Category Archives: Health And Wellness

The Best And Worst Foods For Period Pain [When You Have Endometriosis]

Expert Tips For Managing Menstrual Pain With Food—With Amy J. Hammer, Author Of “Cycles”!

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I’ve had painful period cramps for most of my life, and when I was diagnosed with endometriosis a year ago after discovering it during a laparoscopy procedure, it all started to make sense as to why my cramps were always so severe—to the point where I would sometimes vomit.

Menstrual pain in general can be a difficult and very uncomfortable experience for many women, but if you have Endometriosis or a similar condition (like PCOS), that pain can intensified by a million.

With that said, medication can only do so much to minimize pain, and if you’re like me and refuse to be placed on hormonal contraceptives to help with pain, then you have to self-educate and learn alternatives to traditional pain management—because you are your own best advocate.

Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies that can be used to help manage the pain without medication, and one of the most effective strategies is controlling menstrual pain with food.

It turns out that certain foods can help reduce the severity of menstrual cramps, while others can make your pain even worse.

For example, eating foods that are high in magnesium such as dark leafy greens, and Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, can help reduce the pain associated with menstruation. Whereas highly processed foods and alcohol can make inflammation worse.

Knowing what to eat and what to avoid for menstrual health can be pretty confusing, so I was THRILLED to find a book that has literally become my PERIOD Bible.

Cycles” by Amy J.Hammer is a staple on my bookshelf. I binged on the information the first day that I got it in the mail, and continue to use it whenever I need to retrieve a recipe from it!

What’s that? Recipes? Yup! This wonderful book isn’t just about scientific facts. This gem contains A LOT of recipes, all of which go hand-in-hand with specific phases of your cycle to help you feel your absolute best.

”Menstrual cramps—their severity and whether we get them, are connected to our lifestyle and overall health”—Amy J. Hammer

This book has been an invaluable resource in my journey to become healthier, and has provided me with the knowledge and tools to make better decisions in my diet and lifestyle choices:

  • 40 nutrient-dense, menstrual-phase specific recipes that support overall health.
  • The science of menstrual cycles and how the different phases of the cycle affect the brain and body beyond the reproductive system.
  • How to track your cycle using fertility awareness–based methods.
  • How to prepare and what to expect during the menopausal transition and beyond.
  • Detailed movement, self-care, and nutrition tips that optimize overall health throughout the menstrual cycle phases and your lifespan

With that said, below is a sneak peek from Amy’s book, Cycles. It’s a list of what foods to avoid, and what foods to load up on for a healthy period to reduce inflammation.

Foods To Avoid If You Struggle With Period Pain

According to the author, there are certain foods that should be avoided in order to maintain good menstrual health, improve gut-health, and minimize cramping. With that said, here is what the author recommends:

  • Avoid foods with added sugar, artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Avoid refined and processed vegetable oils like corn, soy and canola.
  • Avoid conventional dairy products (opt for grass-fed organic milk or plant-based milk alternatives).
  • Avoid processed and refined grains.
  • Avoid poor quality conventional meat.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine.

Foods To Embrace If You Struggle With Period Pain

  • Eat a high fiber diet consisting of vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  • Eat plenty of wild fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and other omega-3 rich foods such as flax, chia seeds, walnuts and oysters.
  • Add anti-inflammatory spices to your cooking such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.
  • Consume plentiful healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, butter from grass-fed cows, ghee, coconut oil and fat from pastured animals.
  • When you eat meat, eggs, seafood or wild game, eat the good stuff: pasture mixed, organic, grass-fed, free-range, and/or wild-caught.
  • Eat magnesium-loaded foods consisting of leafy greens, avocados, almonds, salmon, sweet potatoes, figs, fermented dairy products, legume and beans.
  • Eat zinc-rich foods such as oysters, mussels, pumpkin seeds, beef, lamb, organ meats, yogurt, chickpeas and cashews.
  • Up your intake of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented dairy, and lacto-fermented vegetables.
A recipe from “Cycles” by Amy J. Hammer

It is important to note that while food can be an effective way to manage menstrual pain, it is not a substitute for medical treatment.

