Everyday of our lives we are surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of toxins and chemicals that affect us in so many ways.
What if I told you it was possible to reduce your intake of these chemicals by just making some simple changes?
- Eat organic – You are what you eat, eats.
But let’s face it eating all organic is not feasible for everyone (nor can you buy everything all organic to begin with) but if you use the EWG Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen listing as a guide this can help you prioritise your spending.
Whilst this is a US based group this list is recognised around the world. One item to add to the Dirty dozen which is listed on the clean 15 for me would be corn also as the majority of corn these days is GMO (yes even in Australia we are no longer safe from Monsanto).
There is also lots of pesticide free produce available at growers markets where the Farmers do not have the funds or want to do the paperwork to become certified organic as it is a very expensive process. This also helps you save some money as it tends to be cheaper than certified organic.
Grass fed meats and free range or pastured poultry are a far healthier animal eating what these animals should be eating – grass, insects etc not the disease causing grains some livestock is fed. Yes it’s slightly more expensive and a little harder to source but well worth the extra cost. This is where learning to use the cheaper cuts and organ meats in slow cooker style meals with lots and lots of veggies makes using grass fed meats more affordable.
Let meat be the side dish and veggies be the star of all your meals.
- Eat REAL food. E numbers, preservatives and additives are not real food; they are man made chemicals and have been linked to behavioural issues, allergies and many health conditions . If you turn over a packet and see a bunch of numbers and names you can’t pronounce your body isn’t going to know what these things are either. To make things worse most of these additives are made using GMO’s especially in the case where the additive is of corn or soy derivative. More info here.
- Clean your house with natural cleaners such as bicarb soda, vinegar, eucalyptus & tea tree oils etc. Not only is it cheaper than buying the super expensive cleaning products that are full of carcinogenic chemicals it’s better for your family and the environment too! See here to start you off with some chemical free cleaning solutions. Your health and pockets will thank you!
- Adopt a no shoes inside rule. Take your shoes off and leave them outside/in the garage etc when you get home. This alone can eliminate up to 50% of outside pollutants/dust.
- Use glass or stainless steel for food storage – even BPA free plastics have been found to leach toxic chemicals into our foods. See our post here for more info.
Also consider BPA in canned foods, use fresh wherever possible to avoid leaching BPA’s or find companies that use BPA free cans.
Ditch the plastic wrap and use food covers such as these from 4myearth and you will also reduce the amount of plastic that’s put into our tips which takes hundreds of years to decompose.
Swap children’s melamine plastic plates, cutlery and straws and opt for proper plates, glass or stainless cups and real cutlery. To avoid breakages make the meal time rule – you must sit down to eat. We have used glass and proper plates for quite some time and are yet to have anything dropped or broken. I think we do children a disservice by just assuming they are not old enough to sit still and eat a meal with proper dinnerware!
- Do a stocktake on your personal hygiene products and beauty products. Ask yourself do you really need that many? The average woman applies 500 chemicals to her face/body everyday find out more here . Scary isn’t it?
Actually read the ingredients of your products and analyse them. Also don’t fall for the just because its organic skin care/body products it must be safe for you marketing. Really get to know the decent products out there and not the companies out to cash in on the organic market. Use the EWG’s skin deep cosmetic database to make some informed decisions on your products. Use natural products like coconut oil which itself has hundreds of uses both for beauty and medicinal purposes.
- Filter your water – there are quite a few different options available on the market it’s just finding one that suits your needs and living arrangements (owning/renting a home) and your budget as they can vary in price.
- Use safe cookware – Teflon /non stick pans might be handy but are full of toxic chemicals. Instead use cast iron and stainless steel which can be picked up at reasonable prices online and homeware shops during the sales. Ditch the microwave. Reheating food in a saucepan or oven might take a little longer but much safer. Read more here on microwave hazards.
- Wear natural fibre clothing (100% cotton, silk, wool, bamboo or linen). ALWAYS wash clothing after purchase as fabrics (especially man made synthetic fabrics) have been treated with chemicals such as formaldehyde which cannot be washed out of clothing. Read more here.
- Seek out natural remedies before taking antibiotics as they kill all the good gut bacteria. Of course modern medicine has its place in society, but many things such as colds and flu’s can be treated with things such as olive leaf extract (we use this daily as a preventative), probiotics, essential oils, rest and nourishing foods. If you do require antibiotics take a course of probiotics and eat some fermented foods to recolonise your gut with all the good bacteria it needs.
- Invest in a decent HEPA vacuum cleaner. According to Nicole Bijlsma (from Building Biology and the author of “Healthy Home Healthy Family” who I recently had the pleasure of hearing speak at the Mindd Foundation seminar I attended) a HEPA fitted vacuum cleaner is the most important household appliance you will ever own. Floorboards/tiles are a more allergy friendly option to carpet especially for eczema and asthma sufferers so something to consider if you own your own home.
Now I could keep on writing for hours but it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with information especially when starting out so I will stop here.
Apply this rule to life, less is more especially when it comes to harmful chemicals given the increase in cancers and disease in society today. Our lifestyles and the products we consume all play a part in our overall health and wellbeing.
Start with one or two from this list and work towards making your family home environment as safe as possible.
To get you started making some changes Jane of Organics On a Budget is offering all Feeding Two Growing Boys readers an exclusive $5 off at her online store (for orders over $30 – expires Tuesday the 10th September) when you use the code “CHANGES”. The online store stocks everything from fresh, chilled and pantry food items to cleaning and beauty/body products and much more!
It is literally a one stop organic shop which is very handy for us Mums wanting to shop online at some of the best prices I have seen and very reasonable shipping costs for those of you in remote places where organic products or a variety is hard to find.
Would love to hear what you would add to the list?