Last week I transferred to a unique naturopathic/holistic health college called Bastyr University in the Seattle area. It’s a school dedicated to naturopathy, acupuncture, midwifery, nutrition, psychology and other health sciences. I decided to live on campus, at least for the first year. I’m excited to share some healthy living posts and recipes that reflect my new college lifestyle in the upcoming weeks.
What’s in a health nut’s dorm room?
The only reality show that I watch is House Hunters, where buyers explore three potential houses before making their decision. The nosy part of me is entertained by peaking into people’s living quarters.
Here’s my version of House Hunters – I’m going to give you a tour of my “holistic dorm room.”
My dorm isn’t the average dorm. You won’t find a stash of Top Ramen or a Febreeze plug-in in here! That’s because a few years ago when my health hit rock bottom, I decided to take a holistic approach to healing my chronic health conditions. As a result, I need to stick to a specific dietary protocol and chemical-free lifestyle. It’s a challenge with a college lifestyle, but everyone at Bastyr is so understanding and supportive of natural health… so I’m at the right place!
The Beautiful Bastyr Campus
The Student Housing Village on Bastyr is a recent addition to the college and I’m so grateful to be part of the community of residents here. Each student building has 12 individual rooms (with individual bathrooms!) and a shared kitchen/lounge area. The kitchens were built to accomodate people who love cooking good food – as everyone at Bastyr does! They have two fridges, a freezer, two ovens, and a huge island.
In addition to the student housing, I’ve enjoyed the beautiful campus. It’s serene and gorgeous even when it is drizzling and grey (which is often, since this is the Seattle area).
One unique feature is the Culinary and Herb Garden. Organic foods and herbs grown on campus are used for the cooking classes, herb classes and donated to the local food bank.
There is another fun feature in the garden: a Reflexology Foot Path! You walk on it barefoot and the stones stimulate the acupressure points on your feet.
The Bastyr Student Housing
There multiple student housing buildings on the campus, and they are all beautifully designed. Because the college caters to students of all ages, they created individual rooms with private bathrooms (!!!) instead of double rooms and communal bathrooms.
There are 12 individual units per building and each building shares a large kitchen and a study room.
What I could and couldn’t bring
Although I grew up in a couple hours north of Seattle, I had been living in Virginia for the past few years. So I was challenged to pack light (probably a good thing) as I moved my living necessities across the country.
I also relied on good ol’ Amazon, Target and Costco for some kitchen and bedroom necessities. Other things that I ordered are discussed below.
The hardest things I had to leave behind? My wellness books. My stash health-related books and paleo cookbooks all had to stay behind although we will be eventually reunited. I’ve already started an addition to my book collection after a few trips to the amazing campus bookstore here! As soon as I saw that the bookstore carried Nourishing Traditions and Rescue Remedy, I knew the bookstore would be perilous for my wallet.
What’s in my natural dorm room
The first thing you’ll notice is my bed canopy. This is an EMF Bed Canopy made from a special fabric that prevents any EMFs (harmful electromagnetic frequencies, which I discuss here) from entering when the canopy is closed. The same fabric goes under the bed to prevent EMF exposure from the lower floors.
Again, this was a significant investment, but it will last a lifetime EMFs, this is very important to me. Bastyr unfortunately has a cell tower on campus, plus WiFi and cell phones everywhere. Steps I took at my parents house to reduce EMF exposure would not be feasible at a dorm, so this was the best option.
Scot from Bio Healthy Homes, who specializes in EMF mitigation in Seattle, made a stand for it with cedar 2x2s and did the set-up for me (the canopy is manufactured to be hung from the ceiling, but I can’t hang stuff from the dorm ceiling).
I will share links and details in my upcoming post dedicated to my EMF canopy – if you are interested in learning more, please stay tuned 🙂
Here are the other noteworthy items in my dorm room:
Bedding – I got this beautiful fair trade cotton bedding set (queen size to fit the XL twin bed) from Viva Terra. (I got it when it was hugely discounted but unfortunately the sale is over).
Beautiful hamper – I got a hammered metal hamper from Viva Terra (also purchased when it was on sale but it’s no longer available). I use it as storage and a bedside table.
IntelliBED mattress topper – Dorm mattresses are notoriously uncomfortable. I had an IntelliBED mattress topper delivered the week that I moved in. IntelliBED is the non-toxic mattress that I recommend after my research into safe and natural bedding. You read about my experience with IntelliBED here.
Organic wool rug – I got a beautiful organic wool rug ordered from Gaiam while it was on sale. (I think it’s still on sale if they have inventory).
Salt lamp – Of course I needed a salt lamp in my room! Salt lamps help purify the air and I love the ambient glow. You can read more in my post here.
Air purifying bag – To help improve the air quality (especially with some new things that may off gass, even though I tried to avoid off gassing items) I put a cheap Moso Bamboo Air Purifying Bag in my room.
Supplements basket – I keep my supplements in my room.
Essential oils in a travel/storage case – If you are looking for a way to store your essential oils and travel with them, this travel case is amazing!
LED Floor Lamp – The lighting isn’t great in my room, so I got this LED Floor Lamp. LED is a much safer and healthier option than fluorescent light bulbs.
Essential Oil Diffuser – I ordered this one, which I’m loving. I don’t diffuse oils on a regular basis because it can be wasteful. However, a short diffusing can really improve air quality and fragrance naturally. It’s a fabulous alternative if you frequently use toxic aerosol or chemical air fresheners.
(Can you spy all my tinctures, hydrosols, oils, and essential oils? I’m an essential oil junkie, as you can tell…)
Shower filter – (I got this one.) I screwed an affordable chlorine shower filter onto my shower head, since a large amount of chlorine can be inhaled when showering.
Morrocco Method products – I love my Morrocco Method hair care! The shampoos and conditioners are the only products I use in the shower, since they both double as shaving cream or body wash.
Standing desk – At home, I had used cardboard boxes stacked on my desk to create a standing desk (I described the set-up here). However, I decided to invest in a standing desk that looks presentable and will last me a lifetime. This is the one I decided on. I like how it goes on top of the built-in desk and has a separate level for the keyboard (this supports proper posture). If you haven’t heard of “Sitting Disease” read this and you will want a standing desk, too!
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my Holistic Dorm Room! I’ll be sharing some of my dorm-friendly meals and a discussion on my EMF canopy in future posts.
Will a intellibed mattress topper do just as good as a mattress? The full mattress doesn’t fit into my budget.
I’ve just discovered your website, and I absolutely love it! Thank you so much for all of your amazing and informative posts. Your blog has inspired me to think about wellness much more holistically.
This is a perfect next step on your journey. It must feel great to find such a beautiful new home.
I would just caution about promoting the big box stores. Supporting local merchants is usually a better way to go. Of course you know to avoid PVC products and other not so good for you stuff that fills the shelves of many big box stores.
Best of luck and continue giving your gift to the world!
Can you give an suggestions on bedding for someone on a budget?
I love this post! Stumbled on your blog from Pinterest and the posts on your schooling are so fascinating!
Hey, I was looking at the Morrocco Method, and one thing you mentioned about other natural shampoos is that they contain the problematic ingredient silicon, which makes your scalp and hair plasticy. However, the MM Sea Essence shampoo boasts about the silicon content saying it makes your hair shiny.
How is their silicon different from those found in other natural shampoos?