If you are experiencing severe menstrual cramps, it is important to speak to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment. Additionally, it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet to ensure that your body is getting the proper nutrition it needs.

By controlling menstrual pain with food, you can greatly reduce the severity of your menstrual cramps and make your period more manageable.

For more amazing tips, check out Amy’s book “Cycles: The Science of Periods, Why They Matter, and How to Nourish Each Phase.” It’s available on Amazon, and it’s a must-have staple on your bookshelf.

About The Author

AMY J. HAMMER, FNP believes in humble methods and solid tools that help readers cultivate meaningful lives. Her background in teaching yoga and movement, journalism, and environmental studies along with her experience as a family nurse practitioner in cardiac intensive care give her a unique and dynamic approach to wellness. She is the author of How to Grow a Baby (Roost Books).

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Fungies Lion’s Mane Mushroom Gummies | Honest Review

Are The Lion’s Mane Fungies Gummies Worth Consuming? Read On For My Honest Review With Pros And Cons

This post contains affiliate links which may earn Eco Mom Diaries a commission. Also, I was gifted a bottle of Fungies for this review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see a physician before starting mushrooms supplements if you have concerns.

A year ago, I was put on a short course of corticosteroids for inflammation due to a herniated disc in my lower back. The steroids provided much needed relief while I healed, but they had a few adverse effects such as high blood sugar, mild memory loss, and blurry vision.

I was a bit worried about these side effects, so I started researching natural herbs and supplements that would help repair nerve damage and improve my vision.

That’s when I stumbled upon a certain group of adaptogenic mushrooms that have an ability to improve focus and repair nerve damage, so I decided to give them a try.

Thus began my journey with Lion’s mane mushrooms (capsule form), which I consumed twice a day—and no, it wasn’t Fungies.

At the time of discovering Lion’s mane mushrooms, I happened to be on Amazon, and purchased a random brand. But the amazing thing is that they actually helped with my vision (less blur) and I was more focused and less forgetful.

A year later, a rep from Fungies got in contact with me and asked if I wanted to try some of their mushroom gummies. I was excited because DUH, I already love taking them, and it would be great to compare them to capsules.

So here we are.

Fungies Gummies Review

What Are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

Often found growing on hardwoods and resembling the mane of a lion (thus the name), Lion’s mane mushrooms are a type of edible fungus that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries—often used to improve heart, brain and gut health.

Many people enjoy the unique flavor of Lion’s mane mushrooms. They tend to have a mild, seafood-like taste, and they can be cooked in a variety of ways. Lion’s mane mushrooms are also a good source of essential vitamins and minerals which consist of: B vitamins, manganese, copper, potassium, zinc, selenium, and more.

Lion’s mane mushrooms contain compounds called hericenones and erinacines, which stimulate the growth of nerve cells in the brain. This helps to improve memory and focus, as well as reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Additionally, Lion’s mane mushrooms contain antioxidants that help to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. By consuming Lion’s mane mushrooms, individuals can help to repair and protect their brain cells, and potentially improve their cognitive function.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are available in a variety of forms, including capsules and gummies, making these supplements easy to incorporate into one’s daily routine (and diet). Capsules are a great option for those who want to take a precise dosage of the mushroom extract, while gummies provide a tasty and convenient way to get the same health benefits.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

Lion’s mane mushrooms are an increasingly popular supplement due to several potential health benefits, making these a great supplement for anyone looking to improve their overall physical and mental health :

  • Lion‘s mane mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation in the body via special compounds called hericenones and erinacines.
  • Lion’s mane mushrooms contain antioxidants, which can help protect the body from free radical damage.
  • Studies have shown that lion’s mane mushroom can help improve the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, improving digestion and reducing inflammation—including reducing your risk for colon cancer.
  • Lion’s mane mushrooms repair brain cells and stimulate the growth of nerve cells and help protect against neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as improve cognitive function.
  • Additionally, Lion’s mane mushrooms have been found to have a positive effect on mental health, as they may also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Fungies Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Meet Fungies

Fungies are functional mushroom gummies that are gelatin-free, gluten-free, Non-GMO, and vegan-friendly.

