As we know, toxins are pretty much everywhere in today’s world. Our modern-day conveniences are often responsible for the high presence of toxins in our workplaces and homes, and in our foods and drinks.
In the past, I thought on this fact and it made me upset and even somewhat worried. Thankfully, I now realize that I do not have to be a helpless victim of my environment. Some years ago, my wife and I began to make simple, yet significant lifestyle changes that reduce our exposure to common toxins. I would like to share them with you so that you can be helped as well.
1. Clean EVERYTHING with vinegar and baking soda.
Vinegar is a wonderful all-around natural cleaner, and serves many functions, including disinfectant and stain remover. We use vinegar to clean almost anything…
• Surfaces where raw meat had previously been
• Windows and mirrors
• Carpet stains
• Clothes (put in during the rinse cycle)
• Vegetables and fruits
When we are dealing with a tougher cleaning job, like a bathtub, a pot with burnt crud stuck to it, or a stubborn stain, sprinkling baking soda before adding vinegar provides tougher cleaning action (as well as a cool sounding sizzle). Baking soda is totally natural as well, and using both vinegar and baking soda helps you to keep from absorbing loads of harsh chemicals from other cleaners into your skin, or inhaling them through your nose. Both are also much cheaper than the conventional counterparts, especially if purchased wholesale from Sam’s or Costco.
Oh, and speaking of nose, if you don’t care for the delightful vinegar aroma, I recommend adding a couple of drops of lavender oil to make things a lot better.
2. Replace plastic containers with glass ones.
Plastic containers were found in the past to contain harmful chemicals like BPA that leached into the food stored within them. Nowadays, most plastic containers are made BPA-free, but to be on the safe side, we made the switch over to glass containers. There is no concern at all for leaching, and they last much longer than plastic.
3. Exercise outside.
It is really important for us to be outside as much as we can. If you spend your day at a desk job like me, you work for hours without seeing the light of day and without inhaling fresh air.
So why do I explicitly say exercise outside?
Well, when you exercise, your body’s demand for oxygen increases, which means you take much faster and deeper breaths. If you always exercise indoors, this means that whatever toxins are present in the facility from carpet, exercise equipment, cleaning chemicals and so on, you are inhaling them rapidly. Therefore, it is good to at least sometimes take your exercise outdoors to allow for pulling some fresh air into those lungs.
4. Use Coconut Oil for your skin.
Coconut oil is a great moisturizer for the skin, and does a better job at moisturizing than many chemical lotion counterparts, in my experience. It also is high in Vitamin E, a skin-protecting antioxidant.
5. Make your own beans.
Next time you make a bean dish, whether it’s bean chili or just a side dish, buy dried beans instead of canned ones. Yes, you will need more time for sorting, soaking, rinsing and cooking the beans, but you avoid potential toxins from the metal cans, and the fresher beans are more nutritious as well. You also avoid that nasty can taste.
6. Use a Stainless Steel water bottle.
This goes back to number two with the concern about chemicals in plastics. With the recommendation that we drink half our bodyweight in ounces of water every day, it is important to make sure that water is as toxin-free as possible. For many of us, half of our bodyweight in ounces amounts to at least a half-gallon of water each day. I recommend the Klean Kanteen bottle like the one my wife uses.
7. Eat meatless once a week, and eat organic meat as much as possible after that.
We’ve all heard about how conventional meat is often pumped full of hormones and antibiotics that we essentially take ourselves when we consume it. Choose organic as much as possible to reduce your exposure, and as an additional measure, make one whole day a meatless day. You might try having a meatless Monday, for example. Trust me, it isn’t as hard as it seems, and your digestive system will thank you.
8. Wash some of your dry cleaning at home.
My wife heard straight from a dry cleaner owner’s mouth that machine washing your “dry clean only” clothes that contain polyester is perfectly fine, as the clothes will not shrink. Dry cleaning your clothes exposes you to toxic solvents used during the dry cleaning process, so washing some of those at home will undoubtedly help you reduce your toxic load.
Just make sure that when you wash them at home, you actually use a natural laundry soap or you will defeat the purpose of washing the clothes at home. There are plenty of natural cleaners on the market. Here’s a recipe that my family uses for laundry soap for those of you who want to make their own:
Laundry Soap Recipe
- 1 Bar of Ivory soap
- 4 cups water
- Grate the soap, and then dissolve in the water, and then combine in a jug with the following:
- 11 liters water
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup borax
- Use ¼ cup at a time for your laundry
Shawn McClendon is an electrical engineer “by day”, who also enjoys helping others regain health and lose weight by blogging about health and fitness and by providing holistic personal training to others. He also is the author of 13 Things to Stop Believing to Become Healthy and Lose Weight. He blogs at yourhealthatthecrossroads.com.