If you were coming for Tea on Tuesday, I’d usher you in from the cold, rest your snow-packed shoes on the boot tray, and set before you a steaming cup of one of my longtime favorite teas: Harney & Sons English Breakfast Tea. You’d notice it immediately. The sugar cube. It would be ridiculously adorable, perfectly placed, and eminently enviable. Keep up with that, Mr. and Mrs. Jones!
I’d clear the corner of my table (because it seems my dining room table is that place in my house that collects the detritus of life) of a great book that I’m reading in a Bible study: When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James. I read a chapter a week, crease a corner to mark my page for next week, and proceed to spend the next seven days mulling over what I’ve read. James tackles the hard parts of a woman’s life and faith, daring to answer questions like “Why does a good God allow bad things to happen?” She makes me think and re-think. I would recommend that you pick up a copy, whether you be man or woman, Christian or otherwise.
I’m sure you would try to get a word in edgewise (if nothing else, you’d still be gushing about those ridiculously twee sugar cubes), but I’d rush headlong into something else I read recently: Table Magazine‘s holiday issue. I’d tell you how I salivated over the restaurant reviews, bookmarked the Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry, Horseradish, and Garlic Glaze recipe, and mentally checked myself into Gateway Lodge in Cook’s Forest.
But one of my favorite features in the magazine was actually a little list tucked into the corner of page 56.
More tea? Another sugar cube?
The list, titled “Tips for Childbearing Families,” contains five gems of toxin-free living. Love it. I’d give you the run-down of the full list. Even make you read it yourself. And that would just get me started. I’d have to add at least five more tips of my own.
So why not make a list of Ten Tips for Creating a Healthy Home?
Quoted tips are compliments of the Holiday 2010 edition of Table Magazine. All other tips, links and recommendations are my own additions from my personal quest to live as healthy and naturally as possible.
Ten Tips for Creating a Healthy Home
1. “Avoid antibacterial soaps, which contain a pesticide linked to cancer and may contribute to the rise of anitbiotic-resistant bacteria.”
3. “Opt for fragrance-free products. A fragrance may contain hundreds of chemicals.”
4. Invest in paraben-free products, such as shampoos, sunscreens, and bath soaps. Some of my favorite products in these categories include Pre de Provence’s shower gels, Dr. Robin for Kids Sunscreen, and Jay Design’s bath bars.
5. “Avoid Teflon-coated pans. Choose stainless steel cookware without copper bottoms.”
6. Switch to coconut oil. Canola oil, while widely touted as the heart-heatlhy oil option, can’t touch the health properties of cold-pressed coconut oil. I’ve happily swapped coconut oil into my diet, using Tropical Traditions coconut oil as my main source.
7. “Avoid storing food in plastic containers, opting for alternatives such as glass. If using plastic, choose items numbered 1, 2, 4, or 5 and avoid those numbered 3, 6, and 7. Wash plastic containers by hand. Never microwave them, and throw away any that are scratched or worn.”
8. Replace commercial household cleaners with homemade products. Clean House Clean Planet by Karen Logan offers great cleaning product recipes that will save oodles of money. Her advice and recipes have cleared toxic products from my cupboards and replaced them with safe but effective alternatives.
9. “Look for toys made of natural materials such as wood. Visit HealthyToys.org before purchasing toys and other children’s products.” Nova Naturals Toys + Crafts is one of my favorite sources for natural, creative toys. Little Friend currently has her eye on this hammock hideaway.
10. Add a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil to your diet. The superfood of superfoods, cold-pressed, wild caught cod liver oil provides a wallop of disease fighting vitamins. Green Pasture has won me as a lifetime customer with its Butter/Cod Liver Blend. I was convinced after reading this encyclopedic article from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.