DIY Healthy Swaps


  • 1 cup kombucha
  • 1⁄2 cup boiling water
  • 1T lemon or lime juice
  • 1⁄4 cup gelatin (Great Lakes)


  1. Gather all of the ingredients.
  2. Place the gelatin in a small mixing bowl
  3. Set aside molds or dish that you will use to firm the gummies.
  4. Combine all ingredients except boiling water and gelatin in a
  5. blender or Vitamix.
  6. When ready to mix and pour, combine the boiling water into the
  7. small dish of gelatin‐dissolve gelatin completely.
  8. Add the water/gelatin mixture into the blender with the other
  9. ingredients and blend again until fully incorporated.
  10. Pour the mixture into molds or a baking dish and transfer into the
  11. Chill at least one hour and then cut into squares and enjoy.




  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 2-4 pitted Medjool dates*
  • 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • small pinch of fine grain sea salt, to enhance the flavor


  1. Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight
  2. Rinse and drain the almonds and place into a blender along with filtered water, pitted dates, and chopped vanilla bean.
  3. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute or so.
  4. Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk.
  5. Rinse out blender and pour the milk back in. Add the cinnamon and pinch of sea salt and blend on low to combine.
  6. Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Shake jar very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting

Coconut milk


  • Heat water, but don’t boil. It should be hot, but not scalding.
  • Put coconut in blender or Vitamix and add water. (If all water won’t fit, you can add the water in two batches.)
  • Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
  • Pour through a mesh colander first to get most of the coconut out, and then squeeze through a towel or several thicknesses of cheesecloth to get remaining pieces of coconut out.
  • If you have to split the water, put all the coconut that you strained out back in the blender, add the remaining water, and repeat.


  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (high quality)
  • 1 tsp vinegar (White wine, basalmic, apple cider, red wine)
  • ½ tsp Sweet: honey or pureed fruit
  • ½ tsp Dijan mustard
  • 2 pinches herbs (thyme, basil) and/or
  • 1 pinch spice (salt, pepper, garlic powder, crushed garlic)



  • About ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda
  • 2 small packets of stevia powder
  • 15-20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil


  1. Melt or slightly soften coconut oil.
  2. Mix in other ingredients and stir well.
  3. Put mixture into small glass jar
  4. Let cool completely.
  5. To use: dip toothbrush in and scrape small amount onto bristles. Could also use a small spoon to put on toothbrush.

The Best Air Purifier for the Home! 

the best air purifier on the market



One of the big tips we are always saying to our moms is to CLEAN YOUR AIR! Studies have shown that the air inside the home is up to 5 times more toxic than the air outside! Yikes! Air is filled with toxic chemicals in the form of gasses like formaldehyde, benzene, and VOCs (or volatile organic compounds) as well as chemicals that get trapped in dust like flame-retardants. These chemicals are linked to a long list of diseases and disorders including cancer, neurological damage, hormone disruption (affects the hormones), lowered IQs and more!

Here at Healthy Green Schools we highly recommend that EVERYONE but especially women trying to conceive, pregnant women and women with children filter their air and try to reduce exposures to these chemicals. VOCs, flame-retardants and these other chemicals are even more damaging to small children and pregnant women since their bodies are growing and developing at rapid rates.

Children are exposed to flame retardants at high rates because the attach to dust and settle on the ground and on surfaces in the home and then the baby crawls on the surface and puts their hands or toys with the dust in their mouths. Many chemicals like flame retardants are bioaccumulative and build up in the body and in our environment. Flame-retardants have been found in everything from whales and birds, as far as the poles, and in foods like peanut butter, butter and meat. They are in your couches and padded furniture, changing pads, nursing pillows, high chairs, carpet padding….nearly everything with foams and also many children pajamas.

VOCs are found in paints, engineered wood, construction supplies, furniture, toys, glues, adhesives and more! These items “off-gas” or release toxic gasses into the air. This fills your home with chemicals like benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde which are all known carcinogens and are suspected to be highly toxic in many ways to the human body.

There are other chemicals that are good to eliminate or reduce in your home such as dusts from toxic plastics as they break down like BPA (makes plastics shatterproof-linked to cancer, hormone disruption and more) and phthalates (makes plastics soft and pliable-found in toys, shower curtains, small appliances, etc.-linked to birth defects in boys, cancer and more) and a long list of other chemicals.

So now you know WHY you need to clean your air, here are the tips about HOW to reduce your exposure:

1.     Open your windows every chance you get!

2.     Dust, dust, dust! May of these chemicals accumulate in dust to take a wet cloth and wipe down surfaces, toys, etc.

