Are you overwhelmed by all the information out there about living a “cleaner” life? It can be a lot, especially when you’re trying to get pregnant, already are pregnant, or dealing with the chaos of young kids? Switching to a non-toxic lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to change everything overnight. I definitely didn’t, years into it and I’m still making changes. Instead, focus on some small, doable changes that can make a big difference. Don’t know where to start? This is your beginner’s guide to non-toxic living tailored just for you.
Tip 1: Prioritize Ingredients Over Calories for Clean Eating
Forget counting calories for a second. Let’s talk about ingredients. This is one of the main things I focus on when working with women! It’s arguably the most important thing you can do. Whether it’s food, cleaning supplies, or even skincare, always read the labels. Opt for products with minimal ingredients you can actually trust. I know a lot of the advice is to stick to ingredients you can pronounce but that’s not totally accurate as some ingredients that are safe may not be easily pronounced. Some essential oil ingredients are listed on labels in their Latin versions which are not easily pronounced, so ignore that outdated advice. Remember, the goal is to understand what you’re using and consuming, stepping towards a more organic, whole foods-based, and chemical-free lifestyle.
Tip 2: Opt for BPA-Free Containers to Avoid Plastic Toxins
Plastic containers may be convenient, but they can leach harmful chemicals into your food—especially if you’re reheating in them. Make the switch to glass or stainless steel containers for storing food. This is one of those simple non-toxic household items swaps that can make a significant difference. I’m still working on this one. It’s ok if it takes you a while. It’s a gradual process; start by simply avoiding heating food in plastic containers in the microwave, and gradually replace them with safer alternatives.
Tip 3: Ensure Clean Drinking Water with Quality Filters
Water is life, but tap water can carry more than you bargained for. If you’re pregnant or planning to be, clean water is a non-negotiable. Invest in a quality water filter to eliminate unwanted toxins and chemicals. Start out simple with a filtered pitcher and then upgrade to an under sink or whole house filter system when you’re ready.
Tip 4: Choose Organic Whole Foods, Especially for Key Produce
It’s not always feasible to buy everything organic, but being selective can help. Look for organic options for fruits and vegetables that you consume often. This practice is particularly important for those in preconception and pregnancy phases, as the quality of your diet directly influences your and your baby’s health. Focus on organic whole foods for a nutrient-dense diet free from harmful pesticides.
Tip 5: Opt for Phthalate-Free Fragrance in Products
Love the smell of fresh laundry or a floral face wash? That fragrance could be hiding phthalates, a group of chemicals you’ll want to avoid. Look for fragrance-free or naturally scented options. This simple change in your daily routine, from laundry detergents to personal care products, can significantly reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, creating a safer home environment for you and your family.
Tip 6: Transition to Plant-Based, Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies
Strong cleaning supplies might kill germs, but they’re also harsh on you and your family. Consider plant-based cleaners as a gentler and safer alternative for your household. If you’re looking to make your home safe for a baby, this is a crucial step. Start by replacing one or two of your most frequently used cleaners with eco-friendly options and gradually expand to a complete non-toxic cleaning arsenal.
My personal favorite and choice for my home are Branch Basics for practically everything from cleaning countertops, to windows, to floors, to our toilets, even hand soap and body wash for our baby now toddler . I also use Molly’s Suds for our dishwasher and Dr. Bronners as body wash for myself. Those are probably the only three brands I use in my home right now!
Tip 7: Choose Safe Cookware Options Like Stainless Steel or Cast Iron
Ever thought about what’s coating that non-stick pan? Often, it’s something called PFOA, a chemical that can leach into your food, especially when heated and you’d rather not have in your omelet. To ensure your cooking is as healthy as the food you prepare, switch to safer cookware options like stainless steel, cast iron or non-toxic ceramic.
I use all three in my kitchen depending on what I’m cooking. The Our Place pan and pot are my top choice for non-toxic ceramic nonstick free of PFOAs, lead and cadmium .
Tip 8: Embrace a Minimalist, Chemical-Free Skincare Routine
Who says you need a cabinet full of beauty products? Less is often more. I say this as a recovering beauty junkie 😝 Stick to a minimal, clean skincare routine. Carefully read labels to avoid harmful chemicals, as your skin absorbs what you apply to it. This approach not only declutters your space but also significantly reduces your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients, aligning with a clean and holistic lifestyle.
Tip 9: Enhance Healthy Indoor Air Quality with Plants and Purifiers
The air you breathe inside your home might not be as clean as you think. Incorporate houseplants, nature’s own air purifiers, to help filter out common indoor pollutants. Additionally, consider using an air purifier to further clean the air in your home. Here are more tips to improve your home’s air quality.
Tip 10: Safeguard Your Baby with Non-Toxic Products
Your baby’s health and safety are especially important. When selecting baby products, from toys to bedding, always choose non-toxic options. These are free from harmful chemicals such as phthalates and BPA, commonly found in conventional baby items. Look for products with safety certifications and materials that are organic or naturally sourced. This small yet step ensures a healthy start for your little one, surrounding them with a safe and nurturing environment.
Tip 11: Create a Healthy Home with Non-Toxic Paint
When it’s time to refresh your home with a new coat of paint, choosing the right type is key for maintaining a healthy living space. Avoid conventional paints that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful over time. Opt instead for non-toxic paints, especially in areas where you and your family spend the most time, like bedrooms and living rooms. These paints keep your home’s air quality safe, ensuring a healthier environment for everyone, especially young children.
Tip 12: Go Slow and Avoid Overwhelm in Your Non-Toxic Journey
Starting a non-toxic lifestyle can feel daunting, but remember: you don’t have to do it all at once. Take baby steps and make changes as you go. Make one change, get comfortable with it, then move on to the next. This gradual approach helps prevent feeling overwhelmed and ensures a more sustainable transition to a healthier, low-toxic lifestyle.
Switching to a non-toxic lifestyle doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive. Small changes can lead to big improvements in your health and well-being, especially if you’re in the preconception, pregnancy, or new mom phases of life. Begin by reading labels, buy organic foods or non-toxic household cleaners, and make choices that put you and your family on a safer, cleaner path.
That’s it for today, but stay tuned for more tips and in-depth advice on living a healthier, less toxic life. Feel free to share this guide with any parents or parents-to-be you think could benefit from it!
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