The New Year is upon us and this is a perfect time to start working on detoxing your family, your home and your life. If you’re looking for a great way to improve your health, remove chemicals from your home and start eating clean in 2015, here are 10 resolutions to get you started:
1. Remove artificial dyes from your diet and home.
Artificial dyes – even those approved by the FDA – have been linked to illnesses and disorders ranging from tumors to ADHD in children. In 2007, the BBC reported on a British study conducted at the University of Southampton that concluded that 6 common food dyes – many used here in the U.S. – were linked to increased hyperactivity in children. These dyes now have a warning label in the U.K. ABC News reported this year on a Rutgers study that showed that yellow dyes contain PCB 11, a substance already banned by the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1979 but in low enough levels to pass into your food. One of the best ways to start eating clean is to remove foods from your child’s diet that use artificial dyes. Instead, start eating clean foods that contain no dyes or only use dyes that come from sources found in nature, such as Color Garden. Learn what other toxins in your home may be harming your child.
2. Choose phthalate and paraben free personal care products.
Now is also the perfect time to detox your personal and feminine care products. Eating clean is great, but many beauty products contain phthalate, a known carcinogen that can be toxic in high doses and may also be a reproductive toxin. Because it’s found in many beauty products, deodorants, and nail polishes, exposure can add up even though these products are individually considered to be at “safe” levels by the FDA. Parabens, which are linked to cancer and are endocrine disrupters, can be found in lotions, facial cleansers, and hair care products. Go a step further and learn the dangers hiding in your feminine care products and what you can do about it.
3. Switch to grass fed, organic meats and dairy products.
Grass fed, organic meats and dairy offer a cleaner way to eat healthy fats. Free of antibiotics and hormones, your family is less likely to be exposed to E. Coli and salmonella poisoning because as animals are raised in safer, cleaner conditions. In addition, according to the Mayo Clinic, grass fed beef has less fat, more Omega-3 fatty acids, and is richer in antioxidants than conventionally raised beef. Organic dairy is also free of rBGH, a growth hormone developed by Monsanto and given to dairy cows. The American Cancer Society has concluded that rBGH has shown “adverse health effects in cows”. Those sick cows are then treated with antibiotics that can end up in our milk. Robyn O’Brien makes a compelling case at AllergyKids.com for avoiding rBGH in “Dirty Dairy: What You Need to Know About Milk”, and wonders if this is contributing to the rising rates of early puberty taking place in girls in the U.S. Some states, however, like Pennsylvania, have passed laws preventing companies from labeling milk “rBGH-free”, so the only way to guarantee that your milk products are safe from this hormone is to buy organic. Learn more about how to select eggs that are nontoxic as well.
4. Eat GMO-free 85% of the time.
You can’t start eating clean without adding organics and GMO-free foods to your life, but it is a challenge to keep your diet 100% GMO-free. Instead, set a more realistic goal to eat GMO-free 85% of the time. Choose foods that are USDA organic or Non-GMO Project Verified as often as possible. The good news is that more companies are providing GMO-free and organic versions of the foods your family loves. If you don’t have the budget to buy all organic produce, make sure you avoid conventional versions of the Dirty Dozen (apples, potatoes, strawberries) and just make sure to buy those fruits and vegetables organic. For other produce, you can buy the conventional version of the Clean 15 and thoroughly wash them. Here are some tips on how to save money when buying organic. You can also save on organic by joining Thrive Market. Sign up now for 3 months free and get 15% off first purchase plus free shipping.
5. Add fiber rich plants, healthy fats, and fermented foods to your diet.
The new year is a perfect time to pay attention to the more neglected areas of you and your family’s health. For example, your body needs fiber – soluble and insoluble – for heart health and to keep your digestive tract clean. You can get all the fiber you need with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and flax rather than with grains. It’s also a good time to take stock of your fat intake. Trans fats and saturated fats are unhealthy – not just cakes and cookies, but oils like canola and vegetable oil. The Mayo Clinic recommends switching to healthier fats that are high in Omega-3, like avocados and coconut oil, as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like plant-based foods and oils. Finally, adding fermented foods to your family’s clean eating menu can help balance the gut, serve as a natural probiotic and boost their immunity. Learn more about fermented foods and how to get started making them.
