The Best Natural Cleaners for Your Home

As you prepare menus for the upcoming holiday season — how is it November already?! — you’re probably also cleaning. No amount of from-scratch recipes will cancel out the impact of grimy bathrooms or kitchens on your guests. And so we face a cleaning conundrum: what are the best natural cleaners?

It’s unfortunate that the most popular, and incorrectly assumed to be the most effective, cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that are bad for our health. With most cleaning products, it’s dangerous to breathe in the fumes, not to mention the hormone-disrupting chemicals in almost all major cleaners. We strongly recommend using only natural, organic cleaners in your home.

As you transition from chemical cleaning products to natural, organic, ecofriendly cleaning products, be aware of what you’re buying. There aren’t any federal regulations for organic cleaners — in fact, there aren’t even requirements forcing companies to list their ingredients, so many manufacturers slip in harsh chemicals without adding them to the label.

For most dirt and grime, we recommend mixing white vinegar with baking soda and a splash of lemon juice, but If you don’t want to DIY your home cleaners, here are some of the best natural cleaning products we’ve found. (And they won’t break your budget!)

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Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner

This cleaner is plant based and just as effective as chemical cleaners.

$11 at Amazon

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Bon Ami Powder Cleanser

This scrubbing powder is perfect for jobs that need a tougher clean than baking soda can provide. Bon Ami has been around for years, and its simple list of ingredients will put your mind at ease.

$2 at Bed Bath & Beyond

$7 at Amazon

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Green Works All Purpose Cleaner Spray

Even though it’s produced by the Clorox company, there aren’t harsh smells or dangerous chemicals in this all-purpose spray.

$3 at Target

$3 at Walmart

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap

This soap is all all-purpose as it gets. You can use it for a body wash, a dish soap, or a floor scrubber. Some people even use it to brush their teeth. Follow dilution directions — you’ll be surprised how long the 40 oz. bottle will last!

$19 at Amazon

Essential Shield Multi-Purpose Concentrated Cleaner

Available at Nature’s Sunshine Products, this cleaner is for a variety of surfaces. This concentrated formula lasts for a long time, and it doesn’t have synthetic fragrances or colors, parabens, or acids. Plus it smells great!

$26.25 at Nature’s Sunshine

Sunshine Concentrate Cleaner

This is an all-purpose cleaner for dirt, grease, and grime — and it doesn’t contain broates, phosphates, or acids. We use ours in the kitchen, laundry, outdoor equipment, body wash, hand soap, and more. Follow the dilution directions to make it last even longer. Add your own essential oils to choose your scent!

$13.80 at Nature’s Sunshine

Ecover Zero Dish Soap

This dish soap will remove the grease and grime from your dishes without harming you or the environment. (And Amazon sells a six pack!)

$22 at Amazon

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White House Foods Cleaning Vinegar

For clean wooden floors, white vinegar is your best option. Holiday visitors will marvel at your sparkly clean floors, and bare feet won’t absorb chemical residue from a traditional cleaner.

$12 at Amazon

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Truce Wood Cleaner

For wood floors that need a little extra TLC, this cleaner includes olive oil to keep the wood moisturized and smooth. Many people also use this for windowsills or furniture.

$12 at Amazon

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Ecover Toilet-Bowl Cleaner

We’re turning back to ecover for the top-ranking toilet bowl cleaner. Kill germs, scrub away, and enjoy a clean home without any niggling worries.

$13 at Amazon

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Ecos Glass Cleaner

Buy a six-pack of this product from Amazon to clean your windows. There aren’t any VOCs, and you won’t be able to tell the difference between Ecos and Windex.

$19 at Amazon

Do you have any go-to natural cleaners? Please share your thoughts with us!

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Practical Lifestyle Tips

Did you know that there are some basic healthy lifestyle tips that you can follow to make the biggest difference in your life? Living healthily may sound complicated at times — fitness, nutrition, hormones, sleep, relationships, meditation, supplements, not to mention the barrage of information coming at us from the Internet — but there are a handful of steps to take to sustain a healthy lifestyle for years to come. And the best news is that these steps are easy to add to your routines, keeping healthy as simple as possible.

