Creating a healthier home didn’t happen overnight but we can honestly say it has been a wonderful process of learning and desperately needed change. Understanding the ‘why’ for so many of our changes has driven us to continue educating ourselves to make our lifestyle better - It’s an ongoing journey. And if there’s one bit of advice I can offer it is: You can’t eat a whole elephant at once, just a spoonful at a time. Take it slow, make small changes and over time, you will reap the benefits.
Here are just a few ways we went about it:
COOKING WITH WHOLEFOODS WHERE POSSIBLE
Thinking back to how your Grandma used to eat is a great mindset to start the process of healthy living. Most food was made from scratch because back then, preservatives and additives weren’t widely used and meals were created with foods in their most natural forms. Think about your food as not only sustaining hunger but a way of nourishing and healing your body to build a strong immune system and preventing disease. Where possible, cook your food from scratch, that way you know exactly what you're getting.
CHECKING THE LABELS OF PACKAGED FOOD
Continuing on from the last whole food tip, this can be tricky with our busy lives so there are definitely times where packaged food is required. Unfortunately packaged food comes with some added ingredients that can have negative effects on our bodies. These come in the form of preservatives and additives which are added to some packaged food to increase shelf life and add flavour. Learning the names and numbers of certain preservatives and additives has helped us to be a bit pickier with the packets we throw in our trolley. A great place we started to learn about the preservatives and additives to avoid was Additive Alert - Your Guide to Safer Shopping by Julie Eady.
REPLACE PLASTICS WITH GLASS OR STAINLESS STEEL
Our initial reason to make the shift was the mounting evidence and research regarding the health implications of long term exposure to some of the chemicals in plastics, mainly BPA. BPA stands for bisphenol A which is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins that can be found in not only containers to store food and drinks but cans and bottle tops. Research has shown BPA can leak into food and exposure is a concern due to possible health effects. Whilst you can purchase BPA free containers we decided to eliminate the chances of exposure to any other chemicals that may exist in plastic. Check out some of the sustainable food storage ideas in our store.
CHANGE TO COSMETIC PRODUCTS FREE OF NASTY CHEMICALS
It was mind blowing to learn how many chemicals were lurking in our personal care products in our bathroom cupboards. From our shampoo and conditioner to our deodorant and face cleansers. If we added up the chemicals applied daily, the number was astounding. We quickly learnt that absorption of these chemicals can result in side effects including endocrine-disruption, endometriosis and early puberty in girls and reproductive organ abnormalities and reduced fertility in males. So where possible, check the labels and opt for products that are free from the following ingredients: parabens, phthalates, talc and triclosan. There are more and I will do a blog solely focusing on these in the near future. But for the moment, these are a good start and you can find options here in the Body Care and Face Care collections at The Natural Fam.
CLEAR OUT THE TOXINS IN THE LAUNDRY AND KITCHEN CUPBOARDS
The next room in the house to be stripped of chemicals was the laundry and all things cleaning. The ingredients on the back of some cleaning products we used to use was mind blowing. Not only were we breathing in those chemicals, we were preparing food on them, wearing clothes cleaned in and showering and bathing in potentially health damaging products. Slowly we swapped out the products of concern and now feel totally comfortable cleaning our house. For some ideas of how you can make changes checkout our Natural Cleaning Products collection.
Keep and eye out for the next blog which will dive deeper into each of these areas and specific products we use at The Natural Fam.
Warmest wishes in health,