I think it’s safe to say that everyone wants to live long, healthy lives. No one wakes up in the morning and determines to do their best to wreck havoc on their minds and bodies. In most cases, people want to protect themselves and preserve their lives for as long as possible.
But the fact of the matter is, so much of what we eat and put into our bodies via our skin, our mouth and our nose are filled with chemicals and other harmful things. Choosing to ignore facts may not be the same as purposefully harming our bodies but it can still be detrimental to our health.
Now I am not an alarmist. I’m more of a realist. I know that there are things I need to be doing better but I also know I live on a budget so that limits what healthy alternatives I am able to incorporate into my family’s lives.
I have had to find healthy alternatives that I could add into our daily routines that were both simple and affordable. I’m still working on my list and I’m still learning but I hope these can serve as a start for anyone else wishing to better their lives, too.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Healthy Alternatives in the Kitchen
- Healthy Alternatives in the Living Quarters
- Healthy Alternatives in the Bathroom
- Online Stores That Offer Healthy Alternatives
(I sometimes include affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission off any purchases you make, at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here or at the end of this post.)
For the longest time we have been told that fat is bad for us. But there is such a thing as healthy fats and those we should be consuming on the daily. These are called unsaturated fats.
Coconut oil is filled with healthy fats and is used in so many capacities. It tastes great cooked with food or added to smoothies.
And it has SO many uses and not just for humans, it’s excellent for dogs, too! Just be warned, once you give it to your dog, they will want more. My dog comes running whenever I open my jar. I even had to stop using it as an oil for my skin because my dog would follow me around the house after my showers.
You will want to use unrefined cold-pressed coconut oil for the purest quality.
Margarine is one of the worst things you can put in your body. (Hint, it’s one of the unhealthy fats!)
This was a hard change for me at first because there is a taste difference and I had been using margarine for years in all my favorite dishes. But now that I use butter exclusively, I actually prefer the taste of it now.
Butter made from grass-fed cows have the best nutrients.
Sugar has been one of those things that we all know are bad for us. We can see the effects of too much sugar, especially in children. But when I broke down how much sugar I was actually consuming on a daily basis and compared it to the recommended amount, I was floored.
We use sugar in our sweet tea (and drink it religiously) so it was important to me to find an alternative that did not leave a nasty aftertaste or altered the taste in our tea too much. Cane sugar has worked well for us.
Now I know cane sugar is still sugar but some things will take little adjustments and baby steps. There are natural sweeteners that won’t raise blood sugar, etc. (like Stevia and Monk Fruit) but I’m still working on that switch.
Whatever you do, stay away from artificial sweeteners, especially ones that contain Aspartame.
A few years back we learned that some issues one of our daughters was dealing with was due to the added hormones in milk. When we switched to milk without added hormones, those problems went away.
But we have since learned a lot about the inflammation associated with cow’s milk and I have decided to eliminate milk from our diets, entirely. I am not a milk drinker so it wasn’t a hard switch for me. But I had to find something my girls liked with their cereal. So far the winner has been Oat Milk. (The best prices we have found so far are at Aldis.)
Packaged Foods Free of Synthetic Dyes
Synthetic dyes are linked to numerous health problems but seem to be found in most everything these days. I even stopped buying cereal for a time because you couldn’t buy any without the dyes in them.
Everyone was happy when Aldi started replacing their dyes with healthy alternatives like beet juice and turmeric. Because I finally felt better about letting my girls eat cereal again. And to be honest, we thought it tasted better, too.
A lot of other stores have followed Aldi’s lead, you just need to check your labels to see which products have taken them out.
For the longest time wheat was the healthy choice and white anything was shunned from the healthy community. So I started switching. But so much has been genetically modified that even wheat is getting a bad rap.
But I’m a carbs girls and I just cannot get to the point of cutting them out completely. So if you’re like me and need some bread in your life, there are some healthy alternatives that are still tasty.
Rye Bread is my favorite for toast, hands down. Love it. But I know it’s a required taste. I love Sourdough Bread for sandwiches but you can use Corn Tortillas or even lettuce if you really want to avoid carbs.
There are plenty of options out there, although a great deal of them are pricey. Learning to make your own may be your best bet in the long run. I’m not to that point, yet.
Table salt is highly processed and harmful to our health whereas sea salt is more natural and beneficial to our diets.
Himalayan Pink Salt is the new darling and for good reason. It is chock full of minerals. 84 to be exact. I think it tastes better, too. (You will find a lot of healthier options taste better.)
Olive oil is an excellent alternative to vegetable oil which is another unhealthy fat. That was another switch that took getting used to since I grew up using vegetable oil. Because I love fried foods.
But I’m so thankful I made the switch. It’s great knowing that what I cook with is providing my family with healthy benefits. not harming them in the long run.
I use both olive oil and coconut oil in my cooking now. (A money-saving tip is to buy them in bulk or in large quantities.)
You are going to want to buy olive oil that has been cold-pressed to preserve its nutritional value.
As I just said, I love my fried foods. So I had to find healthy alternatives that wouldn’t bust my budget. So my hubby bought me an Air Fryer and I couldn’t be happier.
Using an air fryer saves me so much money and if you aren’t willing to use a healthy alternative for oil, this will allow you to cut back on your oil consumption without sacrificing your love for friend foods.
Just like with anything, there will always be a debate about whether tap water is safe to drink. I do not wish to delve into this topic other than to say we made the switch almost a year ago to a Reverse Osmosis System and it has given me the greatest peace of mind.
