The Honest Company Review, Part 4

I’ve recently checked out a variety of additional Honest Company products and wanted to share my thoughts. Some of these are fun ones, so enjoy the reviews!

Interested in more about the natural products we use? Check out these related posts:

Health and Beauty Buys
What Products Do Our Kids Use
Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
The Honest Company Review
The Honest Company Review, Part 2
The Honest Company Review, Part 3

Honest Bar Soap: While we normally use Kiss My Face bar soap, this was a nice change up. We tried the Juniper Sage and both Justin and I were pleased. That being said, I wish a bulk option were available.  I think $5 for one bar of soap is really crazy and wouldn’t buy this on a regular basis for that very reason, particularly for a bar that’s only 84% organic. bar soap

 

Organic Belly Balm:  With my recent announcement of Baby #3 heading our way in June, I have been using this for a few months. I’m not a religious belly balm girl, but when I get the chance in the morning (read: if I get a few minutes before Finn barges in the bathroom after I get out of the shower), I slather this on my belly, my hips and my lower back.  It’s not too greasy and has a nice, light, clean scent. I didn’t use anything regularly with Finn and Evie, so I really don’t have anything to compare it to, and really…. can anything truly stop stretch marks? Ugh. It’s a splurge, but it does make a growing belly feel slightly pampered :) belly balm

Organic Body Oil: I would invest in gallon jugs of this oil if it were possible! (Seriously, Honest, please start offering bulk items!) After a reader recommendation, I tried the body oil and will likely not use another winter moisturizer for a very long time. This is worth every cent of your Alexander Hamilton’s. I use this daily on my legs, thighs, arms, chest, back, buns, and often belly. It’s so insanely moisturizing. Yes, it is a bit greasy (it’s OIL), but it’s less greasy than say a baby oil you might be thinking of. One of my favorite Honest products for dryness.

body oil

 

Organic Nipple Balm: I’ve already purchased 2 jars of this in preparation for Baby Beefcake’s arrival. When I was in the hospital with Evie, the nurses brought me small (like sample size) tubes of Lanolin. Lanolin is far from crunchy and when I received the itemized bill, I noticed we were charged some astronomical price for each of these. Something like $20 for each tube. I remember gasping out loud! These 2 Honest jars will last until I’m, ya know, broken back in for nursing. (Oh geez. Am I ready for this?!?!)nipple balmOrganic Breathe Easy Rub: When the kids are congested we use rubs and essential oils on the kids feet and chest. We also use a different chest rub that is comparable in price and size.  I don’t think we could say we like one rub over the other. Certainly a good product to have on hand for the winter months. breathe rub

Deodorant: Several years ago I started looking into the link between aluminum and a lot of health concerns, including dementia. The link was too much for me to continue to mess with so I instantly started looking for a new deodorant. There were lots of misses along the way! Lots. I realized quickly the baking soda based products were not for me. They gave me a terrible rash. Every last one. Boo! (Aluminum is what prevents you from sweating, hence the reason you will not see an antiperspirant attached to an aluminum-free product.) When I use deodorant, I normally use a Tom’s aluminum-free, fragrance-free deodorant. I tried the Honest deodorant and was pleasantly surprised. (I will note, the 1st deodorant I ordered didn’t work. The spray nozzle just put out nothing. I called customer service and asked for a new nozzle to be sent. They sent an entire new product to me. The Honest customer service has always been incredible.)

deo

Healthy Child Health World and The Honest Life: A must-have for all homes concerned about creating a healthier, safer environment for their kids!  I haven’t read either book cover to cover, but I refer to both books on a regular basis when I have questions or want guidance on a certain topic. Either option would be a great gift idea for an expecting mother.

HCHW book

honest life

Organic Shave Oil: The scent is fairly neutral, so it could be used for your man or you. I had Justin test this out to get a guys option.  He wasn’t a fan. As he said, “it confused me.” :) He “didn’t understand how to put it on.” He felt the oil-based product was too complicated for shaving. So, there’s one guy’s opinion! I tried it for my legs and felt the same. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t purchase it on a regular basis.  I do think it’s nice for winter months for some added moisture, but I’m not sure I’d use it year-round.

shave oil

Exfoliating Body Scrub: I have a homemade sugar scrub that I really love. It’s made with almond oil, essential oils, and organic sugar. The Honest scrub is made with a few more ingredients, so it’s a different consistency. I like the consistency, but I’m not a fan of the scent. Vanilla is really not my jam. If you’re a vanilla fan, this would be a great splurge or a great gift idea for friends or family. You feel so fancy using it!

sugar salt scrub

Zip Pouch: I bought a diaper bag with Finn, but after I slid over the “oh my gosh, what am I doing with a baby?!?!” stage, I rarely used it. I ended up finding a leather Hobo that I love and use as a diaper bag. I toss in a clutch and this zip pouch and I’m set. The pouch is honestly the perfect size once you realize how little you actually need while out and out running errands. There is plenty of room for 2-3 diapers, wipes, a mini bag with lots of goodies, snacks and Finn’s EpiPen. All of that easily fits in this non-bulky pouch.zip pouch

Are there other Honest products you are curious about?  Let me know as I’d be happy to try a few more products and let you know how they stack up in our house. If you’re new to Honest, one way to try the products and get a feel for what you like best is through the Honest Family Essentials Bundle.

