Easy, Fool Proof Ways to Cut Chemicals From Your Life

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Every day we get on the Internet and see new articles revealing the dangers in particular foods, products and cleaners. Every day we can feel more overwhelmed, confused and hurt. It seems as if sometimes there's no right way to go or correct product/brand to use. 

However every day we have the chance to do better, despite the overwhelming headlines. Even when it seems so confusing, we have the option to make small changes that we know are better for us. Science may change their opinions on things like chocolate and red wine over time, but there are just certain things that is basic and easy to follow. There are certain "facts" that have overtime never changed. 

If you want to start cutting some chemicals and toxins out of your life and routine, here are some easy and basic ways to do so! Don't let these changes overwhelm you, make them slowly over time as you can. This isn't all or nothing or even all at once, it's at the pace that works for you!

  1. Pop into the local health food store. Even a small town will typically have a natural food/health store nearby. Stop in for some motivation to browse around and see what sorts of items you can switch out. Healthier cleaners, vitamins, food items and more, deodorant, may be right at your fingertips and you didn't even know it. 
  2. Stop the idea of "all or nothing." I'm a firm believer in that nothing can be perfect. You can eat a day's worth of organic meals and yet still stop by Chic Fil-a for a milkshake after a long day. These things happen and it's okay. Less is more. Having less is better for your health, but it's okay to live life on the edge sometimes. Start with the items you breathe in at home and put on your skin, work on your diet later. 
  3. Read a good book. I recommend "Healthy Child, Healthy World." This book is especially great for mothers, but is still so full of knowledge for us all. Also any good book of "Natural Remedies" is a great tool to have on hand! 
  4. Find a support group. There are typically support groups on Facebook for natural minded mamas or people. I love Baton Rouge Natural Moms, Green Moms Network or you can even navigate some of our information for more tips! 
  5. Filter your water. Make sure your drinking water is filtered somehow. 
  6. Microwave less. This is something that I struggle with too! When you're not in a hurry, take the frozen veggies out of the bag or the can, and cook them on the stove. 
  7. Skip all the Bath and Body Works. Most women have been guilty at some point or another of harboring a basket full of these goodies. Toss them, regift them, recycle them...just get rid of them and their temptation to be used disappears. Search for a handmade soap that consists of basic things like lye or shea butter and essential oils. Use a basic lotion with minimal ingredients that you can pronounce. 
  8. Find a truly plant based cleaner. With Thieves cleaner, you only need ONE cleaner for your whole home. It's truly plant based and it disinfects naturally. While there are other decent plant based cleaners (Honest Co., Seventh Generation) out there, Thieves has always been the one that I trust the most. 
  9. Toss the Tupperware. Invest in some glass Pyrex dishes for storing your leftover food. Plastic tupperware containers contain tons of toxic chemicals (even the BPA free ones) and are very harmful to your health. Even if you don't heat food in them, chemicals still leach into the food (especially if you place warm food in there). 
  10. Toss the fake scents. Candles, air fresheners, plug ins and the like, are some of the most toxic ingredients in the home. They are cancerous, can affect the endocrine system and they can contribute to respiratory issues and things like asthma and allergies. Choose a natural beeswax or soy candle and/or stick with essential oils or homemade potpourri. 
  11. Eat more FRESH food. If your food is grown from the ground, you're doing good. Buy more fresh and less from the box. Choose organic if and when your budget allows. 
  12. Try charcoal soap. A truly good charcoal soap is great for the skin and can be great as a face wash as well! They are also very inexpensive.
  13. Switch deodorants and perfumes. This one is for someone who has already begun their journey and research. Find a good, natural deodorant (this is huge for women's health) and skip perfume in favor of essential oils! 

Trying to ban all chemicals and toxins is nearly impossible. Things will get by, things will be enjoyed and splurged on and you'll learn as you go where you where and what you want to focus on. Just strive for your best and you'll get there. The more you know, the better you can do! 

For more information on joining our wellness community geared around essential oils and plant based products, visit our link here

My Daily Wellness Habits

 Post workout with my little guy. All photos copyright. 

Post workout with my little guy. All photos copyright. 

Sticking to a routine can sometimes be tricky, #momlife. Our nights of sleep and our morning start can all play a role in just how well we do with balancing our days with the routines that we know are helpful and good for us. 