3.     Vacuum with a quality vacuum with a HEPA filter several times a week (you can see our product recommendations page for suggestions)

4.     Throw away old furniture especially if it has holes in the fabric- flame retardants escape more easily into the air this way

5.     Purchase items that do not contain toxic flame retardants- there are many companies such as Naturepedic and Lifekind that offer safe alternatives for your baby. If you are purchasing furniture try to buy safer products (although “green” products nearly always still contain toxic flame retardants…you will have to specifically search for these and pay a premium for these safe options)

6.     And finally we recommend to GET A GOOD QUALITY AIR PURIFIER!

purifier to reduce VOCs and fire retardants in the air

Air purifiers will not only reduce the gasses but also greatly reduce the particles in the air. This reduces the dust and therefore reduced exposures to all of these chemicals. But not all air purifiers are created equal! You can go crazy trying to figure out which one may be right for you. This is why we have done all the research and hard work for you! First, it is important to understand that when it comes to air purifiers, cheap is not worth the money! In fact, many less expensive air purifiers (and some more expensive) can actually create ozone when they are running which is harmful to your health. Hardly what you are trying to do when you are trying to clean the air! Others only reduce certain larger particles in the air but cannot get rid of smaller particles. Some are not effective at reducing certain chemicals or gasses. An air purifier is like your crib mattress or car seat, when it comes to chemicals, you get what you pay for! It is important to prioritize and make sure you spend the money on the more important items and realize that you can purchase other items such as toys, furniture or other products second-hand. The air purifiers that I own and recommend after all of my research are AUSTIN AIR PURIFIERS. They are ranked some of the best on the market. And in their price range, the very best! Austin Air Purifiers contain a four stage filtering process that includes a HEPA filter and activated carbon which removing a wide variety of particles, sub-micron particles, chemicals, gases, micro-organisms and odors.  This includes such things as dust, mold, pollen, tobacco smoke, chemical vapors, gases, viruses and bacteria. The filters only have to be replaced every FIVE years! So when you are shopping and see cheaper options keep this in mind! They were used by the government after 9/11 to give you an idea of the quality.

The best part is they offer different sizes and models for your needs. They even make one called the “Baby’s Breath” which is designed specifically for nurseries and come in pink and blue. They also have built in sound machines! How cool!  If you are looking to reduce toxic exposures in your home you need a good quality air purifier . It’s just one more big step in improving the health of your family and baby! Let us know how you like them!!

Check them out on amazon here! 

This post does contain affiliate links. I recommend these and was pleased to find out I could help support my business at the same time. I receive a small percentage for purchase to support my business. Thanks. 

What Do All Those Terms on My Food Labels Mean?

So you are trying for a baby, pregnant or a mom just trying to buy safer products for your family. You have some idea that there are bad chemicals in lots of products out there and want to make sure you make the safest choices. But you aren’t really sure what all these labels really mean! Let me tell you, what you don’t know may be costing you…both money and your health! Let’s talk about some of the most common so you can make educated choices and protect your family!

“Organics”– This means nothing. It can be used in the description, name, etc and does not have any regulation or requirement. There are many food companies that will use this term and still use GMOs, milk and meat from animals fed GMOs, or traditional chemicals in products. (Many POPULAR companies that people believe they are truly organic! READ YOUR LABELS! If most is organic but the cheese for example is not, then those animals are likely fed GMOs. There are new studies showing this is a route of exposure of GMO to pregnant women (eating meat and dairy fed GMO). Also a study showed 100% of women and cord blood of the fetus tested were positive for GMOs which disputes what the companies who create GMOs claim which is GMOs are destroyed in the gut and therefore cause no harm. Read more 

“Made with organic ingredients”-In FOOD-this means the product will contain at least 70% organic ingredients. MANY of these products will contain the same chemicals that you are trying to avoid along with the organic ingredients. This is a red flag and typically is used to fool the consumer. However, there are some great products out there that don’t meet the USDA standard and contain organic ingredients and other safer ingredients. In personal products you will need to read the entire label to determine the safety of the product. While it may contain organic ingredients, it also may (and likely does) contain the typical parabens and other chemicals that traditional products contain. READ THE LABELto determine safety!

USDA Organic – This is one of the few regulated terms. This requires at least 95% of the ingredients in the product are organic. The other 5% cannot be organic but there are fairly strict limitations about what can be added in that 5%. No pesticides, most chemicals, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners etc. (However, certain companies have been “cheating” and adding chemicals that are NOT approved yet still contain the USDA label. Horizon dairy products contain DHA that is extracted using a toxic chemical called hexaneand is not approved for organics yet still contains the label. They have also been caught with conditions like conventional dairies.)

