We know how to detox our bodies (organic food! exercise! infrared saunas!) but what about our homes? Here’s the thing: Detoxing our bodies is kind of pointless if we’re not going to clean up our acts at home, TBH. Naturally, spring is a great time to wipe out all of the health hazards that have been lurking inside our houses all winter so we turned to Beth Greer, a Certified Toxin-Free Living Professional (who knew that was a thing?) who’s here to show us some smart, simple ways to make our homes as clean and healthy as possible. So open the windows, get your trash bags ready and let the sunshine in!
Your health starts in your home. If you want to get healthy and stay healthy, begin by thinking about eliminating the common environmental toxins in your home. If you feel confused about simple, practical things you can do, don’t worry. Here are some easy ways to get started:
1. Eat organic or pesticide-free foods whenever possible. There are shockingly about 54 pesticide residues on non-organic strawberries and 47 on apples. Pesticides are hormone disruptors, neurotoxins and reproductive toxins, and are linked to cancer. The good news is that taking only three days away from eating non-organic produce removes 80% of residues in the body. Over 1,000 studies have come out about glyphosate, chemical used in RoundUp, showing it to be a carcinogen and causing serious health problems. It’s the world's most popular weed killer and is also spayed as a drying agent on non-organic wheat and other grains. Shop at farmer’s markets where you can talk to the farmer directly and find out their growing methods. Look at the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list and especially avoid those that top the list.
2. Forgo food additives like MSG, trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and artificial food coloring. The latter can cause behavioral and health problems. Scientific studies show that they can cause hyperactivity and ADHD behavior in children. Read labels to watch for hidden colors in cereals, soft drinks, cakes, cookies, children’s medicine and vitamins.
3. Abolish artificial sweeteners. Especially aspartame, which is a synthetic chemical found in NutraSweet, Equal, Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, as well as sugar-free gums, candies, yogurts and low calorie breakfast cereals. Three key studies funded by an independent lab found that aspartame caused lymphomas, leukemias, kidney and other cancers in rats and mice.
4. Choose filtered tap water over bottled. It will have less bacteria and chemical contaminants. Choose glass or stainless steel water containers. Scientists have found the longer a plastic water bottle sits on a shelf, whether in a grocery store or your refrigerator, the higher the risk you'll consume a greater dose of a chemical called antimony, a potential carcinogen. Get yourself a great water filter. My all-time favorite water filter is AlkaViva.
5. Replace plastics. BPA is a ubiquitous chemical that mimics estrogen if it's introduced into your body. It can get there by leaching out of hard plastic bottles, especially if they’re heated (in microwave ovens or dishwashers) or exposed to acidic solutions (tomato sauce) or UV light via sunlight or baby bottle UV sterilizers. BPA is also found in plastic reusable food containers, canned soup, soda cans and cash register and ATM receipts. BPA is linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems. And don’t be swayed when you see BPA-Free on the label. Manufacturers are switching to BPS — another nasty chemical that could be as dangerous if not more dangerous to us than BPA. Choose glass or metal water bottles.
6. Stop using scents. We are bombarded with artificial fragrances everywhere — from perfume, hair and body products, kitty litter, even scented garbage bags! When you see the word fragrance on a label, it means not only that it can have over 100 different chemicals hidden in it, but it will also contain something known as Phthalates. Exposure to the chemical DEP, the most common phthalate in fragrance, has been associated with lower sperm count, sperm damage,and endocrine disruption. Shop for detergents, fabric softeners and other cleaning products that are fragrance-free or made with natural scents. Quit using air fresheners and skip artificially fragranced products whenever possible.
7. Countertop sprays can breed bacteria superbugs. You may think it’s good to use antibacterial soap, antimicrobial wipes and sprays to kill bacteria, but it can backfire and contribute to a drug-resistant-bacteria problem. Certain types, including those with triclosan and quaternary ammonium compounds, can, if you use them routinely, create drug-resistant bacteria that can enter your body. Instead, scrub surfaces with cleaners you make yourself with ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and baking soda. Shop smarter next time: Seek cleaning products displaying Green Seal or EcoLogo certification, which means they adhere to certain science-based health and environmental standards.
Beth Greer, the Super Natural Mom®, is former president and co-owner of The Learning Annex, toxin-free living expert, speaker, holistic lifestyle educator, and environmental health coach who eliminated a sizable tumor in her chest without drugs or surgery. She's author of the bestseller, “Super Natural Home,” https://rstyle.me/+1pdTyHvC1qOE8Qvdo4FvCA endorsed by Deepak Chopra, Ralph Nader, and Dr. Joseph Mercola, and named a Top 50 Health & Environmental Journalist to Follow.
For more practical, simple solutions on how to have a super healthy home, visit BethGreer.com and check out her personalized in-home (or Skype) detox consults, 5-Day Cleanses, and webinar trainings.