Spit That Out!

The Overly Informed Parent's Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt by Paige Wolf

Blogging about green guilt, eco-anxiety, and finding practical, reasonable ways to keep our families safe and healthy.
March 16th, 2015

Orgotton: Simple, Sexy, Sustainable Fashion Made in Philly

I have always loved the idea of wearing a jumpsuit. Super trendy on the pages of all the fashion magazines and decorating my Pinterest boards. But click on any retailer review and women will say that they are simply not for “real bodies” and anyone less than 5’9 and rail thin looks ridiculous.

So when a new local fashion line offered to let me try out their sustainably-made jumpsuit I had low expectations. But when I put that organic cotton jumpsuit on and took a pic, my social media blew up with requests for how to purchase!

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Orgotton’s 12 piece women’s clothing
line combines the comfort of classic
pieces with luxurious sustainable fabric and local handcraftsmanship – all at a truly affordable pricepoint! Orgotton’s basics collection consists of classic, casual luxe pieces that are perfect for someone who wants to start their sustainable clothing collection. The collection includes leggings, t-shirts, a cardigan, a variety of versatile and casual dresses, and, of course, the jumpsuit.

Another stand-out piece is the Orgotton Infinity Dress made from a blend of organic cotton and spandex created from recycled PET bottles.

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The vision for Orgotton began in 2009 when sisters, Kristy & Stef, decided there was a need for clothing that was stylish, simple, and sustainable. They began conceptualizing fashion forward clothing for women with an emphasis on ethical practices, organic fabrics, and local production.

Orgotton uses only the finest organic cotton that is grown in Texas and manufactured in North Carolina. In an effort to lessen their footprint, all of their hangtags are made from plantable seeded paper. Once the hangtag is removed from the garment it can be planted and wildflowers will grow!

Learn more and view the whole collection at www.orgotton.com.

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March 12th, 2015

Best in Beauty, Health, + More: Healthy Brand Showcase Gift Bag Sponsors

One of the best things about Healthy Brand Showcase is the gift bags.

Since we know not all the brands who want to participate can physically make it to New York that day, we offer a gift bag option to help get some of the best wellness-focused products into the hands of the media.

Here’s a peak at what our guests got to take home this year – and why I personally recommend each and every one of these brands!

Jack N Jill Natural Toothpaste
Like most children, my five-year-old has been inadvertently eating toothpaste for years. And my 20-month-old has become obsessed with brushing her teeth, begging for her toothbrush at least five times per day. That’s why I try to find them the most natural, fluoride-free product available. Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste is made with certified organic natural flavors and certified organic/biodynamic calendula. Fluoride and SLS free, Jack N’ Jill toothpaste is 100% safe for young children – especially because they have a tendency to swallow it, rather than spit it out! My kids are obsessed with these flavors – truly, they will not stop brushing their teeth!

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Soapbox Soaps
I love a brand with a mission, so when I first discovered Soapbox Soaps I made it my holiday gift for all my clients. For every all-natural soap sold, Soapbox Soaps donates one bar of soap, fresh water, or vitamin supplements to a child in need. The brand just got picked up by Target including a new line of haircare!

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nyl® skincare 
nyl skincare is a collection of fresh all-natural products, handmade weekly — in a kitchen, not a factory. They focus as much on what is not in their products as what is, and they’ve found ways to leave the bad stuff out, leaving only the natural active ingredients in. The result is clean yet effective products that won’t harm you or the environment. Check out their super affordable starter kit!

Michelle’s Granola
Michele’s Granola is handmade in small batches with fresh ingredients with no additives or preservatives. All ingredients are GMO-free and most are certified organic. The products and kitchen are dairy-free, wheat-free and peanut-free. And the Lemon Pistachio Granola is the best granola I’ve ever tasted!

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Caru Skincare Co.
Caru Skincare Co. produces natural, handmade skincare in small batches in NYC. The brand uses pure botanical and mineral ingredients to handcraft organic olive oil soaps, alcohol-free botanical facial toners, and facial oil Sustainable packaging includes soap labels that grow into wild flowers!

Element Snacks
Healthy candy-coated rice cakes? It’s possible! Element Snacks take simple corn and rice cakes, making them thinner and crunchier, and top them with decadent chocolate and creamy fruit – and both of my kids love them! GMO and artificial ingredient free!