For animals it means they have access to the outdoors, are not fed hormones or antibiotics or genetically modified feed, do not “comingle” with non-organic animals, and livestock must be raised organic from the third stage of gestation and for poultry since the 2nd day of life. Learn more here 

Certified Organic– USDA Organic regulations, and “Certified” means that the food, feed or fiber has been grown and handled according to strict organic standards which are enforced by independent third-party state or private organizations. Certification includes inspections of farm fields, livestock and processing facilities, detailed record keeping and periodic testing of soil, water and produce to ensure that growers and processors are meeting the standards of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) or other third party standards.” Quote from Oregon Tith

100% Organic- This label means that 100% of the product is USDA certified organic with the qualifications mentioned above.

Free-Range– This means the animal has access to the outdoors. This is the key word as the animal can still be housed in close quarters with a small door leading to the outside. This does not mean that animals are roaming outside in their natural state. These animals can still be fed GMOs, antibiotics, etc.

Pasture-raised- A claim that livestock is “pasture-raised’ means animals have had “continuous and unconfined access to pasture throughout their life cycle.”31 For red meat product labels, the agency further required that a claim of “pasture-raised” or “free-range” be qualified with the statement “never confined to a feedlot.” Although the USDA has yet to promulgate a final rule governing pasture-raised livestock claims, the agency currently certifies such claims on a case-by-case basis. It does not specify what they are eating, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, etc Learn more here

Grass-fed-This is a very confusion label. An animal can be grass-fed most of their lives and then be fed grain the last 90-120 days of life and still be called grass-fed. This can include GMOs! Also, there is grass-finished beef, which means it could have been fed grain for most of their life and then grass at the end. Grass-fed beef can be injected with hormones or antibiotics or can be confined for much of their lives. Look for 100% grass-fed beef and ASK whether the animal has had anything other than grass. Look for USDA organic to make sure the animal is not treated with hormones or antibiotics. Or better yet, research the farm that is providing you your meat to make sure they are free-roaming and live natural unfettered cow life. Learn more here 

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)-“are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.” Learn more here

There is NO SUCH LABEL currently! The companies who create and distribute GMOs fight to prevent labeling of these ingredients as well as prevent other companies who do not use GMOs being able to label that they do not include these ingredients! Two states currently have legislation in the works to require labeling GMOs. (VT and CA) but Monsanto (creator of GMOs, agent orange, DDT and more) is spending MILLIONS to fight this labeling, to confuse the consumer with marketing and even has threatened to sue the states if implemented.

Non-GMO Verified- “The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization with a mission of protecting the non-GMO food supply and giving consumers an informed choice. We offer North America’s ONLY third party verification for products produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance (for more info, click here). Our strategy is to empower consumers to make change through the marketplace. If people stop buying GMOs, companies will stop using them and farmers will stop growing them.”

Natural- Unless this is meat then this label has NO meaning! Nearly all conventional factory food companies are jumping on the “natural” bandwagon. While most consumers may know that Kellogs, Nabisco and the big companies contain GMO, they may be surprised my some of the “natural” and “healthy” companies. Companies like Kashi and Wesson and others claim their products are all natural yet have been shown to be 100% GMO! Wesson is currently involved in a lawsuit because of these misleading claims. After all, what is less natural than GMOs.  Others like Far East and other products sold and promoted in “natural” stores still contain GMO. In fact, you can read on their site and they mislead customers by telling them their rice etc is not GMO….so customers think there is no GMO in the product, yet they contain GMO soy or other additives. You cannot be guaranteed to avoid GMOs unless you buy USDA ORGANIC or the NON-GMO PROJECT VERIFIED label discussed above. When it comes to meat, it means “a product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed” Learn more here



So what you can take away from this information is many…if not MOST of the labels don’t really mean ANYTHING other than good marketing by sly companies. Just as when the “whole grain” movement took storm and everyone unhealthy sugary GMO-laden cereal suddenly claimed they were MADE WITH WHOLE GRAINS, consumers have to constantly keep on top of the current labels to know what they really are eating. Good health choices include avoiding artificial colors, sweeteners, dyes, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs and other chemicals found in food. Recent studies are even finding arsenic, benedryl and other frightening ingredients in factory farmed meat. While the USDA organic label may not be perfect, it is a good start. The best choice is to find a local farm that is doing the right thing by their produce and animals and support them in their efforts. It protects your family, the animals, and the environment. Remember your purchase is your vote about what kind of products you want companies to make. Regulations will only do so much…the almighty dollar rules. Vote smart!

