Natural Living

I have been planning this post for quite some time, but was inspired to go ahead with it after having read MckMama’s post today. Have you noticed the “natural” trend that has taken root over the last several years? I’m sure you have – it is hard to miss. It seems that everywhere I go, but most especialy in the grocery stores, I see more and more products advertising their “natural” properties. Now, I’m not really big on adopting the latest fad to come around. Most fads come and go with the wind and end up being nothing more than a marketing ploy to get us to spend more money than we should. However, I really do have a respect for this one. It just seems to me, whether supported by science at this point or not, that the things we put into our body and the products we use in our homes should be as close to how God made them as possible. What exactly does this mean and how does it play out in our home? Keep reading…

Now, I will be the first to admit that we are not totally “green” at our house. I’m a girl who likes convenience, and sometimes the greenest choices are not the most convenient for us. For example,I drive a Yukon that sucks up way too much gas, but it hauls my whole family and ALL our STUFF, so it’s a choice that I can live with. However, I do believe that I can balance my desire for things to be a little easier with a desire to live a more natural lifetyle.

While my grocery budget will not allow me to go exclusively organic on our food purchases, I do try to make the sacrifices that I can to make our family healthier. Milk, for instance, is one area where I will not cut corners. My family drinks about 2 gallons of milk weekly, and organic milk costs about $8 per gallon. That adds up. But I will make the monetary sacrifice in order to have milk that has no antibiotics or growth hormones in it. We try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned, frozen or processed. It costs a little more, but I’m trying to cut down on preservatives. In fact, I have tried to eliminate preservatives entirely from our diets. Sure, we can’t avoid them entirely, but I do what I can when I’m in control of our choices. We try to stick to fresh meats and steer away from processed entrees. I like to use real olive oil or butter instead of fake substitutes. I bake muffins from scratch and make my own pancakes and french toast from ingredients like flour, sugar and eggs.

As far as cleaning products go, I’m still learning new techniques. I know that vinegar and baking (not together)soda are great cleaners. I make my own laundry detergent from Fels Naphtha soap, Arm & Hammer washing soda and Borax. Click here for directions. It works very well, my laundry is clean, and it is CHEAP. It just requires a little time to make.

I sure do wish I could tell you that we never eat a single thing that is bad for us, but that would be less than honest. I drink Mountain Dew everyday, and don’t plan to give it up anytime soon. My pantry and freezer do hold groceries that I keep on hand for times when I’m in a pinch, and they are processed and full of preservatives and chemicals. Again, it’s all about achieving balance between my desire for more natural choices without working myself into a frenzy.

Have you found ways to live naturally that work for your family? I’d love to hear your stories.

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