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There are more reasons than I could ever explain to you why a clean lifestyle is so important. Before going gluten free I ate whatever, without caring what was in it. Beauty product ingredients didn’t matter to me and I never thought to question them.
Once going gluten free, I had to read the labels of my food and anything I was putting on my body. I started questioning everything on the label. I would look up certain chemicals and research what they were and why they were being used. It is sickening how many chemicals are in the food that we feed our children. Just because it is gluten free doesn’t mean it is free from artificial food coloring, preservatives, nitrates, THBQ, BHT, parabens, sulfates, etc… I could go on and on. Many of these things are linked to cancer and they are beginning to link them to childhood cancer as well.
Being mindful of the things that you put into your body and teaching your children to love their bodies enough to only want to put nourishing things into it needs to be the new norm. I don’t deprive my children of everything but there are certain things that I will not allow. I explain to my 5 year old why he can’t have it. See, I did not grow up that way. I was sick and unhealthy and I am determined to make sure my kids will not have to live that way.
Going clean and organic can be expensive. It is possible to keep it on budget if you get a little creative. See my post organic vs. non-organic how to spend the same.
Our dollars vote. If everyone stood up and said, “I only want real ingredients in my food and my life,” then that is what the industry will give us. So here are 10 simple ways to jumpstart a clean lifestyle.
1) The Dirty 15
The Dirty 15 are the items that you need to buy organic. Most of them have pesticide sprayed directly all over them and tests have shown, even after they are washed that there is still a lot of pesticide on them. If your produce is not certified organic, then there is a possibility that it is a GMO product. GMO seeds have pesticide inside of them and you can not wash it off. Your body and your children’s body absorb it, so it is very important to buy highly GMO products organic. Corn and soy are huge ones. If your product is not organic make sure it is at least Non-GMO verified.
I try my best to buy all organic produce but the few that I do not worry as much about are avocados, onions and melons. They are not highly GMO and you never eat the outside. They test low for pesticide.
2) Organic Meat and Dairy
Antibiotic resistance and hormone disruption are some of the common reasons people choose organic meat and dairy. The price can be more expensive so it is important to shop mindfully and look for the best deals. Sometimes local farms are an excellent option. Call around and ask questions. There are places that may not be certified organic but they use organic practice. Being certified organic can be very costly and it is simply an expense that small farms can not swallow. Supporting local is the best way to go, otherwise, look for sales and clearance items on meat. Trader Joes and Costco are also an excellent option for organic meat and dairy.
3) Cooking Oils
Vegetable oil is just a fancy term for GMO soy oil. The two most affordable and easy to find oils are coconut and Avocado Oil. When purchasing a coconut oil it is very important for it to be organic, unrefined and cold pressed. Coco Colla Co. is an excellent and flavorful coconut oil.
4) No Fancy Scents and Household Cleaners
Fabric softener has been linked to hormone disruption and pulmonary irritation. I suffered from asthma as a child and I can not tolerate the smell of it. Candles and fancy scented waxes are also known to be toxic. Things like air freshener and Febreeze are HORRIBLE for you. I like to use Honest candles or just simply open windows for fresh air. Honest Aromatic Soy Candles are an excellent alternative.
The fumes and scents give you headaches for a reason. They are linked to respiratory irritations and many other health issues. Use clean all natural products without synthetic fragrances. One example for me personally is Swiffer wet mops. Every time I used one I would get a horrible headache. When The Honest Company came out with a wet mop pad, I was beyond excited! It is all I will use now.
5) Body, Beauty and Feminine Hygiene Products
The skin is our largest organ and very absorbent. Sodium lauryl sulfate, mineral oil and parabens are some of the mainstream ingredients that people have caught onto and no longer want in their products. There are many more though that should be avoided if possible. Tarte is one of my favorite brands of makeup. I also love 100% Pure Organic Skincare Line, Honest Bath and Body Products, they have been in my house since the company started about 5 years ago. Also, when The Honest Company came out with a feminine care line I was overjoyed. Glyphosate has been found in all of the major feminine care products. It is causing hormone disruptions as well as other problems. I switched to organic feminine care about 6 months ago and there is a difference in my cycles. They are more regular and there is much less cramping.
6) Never Spray Glyphosate Around Your Home.
Glyphosate is found in most herbicides, Roundup is the most common name. It is not only for your weeds, it is sprayed in mass amounts on non-organic food. I truly believe that glyphosate is one of the main culprits to modern day diseases. It is now being linked to cancer and I believe it plays a part in gluten sensitivity. I never spray herbicides, I simply go out and pull the weeds myself. There are also some great non-toxic and all natural sprays using vinegar you could try as well. To learn more about glyphosate go over to Dr. Mercola’s website.
7) Quality over Quantity
This is a real mind set that you have to consciously change when you choose to have a cleaner lifestyle. It goes for everything; food, makeup, household cleaners, etc… Most of us are programmed to feel like more is better. I know that I always have been. This was something that took some time for me to adjust to. The two hardest things were food and beauty products. I realized that I don’t need to eat as much and eating smaller amounts of healthier food is just better for you. Also, I don’t need 3 shampoos or 4 face washes. I only need one that works and is good for me.
8) Grow a Backyard Garden
This has always been a joy for me. I used to not be able to keep plants alive and no one taught me how to garden. After we bought our first house I started planting things here and there. The last few seasons I planted lots of herbs and last spring I did several vegetables. I dream of someday having enough land for a real garden and fruit trees. I got the kids in the backyard helping me and the hubby a little too. Planting is so peaceful and therapeutic, everyone should give it a try. The sense of pride cooking something that you grew yourself is amazing.
9) Get the Kids Involved
I have never given my kids fluoride toothpaste. My 5 year old however, has been given it on many occasions. Every trip to the dentist, a bubble gum flavor tube laced with toxic food coloring and fluoride that is supposed to be “good for him” is brought home and he wants to use it. We go over the same thing every time. I say, “Fluoride is bad, it is poison.” My son says, “Why do they give it to me then mommy?” Answering that is always difficult because the true reasons are too difficult for his 5 year old mind. Most of the time my answer is the same as I tell him for food, “The people who make this don’t care if it makes us sick because they are more worried about making money.” It is a little blunt but what else am I supposed to say? My 5 year old knows that McDonald’s is toxic. He has had it only a few times his entire life and it was my Mother who took him on those occasions. He is gluten free, so understanding food ingredients is something he has to do. Talk to your kids about why we make these choices. Unfortunately, children in our communities have had to battle cancer and my Son has seen pictures of them,` we pray for all of them every night. We have talks about how certain things in the environment and our food can cause cancer so its important to avoid it as much as possible. I want my kids to have food values. I was told constantly not to be picky about my food as a kid. I want my kids to be picky in a good way when they grow up.
In today’s age, everything is plastic. There are some plastics that are known to be toxic and are supposed to be off of the market, but you should still always check what type of plastic your items are made of. BPA, PVS and Phthalates are the three most toxic. It is important to never heat your plastic. When you heat the plastic, toxins can be released into whatever is in the container. I do buy plastic products, but I make sure they are clear of the three I mentioned and I never heat them. I choose a glass or stainless alternative if available.