I can’t tell you how many times my readers tell me that they really want to live a more “non-toxic” lifestyle but they don’t know where to begin. They also express concerns about doing this in an affordable way. Believe me, I know. I started this journey 15 years ago. I admit it can be overwhelming, but I do have a few suggestions for making the transition easier!
I’d like to add that it’s important to give yourself a high five for EVERY change you make, even if it’s one thing a month. And don’t get bogged down with guilt for the things you aren’t able to change. There is no room for guilt or rigidity here. I would be truly insane by now if there was no room for flexibility in all this. It’s all a journey 🙂
First, here are the categories in my goals to live more “cleanly” I suggest choosing which ones are the most important to you and attaching a realistic timeline to make some of the changes.
- Food-what we put “in our bodies”
- Personal care – what we put “on” our bodies
- Our living environment-what we “breathe” everyday
- Cleaning Products
- Spiritual practice-what do we “feed” our soul
- Health care – what “team” of practitioners and resources do I have in my life
Okay, here are a few suggestions for each category on some easy, affordable steps to make transitions without feeling like you have to do it all at once! With all of these, just try one at a time. I spent a number of YEARS making the transition. Yes, years! It was a gradual process but one that I’m happy I did because it was an investment in my overall health.
Click here to get the 2018 Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables that have the highest proven content of pesticides. Make a copy and put it in your bag for when you shop. If you buy these items organic and in season and you’ll save a ton of money AND the taste will be amazing. Anything not on the list, I buy non-organically and just wash as I do everything else.
- When your canned items are gone, try buying frozen when you can’t buy fresh. Many canned goods contain BPA or a chemical that can leach into food. *When buying frozen make sure to keep your Dirty Dozen list in mind. Also, watch for sales!
- Organic chicken (without antibiotics and added hormones) is a much healthier alternative so try that sometime. Wild fish is also healthier in that farmed fish tend to be given lots of antibiotics to ward off bacteria.
- When you can, how about trying organic eggs and dairy products. Many cows are given antibiotics and hormones to stimulate growth.
Remember that when our source of food has been affected with antibiotics, pesticides and hormones, we are ingesting those too. There’s a lot in the media these days about people becoming antibiotic resistant so when at all possible, try to keep this to a minimum when you can. Do the best you can when eating out but no freaking out or becoming rigid. If you’re making healthy changes, give yourself props for the steps in the right direction!
When you run out of something, try replacing it with a healthier alternative. In reading labels, parabens have been linked to endocrine disruptors and cancer so just get familiar with reading labels. Anything ending in “paraben” really isn’t so great. Sixty to seventy percent of what we put “on” our bodies go directly into our bloodstreams. Yes, some of these products may cost a bit more but I’m so glad to see discount stores carrying more and more healthy alternatives. I’m a big Burt’s Bee fan and love their lip products!
Here’s a list of personal care products to think about replacing when you run out:
- Shampoo, conditioner
- Body and face lotions
- Nail polish
To learn more about parabens in my blog, click here.
Our Living Environment
Many items in our homes are responsible for “off-gassing” toxic fumes for years, that we can’t see but impact our health in negative ways. Young children and pets with still developing and smaller lungs are especially vulnerable as well as those adults with respiratory ailments. These chemicals are hiding in fresh paint, new carpet, new upholstery, wood laminates, new drapes, etc. Who knew? Of course, we all love to remodel and decorate but let’s face it, it would be VERY difficult to even think about replacing new furniture. But there is good news and it is easy and affordable.
- Add air purifying plants to any room where you may have recently painted or remodeled. They do their job well and add a lot of “pretty” to any room! Click here to read what they are and learn more about keeping your living environment healthy.
One of my easy, favorite, inexpensive things to do is put a bowl of baking soda up high on a shelf in a room where it’s out of the way but can do its air/odor cleaning job!
- When you use your last can of air freshener, how about trying a diffuser? Add a lovely citrus oil that naturally cleans the air (both available at Target)
Many of the products that people use daily contain chemicals that are not healthy and have been shown to be endocrine disruptors (that can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders).
I try to keep them away from my skin. When I talk about this I am referring to these items:
- Home cleaning products, especially those that contain bleach
- Laundry detergents and dryer sheets
Again, when you run out of one of these items, try switching it out for a healthy alternative.
This is one of my favorite categories because there are so many choices to “feed your soul!”
If you’ve been stuck in a rut with the same routine or practice, how about trying something new? I like to refer to this as:
- Getting fresh air more
- Finding “quiet” time (meditation)
- Trying yoga instead of slaving at the gym
- Getting off the grid (even for a day)
Just a few ideas but I’m a big believer in when one thing isn’t fun anymore, that other door might just be beckoning!
One of my happiest days was ten years ago when my parents embraced acupuncture for issues that their western-trained doctors couldn’t help with anymore without loads of medication. They also practiced Tai Chi for their morning exercise protocol for a while. I’m a big believer in the possibilities of many healing modalities in a complementary way to our traditional medicine. I love having a “team” of practitioners that help me maximize healthy living! I always say, I have nothing to lose! On my site, I’ve tried to introduce you to many healing modalities including Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Egoscue, Reflexology, Reiki and Nutrition to name a few.
So, there you go…the step by step journey that I’ve followed toward non-toxic living J I hope this helps you in yours and please remember, a step at a time and don’t forget to give yourself props for every positive change you make!
For recipes, books, products and more tips on nontoxic living, click here to visit my website where you can also subscribe to my newsletter.
And feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
Peace and Good Health!
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