The #1 Most Important Thing To Do For Your Health
This post may contain affiliate links to companies that offer me a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking the link. This does not change your cost for the items. All opinions in this post are mine, are sincere, and are offered with an open heart.
Switch to only non-toxic products! It's easier than you think, and it is way more important than you think, not only for your own body but also for the entire Earth!
Here are some of my favorite products:
Stop using unnecessary scents. Throw out the fragrances!
Some of the most common offenders are perfumes, body sprays, and colognes; scented candles and wax warmers; fragranced soaps, shampoos, and toiletries; fragranced household cleaning products; etc. To make it simple, start by looking at the cleaning products you have in your kitchen and bathroom cupboards -- if the ingredients list contains the word "fragrance," throw it out and replace it with a non-toxic option.
But I spent my hard-earned money on this! I have counseled countless clients and friends through the transition to a healthy, non-toxic lifestyle, and each one of them, at some point, has said something along these lines: "I'll just use up this bottle and buy something better next time." I can fully understand this sentiment, but I encourage you not to wait until next month to get healthy.
Consider what your response would be if someone said to you, "I will pay you $5 to poison yourself a little bit." Probably you would say, "I don't want to be poisoned! I don't need $5 that badly."
So, go ahead and throw out that fragranced lotion without using it up, even if it was a gift from a loved one. Feel the relief of not smearing poison all over yourself every day! Feel proud for taking a stand for your health even though it means changing things up!
Safe, health-giving products are luxurious. More often than not, you will find that natural products are in fact less expensive and more luxurious to use than their mainstream counterparts. Sometimes there is a learning curve in using something new, but in the end, your body will always become healthier. Soon, you will find that clean smells good without needing scents to cover it up, and real flowers and herbs smell better than anything out of a bottle.
Shannon's List of Favorite Products: I hope you will try all of these items...and enjoy them! Please comment with your feedback about them, as well as your questions about how to use them!
Soap and Shampoo: Arizona Sungold Soap
I buy this Level H "Hi Suds Shampoo" by the gallon and use it as a hand soap, body wash, shampoo, dishwashing soap, floor cleaner, and for every use that soap could be needed for. It is clean and pure, and I love it.
(Note that when it is used as a shampoo, you may want to use a little borax to help it not get gummy and to wash right out every time. You can either add some borax to the soap itself, sprinkle some borax onto your hand or head, or (my favorite method) mix borax with water in a small jar and pour the water on your hair before using the shampoo. No borax is needed when this soap is used for all other purposes, like hand washing and dish washing.)
(In the past, mainstream powers have given borax a bad rap, but in fact it is simply boron, an essential mineral that many people are deficient in. Learn more in this fascinating article: The Borax Conspiracy.)
You'll save money and hassle by purchasing the large containers, so you will want smaller containers at your sinks to refill. I like these glass dispensers.
Moisturizers: Simplest is almost always best. Look for the lowest number of ingredients in any product you purchase.
I have two recommendations for full-body moisturizers. In the winter, I like to use Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Your skin will love you for this! It feels very luxurious, but you must give it a little time to dry before you put on clothes or walk across the floor (leaving oil footprints!). So, slow down and enjoy the sensation of rich, health-giving oil soaking into your skin; break your addiction to the disease-promoting rush and hurry of modern life.
In the summer, I prefer Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel. I especially enjoy it after shaving my legs or after sun exposure. (Again, allow it to dry before your skin touches anything; the high vitamin C content of the gel is very good for you but can cause brown stains on some items when it is exposed to sunlight before it is dry.)
For my face, I use the Oil Cleansing Method for both cleaning and moisturizing--watch for a future post about this! For this method, I use Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil mixed with Castor Oil.
For lips and hands, I use Mountain Rose Herbs Refined Shea Butter. I scoop out a little bit of the solid shea butter, use my finger to rub it into the palm of my other hand, and it melts into a smooth, thick coating that feels divine on my lips and hands. Even in the winter, chapped lips will be a thing of the past.
Multipurpose Cleaning and Disinfecting Spray: One of my friends from Thailand is a phenomenal professional house cleaner, and she taught me to use Orange Peel Vinegar for household cleaning. Simply eat an orange (yummy and good for you!), put the orange peels into a jar, pour in white vinegar until the orange peels are covered, store in a cool dark cupboard for approximately 2 weeks, then strain through a funnel into a spray bottle, and dilute with water.
Dishwasher Detergent: Biokleen Automatic Dish Pods, Free and Clear. These clean my dishes thoroughly and have very little smell.
Bath or Kitchen Scrubbing: Borax and baking soda are my go-to choices when I need a little extra scrubbing power. Borax disinfects surfaces, and baking soda is very gentle. Both give a little scouring friction with little effort. Just sprinkle a small amount of one of these powders onto the surface that needs to be cleaned or onto your damp sponge, washcloth, or scouring pad, and then gently rub the mess until it is clean. Baking soda also works beautifully for polishing silver (goodbye toxic silver polish!). (While we're at this, you might want to read Green Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix.)