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Essence of Vali
Aromatherapy brand Essence of Vali offers a Natural Sleep Formula. This blend of lavender, marjoram, cedarwood and ylang/ylang provides a powerful relaxing/anti-anxiety synergy to lull you into a peaceful sleep and comfort you during times of stress. 

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HTY Gold
HTY Gold skin care products are an intensive patented formulation of rare super red palm oleins and other natural creamed oils, designed to restore and replenish your skin. HTY Gold helps to eliminate dry, wrinkled, crepe paper skin and will also prevent further signs of aging skin.

Branch Basics
I first discovered Branch Basics at ShiftCon and loved the powerful simplicity of their cleaning products. Their multipurpose solution can be used for just about every possible cleaning need. And their stain remover totally wiped out a seriously set-in stain from my white blazer.

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Want to learn more about how your brand can participate in the next Healthy Brand Showcase? Visit www.healthybrandshowcase.com!

Disclosure: I received samples of most of these products for review. Regardless, my opinions are honest. See my full disclosure here. 

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March 8th, 2015

Stonyfield Greek and Chia Yogurt Review

Chia has been touted for years as a “superfood,  meant to help with everything from heart health and protein to stronger teeth and bones. And since the tiny seeds are so innocuous, I’m able to sneak them into so many things I’m already eating, like homemade bread, smoothies, and oatmeal.

The best part is that the tiny seeds have gone virtually unnoticed by my children, which is wonderful for sneaking some serious health benefits into their extremely picky diets.

I was afraid the new Stonyfield Greek and Chia Yogurt would be a bit risky – even though my children are serious yogurt fiends, would the seeds freak them out?

But instead of letting my children be the only judges, I had the opportunity to try a true challenge – their four-year-old friend who has recently been insisting on eating nothing but a yogurt that comes with built-in Oreo crumbles. Her mother was at her wit’s end, but this “cookie yogurt” had pretty much become the only thing she would eat without a serious fight.

So we were shocked when she LOVED the Blood Orange Chia Yogurt. And soon the three of them were fighting over yogurts and spoons.

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Each Stonyfield Organic Greek and Chia offers 500mg of Omega-3s and 12 grams of protein in each cup. The product is available at Whole Foods Markets nationwide in flavors like Blood Orange, Blueberry and Strawberry Raspberry Cranberry.

Disclosure: I received samples of these products for review. Regardless, my opinions are honest. See my full disclosure here. 

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February 19th, 2015

Thanks to Climate Change, I Hate Winter Even More

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Warning: First World Problems Ahead – Read at Your Own Discretion

I once read a quote that read something like, “‘Tis better to relish the changing of the seasons than to live for summer.” I try to repeat that to myself on days like today. Because there is nothing more mundane than bitching about the winter, right?

Problem is, the only way to get me to stop verbally complaining is to write it all down into one glorious self-indulgent rant. So if you love winter, this post is not for you.

You see, global warming is just making the winters even shittier. I know I’m fortunate not to be six feet deep in snow like my friends in Boston, but seeing a 10-day-forecast that barely crawls above single digits makes me want to board the next flight to Florida. But the thing is, I like living in Philadelphia and I like seeing leaves fall in the autumn and trees bloom in the spring.

But most of all I love summer. Even when it is 110 degrees and the city smells like hot garbage, I will go sweat out every ounce of fluid from my body in an unairconditioned CrossFit gym with no complaints.

Because summer is the opposite of winter. And this is winter:

