According to Dr. Lora Shahine, "Environmental toxins are the new tobacco". Her point was that there is enough research and science to show that there is a definitive link between the rise in health issues and toxins and it should be talked about more frequently. Dr. Shahine is a fertility doctor who works with other fertility doctors to help give them the information and resources they need to be able to confidently educate their patients on this topic.
Most people are still unaware of this issue, and if you're here reading this, than that means you are one step ahead of most!
We accumulate toxins in our bodies over time so it's really important to take control of what you can and your home is the most obvious place to do this. So what can you do?
Below are the top 5 ways to lower your toxin exposure and support your health
The first way is to take control of your household environment. This is the first step I discuss with my clients because it has the most impact (and is the most inexpensive!). If you're able to commit to making these few changes, you'll be able to feel much more confident that your home is a much healthier place.
Taking your shoes off is the #1 that environmental toxins enter. The Washington Post recently published an article talking about all the gross stuff that enters in your home through your shoes. So get a basket or shoe organizer and start making your family leave the shoes at the door.
Next you're going to want to "burp" your home every day. If you've never heard of this, it's simply opening a couple of windows to create air flow. This will flush out stale air and bring in fresh air. I do this even on the hottest of hot days and coldest of cold days. You will only need to keep them open for 5-10 minutes which is not enough time to drastically change the indoor temperature. Here are a few additional benefits of opening your windows every day.
Lastly, you're going to want to dust & vacuum every few days if you don't already. Use a damp cotton cloth or an old unmatched sock to dust (clever way to reuse those suckers huh?!) and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter (Miele vacuums are the best & worth every penny!). A quick side note: I mentioned using COTTON cloths to dust, not microfiber cloths. I have been avoiding microfibers due to the issue of them being a huge contributor to micro-plastic contamination in our oceans. If you have an abundance of microfiber cloths around & use them regularly, then I recommend using a Cora Ball and/or Guppyfriend Bag to capture some of those micro-plastics to keep them from going into our oceans.
Swapping your current household cleaners to safer ones is MUST. Most people use brands that SAY they're better, but when you dig into the ingredients, they really aren't much better than traditional cleaners. And this swap is SO EASY!
There are a ton of websites out there that show you how to make cleaners from ingredients that you most likely already have. Using things like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils & baking soda are super effective and really inexpensive.
My absolute favorite cleaner is the Force of Nature system. It creates electrolyzed water which kills 99.9% of bacteria, is super economical and one of the safest cleaners you can use. I literally haven't bought cleaning products in 5 years. Hooray for that!
This is where it gets a little bit tricky. When it comes to personal care products, most of us are looking for products that target specific skin issues we have that coconut oil & baking soda won't address. Since it's pretty much impossible to get really high-performing products without using a bunch of ingredients, its important that we choose wisely. Also, the beauty industry is essentially unregulated, so it's up to us to do our research and choose products that are free from harmful ingredients.
There are a good amount of resources out there like the Environmental Working Group's website (and I'm always here to help!), but if you're not wanting to learn how to do your research yourself, I always trust Beautycounter for eco-friendly, high-performing and safe products. You could also try the brand The Ordinary which you can find at Sephora, Ulta & Target. They're not quite as high-performing as Beautycounter, but they use limited, safe ingredients and have a pretty wide variety of products to choose from.
There are quite a few places in your kitchen where toxins can lurk. One of those places is in your pots and pans. Nonstick pans are coated with a plasticizer to make the pans, well, nonstick! Over the years companies have removed the most harmful offenders in this coating, but there's not much research on how the new materials affect our bodies.
I personal use stainless steel pots and pans. They are much safer than non-stick and after you get used to using them, they're pretty easy to use too. I also use cast iron skillets which are really great as well.
If you currently use nonstick either aren't able to switch to something safer or just not willing to give them up, read this Good Housekeeping article for some tips on how to use them safely.
So this seems really obvious doesn't it. I'm sure this was the first thing that came to mind when you thought of lowering toxins. If you're anything like me, this is the hardest area to master. The other areas do take time, but once you find a good replacement, you're done! With food, it's something you're constantly having to deal with/think about, especially if you have a family to feed with all different dietary requirements, likes & dislikes.
My approach to food is always to eat as many whole food options as possible, make dinner from scratch whenever possible (I'm currently loving my new freezer meals!), follow the Wellness Kitchenista for great tips on healthy eating, and eat the "fun" stuff in moderation. I also make sure to support my health with whole food supplements like Ritual Vitamins & Your Super mixes.
I hope that these tips were helpful! Just remember, every little bit helps and our bodies are SO receptive to changes. If you start making these changes, you'll be on your way effectively lower your toxin exposure & support your health in a drastic way!