We totally understand that getting started on your own lowtox journey is very daunting. With toxins being ingrained into almost every aspect of our lives there is so much to learn and implement it can be overwhelming
It's no wonder many people have no idea where to start!!
We have been there and although we do not know everything by any means, we would like to help support your journey by passing on what we have learnt since we started our journeys.
Toxins are hidden in most food, cleaning and personal care products in the average Australian home and affect our health in so many ways. Messing with our hormones contributing to increased obesity and infertility, causing a multitude of diseases and illnesses, affecting our microbiota, mental health, and is likely involved in the sky rocketing instances of food allergies and ADD/ADHD in our children.
How fast or slow you travel on your journey is totally up to you and is dependant on so many life factors, only you can make that decision. So never let anyone (including yourself!) make you feel bad for where you are in your journey!! Remember YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU NEED TO BE RIGHT NOW!
The simplest way to start detoxing your home is to start replacing your old products as they run out with better choices - EASY AS THAT
Some people may decide they want to do a mass clean out in one big swoop. If that's you, great. But if you can't afford to waste the products you already have and the swap out method is better suited to your situation, thats great too. The important thing is that you have started taking the steps to a healthier, cleaner lifestyle.
There are no hard and fast rules on how or where to start your journey, everyone has different reasons behind their need to start cleaning up their lives, so everyone will have different priorities. The suggestions below are presented as a guide only, designed to help you start getting your head around where to start and what things you need to look at. If it resonates with you, perfect your on your way, if not pick and choose what you want and use it to build your own game plan.
This in itself is a big journey as toxins are everywhere, but a great starting point is to start swapping out toxins that touch your skin.
26 seconds is all it takes for ingredients in products that come into contact with our skin to be in our blood stream
Identifying the ingredients you want to avoid is a learning curve. One that can be quite steep, but if you look for some of easy to identify nasties you can save time trying to work out the safety of all the ingredients a product contains. Some of the biggies to avoid include fragrance (check out why these are bad here), sodium laurel sulphate (SLS/SLES), parabens, phthalates, triclosan and phenoxyethanol. If I see any of these I put the product back and don't bother sussing out the other ingredients. If I can't spot these I then check out the safety of the ingredients a product does contain that I'm not familiar with using the chemical maze app, it's a great resource.
In most homes products containing these toxins include:
- Personal care products- such as soaps, creams, lotions, deodorants, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste, mouthwash, moisturisers.
- Perfumes and body sprays
- Laundry Products - residues of these products remain on your clothes and bedding and include laundry detergents, fabric softeners (probably the most toxic product you have in your home), laundry soakers and stain removers.
- Dishwashing liquids - The Kin Kin Naturals Eco Dishwashing Liquid is a great low tox alternative, as is the Young Living Thieves dishwashing liquid.
Once you have reviewed the products that come into contact with your skin you can start looking at the rest of the products around your home, including food containers and cooking items.
- Cleaning products - surface sprays, window cleaners, bathroom cleaners, mould removers, toilet cleaners, disinfectants, floor cleaners, dishwasher detergents and rinse aids
- Air fresheners - including wax melts, scented candles and plug ins.
- Non-stick Cooking surfaces
- Plastic Containers - This is a big one. I recommend starting by focusing those that are heated and replacing them with glass or ceramic as you can.
There are many great lowtox products these days to replace everything you use. On the other hand there are many DIY alternatives if you are looking for budget friendly alternatives or just simply enjoy making things. Blooming Mandala has a great range of ingredients and accessories for the DIYer and we also stock a small range of ready to use products, plus we have a great collection of DIY cleaning and personal care recipes.
Much of the food available in supermarkets today is no good for you!! They are filled with isle upon isle of packaged processed "edible food like substances". Transitioning to a REAL FOOD or WHOLEFOOD diet will have a profound impact on the amount of toxins you consume through your food and your health will benefit as a result.
