Folks ask me all the time what supplements I use for my family, where to find the best and most affordable real food staples, and for suggestions on healthy living products from water filters to cleaning supplies.
Below is a comprehensive guide to products that I whole-heartedly recommend. The brands listed in the categories below are quality vendors that I believe in and purchase from myself. Please know that many links are affiliate links which means that if you choose to buy something, I will receive a small commission for the sale which helps support the work of this blog.
Click on a category below to view resources:
On a whole, we aim to get our nutrients from real food rather than synthetic vitamins (read why I don't give my children multivitamins here and why I think real food is superior to prenatal vitamins here). That said, there are a few choice supplements that we do take on a daily basis, and others that come out in case our immune systems need a boost or we need a natural remedy for a specific ailment.
- Cod liver oil – (or fish oil plus Vitamin D and liver in your diet). You can buy it online here
- High vitamin butter oil – Do you need high vitamin butter oil to get enough K2? You can buy it here
- Probiotics for babies, kids & adults
- Food based prenatal vitamins – For if you can't or won't get the nutrition you need from food. I recommend this brand.
- Raw, desiccated liver capsules – You can read about the health benefits of liver here. If there's no way I'm going to talk you into eating liver, it's a good idea to supplement with these.
- Gelatin – I use this one from pasture-raised cattle. Use it to make this wiggly jiggly finger jello.
- Vitamin D – Read about the health benefits and dosages in this post. This is the Vitamin D my family uses.
- Elderberry – Learn how to make your own or buy this elderberry syrup
- Vitamin C – When we need an extra boost, this is the vitamin C my family takes.
- Colloidal silver – We use this one. Read about why and when I think colloidal silver is safe here.
- Cold Quell – My favorite Chinese herbal formula for warding off the early signs of cold/flu, especially with a sore throat. Get Cold Quell here. The kids' version is called CQ Jr.
- Yin Qiao – The classic Chinese herbal formula for early cold/flu with sore throat. This one is easier to find in health food stores than Cold Quell. Buy it online here.
- Gan Mao Ling – Another classic Chinese herbal formula to have on hand that's great for mixed patterns of early cold and flu. Get it online here.
- Homeopathic kit – We have this one and use it often.
- Topical arnica – For sore muscles, bruises, or strains. We use this one.
- Topical colloidal silver – Instead of topical antibiotic, I love this colloidal silver gel to prevent infection on cuts and scrapes.
- Sinus issues – NeilMed Sinus rinse + (non-GMO) Xylitol powder – Read how to treat a sinus infection without antibiotics here
- Ear infections – This ear oil
- Pink eye – Colloidal silver and these homepathic drops
It's simple: don't put anything on your skin that you wouldn't feel safe eating. If you're into making your own creams, lotions, toothpaste, shampoo, and potions, I can't recommend Mommypotamus's ebook, DIY Beauty, highly enough.
For everyone else, here are some great products that I love:
- Deodorant – Forget about the usual ‘natural' deodorant sticks or bits of crystal. I have finally discovered non-toxic deodorants that actually work. Use this recipe, or buy this deodorant.
- Sunscreen – Though I'm half Filipino and a bit brown, my bloke and little squids are as white as snow. We buy several versions of this sunscreen by the case.
- Feminine products – I have many a hippie and non-hippie friends that swear by their diva cups. For me, I opt for these organic cotton tampons and pads.
- Balms & lotions – Mountain Rose herbs has some lovely skin care.
My secret to keeping moving despite spending hours sitting on my bum writing this blog? The Fitbit, hands down. I've even turned my husband onto the fun.
Natural cleaning – In this great ebook from Mommypotamus, learn how to make your own homemade cleaning products that are truly non-toxic and effective at a fraction of the cost.
This is the reverse osmosis water filter that we use that adds minerals back to the water. If you are looking for a countertop option, I highly recommend the Berkey water filters, or – for a budget option, the Zero Water Pitcher is a pretty good alternative that removes most of the bad stuff.
If you’re looking into whole house filtration systems, I highly recommend consulting the water experts at Radiant Life. They will answer your questions for free and help you make the wisest decision for your family’s needs.
Grassfed meat, pastured poultry, forage fed pork – I highly recommend getting to know your local farmers and ranchers and getting your meat and poultry directly from them. Here in LA, we now get all of our pork, beef, lamb and poultry from Belcampo Meat Co., and eggs from pastured hens in our farm box.
