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Archive for Healthy Living

November 17th, 2015

Turkey Tips: Should I Buy an Organic Turkey?

Turkey Tips Should I Buy An Organic Turkey Groovy Green Livin

We have wild turkeys living in our neighborhood. They are here year round and quite frequently decide to saunter across the street as I’m pulling out of my driveway. We generally sit in the car and watch them as they make their way to safety. They are magnificent creatures, with a wing span sometimes up to almost 5 feet. I always chuckle this time of year and wonder why they’re not in hiding with Thanksgiving right around the corner. I’m sure deep down they are very grateful that their relatives, the domesticated turkeys, are the turkeys who end up on many of our holiday tables.

Turkey Tips: Should I Buy An Organic Turkey? Groovy Green Livin

What is an organic turkey?

This year I’ve noticed more organic turkey options at a few of the local markets in the Boston area. It’s nice to see a variety of options available. Turkeys certified organic by the USDA are raised without antibiotics and growth enhancers.

Here are a few of the key requirements for organic poultry:

  • Must be raised organically on certified organic land
  • Must be fed certified organic feed. The feed cannot contain animal by-products, antibiotics or genetically engineered grains and cannot be grown using persistent pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
  • No antibiotics or added growth hormones are allowed*
  • Must have outdoor access

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork and poultry.

Why buy an organic turkey?

Choosing organic foods when we can is a simple way to impact our own personal health and the health of our planet. Organic turkey is certified to be free of harmful chemicals, antibiotics, hormones and GMOs (which could be in the feed of conventional turkeys)-all things that we don’t want to unnecessarily put into our bodies. Buying an organic turkey can be expensive, so it’s understandably a personal choice.

Where to buy an organic turkey

It’s hard to believe, but you can purchase an organic turkey online! Check out this Whole Organic Turkey 12-14lbs from Wisconsin (I grew up in Wisconsin so it must be delicious!):

Whole Organic Turkey, pasture-fed, Wisconsin raised. These are ‘Happy, Outside Turkeys!’ All meat, no water added; you get what you pay for. Leftovers make great soup, sandwiches, & hot dishes.”

If you don’t have any local farms or markets selling organic turkey then buying online might work for you. Depending upon where you live, there seem to be plenty of local supermarkets and farms catering to the organic turkey demand.

Are you planning to eat organic turkey this Thanksgiving?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

photo credit: Wild Turkey Trot via photopin (license), Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey via photopin (license)

November 10th, 2015

6 Winter Essentials For Your Child’s Backpack

Groovy Green Livin Essentials for Your Child's Backpack

Each and every morning my kids head off to school with a backpack filled to the brim with whatever’s needed for that day. Over the years we’ve figured out a few staples that are needed and work hard to keep each backpack well stocked.

Here are a few favorites for your child’s backpack: (May contain affiliate links)

Badger Lip Balm Stick with SPF 15 ($6.00)

With the dry winter weather coming up fast it’s always a good idea to carry lip balm in your back pack. Badger Lip Balm is a great option. It received the best possible score of 1 on EWG’s Skin Deep site and doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients.

Cleanwell All-Natural Hand Sanitizer ($3.00/each)

No backpack would be complete without a safe hand sanitizer. I’ve been using Cleanwell Hand Sanitizer for years and it’s great. Their products don’t contain any harsh chemicals or alcohol. The hand sanitizer smells like thyme, which is one of its main ingredients. In addition to its culinary uses, thyme has powerful natural antiseptic properties that have been used for centuries. Love this stuff!
Klean Kanteen Reusable Water Bottle ($26.00)

I’ve been a Klean Kanteen
fan for many years.These bottles are made from stainless steel so there is no risk of leaching plastic. By using a reusable water bottle you are also helping reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, sitting for years while they try unsuccessfully to decompose.

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure

No backpack would be complete without a safe, reusable, non-toxic lunchbox. PackIt is a freezable lunch cooler designed to keep contents cooler, longer: up to 10 hours (depending on external temperatures). Made from food-safe, nontoxic poly canvas; PVC, BPA, phthalate, and lead free.

Jute Pencil Case Handmade in Nepal ($9.99)

Everyone always needs those extra pencils and pens in their backpack. This Jute Pencil Case  is a great way to store them. It’s handmade in Nepal with organic dyes and materials.
Green Forest Facial Tissue

With colds and sniffles starting to appear it’s important for everyone to carry tissues in their backpack. I’ve been using Green Forest Facial Tissues for years and they’re great. Unfortunately they don’t come in a small travel pack so you’ll have to pull a few out for the backpack. The tissues are made from 100% recycled paper and whitened without chlorine with no dyes, no fragrances.

What’s your favorite backpack essential?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

*Disclosure: Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you), which in turn helps support this site. None of the companies I promote on this page have paid me, I just really like their products. Thank you in advance.


photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

November 9th, 2015

Style, Sustainability and a BIG prAna Giveaway! #JustBeYou

Style, Sustainability and a BIG prAna Giveaway! Groovy Green Livin

Style and sustainability are two things I try to look for in a company when I’m buying clothing.

It’s sounds like a simple task, but it’s not always an easy combination to find.

Just Be You with prAna and Stonyfield

Most mornings I’m in a rush to get to the bus stop before heading into my office. I try to fill my closet with clothing that allows me to quickly reach in and find something that reflects my true personality and what I value most. Pieces like the prAna Meryl Sweater Dress made with organic cotton are a perfect addition to my wardrobe since it allows for both comfort and style (see photo below).

I’ve been wearing prAna for many years. When I took my very first yoga class years ago I was wearing prAna. I remember their tops were trendy and comfortable, with patterns that truly stood out. I still have a few originals in my closet to prove it. Their clothing line is stylish, extremely comfortable and the company emphasizes sustainability. Fast forward and I’m still wearing prAna today.

prAna’s long list of sustainable initiatives is impressive. This is a brand that I was initially drawn to because of style, but knowing that they truly care about our health, the environment and our planet makes wearing the clothing that much more appealing.

Stonyfield is another company that focuses on sustainability. I’ve been working with this fantastic company for many years as well and I know firsthand that they take sustainability vStyle, Sustainability and a BIG prAna Giveaway! Groovy Green Livinery seriously. Stonyfield puts thought into the impact of everything they do–from what’s in the cup and how it’s made, to how it gets to you.

If you haven’t already, check out the decadent and delicious organic Oh My Yog! The lid is made from foil instead of plastic and this means 16% less energy, 13% less water and 6% less solid waste was used to produce it. The lighter cups used for Oh My Yog! means 20% less greenhouse gas emissions.

A Perfect Day at the Office

If only all work days could begin with a blueberry Oh My Yog! and my prAna Meryl Sweater Dress made with organic cotton.

prAna Discount Code for Everyone!

All Groovy Green Livin readers are eligible for 15% off at prAna by entering this code at checkout: JBYF15GGL

Please note that the discount is valid through December 15, 2015 and is not valid for Influencers, on gift certificates or with any other offer.     

prAna Giveaway!

Now for the good stuff!  The kind folks at prAna and Stonyfield have joined forces to offer one Groovy Green Livin reader your choice of ANY ONE item in the prAna organic line for men or women, up to $99. How cool is that?! By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules. This is only open to my US readers through November 15, 2015. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Take a look at some of the other Stonyfield YoGetter and Clean Plate Club sites for prAna giveaways! Or search for #JustBeYou.

Disclosure: I’m a prAna influencer, which means I receive special pricing on prAna products as well as sneak peeks at our new collections and product releases. I’m also a Stonyfield YoGetter Captain and I do receive compensation.  I was sent a Meryle Sweater Dress for review. All opinions are, of course, my own.

November 4th, 2015

My Picks: Favorite Winter Running Gear

Favorite Winter Running Gear Groovy Green Livin

With temperatures in the 60’s it’s hard to imagine that winter is right around the corner. Every year I work hard to keep my fitness routine in place throughout the cold winter months. It’s no surprise regular physical activity has been shown to help strengthen your immune system, which in turn helps prevent a wide range of potential health issues that can pop up when the weather changes.

Running in the cold presents a host of challenges, but most are an easy fix with the right gear.

Take a peek at some of my favorites for running in the cold (affiliate links*)  

Nike Women’s Thermal Running Tights/Pants

I’ve tried many different brands of running tights and I always come back to these. Nike Women’s Thermal Running Tights/Pants come in gray or black and fit a small, medium, large or extra large build. I really like the small zipper pocket in the back. It’s the perfect size for my phone or any other music device.

Saucony Drylete Skull Cap

I’m loving this Saucony Drylete Skull Cap. It comes in three different colors, black, orange and citron.It’s lightweight and reversible. I can easily wear my hair in a ponytail and the hat doesn’t get in the way.

The North Face Powerstretch Glove
These are my favorite winter running gloves. They keep my hands the perfect temperature without overheating. These gloves contain at least 90% bluesign approved fabric — a standard for environmentally responsible production.

Salomon Women’s Tournette Shell Jacket
This jacket is new for me this season. I have it in Boss Blue. It’s ultralight and perfect for keeping the cold wind out.

Brooks Women’s Ravenna 6 Running Shoes

These aren’t technically winter running gear, but I just have to share. I’ve been a Brooks fan for sometime and I recently purchased new running shoes, Brooks Women’s Ravenna 6 Running Shoes in blue. They are so comfortable and supportive. I’m hoping that they’ll provide the traction that I need over the winter.

What’s your favorite piece of winter running gear?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

*Disclosure: Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you), which in turn helps support this site. None of the companies I promote on this page have paid me, I just really like their products. Thank you in advance.

photo credit: #3110 JOSEPH CHICK 100B7410.JPG via photopin (license)

November 2nd, 2015

Mom Detective: Are Wrinkle-Free Sheets Making Me Sick?

Mom Detective: Are Wrinkle-Free Sheets Making Me Sick? Groovy Green Livin

This article was originally published on Moms Clean Air Force

We are a culture obsessed with being wrinkle-free. Take a minute to Google ‘wrinkle-free’ and a long list of products will pop up, ranging from clothing to sheets. Buying wrinkle-free takes the time, elbow grease and the heat out of ironing. Our busy lifestyles make anything that will save us a few extra minutes seem more desirable. Thus, the demand for wrinkle-free products. No ironing required.

As one store shares on its website:

“If you love the pristine look of freshly pressed sheets but don’t want to spend time ironing, our wrinkle-free sheets are a dream come true.”

What makes something wrinkle-free?

I contacted the store promoting these wrinkle-free sheets to ask what makes their sheets wrinkle-free. Initially they claimed their sheets are made from a wrinkle-resistant cotton which is not treated with any chemicals. After digging a little deeper they disclosed that the “wrinkle-resistant cotton” used to make the sheets is chemically treated.

Most wrinkle-free or wrinkle resistant sheets are “finished” with a chemical process to keep them from wrinkling. That chemical process generally includes the use of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is predominantly used as an embalming fluid — as a way to preserve something. I have a distinct memory of a formaldehyde smell from high school biology when we used it to preserve frogs. Formaldehyde is also used to make clothing wrinkle-free and stain resistant by either soaking the fabric in formaldehyde or exposing the fabric to formaldehyde gases — then baking the fabric at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This process prevents the fibers in the fabric from wrinkling after being washed.

Unfortunately, the use of formaldehyde and other chemicals doesn’t have to be disclosed anywhere on the product label. The scary truth is that the government doesn’t regulate formaldehyde levels in bedding. There’s no requirement to disclose to the consumer when formaldehyde is used.

The problem with formaldehyde.

The use of, and exposure to formaldehyde produces a laundry list of possible health hazards including watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat — coughing, wheezing, nausea, and skin irritation.

In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

“…classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure. Since that time, some studies of humans have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with certain types of cancer. “

In 2011, the National Toxicology Program, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s annual Time Use Survey, Americans aged 15 and over sleep about  8 hours and 45 minutes each night. While a good night’s sleep is crucial, being exposed to “wrinkle-free” bedding treated with formaldehyde for almost 9 hours a night is worrisome. There’s no denying that any exposure to aknown carcinogen can increase your risk of cancer.

Precautions and options to avoid exposure to formaldehyde treated bedding:

  • Don’t buy wrinkle-free bedding.
  • Purchase organic bedding.
  • ALWAYS wash new bedding before use.
  • Ask questions of manufacturers prior to making a purchase. We have the right to know what’s in our products.
  • Support companies that don’t use toxic chemicals on their bedding.
  • Work towards the disclosure of the use of formaldehyde in our bedding.
  • Keep fighting for strong toxic chemical reform and please sign this:


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

photo credit: Light & Shadow On The Sheets via photopin (license)

October 28th, 2015

American Academy of Pediatrics to End Affiliation With Monsanto

American Academy of Pediatrics to End Affiliation With Monsanto Groovy Green Livin

This article was originally published in the Huffington Post

Monsanto is a recognized name in many American households. We are familiar with its products, which can be found on the shelves of our stores, on our lawns and in our gardens. It’s the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of the herbicide glyphosate. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup, the world’s most widely used herbicide.

Monsanto has been receiving a lot of unwanted attention lately. The company, which has been at the center of much controversy over its genetically modified seeds, said its earnings fell 34% in its first fiscal quarter. In March, the cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup is probably carcinogenic to humansCalifornia’s Environmental Protection Agency then announced that it will list glyphosate, also linked to the dramatic decline of monarch butterflies, as a chemical known to cause cancer. As a result of WHO’s findings, the possibility of “mass tort” actions against Monsanto are gaining steam. Plaintiffs are claiming that the company’s Roundup herbicide has caused cancer in farm workers, homeowners and others exposed to the chemical and that the company knew of this danger.

It came as a big surprise when Mamavation founder Leah Segedie uncovered that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) was in a corporate partnership with Monsanto.


In an interview, Segedie stated that she “discovered the Monsanto AAP partnership when someone from my community tipped me off.” Her community has a reach upwards of 7 million on Facebook.

It was hard for her to imagine that a company manufacturing products which likely cause major health issues could be a welcomed partner of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organization working to “attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.”

When the relationship between Monsanto and the AAP was confirmed Segedie decided to reach out to the AAP and voice the concerns of mothers (and fathers) everywhere.

“When you become a mother, you rely on pediatricians at some of the most vulnerable times in your life. For me having a child with severe allergies and another child with Autism has forced me to rely on my pediatrician frequently. It’s important to me that the institutions I rely on for support when I’m vulnerable are not in bed with companies that I believe are harming our children.”

Months after her initial contact with the AAP Segedie received some good news: the American Academy of Pediatrics has agreed to sever ties with Monsanto by the end of 2015.

It is Segedie’s hope that “the AAP will scrutinize partnerships in a different way now. Instead of just taking money and transferring a marketing halo to a company, I hope they will filter these relationships with a stricter sense of who elicits trust and who does not. I only want them to partner with companies that they can be proud of. As long as we put our priorities on the health of our children and communities, things are going to keep getting better.”

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

photo credit: RoundUp Monsanto via photopin (license)

October 27th, 2015

Honored to Receive an Award From Clean Water Action

Honored to Receive an Award for Rockstar Mom for Safe Chemicals Groovy Green Livin

This past Saturday was an incredible day. I received an award for being a “Rockstar Mom for Safe Chemicals” from one of my favorite Massachusetts organizations, Clean Water Action.

The award was given to 8 Massachusetts women who are champions of environmental justice, clean energy and safe chemicals. I was incredibly humbled to be in such amazing company. These women truly are rockstars!

In the photo above I’m standing next to rockstars Kristi Marsh and Erin Boles (with her son). Awards were also given to rockstar moms (see photo below) Cheryl Durr Patry, Eugenia Gibbons, Michelle Gottlieb, Gail McCormick and Laura Spark.

Honored to Receive an Award for Rockstar Mom for Safe Chemicals Groovy Green Livin

Clean Water Action has led the charge on critical environmental issues facing Massachusetts and our nation.

Honored to Receive an Award for Rockstar Mom for Safe Chemicals Groovy Green LivinAt the helm of the organization are two additional rockstars: Cyndi Luppi, New England Director of Clean Water Action and Elizabeth Saunders, Massachusetts State Director. I’m proud to have partnered with Clean Water Action on several occasions including a trip to Washington DC to let our Senators know that we won’t stand for old and outdated legislation that’s allowing unregulated toxins to make their way into our homes without our knowledge.

Clean Water Action has also been very involved in the Mind the Store Campaign, spearheaded by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. Together we’ve been asking the nation’s top 10 retailers to avoid carrying what are being calling the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer, infertilitylearning and developmental disabilities, behavioral problems,obesity, diabetes, and asthma.

I’ve been working on the Mind the Store campaign for a few years. Remember my multiple trips to Walgreens asking them to Mind the Store? We’ve had many wins, with the most recent being Macy’s decision to ensure the furniture they sell is free of toxic flame retardants.

Honored to Receive an Award for Rockstar Mom for Safe Chemicals Groovy Green Livin

Trip to Washington DC with Elizabeth Saunders and Gail McCormick asking our Senators to create meaningful legislation for safer chemicals and products

Over my years of blogging my motto has morphed into “Together We Can Make a Difference”. Why? Because we can. I have proof. I’ve seen thousands of people band together and influence some of the largest consumer product companies in the world. This is real change and real progress.

I’m feeling incredibly humbled and honored to receive this award from Clean Water Action.

It is truly my privilege to work with inspirational people, organizations (like Clean Water Action) and a community that is passionate about making the world a better place for generations to come. Each and every person comes to this movement with their own superpower fueled by their own story and each one continually reminds me of why I am compelled to do the work that I do.

I’m so grateful that Clean Water Action chose to recognize my work.

It’s so exciting to see how powerful we can be when we work together! Don’t you agree?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us.

Click HERE to contact Lori

Lori on ABC World News

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