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Introducing Our Chief Product Investigator

Written by Colleen Webb, Chief Product Investigator

Hello, everyone! I’m Colleen. My name and face may be new to you, but I’ve been working here at Gimme the Good Stuff in a behind-the-scenes role since 2014. Most of my work involves really nitty-gritty research. I look into products and what they’re made of. Some people may call this neurotic, and others may call it “thorough.” I’ll take either!

As a human being and mom, I have a strong drive to get to the bottom of things and help us all make the healthiest choices we can for ourselves and our loved ones. I also have personal experience with pregnancy, birth, raising little people, and creating a home that’s as healthy, nurturing, and sane as we can make it.

In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see more posts from me where I share some my experiences and the questions and challenges that are part of my life as a mother and wife.

Maia and I Go Way Back!

I’ve known Maia and her family for as long as I can remember. We lived in the same Vermont town for much of my childhood, and her mom, Suzanne—a.k.a. the Chief Health Officer at Gimme the Good Stuff—is largely responsible for my mom’s interest in natural food. My mom’s interest in natural food became my interest in healthy living, which eventually evolved from a personal passion into my professional work, so…I guess I have Suzanne to thank for my wellness career!

My Education & Background

I attended Duke University for my undergraduate degree (Duke is also Maia’s husband’s alma mater!) and then got a master’s in Integrative Health Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’ve been a freelance health writer and wellness coach since 2009. Also, and mostly, I’m a mother and a wife. I have two young kids and a third one on the way. My husband is a military officer and PhD student. Our lives are full, to say the least!

My Approach to Health & Wellbeing

If my life and work have taught me anything definitive about health, it’s that there isn’t always a clear line between good and bad, “healthy” and “unhealthy.” There are so many ideas and theories about how we should be eating, sleeping, exercising, raising our kids, etc. And yet, we constantly have to make choices about what’s best for us and our families.

These days, it seems like everyone has an opinion and a position that they can support with “evidence.” Trying to sort through all of this information can be maddening. That’s why I do what I do, and why I’ve been following Maia’s work since she began digging into things in 2009.

I learn new things every time I take on a project. I’ve seen trends and professional recommendations in health and wellness come and go, so I take all current thought with a grain of salt. I ask myself what makes the most sense based on the ideas that have held up the best over time. It’s a historical gut-check of sorts. I also try to keep an open mind and be humble enough to accept information that may disrupt some of my long-term thinking.

And at the end of the day, I remember Maia’s mantra—“Stay sane!” The human body is remarkably complex and resilient. Most of us are doing okay not just because of the good choices we make, but in spite of all the bad stuff that we’re exposed to all of the time. That’s pretty awesome, don’t you think?

To your health,

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. We’ve got a bunch of awesome new product guides in the works, but are always open to suggestions. Comment below with what you want me to dig into next!

 


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45 responses to “Introducing Our Chief Product Investigator”

  1. Melissa

    I would like to know more about Salt. Brands like Redmond Real Salt.

  2. Michelle

    I’d love to see guides on olive oil, vitamins (prenatal and multi) and face lotion with SPF! Thank you!

  3. Paula H.

    Hair sprays, hair colors and air fresheners would be interesting! Thanks!

  4. Robin J

    A face lotion with SPF, definitely agree with that post!!!
    And hairspray or gel. Us curly haired girls need something ‘safer’ tame our frizz and keep our curls in check.
    I use a hairspray brand from Whole Foods but I don’t know how much ‘safer’ it may or may not actually be.
    And more about kid toy brands like B and Apple Farms organic buddies. Are these Good Stuff?

  5. Elisabeth

    A guide to safe makeup and a beaty routine that’s versatile and quick for busy moms.

  6. Kinga

    Hi Colleen! Nail polish!!! Yes! Kids shoes, specifically for toddlers. I also have been looking for a non toxic alternative to hairspray. Hair products in general seem tricky to me. I used to use hot rollers, but since plastic and heat do not go well together I decided to toss them. Is a curling iron the only non toxic option? Watcha think?

  7. Paul

    Hi. Pomade, hair gel, and gum please!

  8. Lauren

    Olive oil, please!

