Natural living has been an interest of mine for over a decade and I’ve slowly made changes over the years. Creating a beautiful home that is a healthy environment isn’t as hard as it sounds. Here are some practical steps you can take to have a more natural lifestyle this year.
I remember when my oldest child was a babe and I started looking at baby food for her.
My journey started with organic baby food that led to homemade baby food, which led to eventually cloth diapering.
Nothing was done overnight. I made small changes as I learned more and as I had the time to make changes.
The same happened with my bread baking.
I learned about fresh milled wheat and started making our own bread, but milling wheat wasn’t my first stop on the bread baking train.
Now, I am deep into my healthy sourdough bread obsession and make all kinds of sourdough recipes- Italian sourdough croutons, sourdough cinnamon muffins, sourdough pumpkin bread, and sourdough French toast.
I am creating new sourdough recipes monthly for my family.
Let’s share a few simple and realistic ways to create a more natural home.
What is Natural Living?
What is natural living and how do you make changes in your own home?
Different people will look at this differently, but for my home we try to eat and use foods and products with the least amount of ingredients.
Natural living is all about getting back to nature and keeping things simple.
Where to start with natural living?
Natural living has to do with both the bringing in of things and the elimination of things.
The first step is to assess the areas you want to improve on and start with eliminating the bad things.
For example, if you are wanting to improve what your kids eat, the first step is to not buy any more nasty chips and snack foods.
It will be hard to improve your health when you are still loading your home with chemical laden products.
Start small and begin with elimination.
Once you’ve done that, the improvements you make, such as making a delicious breakfast quiche instead of loading a bowl with sugary cereal, will really take effect.
How to live a natural lifestyle
There are only so many things you can do to create a natural lifestyle, so go easy on yourself.
Start small and see this as a marathon that will have many twists and turns over the years.
One thing I will caution against is following every trend.
For example, when my kids were itty-bitty I only fed them organic produce.
As they grew, I realized that our family budget couldn’t handle 100% organic, so I bought the dirty dozen organic and opted for regular veg for the other items and washed them very well.
Think critically about what makes sense for your home and always steer towards the simple ingredients and trends.
Different homes will require different tweaks to their habits. Don’t feel pulled to do “all of the things.”
Natural Living Food Changes
As you are working on creating a healthier environment inside of your four walls, healthy food choices are a natural place to begin.
Here are some things to consider when making changes:
- What foods are you eating that are the most unhealthy?
- What bad foods can you eliminate immediately?
- Which foods do you want to add to your kitchen?
- Are there special kitchen essentials you will need to make these changes?
- How can you make these changes cost effective?
Food Choices for a Natural Lifestyle
There are some simple swaps you can make when looking to make food choices that reflect a natural lifestyle.
- Choose organic produce when possible
- Shop the perimeter of the store where less processed food is found
- If you buy processed foods, read the label and get the option with the least amount of ingredients
- Shop from local farmers or consider growing your own herb garden or vegetable garden
- Cook from scratch, even when it’s something like chocolate chip cookies. You will eliminate so many chemicals simply by cooking your own food.
- Work within your budget by purchasing in bulk or buying from small sellers like Azure Standard. I shared a great deal about this in my prepared kitchen post.
- Find a local farmer that harvests meat and buy local meat. Find out how much it will cost and put a little money away each month so you can get your local meat when you need it.
With all of these amazing changes, be sure to always be flexible and set small goals.
Create a clean and delicious kitchen routine, but don’t let it keep you from enjoying your occasional dinners with friends that aren’t as “natural.”
Natural Living Cleaning Changes
Cleaning products are chock full of ingredients are incredibly bad for you.
This is the number one area that I chose to “eliminate” in.
Why add good things to our home and diet if what I am cleaning with negates all of that hard effort?
Here are some things to think about when making cleaning product swaps:
- It doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy. Start with a good infused cleaning vinegar.
- Use reusable microfiber rags to keep lint at bay and to help with trash
- Use essential oils to scent your home and eliminate air fresheners and candles
- Basic items, such as vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide clean very well with no health impacts
- Download this Simple Cleaning Guide that has homemade recipes that are simple and healthy
- Don’t forget to consider your homemaker laundry routine and how those products impact your overall health. This is an easy area to make swaps.
- A simple place to start is with prewashing the textiles you bring into your home before wearing. They are full of chemicals and I shared all about the process in my post about how to wash your new sheets.
- Ditch the dryer sheets and opt for wool balls and a yummy dryer ball spray
Personal Product Natural Living Choices
You’ve cleaned out your foods and your cleaning products, so the next place to look is with your personal products.
It is so easy to get drawn in to beautiful packaging with lots of green and botanicals on them, but that doesn’t mean they are okay for your body.
I have four kids and I pay a lot of attention to what goes on their bodies and the products they use.
This can get pricey, but it doesn’t have to.
There are many ways you can have good products for your family without spending a fortune.
Again, access what you can do within your family’s budget and chip away at those things. Slow and steady.
- Healthy Skin Care products and Natural ways to clear up acne
- Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap is what we all use for body wash and it lasts forever. When it’s half gone, put some water in the bottle and use it diluted.
- Simple Essential Oil DIYs for shower fizzers, room sprays, face serums, and bath salts that are extremely simple and cost effective.
- Clean perfumes are now available and they smell amazing. I did an entire blog post outlining my favorite brand and why.
Natural Living Personal Product Quick Tip
If you have a personal product that you love and you cannot find a clean alternative for it, simply limit your exposure to it instead of trashing it altogether.
Do you have a perfume you cannot stop wearing or find a swap for?
Consider only wearing it once a week or for special occasions to limit your exposure.
Natural Living Habits
While food, cleaning products, and personal products all have a place in our natural living lifestyle, so do our habits.
There are so many changes that can be made to your habits to help create a healthier environment.
Here are a few to consider:
- Reuse items when possible, such as jars, rags, and food storage containers.
- Create a healthy morning routine that prepares you for your day.
- Spend more time working with your hands instead of being on technology. I shared 13 tips to get through winter, but each of those habits can be done all year round.
- Eat seasonally when it comes to fresh foods
- Take time to breathe fresh air and take a walk
- If you have children, consider what their memories will hold when they think back on their time with you. This always shows me the areas that I need to make changes in so that I am proud of the mama they remember.
Natural Living Resources
If you don’t know where to start with being a homemaker, there are some simple resources below: