Healthy living starts with clean water and clean air, the close cousins of clean food. (More on that here.) Other products can further promote health, simplify childrearing, and streamline your day. Whether you're focusing on a healthy home, a healthy family, or healthy habits, we certainly have our favorites—see below for a teaser and check back as we add more!
Clean water is perhaps the most vital nutrient for health, essential for all cellular activities. Unfortunately, tap water these days is rife with unwanted substances, and bottled water, in addition to being environmentally irresponsible, is often no better. Enter Berkey. Refined over decades of research and testing and trusted by relief organizations, missionaries, adventurers, and ordinary households, Berkey filters provide the purest drinking water available. The Berkey unit is a free-standing, portable, gravity-fed water filtration and purification system that removes viruses, pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, radioactive isotopes, unhealthy contaminants, and other impurities, while retaining most of the essential minerals the body requires. And with a unit designed to endure a lifetime and a pair of filters that lasts 6,000 gallons (or some 5 to 10 years depending on usage), it is arguably the most economical option around, amounting to a mere few cents per gallon. Big Berkey suits the average family, but you may choose a smaller or larger size given your needs. Regardless, include the fluoride filters if your municipal water supply is fluoridated (as most are) and consider adding the optional stainless steel spigot if you want to keep the unit free from plastic (as we do).
While many recognize the dangers of imbibing contaminated water, they often forget that the skin, as the body’s largest organ, “drinks” exponentially more than what passes down the gullet. Chlorine in particular is more easily absorbed and inhaled given the warm temperatures of a shower, posing dangers to your delicate balance of healthy bacteria, triggering oxidative damage, increasing cancer risk, and more. The comprehensive solution, a whole-house water filtration system, may be unrealistic for the average family or the apartment dweller, but Sprite helps remedy this problem. Recognized as an innovator in shower filtration over 4 decades, Sprite offers products that affix conveniently to existing showerheads and remove free chlorine, combined chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, iron oxide, dirt, sediment, and odors. The high-output filter lasts 20,000 gallons, or about 1 year, and comes in different finishes, including chrome and brass.
Salt lamps are natural, effective ways to purify the air and neutralize electromagnetic radiation. A traditional therapy used throughout time and around the world, salt, especially when combined with heat as from a lamp, creates an environment in which negative ions proliferate. These negative ions counteract the overabundance of positive ions, often created by electrical equipment and appliances, that contribute to allergies, asthma, migraines, fatigue, bodily stress, sleep deprivation, and other modern maladies. Aside from dispersing negative ions, salt lamps capture mold, bacteria, allergens, and other pollutants from the air, while their subtle amber glow promotes relaxation and improves mood. This WBM Himalayan salt lamp with a pure neem wood base lasts decades and is suitable for a small bedroom. Other sizes are available, depending on the square footage of the space you wish to purify.
Not only does the proper lighting have the potential to transform your home, but so, too, does therapeutic sound. And the sounds captured in the Wholetones Healing Frequency Music Project are unlike anything you’ve heard before. Since ancient times, vibrations have been used to improve digestion, sleep, physical healing, mental health, and more. Wholetones harnesses this ancient wisdom with seven unique songs recorded in seven unique frequencies that not only sound beautiful but also transform your body, mind, and spirit on a cellular, subconscious level. Listeners have used this collection of modern music with ancient powers to dissolve stress, soothe anxiety, relieve pain, restore sound sleep, repair DNA, break negative cycles, and even heal chronic conditions. Wholetones also offers a chromatherapy add-on, so you can reap maximum therapeutic benefit from the synergy of sound, color, and light. Their full 365-day money-back guarantee lets you test-drive risk-free the healing power of music in your own home.
Despite renewed vigor in recent years, babywearing is no fleeting fad. Throughout time, women have kept their babies close and for good reason: infancy spent in arms eases baby’s transition into the world and reestablishes mom’s equanimity after birth. Close contact primes both for a more harmonious life together, while facilitating breastfeeding and nonverbal communication. From a practical standpoint, babywearing wins hands down—keeping your hands free to engage in other work, prepare a meal, care for other children, take a walk, and more. While others may have personal preferences for wraps and slings, we like the Baby K’tan for its simplicity, versatility, and comfort. Multiple size and color options are available, as are regular cotton and organic cotton versions (we prefer the latter to protect baby’s sensitive skin).
If you’re looking for a little more support while wearing your little one, the Ergobaby carrier fits the bill. While bulkier than a simple sling like the Baby K’tan, it can satisfy a sleeping baby from the get-go (with the newborn insert) and accommodate your child for years to come. We like the Organic Cotton if your baby will spend many a nap time nestled close, since organic materials are safer on sensitive skin. But we also like the Four Position 360, as it allows a growing baby to face forward and take in the world—nature walks and hiking excursions most definitely encouraged! (One caveat: Babies can easily become overstimulated and overwhelmed, especially if they aren’t able to view their caregiver. For this reason, babies in a carrier should face inward for the better part of their first year. Later, you may experiment with short stints in the front-facing position, ensuring that baby is positioned ergonomically and that he or she does not seem insecure, uneasy, agitated, overly mesmerized, or withdrawn.)
