10 Ways To Detoxify Your Daily Routine And Live Naturally In The New Year
I have always loved the beginning of a new year because it provides a clean slate, a fresh start with new goals and dreams, and a full years worth of opportunities. I know many people feel the exact same way and set out into the new year with exciting resolutions to better themselves and even their families. Well if one of your resolutions this year is to live healthier and more naturally, I have got a game plan for you. Here you will find 10 steps (in no particular order of priority) to ridding your home of nasty chemicals and toxic products that hide in plain site in majority of American homes. If you want to read more about some of those icky chemicals and why you should avoid them then read my posts HERE and HERE and I promise it will further your resolve to living clean. You can dive right in and complete all 10 of these categories right away or you can take your time, conquering one every other week or every month... the important thing is that you just stick to it. If you work through this list of tips you will be living in a much cleaner, less toxic home by this time next year! Any questions or thoughts about making these changes?? Comment below and l would be happy to offer help and advice!!
1. Replace Hand Soaps
This was one of the first switches I made in my home because after reading about the potential effects of triclosan and other antibacterial products I quickly learned that all of the fancy soaps I was buying for my home had to go. After researching I found an easy foaming hand soap recipe and tweaked it to make it resemble the soaps I was used to in my home but without all those extra chemicals. Using my essential oils I’m able to make all of my hand soaps at home now and can make a variety of fragrance options! Read my posts HERE and HERE for recipes and scent combinations and make the switch for yourself!
2. Replace Personal Care Items (shampoos, conditioners, face wash, body wash, deodorant, perfumes and body sprays)
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news if you were not already aware, but all of your showering products likely have numerous unnecessary chemicals that you bathe yourself in regularly. Now I will be honest and tell you that I have not found favor in the completely all natural DIY shampoos and conditioners nor can I take part in the “no poo” (not shampooing your hair) method as I am a dentist and need to wash my hair of the germs I encounter on a daily basis. With that said I still have switched to shampoos, conditioners, and body washes that are free of parabens and sulfates and made with majority plants based and natural ingredients. You can shop what I personally use HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Regarding perfume and body sprays I would highly recommend making your own as many body sprays and perfumes have volatile ingredients that can be harmful to your lungs and even areas of skin that the sprays settle on. Using these sprays and therefore chemicals on a daily basis is not what’s best for your home and your health. Cleaner versions of perfumes and body sprays can be found HERE and HERE, or you can make your own using my recipes HERE and HERE. And for the record, I do have high quality expensive perfumes that I have kept and use them on special occasions only.
And now to deodorant. My natural living nemesis. I have tried no fewer than 10 brands but have yet to find one that works for me. In my line of work it is not uncommon for me to sweat throughout the day as I have to wear a gown over my clothing, gloves and mask... so needless to say I need an effective deodorant and I have yet to find one so I still use mainstream brands (YUCK I know!!). I am still in search of the perfect deodorant and would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below. As you may know, in some cases the aluminum in antiperspirant has shown an association to breast cancer and is one of the main reasons why I am determined to find a natural solution! I will keep you all updated with my progress in this area!
3. Replace Your Makeup
This is another big change that can be so effective in cleaning up your daily routine. It has been reported that close to 13000 chemicals are used in makeup products and only a small percentage of those have even been FDA approved (Mercola, 2015). Such. a. scary. thought. When I decided to make the switch I started by ordering jut a few staples like mascara, tinted moisturizer, and blush. And I have slowly built back up my makeup collection with only those products that are “clean” and majority chemical free. Some of my favorites can be viewed HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE. You can also check out my Clean Beauty Reviews Under the “Beauty” section of the blog for other products I have tried and my opinion on them.
4. Replace Plasticware In Your Kitchen
Plastics and their related chemicals have been associated with so many different cancers and health concerns that it is highly recommended to eliminate as much plastic from our homes as possible. Start with eliminating any plastic drinking cups and tableware. Continue the process with eliminating any plastic tupperware, serve ware, and cooking utensils. Of most concern are any sources of plastics in your kitchen that you would warm up (anything you put in the microwave, cook with on the stove, or put warm/hot foods or liquids in). Plastic is typically at its most toxic when warmed as the chemicals can convert to more hazardous byproducts. Even if you are not seeing any visible changes, these chemical changes may still be happening. If you feel that you must use plastics for one reason or another, be sure it is BPA free at the very least (although BPA is certainly not the only concern with plastics).
5. Replace Bathroom Cleaners
Have your lungs ever become irritated from the smell of bathroom cleaners? I always found it hard to clean the bathroom with such cleaners and the reason behind this is all of the chemicals contained in these potent products. Some labels even say “use in a well ventilated area”. This certainly does not seem like it’s a product that’s healthy for our bodies to breathe in on a consistent basis. The best part about replacing these toxic fumes is the fact that many of these natural cleaners clean even better! Try out some vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and elbow grease next time you clean your bathroom and I promise you will be wowed with what these basic ingredients can do! Check out some of my DIY bathroom cleaning recipes HERE and HERE or use a store bought clean brand product.
