This post contains affiliate links. This means I may make a small commission should you choose to purchase through one of my links. I only recommend products I personally use, like, and trust. Thank you for supporting my blog!
Our culture as a whole is becoming more and more aware of the harmful chemicals we are constantly surrounded by.
Do a quick google search “how many toxins are we exposed to everyday?” and you’ll be shocked by what you find! From unnatural, processed ingredients in our food, to toxic chemicals in our shampoo, toothpaste, body lotion, household cleaning supplies- you name it, we are exposed to harmful contaminants on a daily basis.
No wonder we have a population battling heart disease, diabetes, and ever increasing cases of cancer and autoimmune diseases! Not only is this bad news for us and our families individually, but also for our economy and nation as a whole. More and more of our country’s federal spending is being put towards health care costs for a sick population, leaving less room for other crucial aspects of our nation’s survival, such as defense, education, infrastructure, and the environment.
(If you want to learn more about how processed foods and toxins not only negatively impact our health, but also the economy and planet as a whole, I highly recommend “Food Fix” by Mark Hyman, M.D. He also provides very insightful answers on how we can help our world through non-toxic living!)
(*Also, if you’re a mom and want to be well educated on non-toxic living / how toxins and aluminum impact your families health and how you can make safe choices for your children from pregnancy through their teenage years, definitely grab a copy of “The Vaccine Friendly Plan” by Jennifer Margulis, Ph. D and Paul Thomas, M.D. I love both of these books because of the fact based, common sense approach to health, toxins, and how they spread awareness about these very important topics!)
Thankfully, more and more people are realizing the need for non-toxic living!
So what if you want to live an overall non-toxic, healthier life, but you’re not exactly sure where to start? I got you covered! I was completely overwhelmed when I first began wading into the expansive waters of clean living. I hope this blog post can simplify the process and get you and your family off to a safe start!
What Does Non-Toxic / Clean Living Actually Mean?
I came from a fairly health conscious family. Both my parents are extremely active, we ate a well balanced diet, and we rarely ever had pop or junk food. As an athlete, eating healthy and working out were my normal way of life.
But when my husband Daniel was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, we had to revamp everything- from the food we ate to the personal care and household items we exposed ourselves to.
I had no idea non-toxic / clean living was so expansive! It all seemed so overwhelming at first. I remember thinking “I just wish everything I needed to know was in one place!” So, from my life to yours, below is a simple but comprehensive guide to overall clean living, so that you can worry less and live better!
Food: Non-Toxic Living Starts with What You Eat
Let’s make this real simple: Our bodies and digestive systems do not change. However, our food and how it is processed has changed dramatically- particularly over the last couple hundred of years- making it very hard for our bodies to digest and handle it.
You can help your body out in a few simple, but very important ways:
- Go non-toxic by eliminating pesticides and other harmful chemicals by eating Organic, non GMO foods.
- Opt for the least processed foods that contain the least amount of chromosomes- such as ancient grains and heritage seeds and flour.
- Eat a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and lean meat. Stay away from greasy, creamy, fatty, and sugary foods and drinks.
- Drink TONS of water. This flushes toxins out of your body. If you struggle enjoying the taste of plain water, here is my favorite yummy vitamin and mineral packet that I mix in with my water for my afternoon pick me up!
- Don’t neglect your gut! Weight loss, metabolism, immune health, skin complexion, energy, you name it- it all begins in your gut. Incorporate foods rich in probiotics, such as greek yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. You can get my favorite daily probiotic that Daniel and I use here. You can also check out my blog post on making your own sourdough bread- a great way to eliminate empty, processed carbs and add healthy probiotics to your diet all at the same time!
- Eat REAL food. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you may want to avoid it. Stick with foods that you know the origin of and avoid ones with extra ingredients mixed in.
- If you really want to get crazy, incorporate juicing into your diet! Ginger root, Turmeric, Thyme, beats, and even garlic are all anti-inflammatory, anti-viral foods that we juice in our house several times a week to maintain overall health. (You can also incorporate them into your cooking, but juicing can be a great way to absorb the nutrients and give your digestive system a little break.)
- One of the best ways to go non-toxic is to do a detox! Help your body out as it works to eliminate harmful toxins by doing a detox. There are lots of ways to detox- this is the 3 Day Detox I do once a month through my clean living company (It’s a gentle detox, don’t worry- white pants approved!). It will eliminate toxins from your body, reignite digestive energy, boost your metabolism and target bloating!
- Eat as natural meat as you can find- with no hormones, nitrates, added steroids or other harmful ingredients found in processed meat. Organic, grass fed, lean meat is always the safest way to go.
