Learn a few easy action steps to reduce the noise in your mind, reduce your toxic exposure and information on why you should care.
So you’ve read all about how the environment, your home and everything you use every day is full of toxic chemicals. You may have heard a podcast about how if you don’t buy a $4,000 organic mattress, you’re going to die. It’s okay. You’re not going to die.
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Where is the best place to start on a wellness journey?
At Wellness Trickle, we believe you need to care for your mind, your body and your environment. It’s never one thing causing your health issues, but you can start with one thing.
Have you heard the saying that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time (who eats elephants?!)? The idea is that to conquer something huge, you just have to start.
Care for your mind:
This is something I have committed to only in the last year and I can’t believe I waited so long. We all have baggage. Whether that’s trauma from childhood, or our inner self just being rude to us. Freeing your mind is a step of the process. It’s an easy place to start because it’s free and can start with as little as a few minutes a day.
How to care for your mind:
- Talk nice to yourself
- Be present
How to meditate in two easy steps:
- Set time for meditation when nothing else will distract you. This can be as little as one minute.
- Close your eyes and breathe. Focus on breathing in and out and thinking about that breath. It helps to give your breath a color to visualize it. Note: If you feel yourself drifting to other thoughts, that’s okay, that’s just where your mind needs to be. Try to guide it back to your breath.
That’s really it! Make time for it first thing in the morning and before having to make a big decision (i.e., pause before responding to that email and focus on your breath for one minute). It may help you with clarity of making a decision or doing a hard thing and help to ground you beforehand.
For a deeper look into meditation, check out How to Reduce Stress with Mindfulness and Meditation.
Talk nice to yourself
Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend or even your child. Our thoughts guide us. If we are always being hard on ourselves, we’ll feel more defeated and drained.
So be nice to yourself. Enough people aren’t nice enough to you.
The easiest way to be present is to stop and engage your five senses.
If you have time, get outside and take a 15-minute walk. If not, right where you are, stop for one minute and think about what you hear, see, smell, touch, and taste.
- What do you feel? Think about what your feet and/or hands are doing. Can your feet feel the floor beneath you? Are your hands on your lap? Around warm coffee?
- What do you smell? Is there a bouquet of flowers nearby? Do you smell your matcha tea?
- What can you hear? Are there birds chirping? Is your dog barking? Sirens outside?
- What do you taste? Can you still taste your toothpaste? Do you taste your food or a drink?
- What do you see? What can you see as you look around? Your computer screen? Your sweet puppy sleeping?
Those are a few techniques that will help you relax your mind over time. Remember, it’s not a quick fix. Commit yourself to work on your mind and you will start to see changes.
Care for your body
It’s important to note that following a diet or restrictive eating is not for everyone. What works for someone may not work for others. Aim for as little processed foods as possible and as many whole foods as possible.
What does it mean to eat whole foods?
Whole foods don’t generally come in a package and come from an animal or a plant. Think eating a handful of nuts and dates instead of a packaged granola bar. Or eating a fresh apple instead of apple chips.
If you’re new to the idea of eating whole foods, start in one place. Maybe for breakfast, instead of grabbing a blueberry muffin with your morning coffee, you make a chia pudding or have a bowl of fresh fruit at home instead. Start with one meal or even one snack, make it a habit, then try to adapt to eating whole foods throughout the day.
Instead of restricting foods, try adding a smoothie every other day or every day. Make a smoothie with fresh fruit and spinach. It’s a great way to get some greens in.
SmoothieBox makes smoothies so easy. You can purchase a box of preprepared smoothies. Pick your flavors and just add water or milk and blend. A high-speed blender like a Vitamix is recommended. Our favorites are the green smoothie and the berry smoothie (also a kid favorite).
What does processed foods mean?
Meals you make in a box, fast food, lunch meat are some examples of processed foods. There is a time and place for processed food but try to limit it. The next time burgers sound good, plan to spend the time making them at home instead of stopping at that fast food joint on the way home.
At Wellness Trickle we don’t believe in restrictive diets and prefer to focus on adding in good foods. A good place to start is to add some immune boosting foods every day, like these 10 foods that help boost the immune system, which is a great place to start.
