Welcome to another week! Today's blog post is about lessening that toxin load on our bodies, bringing down the number of nefarious substances our bodies have to filter or move out. Let's go green (clean), kittens.
If you don't know by now, I am all about loving the liver and working at de-inflaming, helping your body run as best it can and wants to. My work as a Holistic Nutrition gal is focused primarily on figuring out how foods can best support you, as we look to improving digestion whilst also taming that chronic low-grade inflammation dragon. I tend to talk loads about foods and beverages, or ideas that can best support your body's desire to be well. Today though, we veer off to include an all-important step in supporting your best self: lessening the toxin load via green cleaners.
As a Holistic Nutritional Consultant, I love delving in to dietary protocols that best support gut health and a reduction in inflammation. I am primarily inspired by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's GAPS Protocol, the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, linking the health of your gut to the health of the nervous system, and Dr. Terry Wahls' Protocol (The Wahls Protocol), a Paleo-inspired protocol highlighting how best to support autoimmune conditions.
You know a protocol is the real deal when a component of said protocol includes proper detoxification recommendations.
Both protocols offer a fantastic and in-depth overview in to the reasons why.
If I could, I would quote entire chapters' worth of important information here for you from these tomes. I invite you instead to pick up their books, or put them on hold at your local library so that you can delve in to the explanations and reasonings behind their recommendations. To summarize, our world is becoming more and more polluted, as are our foods, The chemicals found in the materials around us, the air we breathe, the off-gassing of new upholstery, the radiation from so many directions, the chemicals used to treat the foods and soils in which we grow foods, the list of toxins that contribute to our wellbeing are growing day by day. Two generations ago, they weren't dealing with nearly half as much as we are today. Thankfully, we have these amazing detoxification systems in place in our bodies to usher toxins out, to move spent metabolic waste towards the exit routes. But it is imperative we care for these detox systems and support them so they can best support our health and wellbeing. We're talking about quantity of life, but also quality of life here.
A few weeks back, I mentioned the idea of giving your body that 12 hour break. This was meant to help support your body's in-house clean-up crew to work at their very best. We are detoxifying every day, friends.
Your liver, along with your lymph, spleen, blood, kidneys, sweat, skin, intestinal lining, and a few other parts work in tandem to keep your engine running as clean as possible. They work as a team to keep that detoxification system working as hard as it can, clearing away unwanted toxins, incompletely digested foods, spent metabolic waste out of your system. GOOD WORK BODY.
One of the ways you can best support this kind of work is by lowering the amount of toxins your body has to deal with. Today's post is all about going green.
I am focusing on cleaning supplies in the home today, but I intend to include a post soon on the importance of greening our body care products as well. Look for a good round-up of easy DIY recipes below, and other online spots to look for ideas when it comes to greening your home cleaners.
It's imperative to reduce the number of chemicals you come across in your every day. Sure, we may have little to no sway on the cleaners and chemicals used in our workplaces; some places like hospitals or factories have a pretty heavy load of toxins found in the environment as a regular part of the every day. We do however have the ability to influence those found in our own homes.
GUIDE TO HEALTHY CLEANING
When I talk about green alternatives, think anything used in the kitchen, in the bathroom, for dusting and cleaning floors. Think vacuum, carpets, or anything related to laundry. Go farther, and really investigate when renovations are in the near future for you. Go the extra mile to find lower chemical-load upholstery or paint, low-VOC products (volatile organic compounds – find a concise list and explanation here). Or better yet, figure out a way to make what you have, last! Recycle! Reuse! Seek out good quality second hand goods perhaps.
Some of the chemicals found in your average grocery store cleaners may have some dangerous compounds in them. Refer to this fantastic online resource courtesy of the Environmental Working Group, they regularly update their Guide to Healthy Cleaning to help you make the best decisions for your family. They are based in the United States, and I appreciate their work as they are clear about their methodology, and use science to back up facts. They offer safety ratings on more than 2,500 cleaning products.
You will also find informative articles that go in depth as to which chemicals carry the worst reputation. They explain the science of how these nefarious chemicals work and how they offend in order that you may best arm yourself with the knowledge you need in order to make the best decision.
By going green, you are reducing the irritants and mystery chemicals and fragrances that can wreak havoc on your endocrine system, or cleaners who pack known carcinogens in their recipes. By going green, you are decreasing that toxin load. This frees your body up to concentrate on that internal detox work that needs to happen in order to help keep chronic degenerative diseases at bay.
EASY DIY CLEANER IDEAS
My favourite thing about this: it's frugal!
Click on points if you'd like a more complete recipe or how-to
- mix water with vinegar
- mix vinegar with lemon juice
- use baking soda to help clean
- use salt to help scrub pots clean
- use a less chemical-laden dish soap and make sure to rinse thoroughly when hand washing (removes residue)
- put a small up-turned cup of vinegar in your dishwasher to help with salt and hard water residue build up
- easy window cleaner
- non toxic oven cleaner recipe
- clean wood floors with strong tea
- polish your furniture with a mix of 1c of olive oil and 1/4c of white vinegar
- use white wine to take the stain of red wine out of the carpet
- ditch the dryer sheets and felt your own dryer balls (one of the best things you can do RIGHT NOW!)
- hang your laundry outside to dry, or on a rack indoors (it adds humidity to our dry winter air here in the prairies!)
- open a window – it's amazing how it refreshes everything and cleans the air in your house
- add a house plant (or seven!), they clean the air for you
- here's a great round up of make-yr-own cleaners
- I have a plethora of ideas on this pinterest board, updated regularly
- think of making your own cleaners as part of your batch prep work for the week
In addition to these easy recipes at home, you can also rely on manufactured cleaners, albeit greener versions. If you're in Calgary, there are some fabulous local home cleaning product suppliers who have their wares for sale at your favourite local health food store. Reach for the simplest and most unscented version of product as you can. And breathe easier!