In Part I of our lifestyle series, we focused on gaining the courage to make the jump. We focused on getting into the mindset that you can slowly do this, day by day. Even year by year.
Today we will look at a few more of the reasons WHY to do this. Again, I like to reinforce the idea that this doesn't have to be all or nothing. However I would like to think that eventually you may make the transition to changing it ALL; but even if you do not, every change is a good thing!
So why? Why to make these changes?
Parabens. Phthalates. Fragrance. SLS. Triclosan. Chlorine. These are just a few of the toxic ingredients sitting on the backs of your beauty and personal care products. These along with many, many more all contribute to our health in major ways.
The average woman typically comes into contact with over 300 chemicals per day, with 80 of those before breakfast. These chemicals or ingredients, while they may be in small amounts, will continually build up over time. In fact, Triclosan a common ingredient in hand soaps and sanitizers, actually stays on your skin for hours after use. This ingredient is damaging to human cells, organs and can even be linked to birth defects.
Have you ever noticed how HIGH our cancer rates, infertility rates and depression rates are? Have you ever listened to just how many people are on medication for something. Perhaps you are one of them and you dread the task of taking a daily medication that you know is not good for you or your body; or perhaps you're not even sure if it is good or not. This isn't to say all medication is bad, I KNOW that some are truly needed. But there are most definitely ways that a healthy lifestyle can heal you in more ways than you can imagine.
We would never quite think that something as simple as our face wash, makeup and soap can be the link to some of the things we are experiencing. Unexplained weight gain, moodiness, fatigue, infertility, etc... those are things we may never stop and link to our personal care products. Yet, the truth of it is that it can easily be just that.
Some interesting factoids can be found below to help you have a better understanding of how lax our government is on letting chemicals and toxins flood our products and cleaners. For more specifics on certain products like hand soaps, mouth wash and more, check out this post here.
So what are some steps you can do? The MORE you KNOW, the BETTER you DO. This is completely true. If you have a basis of knowledge to begin this journey, you'll slowly start to learn more and make the changes that are important to you!
- Read Healthy Child, Healthy World. This book is excellent with the facts, science and research that you need to give you an extra push. I promise, this book can truly do the trick!
- Download the Think Dirty App. Download this app and begin scanning the products you use daily to see just how toxic they are. Major red flags should be high cancer ratings and high reproductive toxicity ratings.
- Start with your Children. This is the easiest area to change for your family because children are not brand loyal, unlike us women! They just need a good shampoo and wash, lotion and toothpaste. If you really get into things, you may also start looking at chemical free diaper options.
- Move on to your cleaners second. This is somewhat of an easy change because really, cleaning is cleaning. Occasionally we become brand loyal to the scent of Pine Sol or to the Windex that your mom swears by. But slowly we can break the cycle of toxic cleaners. When you use up your cleaner, buy a new, natural brand.
- Save your products for last. Women are brand loyal and occasionally high maintenance. Some of us swear by that $100 retinol cream for our skin. Start transitioning the products that are easy to such as soaps, lotions, shaving cream, etc... Then move on to hair care and facial care. Makeup tends to be a very hard area for people to make that switch. Luckily I have finally found my option for non toxic makeup thanks to Young Living!
Other easy to make switches around the home:
- Ditch the plastic. Get rid of Tupperware and replace it with glass containers. Stop eating on plastic plates and invest in a good ceramic or porcelain set. Opt for glass drink ware over plastic cups you caught in a parade.
- Don't buy from the Dollar Store. Whoa, I know. That seems a little crazy to just say, but research has shown that many Dollar Store brands are made with harsher chemicals than the exact same style product or brand at the local Wal Mart. Baby bottles, teethers, dinnerware, baby toys and even cleaners are items you'd likely want to stay away from.
- Open the windows. The air within your home is 5-7 more times toxic than the air outside. Open your windows more!
- Ditch the candles. As stated in the graphic, candles are highly toxic! Choose essential oils to diffuse or soy candles fragranced with pure essential oils.
- Toss ALL of the smell good stuff. Plug ins, air fresheners, sprays, candles, wax warmers, etc... they are all highly toxic and are among the biggest pollutants in the home.
- Choose organic if budget allows. When it comes to food, choose organic if you can. If you can't purchase it all organic - decide what maybe is important to you. Perhaps organic produce is important or organic milk. If organic is not allowed at all in the budget, then just choose wholesome foods and make sure to clean ALL produce (organic or not). The cleaner the diet and the less processed foods consumed, the less toxins you're putting in your body (this is my area of weakness FYI).
- Consider what baby is chewing on. All of our teethers are toxin free, these are VERY easy to find! Search Etsy, Amazon or your local baby store (not Wal Mart usually) for good teethers. Also, we love wooden toys and natural fiber toys for baby because of all the chemicals in plastics. However this is NOT to say that our baby does not have plastic toys we just try to avoid them.
- While there are many options available to make your home and materials within your home less toxic, sometimes that's just not an option. We can't just all rebuild our homes to be toxin free, now can we?! My word of advice on this is to consider the nursery for an upcoming baby. If you have the chance to do a gift registry and start with a clean slate for your baby, then go for it! Choose natural fibers and organic cotton sheets, blankets, etc... Look for VOC free paint as well! A toxin free nursery can actually be easily attainable since babies do not need much.
Whew, that was a lot of information. Your head may be spinning right now and you may also be thinking, "No way is this happening for me." Please, don't think that I did this all overnight. Don't think that I am perfect at it and that we don't slip up. It's all about finding some grace to give yourself when things happen or when you can't resist something. It's normal to me now to be conscious of things and it's like second nature to me. It can be for you too!
No one said this would be easy, but it also won't really be hard. It's just a bit to soak in and learn along the way. You've got this! I am cheering you on friend.
Stay tuned for part III to see how I can help to guide you on this journey!