The Fungies Lion’s Mane mushroom gummies come in a 60 ct bottle, and each gummie contains 500mg of Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) mushroom extract. The directions say to take one per day, and they have a rich berry flavor.

The bottle is very secure and child-proof, which is great because I have children, and these gummies taste no different than fruit snacks you’d find at the grocery store. In other words, they’re absolutely delicious, but not at all meant for children.

I have been taking Fungies for a few weeks now, and they are much more pleasant and easier to swallow than capsules. They also contain15 calories and 4 grams of carbs per serving.

Since I’ve taken Lion’s Mane supplements a whole year prior to this brand, I can say that Fungies gummies work because the benefits that I’ve experienced thus far haven’t gone away.

In other words, I continue to have improvement in vision and I’m focused throughout the day.

My only grievance with these gummies is the carb count. Fungies are made with both sucrose and glucose syrup, which contribute to 3 grams of sugar of the 4 total carbs per gummie. It would be lovely if they were sugar-free.

Fungies Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Fungies is also dedicated to giving back, and have partnered with Vitamin Angels, a charity providing lifesaving vitamins to mothers and children at risk of malnutrition.

“For every bottle of Fungies sold, Fungies makes a one-for-one donation to Vitamin Angels to reach a pregnant woman or child with life-changing nutritional support”.

All in all, the Fungies gummies are worth adding to your daily routine. I have noticed a significant improvement in my overall health since I began taking Lion’s mane supplements, and I am grateful for the positive effects they have had on my life.

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PiperWai Natural Deodorant Honest Review

The Only Natural Deodorant You’ll Want To Buy Over And Over Again

This post contains affiliate links which may earn Eco Mom Diaries a commission.

PiperWai natural deodorant review

Deodorant is a staple product in my daily hygiene routine, and for years, I was using traditional antiperspirants, until I became more conscious of their chemical makeup. It turns out that traditional antiperspirants contain unhealthy ingredients that pass through our skin and enter the blood stream, which can compromise our health.

Aluminum, as you may already know, is one of the unhealthy ingredients used to create traditional antiperspirants. It turns out that an excess amount of aluminum can be hard on the kidneys, and if you have CKD, like I do, your kidneys won’t be able to filter it out fast enough, causing accumulation, and resulting in health problems like bone disease and possibly even dementia.

This is the biggest reason I switched to a natural deodorant as soon as I got diagnosed. I knew I had to invest in cleaner products.

Traditional antiperspirants also contain parabens, which are chemicals used commonly as preservatives in many cosmetics. Unfortunately, these preservatives disrupt your hormones by mimicking estrogen and increasing your risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. This is still up for debate, but it makes a lot of sense.

That’s some scary stuff, isn’t it.

Why I Chose To Try PiperWai

I went through several natural deodorants in the past year. Some were just ok, and others I completely hated. They either smelled horrible, or they made me sweat. Don’t get me wrong, we as humans are supposed to sweat, but I just don’t like the feeling of having wet underarms.

(Real quick fun fact: we don’t sweat out toxins, we sweat because that’s just our body’s way of dealing with increased temperature)

Moving along, I had been stalking PiperWai for quite some time, and finally decided to give them a try because I was intrigued with their ingredient list which consists of activated charcoal and tapioca starch.

Activated charcoal is antibacterial and combined with tapioca starch, soak up moisture and neutralize odor. Not too many natural deodorants do both, so I was excited to test this out.

Sure enough, even on the first day of wearing it, I stayed dry, and I didn’t stink. I also smelled amazing and was no longer self conscious when outdoors in the humid Florida weather. As far as the activated charcoal goes, no, it won’t turn your skin dark. It goes on very light (a beige color), and fades over the course of the day.

With that said, keep reading as I go more in depth with my experience using PiperWai activated charcoal deodorant and why I love it so much.

PiperWai activated charcoal deodorant review

Six Reasons To Love PiperWai Activated Charcoal Deodorant

1. PiperWai Is Aluminum Free

The PiperWai natural deodorant does not contain aluminum, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I chose and adore this deodorant. You can feel the healthy difference when putting this deodorant compared to a traditional brand. Words alone can’t express how clean it feels.