    If nail polish wins, please look into Smith & Cult, BUTTER, and AILA. Thank you!

  9. Jamie Williams

    Hand soap! Ditto the budget friendly aspect, as well as a vote of support for the “best of the worst” category – sometimes budget or time crunch necessitate mainstream brands 🙂
    Thank you!

  10. niks

    Foundation and Mascara, please!

    1. Maia James

      We’ve actually already done a Lipstick Guide: https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/safe-product-guides/lipstick/

  11. Diana Dowd

    Olive Oils and Coconut oils Baby lotions vs just using coconut oil or other
    Thanks

  12. Ramina Toy

    Baby vitamin (drops and chews) please!!!!

  13. Rebekah

    Make up please!

  14. sumiyah

    olive oil and hand soap

  15. Danielle O.

    Hand soap please!

  16. Paula H.

    Hand soap (how about all those pretty and cheap soap from Europe at least it says so at Marshall’s and TJ Max) and olive oil (organic vs not, location matter?) would be very interesting and useful.

    Also someone mentioned “on a budget”, I would love to read more healthy anything on the budget!

    What is really going on with the mercury in the silver fillings!? I just read about it and now freeking out, do we (people with silver fillings) all really have to run to the dentists to replace them with the white stuff?

    Thanks for all Your work behind the scenes!

  17. Jordan Bell

    Nail polish for sure! With summer quickly approaching, we all need some tips on what is safe, but still fun for our nails 🙂

  18. Tara learman

    Nail polish and hand soap please!

  19. Tara Learman

    Nail polish and hand soap please !

  20. Janet Banks-Mott

    Hand soap!
    But the other choices would be great too.
    Thanks!

  21. Analu

    Hand soap, please!!!!

  22. Laura

    Hand soap!!
    Followed closely by face lotion with SPF and then olive oil!

    1. Laura

      A quick clarification – budget friendly hand soap!

  23. Lisa D

    I also forgot to mention gluten free in my first post for the probiotics.

  24. Lisa D

    Hand soaps and nail polish!!! Like other people that have posted as well I have been on a hunt for a good probiotic for kids that aren’t gummies, organic, non gmo and somewhat taste good for my son.

  25. Joan

    Hand soaps please 🙂

  26. Diane

    olive oil, please

  27. Mindy

    Hi! I would love to hear more about Olive Oil and Hand Soap.

  28. Christy

    Hand soap and olive oil. And I would also like more information on probiotics and multivitamins for baby thru adult!

  29. Julia

    Hand soap would be great!

  30. Meg

    Olive oil & hand soap!

    1. Meg

      Also to go along with best olive oils, would love some suggestions on other healthy oils and their best uses. For example a lot of “healthy” recipes call for canola oil for things like sautéing but would love to know alternative oils that would work well for higher heat.

      1. Maia James

        We love avocado oil for higher heat! People like coconut oil, too, but I don’t like the flavor it imparts.

  31. Tiffany

    I thought there was a list for hands soaps I use eco me! But yes pleaseeee do one for NAIL POLISH I tried doing some reasrach myself and a supposedly non toxic nail polish was scotch naturals but looks like they went out of business and then I looked at piggy paint but wasn’t sure if it applied on nicely and I’m just sitting here with unpolished nails for the past 5 months sadden by the fact that they actually put formaldehyde in our nail polish but summer is coming up and I need a cute nail polish ? ?

  32. Kari

    Nail polish, please!!!

  33. Mary

    Nail polish please!!

  34. Beth

    hand soap and olive oil!

  35. Karen

    Olive oil please!

  36. Judy Walchinsky

    Olive oil! This is a product used widely (more than say, nail polish or makeup) for both food and body. I would absolutely love to hear your perspective! Thank you for what you do, and keep up the good work!

  37. Nail polish and olive oil would be great 🙂

  38. Kristin

    I would love for you to review probiotics – specifically for kids (but an adult post would be awesome too), as it is so critical if one is forced to formula feed (unless you choose HiPP 😉 )

    1. Kristin

      But if I have to pick one of the listed — hand soaps!!!

  39. Randy

    soaps

    ladies makeup

  40. Melissa

    I would love to know more about non-toxic eyeshadows and nail polish.

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