To learn about labels on your personal care CLICK HERE!

Navigating Personal Care Labels

You probably have heard about all the chemicals found in products these days and may be concerned for your health and and the your family. So …you are trying to make safer product choices for you family and are walking the store aisles (or internet pages) and are bombarded with a long list of confusing marketing terms and phrases. Term like..Non-toxic? Yes please! Free of chemicals? Just what I am looking for! The perfect product right? Think again! You have to learn what these terms really mean in order to protect yourself from spending money on products that may be no safer or less toxic than the products you are trying to avoid! Read on….you may be surprised!

USDA Certified Organic – This is one of the few regulated terms. Look for the USDA ORGANIC seal. This requires at least 95% of the ingredients in the product are organic. The other 5% cannot be organic but there are fairly strict limitations about what can be added in that 5%. No pesticides, most chemicals,

100% Organic (along with the USDA seal)- This label means that 100% of the product is USDA certified organic with the qualifications mentioned above.

Organic/ Organics- No meaning in personal care without the USDA organic Seal. Misleading marketing. This is not regulated! Read the label for ingredients.

Eco-Cert Organic-This means the product is second-party verified by Ecocert auditor and meets detailed and rigorous standards. Requires that by weight, 95% of ingredients be of natural origin and at least 10% of ingredients in finished product be certified organic. Prohibits GMOs, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc.); the use of natural ingredients from organic farming. Learn more here

“Made with organic ingredients”-This means the product will contain at least 70% organic ingredients. However, in personal products, as opposed to food, any water in the product “counts” toward that 70% so it can skew the results. Especially is water is one of the first three ingredients. Also, MANY of these products will contain the same chemicals that you are trying to avoid along with the organic ingredients. This is a red flag and typically is used to fool the consumer. However, there are some great products out there that don’t meet the USDA standard and contain organic ingredients and other safer ingredients. In personal products you will need to read the entire label to determine the safety of the product. While it may contain organic ingredients, it also may (and likely does) contain the typical parabens and other chemicals that traditional products contain. READ THE LABEL to determine safety!

Fragrance Free– No meaning as there is no regulation. Fragrances are sometimes used in these products to cover up the chemical smell of other ingredients.

Naturals, Natural, All-Natural-These terms means nothing. There is no regulation. It is a marketing tool, often to confuse and mislead consumers. These products will often contain the same harmful chemicals that are in traditional products. READ THE LABEL to check the individual ingredients!

XX% Natural-This really means nothing either. First, the “natural” ingredients may or may not be safe. Just because it is natural doesn’t mean it is safe. Lead is natural. And there is no formal definition for what is considered natural in personal products. Second, the small percentage that is defined by the company as not being natural can be toxic. This also ignores the fact that there are chemicals that can mix together to create more toxic chemicals that are not listed on the product. I still don’t want to put 2% of toxic chemicals on my baby…or myself for that matter when there are 100% safe choices.

Hypoallergenic-There is no regulation for this term and it means nothing. It insinuates that it won’t cause an allergic reaction, but there is no verification of this claim. It does not indicate safer ingredients like the advertising tries to suggest.

Dermatologist Tested-This really means nothing other than a dermatologist may have tested the product. There is no regulation of this term or requirements for this term. This is a marketing tool to lead consumers to believe a product is somehow better or safer. Read the ingredients. Many of these have the same toxins that you may be trying to avoid. One of the most popular acne treatments on the market right now was developed by dermatologist and is loaded with chemicals like parabens. Not such a great selling point.

“Paraben” free (or other “free of something”)– This term is not regulated. Also, just because it is “free” of one chemical doesn’t’ mean it is “free” of all chemicals! It may be paraben free but contain phthalates (fragrance). Even “chemical free” doesn’t mean anything! Read the label!

Non-toxic-This term is not regulated and means nothing in personal care products. There are many products on the market labeled as non-toxic that studies show that the ingredients can damage the hormone system, reproductive systems, cause cancer and more. I’ve always said the philosophy when it comes to anything that is labeled non-toxic, that if it doesn’t kill you literally on the spot then it is considered non-toxic! Buyer beware…this is a big one! Read the label!

Free of Harmful Chemicals (or Similar)-This claim is not regulated by anyone and means nothing. Many companies will decide that this chemical is unsafe but this other one (happens to be the one they use) is not unsafe….so it is free from harmful chemicals as far as they are concerned. This is another marketing tool that commonly fools customers into believing a product is safe when it may contain harmful chemicals. Read the ingredients!

Safe for baby (mom, etc), Made for Mom, etc– Unregulated and mean nothing. There is no determination any agency that decides that a particular product is specifically safe for a certain population when it comes to personal care.  This is one of the most common marketing ploys for companies to sell their chemical-laden products to unassuming consumers and good-willed parents. Most will contain the same chemicals as the products that are not labeled in this manner.

No More Tears– While this seems like a great idea in theory, this term is not regulated and doesn’t mean any less toxic.

Meets or Exceeds government guidelines/ regulations– This is not a label but I wanted to include it since many readers may hear this when inquiring about products. This is a form letter term used to keep customers from getting real information about their products. The FDA says it is safe…so it is safe. Personal care regulations have not been updated in decades and there are thousands of chemicals in personal care products that have never been tested for safety by anyone! 2,000 new chemicals are created each year and added to your products and your body without safety testing. If there are guidelines on a specific ingredient then that amount is rarely zero. Even children’s toys have allowable levels of lead, etc.

The list goes on and on…made with herbal ingredients, botanical and more. The only true way to protect yourself is to turn the product over and read the ingredients. If the product does not disclose EVERY ingredient, then put it down and move on. Companies who are doing the right thing by our children and moms do disclose their ingredients because they are proud of them!

So do your research about your products AND the companies you are buying from and supporting! It can take some time but it is worth it. Your purchase is your vote!

If you want recommendations of products that we have already researched for safety AND effectiveness you can visit our product recommendations page here!

If you would like to research an individual ingredient you can go to the Skin Deep database. It ranks individual ingredients on a scale for safety. If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or are using the product on a child, try to stick to ingredients that rank a 0 or 1 only, never higher than a 2.

To learn about labels on our food CLICK HERE!

Research On BPA and Children

Wanting to convince your school, your parents, staff or others about the dangers of BPA? Want to try to get someone onboard with avoiding canned foods, hard plastics, handling receipts and other avenues of exposure? We have compiled a list of resources to help! If you have other to add please comment below!

Various Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics Articles,-Behavioral-Problems-in-Young-Girls.aspx

National Institute of Health Articles

Favorite Healthy Recipe Websites

This is a list compiled by Healthy Green Schools and our followers


Oh She Glows

Against All Grain- GF

100 Days of Real Food

Stir It Up

My Whole Food Life

Thug Kitchen

Post Punk Kitchen

Forks Over Knives

The Minimalist Baker

Haute Health Now

The Paleo Diet- GF

Elanas Recipes- Offers DF/ GF/ NF

The Paleo Mom

Happy Paleo Kids

Easy Peasy Organic


Deliciously Organic

Off the Grain


100 Days of Real Food

The Paleo Mama

Kitchen Stewardship-GF/

Have a website to add? Post in comments below!

Easy Step-by-Step To A Healthier Home

I wanted to share a few websites with the group that I LOVE!! These are for healthier homes!

Here are all the resources you will ever need!

For green building supplies, paint, carpet and all of the building supply needs go to and ask for Joel. He is amazing and can help you with anything. Already painted with toxic paint? You can buy Safecoat to seal in VOCs and then paint over with non-toxic Mythic paint for example! Especially for the nursery!!

For water filters (YOU MUST FILTER YOUR WATER IMO) go to and ask for Timothy. He sells a variety of filters so he doesn’t push a particular brand so he is not biased! He has offered my group a code JaynesFilter to save 5%. He has bath filters and shower filters (you absorb more chlorine from breathing in the shower and soaking while bathing!), under counter sink ones, fridge ones and whole house

For air purifier the best is Austin Air. I have 4 of them. They are even used by NASA and will clear out toxic gasses, flame retardant chemicals, dust and mold and allergens. Clean air is critical to health. These are pricy so plan on indulging. Keep in mind though the filters last FIVE YEARS so the long term cost of these is CHEAPER than $150 ones that you have to replace the filter every 6 months. And cheap ones don’t work and even can make your air quality worse by releasing ozone. Contact Heather Welsh for that as I think she is offering a special right now to the group.

For nontoxic mosquito control Check out my truly nontoxic home company GREEN QUEEN at if you are in the Atlanta area for truly nontoxic essential oil based mosquito spray that works!

For bug control Check out my truly nontoxic home company called GREEN QUEEN at for truly nontoxic bug control in the Atlanta area!

For healthier cleaners Check out PRODUCTS RECOMMENDATIONS for my favorites!. Wipe out all of your toxic stuff and pick up everything you need for $50. It does not include dish machine detergent and washing machine detergent. Either contact Antoinette Moura for her brand for those or use Greenshield for laundry and Method Smarty Dish for your dishwasher.

Here is to a healthier home!!!!