Happy New Year Friends! While 2016 was quite the roller coaster of a ride, it was also one of the most joyous years of my life and I am eager to see what 2017 has in store. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been blessed to see many friends announce pregnancies, engagements, and their resolutions for the new year. With so many people looking to get themselves healthier in the new year, I thought I would share some of my favorite health boosting gadgets and gizmos.
I got our Berkey for my birthday 4 months ago and it is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets hands down! For many years David and I used a common water filter pitcher from our local grocery store. The water tasted fine and I was comfortable with it until we really started looking at what is in our water and what we want filtered out of it!
The Berkey filtration systems have been tested and confirmed to remove or greatly reduce the contamination of viruses, pathogenic bacteria, parasites, cysts, chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, violate organic compounds, and heavy metals including lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and copper.
It has a hefty initial price tag of around $230 – but when I did the math and realized that we won’t have to change our filters for approximately 16 YEARS – it actually works out to be more cost efficient than our typical pitcher filters. With that realization, it became an easy investment.
The unit we have sits on our counter which is super convenient for me to refill every few days. I like my water room temperature but my husband prefers it cold, so we also keep a pitcher filled up in the fridge. The whole process is so simple that I can’t recommend it enough!
It’s also worth mentioning that reverse osmosis water filtration systems are a good alternative. Personally, I contacted a few local companies that offered payment plans and had good reviews but found out that they still wanted hundreds of dollars to come out and install their RENTAL unit. While RO systems definitely filter out toxins, they also filter out the vitamins and minerals that you actually want in your water. If you venture that route, be sure to look into adding vitamins back into your family’s water.
I love simplicity that comes with the Berkey system – all the while really feeling good about drinking water and getting your health goals going!
If you’re like me and wanting to avoid the chemicals associated with conventional household candles and plug ins, a diffuser plug in is a great alternative way to make your home smell amazing! They each have little reusable strips that you slide out to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil(s). I am all about simplicity and these diffusers have it.
Keep in mind that diffusing oils gives off a wonderful scent while in use but their primary benefit is aromatherapy. For natural fragrance that lasts an extended period of time, you might also enjoy simmering citrus peels and spices on the stove. Some of my family’s favorite potent and pleasing spices to use are cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, and ginger. Between this trick and our plug in diffusers, it always smells like something yummy is cooking in my house!
I kept hearing about the Yonanas machine from friends and for Christmas this year Payton actually got one from her Papa. I can’t believe we have gone so long in our all-natural-whole-foods-
household without it! Mamas, I can’t stress how perfectly delicious the texture is, and how easy it is to use and clean. My daughter will throw frozen fruit in the top, then together we push the plunger down, and out comes this creamy dessert that is 100% natural, nothing added, soft serve fruit! If you have a sweet tooth and are looking for a much healthier substitute to the processed sugar filled sweets that glare at us everyday at the grocery store – this is the tool for you! Also, with it being so kid friendly, this would make the perfect gift for both children and adults alike.
Today many families are learning about and enjoying the benefits associated with safe cosleeping. When Payton was born we had her sleep in a cosleeper attached to my side of the bed. As I allowed my mothering instincts to take over, I found that we both slept easier with her cuddled up against me. Though she can now regulate her own body temperature and doesn’t need frequent newborn feeds, a year and a half later we still sleep the same way, me on my side and her nestled against me.
I am a firm believer that each family has their own individual needs and parents. Following safety guidelines, families should choose the sleep setup that works best for their household. For families that do choose to bedshare, I think you’ll find that a family sleeper may be your favorite family-friendly bedroom tool! My sister made ours, so if you’re a handy homemaker and looking to save money, that’s a great route to go too.
Our cosleeping pad allows me to put Payton safely on one side of our bed so that I can sleep in between her and Daddy, keeping me feeling connected to my husband. It also lets Payton and I nap together without me worrying that she may roll off, and when she was tiny and it also made David feel more comfortable with our cosleeping situation. Comfortability is instrumental to a successful sleep area… and sleep is key to a healthy 2017!
Looking forward to continuing to share tips and resources from a natural parenting perspective in the new year!
Shawna Martell, Natural Parenting Mami & First-Time Motherhood Contributing Columnist
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