sounding like a broken record. But the reason behind my rant is so important: Pesticide exposure has been linked to asthma, allergies, neurological disorders, autism and even cancer—which is now the leading cause of death by disease for American kids.

Many people don’t know that most of our children’s pesticide exposure comes from the foods that they eat—but just one day of eating differently can completely remove many pesticides from their bodies.

And many more don’t realize that household exposure to pesticides—from pest eradication products and food—is now shown to have the same negative effects on pregnancy as cigarette smoking: lower birth weight and premature birth.

Unfortunately, just as doctors 50 years ago didn’t fault pregnant moms for smoking, today they don’t spend a lot of time talking with patients about pesticide exposure. I hope that as we all become more aware of the stakes, that too will change. [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Approved: Bona

bona floor cleaner grouped with mopDid you get the message about pinkwashing? It should be pretty clear by now that manufacturers who use carcinogenic chemicals can’t get away with it by slapping pretty pink ribbons on their products.

But I do love discovering companies that are doing the right thing by creating products without toxic chemicals—and walking the talk by supporting breast cancer research.

Take Bona®, for example. A world leader in hardwood floor care and maintenance for nearly 100 years, the Swedish based company relies on effective formulas that have been certified—by organizations like GREEN GUARD, among others—to create truly non-toxic cleaners. And now they’re supporting the fight against breast cancer, too. [Read more…]

Air Fresheners Don’t Make Scents!

air freshener advertisement with flowers and butterflies coming out of the potFrom plug-ins to sprays, synthetic air fresheners are bad news. Chock-full of toxic ingredients, they typically contain phthalates linked to obesity and other problems, as well as potent allergens that lead to fragrance allergies—a condition that affects 34 million people in the U.S.

That’s why when I heard about this new campaign from Women’s Voices for the Earth, I knew I had to share. The campaign targets Glade air fresheners and employs some of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen as messengers. If SC Johnson can use cute babies to sell products, why can’t we use them to let people know about the air-polluting fragrances that are in their products? [Read more…]

5 Rules to a Healthy Eating Habit

african american family enjoying salad and other healthy meal itemsMy kids are sick of healthy eating. They don’t want organic soybean butter and Farmer’s Market fig jam sandwiches, they want Lunchables: crackers, processed cheese, salty disks that pass for lunch meat and a whole lot of chemicals wrapped up in a plastic box.

My younger daughter confessed she dumps the organic carrot sticks the trash (and I thought the ranch dip was decadent). My oldest has been trading her edamame for candy.

Forget the veggie chips I carefully stowed in wax paper bags—heaven for these children would be to open up their lunch boxes and spy a bright-orange bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. [Read more…]

3 Steps to Avoid Flame Retardants

beautiful baby boy sleeping on a mattressThis could be the end of the line for flame retardants. As the EPA launched an investigation into the chemicals, Washington state banned flame retardants from kids’ products, and California announced a move to update the state’s flammability standards, pressured by those concerned about a policy that had exposed millions of people to toxic flame retardants—also known as PBDEs—in our homes.

What’s the big deal about California? Because the state represents such a large market, California’s flammability standards—governed by TB117, which was adopted by the state 40 years ago—have become a national standard, essentially forcing furniture and baby product manufacturers throughout North America to add chemical flame retardants to their products.

The problem is, these flame retardants—which focus on the flammability of foam, not fabric—don’t protect us from fires. [Read more…]

Mommy Bloggers for Pushing Motherhood

Mommy BloggersHere’s what I learned at Diane Mizota’s LAdyInfluencers Lunch this weekend: Mommy bloggers are masters of the selfie. Yes, you could depend on someone else to take your picture, but there’s nothing more immediately gratifying than capturing that goofy grin yourself.

Here’s what else I learned: Despite the ridiculous amount of press despairing how catty and backstabby women can be, there is no place on earth where you’ll feel more supported and encouraged and generally loved than in a room full of mommy bloggers.

We’re all about tweeting and sharing and complimenting each other. And handing each other tissues. Especially when the occasion hits a nerve, like this one did.

The lunch was to celebrate “Pushing Motherhood,” a new documentary about the trend of delaying conception, which is Kickstarting now through May 24th. [Read more…]

What is Teflon: The Infertility Connection

what is teflon coated frying panWe all do it. The minute we decide to move out to a home of our own, we’re  imagining creating the perfect meal in the perfect kitchen outfitted with the perfect pots and pans.

For most of us—myself included—that means a 10-piece set that includes everything from a giant roasting pan to a teeny-tiny frying pan, which goes from the box to the cupboard and never sees the light of day after that.

Typically, these inexpensive cooking sets are coated with a nonstick surface like Teflon. And we love them because we can make an egg and it’ll slide right off the pan onto the plate. But there’s something else that might come with those eggs: Infertility.

[Read more…]