It's funny how your body's natural rhythms can really help direct your daily activity. For me, the change of seasons from winter to spring gives me the urge to detox my body -- and to do some spring cleaning. I've put the finishing touches on my Spring Sugar Cleanse to get clients over the winter hump just in time for beach season, so why not ease into spring with a home detox, too?
You might be wondering why a home detox is important, and how it will benefit your life. Well, while society has made huge advances in technology, chemistry and medicine, some of these new combinations and chemicals can cause major reactions and sensitivities in our bodies.
Do you know how many toxins you are exposed to in your daily life? Currently, over 80,000 chemicals are legal in the U.S., and most haven't been vetted for safety to human or environmental health. Two-thirds of them -- about 60,000 chemicals -- were grandfathered in before the Toxic Substances Act, which allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate chemicals, took effect in 1976. Those 60,000 chemicals are part of our lives, and most people are not aware of what this exposure is doing to their health. A very broad range of substances -- including pesticides, bisphenol A and flame retardants -- can make you more insulin-resistant and raise your insulin levels, which can lead to metabolic syndrome.
One way to decrease toxicity in your home is to use essential oils rather than traditional cleaners formulated with harsh chemicals. Ease into using essential oils by trying them in the laundry, when cleaning countertops, for freshening stale linens or for removing stubborn stains. In order to use them properly for cleaning, first make sure the oil is pure and not blended with anything synthetic. Brands like DoTERRA and Young Living that make pure essential oils certified through a third party are a great choice. A quick request in the Google machine can also help you generate results for pure oils. Here are some of the more popular essential oils for home detoxification and how they can be used:
-- Lavender oil repels moths and insects.
-- Lemon essential oil removes gum, oil, grease spots, and glue or adhesives. If you put it on a cotton ball in the refrigerator, it can help eliminate odors.
-- Essential oil blends like DoTERRA repel insects (just dilute several drops in a spray bottle with distilled water), freshen laundry (add a few drops to the washing machine) and neutralize odors in shoes (add a couple of drops). You can also diffuse essential oils throughout your home to remove unpleasant odors and clear the air of impurities. One of my absolute favorite oils to use in place of pesticides is Young Living peppermint oil, which I spritz around all doors and window openings in a spray bottle.
If you are really dedicated to detoxing your home, be conscious of what's going on outside of it, too. Here's how:
1. Take off your shoes. Just because you have detoxed your home doesn't mean the world knows it! Our shoes track in all kinds of things from pesticides to road grease to urine. Tracking these things in can undo a lot of the work you put in to purifying your home, and keep you feeling below par. If you are really dedicated to detoxing your home, be conscious of what's going on outside of it, too. Here's how:
2. Ditch the dryer sheets. Sure, they smell nice and rid your clothes of the dreaded static cling, but the toxic price of that is pretty darn high. Dryer sheets are loaded with all kinds of toxins (even the fragrance-free kind), including ammonia, that can wreak havoc on your body. You may think dryer sheets are harmless in small doses, but when you put them directly on your body in the form of clothes, towels or sheets, the toxic load can go from low to consistent in a heartbeat. Try experimenting with essential oils in the dryer for a fresh scent. As an extra bonus, you'll notice your clothes stay nicer longer -- without the chemical coating all over them.
3. Get some greenery and fresh air. Indoor air can be anywhere from two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Getting air ducts cleaned with non-toxic cleansers and opening the windows as much as possible help to flush your home of stale air and keep it ventilated. Adding live green plants will purify the air naturally and provide a pleasant scent as well.
4. Get water and shower filters. Toxins in our water can turn to gasses at room temperature and spread with steam from the shower. A shower filter acts the same way as your typical kitchen water filter by stopping many of these contaminates from getting through.
When it comes to a home detox, start off slow and experiment with what you think you can do easily. As your home life improves, keep moving forward for an energy-filled, toxin-free lifestyle.
Sarah Haskins is the founder of Whole Green You, a holistic health coaching practice that specializes in helping busy men and women around the country increase their energy, improve their relationship to food, lose weight, deconstruct and control cravings, and reduce their toxic load. As a U.S. Army veteran with 11 years of active duty service to her country, Haskins' holistic nutritional approach has been implemented with many U.S. Army soldiers to enhance their focus, energy and athletic ability both on and off the battlefield.