You can choose which 5 products to order (at a discount) and, if you choose, get a 25% discount on 3 additional items. These options also make great gift ideas. The shipment normally resends every 4-6 weeks but customer service will help you extend that, if needed. Sometimes I wait 8-12 weeks between orders and customer service has never given me a hard time for that. You can change the order each shipment, too.

You do need to register before you make a purchase. <<<< —– Use this link to register and receive $10 off your first order. (The $10 coupon can be used toward a $25 minimum purchase and can’t be used on the trial memberships.)

What natural products (Honest or another company) have you tried recently and loved/hated?

Review: The Food Babe Way

When Finn was first diagnosed with a dairy, egg, and peanut allergy in 2010, I was stunned. My world was literally rocked.

“How could this precious little body reject food? Why does he break out in hives, vomit, and start an anaphylaxis reaction when certain foods enter, and sometimes simply touch, his body? I don’t understand!”

We visited an allergist who gave the standard reason for food allergies, but it didn’t sit right. And so I started reading and researching and studying. Justin thought I was losing my mind because I would stay up so late with my nose inches into books and research. What I learned turned my shell-shock into a mama-bear-sized anger.

We had been duped. We had been lied to. We had been sold garbage about the health of our “food” in the name of pure profit. And it hurt my son.

Along the way I found some amazing allies in this fight for clean food, including Vani Hari, best known as the Food Babe.

Vani

I remember feeling freedom and relief as I read through her posts. I remember not feeling so alone in these “strange” beliefs that our food system had contributed to the food allergies of my sweetest first-born. And most importantly, I was reassured I had a voice and that is was important, just like yours is important and needed in this fight for real, clean food.

Fast forward five years and Vani’s first book, The Food Babe Way, is out!

FBW

Two major mainstream media outlets have already indicated they can’t promote the book because of their advertisers. Unfortunately, I’m not shocked. This simply reinforces the power of money in this country and the stronghold that Big Food has on what we understand of our food system.

The Food Babe Way contains the 21 essential habits that Vani used in order to take control of her health. She used to be an overweight, pill-dependent, sick young woman. True story. But changing her diet changed her life.

Pre Health

In this book, Vani will walk you through the simple changes you can make in your life to live a more energetic and vibrant life. This isn’t a “diet,” it’s a lifestyle.

Hyman

The book features ways to:

  • Avoid the top 15 ingredients that wreak havoc on your weight, beauty, and health
  • Spot manipulative marketing and manufacturing techniques the food industry uses to get you to eat processed foods or hide questionable ingredients
  • Replace the foods that make you fat, look older, and zap your energy with healthful, delicious substitutes
  • Prepare dozens of additive-free meals with easy and delicious recipes

The book walks you through the ways we’ve been duped, the chemicals in our food and what they are doing to our bodies, healthful food habits, tips to navigate the grocery store, and offers dozens of additive-free recipes.

Eat Organic

I most resonate with Vani on her endless work to expose the chemicals used by Big Food and how the FDA has turned a blind eye to what has transpired. The word technology and inventions should not be used in the same sentence as food. Food is food, not a science experiment, not a petri dish concoction that needs testing.

The FDA allows roughly 10,000 chemical additives to be used in our food. And yet, there are no credible studies to show that these additives are beneficial, or more importantly, not harmful.

“We do not know the volume of particular chemicals that are going into the food supply so we can diagnose trends,” says Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food at the FDA.

Taylor continues, “We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of the chemicals…”

And yet, we’re told again and again by our doctors that our food is safe and has nothing to do with food allergies, intolerances, asthma, and a host of other health concerns on the rise, particularly among our children.

The Food Babe Way is a must-read! Add it to your book list now and dig in. You won’t be disappointed.

The Food Babe Way is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Park Road Books (signed copy), Books A Million, and Indie Bound.