Potty training starts on day one! Newborns, as delicate and dependent as they may be, are attuned to their body functions, and we do well as caretakers to learn and heed their cues. After all, this can be a primary communication tool in the early days. (If you are not privy to Elimination Communication, learn more with resources like Christine Gross-Loh’s handy primer.) While newborns naturally need full support in the bathroom, babies after a few months are fully capable of taking their own seat—long before they’re big enough for a standard toilet trainer. Enter the potty chair! With an ergonomic fit and a high backrest, babies can await nature’s call in comfort and style. Sturdy and lightweight, the BabyBjorn Potty Chair can be packed on the go or parked in your bathroom for anytime baby needs to go! It’s easy to clean and made of food-safe plastic to protect your little one. While books are not included, potty reading is highly recommended.
Start your day the right way—with tongue scraping. Many organ systems naturally detoxify at night, so a consistent morning routine can help cleanse the body of unwanted by-products. And while flossing and brushing contribute to good oral hygiene, they can’t replace tongue scraping, a foundational daily practice according to ancient Ayurveda. Scraping the tongue (from the back of the throat, just before the gag reflex, forward 7 to 14 times) stimulates the internal organs, aids digestion, and removes dead bacteria and other accumulations from the night. Banyan’s simple stainless steel scraper will keep your toothbrush good company.
After tending your mouth, don’t neglect your nose! Another time-honored Ayurvedic practice, nasal irrigation (also known as neti pot) isn’t merely for the stuffed-up or allergy-ridden, although it certainly can clear a temporary impasse. Regular nasal cleansing with pure water and a pinch of unrefined sea salt promotes mental clarity, harmonizes the nervous system, brightens the eyes, relaxes the voice, relieves tension in the face, and improves the immunity of the ears, nose, and throat, in addition to protecting the body from colds, congestion, and allergies.
While you already likely survey your mouth and face every morning, have you stopped to ponder your lymph lately? Better yet, have you paused to pamper it a bit? So oft neglected, the lymphatic system is nevertheless crucial for healthy detoxification and body function, since it transports cellular waste products for proper elimination. But it needs a little help or it stagnates, allowing waste and toxins to linger and provoke inflammation and disease. Dry brushing to the rescue! Along with warm oil massage, dry skin brushing has a central place in Ayurveda, partly for the way it quickly activates that lymphatic system. But it also exfoliates the skin, cleanses the pores, improves complexion, increases circulation, aids digestion, supports proper organ function, balances the brain and nervous system, relaxes the mind, relieves stress, and energizes the whole body. So before you hop in the shower, consider a hands-on once-over: with a firm grip on the brush, use gentle, long, sweeping, unidirectional strokes to stimulate but not irritate the skin, starting at the extremities and working toward the heart. Try this handy brush from SpaVerde or reach for another brand, as long as it contains a long handle and natural—not synthetic—bristles.
This natural marketplace has over 3,000 products for your everyday needs, including products for bath and body, face and beauty, and home and family. But two special features make Soap Hope much more than your average purveyor. First, Soap Hope carries only wholesome, top-quality, eco-friendly, health-conscious products made from natural ingredients. They care as much as we do about what we put in and on our bodies, what we give our families, and how we clean our homes. But they also know how difficult it can be to cull the acceptable ingredients from the noxious ones. So they solved that problem for us! They created their own simple-to-follow rating system for all the products in their store and never sell anything that doesn’t meet their Good, Better, Best standards. Second, and perhaps more important, Soap Hope is on a bold mission to end poverty for women. They know the best way to create a better world is to invest in women, so 100 percent of the profits from each sale—yes, every single dollar—goes to programs that empower women around the globe and help lift them, their families, and their communities from extreme poverty. That’s a mission we women can truly rally behind! Soap Hope carries our favorite brands, including Dr. Bronner’s. For bathing, we love their Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Bar Soap that’s safe for even the littlest ones, while the Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap makes general cleaning easy. Or browse Soap Hope’s other family-friendly products to find your own favorites!
Find dry brushing and massage too passive? Rebounding is a more vigorous way to get the lymph moving. While a backyard trampoline can provide endless fun—and lymphatic drainage—for the whole family, personal rebounders are more convenient, economical, and just as effective. Even a few minutes of rebounding can flush the entire lymphatic system, oxygenate and strengthen virtually every cell of the body, and multiply the white blood cells of the immune system, with sustained immune function for at least an hour afterward. While fitness aficionados can reach for a number of high-end options, this Stamina folding trampoline lets the skeptical give it a whirl without a major investment. Recharge with a few minutes of daily jumping and you may find yourself dispensing with that morning cup of coffee or afternoon nap.
Healthy habits also hinge on home cooking. If we had to choose the most essential piece of kitchen equipment (beyond the requisite pots, pans, and utensils), a high-quality blender might be it. And while the Blendtec-versus-Vitamix battle might rage on elsewhere, we love our Blendtec! It blends smoothies, soups, sauces, dips, dressings, nut butters, nut milks, batters, and more. Its phenomenal speed and multipurpose settings can render a number of other common kitchen gadgets, like the food processor, meat grinder, or grain mill, superfluous. Plus, it’s both easy to use and easy to clean, making healthy and homemade much more realistic to accomplish. For blending nut butters, coconut manna, thick sauces, baby foods, and small quantities, we highly recommend the additional mini twister jar.
Last updated May 9, 2018 • This page contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more about our affiliate policy.