Want a virtual look inside my pantry, fridge and bathroom drawers?
I get asked all the time what supplements I use for my family, what shampoo is best for those that don’t want to make their own, what I consider baby essentials and more. Below is a list of products I wholeheartedly recommend. Most are items I personally buy or that are on my wish list, while a few are from companies I don’t regularly buy from (like beef) because I shop locally when possible.
Please know that many links are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to buy something I will receive a small commission. The price will be the same for you either way, but your purchases help offest the costs of maintaining Mommypotamus. Thank you!
Toothpaste/Powder – Toothpaste often contains additives like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and fluoride. Even “healthy” ones often contain glycerin, which can prevent remineralization. For those reasons, I use a homemade tooth powder, but if you’d prefer to buy something pre-made I like this one.
Deodorant – I make my deodorant using coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot powder (here’s the basic recipe, and here’s my sensitive skin formula), but if you’re looking for something pre-made I like Primal Pit Paste.
Shampoo – Morocco Method has an amazing line of shampoos made with high quality ingredients. They don’t lather like normal shampoos and therefore take some getting used to, but they work well. If you love lather and don’t want to give it up, you may want to check out my three-ingredient shampoo bar. Of all the recipes I’ve formulated it’s my all-time favorite.
Lotion – Most moisturizers contain an avalanche of random chemicals hidden under “fragrance” in the label, so I prefer to make my own. For something that has a longer shelf life, though, Dr. Bronner’s lotion has a pretty good list of ingredients.
David Delight – It looks like an old school walkman and headphones, but it’s actually a brain-entrainment device that helps guide the mind toward alpha waves (for relaxation) or beta waves (for energy and focus). I ordered the more expensive model that has more session options, but the truth is I pretty much only use one session. If I had it to do over I would definitely invest again, but I would probably go with the less expensive version.
intelliBED Non-Toxic Mattresses – After years of looking for affordable non-toxic bedding, I’ve finally found a company I love. Best. sleep. ever. Read about what makes them different here.
Bath Dechlorination Tablets – We now live on a homestead that is fed by a spring, but when we lived in town I used these tablets to neutralize chlorine.
Rebounder – Rebounding is a gentle way to work out and support the lymph system as it detoxifies the body. I jump on mine in 5-10 minute intervals throughout the day when I need to reset mentally or emotionally. My kids love it, too! Here’s the rebounder we have. It folds in half, so it can easily be stored in a closet or under the bed.
Dry Brush – With the right tool, dry brushing can be an invigorating way to tighten and tone skin while supporting detoxification via the lymph system. After trying several brushes with underwhelming results, I finally discovered this one and love it. Because I use mine daily and prefer firm bristles, I’ve found it necessary to replace mine every three months.
Squatty Potty – So, let’s talk about this and then pretend that we didn’t, okay? This sleek stool puts your body into a natural squatting position over your own toilet. When positioned correctly, your body is able to eliminate more quickly and completely, reducing problems like hemorrhoids and constipation. Proper posture is also thought to be helpful for pelvic floor function, and may reduce colon disease by allowing the body to fully release toxins. Squatty Potty’s come in two sizes: 7″ for standard toilets and 9″ for higher toilets.
Supplements & Superfoods
Cod Liver Oil – Many fish oils remove naturally occurring vitamins and minerals as a byproduct of the extraction process, then add synthetic versions back in later. My favorite cod liver oil preserves the naturally occurring vitamins along with their cofactors. It’s only available in the U.S. here.
Probiotics – I always keep this soil-based probiotic on hand – here’s why and here’s a link to my review of it. I also use this lactic-acid based probiotic. They have a baby version as well, which I give to my toddler.
Grass-Fed Gelatin – Loaded with high quality protein and amino acids, gelatin is helpful for soothing digestive disorders and nour gorgeous skin, lustrous hair, and strong nails. I stir gelatin hydrolysate into water, tea or coffee because it dissolves in cold liquids. This is what you want to use to make gummy stars or jello.
Magnesium Oil – I rub this on at night for deep sleep. It’s also helpful for muscle relaxation. Buy it here.
Dried Liver Capsules – Liver is considered by many to be Nature’s Multi-Vitamin, but not everyone loves the way it tastes. If you want the benefits without the flavor, you can get grass-fed liver in capsule form here.
Vitamin K2 – Once described as the “X Factor” by Weston A. Price, Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin that is obtained primarily through animal sources such as raw dairy, egg yolks and liver, plus fermented foods such as natto. Unfortunately, even in Price’s time the levels of this vitamin varied significantly based on the quality of the soil animals were raised on, and as soil continues to be depleted the levels of K2 are likely to continue to diminish. For that reason, I supplement with this natto-derived form.