I went through a time in my life where everyday I took my supplements and oiled up just as I had the day before. I had more energy, more grounded emotions and just an overall better feeling, and that was when I was a brand new postpartum mother. I realized then how important that routine was to helping me feel so balanced and grounded and have strived to continue to keep it up ever since then. 

 My Oily station. 

My Oily station. 

Sometimes I get asked by others, "How do you do it all?" and sometimes as flattering as the question is it is also a very hard question for me to answer. I suppose like so many other mothers, in my mind I feel like I am not successfully doing it all. There are indeed clothes that need to be washed, chores I didn't do, blog posts that I didn't write and a child who wanted me to color with them today and I never did. I think we are all guilty of holding onto mom guilt and believing that we're just not doing good enough. But...I digress...back to my wellness routine. 

I suppose that my wellness habits are a tool that helps me do it all. And while every day I may not feel like I'm on top of the world, most days I feel pretty darn good. I thought it would be beneficial to share some of the things that I take and the oils that I use daily for my own health regimen. Essential oils have changed the game for me. When used daily and consistently and when using the right brand, your body can respond in ways that you never dreamed. Essential oils can offer support for emotions, sleep, anxiousness, mood, skin, digestive health, respiratory health, immunity, energy and SO MUCH MORE (but this post isn't just about oils - so keep reading!). 

 An excellent blend for your diffuser in the mornings! 

An excellent blend for your diffuser in the mornings! 

Before I share my routine, I want to point out that some of these things are not always achieved every day. Life happens and sometimes I can be forgetful. But when all of these things are achieved, my days are just simply better. 

Here lately I have been rising before the kids to have some quiet time for reading scriptures and praying. I have noticed how this greatly impacts my day for the better! Sometimes I am also able to squeeze in some work and chores. Rising before the kids, truly makes a difference! 

MORNING ROUTINE: 

  • Wake before the kids for quiet time - I like to spend this time on my front porch 
  • Diffuse Peppermint with a citrus oil to wake up and become alert
  • Take two Super B tablets with breakfast 
  • Take two Multigreens capsules
  • Take 1-2 Vitamin D gummies from Nordic Naturals
  • Take one plant based iron capsule from Rainbow Light 
  • Apply Progessance Plus to my forearms 
  • Apply Valor oil over heart and behind ears
  • Apply Tranquil oil when heading out the door 

MID MORNING ROUTINE:

  • Drink 1-2 oz of Ningxia Red 
  • Workout for about 15-20 mins if I can (or want to)
 Go outside for some fresh air. 

Go outside for some fresh air. 

MIDDAY SLUMP:

  • Diffuse oils based on what I want/need: sometimes it's for a pick me up and others for more joy in our day
  • Drink a NingXia Zyng (it would also be wise to do an ounce of Ningxia Red in the morning and another ounce in the afternoon for a pick me up)
  • Apply Tranquil oil for some afternoon zen
  • Add 1-2 drops of Lemon oil to my water
  • Go outside for a bit to walk or ride bikes with the kids, water the flowers or simply pull weeds! Sometimes we just eat our afternoon snacks on the porch 
  • Go for a change of scenery - if we have been stuck inside all day, we may run to grab ice cream to go for a change of scenery 
  • Also I like to nap. While this is happening less these days, I will listen to my body during the kids' nap time and get myself a power nap in. 

EVENINGS:

  • Diffuse calming oils such as Lavender + Cedarwood, Stress Away + Orange, White Angelica + Orange or Gentle Baby 
  • Soak in the bath (obviously this isn't always a possibility) 
  • Read something if I can 
  • Apply Rutavala before bed (especially on days where my mind won't stop and I can't settle for sleep)
 Ending the day in my own little paradise. 

Ending the day in my own little paradise. 

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into how my days typically go around here when it comes to the things I do to keep going. It can be hard to keep the adrenaline going and believe me, I'll nap during the kids' nap time if my body needs it. 

Listen to your body and treat it the right way. It will thank you in your mind, body and spirit. 

For help with any of these products or to become a member of our private community where you can learn more about using these oils and products and overall natural wellness, join my tribe here!  

Switching to a Toxin Free Lifestyle: Part II

Toxin Free Lifestyle

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

Switching to a toxin free lifestyle

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!