Good, Better, Best
A “one-step-at-a-time” approach to a healthy lifestyle.
Good, Better, Best”…it’s a concept that’s helped us tremendously over the years. To allow ourselves less than perfection, but to know that our choices are getting better and we ARE, in fact, making progress toward the traditional lifestyle we desire. Good, Better, Best has been so pivotal to our transition, that we thought it opportunistic to include it into our 52 Healthy Changes series.
The premise is simple – look at what you have: a product, a cleaning supply, a condiment or food. Determine if it’s healthy or unhealthy, good for you or bad for you. If it’s healthy, or good, then that’s where you start. If it’s unhealthy, or bad, then make a choice that will make it “good”.
Once “good” becomes commonplace, improve it to “better”…once “better” is the norm, improve it to “best”.
Wash, rinse, repeat!
Remember the 80/20 Rule!
Pretty straight forward, right? Now lest anyone think we’re legalistic and too strict, please remember our 80/20 rule. We strive to use products that are healthy and good for us 80% of the time, while allowing for those occasions the healthiest, best options aren’t possible (financially/regionally/timely) the other 20% of the time.
Good, Better, Best in Action:
We’ve discussed condiments before, so lets take ketchup for example…run to the fridge and grab your ketchup bottle. Look at the ingredients; are there any you can’t pronounce? Do you see high fructose corn syrup? Any “natural flavorings”? If none of those ingredients are in your ketchup, then you’ve got something pretty good! Way to go!
Next, look to see if your “good” ketchup is organic? Yes? Great! No? Then that’s the next step to “better”, when your current ketchup runs out, replace it with an organic ketchup.
If you’re already buying organic ketchup, sans high fructose corn syrup and natural flavorings, you may be wondering what “best” would be. How about making ketchup at home, from scratch? It’s easier than you may think, I promise! And can be whipped up faster than it takes you to hop in your car and drive to the store to buy some.
A Household Example:
How about a non-food example…grab your laundry detergent and scour the ingredients list. If you’re like me you’ll see a whole-lotta ingredients that don’t mean a thing. Hop on over to the Environmental Working Group website and see how your laundry detergent scores. That’ll be your first step. If your product gets a decent score, say a “B”, then you’re doing pretty “good”. But is your detergent environmentally friendly? If so, this would be “better”. Now you might think I’m going to say a DIY version would be “best”, but not necessarily! Many homemade laundry detergents use harsh bar soaps such as Fels Naptha, which can be very irritating to the skin and includes ingredients such as tetrasodium etidronate and fragrance (both of which score a “D” on EWG).
So what’s “best” when it comes to laundry detergent? We’ve found a few brands we love such as Molly’s Suds and Biokleen (both linked on our Products We Love page). We’ve also had to wade through some really horrible laundry detergents in our search for “best”, and understand your frustrations when it comes to sourcing new products that will fit the bill and clean your clothes.
The bottom line?
It’s not always possible to find a “best” that works as good as, or better than the unhealthy counterpart…at least from what we’ve found. So then the question must be asked, “Is this product really necessary?” We’ve often found we can do without certain products! Or, maybe we just needed a little adjustment to the healthier version (like DIY Deodorant). Once adjusted, we couldn’t be happier with our “best”.
We hope this “Good, Better, Best” formula gives you some encouragement. Don’t feel as if you have to make a clean sweep through your house and ditch everything that doesn’t meet the “best” requirements. Just take one item at a time! As that product runs out, see if you can make improvements. Sometimes we can jump from “bad” to “best” in one fell swoop…other times it may take us a year! But we’re making progress in the grand scheme of things, and that’s what’s important.
If you’re looking for more encouragement, check out our 52 Healthy Changes series. We share one healthy change to make each week, some simple, some a bit more challenging, and many don’t cost a dime. Even if you haven’t joined us from the beginning, jump in and start today – you can only improve if you’re making intentional decisions!