Vitamin C – According to Ron Schmid, ND, “Almost all of the vitamin C in supplements is made in a laboratory, despite labeling that implies otherwise. For example, the label might say, “ascorbic acid from sago palm.” Dextrose, a form of sugar that contains no vitamin C at all, is extracted from sago palm and used as the base molecular material for a complex laboratory process that synthesizes vitamin C. Or the label might say “vitamin C derived from the finest natural sources.” True, but the vitamin C was synthesized. It might also say “with rose hips and acerola,” which are then used as the base material for the tablet or capsule. But a tablet of rose hips or acerola can contain only about forty milligrams of truly natural vitamin C; the rest is synthesized.” (emphasis mine)
When looking for a quality Vitamin C supplement I suggest looking for something in which the Vitamin C is derived from 100% whole food sources, like dried acerola cherry, rose hip tea or a blend of berries such as camu camu, acerola and amla. Acerola is generally a very good option, but there is not much research on its use with pregnant/nursing women so talk to your trusted healthcare provider before using it. (I did find a website that said they didn’t see any reason to think their acerola supplement would cause a problem for pregnant women, but their particular product is a blend of acerola powder plus synthetic ascorbic acid so I personally wouldn’t use it)
Many women in Africa consume the baobab fruit – which has six times more vitamin C than oranges – throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. I used the dried version in my home often.
B-Complex – A significant portion of the population has a genetic mutation called MTHFR, which can make the assimilation of certain nutrients difficult. I am one of those people, so I take a highly bioavailable form of complex B vitamins when needed. You can find them here.
Kombucha Scoby’s & Continuous Brew Equipment – For all things kombucha, my friends Hannah and Alex of Kombucha Kamp have got you covered.
Healthy Fats & Oils
Coconut Oil – For cooking and baking, I prefer organic expeller-pressed coconut oil because it has a neutral flavor. However, for smoothies and some desserts I use extra-virgin coconut oil, both for it’s higher antioxidant content and coconut flavor. Find quality coconut oil here.
Olive Oil – This hand-picked first press olive oil was ranked “Best” in the Weston A. Price Foundations 2014 shopping guide. Find it here.
Lard – After being wrongly accused for generations, lard is finally making a comeback as a traditional fat. It is rich in Vitamin D and is about 45% oleic acid, the heart healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. You can make your own or buy lard here. And for the record, saturated fat is heart healthy, too 🙂
Ghee – Rich in Vitamin K and other nutrients, grass-fed ghee is one of my favorite cooking fats. Not that you have to actually cook with it . . . I’ve been known to eat it straight off the spoon. Buy grass-fed ghee here.
Pastured Chicken – Beyond organic, GMO-free chicken is also available through Tendergrass Farms.
Fish Sauce – This stuff is amazing. Add it to caesar dressing, stir fry or any seafood dish to bring out the elusive umami flavor. Find it here.
Arrowroot Powder – According to Nourishing Traditions, “Arrowroot powder is a nutritious food, obtained from the fleshy root stock of a tropical American plant. It is an easily digested food well fitted for infants and the convalescent. It resembles cornstarch in being white, fin and powdery….. Arrowroot was once widely used in baby formulas as a superior carbohydrate, experience having shown it agreed with babies better than any other starch or sugar. We now find the reason. It is the only starch product with a calcium ash. In this regard, the calcium chloride, in the form of calcium found in arrowroot starch, is very important for the maintenance of proper acid and alkali balances in the human body…”
Natural Food coloring – This brand uses only non-toxic vegetables and spices as colorants.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is both food and medicine in our house. It’s an ingredient in our homemade cough syrup (which contains an ingredient studies show works better than over-the-counter cough syrups) and salad dressings, a burn remedy, and it makes a wonderful rinse that delivers shiny, lustrous hair. We prefer live apple cider vinegar rather than pasteurized – here’s the brand we use.
Tignernuts And Tigernut Flour – Tigernut contain resistant starch, which as mentioned here is a prebiotic thought to promote gut bacteria diversity. They’re naturally sweet and can be eaten as a snack whole or ground into a flour to bake with.
Tomato Paste – I prefer this organic brand that is sold in glass jars.
Vanilla Beans – For making homemade extract. Find them here.