Joy

Did you know that just the act of smiling can improve your mood? “Laughter is the best medicine,” it’s true, but if your workday is too stressful for a good belly laugh, just smile.

  • Each time you go to the restroom at work, use that time as a reminder to smile, whether it’s at yourself in the mirror or at a coworker in the hallway.
  • When life has drained you, spend an evening watching a funny movie or TV show, or read a book that’s guaranteed to give you the giggles.
  • Find comedians you enjoy on YouTube, and instead of complaining with your coworkers over lunch, listen to some funny stories and jokes; you’ll feel better for it.

Movement

Keeping fit doesn’t always mean spending an hour a day at the gym. It doesn’t necessarily mean running a marathon, rushing through high intensity interval training (HIIT), standing on your chin in yoga, or any other fitness achievements that sound like superhuman feats. If you can do all — or any! — of those things, all the more credit to you. For the rest of us humans, there are some small ways to fit more activity into our days:

  • Play with your pet more than normal; play fetch with your dog or drag string through the house for your cat.
  • If you have small children, toss them into the air. You’ll enjoy their laughter, and your arms will get a little workout, too.
  • Take the stairs, park far away in the grocery lot, or climb a tree with your kids.

Thoughts

In an ideal world, finding 20 minutes in your day for meditation would be easy. In reality, there are schedules to keep up with. But meditation doesn’t really have any rules — it’s any moment that you take to be fully present. That sounds much easier than designing a corner of the house as a meditation sanctuary, right? Meditate while you

  • Wash the dishes
  • Commute to and from work
  • Cook dinner
  • Rock your toddler to sleep
  • Vacuum the carpet
  • Repair the car

Simplify

When we make healthy habits simple, we make those habits much more sustainable. Going from no physical activity to a marathon, or changing from fast food on a daily basis to the ketogenic diet, are admirable goals, but not everyone can immediately keep up that drastic of a change. Keep these tips in mind, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle!

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Podcasts to Inspire Healthy Living

Did you know that podcasts are becoming more and more popular? In 2018, 48 million people listened to podcasts on a weekly basis. This figure is 6 million more than 2017. Compare this to NFL Sunday Night Football, one of the most-watched television programs, which has 20 million viewers.

Are you one of the 48 million people who listen to podcasts every week? We definitely count ourselves in that statistic — we love podcasts! From current events, to science or math, to arts; from thoughtful to hilarious; from informative to entertaining; there’s something for everyone to learn.

Below are a few of our favorite health podcasts. Are any of these your favorites, too?

deanna-minich

Color Can Heal Your Life! Podcast with Dr. Deanna Minich

In this podcast, Dr. Deanna Minich interviews experts in the field of functional medicine and health. Her variety topics include color therapy, nutrition, sound healing, migraines, community, and creativity. Her informative discussions focus on all the positives of healthy living and its far-reaching impacts on our lives, our loved ones, and our communities.

smart-people-podcast

Smart People Podcast

In the Smart People Podcast, interviewers Chris Stemp and Jon Rojas speak with experts about stress, the Wim Hof method, finances, family life, creative approaches to success, and more. As we know, health is about more that exercising and fitness — it’s about gratitude and peace with ourselves, our loved ones, and our lifestyles — and this podcast provides listeners with the tools to do exactly that.

run-to-the-top-podcast

Run to the Top

Stephanie Atwood (and previously Sinéad Haughy) interview experts in running, health, and tech to learn the tips and tricks that are key to sustaining a positive running lifestyle. If you’re not a runner, don’t worry. There is much advice in this podcast that applies to all walks of life, whether athletically, healthily, or professionally.

coach-jenny-show

The Coach Jenny Show

The Coach Jenny Show is also running-based, but the interviews broaden to topics like the Appalachian Trail, cycling with e-bikes, hydration advice, nutrition, and even the egoscue method. If you’re encouraged by listening to stories of people who have thrived while facing difficult circumstances, this podcast is for you!

melissa-ambrossini

The Melissa Ambrossini Show

Melissa Ambrossini is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in Australia and is the author of Mastering Your Mean Girl. Her self-help message is full of positivity, so if you’re having a rough day at work, tune in for an Australian accent and encouraging message. Her podcast includes conversations about gut health, visualization, EMF, trials, relationships, and mindsets. Let us know what you think!

ultimate-health-podcast

The Ultimate Health Podcast

Dr. Jesse Chappus (a chiropractor) and Marni Wasserman (a nutritionist) discuss the ultimate health topics with experts in the field. From nutrition to emotional health to spring cleaning, Jesse and Marni use their backgrounds and their interviewees’ experiences to bring health theories into the practical application of healthy living.

