This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom’s of Maine. All opinions are 100% mine.
Are you overwhelmed by how to have a healthier family? It seems there’s no shortage of health must-dos that we moms “must” follow:
- “Eat right.”
- “Eat only organic.”
- “Low-carb recipes are best.”
- “Feed your family whole foods, not processed junk.”
- “Avoid dairy.”
- “Use natural sugars.”
- “Eat smaller meals more often.”
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point: The never-ending stream of ways we “should” give our family a healthy lifestyle leaves many of us frustrated, exhausted and tired.
We’re inundated with health advice, riddled with guilt and have no idea who to believe or what to try!
And most of all, we have NO IDEA where to start. It’s easy to read a list of 10 ways to a healthier family, but much more challenging to try to actually make that a daily reality for our (already too-busy and overwhelmed) families.
That’s what I want to address in this post: How can we actually see progress toward improving our family’s health? What does that look like, for real families like yours and mine?
I think true, lasting progress toward health starts with a simple concept: baby steps. That’s the only thing that’s worked for our family.
I want to share our journey toward healthy living and give you three easy actionable things you can do today to life a healthier lifestyle.
Make These 3 Easy Shifts for a Healthier Family
NOTE: There’s nothing magical about starting with these three specific steps. However, I’ve chosen these because they were the path our health journey has taken. These are also easy to implement, and apply to a wide variety of family health improvement desires.
Pick one of these three steps this month, and then try another one of these steps next month.
A little at a time, your family can be healthier! Baby steps!
1) Switch 3 of Your Personal Health Care Products to a Natural Brand.
Let’s start here because it’s probably the easiest, most pain-free switch to make.
Our family started our foray into natural health care products by first switching our antiperspirant to a natural deodorant (we were concerned about the controversy around aluminum in antiperspirant).
We experimented with several brands but have been quite happy with the Tom’s of Maine deodorants. Not only are all Tom’s of Maine’s products free of artificial chemicals, fragrances, colors, sweeteners and preservatives (and come in a wide variety of scents, including a kids version) the Tom’s of Maine’s deodorants actually work!
After this, we decided to switch to a natural toothpaste. We went to Sprouts (where we get most of our natural personal care products) and thought we’d give Tom’s of Maine’s toothpaste a try since we liked their deodorants (and the highly quality of their products overall, including the fact they none of their products contain animal products or are tested on animals).
Here’s what we quickly discovered about the Tom’s of Maine’s oral care products: They actually taste minty like the traditional (not-so-good-for-you) toothpaste brands we’re all familiar with! This was a HUGE plus for me. We’d tried other natural toothpastes but ultimately really disliked that they tasted like some other weird flavor and that they never left your mouth feeling fresh and clean. I mean, what’s the point?
Tom’s of Maine’s oral care products also do an excellent job of cleaning teeth (the toothpastes are FDA-approved and many of them are endorsed by the American Dental Association) and I especially appreciate that Tom’s of Maine promotes the use of sustainable growing and harvesting practices when gathering their high quality plant and minerals for the products.
And of course, like all Tom’s of Maine products, the oral care products are made of simple, easy-to-understand ingredients.
Tom’s of Maine makes a wide variety of oral care products, including natural mouthwash (their “Wicked Fresh” mouthwash is my favorite natural product of the moment!), floss and 23 different toothpastes (including those for toddlers, for kids, and even both flouride and non-fluoride formulas).
Visit Toms of Maine’s website for more information and to see the full line of oral care, body care, baby care and lip care products.
I’ve seen Tom’s of Maine sold at other places, but Sprouts seems to carry the largest variety (it’s quite impressive on the shelf).
Plus, the Sprouts employees are so helpful! The manager in the Personal Care section (whom my kids call “Miss Vicky”) always greets us with a smile and gives so much great advice about nutrition, supplements, protein powders and more! I like that Sprouts hires confident, intelligent employees who are well-versed in the world of natural living and who can therefore give great advice about the best natural products for my family.
Anyway, to get started on a healthier lifestyle, I’d highly encourage you to start by switching out three personal care products with more natural ones. For your family, that may be deodorant, natural pain relievers, shampoos/conditioners or oral care products. Sprouts is a great place to see the variety of natural product lines out there (including those from Tom’s of Maine).
2) Choose to Go Organic on 3 or More Produce or Meat Items.
Do you feel immense pressure to eat everything organic? I sure do.
But the fact is that there’s no way most people (including my family) could afford exclusively organic food.
However, our family chooses to purchase a few key items organic (and I suggest you start with three items that you regularly purchase organic).
For a long time, our “organic-only three items” were peaches, apples, and lettuce. These are foods that our family eats a lot of, and they are some of the top offenders on the “dirty dozen” produce list. By the way, if you’re not sure where to spend extra buying organic foods, the “dirty dozen” list is a great place to start.
We’ve since expanded the list to a few other products such as strawberries and spinach, and we do our best to buy organic beef, eggs and chicken whenever possible.
What does your family eat a lot of? Are any of those foods on the “dirty dozen” list? I’d suggest you start there when making your three-item switch to organic produce. Or if you already buy organic regularly, consider switching three more produce or meat items to organic-only.
Along with Sprouts’ weekly deals (their ads overlap on Wednesdays, so you get bonus savings that day!), did you know that Sprouts also has great mobile coupons on their mobile app? All you have to do is click on the coupons you want and they’re automatically downloaded to your phone. When it’s time to check out, have the clerk scan the barcode from the Sprouts app and the savings are automatically applied. Super easy.
3) Experiment with 3 Healthier Dinner Recipes.
Photo credit: Sprouts.com
I’ve heard it said that, as moms, we serve our families the same 12 dinner recipes over and over again. What if just 3 of those staple recipes were a bit healthier?
Consider too how you can slightly alter a few existing recipes to make them healthier. For example, instead of using pasta noodles in your family’s favorite spaghetti and meatballs, try making “noodles” out of zucchini (this was one of the first “healthy recipe updates” we made to our regular meal list). This Zucchini Noodles with Chicken shows you how (and looks delicious)!
Which Step Toward Healthier Living Will You Take?
Mom, stop driving yourself crazy by chasing after all those health “must-dos.” Stop trying to tackle everything all at once.
Instead pick one of these shifts toward a healthier family.
Do you see how just making ONE of these shifts really makes the whole process less overwhelming and scary?
Here’s to a healthier family lifestyle–that actually works for your family! I’m excited for you!
Let me know in the comments which step you’re going to try!