Better for our babies, better for our planet.
Eco Baby Expo is all about the natural, organic, unprocessed lifestyle. We wanted to take a moment to showcase those who are raising their children to be responsible and eco-friendly, those who put their family’s health first, those who make an impact on our children’s future, and those who live a healthy lifestyle that may inspire others.
By sharing their stories, we hope to bring inspiration to our like-minded followers. We hope you can share in the joy of motherhood, fatherhood, and the joys that growing up green can bring! #GrowingUpGreen
Name: Jill Hoffman
Children: 1 girl, 1 boy
Pets: 1 dog
Titles: Health Conscience Mommy & Local Business Owner
Proud Local Business Owner at Bodhi’s Brew, plant based, earth friendly tonics, skin care, and home care, raw honey & kombucha.
Hi, my name is Jill Hoffman and I am a proud mother to my compassionate 7 year old daughter Saffi, my sweet 3 year old son Bodhi and my extremely well behaved dog, A Boy Named Sue. I am also honored to be the wife to my super star husband Michael whom is also my partner in our local, small, all natural, mindful business Bodhi’s Brew.
Our greatest achievement in living a green lifestyle is accidentally starting Bodhi’s Brew.
Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 16 and basically living an emaciated half-existence for over 2 decades, I struggled with – my belief of ‘what is healthy’, what my body would allow, and the dogma of mainstream doctors – and a constant inner turmoil.
It got to the point where I began to make all my own products. If I had an ailment and the docs could not give me relief, I would develop a product for myself.
Once I had children I became even more concerned and weary of conventionally marketed products. I started with making our own baby food, cloth diapering, which led into bug repellent, shampoo, skin therapy, hand sanitizer etc. I wanted our house to be free of chemicals and alcohol and other harsh toxins. We do not own a microwave, my kids were raised as vegan although my son has not stuck to it, my daughter on her own will is a pescetarian. The kids help and have learned to ask for, and love, our homemade elderberry tonic, our line of raw honey, and they love that they can safely use our all purpose cleaner and even spray it anywhere – even on their sibling! Bodhi’s Brew was created by posting a picture of me making the all purpose cleaner on Facebook. I started getting orders day after day. When I could not enjoy a birthday lunch with my sister on January 8, 2015 because my phone would not stop with constant orders I knew I had a business, and the community was seeking a place to find green products that are safe for the whole family. I was so excited to share our home and lifestyle with the community. The response has truly been a blessing.
A few months before getting pregnant with Saffi I had an ileostomy and had to wear a pouch. It was necessary to wear this until I was done breastfeeding. Although having my colon removed saved my life and allowed me to have children, it did come with many challenges. When Saffi was 6 months I began to host an organic produce share, started a blog, began cooking vegan meals for people and was hosting a weekly Reiki circle (I became a Reiki master at 20). It was at this time we also became vegan. After not being able to even look at raw fruits or veggies for over 20 years I was ready to eat every veggie in sight. Having Crohn’s it is not an easy task as food just goes right through you. Having an ostomy bag just heightened the frequency. We did also try going all raw vegan, but it caused me more problems and I realized it was not the best choice for me. My diet is always changing, and I really just need to listen to my body and be mindful of my disease. Another huge obstacle I had to overcome and deal with was not producing enough breast milk. I always knew I wanted to breast feed, but I learned from my challenges with Saffi and was lucky enough to be able to supplement Bodhi with breast milk from other amazingly beautiful mothers in the community.
The most important thing for our young family’s health right now is to instill in my children a love and appreciation for clean food and for living a mindful life. My husband’s brother and I both grew up with the horrors of Crohn’s and Colitis and I never want to see my children suffer the way that I did. I was never taught about good nutrition and its benefits, I had to research and teach myself everything, and that is just not how I want my children raised.
If I had more time in the day I would volunteer more, socialize with my friends more and attend more events with my kiddos. It has been hard to find the balance between cooking, room-mom responsibilities, working on the weekends, making mostly everything we sell, attending birthday parties and just having time for myself. And yes, thankfully I am healthier now than I have ever been, but I am not without my health challenges. It is hard to have a disease where you look fine, but the struggles just to get through the day are real. It has taken time, but I am now making more time to be with my kids during the week if I cannot be with them on the weekends, have a great group of friends who are flexible with my schedule and understanding of my disease, and my husband literally is a super hero and allows me the down time I need by stepping in to work for me and taking on most the house and life duties. This gives me the opportunity to be there for the important things in the kids’ lives that he knows I never want to miss. I also used to consider myself a professional volunteer but have not had the time I would like to volunteer; however, we have done some family volunteering lately which is always filling and great quality time.
Like I mentioned in the previous question, it has taken time to find the balance between social, family and work life – and last year was kind of a mess! This year, however, we have found a way better rhythm. I am really appreciating the time I have with family and friends and just so thankful to my husband for always being my partner every step of the way.
We are raising our children to be eco-friendly. I know we can be doing more, but having them at the farmer’s markets with us all the time definitely helps. My kids also have a great awareness about the products we make and why we make them. Saffi started a recycling program at her school at the age of 6, and raised funds to help charities for children in Syria and Haiti. We walk to and from school, have started a garden, make animal treats together in our dehydrator, repurpose and make as much as we can from our own nut milks to our own elderberry tonic.
Bodhi’s favorite snack food is the fruit roll ups we made together in the dehydrator and avocado. Saffi’s favorite health snacks are apples and cucumbers.
At the Eco Baby Expo, I think it would be wonderful if we could find ways to volunteer, teach others how to start their own garden, as well as a station to try and learn about different cloth diapers, and different amber necklaces just because I love them. It would also be great if there were a locals section so we could support shopping small and buying local.
This concludes Jill Hoffman’s #GrowingUpGreen interview. To nominate another mom / dad that you think deserves to be recognized, please contact #GrowingUpGreen editor – firstname.lastname@example.org