The first step to a creating a clean, safer lifestyle plus beauty routine starts with educating ourselves! Reducing our exposure to environmental toxins in our home and food can help decrease our toxic load and create an overall healthier lifestyle. This is the practice of progress over perfection and it can be very overwhelming knowing where or how to start cleaning life up a bit. The clean product movement is strong! Unfortunately there is a lot of “green washing” or “bamboo products” on the market meaning companies can appear to be healthy for our body and environment but not truly live up to that claim.
So, how do we navigate the truly safer products that perform over the mediocre claims with hidden ingredients that may not be so healthy for us?!
As a Dietitian it’s my job to help people live a healthy lifestyle that works best for their body and mind. What we put “in” and “on” our body truly matters to our overall health along with how we manage stress, sleep, exercise, and take care of our total being! Starting to live a cleaner lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to change everything all at once. I simply encourage to start with one small change, and build from there creating the “clean” lifestyle that speaks to you!
Here are a few simple changes you can make to “clean” life up a bit, one easy step at a time!!
1. Start with foods we eat!
Good news, buying everything organic is not necessary! I recommend following the Dirty Dozen List for the important foods to buy organic! This is an easy way to automatically jumpstart decreasing our toxic load in foods from pesticides or chemical residues that can linger or leach into the actual food. Every year the EWG (Environmental Working Group) publishes a list if the top 12 foods that have been found to contain more pesticide residue however,before we start to worry, surrounding the Dirty Dozen, when it comes to buying our produce organic, I do want to point out that organic pesticides may come with similar concerns since organic farms can use third-party validated pesticides! So what does that mean to you??? Currently it is difficult to say with certainty that organic produce provides any more or less risks than conventionally grown produce. Please not that “ALL” produce both organic and non-organic needs to always be thoroughly washed before consuming. I do believe the Dirty Dozen List is a great guide to follow if you plan to buy organic. Here is the 2019 Dirty Dozen List list to follow.
This year Strawberries are at the top of the list again and kale made the list for the first time as a new dirty dozen food and the EWG mentioned peppers to consider as well.
The EWG also tests for foods that contain the least amount of pesticide residue and that my friends is called the The Clean 15 list! This is a list the EWG selected for 2019:
2 Sweet corn
4 Sweet peas (frozen)
⁃ Choose foods less processed more whole food ingredients plus a short list of ingredients…. less of more! Overall eat more from the earth but be mindful of pesticides, herbicides, added hormones or antibiotics in foods so label reading is really important!
2. Switch to safer personal care products!
⁃ what we put “in”our body is extremely important and what we put “on” our body also matters
⁃ Skin is our largest organ and ingredients from products can cross over into our blood stream! Safer Companies are cropping up everywhere and there is a huge “clean” movement! A few easy places to start …..
⁃Swap to Safer skincare + makeup products! Beautycounter is a safer + trusted brand leading the clean movement to get safer products into the hands of everyone!
There are over 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the US market and more hitting the market everyday, with very little we know about them.
The US has banned approximately 30 ingredients, Canada has banned 600, and the European Union has banned 1400. The US has not past any law regulating this industry since 1938!
⁃ Beautycounter holds high testing standards and keeps all of their products free of toxic ingredients that can have potential health risks! Check out their website for the Never List of over 1500 toxic ingredients they do not allow in their products!! Very eye opening!
⁃ Examples: Lip products often contain lead, there are no safe lead levels, Beautycounter lip products are lead free
⁃ Another example: Mascara typically has a toxic ingredient called carbon black, Beautycounter mascara does not!
⁃Swap to Safer deodorant: Primally Pure is another Safe personal care company focused on clean, safer ingredients, I specifically love their clean, safer and highly effective deodorant in “Blue Tansy” and dry shampoo!!
⁃Swap to safer Nail Care: Alia, Smith and Cult, and Cote are my top favorite safer nail brand! Our nails are porous so it’s important to pay attention to what we actually put on our nails too!
3. Clean Home: Easy Swaps
⁃Swap to safer food storage– try swapping from all plastic containers and bags to glass or safer storage like the bio bag that is actually compostable made from plant resins + vegetable oils or the stasher bag that is 100% plastic free + BPA free and made from primarily natural silicon from sand that is reusable for food storage! This will cut down on toxic ingredient exposure to ingredients like BPA or phthalates that can leach into our food.
⁃Swap to Safer Cookware-What we cook with matters… try using stainless steel, cast iron, glass or ceramic vs. Teflon or non-stick cookware.
⁃Swap to safer Laundry Detergents– The 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the US, sadly only 200 of them have been tested for human safety…. Detergents can be loaded with chemicals from fragrances to syntheic surfactants that are not good for our health
⁃ Try swapping to a safer detergents full of clean ingredients like Molly Suds! I love this brand for their story behind the company and for the clean solution they provide to consumers. Molly Suds is free of toxic chemicals yet very effective! They use earth + plant derived Ingredients that are pure and safe for our skin and body!
⁃ Molly Suds is Leaping bunny certified meaning cruelty free and considered vegan!
10 more ways to CLEAN life up:
1. Take your shoes off at the door.
2. Filter your water.
3. Change central air filters out once of month and clean air ducts often.
4. Try to choose home furnishings made from green or natural materials.
5. Wash new clothes before wearing.
6. Reduce pesticide or chemical use on the yard.
7. Choose animal products from sustainable sources, grass fed, wild caught, and free or added hormones or antibiotics.
8. Stress less- stress is the worst toxin to our body!
9. Practice gratitude, meditation, deep breathing, self-love, forgiveness, and healthy routines.
10. Ditch toxic perfumes.
Brands and Links I love or would highly recommend to help decrease toxic load would be:
Clean Nail Polish:
Aila : https://loveaila.com
Smith and Cult
Clean Beauty/ Deodorant:
Most importantly, just start and take it one healthy step at a time. I always recommend progress over perfection and when it comes to cleaning life up, it is a process. I hope this helps and cheers to clean, safer living!
To view this clean living segment on News Channel 4, “Today in Nashville” show, just click to the media tab.
Love, Jenny Beth xx