"eat food, mostly plants, and not too much"
Much of what I have learned about food over my journey is summed up well by Micheal Pollan. There is so much info on real food on the net but this video explains Micheal Pollan's simple, easy to follow mantra.
I would say that cleaning up your food is way harder than swapping out the toxic products in your home. Well it was for me at least....We are so used to certain foods and flavours and swapping to mostly plants can be hard work. The important thing to remember is no one is perfect....just make sure you get back to clean eating as soon as you can.
Some simple rules you can start implementing to start cleaning up your food are:
- DON'T eat anything your great grandparents wouldn't recognise as food
- DON'T eat anything with ingredients you cannot pronounce
- DON'T eat anything that won't eventually rot
- Avoid vegetable oils
- Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop around the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store.
- If it’s a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.
- Eat less meat and ensure it is better raised, pasture fed organic meat
- Eat like your great grandparents
If you are trying to remove toxins from your life, remember what you eat is just as, if not more important, than what you put on the outside of your body. Your body makes new cells from the food you eat, you are literally made up of what you eat! Blooming Mandala has a collection of easy wholefood recipes to get you started, and they taste great (if I do say so myself).
"The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison"
- Ann Wigmore
Taking steps to look after the planet is part of a lowtox journey. The planets provides so many life giving functions, without it we cannot survive, so it only makes sense to look after it. This doesn't mean you need to run out and join sea shepherd or become a hippy. If you want to, awesome, but there are so many small things you can do that, if everyone did them, would make such a difference to the health of our planet.
Here are some simple things you can adopt. You can always start with one or two and when they become habit, add something new:
- Start a compost bin, worm farm, or join a compost collecting service like Kooda. You can also add cardboard, paper, tissues etc to your compost bins, allowing you to reduce the waste that needs to be managed offsite. And the bonus is your gardens get to benefit from the nutrients.
- Buy as local as possible
- Reduce your food waste - try meal planning, juicing or concoct fridge clean out meals to reduce the food you throw away.
- Buy fresh produce from farmers markets (reduce food miles AND support you local farmers and community!)
- Replace synthetic cloths and brushes with natural fibres - replace petroleum based plastic sponges and scourers with natural compostable alternative like these ecomax brushes
- Use reusable food wraps - There are quite a number of resusable food wrap options now to replace plastic wrap and alfoil. Beeswax wraps are a great option, there are also elasticated bowl lids, reusable pouches and snack bags.
- Reduce your single use food packaging - carry a reusable coffee cup, stainless steel straw and cutlery - or just slow down and dine in. Work on reducing your consumption of packaged processed food.
- Reduce plastic bag use - most states in Australia have now banned single use plastic bags which is great. You can go even further and get yourself some reusable produce bags and use proper long life reusable shopping bags, rather than just "thicker" plastic bags. You can even get reusable bread bags now too.
- Recycle soft plastics. Many councils now allow soft plastic to be recycled in the normal recycle bin. However if your council doesn't (like mine) many supermarkets have soft plastic recycling collection bins you can use.
- Repurpose - Find new ways to use your waste. For example, jars and bottles can be used to carry your lunch or store leftovers. They can also be used in the pantry. Egg cartons can be used as seedling raising trays. Newspapers can be used to suppress weeds. You are only limited by your imagination.
- Grow your own food - try your hand at growing your own salad greens or herbs. This not only reduces the food miles to zero, but it potentially reduces food waste from fast spoiling produce. Plus they will be super fresh and super nutrient dense when you eat them, rather than having been in cold storage for days, weeks or even months!
- Get things repaired - Rather than just throwing something out, try to see if it can be repaired. You will feel great for not contributing to our throw away society.
You might have noticed we keep referring to your "journey". This is because removing toxins from your life is a journey and as you travel down that path you will learn and understand more and will likely want to implement another whole set of changes. It's a process, one that keeps repeating. The longer you travel along you will start to see things that you never would have been able to see or even consider at the beginning of your journey.
But you need to remember it doesn't all need to be done at once, in reality thats not only impractical, it's probably impossible!
"One step at a time is all it takes to get you there"