How to easily swap out non toxic products
Think about the products you use every day. Your hand soap, your body wash, face creams, makeup, deodorant, that cleaner you wipe the counters with, your laundry soap, toothpaste. The list is endless.
What are you running out of or low on? The next time you purchase that item, look at what you use and if it has toxic chemicals, choose a non-toxic product.
Didn’t know that products we can buy can be full of toxins? Check this article about some of the common carcinogens/toxins in our products that aren’t banned in the US.
How do I know if my products are toxic
Wellness Trickle is hoping to be your go to resource for all things non-toxic. We are still building our library of information and will be releasing new articles and recommendations every week.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a great resource. They have a website full of information on products and break down the ingredients that can cause health problems in each. The EWG ranks products on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst) or A to F (F being the worst).
The EWG also has an app where you can scan products and get their score if it’s in their system. It’s a great starting point if you’re just learning what to look for and need a resource to tell you the risks involved with certain products.
For a quick and easy way, start by purchasing products that are unscented. The problem with “fragrance” is that it’s trademark protected. So a company can list an ingredient as “fragrance” and that “fragrance” can include up to 3,000 different chemicals – many of which are often endocrine disruptors and allergens.
Even if a product says it’s “all natural,” if fragrance is listed in the ingredients, avoid the product. Keep an eye out for parabens, formaldehyde and phthalates, which are a few of the common toxins and endocrine disrupters (interfere with hormone function) in everyday products.
Stay away from air fresheners and candles unless they list ingredients and do not include “fragrance” as an ingredient. Air fresheners often include phthalates because they enhance smell.
Be wary of greenwashing and “clean” products. Terms like “All Natural” or “Clean” are not regulated and can be thrown on anything. Labels often have leaves and greenery to look like they’re natural but may not be. Use the EWG to check for actual clean products and check in with us for our favorite non-toxic products.
Where to find non toxic beauty and non toxic skincare products
Our skincare doesn’t have to be organic and only come from plants. Just because it includes a chemical doesn’t make it toxic. We just need to start recognizing which chemicals are toxic so we can make better choices. I like to start with a few trusted brands who perform screening tests on their products regularly.
Some of our favorite skincare resources are the following:
Beauty Counter: For all things makeup and specific skincare. My favorites include the Clean deo deodorant (more on this in a future post, but I believe I found the one-this stuff actually works!), the Think Big All in One Mascara (this has replaced my Lancome Monsieur Big and is even better), the Color Define Brow Pencil and the Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion.
Hugh and Grace: A newer company that I instantly fell in love with and became an advocate for. They only have a few products and every single one of them is amazing. My most favorite are the Renewing Night Serum (pricey but lasts a long time and I noticed a difference in my skin the next day), the Purifying Cleansing Bar and the Protecting Body Oil (I use on my hands and feet every night before bed and it softens them right up).
Henry Rose: A company that has chosen to have 100% transparency with their ingredients. You won’t find ingredients like “fragrance” but the actual chemical compounds that are in the products are listed, tested for safety and approved by the EWG .
The smells of Henry Rose perfumes remind me of Jo Malone perfumes. They have a Discovery Set that includes a small bottle of each of their fragrances. My favorites are Queens and Monsters, Fog and Torn.
Taking small steps daily, even if only adding a new food into our diet, taking 60 seconds to meditate, and opening our windows daily, can make a big impact. Studies show that the air in our homes has can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoors. Opening your windows can let fresh air in and help purify your home air. Air purifiers can also help with this, especially when the weather doesn’t permit open windows.
- Check in with your five senses at least once a day.
- Make a smoothie every day to start adding more whole foods to your body. An easy way to get started is with a smoothie delivery service, like SmoothieBox.
- When you run out of a product, purchase a new product that is at least unscented or check the EWG for products with a 1, 2, A or “EWG Verified” ranking.
- Open your windows to let fresh air your home for at least ten minutes a day.
- Avoid air fresheners and candles.
Where are you on your wellness journey? If you are interested in five easy swaps you can make for non-toxic products you can buy at Target, sign up below to download your free mini guide.