Introducing Our New 20th Anniversary Certified Organic Mattresses!

The Sorell is a luxury certified organic mattress* made with a medium-firm core of individual pocket coils individually wrapped in a biodegradable fabric protector made from corn. The coils are then enclosed in a durable certified organic cotton envelope, then finally topped with 3” of luxurious rubber-tree latex. The latex layer can be ordered in either medium, medium-firm, or firm. Unlike the one-piece Bonnell-spring construction of our Traditional and Combo mattresses, pocket coils respond individually to a sleeper’s weight and position, and deliver comfort with less motion transfer while retaining the feel of an innerspring. As with all our mattresses, our certified organic wool provides flammability protection without the use of chemical flame retardants or synthetic fire barriers. Height: Approximately 12”. Handmade in the USA.

The major difference between our two 20th Anniversary mattresses is that while the Astar has a loose, removable cover that feels softer and allows for changing the inside latex surface, the Sorell is a tape-edge product that is sewn closed and, because of the tightness of the cover, provides sleepers with a firmer surface. The latex layer of the Astar is available in medium-soft, medium, medium-firm, or a custom firmness. Also, due to the Astar’s cover being removable, this mattress can be shipped in several boxes via a parcel post service for a nominal fee. The boxes are small enough to leave at your door, just as any other parcel post items would be left, so you do not have to be home for delivery. Simply bring the boxes inside to the desired room, unbox and assemble using the enclosed assembly instructions.

The Astar and Sorell mattresses require a unique foundation. Please see details at www.lifekind.com or call 800.284.4983 for more information.

*Certified to GOTS (the Global Organic Textile Standard) and to GOLS (the Global Organic Latex Standard) by Control Union.

 

Winter Solstice’s Gift

Earth’s annual cycles hold a myriad of hidden meanings just waiting for us to crack open and unfold, making life on this planet even more meaningful and interesting! Viewing through a farmer’s lens, we see the unmistakable effect the seasons have on our very existence. Thank you, farmers, for really knowing the seasons and keeping us alive!

FullSizeRenderphoto credit: Marley McCann

But, for most of us, keeping up with the seasons is about adapting our wardrobe and outdoor activities, and if we’re in tune with the local farmers, eating food that’s in season. All seasons bring us abundant gifts, we have only to open them.

As the Earth tilts us furthest from the sun, Winter Solstice brings us the darkest day all year. It’s an end, an axis point flinging us into another year. Bring it on! We can adopt all phases of life within one year, even winter’s ominous endings, because we know spring is just around the corner to bring forth new beginnings… Again.

FullSizeRender.jpgphoto credit: Marley McCann

Tapping into that darkness. Observing the stillness, the quiet. Embracing the inner hermit. Early to bed.

We will get through this… All of this! Because life would be too easy and imbalanced without challenges. Winter allows us time to reflect without action, plan what’s next, and rest before spring’s awakening.

Free Ebook Download: Sleep Safe in a Toxic World

Whether you’re interested in a cleaner environment or improved health for you and your family, Sleep Safe in a Toxic World by Lifekind® co-founder Walt Bader is essential reading for a good night’s sleep. Learn why beds are one of the single most overlooked causes of chemical exposure. Download your FREE copy today:
Sleep Safe in a Toxic World - Walter Bader

Click to download a free copy of Sleep Safe in a Toxic World: Your guide to identifying and removing hidden toxins from your bedroom

 

How to Buy an Organic Mattress Online

Searching for the most comfortable mattress can be super challenging, whether you’re looking online or in stores or both. Make it an organic mattress search to avoid toxic chemicals like flame retardants and petrochemical foams, and you’ve got a multi-layered puzzle to solve.

FraudAlertGraphic

With so many companies advertising “natural” and “organic” mattresses, there’s the added challenge of sifting through false claims. Use the search terms “certified organic mattress” instead of “natural,” “green,” “eco-friendly,” or even “organic mattress.”

Since Lifekind mattresses hold third-party organic certifications – GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) for our natural rubber latex mattresses, and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) for our innerspring mattresses – there’s no way toxic chemicals can be used in the growing or processing of the materials or be added to the finish product. So that makes them a natural choice for those seeking the purest mattresses available.

purity_promise_checklist

Customers call us up and ask, “How can someone pick out a mattress over the phone?” The short answer is, “Have an in-depth consultation.” While there are a number of people who absolutely must try them in stores, most people feel very confident they’ve made the best choice after a 10-20 minute conversation with an organic-mattress product specialist. While we try our best to get it right the first time, we do offer a 90-night comfort exchange policy so you won’t end up stuck with a mattress that doesn’t fit your needs. Three months is a much better trial period than 5 or 10 minutes in a store!