Natural Scouring Pad: I love that these are made of sisal, a plant material, instead of foam made from petroleum!
Laundry Detergent: Biokleen Free and Clear Laundry Detergent I love that this product is good for the environment as well as effective at cleaning my clothes.
I also like to use Biokleen Oxygen Bleach if my laundry is particularly stained or beginning to look dingy.
Once you find out how good non-toxic feels and smells, you'll want to get these products, too!
Trash Bags: I bet you didn't realize that most of the trash bags for sale in our local grocery stores are fragranced, and those that aren't fragranced are contaminated with fragrance from other items. These fragrances are Volatile Organic Compounds, mostly made from petroleum, contributing to air pollution and harming our health. Fortunately, Hippo Saks Tall Kitchen Bags With Handles are made from plants, not petroleum, and they are fragrance-free. Plus, they are strong enough for anything I've ever put in my trash can, and the handles make them the easiest-to-use trash bags I've ever gotten!
Paper Cups: Of course we like reusable dishes best, but when you need a disposable cup, it's great to have a dye-free, plastic-free option, like these Paper Cups! They feel good to hold, and they don't make your drink taste funny.
Duster: What a lot of waste and petrochemicals go into so many of the dusters available for sale today. Truly, the best one is a feather duster--it will wiggle into tiny spaces without disturbing your knickknacks (all except the most lightweight ones), the dust will cling to it until you spin it clean, and it will efficiently brush dust onto the floor where it can easily be swept or vacuumed. This Dusters Killer Ostrich Feather Duster has a wonderful, long, wooden handle.
Keep going until everything you use and own is non-toxic!
Shower Curtain: Is your shower curtain made of vinyl? Did you know that you can use a 100% cotton shower curtain without a liner? Although the fabric will get wet, it will dry more quickly than a vinyl curtain, meaning that it will be less likely to develop mold or mildew. And it is simple to wash in the laundry machine! This is the
Clothes: Do you know that your skin absorbs chemicals from your clothes, especially when you are hot? So, make sure you have healthy fabrics against your skin. Avoid polyester, nylon, and other synthetic fibers. Although bamboo and rayon are considered natural fibers, they are usually processed with so many chemicals that they are not a good choice. Find clothing that is 100% (or at least 90%) natural fiber, including cotton, silk, wool, cashmere, and linen. You will find that your clothes are very luxurious!
Makeup: Being the all-natural girl I am, I only wear makeup for special occasions, but when I do, I almost exclusively use Mineral Fusion. The only problem with this makeup is that it is so natural that I don't feel it on my face--I often forget I am wearing it and go to bed without removing it first! No matter: my skin looks even healthier the day after I wear it, especially when I use the pressed powder.
Feminine Products: Ever since I discovered Sea Pearls Premium Ultra Soft Sea Sponges for menstruation, I haven't minded it when I have my period! Sea Sponges are harvested in a gentle, renewable way that is good for the sponges and the ocean. They are completely natural and easy to use in place of tampons--just follow the instructions on the package! They are more comfortable than tampons and can safely be worn longer, even during sex. I usually forget that it is my Moon Time when I am using sea sponges.
For those who may desire back-up for sea sponges, or who like me, prefer not to use sponges overnight most of the time, cotton pads and period panties are the way to go. There are many brands available these days, though I've never found any to match the Lunapads and Lunapanties I purchased many years ago; unfortunately the company was sold and the products were revised in ways I do not like. Fortunatey, well-made cotton products last a long time, but when I need replacements, I will let you know if I find a brand I really like.
Sleeping: Most mattresses are made almost exclusively with toxic materials that off-gas for years. During the 8 hours that you are sleeping, at a time when your body wants to go into healing mode, you are bombarded with these chemicals. Do yourself a favor, and get an all-natural mattress. My son and I both sleep on mattresses from My Green Mattress, and we love them! They are more comfortable than the old traditional mattresses they replaced.
We put a Whisper Organics Mattress Protector on them to protect this wonderful investment, and we only use all cotton sheets, as well as cotton, down, and wool blankets, pillows, and comforters. We feel especially good about sleeping on Grounding Sheets!
Links: To recap, here are all of the links you need to get started!
What are your favorite non-toxic products? This is the most commonly asked question that I get from my customers, so I hope this list helps you out! Please comment if you have found some great products, too. Living a non-toxic lifestyle is an inexhaustible topic, and I will write more blog posts with more details about each of these categories. I will also publish future blog posts with lists of my favorite herbal supplements and homeopathic remedies. Make sure to follow us on facebook so that you don't miss them!