6. Invest in a good water filtration system.
We all know that drinking a lot of water every day is good for your body, but is your water safe? As we reported in July, your tap water may be toxic and can contain arsenic, pesticides, lead, fluoride, bacteria, pharmaceuticals and fracking chemicals. The only way to ensure your tap water safe is by installing a high-quality filtration system, such as Environmental Water Systems, which uses a granular activated carbon filter to remove the worst of these. Watch Mamavation’s TV episode about what’s really in your water.
7. Take stock of the plastic in your home and make a plan to replace.
Plastic is a danger lurking everywhere in your home: from your Keurig and your shower curtains to your toys and water bottles. And while BPA-free plastics are touted as safer, many, such as BPS and BPF, have also been found to be toxic, acting as endocrine disruptors. “The chemicals have the same function [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][as BPA], which usually means they’re similar in structure, and therefore have similar health effects,” says Lindsay Dahl, former deputy director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. The solution is to avoid plastic as much as possible, and when you can’t, be sure to avoid heating food in plastic containers or storing food in plastic storage for a long time. Learn how to safely store organic foods.
8. Switch to organic, pesticide free lawn care.
We want our kids to enjoy the great outdoors, but most people underestimate the importance of a nontoxic lawn. After all, not only do our kids run barefoot through it in the summer, they also track chemical toxins indoors off the bottom of their shoes. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp and many herbicides, is highly toxic. In addition, the FDA just approved a new, even more deadly, 2,4D, which is known to be toxic. Learn about the coming threat of GMO grass and how you can keep a more organic lawn.
9. Remove refined sugar and high fructose syrup from your life.
If you are still purchasing foods with refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), now is a perfect time to eliminate these from your family’s diet. These GMO sweeteners have seeped into the American diet in large quantities and can be found in or added to most packaged food products. The typical American consumes 1/3 of a pound of sugar daily! In addition to excess belly fat, all this sugar can have damaging effects on gut balance, heart health, blood pressure and your liver and has been linked to cancer, arthritis, gout and, of course, Type II Diabetes. Start eating clean with a sugar detox – and learn which low glycemic sweeteners you can use instead.
10. Detox the air inside your home.
Did you know the air inside your house could be toxic, even if you don’t live in a polluted area or with a smoker? The National Institute of Health’s MedlinePlus site lists a host of indoor air quality problems: Mold, pollen, radon and carbon monoxide can be lurking in your home. If you have a new home or have recently remodeled, building materials like asbestos, formaldehyde or lead as well as toxic dust can be in the air. And household products, like air fresheners or harsh cleaning chemicals, can also compromise your air quality. Opening windows in every room on a regular basis is the easiest way to air out toxins, and you can avoid household products made with toxins and fragrances. If you are remodeling, check out Healthy Child Healthy World’s “Easy Steps to Healthy Home Improvement”. Finally, buying a houseplant is a great way to clear the air and add a little beauty to your home. Here is a list of the 15 best plants to clean your indoor air.
Pick the resolutions above that make the most sense to you to get started detoxing your home and start your family eating clean. If you need help, Naturally Savvy is providing four “Get Healthy” food challenges for those who register: Avoid the “7 Scary Ingredients” (1 challenge for each toxin), the “Non-GMO” challenge, the Gluten Free challenge and the Omega-3 challenge. These challenges will teach you about the food you are avoiding and provide information that helps you identify what foods contain them so you can successfully eliminate toxins in your food. That can go a long way to detoxing your family’s diets and getting started on eating clean in 2015.
Disclosure: Bookieboo LLC has worked with numerous brands in the natural space, including Color Garden, Thrive Market and Environmental Water Systems.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]