Baby Steps Towards a Non-Toxic Life
Real Foodie and Non-Toxic expert shares her simple steps to improving overall health through lifestyle and eating choices.
Along with cooking traditional foods from scratch as much as I can, I also make a lot of my own personal and cleaning products. I make what I can and buy the rest from companies who take care to use non-toxic and eco-friendly ingredients. There are so many toxins in our world today that cannot be avoided that I want to minimize the ones within my control.
I meet so many people who feel the same but just don’t know where to start. In the beginning it can be overwhelming. Antionette Moura, a friend of mine, is great at guiding folks that are just starting on their non-toxic journeys (I call it a rabbit hole myself….).
If you chart the course of a cruise ship in the ocean & change it one degree, it does not even seem like it moved! However, over the course of 1000 miles it ends up in a totally different location! Baby steps!
So don’t despair, we all have to begin somewhere and even the smallest changes will make a difference.
Antoinette Moura is a Health and Wellness Transformation Specialist and founder of Clean Living Collaborators. Driven by a fatal peanut allergy in her son, this homeschooling mom of four small children is on a mission to educate consumers and to change the market place. Antoinette discovered the love for educating about clean safe living along the way. Her mission is to help empower families with the knowledge to make changes and also offers insight on how to lower our toxic body burden. She speaks all over the country and works with people who want to learn how to take their health into their own hands.
I met Antoinette when I attended one of their Clean Living Workshops as I was just starting up Fresh Eggs Web Design and Marketing. Since 2014, Clean Living Collaborators meets once a month in the Atlanta area to hear speakers and conduct workshops on natural ways to achieve non-toxic living and better health. They bring in experts on a variety of topics ranging from healing the gut naturally, to essentials oils and sugar detoxing to natural illness remedies for children. All the meetings are free to the public and the speakers are not paid. There is no monetary gain for producing the meetings, these friends do this out of their desire for people to have this information and to find community support through like minded people.
It all starts with baby steps!
Start your your journey to a healthier & cleaner life today.
CLEAN LIVING COLLABORATIONS BABY STEPS TOWARD A NON-TOXIC LIFE:
1. Air: Breath – don’t stress out because stress will kill you before anything else does. Open your windows- indoor air is 2-10 times more toxic than outdoor air! Open your windows and air out your house. Grow plants to clean your air – buying plants can bring in just as many VOCs as you have in your house now, eliminating the benefits. Have your children help and grow plants in organic dirt! Google NASA top 10 plants to clean your air for the best plants to remove formaldehyde, benzene and more. Cross check for toxicity for animals you may have….
2. Water – drink half your body weight in oz. of water per day and get the best filtered water you can. Avoid water served in plastic bottles.
3. Movement – walk, run, swim, dance! If and when you get in a bad mood you will see how breathing and movement can enhance your outlook and mood! Your body has a physiological response to stress and movement can change the hormones in the body. Not to mention sweating helps the body release toxins.
4. Eat more fruits & veggies! Buy organic for the “dirty dozen”, dairy and learn more about GMOs. When you buy GMO products you have the residual glyphosate as well as the engineered DNA. Use the Non GMO Shopping Guide to help!
5. Eat whole foods – read labels!
6. 3 Easy Cheap ways to eliminate chemical exposure:
– Leave your shoes at the door: you track in tons of chemicals/ pesticides/ herbicides and more with your shoes. Leaving them at the door dramatically decreases toxins in the home.
– Wash your hands! – This is probably the single most effective way to reduce toxins! Wash hands always before you eat but throughout the day when you can (with a non-toxic soap).
– Avoid Fragrance: Stop using “smell good” products and sprays – this means Glade, Febreeze, dryer sheets, perfume, etc. These are the “worst of the worst” when it comes to toxins and are very easy to avoid. Avoid products that you can spray, instead use non-spray options…always avoid the spray. Good examples are sunscreens.
7. Eliminate plastics – move to glass or stainless steel! Less is more – so many products we use are completely unnecessary and only add chemicals to our bodies and homes. These are often the most toxic products.