  • Piles of wet hats, scarves, mittens, coats, stroller blankets, and boots muddled in an unyielding pile of tracked filth stretching well through the living room.IMG_1780
  • Never-ending laundry brought on by above items as well as many, many layers of socks, sweaters, and sweatshirts.
  • Avoiding the mirror because no amount of makeup will cover the pale, sickly, swollen look that tells the world, “I have barely left the house since Christmas.”
  • And why haven’t I left the house – apart from the bitter cold and snow? Viruses swapped like halloween candy among all members of the household. Stomach viruses! Ear infections! Non-stop runny noses, hacking coughs, and inexplicable illnesses that leave you bedridden for days!
  • Social media photos of other people on tropical vacations! Without their children! And also lots of photos of people enjoying their “ski cabins.” When did this become a thing where everyone has a ski cabin with like six other families who all drink hot cocoa together and have kids who snowboard like Shaun White? My kids can barely walk through snow. Which brings me to:
  • Snow Days! Nothing is better than paying for childcare on top of childcare! Or just accepting that you will not be working on these days and instead watching Frozen ad nauseum. Or maybe you’ll bake cookies and eat them all in one sitting because in winter you are:
  • A fat ass! That’s right! Forget training for that 10K you have in the spring because you won’t even want to walk to the damn gym. Places that used to be leisurely walks are now death marches complete with messed-up bus schedules, snow squalls, and layers of scarves leaving you unrecognizable and shapeless. And if you think you are lacking exercise:
  • Meet my hairless dog. He lays by a heating vent all day and wonders why the hell we brought him here from Georgia.IMG_1361
  • Also, only boring fruit and root vegetables are in season, it’s dark at 4:30 p.m., and all I want to do is open a window.

How are you getting through this winter?

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February 11th, 2015

Chocolate You Can Feel Good About for Valentines Day (and Everyday)

Chocolate is so, so good. And the sweet treat is a Valentine’s staple no one should be denied.

But what happens when the company who makes your chocolate fix is bad news? Nestle has been boycotted for years due to their aggressive formula marketing (and slave labor. and rainforest destruction.) Conventional brands contain gnarly artificial ingredients that would blow your mind.

Fortunately Raaka Chocolate allows for guilt-free treats that taste miles above a Hershey’s Kiss!

Since 2010, Raaka Chocolate has been committed to making the most delicious chocolate possible while building and maintaining healthy relationships with the global community. Sold online and across the United States through independent retailers, the small batch, organic chocolate company makes unroasted chocolate bars by hand out of a factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The soy free, gluten free, nut free and vegan chocolates are made with directly traded cocoa beans from sustainable farms that offer cocoa farmers above market price.

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Raaka’s handcrafted, bean to bar truffles, are like nothing you have ever tasted. Made with Raaka’s signature virgin chocolate, they use unroasted cacao from Bolivia and the Dominican Republic to create four luxurious vegan truffles: Olive Oil, Coconut Milk, Sesame, and Butternut Squash.

Raaka’s Virgin Chocolate delivers rare flavors from the raw cocoa bean not available in other chocolates by crafting chocolate with a unique low temperature process. While nearly all chocolate is made from roasted cocoa beans, Raaka makes chocolate from unroasted cocoa beans which present a tremendous variety of flavors. Raaka Chocolate offers bold tasting notes like raspberry, clove and citrus. Their Bourbon Bar is made by aging cocoa nibs for a month in oak bourbon casks, and they stone grind whole rooibos tea leaves into chocolate to make their Vanilla Rooibos Bar.

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All bars are wrapped in Loop’s paper is printed with soy inks on FSC-certified, 100% post consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper that was processed with sustainable wind-generated energy. Even their cocoa husk is upcycled, donated to Edible Schoolyard NYC, an after-school gardening program at P.S. 216 in Brooklyn where they use the husk as mulch and fertilizer!

USE CODE IHEARTPAIGE FOR 10% OFF YOUR PURCHASE AT www.raakachocolate.com.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received samples of these products for review as well as monetary compensation. Regardless, my opinions are honest. See my full disclosure here. 

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy my monthly newsletter. Receive green living news, discounts, giveaways, and events delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

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February 9th, 2015

Confession: I’m Terrified of My Kitchen – But Not For The Reason You Think

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I enjoy cooking. And I unquestionably enjoy eating. And every time I come home with a new vegetable share from my CSA or even a well-timed Fresh Direct delivery, I take pleasure in finding new recipes that I know at least three out of the four of us will enjoy.

That said, I am completely terrified that everything in my kitchen is going to kill me.

Not the food in the kitchen. We shop as clean and healthy as we can (save for occasional fights about my husband’s addiction to Edy’s chemical-shit-storm ice cream).

No, I’m afraid my cookware is going to kill me.

I’ve known for some time that I will probably die a slow death from the few plastic remnants in my kitchen. Old tupperware that’s gone through the heat cycle on the dishwasher a million times, and those BPA-free bottles that are actually made with something far more toxic.

