My home contains a lot of food that some health-conscious eaters would turn their noses up at. I have never been one to automatically scan the ingredients on the back of cleaning or personal care products, and I have certainly never been referred to as “crunchy.”
And yet, like most of us, I’m still aware and concerned about my health and the overall health and wellness of my family. I used to think that you had to adopt some kind of “all or nothing” mentality when it came to choosing to live a “clean lifestyle.” Either ditch every product in your house that may contain toxic ingredients, or continue buying and eating whatever you want without worrying about the health consequences, right?
Recently, I’ve taken a less extreme approach: doing what I can, when I can, and trying not to overwhelm myself with all of the foods I should probably eliminate and chemicals I should probably make sure aren’t in our home. Ultimately, the products we use in our homes and the foods we consume do matter. But getting overwhelmed by all of the advice surrounding healthy living can mean we never make any changes at all.
It’s a long process (and I am still very much in the middle of that process), but I’m slowly finding balance and learning how to make small, realistic, and inexpensive changes to “clean up” some of our family’s household products and eating habits, as well as educate myself more fully about what contributes to and takes away from an overall healthy lifestyle.
Much of what I’ve learned on my ongoing journey has been from various “healthy” Instagram accounts. (No, the social media platform isn’t all bad and draining—and I’m not the first person whose health has benefited from it!) With the help of Instagram, I’ve discovered small ways to help myself and my family cultivate good habits, and I’ve ditched a few products in exchange for less toxic ones.
For anyone interested in learning more about ways to live a cleaner lifestyle, here are a few great healthy living Instagram accounts:
A mother of six and a nutritional and mental health advocate, Karalynne Call gives direct and simple information about the many products we consume and use on a daily basis and the problems that absorbing so many chemicals can cause for our bodies. I appreciate her encouragement to start small when it comes to ridding your house of toxic food and household products (for example, starting with items like body lotion that get absorbed into our largest bodily organ—our skin).
While her account may appear overwhelming at first glance, I love how Karalynne ranks certain products (such as toothpaste or ice cream), showing the worst (“thumbs down”) options, the “better” options, and the “best.” Her objective is not to scare you into throwing everything away and spending a million dollars on the “best” products, but simply to inform everyone of the ingredients contained in our products and to identify those we should be most concerned about. I have truly learned so much about health and nutrition from this account.
Run by a mother and teacher named Shawna, this healthy living Instagram account shares a plethora of healthy recipes and DIYs for slowly ridding your house of toxic chemicals. From supplements, to skin care and makeup, to easy, nourishing meals, I love everything that Shawna shares. I’ve made her DIY natural multipurpose cleaner (it works!) and saved dozens of her delicious-looking recipes. Accounts like Shawna’s make a healthy lifestyle seem not only possible, but easily within reach.
Dr. Jolene Brighten is a women’s health expert, naturopathic physician, and author who empowers women to take control of their health and hormones. She gives women the education they need in order to uncover hormonal imbalances and other root problems that are often masked by hormonal birth control. She shares basic information on ovulation, possible causes of gut problems, natural ways of regaining energy or clearing up acne, and everything in between.
As someone trying to avoid the many unsavory side effects of birth control, I value all of the help I can find for managing my fertility and health without the pill or other forms of birth control. In addition to Dr. Brighten’s helpful information, I’ve also learned a lot from some of these fertility awareness accounts shared on Verily in the past.
Shannon Tripp is a pediatric nurse and mother who shares truly valuable information about keeping kids (and yourself!) healthy and safe. She gives her recommendations for everything from the most natural and effective vitamins for the whole family to safe, breathable mattresses for babies, and her recommendations are always backed up by lots of personal research and medical advice. As a mother of a young child, I’ve appreciated learning about such things as safe sleeping practices and when I should be concerned about fevers.
Perhaps the most important thing on Shannon’s Instagram account, though, are her videos on choking and CPR (saved in her highlights) that have been shared so often that they actually have helped save many lives. Whether or not you are a parent, these videos are so important for everyone to watch and learn from. As a bonus, Shannon’s husband, Ryan, is hilarious and their four young children are adorable, and they recently moved to Hawaii and share lots of their family adventures.
Caroline Fausel is a wife, mother, and blogger in Denver, Colorado who writes about clean eating, and in particular, creates and shares recipes for those following Whole30 and paleo diets. Fausel is a clean eating inspiration for me, as her recipes always look delicious, and she makes it all look so easy! I love her clean, simple feed, and I appreciate how she incorporates her family life into her account as well.
I doubt I will ever totally give up sugar or eat completely organic, but accounts like Fausel's show me that I can still balance out my current eating habits with healthier (and still tasty) ones that will positively impact the health of my family. Those small first steps of eating and cooking more nutritious meals will still have a big impact in the long run.
There are thousands of Instagram accounts that share helpful information on living clean, healthy lifestyles from an encouraging stance. I have truly noticed a positive difference in our home since starting to follow a few accounts and to incorporate their advice and recipes into our family’s daily lives. Not only can Instagram be used in a positive, healthy way, but it can actually improve the overall health of its users and their families—an encouraging bright spot in social media!
Editors’ Note: Promotion of these accounts should not be considered medical advice and should not replace the opinion and expert advice of a medical professional.