I still plan to catch up on the fiction books and recipe tests soon, but I’ve got a new little side project for today.
I recently bought an Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, after doing the math to see if the cost of the books I was most interested in made it a good deal.
It’s not the first time I’ve bought one of the bundles this particular company puts together, and I have read one of the books here and there, like this one and a book on cloth diapers that I read as research when figuring out my options for sewing them. But between these bundles and the freebies I sometimes pick up on Amazon, I have a LOT of non-fiction books on my Kindle that usually get neglected in favor of a good story.
So I’m going to be making more of an effort to work these in and see what’s actually useful for me and my family. And this seemed like a good place to start.
This time, the company has little email challenges to help you find a starting point in going through the resources. I picked the natural home track to start, because frankly, I need to catch up on some cleaning anyway.
The first book suggested to go through is Living Green in an Artificial World by Sarah Pope. So I skimmed through it while stuck in a chair with a napping baby yesterday, and here’s my takeaway. I don’t feel bad discussing the articles that make up this book, because she linked to blog posts she wrote in every chapter.
What I liked: there were some good suggestions for more natural ways of dealing with common household issues, like ants and spiders and lawn care. I also have a good resource now for if our dogs ever get fleas.
The two things that I think I could immediately implement is to try to stop being lazy about bringing my reusable shopping bags out to the grocery store in particular, and to get non- antibacterial soap next time I need to buy a refill. Also, I think my husband would be a fan of her suggestion to not worry about a perfect yard, since he hates yard work. (Ours is basically just a dog toilet anyway.)
What I have more trouble with: There were multiple suggestions that seemed pointless for a lot of people, like finding out whether our town puts fluoride in the water or what kind of power meter we have in our townhouse. Yeah, maybe there’s healthier options, but it’s not like I can do anything to change either thing.
The two skin care items in particular also sounded about two steps too far for me- I’d be fine with looking for a more natural deodorant, for instance, but going without antiperspirant makes me feel self-conscious and gross. (I’m already getting drooled on, spit up on, peed and/or pooped on every day right now, so I don’t need to add BO to the list!) I also don’t feel comfortable with ditching sunscreen–my background is predominantly English/Irish/Scottish/German, so I burn like the chicken stew that I accidentally turned up too high while getting distracted by the baby the other night. (I’m still scrubbing that pot two days later to try to get it off.) And given that I have two relatives that have had to have melanoma removed in recent years, I’ll take the sunscreen, thankyouverymuch.
The tone of the book was sometimes a little preachy for my taste, as I’m not a fan of the premise that if you don’t do all these things, you’re slowly killing everyone you love. If those things work for her, great. But I’m in a place right now where I need to stick with simple, manageable changes towards a healthier lifestyle for my family.
I especially need to really think through things that my husband would be more skeptical about. He’s getting a lot more open to some ideas, like reducing the chemicals used for cleaning and using the cloth diapers. Admittedly, the financial savings were the factor that convinced him to try those things. But he’s less interested in things like switching to all organic food (too expensive, and he still talks about a free range organic turkey that we had at a friend’s house once as the worst turkey he ever tasted), GMOs, herbal remedies and the like. So it’ll be interesting as I go through these books to see what changes or adjustments we’ll actually end up making. Or even trying.
Anyway, on to the next book, once I get the next email. In the meantime, I’m going back to my fiction!