My own journey into a plant based non toxic living began with my children, one with skin issues and mild respiratory problems and one that developed chronic mystery stomach pains and eventually ended up in hospital with a systemic histamine response to........Modern Life. I was shocked when I took my daughter to the naturopath and she told me that we lived in a very toxic world. I thought of our reasonably 'healthy' diet, our home in the country and struggled to piece it all together. Where were the toxins?
So I started looking
Cleaning products - I had always been one of those people that didn't care about the fact that the skin was peeling off my hands "must be good strong stuff" I thought. Never did it occur to me that bathing the child with eczema in the freshly scrubbed tub might not be a good idea - Yikes!
Our go to common toothpaste brand at the time read: "Do not swallow" on the packaging.....how had I not noticed that before?
Food.....hmmmmm....I started to wonder: "What actually is in those 'all natural' muesli bars and other packaged snacks that I fed my children everyday and what do those numbers relate to?" As I glanced out our windows I watched the neighbouring tractor spraying the fields of vegetables, the penny started to drop.
I started to notice other health BLOGS on my Facebook referring to fragrance as the new second hand smoke. This mysterious "Fragrance" ingredient was listed on ALL of our body wash and shampoos (including the so called 'all natural' products). When I started researching this, I became truly alarmed and the cogs started turning about my own vague and undiagnosed ailments of pain, fatigue, brain fog, gut health issues, hormonal imbalance....
"Oh but it's only a little bit", people said to me, "It can't be that bad or they wouldn't be allowed to sell it", others said - you would think so but unfortunately this is not the case. Green washing is rife too as many companies make bold and misleading claims that, at a glance whilst cruising the supermarket isles, lead you to think you are making a healthier choice. And a little bit of highly toxic in most things we touch and eat throughout the day soon adds up.
The average baby is now born with hundreds of man made chemicals in it's tiny body that enter via the umbilical cord blood. The average woman is exposed to 168 chemicals per day through her personal care products alone. Our fruits and vegetables are sprayed heavily and possibly grown from GMO seeds, they are then wrapped in plastic and sent to our supermarkets. It's a big problem. Our livers are under a HUGE toxic load which could be a part of many of the mystery illnesses that are SO prevalent these days.
What happens when the liver is overloaded?
One of the most common complaints is hormonal imbalance. When the liver pathways are overloaded and congested, the liver has to find homes for what it can't handle. Estrogen is processed through the liver so if it is overly burdened, guess where it ends up? Back in the bloodstream ready to contribute to estrogen dominance and all the joys that come with it. These may include anxiety and depression, breast tenderness, irregular periods, weight gain, fluid retention, brain fog, fertility issues and more.
The cumulative load was too much for my sensitive child. Her reaction was such a blessing, such a wake up call. It has helped us eliminate so much toxicity from our lives and led me into a whole new world of self empowerment.
So what is the way forward?
From the outside, when you are just beginning, it can seem like an insurmountable hill to climb. But to be honest - it is REALLY simple.
Four steps to a healthier home and body
Week One: Cleaning products make over. Collect everything up. Read the labels. Discard all that carry the label fragrance and all that are known chemical laden brands - get in touch with your local doTERRA rep and get some On Guard into your life. You can also make cheap and effective cleaning products with essential oils - super easy and WAY cheaper. For the products you maybe don't want to make yourself, go for the most low tox you can find.
Week Two: Make over your personal care regime. Have a look at your bathroom drawer and all that resides in your shower. Become a label ninja - don't be fooled by greenwashing and labels that state "all natural". Educate yourself about what is in your products and what to avoid. Attack your shampoo, conditioner and soaps first then delve into your make up and body care.
Week Three: Conduct a 'Fragrance Sweep' of the household. Perfumes, plug ins, scented candles, body sprays, automatic air fresheners, car air fresheners. Are you diffusing low grade cheap oils (which are most likely synthetic impersonations of oils and therefore could be harmful to your health), are you melting fragranced waxes, do you have those nasty car perfume dangly things handing off your rear vision mirror, what are you spraying in your car, do you have those automatic loo cleaning attachments stinking out your loo and bathroom, what are you washing your clothes in? There are SO many other alternatives.
Week Four: Food - step one - go fresh and JERF it. Just eat real food. If it is in a packet....it ain't fresh. If you can afford it, go organic or work towards it.
For plant based non toxic alternatives, get your own doTERRA account and give your body the breathing space that it needs to recalibrate, detox and recover.