2. PiperWai Keeps You Dry And Odor-Free

The combination of charcoal and tapioca starch results in dry pits. I have gone jogging while wearing PiperWai natural deodorant and armpits had very little perspiration. When I wasn’t active, I had zero sweat. I also love that when I did sweat a little from working out, I didn’t stink.

3. PiperWai Has A Magical Scent

I am still struggling to describe the scent. A lot of people swear that PiperWai smells like a “spa”, but I’ve never been to one, so I cannot confirm. But, I can say that the scent very strongly resembles skittles with a very subtle hint of eucalyptus. In other words, a bit of citrus, and a bit of mint (but, more on the citrus side). Sometimes I rub some of PiperWai on my wrists as perfume because it’s so lovely.

4. PiperWai Is So Gentle, My Child Wears It

I loved wearing PiperWai so much that after a while I emailed the company and asked if it was safe enough for children (my 9 year old boy is at the age where he’s starting to sweat and developing some body odor, so it’s officially time for him to wear deodorant).

A representative for PiperWai confirmed that their natural deodorant was indeed safe for kids, as well as pregnant and nursing women, so I was ecstatic. She stated that the entire essential oil blend makes up less than 1% of the overall formula, falling far below the <2% safe range.

5. PiperWai Uses Eco-Friendly Packaging (PCR)

PiperWai natural deodorants are packaged in containers made from Post-Consumer Recycled or Post Consumer Resin “PCR”, which uses resources that would otherwise be in landfills. PCR plastic takes 60% less energy to produce than virgin plastic. The natural deodorant was even shipped to me in all paper packaging.

6. PiperWai Natural Deodorant Is Vegan And Cruelty-Free

PiperWai natural deodorant uses ingredients that are animal-friendly. Vegan and cruelty-free deodorants are a great way to make sure that you’re not contributing to animal cruelty and that you’re taking care of your body in a healthier and more natural way. These deodorants are free of any animal products and are instead made with natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin and are much healthier for the body.

PiperWai Natural Deodorant Review
How PiperWai looks on the skin

Final word:

With that said, I am officially a loyal customer. When you find something that works perfectly with your body, it’s exciting—and I hope they never go out of business because this has become my favorite deodorant.

You can purchase PiperWai on both their official website as well as on Amazon.

PiperWai Natural Deodorant Review

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The Natural Organic Family Skincare For Kids | Honest Review

An Honest Review Of Kids’ Skincare Products From Natural Organic Family

This post contains affiliate links which may earn Eco Mom Diaries a commission.

Not too long ago, I got my two young children (ages 5 & 9) started on a simple skincare routine in order to create healthy habits that will:

  • Build resistance against teenage acne and
  • Prevent unintended damage.

It was important to me that the skincare products which my kids use are as natural as possible, and don’t contain any harsh or toxic chemicals. There are far too many children’s skincare products now a days that contain a lot of carcinogens, which is unfortunate.

Kids have much thinner skin than grownups, which makes it vulnerable to harsh environmental elements. Hence, daily cleansing with the incorporation of a moisturizer adds a protective barrier without clogging pores.

With that said, I was so excited when the Natural Organic Family sent us some kids’ skincare products to try out, and after a few uses, I noticed a few wonderful benefits:

  • The foaming face wash and face creams are hypoallergenic and gentle on all skin types—especially delicate skin. Neither of my children developed any type of skin reaction.
  • The face cream for kids leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized without any greasy residue, which makes you feel good knowing that you aren’t clogging your child’s pores.
  • The product containers are easy for little kids to hold and dispense on their own. My 5 year old daughter feels like such a “big kid” when using these products on her own each day.
  • My 9 year old boy’s rough and bumpy texture around his nostril area has smoothed out because I no longer have to fight with him over washing his face (boys can be so difficult sometimes lol).
  • A little goes a long way, and these products will last you a good while. So while they may be up there in price, they‘re high quality and last a good couple of months before you need to restock.

