Mother's Day and Mother Earth

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Did you know it’s been over a year since we started not-so-semi-regularly updating Wellness360? Hey now! Move over, WebMD! Since we admittedly forgot to timely commemorate this thrilling occasion, let’s do some quick backtracking: one of our first (and favorite) posts centered on Earth Day 2008. It was fun, informative, and Will Smith-friendly—the quintessential Wellness360 post.

I’d love to duplicate that formula, but doing an Earth Day post post-Earth Day is just lazy. However, I’m nothing if not a proponent of a strained segue that masks my inner languor: Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and who’s the fairest mother of them all? If you guessed Mother Earth, we’re probably best friends. So don’t be frightened! Follow my lead, put on your mom jeans, and join Wellness360 as we show you how to enjoy Mom’s day the pro-wellness way.

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As mother probably always beat into you (maybe that’s just me), waste not, want not: because I’m empty and manipulative, I will interpret that advice to mean “get to the point.” Here’s the point: help save the planet, as told to you by the thoughtful crew at RealSimple. Think of each of their easy-to-adopt suggestions as proof to Mom that you care: for example, clean your lint filter, use a programmable thermostat, turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, or, before you habitually throw something away, think for a minute or two about how you could reuse it.

Furthermore, because refrigerators and freezers use about a sixth of home electricity, check those temps: if your fridge is lower than 37 degrees F, or your freezer below 3, The Daily Green says that’s overkill. Overlooked is the amount of water we waste: RealSimple strikes back with 9 ways to conserve, like watering your lawn with a hose instead of a sprinkler or eating one more vegetarian meal a week (replacing just four ounces of beef in your diet a week with a vegetarian option can save more than 3,000 gallons of water).

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Masta Killa from Wu Tang says something about Shaolin (probably), but also says: protect ya water supply

Now that we’ve pleased Mother Nature, we can parlay those principles into naturally  showing our other mothers the adulation they deserve.  HealthCastle has an Earth Day gift guide that serves as a thoughtful tool to use to satisfy a wellness-minded mother, and The Daily Green gives us 8 green gift ideas to make mom proud, ranging from stylish, eco-friendly shoes to a lovely bouquet of local flowers from the farmer’s market.

Unfortunately, cosmetics represent the most treacherous of the items you may want to avoid: though we want mom to look good, according to BeliefNet, the toxic chemicals in some cosmetics are poisonous and linked to cancers. What’s more, The Daily Green relays some findings from a recent blood test study that indicate that each woman involved tested positive for between 25 and 45 different chemicals in her blood. The moral? Don’t buy your beautiful mother any more harmful cosmetics; instead, talk to her about how safe what she’s already using is.

axis

We all know what happened at Axis Chemicals. Mom deserves better.

If you’re going to be around the extended family this Mother’s Day, odds are you might go out for some dinner or a cocktail or two; if that’s the case, pass along to mom and the fam nutritional information on some popular restaurants like Olive Garden and Red Lobster, courtesy of Healthline. Now you’ll finally know how many calories those delicious cheddar biscuits are. It might also behoove you to know the 20 unhealthiest vegetarian meals in America (Uno Chicago Grill has the worst) or America’s worst salads (the infamous On The Border tops the list), as discovered by Men’s Health.

Better yet, skip the eating out and enjoy home-cooked family mealtime all over again: according to Healthline, you eat smaller portions, have control over what goes in your food, and bond with parents and siblings when you eat at home. Also, if you spend time “mothering” the food—preparing it, planning it, cooking it—you gain some respect for what ma endures and raise your own awareness regarding your health and well-being.

On Mother's Day, it's time to make the donuts.

On Mother's Day, take some time to make the donuts yourself.

If you do indeed decide to stay home and cook up some grub for your favorite lady, take good care of her: employ healthy cooking techniques from MayoClinic, like using spices and herbs to add color, taste, and aroma to foods without adding salt or fat, or substituting cooking spray or water in place of oil for a low fat cooking option. Healthline educates us on some green cooking tips, an article that also doubles as a handy source for potential mom-gift fodder. Finally, Dr. Ben Kim explicates the foods with the most antioxidants (small, dried red beans, cranberries, and artichoke hearts top the list), which is important because antioxidants may prevent mom from succumbing to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

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For this mom, it may already be too late

And if your mom’s anything like mine, she hates a messy kitchen (Am I right?! Hey, what’s the deal with airline food??). So once you fricassee her favorite cuisine, clean up the right way with a few of the 66 all-natural cleaning solutions recommended by RealSimple (for example: lemons to remove tough food stains from cutting boards, borax to clean dishwashers or pots and pans). They also pass along a few wise techniques to keep the kitchen clean longer as well as an interactive stain remover tool that dynamically tells you how to keep your pants naturally stain-free, just as mom intended.

Once the cleaning concludes, you’re usually divvying up leftovers; this time, consider avoiding plastic containers when you go about  microwaving whatever’s left for tomorrow’s lunch. According to the Daily Green, heating increases the likelihood that chemicals will be released. Also, think about an alternative to a post-meal piece of chewing gum: Dr. Ben Kim says gum chewing causes unnecessary wear and tear of your jaw cartilage and contributes to chronic, intermittent headaches.

Instead of chewing mindlessly and silently, spend some time chatting with and getting to know better the mothers who were biologically forced to spend time with you. Ask your birth mother RealSimple’s ten essential questions for mom (a sample: what’s the one thing you would have done differently as a mom?); as for mamma nature, well, HealthCastle’s guide to local eating is a good place to start. We all know the farmer’s market is mother nature’s version of Pottery Barn anyway.

potterybarn1

All moms love stockpiling junk from pottery barn. They're salivating right now.

Good-natured, uninspired mom jokes aside, thanks for putting up with your kids, moms around the world (especially mine). Wellness360 salutes you for it.

happy-mothers-day

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