8. Eliminate toxic chemicals in your personal care & cleaning products: Learn to read your labels: 1400 Chemicals banned in Europe and only 11 here is the US! Neuro Toxins, Carcinogens , and Endocrine disruptors.
– We cannot control the environment but we can control what we put ON and IN our bodies. Your skin is your largest organ and has the ability to absorb what you put on it and enter the blood stream. Most of these toxic chemicals are water soluble and within 24 hours to 28 days will leave your body once you STOP using them! Its so empowering. Antoinette personally prefers products made in the EU due to the strict regulations in ingredients & product labeling! It’s sad & frustrating, but in a product manufactured & labeled for US production, there are just so many things left off the label! A few great resource for safe products are https://madesafe.org & for makeup credobeauty.com! She is also a leader with & reps for Neal’s Yard Remedies a beauty product company based out of the UK! There are several other companies working towards cleaner products but knowing how to read your labels and knowing the source of your products is just as important as with food labels. In one day you can take your toxic exposure from 400-800 chemicals down to 0 just by switching to safe products. Download this easy-reference “Ingredients to Avoid” sheet, twenty of the most commonly-used harmful chemicals to look for on your product labels. Changing your toxic personal products for cleaner ones is so much easier than food!
– Dust and Vacuum Often – Many toxic chemicals such as flame retardants and chemicals from plastics break down and end up in the dust in our homes. Children have higher levels of these chemicals because they are lower to the ground and putting items in their mouths. Wiping with a damp cloth, mopping with water and vacuuming can help reduce these exposures by reducing dust. Even better is investing in a high quality air purifier. Low quality air filters can be a waste of money and some times harmful, releasing toxic ozone into your home.
– Consider making your yard non-toxic – your children play and roll in the grass, your dog rolls in it and eats it. The “Non-toxic” term has no legal meaning. Therefore it means nothing. Marketers are counting on you assuming it means you want it to mean. Weed control chemicals are HIGHLY toxic and are not suddenly healthy once they are dry. ….and flowing down your street into your water supply when it rains. Roundup which is used almost always has a huge group of moms in arms in Washington demanding it be banned it is so toxic. You can use 20% acetic vinegar, which is just very strong vinegar, to kill weeds as well (this kills EVERYTHING so do not spray it on anything you want to live). Cover mouth, eyes and body as it is highly acidic.
– Opt for Non-Toxic Bug Control – Spraying toxic chemicals in your home to kill bugs is a critical source of exposures to toxic pesticides. Don’t fall for claims of “non-toxic” as these mean nothing or that it is “just a little bit so it isn’t harmful”. Children are more susceptible to these chemicals and even the American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to reduce pesticide exposure where you can due to the harmful and sometimes permanent effects. Look for the brand EcoSmart for use in your home. You can request some local pest services use ONLY this brand.
– Mosquito sprays are known neurotoxins (yes even the pyrenthium ones) and are very toxic to aquatic life. The best I have found is Mosquito Barrier. You can spray it yourself and it is made from garlic oil. Your yard will smell like Olive Garden for an hour but no toxic chemicals.
– Clean Green – Buy green cleaners for your cleaning service to use in order have your house cleaned with non-toxic cleaners. Studies have shown green cleaning reduces the number of contaminants in the air from 38 to less than 6. Instant results and healthier air!
9. Build your pit crew (naturopath, chiropractor, acupuncturist… )
10. Laugh more – don’t take things so seriously.
One of my dear friends is struggling to make changes in her products. What it boils down to for her and many of us is convenience vs money. It takes time to sort through all the info, then time to acquire the supplies to make products ourselves or spend a little bit more money (not always) to buy the healthier products ~ but then that still requires sorting through info to avoid the green-washing and misinformation. There is some inherent savings in just using LESS. We really don’t need all the products that marketers convince us we need. So it’s okay to spend a little bit more on the things that you do need.
For me living a less toxic lifestyle is a priority and a continuous learning journey. Change doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been traveling this road for at least 20 years…and in only the last 10 with more focus. Take baby steps and if if means something to you, it will become a learning journey for you too with better health as a result.