About The Natural Organic Family

The Natural Organic Family was founded in 2012 by Marili Aitken. After becoming a mom and noticing that traditional skincare products were too harsh for her child, Marili was determined to create natural and organic children’s skincare products that were safe, effective and cruelty-free.

The Natural Organic Family Foaming Face Wash & Moisturizer Review

Natural Organic Family face wash

Natural Organic Family Foaming Face Wash

The Scent: A Lovely Citrus

The light and airy foam of this gentle foaming face wash has an invigorating sweet citrus scent that smells very much like the zest of a fresh orange. My children were pleasantly surprised by this lovely scent and couldn’t get enough.

The Experience: Clean & Fresh

I tried this facial cleanser on myself along with my children so that I can partake in the experience. It was gentle on all of our skin types, and left us feeling clean and fresh without over drying our skin. My children have continued to use this cleanser each night following their baths, and it’s made washing their face a fun activity, rather than a chore.

The Features:

  • Environmentally friendly ingredients
  • Over 80% certified organic ingredients
  • 97% natural ingredients
  • Vegan

The Natural Organic Family Face Creams For Kids

The Scents:

  • Blackberry & Ylang Ylang
  • Pepperment, Lime & Tea Tree
  • Unscented

We were able to try out all three creams, and each one (not including the unscented) had a unique herbal scent due to being infused with natural essential oils. My daughter’s favorite is the blackberry & Ylang Ylang. It has a subtle scent that’s very sweet and calming.

The peppermint, lime and tea tree face cream is a bit stronger in scent and smells exactly like a peppermint candy cane. This scent might not be for everyone, but I will say that it has a soothing effect on the senses. It’s also great to put on the skin when your child has a stuffy nose. It’s not strong like VapoRub or anything like that, but it does do wonders for opening the senses—and the scent does get weaker as the day goes on.

The Experience: Moisture-Rich Skin That’s Not Greasy

We love all of the facial moisturizers and they all go on very easily and create a nice hydrating barrier that’s not greasy. It is easily absorbed by the skin and keeps it from drying out throughout the day which is great during cold seasons.

The Features:

  • Helps soothe and calm the skin
  • Helps reduce redness and inflammation
  • Helps control breakouts
  • Deeply nourishes the skin
  • Vegan

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How To Get Rid Of Chicken Skin | Children & Adults

The Skincare Routine That Works For Kids & Adults

This post contains affiliate links which may earn Eco Mom Diaries a commission.

DISCLAIMER: No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

When my son entered toddlerhood, we noticed that the back of his arms were developing tiny little rough patches. And as he grew, those little rough patches started developing more pronounced little bumps that resembled tiny white pearls.

The bumps didn’t appear to bother him, they weren’t itchy, and during those early years, they weren’t very visible. However, I was still concerned, and addressed the issue with his pediatrician during every well check.

Unfortunately, I received the same answer at every visit: “They’re just harmless little cysts that’ll go away on their own”. That answer always frustrated me because the pediatrician could never give me an exact time line, and told me to just “exfoliate and moisturize” my son’s arms as part of his bathing routine.

Well, I did that for years and nothing changed. In fact, when my son turned 8 earlier this year, the Keratosis Pilaris started to grow out of control. The tiny white pearls on his upper arms had become enlarged and very visible.

They also started to sporadically spread down his arm toward his wrist, and tiny ones began to appear on his cheeks—but the worst ones were in the region above his elbow (see image below).

The Keratosis Pilaris doesn’t cause him any discomfort and they don’t itch. But, my son is at the age where he’s noticing that they are present, and that his friends don’t have them.

So a few months ago I decided to have him see his pediatrician again in an effort to obtain a referral to a dermatologist—someone who would take his condition seriously and give us a real sustainable solution.

Thankfully, his referral was approved and we were able to be seen by a local skincare professional.

Upon examining his arms, the dermatologist confirmed that my son had a pretty bad case of Keratosis Pilaris, and gave us a skincare routine to follow as well as a prescription for a retinoid cream called Tretinoin (a compound made from vitamin A).

