Life got a little bit a lot busier when our little munchkin joined our family. The days of lazing around in front of Netflix and eating candy all day are sadly (or fortunately) behind me. I do love to be busy raising my babe, and finding out who this amazing little being is, but I know that it’s also important to take care of myself. I mentioned before how we mamas need to tend to our needs in order to be able to provide our children with what they need. This can be hard to figure out with all the new life changes and demands on your time, but it will serve you well to take even just a smidgen of time each day to make sure you are practicing your own self-care. Specifically, to make sure you’re getting the nourishment you need, keeping up with hygiene, and pampering yourself a little bit to keep a healthy self-confidence about the person you’re presenting to the world.
There are a lot of products out there that call to women “I’m here! Come buy me and your life will be better!” I think we all know that that just isn’t true of a lot of what’s out there. When it comes to the companies and products I welcome into my home and my life, I like to make sure that what I’m using is actually benefitting myself and my planet, and not taking away from either.
I had heard of Arbonne before my friend, Denise, approached me about it, but I really had no idea what it was all about. I lumped it in my brain with the likes of Avon and Mary Kay. When Denise started to share with me the products and premise of the company, I have to admit I was pretty impressed.
Arbonne is a health, beauty and wellness company that is certified vegan, gluten free, soy free, GMO free and botanically based. Their ingredient policy is one of transparency and honesty, aiming to provide products that are pure, safe and beneficial. Each product is formulated without parabens, formaldehyde-donating preservatives, phthalates, formaldehyde, alkylphenols, phosphates, bisphenol-A, synthetic dyes, artificial colours, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, cholesterol, trans fats, and a whole bunch of other undesirable ingredients. They adhere to the standards of Health Canada, US FDA, Federal Trade Commission, and many other regulatory bodies around the world. The UPS shipping is carbon neutral, and over 90% of the personal care packaging is recyclable.
Here are some of my favourite products that I’ve been happily using, that promote self-care for moms like myself, who may be finding it tricky to balancing the needs of your family and your self.
Having my baby switch from growing inside my body to living outside and separate from me was a major shock to my system. For the last 9 months I had taken extremely good care of myself. Taking daily prenatal vitamins, very minimal sugar, a diet balanced with all of the food groups, regular long walks, 3 full meals and many healthy snacks throughout the day – I truly was treating my body as a temple for the little life that was blossoming inside.
Once baby was born, that temple turned into a bit of a slum. Especially as the wee one became more and more mobile and active. Who has time to make themselves food, let alone sit down and eat it, when there is a small tornado (albeit a very cute tornado) pulling everything off of the shelves and out of the drawers, climbing onto every available surface by scaling nearly non-existence foot-holds with their monkey toes, and sticking their fingers in dangerous places (why is the cat’s mouth so enticing?).
You might think you’d be able to eat when the baby eats (you know, the whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” thing… ya… right), but in my case that time of day seems to be pretty busy with spooning and wiping and picking up discarded pieces of carefully chopped food of the floor and out of little ears and nostrils. If I do eat, it’s generally in a crazy rush (not so great for my poor tummy) and consists largely of high-chair tray scraps. Mmm.
The Greens, protein, and fibre powders from Arbonne have been an excellent addition to my diet. Actually, to both of our diets. Obviously whole foods are the best way to get nutrition, but let’s get real – there’s not always time (or energy) for “the best way”. You know what there is time for? Tossing in a couple spoonfuls of concentrated fruit and veggies (Greens), protein, or fibre into what you’re eating or drinking. Each one of these nutritious power powders I’ve really enjoyed taking in, as there is a subtle sweetness from natural sugar substitutes, like chicory root.
The greens I’ve added to toddler pancakes (an egg, banana, and a couple tablespoons of whole wheat flour), which have been gobbled up quickly by myself and my little monkey. I also add them to smoothies and plain almond milk, both of which have been pretty tasty, and make me feel better when I feel like we haven’t had enough fruits and veggies in a day.
The protein powder comes in vanilla and chocolate. While both are good, I prefer the vanilla, mainly because I’m cautious not to consume too much caffeine (from the cocoa) beyond my morning cup while I’m still breastfeeding, but also because I just like the vanilla taste better. I’ve added these to smoothies, milkshakes, plain almond milk and even to the milk in my coffee (the chocolate in there reminds me of a mocha).
The fibre is basically tasteless, except for a slight sweetness. This makes it perfect for adding to anything I’m cooking, baking or drinking. I have been especially enjoying it in orange juice, and was even pleasantly surprised by how it dissolved in my coffee.
At a recent visit to a Naturopathic Doctor, I mentioned that I had been including these Arbonne products in mine and my little one’s diets, and asked if he thought that was okay. Encouraging me to consume more protein for healing purposes, he said that he had some familiarity with Arbonne and felt that it was a positive company to be using these products from. It’s always nice to hear good things about the products you’ve come to enjoy from someone who has a lot of knowledge about naturally healthy practices.
Pure Mint Deodorant
The natural deodorant was the first product I opened up. I was eager to try it out. You see, I’m not a fan of unpleasant bodily odors, but I’m also aware that there are some pretty undesirable ingredients (like aluminum) in most deodorants you find on store shelves. As I’ve become more and more aware about the hazards of many hygiene and beauty products out there since finding out I was pregnant and researching everything I put in, on or near my body, I pretty well stopped using deodorant altogether. While this undoubtedly was a healthier choice, it was also a smellier one. That’s why the Arbonne deodorant impressed me so much – the ingredients were all natural and aluminum-free! So now I can smell like delicious spearmint (it smells sooo good!), rather than stinky hippie. If it’s an exceptionally hot or busy day, I find I do need to reapply, but it’s easy enough to carry it with me for a quick pit-pick-me-up.
This is a pretty positive self-care measure, I think, since smelling bad can have a pretty negative affect on how one feels about herself. (By the way, I have nothing against hippies. I could do without patchouli, however.)
Shampoos & Conditioners
Washing the miscillaneous goo that splatters my body over the course of a day is not only essential for hygiene, but it just helps me feel better about myself when I’m all fresh and clean from a nice warm shower. Showering with my little one was easy enough when she would sit placidly in her little bouncy seat or exersaucer, but now that she’s outgrown these handy little contraptions, the only way to get clean when her Dada’s not around is for her to hop in the shower with me.
Having a little munchkin sitting on the floor of the tub, playing near my feet, has made me very aware of the ingredients in my shampoos and conditioners. It’s one thing to know that conventional hair products are packed full of parabans and phthalates and all kinds of other scary chemicals, and choose to use them on yourself, but it’s another thing when everything you’re using is rinsing off towards your precious little babe. Since Arbonne’s mission is for a greener planet, healthier products and includes no parabens or phthalates in their products, I feel much safer using their shampoos and conditioners to keep my locks clean and cared for while little Z is in the shower with me.
Beyond these awesome products I’ve tried, there are a quite a few more that I’m either in the process of trying, or would like to check out. Keep an eye out for future updates on what I find that might make life a little easier and more enjoyable.
In the meantime, I’m thrilled to share that Denise will be giving away one 1.80 kg bag of the Arbonne Vanilla Protein Shake Mix to one of you lucky readers! Each serving of this yummy shake mix offers:
20 grams of pea and rice protein
22 essential vitamins and minerals
Good source of fibre
No trans fat or cholesterol
No artificial sweeteners, flavours or colours
Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Canadian residents only, please. Good luck!
*Disclaimer* While I did receive some fabulous Arbonne products for sharing my experience with using them, all of the above is my own true words and opinions. You can read my full disclosure policy here.