I’ve lazily baked bread in a chipped non-stick breadmaker and sautéed on scratched up “Earth Pan” cookware that I know deep down is probably just as bad as Teflon.

Or maybe I’ll die by homemade pipe-bomb, as could have easily happened when a perfectly good piece of Pyrex glassware inexplicably and violently shattered upon being taken out of the oven. And I later learned this was because, several years ago, good old American Pyrex realized it would be cheaper to use a less temperature-resistant form of glass.

Now I literally have to screw up courage any time I take any dish in or out of the oven. And forget the gas stove – I’ve always been convinced that thing is gonna blow from an errant crumb in the burner.

My Keurig was recalled for spewing hot liquid and burning several customers. I once absent-mindedly stuck my finger in a hand blender while making pesto and had to get stitches.

Maybe we were better off before the advent of fire and I’d feel safer sticking to nuts and berries. Except that everyone I know is allergic to nuts. And it’s impossible to find organic berries in the winter.

So I must be brave. Stir that pot with some faith that hot oil won’t shoot directly into my eye. Bake those cookies with abandon.

It takes balls to feed a family of four. Balls of stainless steel.

NOTE: Coincidentally, Healthy Child Healthy World has just released an infographic on “9 Steps to a Healthier Kitchen.” Some important – slightly scary, but important – information, including the three types of cookware least likely to kill you (unless you drop them on your feet): Cast Iron, Enameled Cast Iron (my fave), and Stainless Steel.

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy my monthly newsletter. Receive green living news, discounts, giveaways, and events delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

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February 2nd, 2015

I Put Tea Tree Oil Inside My Vagina – An Essential Oils Update

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All my life I thought I hated the smell of lavender. Now I know it’s just because what I thought was lavender was really just some funky chemicals in a Glade Air Freshener. And I am putting lavender essential oil on my pillow every night because I have officially reached a new level of crunchy – I’m addicted to essential oils.

Oh, I was skeptical as can be when all these green mom bloggers were raving about curing strep throat with thieves oil. I’m pro-vaccine, pro-tylenol, and, quite frankly, pro-Zoloft. But I figured I had nothing to lose by trying a few samples and wrote about my slow foray into essential oil use.

And then I started using them more and more – and finding myself carrying them on vacation and running low on my favorites. I started putting drops of Grapefruit and Lemon oils in my water – far easier than squeezing fruit and such an amazing way to get a flavor boost + vitamin C. I started using potions with Tea Tree Oil and Purification for all my cleaning purposes. And when I did get sick, for the first time among months of winter preschool germs, I diffused Thieves Oil, rubbed Breathe Again on my chest, and felt fine again in 24 hours.

But the defining moment, the moment when I knew there was no turning back, was when I put essential oils inside my vagina.

When I found myself on the brink of a yeast infection, I didn’t run out and buy Monistat. I mixed Tea Tree Oil and Lavender with Coconut Oil, solidified it in the fridge, and put the whole thing in my vagina. And it worked.

So now when I hear my daughter coughing in the middle of the night I go into her room and rub RC on her chest. I advise friends to use Peppermint Oil to break a fever. I wrestle my kids to rub Thieves Oil on the bottoms of their feet to boost their immune system. I am relying less and less on my conventional meds – though I still keep a stocked medicine cabinet for the times when you just need an Excedrin.

NOTE AND DISCLOSURE: Most of the established essential oil companies work through a multi-level-marketing model, something I am admittedly not a big fan of. However, purchasing as a “wholesale buyer” – which automatically makes you a distributer – saves you a significant amount of money versus buying them on Amazon. So technically, now I am a distributer. And these are affiliate links. You will not see me doing any essential oil hard sells, but if you’d like to try these out for yourself, please feel free to use my link!

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is based only on my own research and personal experience. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. 

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy my monthly newsletter. Receive green living news, discounts, giveaways, and events delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

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January 26th, 2015

BookMentors Connects Students and Teachers with Needed Books

With budget cuts to public and charter schools throughout the country, new and relevant books have become a valuable and scarce commodity in classrooms and libraries. Connecting teachers, librarians, and students in need of books with donors supporting literacy, reading, and education, BookMentors uses micropatronage to solve book access problems in high-poverty schools.