And since those who suffer from Keratosis Pilaris are said to have a vitamin A deficiency, it makes perfect sense that this cream is prescribed to treat this condition, and in our case, it has been pretty darn successful.

Another cream that our dermatologist recommended along with the Tretinoin is the Cetaphil Rough and Bumpy daily smoothing moisturizer, which can be purchased at any store. This cream contains 20% salicylic acid, and we have been using it in combination with the Tretinoin, which helps keep his skin from drying out from the retinoid. It’s impressive how soft his skin feels, despite the texture from the bumps.

Keratosis Pilaris

Along with the creams, the Dermatologist instructed my son to gently scrub his skin with a bristle brush during his bathing routine. She said to use any kind of body wash that contains salicylic acid.

We went with the Cetaphil brand again, since we were given a generous amount of samples of the Cetaphil Rough and Bumpy daily smoothing moisturizer and it’s been working really well.

So just to recap, after his shower, we apply the two creams. The prescription Tretinoin goes on first, and after allowing it to dry, we apply the Cetaphil Rough and Bumpy smoothing moisturizer.

After a few weeks of treatment, his skin isn’t perfect, but the improvement is drastic! (See image below). We are going to keep at it, and I’m excited to see what the results will be in a few months.

What If I Can’t Afford To Afford To See A Dermatologist?

A lot of families have limited or no health insurance, and aren’t able to see a professional dermatologist. If you’re one of those people, I have good news for you!!

You can actually purchase a similar cream called Adapalene (0.1%), also a topical retinoid cream, on places like Amazon without a prescription for around $30.

My dermatologist said that they both work the same, and that both are highly effective for Keratosis Pilaris. It’s funny because my copay for my son’s Tretinoin prescription was actually $30 as well, so I could have just purchased the Adapalene gel.

Did Diet Cause My Child’s Keratosis Pilaris?

I asked our dermatologist the very same question because I read online that Keratosis Pilaris may be cause by a gluten allergy. She stated that there are no proven studies which warrant this, and that diet has nothing to do with this condition.

However, those with a vitamin A deficiency tend to develop this condition more often than individuals without a vitamin A deficiency. If you’re curious, you can have your child tested to see if they lack this vitamin. You can also increase their vitamin A through multivitamins or increase their intake through diet:

  • Carrots (or carrot juice)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Kale

Is There A Difference Between Keratosis Pilaris And Milia?

Keratosis Pilaris and milia (or milk spots) are two skin conditions that are often confused with one another.

Milia are small, white, hard bumps that form on the skin, usually around the eyes, nose, and cheeks and caused by a buildup of keratin, which is a protein found in the skin. Milia is most common in babies and young toddlers.

Keratosis Pilaris (or chicken skin), on the other hand, is a common skin condition that causes small, rough bumps to form on the skin, usually on the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. This condition is more common in older children and adults.

Keratosis Pilaris is likewise caused by a buildup of keratin, which can block hair follicles and cause the bumps to form.

Final Thoughts

I sincerely hope that our experience with Keratosis Pilaris helps you find answers that you have been seeking.

Prior to finding treatment for my son, I have never been able to find anything online about adolescents dealing with this issue (other than WebMD), so I was determined to share our journey with other parents whose child is struggling with this condition.

If you have any other questions, please reach out in the comments!

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How To Remove Pesticides From Fruits And Vegetables

3 Simple Hacks To Naturally Remove Dirt, Bacteria And Chemicals From Your Produce

This post contains affiliate links which may earn us a commission.

When it comes to agriculture, farmers turn to pesticides in order to protect their crops against fungi, insects, pests, weeds and various diseases that would otherwise destroy up to 40% of annual crops.

Unfortunately, saving crops comes with a horrible price. Exposure to pesticides can cause cancer, tumors, wreak havoc on our nervous system, weaken our immunity, and disrupt our reproductive hormones.

Even organic produce falls victim to spray drifts as well as direct pesticide sprays that have been approved for use on organic fruits and vegetables— copper sulfate being one of them (and unfortunately, it’s pretty toxic).