If you are having challenges sourcing properly raised meat, you can order great quality beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck and more online at U.S. Wellness Meats. They also have a great selection of organ meat and sausages. We love their branschweiger – A German classic sausage similar to liverwurst but with a mild flavor and soft, even texture.
Seafood: For sustainably-caught, unbeatably fresh seafood, I always shop online at I Love Blue Sea.
They’re a family-run operation and have some pretty darn tasty seafood – my personal fave are the oysters. They also carry a variety of fish roe and wonderful canned salmon.
I recommend only consuming the following fats:
- Coconut oil, coconut butter, cocoa butter, and coconut milk.
- Lard or beef fat from pasture raised animals.
- Butter or ghee – from grass fed cows.
- Extra virgin olive oil – this one from California is my favorite.
- Palm oil – When sustainable sourced, like this one.
- Avocado oil – Surprisingly holds up to high heat.
- Seed and nut oils – Not for cooking. Use to dress salads or as a garnish – only when cold pressed.
I store all of my ground flour in the freezer to avoid rancidity.
- Sprouted flours – On a regular basis, and in a 1:1 exchange for traditional flours, I use sprouted wheat flour and sprouted corn flour. We also buy these sprouted corn tortillas.
- Arrowroot powder – I use this in place of corn starch as a grain free thickener for sauces, gravies, and stews.
- Non-grain flours – For grain free baked goods and other dishes, I use this coconut flour and, if I don't have the time to make my own, I use this almond flour.
- Nut butter – If you don't have the time to presoak and dehydrate nuts, buy these presoaked and dehydrated nut butters.
- Potato chips – Most brands of chips (even if organic) are unhealthy frying oils involved. We love these chips fried with coconut oil, which can be fried safely at surprisingly high temperatures.
- Sea Snax – A strangely addictive and crunchy chip alternative made with seaweed, olive oil, and sea salt.
- Ketchup – Use this recipe
- BBQ sauce – Use this recipe
- Fish sauce – I simply adore Red Boat Fish Sauce, so much so that I can happily slurp it off a spoon.
- Unpasteurized soy sauce or coconut aminos (for those who can't do wheat)
- Raw honey – Raw locally sourced honey is ideal, and you can read more about why here. Second choice is to buy high quality, raw honey online.
- Unrefined cane sugar – Unlike white sugar, unrefined cane sugar is mineral-rich, and therefore does not only possess a more rich flavor but also imparts some health benefits. Unrefined cane sugar can be substituted in most recipes 1:1. I use this one.
- Coconut sugar – Coconut sugar is a low glycemic sweetener produced by dehydrating the nectar produced from coconut buds. It can be used at a 1:1 ratio for regular cane sugar. It can also be used in liquid form as coconut nectar instead of maple syrup. I use this one.
- Maple syrup – As with unrefined sugar, grade B maple syrup is particularly rich in minerals and flavor. We have this one delivered once every two months.
- Coconut water
- Coffee – These are the beans we keep on hand
- Wine – Find out: Is organic wine better? Buy wine online here.
- Get the Natural Cocktails ebook to learn how to make grown-up drinks into real foodie treats.
- Slow cooker (I have two that are frequently in use at the same time)
- Immersion blender – If you don't have one, you are missing out on a delightful convenience for pureed soups, sauces, and smoothies.
- Cuisinart food processor
- Vitamix blender
- KitchenAid stand mixer
- Le Creuset french oven
- Excalibur dehydrator – great for making crispy nuts, homemade crackers, dried fruit, dried herbs and many other dried foods.
- Stainless steel frying pan
- Ice cream maker
- Stainless steel stock pot. A must have for making big batches of soups and broth.
- Measuring set that includes spoons, cups, and itty bitty measurements.
- At least a case of wide mouth canning jars and plastic lids – a real foodie essential
- Julienne peeler – to make fantastic zucchini pasta!
This year we decided to homeschool our first grader. You can read about our decision here. Below are some of the resources I've found helpful so far along our homeschooling adventures.
The Well-Trained Mind – A great introduction to a classical homeschooling curriculum
Reading and Language –
- The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading
- The First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind
- Mother Goose
- The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems
- Where the Sidewalk Ends
- Poems to Learn by Heart
History and Geography –
- The Story of the World: Stories for the Classical Child
- Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World: 40,000 BC to Present Day
- Explorer English World Globe
Math – Singapore Math
Spanish – Song School Spanish – Student Book