Grocery Shopping Staples: Costco

While Costco isn’t a weekly run for me, it is important for us in saving money. I visit once every 4-8 weeks, depending on our needs, and try to go during the week. If you’ve been to Costco on the weekend, you understand why I avoid it like the plague. In fact, I think I’d rather have the plague. So.many.people. I suffocate from that close proximity to strangers!

I have a list in our kitchen of our Costco staples. Each time I’m about to visit, I compare that list against what we have stocked to make sure 6 days later I’m not upset for missing a key item.

I’m not including fresh produce we buy from Costco as it can change with season and availability, but needless to say, there is a handful of fresh organic produce available at Costco including spinach, baby kale, and carrots. This summer organic berries were also available for a fantastic price. It’s always worth a look.

(In case you missed it, here are our Trader Joe’s and Hy-Vee staples.)

Here are our Costco staples:

Dubliner Cheese: Since cutting dairy, we aren’t big cheese people, but I do buy a block of KerryGold’s Dubliner when I’m at Costco. Justin and I munch on this with apples and crackers. It’s a little slice of heaven! The first time I had this cheese was at Justin and my couple’s engagement party in 2006, hosted at the (now extinct) Java G’s in West Des Moines and thrown by our good friends Travis and Tiffany. I still remember my first bite and demanded T&T tell us where they found this gold mine. Travis was so excited to tell me it was actually called KERRYGold.

IMG_0076

Toilet Paper: I mean, does this need explaining? I don’t buy the cheapest TP because that’s more like… tissue paper. Ya know, just yuck.

IMG_0077

Organic Frozen Peas: The kids prefer peas frozen. Weird? It’s a super easy side veggie for the kids that they devour with a spoon. There is a handful of other frozen organic fruits and vegetables available including mangos and berries.

IMG_0078

Ezekiel Bread: I saw this for the first time at my last visit. A good price if you’re a Food For Life fan! (A single loaf is normally $4.99-$5.99 at regular grocery stores.)

IMG_0080

KerryGold Butter: This is the only butter we will use (from grass-fed Irish cows). We’ve been trying to add this to recipes that Finn eats and so far, so good… no reaction.

IMG_0083

Raw Almonds: While I wish we could afford organic almonds, we just can’t.  They are SO expensive! Justin and Evie both love raw almonds. I use these to roast and Vitamix into almond butter. Homemade almond butter is 10 times better than store-bought if you haven’t tried it. (A real treat is to add some maple syrup to a small batch!) We’ve been making almond butter for about 6 months, and minus the “emergency” jar of Trader Joe’s salted creamy we usually have on hand, homemade with these almonds is now our go-to.  We also buy pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts from Costco.

IMG_0085

Avocado Oil: This is the first time I have bought avocado oil from Costco (or ever, for that matter), but I keep hearing how great it is and read the Costco oil was recommended from a few bloggers I respect, so I made the leap. Haven’t used it yet, but I have a few recipes that call for it.

IMG_0086

Organic Sugar: We’ve been buying this sugar for a few years now. I’m always worried it won’t be there when we return for another bag! Not only is this non-GMO sugar, it’s larger crystals so it’s perfect for sugar scrubs and baking. You can imagine that a 10 pound bag lasts us a LONG time!

IMG_0087

Real Maple Syrup: Check your store-bought syrup. Most cheaper versions do not contain any real syrup, but are simply high fructose corn syrup with artificial flavors and colors. Bottles shaped like someone’s aunt? No good. And the sugar-free versions, sheer junk. This is the good (and real) stuff! (There are lots of great real maple syrups out there, this is just the best prices I’ve found.)

IMG_0088

Coconut Oil: We use coconut oil for a variety of things including baking, cooking and skin care. You can never have enough!

IMG_0089

Chicken Stock: I use stock in place of broth for most recipes as the flavor is so much richer. This stock doesn’t have a lot of the normal funky ingredients, is gluten-free, and comes at a great price for organic stock. If you don’t have stock on hand, this is a great back-up to have on-hand, especially for the winter months when soups and more hearty recipes call for stock or broth.

IMG_0090

Red Pepper Soup: I usually buy one or two of these individual boxes at Trader Joe’s or Hy-Vee, but realized the price just makes sense at Costco to have through the winter. This is a great light meal for me when Justin is out of town or I’m craving something warm and cozy for a Saturday lunch. (Note: We have not fed the kids this as there is dairy on the ingredient list.)

IMG_0091

Chia Seeds and Quinoa: We devour chia seeds in smoothies, salads and oatmeal, so good quality bulk bags are a blessing for us. Last time we bought bulk quinoa, we did not use the entire bag before the expiration date, so it might be good to split this with a friend if you are a “sometimes”-quinoa family.

IMG_0094Whole Foods staples to come.

What are your Costco staples?