 

More Healthy Living at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

For more information about growing your own healthy lifestyle, schedule an appointment with us at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center! Our naturopathic doctor and certified therapeutic massage therapist are eager to help you achieve vitality.

 

Sources:

www.convinceandconvert.com

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How to Increase Harmonious Passion in Your Life

When people have harmonious passion about something in their lives, this passion feels at harmony with the other parts of their lifestyles; when people have obsessive passion about something, this passion feels uncontrollable, conflicting, unstable, and negative.

Interestingly enough, even though obsessive passion may seem beneficial at times, it is actually harmful — and people with obsessive passion are much more likely to experience burnout. Harmonious passion works with the “flow” you want for your life, with you feeling fully present and immersed in the moment, which is a significant contributor to overall happiness and success. Sadly, obsessive passion cuts off “flow,” decreasing your overall happiness and success, no matter what that obsessive passion is about.

positivity

Clearly it is better to have harmonious passion and not obsessive passion — obsessive passion is very rarely a positive influence — so how can you tell the difference? We all have a little harmonious and obsessive passion in our lives, but what if obsessive passion is taking over your life? How do you stop it?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How’s your energy?
  • Do you feel positive and enthusiastic about your passion?
  • If your self is a percentage chart, how much of a percentage does your passion take?
  • Is your self image positive or negative?
  • Do you use words like “should” and “must,” or words like “want to” and “can’t wait to”?
  • Do you feel satisfied outside of pursuing what you’re passionate about?
  • Are you able to “flow” regularly, where you feel absorbed in your present task?

If your answers are mostly “no,” then you may have an obsessive passion.

binging

To realign any obsessive passion you may have with a harmonious passion, take a few action steps. Making room for more than a single goal, habit, career, or lifestyle is healthy for everyone involved — you and your loved ones.

Proactively Take Breaks

Make yourself stop engaging in what you’re passionate about. If you’re addicted to fitness, make yourself take one to two rest days each week, and fill that time with a different kind of activity. Have a movie night with your friends, take an art class, or visit a tourist attraction in your hometown.

Set Clear Boundaries

If you never set boundaries, obsessive passion overtakes your life to the point of upsetting you. If your obsessive passion over your diet causes you to binge eat sweets on a regular basis, remove the temptation by setting aside one night each week where you can eat a single dessert, whether it’s a cupcake or an ice cream cone. Having a balanced relationship with food is more important than a number on a scale!

Change Your Mind

To achieve harmonious passions, “fake it ‘til you make it.” Instead of thinking “should” and “must,” tell yourself you “want” to walk a 5k. It may feel hypocritical at first, but over time, your new mindset will feel natural.

Learn Something New

Allow yourself to take a break from what you’re obsessively passionate about to pursue something else. Dust off your violin skills, build a birdhouse, or call your friends more often. Having space for other outlets and interests will give you more peace of mind and also give you a refreshed perspective on creating harmonious passion for your initial goal.

psychology

There are many examples of people who have shown extraordinary talent and could have given in to obsessive passion, but they didn’t, and they were better for it. Many professional athletes have an outlet that they use to balance out their practice time. Albert Einstein was known to play the violin when he needed a break from solving equations, and he would return, mentally refreshed. Yo-Yo Ma decided to postpone his career to learn more about the world around him, and even though he received a D+ in music history at Harvard, he is one of the best cellists in history for more than his talent but also for his character.

All areas of life can act as sounding boards and refueling stations for our greatest interests, and this includes a healthy lifestyle. Let’s replace our obsessive passions, whether they’re nutrition, fitness, goals, careers, or anything in between, to develop harmonious passions that improve ourselves and our places in the world.

eye makeup

Build Healthy Habits With Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about some of the best ways to approach nutrition and fitness, make an appointment with us at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center. We look forward to working with you!