Xtrema Cookware – I won this 14 piece cookware set in Firebrick red at a real food conference and I love it. Each pot can go from stovetop to oven to table, then straight into the dishwasher. All of their products are free of lead, cadmium and other heavy metal, and they’re so transparent that they publish the test results on their website. You can check out all of Xtrema’s cookware and bakeware here.
Food processor – I’ve had this one for years and have been very happy with it. It’s durable and has a holds up to 11 cups.
Dehydrator – One of the best ways to save money on real food is to maximize great deals on produce is to stock up and preserve them for later. Tomatoes are dried for a zesty addition to italian dishes later and fruits such as apples can be dried with cinnamon for a kid-friendly treat. You can also dry the herbs you grow for use in the winter, make beef jerky, yogurt, dry coconut flour, make your own soaked and dehydrated nuts, fruit leather, etc. I like this dehydrator because it has ample space for large batches, plus a timer and a wide variety of temperature options.
Ice cream maker – We use this one to make coconut milk ice cream, classic vanilla and homemade chunky monkey.
Blender – This Vitamix is on my wishlist.
Slow Cooker – I’m often asked if I know of any slow cookers that are guaranteed to be lead and cadmium-free. Answering that question is trickier than you might imagine, because many companies simply say that their products meet the FDA’s guidelines, which does allow for some lead/cadmium. However, there is a way to dig deeper. California’s Prop 65 requires companies to disclose any lead or cadmium that is present, so you can contact companies and see if they have anything to disclose. The slow cooker I have – this Kitchen Aid 6 Quart – does have a Prop 65 label for the cord, but I have a documented chat in which they say that the ceramic vessel does not require a Prop 65 label because it has been tested and found to be free of lead and cadmium.
Glass Storage Containers With Leak-Proof Lids– I like to store leftovers in see-through containers. It makes seeing what I have so much easier, and it reduces the chance something will be wasted because it’s forgotten about. Here are some of my favorite options:
- Large Storage Containers – Great for storing meals, soups and salads
- Medium Storage Cubes – This is my favorite size for mayo and salsa
- Rectangular Storage Tubs – Perfect for snacks like mixed nuts or coconut date rolls
- Small Glass Storage Cubes – I love these for dipping sauces
They’re an investment, but they last a very long time – they’ve they’ve passed the kid test by enduring more than 3 million uses per tab in a test environment. Each glass cube can be sealed with a leak-proof silicone seal that is removable for easy washing.
Pregnancy & Birth
Happy Healthy Child is a DVD childbirth education course is full of good info for those that are seeking a natural, low-intervention birth. If you want to be well-informed about pregnancy, natural birth and postpartum care but don’t want to read 25 or so books, I highly recommend this series with two caveats:
Caveat # 1: If you’re totally on board with a natural, intervention-free birth, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc. the research presented in this series will leave you feeling REALLY empowered. Like, really. However, if you happen to disagree on one of the points made, some of the experts can come across as a bit judgy sometimes. Still, it’s really good info if you can look past that.
Caveat # 2: In my opinion, some of the info on nutrition was lacking and/or just a little off base. For example, some experts indicate a vegetarian diet can be optimal (I disagree), recommend keeping fish to a minimum (Chris Kresser has a great article on that, though I am doing some research on Fukushima that I hope to share with you soon)
Though it attempts to steer mamas away from the low-fat mentality, I don’t think this film goes far enough. It recommends high quality fats but not animal fats, says coconut oil is good but too much can be bad, etc. For nutritional guidance I recommend Beautiful Babies by Kristen Michaelis, my ebook Nourished Baby, and Super Nutrition For Babies. They are all very easy reads that pretty much round out this course.
Babies & Kids
Carriers and Wraps – A dear friend of mine who is a chiropractor introduced me to Boba because she feels their design is more hip healthy than certain other brands. After trying three different soft wraps with my three different babies, I can say that theirs is hands-down my favorite. It is stretchy enough to easily slip baby into position, yet firm enough to hold them securely. As my little ones get older, I transition them to a 4G carrier, which I consider one of the three or four baby necessities I can’t live without. Find their store here.
Miracle Blanket – When done properly, swaddling can help babies sleep without waking themselves unnecessarily due to the startle reflex. Though you can use any kind of blanket, I found this one to be particularly helpful.
Amber Teething Necklace – Baltic amber necklaces may seem silly, but actually the way they work is pretty simple. Amber resin contains succinic acid, a natural analgesic that is released when warm skin touches the beads. Though there are fakes on the market, I have used this brand and this brand with success. You can find out more about spotting a fake here.
Cloth Diapers (coming soon)