We wanted a healthy alternative for our water that wasn’t full of added elements. One of them being fluoride. Again, this is not a topic I wish to expound on other than to say Dementia runs in my family so I have taken great strides to limit our exposure to anything linked to Dementia. Fluoride is one of them.
You can find systems cheaper than what we bought but we wanted one that re-mineralizes the water. It has been a great choice for our family.
Since I just mentioned the link fluoride has to Dementia, I will bring up the use of Aluminum, which is another thing we try to eliminate from our lives. We don’t buy deodorant that uses it and we don’t buy foil, either.
Parchment Paper has been a great alternative for cooking or we just cook straight on the pan we are using. If you have aluminum pans, switching to ceramic is a great healthy alternative to avoid aluminum use. (Stay away from anything that has a non-stick surface, too.)
If you have never heard of a salt lamp and its health benefits, let me encourage you to look them up! They can improve not only the air quality in your home but your mood and sleep, as well.
Their soft glow has a calming effect and are perfect for use in bedrooms, living rooms, even an office.
We have a salt cave nearby that I have yet to try out but I’m looking forward to the day I can!
Essential oils have been around for centuries. They are still highly regarded in many countries and making a comeback in America.
Instead of burning candles which release synthetic fragrances into your home, try adding essential oils to a diffuser. You can make blends that smell AMAZING! Plus, the health benefits of breathing in essential oils are numerous.
If you are new to essential oils and would like a place to start, let me recommend Sparks Naturals. I have been with this company for years now and I love their oils. They are not only affordable and effective but the company is always striving to better their products. They even offer an Oil of the Month club which provides oils at a crazy reduced price.
If you would like to try them out, use my link for 10% off your first order.
Choose a cool-mist diffuser since heat breaks down the properties in the oils, lessening its benefits.
Our skin is our biggest organ and soaks in toxins every time we apply them to our bodies. Switching to an organic soap will keep chemicals off your skin and nourish it with products that are natural. This organic soap is so universal your whole family can use it!
If you have never heard of Norwex, you are missing out on simplifying your life! Their body clothes are my favorite product and saved my sanity when we were remodeling our bathroom. Due to their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, their rags clean with only water which is great if you have sensitive skin and soaps cause irritation. And they work excellent! Make sure to clean them according to directions to keep them working properly.
If you are tired of using pads and tampons due to their chemical footprint, a Diva cup is an excellent healthy alternative! The amount of money you save each month more than pays for it. It comes in two sizes for pre-childbirth and after.
Switching to a natural deodorant is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health! If you would prefer a more in-depth review of which one you should buy, read my post Do Natural Deodorants Really Work?)
This is another easy change! Ever since I have switched to a natural toothpaste, my teeth are not as sensitive, feel cleaner and I have great peace of mind. Protect and Whiten Toothpaste is an amazing product that uses Kalident in place of fluoride, so I feel great about my family using the best products every day.
I am the first to admit I am not great at beauty routines. By the time bedtime rolls around, the last thing I want to do is wash my face. But ever since I started using Bambu Earth I have been converted.
Not only can I have my face cleansed and ready for bed in just minutes, but it has turned my tired, mom-face into a glowing, youthful reflection that I don’t mind looking at anymore.
But the real proof for me was the drastic change Bambu Earth made for my acne-prone daughter. I will forever be grateful for the confidence it returned to her.
And you don’t have to wonder what is in their products. Everything is listed on their bottles and the ingredients you will find are natural, organic and the perfect healthy alternative to the face washes you find on the shelves these days.
My face cleanser removes makeup but I wanted something that would help conserve my supply. I didn’t want to keep buying wipes or eye-makeup remover, which can get pricey for the good stuff, so when I came across Face Silk on FB, I was intrigued.
They were offering a great sale and with four girls in the house, if their product worked as well as it said it does, the money I saved would be worth trying them out.
Let me just say, I LOVE FACE SILK! I was blown away by how easy it was to remove my mascara compared to even makeup wipes. And all I did was wet the cloth. No soap. And the makeup comes off so easily.
And the clothes clean up so well! I use one everyday before I wash my face and I have no intentions of using anything else.
This company has been a Godsend to our family! They have great, natural products, and THEY WORK; I’ll be forever grateful for the change their products made in my daughter, especially.
I love this vitamin company! I have never ordered something from them that I wasn’t completely satisfied with. And you always end up walking away feeling like you received more than you paid for.
If you are looking for a great company that offers a healthy alternative to deodorant, check out Smartypits. They have so many variations of scents and sizes to choose from (including baking soda free) so you can find one to try. We get ours through their subscription program which offers the cheapest price. If you would like to read my review, check out my post Do Natural Deodorants Really Work?
A few years back, a friend told me about Vitacost and how they offer a ton of healthy options for great prices. I was pleasantly surprised by how much they had to offer.
They have sale prices often and discounts through their newsletter so I rarely pay full price.
But one of the things I love most is their customer service. I once had one of their boxes stolen from my front door and they replaced the entire order, free of charge.
This is not an extensive list but I’m sure it will grow as I learn of new products and companies offering healthy alternatives. But I hope this gives you a place to start on your journey to living well.
And remember, baby steps are OK. If I changed everything overnight, the changes wouldn’t stick. Sometimes a gradual change is best.
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but if I am recommending an item in my post, it is only because I have used it myself or have done enough research on the product to feel it is a good fit for my readers.
About the author
Kimberly McGraw is the founder of Life Worth the Living, a blog focused on helping mothers live their best life. Her desire is to help moms find purpose in who they are as a person, not just as a mom. Life Worth the Living has been featured in Making Sense of Cents, Outwit Trade and Believe and Create.