*Please note that the information in this post is my opinion only. I am not a medical professional and therefore the information here should not be used as such. Please consult your physician for any medically related issues.
About six years ago I found out that I was pregnant with our beautiful little pixie. Our journey to that blissful news was not easy but as a result of our temporary roadblocks, my family began a journey to a healthier and more toxin-free lifestyle. Now my family effortlessly lives a toxin-free lifestyle but making that transition was riddled with inadequate products, an overwhelm of information and a lot of trial and error. That’s why I want to share my wisdom with you, so you can avoid all of that and move right to the effortless part!
Did you know that the top 3 substances involved in poison exposure are found in your own home; painkillers (over-the-counter and prescribed), cosmetics (and personal care products), and household cleaning products? The statistics are pretty shocking and scary. To top it off, the health repercussions of using these products long-term are terrifying; cancer, asthma, and fertility issues, just to name a few. It was information like this that led me to make a big change in how my family ate, the products we used on our bodies, and the household cleaners I used to clean our home.
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First, I want to say that some of these changes were a pretty big deal for me and my family. I don’t want to sugar coat anything and make you think that making these changes was seamless and easy. Change, by definition is “to make radically different” and we all know that it is human nature to avoid change because it is scary and well, different from what we’re comfortable with. That being said, these changes will drastically improve you and your family’s quality of life and they will eventually become the norm for you, as long as you remain consistent and stick to the tips I outline here.
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The following 10 Tips are the steps my family took to transition our home to a toxin-free zone. I recommend taking them one step at a time and allowing yourself and your family time to adjust to each change before moving on to the next. This will optimize your success in making these changes and make them less overwhelming for all involved.
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- Use Cast Iron or Stainless Steel Pans Instead of Non-Stick- In a post by the Environmental Working Group it states that “Manufacturers’ labels often warn consumers to avoid high heat when cooking on Teflon. But EWG-commissioned tests conducted in 2003 showed that in just two to five minutes on a conventional stovetop, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces could exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gasses.” Reduce your exposure to these highly toxic chemicals by switching to the safer alternatives of cast iron and stainless steel cookware.
- Remove Your Shoes In The House- We walk through a lot of bacteria and toxins throughout our day. Did you know that your shoes step through 421,000 different types of bacteria and toxins, such as lawn care pesticides! Reduce the transfer of these bacteria and toxins into your home by requiring everyone to remove their shoes the minute they walk in the door. Another added bonus is that it reduces the amount of dirt carried throughout your home, which means less sweeping and vacuuming for you!
- Ditch The Plastic- There are a few reasons why you should avoid plastics in your home; specifically the chemicals BPA & Phthalates which can cause a multitude of problems such as disrupting hormones, infertility in men and immune system impairment to name a few. Plastic is also harmful to the environment given its high pollution rate and how long it takes for plastic to break down. Instead, opt for glass and stainless steel storage and kitchenware. Don’t forget to switch those plastic water bottles for a glass or stainless steel option!
- Get A Water Filter- Safe drinking water is vital to your health and quality of life. Tap water contains over 2,000 different types of toxic chemicals. This makes the need for water filtration systems in your home extremely important. There are many levels of water filters, from your carbon filters (think Brita) to a whole house filter for your water. Whichever option you choose be sure that all water that you and your family drinks, clean fruits and vegetables with and cook with is done via the filtered water and not the tap water. Our household uses this filter because it allows use to filter a larger amount of water at once.
- Get a shower filter-Many of the contaminants in tap water become gasses at room temperature. By using a shower filter you help reduce them before they get into the air.
- Use houseplants as natural air purifiers- The natural thought is that the air outside your home is highly toxic, and it is true that there is a barrage of chemicals in the air from pesticides, vehicle fumes, and industrial pollutants. What you might not realize is that your home also holds a high amount of toxins. These arrive in your home via the products you use to clean your home, flame retardants on everything from your furniture to your children’s PJs, and how you choose to scent your home (i.e. candles and commercial air fresheners) Using houseplants as natural air purifiers will help eliminate these chemicals from the air. Aloe Vera, Lavender, and Tulips are some of my favorites. Be sure to do your research before adding a plant to your home, especially if you have pets and/or children.
- Open Your Windows- Yes this means in the Winter too. In order to keep the air clear, you need to have your windows open as much as possible. This allows for proper ventilation of the air in your home. During the Winter months, 5 minutes per week will suffice.
- Reduce the dust build-up-I dislike dusting as much as the next person but keeping your furniture and carpets free of dust as much as possible helps reduce the wide range of particles and allergens that can build up. This is especially important if you have pets which create dander that builds up on the surfaces of your home. Once a week will help keep this build-up to a minimum.
- Replace your personal care and beauty products-Did you know that the average woman puts about 500 chemicals on her body every day? Choose products that are free from the top toxins, such as acrylates, carcinogens, and formaldehyde. Let me help you transition your personal care and beauty products to a safer alternative.
- Replace your household cleaners-One stop into a store will have you surrounded by toxins touted as great for cleaning your home. Do not fall victim to their gimmicks because what’s at stack is your health and that of your family’s, and what’s worse; their safety. The cleaners you find in the stores are riddled with warnings about how deadly any one of these products can be. It’s worth finding safer alternatives.
There you have it! These 10 tips will have your home toxin-free, healthier and safer. Take the process of transitioning as fast or slow as you feel comfortable with but the important thing is that you take that first step. If you would like more one-on-one guidance on how to transition your household cleaners, personal care, and beauty products to toxin-free options then let’s talk! I can take the guesswork and overwhelm out of the process for you.
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