“WHEN I BECAME PREGNANT, I WANTED TO LEARN EVERYTHING POSSIBLE ABOUT HOW TO CREATE A SAFE, HOLISTIC ENVIRONMENT FOR MY CHILDREN,” SAYS NASIBA ADILOVA, STREET STYLE FIXTURE (AKA SARTORIAL SOCIAL MEDIA QUEEN @NASEEBS), MAMA OF TWO AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE “IT” BABE SITE THE TOT. “What I learned terrified me. There needed to be better due diligence.” Enter The Tot, a comprehensive website for new well-heeled moms seeking the cleanest, chicest, non-toxic products on the market. It’s no surprise that Adilova’s vested interest in non-toxic living has trickled down to her own diet and that of her son and baby. We caught up with the supermom who talked which materials moms should steer clear of when shopping for their babe, her clean beauty picks and her secret family stew recipe that’s a household staple.
There are so many approaches to parenting these days. What inspired you to raise your children in a holistic-leaning way?
I wanted to know what toys were safe, which companies were open and transparent about ingredients and manufacturing processes. All to better understand how I can protect my children from harmful chemicals often hidden in the commonly used consumer products. A lot of children’s companies are not always transparent about how and where they produce. When I found out about the harmful chemicals used when creating products for children, it kept me up at night. Chemicals like formaldehyde, toxic fire-retardants and PVCs used in productions of clothes, furniture, mattresses, gear, and even toys. That’s when The Tot was born.
What is their favorite healthy meal and/or snack you cook for them?
My son loves salmon and cucumbers! He often asks me for this special sandwich. To keep it super easy, we grill a whole piece of wild caught salmon and keep it refrigerated until time to make a sandwich. It’s important only to buy wild-caught salmon to avoid additional mercury and other chemicals found in farmed salmon. I like to mix the salmon with tahini sauce (simple sesame paste) with a little bit of avocado oil and lemon juice. I spread that on gluten-free toast along with cucumbers and avocado slices. He loves it!
For busy weeks, my go-to is a family recipe soup. I boil bones with marrow then add chunks of grass-fed free-range organic-fed beef for about an hour. Then add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and fresh dill, boiling for another 45 minutes. Then I store the soup and reheat to serve it with gluten-free toast whenever there isn’t time to prepare a healthy meal from scratch. My son loves it, and it is so good for him.
How do you handle treats/junk food when it comes their way via playdates/birthday parties, etc.?
We are just starting school, so technically this will probably be new territory for us! He is so accustomed to eating clean that he doesn’t crave or ask for junk food. However, I do have a rule that if it’s a children’s birthday party or a special occasion, he can have whatever he wants, I don’t want him to develop resentment or make him feel different when everyone else has cake. At home and even when we eat out, it’s only healthy and clean choices. At least for as long as I can help it. I believe this way he will develop a taste palate for healthy food. We have lots of treats at home like Halo Top ice cream when he wants it and sweets without processed sugars.
Do you have any non-negotiables when it comes to their wellness? Whether it’s a certain smoothie they have or routine?
No routines or mandates. I let him choose, and he helps me make the smoothies and even his own food. I also let him decide what he wants to eat. Sometimes he says “I want ice cream for dinner,” then I say “OK you can have that after you eat your fish and veggies.”
What was your approach to your own diet when you were pregnant and nursing? Were there certain foods that you felt were the most nourishing?
I eat mostly clean, with occasional cheats. However, never any processed foods. My cheats are not sweets, as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. During pregnancy, I ate very clean, especially toward the end. I treat it sort of like an athlete training for a marathon. If I want to have a healthy, smooth, pregnancy, I must work at it and prep with a good diet, exercise, and treatments.
You emphasize non-toxic products on The Tot, why was that important to you? What are your favorite eco-friendly products?
It’s so important for us because we want to educate our customer about their health and so they can make healthier choices–especially when it comes to their children. We test every single product ourselves to make sure it’s easy to use, innovative and practical. Then we have a team of experts that help us test products for cleanliness and ingredients. I love all the feeding and mealtime items we stock. From the bamboo and wooden plates from Avanchy to recycled plastic and silicon cutlery to the silicon placemats and bibs from We Might Be Tiny. I also love our organic layette, like these beautiful 100% organic cotton items for babies from a brand 12|12.
Has this interest in clean living trickled into your own self-care regime?
I’m a fan of clean skin care. I love the brand we stock called Dr. Alkaitis, I love TOMS toothpaste and deodorant, I use clean products for hair and body wash. For body wash, I use Erbaviva.
What is your favorite method of self-care?
Self-care is important and certainly part of daily routine. From intermittent fasting, where I only eat from noon to 8:30 each evening, to a vitamin regimen personalized for me by an amazing nutritionist Jim Judd. I also incorporate massage and Bowen treatments, along with acupuncture and reflexology. Ayurvedic treatments are beneficial for me especially when I’m pregnant and seeking balance.
Take us through a typical day in the life of your kid’s meals/snacks?
In the morning during the week, we get up at 6AM to brush our teeth, use the potty (we are potty training at the moment), change and then go down for breakfast. It’s usually oatmeal that I cook with homemade almond milk packed with superfoods like chia seeds, flax seeds, raw cocoa powder, hemp seeds with a bit of natural maple syrup. I serve that with berries. Alternatively, it’s eggs that I cook in ghee, with avocado and wilted spinach. On weekends, it’s gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate pancakes that he adores! For a snack, I make him a smoothie with wild blueberries, coconut milk, and banana. For lunch, he has fish sandwiches, grilled fish, grilled cheese with natural grass-fed cheese and gluten-free bread, with fresh veggies. He loves grilled portobello mushrooms, steamed broccoli or avocado as sides. For dinner, it’s often soup, grilled fish or gluten-free pasta with vegetable sides. I also make him a vegan pizza on a gluten-free crust, or homemade sweet potato fries, or homemade ramen or udon noodles. Other snacks for us are seaweed, soaked almonds, fresh fruits, kale chips. I try to have everything homemade whenever possible.
You must travel so much for work, what are your secret staying healthy tips for the whole family?
It seems so simple and obvious. For real, nothing beats eating well, drinking plenty of water, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep! The body needs rest, hydration, and proper nutrition. When those take a priority in the day, everything else becomes possible.