A space for anyone passionate about the power of books, the Web site enables readers, writers, publishers, and teachers to connect and share information about children’s and YA literature. BookMentors allows teachers to ask for the particular book or books they really need, not just any donated old books that won’t meet the needs and preferences of individual students or teaching curriculum.

Lack of access to books constrains the literacy development of students in lower income communities. While e-books may be trending across some schools, most can not afford to provide e-readers for each student. Additionally, there has been increasing research suggesting students have better comprehension, attention span, and even sleep patterns with print books.

And, of course, I’m always curious about the green factor. The jury is still out on the sustainability of print versus e-reading, and in most of these cases, e-books are simply not a reasonable or plausible replacement.

Learn more and see how easy it is to participate at www.bookmentors.org.

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January 20th, 2015

Connect with Top Media at One Day NYC Event for Health, Beauty, + Wellness Brands

Facebook ImageI’m so excited to be co-producing Healthy Brand Showcase: Spring 2015. This event gets bigger and better every year, and we are excited to welcome 15 brands for this exclusive event that draws top media and celebrities!

Knowing that most health and wellness product brands only have the time (and budget) for one media trip to New York each year, Healthy Brand Showcase  brings the press directly to you for the day!  We connect health, wellness, beauty and fitness brands with national magazines, talks show producers, newspaper reporters, bloggers, trades and freelance writers who write on-going feature and product stories.  We will also have several guest experts on-site throughout the day to assist with broadcast and print interviews.  

We are only accepting about 15 brands and only a couple in each category. We keep it small and intimate and, unlike a large trade show, you really have time with the attendees! 

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Some of the amazing brands who have showcased in the past include Revolution Foods, Happy Family Brands, PiperWai, Board & Batten, La Bella Figura Beauty, Boiron, Stur, Motto, Goddess Garden, Acorelle, Bitsy’s Brainfood, and more! It’s been amazing to watch the event directly result in fantastic press hits and celebrity endorsements for the participating brands!

If you know a brand that might be a good fit, visit www.healthybrandshowcase.com and contact me for more details.

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January 12th, 2015

Acorelle: Beautiful, Organic Perfume That Won’t Give You a Migraine

Perfume. Parfum. Fragrance.

I have been diligently trained to avoid those ingredients on all labels as they generally refer to a cocktail of synthetic chemicals immediately sets my olfactory sense into overdrive. Not only do I know what lurks in most fragrance formulations, avoiding them for years has sensitized me to the point where I’m leery to hug a friend dosed in eau de toilette.

I remember the years when I adored Coco Mademoiselle, but now a whiff of it sets me up for a migraine. I learned to embrace essential oils and seek out the few truly natural perfumes that didn’t smell like an old hippie.

But now I have fallen completely in love with Acorelle, a line of French-made organic perfumes now available in the U.S.

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All Acorelle perfumes are paraben-free, phthalate-free, and 100% natural, made from concentrated active essential oils. In addition, they are carried in an alcohol base that is made from organically grown wheat – not from denatured cellulosic alcohol. No synthetic ingredients are used in Acorelle, such as chemical fixers or synthetic musks, and there are no animal ingredients.Acorelle’s base is derived from organically grown wheat and is not denaturated by DEP (diethyl phthalate), a chemical compound commonly used by the cosmetic industry, and a suspected carcinogen. The products are certified by Ecocert/Cosmebio, the international agency that provides organic certifications for personal care products.

Acorelle divides their nine individual scents into three different families of fragrances:  Energizing, Balancing, and Soothing. Each fragrance is a unique blend of citrus fruits, woody plants, flowers, bark and other natural ingredients. Acorelle has four variations of fragrant product: Perfumes (8% fragrance), the lighter Eau Fraiche (3% fragrance) or Body Mists (2% fragrance), and the concentrated essential oil blends (100% fragrance oils).

My personal favorites are Divine Orchid, R of Rose, and Absolu Tiare. So, if you are like one of my many friends who swears she can’t give up her beloved perfume, I urge you to give these a whiff!

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Disclosure: I received samples of these products for review. Regardless, my opinions are honest. See my full disclosure here. 

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