Sylvia at Lifekind

Contact Lifekind

If you’re ready for a free, personal sleep consultation, or simply have questions, please call our friendly product specialists at 1-800-284-4983.

How to Change Your Brain

Sure, you can change your mind, but can you change your brain? Science says, “Yes!”

According to a great article I read recently, there are a number of things that have been shown — through scientific studies — to make a difference. Read on for a list of seven things that may actually improve your brain:

pexels-exercise
1) Exercise
Everyone knows that they should exercise, but most people think of their waistline, not their brain, when they hop onto the treadmill. It turns out that physical activity is a very important factor when it comes to brain health and cognitive function. In fact, exercise is linked to greater brain volume, improved thinking/memory skills, and a decreased risk of dementia! According to a study published in the journal Neurology, older people who engage in vigorous exercise tend to have similar cognitive test scores to people who are 10 years younger!

Pixabay-food and spice

2) Foods and Spices
Here is another aspect of our health that tends to be dictated by our waistline: our diet. Eating lots of processed carbohydrates and sugars certainly affects our figure, but it also affects our brain! In a study conducted at UCLA last year, researchers found that feeding fructose water to rats with brain damage actually impeded their recovery…and that even healthy rats experienced cognitive decline when placed on the same diet. On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids (think fish, eggs, walnuts, etc.) seemed to reverse some of the damage! Another study showed that turmeric — a spice found in curry dishes that is touted for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — may be linked to a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

While there is probably not a single food or spice that will turn the tides, a diet that is high in whole foods and low in sugar is probably your best bet at maintaining health. Given the fact that about 1/5 of our energy resources are dedicated to powering the brain, we should give it some consideration when we reach for a snack!

Pixabay-vitamins

3) Vitamins and Minerals
Of course, any vitamin or mineral that is good for your body is good for your brain, too! However, there are a few that are more directly related to brain health: vitamins D and B12 and iron. Science may not be able to explain precisely why our brains need vitamin D, but it has shown that a lack of it is linked to cognitive decline. Similarly, vitamin B12 deficiency can have negative effects on the central nervous system and lead to memory loss. Iron plays an important role throughout the body because it carries oxygen to all of our cells! Keep in mind that while supplements may seem easier to take, your body is actually better able to absorb vitamins and minerals that come directly from food. Click here for an a-to-z list of vitamins and minerals and the foods that contain them.

Wikimedia-coffee

4) Coffee
Most of us are probably happy to think that our coffee addiction is actually doing something good for our bodies! Beyond simply keeping us alert, coffee consumption can actually reduce the risk of depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Next time someone tries to hassle you about being a coffee addict, just tell them you are getting your daily dose of antioxidants!

Woman doing yoga at sunset, lotus position, copy space

5) Meditation
There may be thousands of years’ worth of anecdotal evidence to prove the value of meditation, but the experimental evidence to go with it has only arisen in the last decade or so. Studies have shown that meditation may be related to increased brain volume in certain parts of the cerebral cortex. Furthermore, it is associated with decreased activity in the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for our response to fear or stress) and the default mode network (which is active when our mind is wandering). Those who practice meditation regularly can expect improvements like increased attention and concentration!

Pixabay-books

6) Education/Mental Activity
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when people think about “improving” their brains. Things like learning a new language, playing an instrument, or doing a crossword/sudoku puzzle are all helpful (and fun)! Not that any of these things can necessarily prevent disease, but they can reinforce our cognitive reserve — that is, the mind’s resilience or ability to function adequately in spite of damage.

Wikimedia-sleeping dalmatian

7) Sleep
We are pretty big fans of sleep here at Lifekind, so this may be my favorite thing on the list! We spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping, so it makes sense that it would have an effect on our health. Lack of sleep has a negative effect on the body and the mind and has been associated with things like poor attention, difficulty learning, and decreased creativity. There is plenty of debate about precisely how much sleep is needed, but seven hours is a pretty good rule of thumb!

With all of the hard work that our brain does around the clock, it certainly deserves a little extra attention. Even though we might not be able to fit in all of the items on this list every day, it is at least nice to know that there is something we can do to improve our most complex (and intriguing) organ!

Good News for Organic Shoppers

In the world we live in, sadly we can’t always take things at face value. Take, for example, the term “organic.” As you may have read in our recent blog about the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), technically only textiles that are certified organic can be called organic. But with the growing number of “natural” and “organic” products available, it is easy to become a little skeptical…after all, is anyone really holding all of these companies accountable?