Lastly, organic or not, no produce is free from wax coating, germs and bacterial contamination, so it is crucial to properly give all of your fruits and vegetables a good rinse—even those whose packaging states that the contents are pre-washed.

With that said, below are three popular and effective methods to remove impurities as well as pesticides from your produce that take very little effort.

All three involve soaking your produce in water with three powerhouse pantry ingredients that are safe to use and are very inexpensive.

For larger, thick-skinned fruits and vegetables, you can also use a bamboo scrub brush, which I like to use on potatoes—especially if I am baking them.

Also, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t wash berries until you are ready to eat them, as soaking them in these solutions can cause them to go bad super fast if put back in the fridge.

All other fruits and vegetables can and should be washed as soon as you bring them home. That’s because the longer pesticides sit on your produce, the more they penetrate the skin.

The Three Methods To Naturally Remove Dirt, Bacteria And Pesticides From Your Produce

The Baking Soda Method

Soaking produce in a sink or bowl full of water and baking soda is a fantastic way to clean your produce! Baking soda is an alkaline that strips away pesticides by breaking down their chemical structure into neutral molecules that are no longer harmful.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one teaspoon of baking soda per every 2 cups of water. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.

The Vinegar Method

Adding white vinegar to water is another common method that effectively removes bacteria and pesticides from fruits and vegetables. That’s because vinegar contains acetic acid, which dissolves pesticides and kills about 98 percent of bacteria.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one part vinegar per 4 parts of water. I like to add 1/4 cup of vinegar per every 2 cups of water, so that the solution isn’t too acidic. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15-20 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.

Whenever I clean store-bought apples in the vinegar/water solution, I’m always in awe of how even the wax starts to strip off. It’s simply fantastic how powerful and effective vinegar is!

The Salt Water Method

The third method that many people use to cleanse their produce involves soaking fruits and vegetables in [sea] salt water. And while this is effective, it does tend to alter the flavor of berries, so it’s best to use on vegetables, which typically get salted anyway when cooking.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one teaspoon of sea salt per every 2 cups of water. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.


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Best Zero Waste Period Kits For Beginners

How To Have A Zero Waste Period—Plus, Best Starter Kits!

This post contains affiliate links which may earn Eco Mom Diaries a small commission.

Each year in North America, roughly around 20 billion disposable pads and tampons make their way to the landfill where they sit around with other single-use products like baby diapers, water bottles and plastic straws that simply do not biodegrade.

Then there’s the issue of manufacturing single use sanitary pads which also creates a large carbon footprint, not to mention the impact they have on our health due to all the synthetic and toxic chemicals that are used to create them.

Rayon, dioxin, fragrance and chlorine are only a few of these hormone disrupting and cancer causing agents that we shouldn’t be voluntarily placing into our bodies. This stuff literally has a huge impact on your health.

What Do Zero Waste Menstrual Products Consist Of?

Luckily, there are a few healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional menstrual products:

  • Reusable menstrual cups
  • Reusable period pads
  • Reusable period underwear

Reusable is the key word in each of these zero-waste products. Although there are many eco-friendly period products that are biodegradable, they still take a long time to breakdown in landfills and contribute to carbon emissions.

So in order to qualify as “zero-waste”, your period products must be reusable. Plus, choosing against single use will help save water—because even organic cotton requires a ton to water to create just one tampon.

Which Zero Waste Menstrual Product Is Right For Me?

Now the big question: which one do you choose? Which one is best for your body and lifestyle?

The easiest thing to do when wanting to switch over to a new product (especially if it’s an environmentally friendly product which costs a few dollars more) is to purchase a kit.

Period kits allow you to sample and experiment with products that you would otherwise be too uncertain to buy, and many of them are worth the purchase.

Below you’ll find my recommended zero-waste menstrual kits. The items within all of these selected period kits are BPA free, non-toxic and will definitely save you a ton of money in the long run.

Zero Waste Menstrual Kit By The Zero Waste Store

Say goodbye to plastic tampon applicators and disposable pads that contain artificial fragrances, chemical gels, and adhesives. Better for your body, budget, and our Earth, this kit by the Zero Waste Store, will give you comfortable periods! The organic cotton pads are breathable, sustainable, super comfy, and provide ultimate leak protection. 

