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…]

4 Steps to Natural Self Tanning Without Sun

model spraying self tanning cream on her faceSpring is here and with it bare legs and arms. And although we all know we should just accept the skin we’re in and eschew that sun-kissed look, there’s something about pale and pasty that’s just downright bad for the old self-esteem.

Now, that doesn’t mean head up onto the roof with a bottle of baby oil and a roll of aluminum foil—that’s so junior year 1998. Nor does it mean slathering on some potentially carcinogenic self tanning chemicals that turn you orange.

Actually, the active ingredient in most self tanning creams isn’t so bad. Known as DHA, dihydroxyacetone is a sugar that can be derived naturally from beets; it ranks as a moderate hazard on EWG’s Skin Deep Database.

Unfortunately, most conventional self tanning creams are also chock full of synthetic dyes and other chemical ingredients. What’s the worst? [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…]

Does Natural Hair Color Really Work?

brunette girl dying her hair with rubber glovesAfter a flirtation with auburn hair color in high school and some serious bleach in college, I went au naturale. But recently, the few-and-far-between white hairs that I began to pluck in my mid-30s are now threatening to become a bald spot if I keep up the practice.

It’s time for natural hair color.

Natural hair colors typically eschew coal tar, peroxide, benzene, ammonia, toluene, paraphenylenediamine and other toxic chemicals omnipresent in conventional hair dyes—things that I most definitely want to avoid.

Even the FDA warns that conventional hair dyes can cause respiratory problems, hair loss and skin irritation—among other problems. [Read more…]

1 Minute + 3 Ingredients = How to Make Perfume, Naturally

beautiful blonde model sniffing her wrist with a perfume bottle in handThere’s nothing like meeting your future mother-in-law only to realize that you wear the same perfume.

Not only does this mean that your fantastically expensive bottle of sweet nothings must go straight to the recycling bin, but it also brings to mind a whole host of questions.

Does he not know and has some some sort of olfactory problem? Does he just not care and would love you even if you smelled like you hadn’t showered for a week? Or maybe he likes the fact that you and his mom would be indistinguishable in a blindfolded sniff test—and in that case, you’re in a whole lotta trouble, sister.

[Read more…]

Healthy Children, Less Judgement

health eco parent garden baby mommy greenestHow do you raise a healthy child?

Once upon a time I stumbled upon this author who was looking for eco experts to comment for a book she’s writing about parenting healthy children. And here’s what she wanted to know:

How does one plant a garden for a new eater—like squash, potatoes, etc.—so that the little budding veggies would come up at the same time as the child’s little budding incisors? And I thought: What the f*&k? Has this woman even had a child?

[Read more…]