It turns out, the answer is “yes.” A few months ago, in the US District Court of Virginia, GOTS won a civil action against a number of companies that were mislabeling and/or falsely advertising their products as “organic.” The case led to a permanent injunction that impedes the unauthorized use of the GOTS logo. Within a matter of weeks, GOTS had also filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to detail the prevalent misuse of the term “organic” in relation to textiles. You can read the full article here.

Shasta_with_GOTS

This is good news, not only for manufacturers of truly organic products (like Lifekind), but also for consumers everywhere! As Herbert Ladwig, the GOTS Managing Director, put it: “The lawsuit and FTC complaint should send a clear message to the textile sector that unauthorized and unsubstantiated claims that textile products are ‘organic’ or GOTS-certified will not be tolerated.” This lack of tolerance for misleading claims means more transparency in textile marketing… and that should give consumers more confidence when shopping for things like organic clothing or bedding.

Of course, as a consumer, it is still a good idea to do your homework and to verify organic claims (especially with large purchases, like mattresses). Keep in mind that you can always search directly for producers and products in the public database on the GOTS website.

Happy organic shopping!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we wanted to share a few dessert recipes that are perfect for topping off the taco bar buffet. These recipes are simple enough to be whipped up by tomorrow, but delicious enough to be enjoyed at any time of the year!

0803-watermelon-sorbet_full_600

– Watermelon Sorbet –

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
6 cups watermelon
2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)

Directions:

1) Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

2) Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature (should take about 45 minutes).

3) Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until chilled.

4) Meanwhile, place watermelon and lime juice in a food processor and combine until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove seeds (push any large watermelon chunks through the sieve).

5) Combine the watermelon puree and sugar-water mixture, then pour into a shallow metal pan. Freeze for about 30 minutes, then stir mixture to incorporate the ice crystals. Repeat process every 30 minutes until all of the liquid is frozen, then allow the mixture to harden in the freezer for 1-2 hours before serving.

**Recipe found on Her Campus.

margarita-vegan-ice-cream

– Margarita Ice Cream –

Ingredients:

15-oz can coconut milk
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup lime juice (about 3 or 4 limes)
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk.

2) Freeze using an ice cream maker, or use the method described in step 5 of the recipe above.

3) Prepare glass serving dishes by rubbing the rim with a lime wedge and inverting on a plate of salt (optional).

**Recipe found on One Green Planet.

We hope these quick and delicious recipes will help liven up your Cinco de Mayo celebrations! We also hope you get a chance to take part in one of our other favorite Mexico-inspired traditions this week…the siesta!  🙂

Happy Earth Day from Lifekind

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.”
Eleanora Duse

Screen shot 2016-04-21 at 3.56.58 PM

I’m writing this post on John Muir’s birthday, April 21. The pioneering Scottish-American preservationist would have been 178 years old today. I’ve loved Muir since the third grade, when I first read My First Summer in the Sierra, the journal he kept as he accompanied a flock of sheep from California’s San Joaquin Valley to the Yosemite high country in 1869 as a young wanderer.

Screen shot 2016-04-21 at 2.31.38 PM

Around this time each year, people try to put into words the feeling they have for the Earth, our terrestrial home. For those who feel deep connection to nature, that can be intimidating!

Muir was equal to the challenge. In Summer, as the group moved slowly from the heat of the Valley to their destination in the High Sierra near Tuolumne Meadows, he became entranced by what he saw and felt:

“Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.”

I know that feeling — maybe you do, too. The suspension of time, a sense of oneness, kinship with everything, the joy of being truly home. I just can’t describe it the way he could!

Freedom and immortality can be real and concrete on a day spent in nature, rooted in things we can touch and hear. Muir was in the Sierra, but it can happen anywhere — mountains, valley, ocean, or a park in the heart of a city. The natural world can inhabit us, and we it:

“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, as if truly an inseparable part of it, thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun,—a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal.”

Muir believed that everything in the natural world is beautiful in its own wild, original state. Landscapes spoke to him, along with plants and insects, rocks and storms and trees and “flower people” — recognition of the kinship we all share.

Screen shot 2016-04-21 at 2.30.05 PM

Sometime soon, along with all the things large and small that we do to try to be kind to our planet, try to go to the wildest place you can find. Even if only for a little while. And savor the feeling:

“Beauty beyond thought everywhere, beneath, above, made and being made forever.”

Made and being made forever — everywhere. That’s our planet, our home. It’s beautiful.

 

(All photos: public domain)