- Everything in moderation: When it comes to eating healthy, moderation is key. For example, you may assess your diet and realize you need to cut some calories, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to eating only a chicken breast and some lettuce for supper. You need calories, sugar, even fat (yes, you need fat!) in your diet. Just be sure you are getting it from natural sources. (Avocados for example are a great source of healthy fats because they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and berries and other fruit have natural sugars in them). Eat healthier, eat enough, and eat a variety.
Now I should note here that if you have special health issues, you may need to adjust your diet accordingly.
For anyone struggling with Crohn’s disease or any form of IBS, I highly recommend the book “The Maker’s Diet” by Jordan S. Rubin. This really helped me understand the nature of IBS and how various foods affect inflammation in our bodies and our digestive systems!
Non-Toxic Food Resources:
Eating Organic and non GMO is becoming more available and affordable. Target & Walmart both have their own brand of organic food at a very reasonable price! Aldi, Trader Joes, farmers markets, and even planting your own garden are also very affordable non-toxic options! Food delivery services like Thrive Market may be a bit more pricey, but they are available and may be worth checking out depending on where you live!
Personal Care & Household Items: Non-Toxic Living Made Simple
This was possibly the most overwhelming and time consuming switch for me. So I’ll save you the hours of researching and wondering which everyday personal care and household are harming your health and cut to the chase: Basically everything!
From skincare, to toothpaste, to shampoo and conditioner, to dish soaps and all purpose cleaners- just switch it all out to natural, non-toxic alternatives. I get all my clean living items that I use everyday shipped directly to my door each month through the company I market for. (I call it the Amazon Prime of Clean Living– what can I say, I’m a sucker for 3 day free shipping!)
I am in love with all of these products, but the shampoo and conditioner along with the all purpose cleaner are items I make sure to never run out of in our home! (FYI- the all purpose cleaner works amazing as a non-toxic stain remover as well!) Check it out for your one stop shop to clean living household and personal care items!
In addition to our skincare (check out my collagen skincare that has totally transformed my complexion and reduced those lovely wrinkles and eye bags, courtesy of mom life!) it’s important to take a closer look at the makeup we use!
Skincare and Makeup can be loaded with toxins, putting women at risk for hormonal and infertility problems, among other health issues. If you’re looking for a place to start switching over in the makeup department, Young Living has some really great non-toxic, natural makeup, so feel free to check it out here!
Environmental: Wholistic Non-Toxic Living
Avoid plastics, BPA (found in the lining of canned goods, many plastics, and even freshly printed receipts), carcinogens, lead, and other environmental toxins that wreak havoc on our health. Here is a list of 20 toxins hiding in your everyday life!
Organic doesn’t just pertain to the food we eat. Clothing, mattresses, and other materials can carry very harmful chemicals- not ideal since our clothing and mattresses are in direct contact with our skin! Opt for organic alternatives wherever you are able to!
Do Your Research
I wish I could say that medical professionals always had the right information. I wish I could say that the CDC, pharmaceutical industry, and even the agriculture industry only had your health and safety as their main concern.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Wherever there is money (LOTS of money in these cases) and power, there is room for corruption. I’m not saying everyone in these fields can’t be trusted or is even knowingly giving bad information- but not everyone is willing to risk their livelihoods, careers, and safety by asking the right questions and actually looking at the ever increasing evidence that there are some serious health issues in our nation that need to be addressed.
Do your own research. Look at what your sources may have to gain from the narrative they are pushing. Follow where the money is coming from / going. Be your own advocate when it comes to your health and the health of your family. No one knows what is better for you than you. Never feel guilty for asking questions and wanting to make informed decisions.
Again, I highly recommend “The Vaccine Friendly Plan” by Jennifer Margulis, Ph. D and Paul Thomas, M.D. This book was such a great source of middle of the road, unbiased information that allows parents to be informed and make decisions that are best for their own individual families and health history.
Germs & The Immune System
I wouldn’t be a true germaphobe if I didn’t dedicate a little bit of space to this, so here goes:
Germs are how people get sick! Yes, they also build our immune systems, but the fact of the matter is: it’s just not cool to go around putting infants, the elderly and immune suppressed, or anyone else for that matter at risk. A common cold for you may be life threatening for someone else. Take care of your fellow humans!
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sanitize the shopping cart (with natural, safe sanitizers– not more harmful chemicals) Clean off door knobs, light switches, and other high traffic areas in your home where bacteria and sickness may be lurking. I spray my house down with Thieves All Purpose Cleaner every night, especially during cold and flu season to protect us from harmful germs that cause sickness while also boosting our immune systems.