6. Remove Candles & Artificial Home Fragrance
Confession time. I used to be a candle hoarder in a bad way. If I would have had it my way there would have been a candle in every single room and they would have been burning at all hours of the day. The obsession started way back in high school when I used to work at Hallmark and I would smell candles all day long while I replenished stock. More recently, I started reading about how candles can be harmful for your lungs and body due to the toxins that are released into the air upon lighting and subsequently melting/burning a candle. All of the synthetic fragrance and chemicals that are contained inside the candle are then released out into the air. In homes that are not well ventilated this can be hazardous to your body over time, especially for your lungs.
After learning all of this I started searching for a natural solution and discovered essential oils and the many combinations that they could be diffused in. Since becoming an essential oil fanatic I now not only have a house that smells great but I no longer have to worry about the toxins that may be hanging around in the air in our home. And as an added bonus, some essential oils that I diffuse are also good at cleaning and purifying the air so thats a win/win for sure!
7. Replace Countertop Cleaners
Wiping down my countertops is something that I do multiple times a day and this is why replacing my countertop cleaners was among one of my biggest priorities when I began "going green". Just as I recommended replacing plastic tableware because you don't want to eat and drink off of yucky chemical plastics, you also don't want to eat off of countertops that have been wiped down with chemicals. Think about how many times a day your hands and foods touch the countertop and you will then understand why spraying them down with chemical sprays is not the best choice. Making your own counter top cleaners is super easy to do, all you need is a glass spray bottle and a good DIY recipe. Water and vinegar works well as a basic recipe but you can also try these two HERE and HERE. I make my own using Young Living’s Thieves All Purpose Cleaner which you can read more about on Young Living's website (or read more about joining HERE).
8. Replace Dishwashing Detergent
Have you ever read the ingredient list of conventional dishwasher detergent and pods? There are so many unfamiliar, chemical looking names listed including awful chemicals like bleach and formaldehyde!! These ingredients are definitely not something you want your tableware to be bathed in! Try switching to either hand washing with gentle soap, or if you are like me and live for the convenience of the dishwasher switch to a more natural and plant based ingredient brand. I use the Honest Company pods, but there are many other versions out there including Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Grab Green and Earth Friendly to name a few.
9. Replace Laundry Detergent & Supplies
Now, if you agree you don’t want to eat off of dishes washed in chemicals, you likely don't want to wear clothing that has been washed in chemicals. Laundry detergents, stain removers, and dryer sheets/softeners are all loaded with harmful chemicals just like dishwashing detergent is. Don't believe me? Google some of the ingredients listed on your conventional laundry products and see what types of articles come up.... it may shock you! If I have now convinced you to throw in the towel on those common brands of laundry products, then make the switch to all natural detergents and stain removers by brands like those mentioned for dishwashing detergent or make your own like these detergents HERE and HERE. Instead of dryer sheets purchase wool dryer balls and add a few drops of essential oils to them for a fresh and pleasant fragrance.
10. Eliminate Artificial Sugars & Stick To Fresh Foods
So now we have talked all about home products, beauty products, cleaning products, and personal care products. But what about the things we are actually consuming into our bodies? Over a year ago, my husband and I had talked about the effects of sugar on the body and how we wanted to eliminate excess sugars in our diet. Since that time we have dabbled in a partial Paleo and Gluten Free diet (I say dabbled because we are by no means strict adherers to this as you can tell by some of the recipes that I post LOL). But for the most part, we try to eat fresh fruits and produce and save our "splurges" for special occasions only.
Goals for this area of natural living would be the following:
1. For all meals and snacks eat only fresh ingredients (this means almost anything that requires refrigeration or that spoils Examples: produce, meats that require cooking)
2. Limit packaged snacks and foods (anything that is boxed that you would pull from the pantry)
3. Limit grains in your diet and switch to whole grains and sprouted wheat when you do consume grains
4. Limit your sugar intake and try to consume only all natural sweeteners (Examples: Honey, Coconut Sugar, Date Sugar, Agave Nectar)
5. Lower your salt intake while increasing your use of spices and herbs to add flavor to your foods
And please keep in mind that I agree, special occasion mean throwing the rule book out the window. I mean, you only live once right!? With that said, the more you stick to a healthy diet, the more your body will actually crave this type of food and all of the processed foods will likely no longer appeal to you. So just make sure to stay the course with healthy eating as much as possible and you will be rewarded with a healthy body and moreover, am appetite for healthy!
Once you get on a roll changing your daily routines and overall lifestyle, you will find that these 10 suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, but I promise that if you make the changes listed above you will be living a MUCH healthier lifestyle. As always, leave a comment below or email me with any questions or comments. I love to be a part of helping people live healthier lives!
Women Put An Average of 168 Chemicals On Their Bodies Daily. May 13, 2015 https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/13/toxic-chemicals-cosmetics.aspx