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How Emotions Are Connected to Your Mind and Health

We can all feel when stress affects our health, but what about other emotions? How do other negative emotions (like grief or fear) and positive emotions (like joy and hope) change our health?

More and more scientific evidence points to connections between emotions and physical illnesses. The intersection of mind, body, and emotion reach beyond blushing when we’re embarrassed. Think of stage fright, which causes muscle tension, stomach aches, sweating, nausea, parched mouths, shaking hands and knees, and more. If public speaking has this affect on our bodies, imagine how much grief or joy can change us!

Because we’ve already completed a series about how stress affects our health, for this blog post we will focus on how positive emotions affect our health.

 

reversing-negative-emotions

How Does Positivity Produce Vitality?

Positive emotions, like excitement, happiness, hopefulness, joy, appreciation, love, and respect, causes our bodies to produce oxytocin and endorphins. These cuddly and happy hormones help us feel good about ourselves, others, situations, and our place in the world.

These good feelings make us want to feel more of these good feelings, almost like an addiction. This is a good thing! As opposed to negative emotions, which can be trapped inside our bodies and cause a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional health problems, positive emotions flow. Positive emotions remain fluid, creating cellular changes that optimize the way our bodies typically function.

In contrast to fear, sadness, and anger, which cut off our thoughts and actions to fight or flight, positive emotions actually widen our thoughts and actions. With this better perspective comes improved personal resources and endurance. Additionally, this broadened perspective can help to undo negative emotions within us; positive emotions can loosen the control that negative emotions have over our minds and bodies because we see new options for the circumstances in our lives. In fact, research demonstrates that joy and contentment help people improve more quickly from the cardiovascular side effects of negative emotions.

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What Does This Mean for You?

It is important to remember that we do have a form of control over our emotions: we determine how we interpret situations and feelings. For example, rather than seeing a bad review at work as embarrassing and hurtful, we can do our best to think of it as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and grow. Choosing how we feel about emotions is crucial to connecting our minds, bodies, and feelings in a healthy way that won’t hurt us in the long run.

There are ways to overcome negative emotions on our own — eating healthy, getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness and self awareness — but the significant roadblocks that negative emotions can place in front of us may need an extra kick to move them out of our way. This is where the Emotion Code can help! Contact us for an appointment with Dan Rupp, certified Emotion Code practitioner and therapeutic massage therapist.

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Below are two positive reviews about the Emotion Code from some of our clients. Their names have been changed to respect their privacy and confidentiality.

I have dealt with a physical issue for 17 years. Several years ago, I talked to a medical professional that told me my issue was a result of emotions and was not medical. She explained how we hold our emotions and it can cause physical issues. I’ve just learned to deal with it over the years not knowing what else to do. When I heard of what Dan is doing with emotional release, I was definitely interested although skeptical. During the session, he asked me about time frames for events in my life that left unresolved emotions. In some cases, I knew what he was asking about but in some cases, I couldn’t think of anything. He had explained that he was looking at my subconscious and not my conscious. I believe this is why I couldn’t recall some of the things he asked about until days later. I had a couple of rough days with my physical issue as my body processed the emotional release Dan performed. Since then, I am happy to report my physical issue has greatly improved!! I have seen a positive result and would recommend that you give it a try also – there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!” -Andrea

“First of all, Dan is very calming. I wasn’t nervous after I started talking to him. It is amazing what can be done over the phone! I really wasn’t sure if it could work since we were not meeting in person…. Something that astounded me was he could tell I had some grief in my stomach from an event at about age 2 or 25. He was absolutely correct. I almost dropped the phone!!!!  Also, he found another event at about age 4 or 5. Again, absolutely correct!!! This is a fascinating field of study, I wish I could say more . I don’t know if my getting sick messed things up for more results. But I would definitely recommend this to anyone with an open mind.” -Jennifer

“I am doing MUCH better! I had trouble with gag reflex for 2 days following our session but I am not having any trouble brushing my teeth in the mornings now.  It is absolutely amazing!” -William

Schedule an appointment to learn how emotions are connected to your mind and health and continue your healing journey today!

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