Naturally you would want to start at the beginning. So where is the beginning? That will be different for almost everybody. Some of you may already have health issues where you need to make drastic changes immediately, while others want to make gradual changes. I feel it is important to start where you feel most comfortable. I started making small changes here and there and I used myself as the guinea pig. If I found it was doable for me, then I imposed that change for the family.
I gradually started to change out white wheat for whole wheat, replace white sugars with honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar and I started to buy all organic meats, local when possible. Our fruits and veggies are mostly organic, I say mostly, because our budget only allows us the “dirty dozen”. (see details here) Then came label reading, it is so important that you read the food labels of the products that you buy. Not just the catch phrases or marketing key words but the actual ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, or if you can’t find it growing in nature, it’s probably processed. You would be surprised to find how many unnecessary ingredients (chemicals) are put into our food today just so it can sit on the shelf longer at the grocery store. Always remember, you are what you eat.
Once I replaced our food with “real foods” I moved on to how I store my foods. We sure did have a lot of plastic water bottles and plastic food storage containers for left overs, packing school lunches and transporting foods. I have been slowly replacing those with either glass or stainless steel (as I am trying not to break the bank). My kids really love the glass water bottles and I was surprised that they have noticed the water tastes “fresher”. Don’t get me wrong, we are still a work in progress so I may still have a few plastic water bottles floating around, mainly for the soccer fields so the glass ones don’t get broken.
Moving on to household cleaners, have you ever looked at the ingredient label of your favorite go to cleanser product? It likely contains various synthetic chemicals which you should try to avoid as they can wreak havoc on your body. (I will elaborate on this in a later post) Most common laundry detergents, dryer sheets and especially bleach can also be considered toxic. The solution… Believe it or not many of the foods we consume can also be used as cleaning products i.e. vinegar, lemon, baking soda, salt and even olive oil. With these common household staples there is no excuse to at least try to make your own and see how it works!
As you can imagine, what you put on your body can be just as important as what you put into it. Think of your daily routine, commonly consisting of soaps, lotions, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, make up, hair products. Not to mention nail polish, perfumes, hand sanitizers… and the list goes on. If you take a closer look at some of these ingredients, once again you will find synthetic materials being used. Many of which contain hormone disrupting and even cancer causing agents, and we are applying them directly onto our bodies. Most of the aforementioned products can contain VOCs -volatile organic compounds (read more here) which have health effects that may include:
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
- loss of coordination
- known to cause cancer
Luckily, most if not all of these products can be easily made at home with safer ingredients you have in your pantry, things like coconut oil, honey, baking soda and again vinegar (I am noticing a trend with vinegar) Even if you aren’t willing to try to make these products at home just yet, there are much safer, more natural products you can buy online or even at your local grocery store.
I make many of my own household cleaners/beauty products including,
- Laundry detergent
- Bathroom cleaner
- Window cleaner
- Bleach alternative
- Dishwashing detergent
- Shampoo/conditioner (occasionally)
- Toothpaste (occasionally)
- Air Freshener (Diffuse essential oils)
- Facial mask
….. and I look forward to making many more! I will post many of these DIY recipes in the future. Please leave me a comment below and let me know what changes you have made so far. If you have any great recipes for that you use please share!! Thanks!