How to Detoxify Your Life
5 SIMPLE WAYS TO LIVE WELL & FEEL BETTER
Let me just start off by saying that this post is not intended to make you fear everything you eat, touch and breathe – I promise. Embarking on the journey to detoxify shouldn’t be a big daunting task, but rather a matter of going back to basics by changing a few habits and products you use day to day. Stressing about the process or what toxic things may lie in the shadows will not help! In an effort to simplify, I’ve taken a minimal & intentional approach to detoxifying my life by focusing on what I put IN my body and ON my body. So, it’s actually quite simple. Take a read and you’ll see these are all easy but very effective changes you can make today, without having to take any drastic measures.
What you put IN your body…
1. First & most obvious, what you eat. At the risk of repeating what you’ve probably heard a million times – choose fresh & raw produce in place of processed food that sits on shelves for months/years (they are full of preservatives OR have little nutritional value). Buy organic whenever possible to reduce consumption of pesticide chemicals (good to do when buying any “dirty dozen” produce). Also, local foods = less preservatives and are fresher because they weren’t plucked before ripening to travel halfway across the world. As for WHAT you eat, that of course is a personal choice, BUT in general, a diet full of antioxidant rich foods that help to cleanse the body and give it what it needs to rejuvenate should be a daily goal. This means dark leafy greens, organic berries/citrus fruit & other in-season fruit/vegetables (bonus points for those low in sugar for the health of your liver that is always overloaded with sugar nowadays). The organs that remove toxins from our body can only do so much. Eating raw and organic food as often as possible, while reducing consumption of over-processed/over-cooked foods, is a good way to support it. As with everything though, balance is key!
2. What you store your food/drinks in. Go back to basics: glass is best, metals are good and plastic is bad. This includes water bottles, which often heat up in cars and the sun. I used to use only glass bottles, which are my personal preference, but after breaking 3 of them I’ve since switched to a Swell Bottle (which keeps drinks hot or cold for hours – it’s quite magical).
3. What you cook your food in & how. Cast iron, glass, stainless steel & ceramics are your friend. Plastic anything is again a major no-no, especially when heat is involved. Also, try to rewarm food using the stove/oven as often as possible as opposed to microwaving. And in general, baking, steaming and slow cooking is always better than frying (as I’m sure you know). Grilling is okay, just try not to char the food too much (the result is known to form cancer causing compounds).
What you put ON your body…
1. Your self-care & hygiene products… how clean are the ingredients? Your body absorbs everything you put onto your skin/scalp and into your mouth, so this is a key area to detoxify. Questionable chemicals, metals and synthetic preservatives are found in many popular skincare, makeup and hygiene products. These can be cancer causing and/or endocrine disrupting compounds. Try switching to natural and organic brands with clean ingredients – do your research when selecting your everyday products. In particular, I feel these are the most important ones to pay close attention to:
– Deodorant: Make sure at minimum it has no aluminum in it. There are a ton of natural options out there, both in health stores and online, you just have to try a few and see which works best for you. Coconut oil with a couple drops of an essential oil is also a good DIY alternative.
– Perfume: Find one made of essential oils and natural extracts rather than synthetic chemicals. The chemicals in synthetic scents are a little concerning, read this article to see what I mean.
– Toothpaste: Take a look at this article for ingredients to avoid that are contained in many conventional toothpastes. A local health store is a good place to look for non-toxic alternatives. I’ve been using natural brands for years and my teeth are just as white and healthy as ever! Earthpaste is the most natural toothpaste I’ve come across.
– Skin lotions & skin masks: Find a brand that uses organic & natural ingredients or use your own pure oils (my fav is Cocoon Apothecary because they use natural ingredients and my skin has improved immensely from a dryness/flakiness perspective). There is a ton out there on ingredients to avoid (here is one for example), but by switching to an all-natural brand or homemade solution, the ingredient list will be shorter and you’ll recognize everything as mostly just oils & natural extracts.. yay!
– Shampoos/conditioners: Just like skincare, switch to a natural brand asap! There is an abundance of natural small-batch brands, your local health shop or natural beauty boutique can help out. For more info on my haircare methods, see my last post about growing healthy & long hair, naturally.
– Makeup: It’s no secret that conventional cosmetics are full of chemicals (there is a ton of information on this, here is a good starting point). The green beauty industry has exploded over the past few years, so there is an abundance of choice when switching to natural brands both online and in local beauty boutiques (my personal favourite is Truth Beauty).
Before going natural, I used to get pain in my breasts from using deodorant with aluminum in it, my skin was dry and itchy all the time even though I was using “super-hydrating” lotion, my face would get red itchy bumps from the shampoo/conditioner I was using and my perfume would make me nauseous and congested. All of these reactions have completely been eliminated by switching to natural brands/methods. Keep an eye out for a post about my favourite natural self-care products/brands in the near future!
2. What you use to clean, because it will inevitably end up on your skin. Switching to non-toxic cleaning products is so easy now with the abundance of brands/health stores popping up. Go to your local health store and do some research online. Alternatively, look up DIY methods using basic and natural ingredients (think water, vinegar, lemons & essential oils). As with self-care products, I can tell my body responds better when I clean with natural products. The fragrances in conventional cleaners and laundry detergents irritate my skin and makes my nose run, so I stay away. Be more mindful of what you spray on your counters, what you use to wash your laundry and what you clean your dishes with because you will come into contact with it many times a day!
In all cases, do some research, listen to your body and if there is a natural alternative give it a try. These simple changes have had a positive physical impact on my life and give me peace of mind that I’ve cultivated a sufficiently non-toxic environment, without stressing myself out and undoing my efforts!
As usual, I would love to hear if you have any recommended products or tips/methods you use in your own life to detoxify!