I get asked this question a lot, “Where do I start? There’s so much to learn! What should I buy first?” Those can be difficult questions to answer! Over a period of three years I have learned so much and changed so much that I sometimes don’t know where to start, myself! I decided that it was time for me to give you a definitive guide on where to start for yourselves. Because some like to start with cleaning products or essential oils, while others prefer to make their own beauty products and cosmetics, I decided to make you SEVERAL shopping lists, that way no matter where you choose to start changing in your life, you have a shopping list to do it with!
START WITH YOUR DIET AND GO FROM THERE
The absolute hardest part of this journey to a healthier and hippier lifestyle is learning to change your eating habits. To this day I am still fighting this one, which is why I say to start here because you will forever be learning new things and making adjustments to your diet. Not to mention having to fight yourself over foods and drinks that you absolutely LOVE even though you KNOW just how bad they are for you. I am not here to tell you to eat vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or any of the other hardcore subsections of the eating crowd. Those are all your own choices to make. The most important thing I can tell you about changing your diet, no matter which type of diet you decide to choose (because they all can be healthy or unhealthy depending on how you do it!):
- Buy as much organic as possible. This is so important. The pesticides and herbicides that are sprayed on the non-organic foods are detrimental to your health, including your immunities. My mom and I both suffer from Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. When we made the choice to buy as much organic as possible and really choose our meats and dairy that was grass fed, we stopped getting cysts on our ovaries. I also personally suffer from Endometriosis (I have already had one laparoscopy for it) and this one change in my diet has made me not have another endometriosis episode since my diet change. The hormone disruptors in the foods I was eating was causing my mom and I serious hormonal issues!
- Look at the ingredients and buy whole foods. If the package has a long list of ingredients, it most likely contains a whole bunch of synthetic ingredients that are not good for you. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on your ice cream container, then you might not have real ice cream in hand! Also, just because a food professes itself to be vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free/paleo/etc. doesn’t mean it’s healthy. There are tons of over processed vegan foods that you can buy, and eating a ton of them will make you gain weight and unhealthy.
- Going with the previous point, make your own stuff. It’s so much easier to control the ingredients if you are making it yourself. It actually saves you a LOT more money to make it yourself too! The amount of money you spend on a jar of season salt or taco seasoning is crazy compared to just mixing it up yourself! I make my own bread at home, because of the ingredients in a lot of bread found in restaurants and the grocery stores cause my to break out in eczema on my hands. When I make my own bread with organic flour, I do not have this problem. Making your own condiments can also be very beneficial considering that the majority of products on the market are made with high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, and more! I have lost weight, not from watching what foods I eat, but watching the additives that go into my body.
GET THE TOXIC CHEMICALS FROM YOUR HOME – MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING SUPPLIES AND SAVE MONEY TOO!
All of the cleaning supplies that I was using before I decided to change the way that I lived, was doing me in. I was breathing in and getting on my skin toxic chemicals that are endocrine disruptors, bronchial irritants, and more! Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard that they pose. Some cause immediate hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated long-term, problems such as cancer. Making your own cleaning supplies not only avoids these hazards but also is great for the environment. Many of the synthetic ingredients that are used in commercial cleaning supplies are toxic to the environment, including the aquatic animals in those environments! Not only are you saving the environment by making your own cleaning supplies, but you also end up saving a TON of money in the process. If you do choose to buy some of your natural cleaning supplies from the store, it’s a great idea to check out the products you are purchasing, on EWG(Environmental Working Group). They have gone through many products and ingredients on the market and tell you their rating on each product based on the ingredients within it. You might be shocked to learn, some of your favorite cleaning supplies are actually hazardous to your health! There are some really great products on the market, so don’t be disheartened!
BEAUTIFY YOURSELF WITH HOMEMADE COSMETICS AND TOILETRIES
Your skin, the largest organ of the human body, absorbs up to 65% of what you put on it or touch. This fact is what made me realize I needed to be more careful what was going onto my skin. I didn’t realize that all of, and I mean ALL, of the bath and beauty products that I was using, contained toxic ingredients including endocrine disruptors, which were contributing to all of my reproductive issues, eczema, acne, and even nerve pains. Switching to the makeup, shampoos, lotions, and deodorants that are made with good ingredients, is pretty hefty on the wallet. You can’t really leave Whole Foods without spending a decent chunk of cash on all of those products. Making all of your own natural beauty, cosmetics, and toiletries not only is better for you and your skin, but it can save you a huge heap of money. I know personally, from selling my own products, just how much some of these companies mark up their products. Just because they have the certified organic stamp on their product, some companies feel they can charge astronomical prices. When you make your own products the price that you pay per product, is seriously a tiny fraction of what you were paying for in the grocery store!