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Guest blog written by Caroline Fenton from Avidiva, an online baby boutique for natural newborn and baby shower gifts with no nasties.

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We hear it all the time, natural is the way forward, clean this, non- toxic that. But we look around and think, well … we’re ok. And our parents are ok. We all turned out all right … so what’s the fuss?

Surely, they can’t stock it on the shelves if it’s that harmful, and surely there would be some research showing that we shouldn’t be using this or should steer clear of that?

But then I went to a (very) well-known juice bar with my little Mr 2. We were trying to avoid an ice cream for the afternoon (nana had been visiting so there had been a few too many cake and ice cream outings!). I read one of their promotional posters for something that looked delicious and chocolatey and in the small print right at the bottom, it read ‘not suitable for children under 15 or pregnant women’.

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Out of pure curiosity, I asked what was in this smoothie. The young guy behind the counter reeled off the list. Oh, coconut water, chia, cacao, dates, berries… sounds amazing, and nutritious I thought, and I wondered why that wouldn’t be ok for a child? So I then asked what is it that makes it unsuitable for children? Oh, the whey protein in it. And for pregnant women? The super fruit booster.

Say whaaaaaaaaa (in my head)?!?! But why? High levels of anti-oxidants. And the whey protein can stunt growth!! Wow. Well, I did not know this! The guy himself said he’d learned all about it at a recent training workshop and was stunned himself. Good to know they are keeping their employees educated and informed. Good on them.

It left me thinking about the power of the media. And advertising. About how we are told what is good for us. And what is bad for us. The latest health trends and the most recent fads in diet, fashion, and pretty much everything we do or aspire to.

It just goes back to being honest with yourself and your body. We don’t have all the answers, all the research and we certainly don’t have hindsight. But we do have common sense, a want for what is best and gut instinct.

Natural home remedies

So this whole natural malarkey can really be as far stretched as you’d like it to be. From the food you put in your mouth, to what you lather on your skin, to what you brush your teeth with, right through to what you wash your clothes in and clean the kitchen surfaces with. Our skin is a sponge, so everything that comes into contact with it is absorbed inside us.

A lot of readily available chemicals haven’t been around for that long for us to truly know the effects they may (or may not) have on our bodies. We certainly don’t know what long term use can do, or even how combinations of certain chemicals may react on the inside.

Without going all technical and long worded, it really does just make sense to keep it as natural as possible. This applies to anything we come into contact with.

We don’t have to go all out hippy, but a little bit of thought as to what you are subjecting your body to can’t hurt. And a few simple switches here and there may just help our future selves, our families, and our earth too.

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