This sustainable period kit includes:

  • Mist Grey Saalt menstrual cup- Size small or regular (not pictured)
  • Reusable pantyliner- Organic cotton (white) or Black
  • Reusable day pad with two inserts- Organic cotton (white) or Black
  • Reusable Stasher Bag to hold your soiled reusables.

Pixie Menstrual Cup Starter Kit

If you’re searching for a tampon and pad alternative, than a soft silicone menstrual cup may be a great fit for you. And this menstrual cup starter kit by Pixie is the ultimate zero waste period kit. Non-toxic and BPA-free, this period kit contains two reusable silicone cups (one small and one large) which offer 12 hour protection and contain a 10 year life span.

Each person is different, and our flow varies from the beginning of our cycle to the end, so it’s really convenient to have two different size cups to choose from.

It also includes one microwavable sterilizing cup, one all natural and organic lubricant and one all natural and organic foaming wash and wipes for the purpose of cleaning your Pixie cups. Women are truly loving this period kit and you can get more info, to include reviews, on Amazon by clicking here.

Luna Cup Menstrual Starter Kit

If you’re not sure about your ability to use a silicone menstrual cup, or you’d like to use a combination of cups and pads to feel more confident or until you get the hang of it, then this Luna Cup menstrual starter kit is the perfect choice for you.

The Luna Cup menstral starter kit consists of 2 reusable cloth pads, two medical grade soft silicone menstrual cups (one small and one large), and one wet bag.

The reusable Luna period pads are made of 100% anti-bacterial and highly absorbent bamboo charcoal, and hold twice as much liquid as traditional disposable pads—which means you don’t have to change as much.

They also contain “wings” for extra protection, and are very easy to clean. Plus, how cute is the design! You can find more details about this kit on Amazon, to include reviews, and decide if you’d like to give this kit a try!

Saalt Menstrual Cup Kit

The Saalt Soft Duo Pack includes two sizes of ultra-soft silicone menstrual cups, storage bags, and last for up to 12 hours. They are BPA free, toxin free and cruelty free.

Saalt believes in keeping toxins out of our ecosystems and out of our bodies, which is why this eco-conscious brand meticulously monitors their supply chain and source only high-quality, medical-grade materials.

Saalt is a certified B Corp, and commits 2% of revenue to regions with the most need for period products.

Luna Cup Period Panty Kit

If you’d like to skip a silicone menstrual cup altogether, and stick to something less invasive, then this period panty and reusable pad combination by Luna Cup is perfect for you. I really like this kit because it’s hard to find a brand that sells pads and underwear together—giving you the freedom and convenience to see which works best for you.

I do, however, recommend panties for lighter period days and definitely not when and if you have a heavy flow.

These comfortable and breathable period panties are made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The inner lining has waterproof backing, so don’t worry about leakage! If you’d like more details and sizing information, click here to be taken to Amazon.

Lunette Menstrual Cup Kit

The Lunette Menstrual Cup Kit is another great zero waste kit for beginners. Each cup can last up to 12 hours, and comes with accessories for cleaning and storage.

The liquid cleaner and wipes are completely organic, vegan, and sulfite and paraben-free—with only ingredients that you can recognize.

The Lunette Menstrual Cup Kit includes :

  • Lunette Menstrual Cup 
  • Lunette Feelbetter Cup Cleanser 
  • Lunette Cupwipes 
  • Lunette Cotton pouch 
  • Lunette Booklet

LuckyPads | Organic Cotton Pads

If you prefer organic cotton to bamboo period pads, consider a starter pack of reusable organic cotton menstrual pads at LuckyPads. The fabric is breathable, non-toxic, and can easily be thrown into the wash countless times. Plus, the designs are really cute!

My favorite thing about cotton pads as opposed to bamboo (or flannel) is that they don’t trap heat and are much more comfortable to wear. And the fact that these are organic cotton, makes them 100 times more healthier and eco-friendly than other cotton menstrual pads.

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