How I Transitioned to Cleaner Living, One Step at a Time
“When I want to switch the products I use to something clean and non-toxic… where do I start?”
I get this question often. And I totally get it.
This whole clean lifestyle can be super overwhelming, and if you aren't a researcher then it can seem even more daunting of a process. Thankfully there are apps such as the EWG and Think Dirty app that can help you identify what is clean and what is harmful. But how do you know what products are best to start switching out first?
Different sources will have different things to say on this. Personally, I needed a tangible process laid out before me—some sort of action plan— to start detoxing my life and household products. My biggest advice is to start small, and just to start somewhere! We are the gatekeepers to our body and when we know better, we can do better.
Below you’ll find the steps I have taken to make this journey easier and a method I think everyone can follow! I have also linked some clean product recommendations. Glance through this list of items and start switching things over as you run out of them. By no means am I recommending that you throw everything in your bathroom and kitchen away. Just be more mindful when you finish a product to make the switch to something better.
Step 1: Check Out Your Diet
I am not a dietitian, nor do I claim to be, so I actually choose not to speak about food much on here. However, I can not tell you to ditch your toxic chemical products while ignoring the foundation of your health, which is your diet.
I truly believe our diet is one of the biggest factors in being and staying healthy. I can tell you to use non-toxic products all day long, but if your eating habits are toxic, then purchasing clean products won’t do you a lot of good. I believe a good diet is the foundation to start with. There are a million diets and “lifestyles,” out there, but I think the fundamentals are simple: Eat less sugar and more fruits and veggies. Period.
Start here, start small! Add a veggie and fruit into every meal and skip the sugary drinks and desserts. The key to health starts with what you put in your mouth. Eat more real food and less processed stuff. It really can be that simple if we allow it to be. Your body is constantly being exposed to stress and toxins, both preventable and unpreventable. Give it what it needs to filter the toxins out and do not stress your body even more by feeding it sugar and processed foods.
Step 2: Products Used Multiple Times Each Day
Once you have given your diet some thought, we can now talk about products and which ones to focus on first! To start, I recommend making a list of the things you use more than once a day. My list is below for reference. Starting here, and switching these products out to cleaner, safer products, will decrease your toxic load tremendously since these are things you use multiple times a day, everyday!
Step 3: Products Used Once a Day, Everyday
Next, make a list of the things you use once a day, everyday. Here is my list of things I use daily that I prioritized switching to better, cleaner products.
Makeup (especially foundation and powders)
* Note that powders and sprays are being breathed in and are going straight inside your body. Out of all the things on this list, focus on your powdered products and sprays first to limit your toxin exposure.
Dry shampoo (yep I use this pretty much daily ;))
Essential oils (huge misconception: not every brand is actually clean and safe to use!)
Dish soap - You save a lot of money buying them in a pack of 6
Step 4: Products Used Weekly or Monthly
Lastly, make a list of things you use weekly and monthly in your home and on your body. Once you have focused on your daily products, you can transition to the things you use more sporadically. These products definitely matter because they are in your home and are being put on your skin, but since you aren't exposed to these products daily, I recommend focusing on the above lists before tackling this one. Here’s my list:
Room fresheners / room spray (I also love diffusing essential oils!)
Remember, start with one product and focus on replacing your products as they run out with cleaner, better options! The above suggestions are the products I use at the frequencies mentioned, but there may be some you use more or less than others. When you can, get comfy and write out what it is that you use multiple times a day, every day and every week/month. Start changing out the products that you use the most frequently and go from there!
Change doesn't have to happen overnight. I truly believe small changes have the biggest impact on our health. Just get started and you’ll be SO happy you did!