We wash our hands and practice good hygiene (cover your mouth when you cough, wash hands after you blow your nose or touch your mouth) throughout the day, and eat immune boosting foods as well! You can check out my Clean Living Highlights on my Instagram profile for all kinds of tips, recipes, and resources on what we do to boost our immune systems on a daily basis!
In addition to going non-toxic from what goes on and in your body, there are a few other things you can incorporate into your life that will aid to your overall health and well being!
Sleep boosts our immune systems and allows our bodies to fight off infection, repair and rejuvenate itself, and even equips us to better handle stress and emotions. Try to get 8 hours of sleep a night, and go to bed early if you can. There’s a host of statistics and research about sleep out there- but they all seem to support one common theme: Humans need sleep! Plain and simple. Making sure you’re getting enough of it is a crucial step in non-toxic living!
Here in the U.S, we live a fast paced, high stress lifestyle. Stress can cause inflammation and hinder your body’s ability to fight off free radicals, as well as a major contributing factor to weight gain and digestive issues. (Source) Take time to slow down. Put the phone away and spend quality time with the people you love. Invest in relationships. Make time for rest.
Say no so you can say yes to things that are more important. Be careful what you commit to and be aware what things you may be neglecting because of how you choose to spend your time!
Pray. Trust God in the daily stresses. Be anxious for nothing and go to God with everything. Enjoy the comfort and peace of living in God’s presence. Here’s a few Bible verses that really help me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious:
2 Corinthians 5:7
Not to look a certain way, but to feel a certain way. The endorphins that are released into our body when we exercise boost our mood, provide mental clarity, and gives us a reason to feel accomplished! Exercise also aides in a non-toxic lifestyle by releasing toxins from our body through sweat! Don’t over do it if you’re out of the habit of exercising. Make physical activity a consistent pattern and be proud of yourself for doing something good for you!
Yes, we can experience non-toxic living in our minds as well! Our mental health is one of the biggest contributors to our overall health- after all, the brain controls the body! Unfortunately, this is often the most neglected. I am first in line when it comes to letting my mental well being slide down the priority list- especially during busy phases of life (which, let’s be honest, when are we NOT in a busy phase of life?)
Take time for yourself, Recognize what things feed your soul and refresh you and make sure you are doing those things regularly! Get help if you need it- there is nothing to be ashamed of! I’m a huge fan of counseling- we all have issues, why not learn to deal with them in a healthy way?! Pay attention to your mental well being and make self care a priority.
If better sleep, less stress, more energy and more meaningful relationships don’t boost your mood and help you better handle negative emotions, then I have a few more important tips:
Physical touch. Did you ever know someone who gave the best hugs? That was my grandpa. I always felt so loved and safe and happy when I was engulfed in one of his big bear hugs!
Skin to skin contact is the very first thing a baby needs when it comes into this world and I don’t think that need ever completely goes away. Hold your children. Cuddle with your spouse. Hug or high five a friend. It might sound too simple- but it works wonders!
Connect on an emotional level. Connecting with other humans- bearing your soul, being seen and heard and loved for exactly who you are is so important. Have heart to hearts and surround yourself with the people who love you.
Deal with negative emotions instead of suppressing them. Work and grow through hardships instead of letting them rule over you. Be your authentic self and make room for the people who accept who God made you to be. Get rid of toxic people and relationships and invest in uplifting, edifying ones instead. (That’s right- you can go non-toxic with the people in your life too!)
Dive into personal development so you can understand unhealthy patterns or behaviors that are deeply ingrained in your mind. Read personal development books, go to counseling, surround yourself with wise friends. Grow as a person and experience the freedom and peace that comes with it.
Mamas- if you could use some support in this area, follow me on Instagram for daily faith based personal development and encouragement!
Healthy / non-toxic alternatives in the small things amount to significant benefits over the course of our lives. I may not have an autoimmune disease like Daniel, but I personally want to stay healthy so I can be there for my children and as they grow up. I want to feel good so I can enjoy a beautiful day with my family. I want to be active and have a good quality of life as I get older. I want to be around to cultivate a relationship with my grandchildren.
It may seem like more of an effort or investment now to switch over to non-toxic living, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than dealing with ongoing health issues and the medical debt that follows. Clean / non-toxic living isn’t just about the here and now- it’s about whether or not you have hope in the future- for your own life, and the life you want for your family for generations to come.
I hope this post serves as a simplified, but comprehensive guide to non-toxic living and how you can start on the path towards an overall healthier way of life!
Hop over to my IG and check out my Clean Living Highlights to get more non-toxic recipes, tips and tricks on how we eat healthy, live well, and boost our immune systems on a daily basis!
Sign up for my Weekly Newsletter to get access to free resources on clean, non-toxic, homegrown living! If you got value from this post, please share so others can benefit as well!