Our Path to Natural Living

We are still on the journey towards a more natural life style. And when I say we, I really mean me. My husband humors me most of the time but every once in a while I cross a line and he lets me know it. The most recent line crossed was the attempt to remove refined sugar from our household. I tried to cut him off cold-turkey rather than ease him into it. I should have known better. He’s slowly coming around. He always does 🙂

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Anyway, my journey really started without my actually realizing it. When my family moved to Russia, we adapted to what was available there and loved the food. There wasn’t a whole lot of refined or overly processed food available and those items were much more expensive so they were always a rare treat. I believe that is where I developed a palate for whole and traditional foods.

When we moved back to the US and I helped my dad with the grocery shopping, I was appalled (my first experience with reverse culture shock) at the lack of fresh food choices and the poor quality of the choices that were available. Even before Russia, though, I learned to cook and bake with my grandmothers and I have always loved doing everything from scratch. So, maybe I was just born to be a foodie. I don’t know. Either way, my journey started with food.

And then I married Brandon. He was one of the pickiest eaters I know. But, he’s come a long way and now enjoys a wide variety of dishes even though he still indulges in what I consider to be some pretty questionable “delicacies.” With the birth of our first child, I started making homemade baby food. And, as I have always loved cooking, I was already following lots of facebook pages and blogs on whole and natural foods.

Sometime in the early years of our marriage, I started to become more frustrated with the use of chemicals in our house. Every time I would clean, especially the bathroom, my hands would get red and cracked, my eyes would burn and water, my nose would run, my throat would be on fire, and I would cough so hard I felt like I was going to throw up. When we became pregnant, I knew I didn’t want my kids anywhere around that stuff and I started to research. And, so, my journey towards a toxin-free home began.

This one has been a bit more of a struggle as many people have a hard time believing something is clean if bleach or some other man-made chemical is not involved. I personally love using vinegars, oils, and Norwex and finally feel that with those three allies, my home is to the standard of clean that was drilled into me during my childhood while also remaining free of toxins. Still working on getting Brandon 100% on board, but, as I do most of the cleaning, I mostly just have to be diligent about making sure he doesn’t misuse my supplies when he does clean. My next goal is to remove toxins from all our personal care items by making the items myself. I’ve been putting this one off for a while and need to get on it.

My latest step in natural living has been the discovery and integration of the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) lifestyle. I learned a lot of new things about how our bodies function, what our bodies need to thrive, and how to make even better choices to nourish my body properly. It was actually very easy to add in these new concepts since I was already in a whole/traditional foods mindset and THM jives perfectly with that approach to food. The biggest adjustment was eliminating refined sugar but that one change has made a huge difference for me. I am so glad I took that extra step of saying goodbye to sugar and wish I had done it sooner.

Besides eliminating sugar, the basic principle of THM is to stabilize your blood sugar by always having protein in your meals and eating only healthy fats and carbs. If you want to lose weight, you eat your fats in separate meals from your carb meals. If you are at a healthy weight/size, you start mixing your carbs and fats back together again. Stabilizing my blood sugar has resolved so many other health problems for me. And it was all done naturally and without medications or supplements.

Next up, natural personal care products. I love making my own body scrubs! But I keep putting off the other items because I am not a cosmetics girl by any means and the whole idea of making my own skin care, hair care, deoderant, toothpaste, etc. is rather intimidating. But, I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’ll be sure to share what I learn 🙂

What about you? What move towards a more natural lifestyle are you working on?

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