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Thinking Out Loud: Living Cleaner

May 25, 2017

This post wasn’t planned but I’ve had something on my mind for the last few weeks and felt compelled to talk about it. Joining up with the Thinking Out Loud link up over on Running with Spoons.

Have you ever looked around you at all the people suffering from symptoms and illnesses and wondered if it wouldn’t all go away if we got back to eating real, unprocessed food and using natural, chemical free products in our day to day lives? Why have we gotten so far away from natural living? It doesn’t make sense anymore.

It’s something I’ve always been conscious of, but admittedly often a bit lazy to execute on. We turn to processed food when we need something quick and easy, or simply because we’re not paying attention to what we’re purchasing. We buy our favourite beauty or personal care products without knowing what’s in them. We don’t think about the effects that our chemically enhanced world is having on our bodies.

I began reading WomanCode after Jo talked non-stop about it. I was curious to see if it could offer any advice on how to reduce some hormonal symptoms I experience regularly. While I haven’t finished the book or began to fully implement any of my learnings, it was a huge eye-opener as to just how important the food we eat is to all systems of our body. The endocrine system is hugely affected by the foods that we eat and plays into so many different things to ensure our body runs properly. I see so many women in my life struggling with stomach issues, reproductive issues, and other minor and major hormonal imbalances and think, “We can probably fix all of these by changing our eating habits”.

And then there are all the products we use daily. Our skin is the largest organ we have and how many times do you stop to think about how the ingredients in your soaps, lotions, shampoos and makeup affect you over time. When you start doing your research, you see that many ingredients in common items are carcinogenic, contain hormone disrupters and irritants. Even the products that claim to be natural still contain fragrance that consists of who knows what kind of garbage. And to think, all of this stuff is unregulated.

When Liam was first born I was doing everything in my power to keep things as natural as possible. I still remember to this day the look my uncle gave me when I told him Liam couldn’t eat any Cheerios because I didn’t want to expose him to processed foods. People don’t think about this stuff because it’s what we’ve done for years. Of course, I gave in to the convenience of processed foods and admit that Cheerios have taken up permanent residency in our pantry but I’m ready to make an effort again to be more conscious of what we’re consuming for the sake of mine and Liam’s health.

What I’m Doing to Live Cleaner

These are some of the changes I’ve already made to create a cleaner life for not only my body but for the planet as well.

  •  I’ve stopped using chemical cleaners around the house as much as possible. I use vinegar to clean most surfaces and if I purchase other cleaners, stick to the natural ones over regular brands.
  • I purchased a vegetable, fruit and egg share from a local farm. This will be my third year having a vegetable share but this year I purchased from a different farm (sorry Farmer Mike) where I can add organic chicken eggs and BC fruit to my biweekly pickups. Throughout the summer, I will really only need to purchase meat and hopefully will have some extra funds to buy from the organic market rather than the grocery store.
  • Slowly switching my beauty and personal care products. While I try to make an effort to choose cleaner products over others, I’m realizing that they aren’t all as clean as they seem. I also wasn’t conscious about the makeup and hair care products aside from my shampoo. While I’m not going to throw away everything in my bathroom, I’ll be slowly transitioning the products I use to things free of parabens, sulphates and other yucky ingredients. I just placed an order with Rocky Mountain Soap Company and am awaiting some samples from Beauty Counter. I’ve started using the Think Dirty app to see how the products I have rate in terms of clean vs dirty ingredients which has been slightly eye opening. I’ve even made the switch from regular tampons to the Diva Cup for a more natural and sustainable menstrual experience (sorry for the TMI fellas).

These changes are fairly small but I think over time will have a big impact. I want to make an effort to make more things from scratch, like yogurt and bread and continue down a path of sustainable, clean living. I know the journey won’t be perfect, it certainly hasn’t been over the nearly five years since Liam was born, but I think it’s important to be reminded of the effects our food and day to day products could have without us even knowing it.
What are your thoughts?
Are you mindful about the foods you eat?
Do you prefer to make staple foods from scratch and have good, easy recipes to share?
Have you changed out any products from your life to cleaner products?
Any products you recommend?

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Cassandra Collins
    May 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    I love this! I’ve been using the company Enjo for 4 years now to clean my home. I’m also conscious of what we eat and how we wash our bodies. It’s a constant process!!

    My friend makes her own yogurt (even Greek yogurt) using her slow cooker! Apparently it’s extremely easy, but I haven’t been brave enough to risk the milk to try it.

    Good luck!

    • Reply
      Becky
      May 25, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      I’ve never heard of that company. I’ll have to look into it!

      I saw a recipe for coconut yogurt that was so simple that I’m really tempted to try it!

      • Reply
        Cassandra Collins
        May 25, 2017 at 9:52 pm

        My contact in Red Deer doesn’t sell it anymore. If you ever find a party to go to, I’m in!

  • Reply
    Jo @ Living Mint Green
    May 26, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Becky!! I loved this post and you already know I agree with everyyythaaaang you mentioned. I love how you brought up we could probably change and eliminate a lot of our health issues if we just cleaned up our diets. It’s so true though, eh? We often forget or overlook little things because we falsely assume if it exists, it’s “safe”. Or that a little bit won’t hurt. We don’t consume just a little bit though. The cumulative effect is huge. When we look at things like obesity, hormonal disruption, etc is it the result of eating McDonalds once in a while? No – it’s the result of what we eat and do every single day!

    Okay, so my fav RMS must haves are their lemongrass body wash, sunscreen, serious scrub and I’m enjoying their beech tree eye cream & rosehip oil cleanser. As for other brands – I’m looking into Beautycounter (where did you get your samples btw?)

    A lot of household cleaners (like seventh generation etc) aren’t even that “clean” – I use vinegar too. And I use a washing machine magnetic ball thing/Borax instead of detergent.

    • Reply
      Becky
      May 26, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Thanks for talking non-stop about that book and getting me thinking about all of this again. I used to be so much better and I just got so complacent about somethings.

      It’s true, everything in life needs balance and of course the occasional bad things here and there aren’t going to harm us that much but when I look at our society and see so many people suffering from gut problems, infertility problems, skin issues, etc. it just makes me want to preach to everyone to eat cleaner food!

      Tell me more about your washing machine ball thing!! I actually looked into Honest Co and their products are cleaner and I’m a big fan of them.

    • Reply
      Brie @ A Slice of Brie
      May 26, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      I want to know more about this magnetic ball thing too!

      • Reply
        Jo @ Living Mint Green
        May 29, 2017 at 1:42 pm

        I’ve used two kinds!

        This one: http://www.magneticlaundry.ca/ (you put the magnets inside the barrel – and yes, it actually works. I’ve put mud/sweat caked clothes and shoes in with a few drops of essential oil and they come out clean & fresh!!) I like this one the best.

        The other ball thing has these little ceramic pellets inside that you recharge in the sun. http://www.smartkleancanada.com/

  • Reply
    Kris @ Canadian Girl Runs
    May 26, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Yes yes yes. I love this Becky!

    • Reply
      Becky
      May 26, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      Clean living for lyfe!

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    May 26, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I started using natural cleaners a few years ago and love them, vinegar and baking soda are my go tos. The only thing I buy is glass cleaner (natural kind) but I use Norex cloths and those do the job pretty darn good too.
    My makeup can use an overhaul but I am scared with my picky skin to switch much there. lol.
    And as you know all our body wash, shampoo etc is Live Clean 🙂

    • Reply
      Becky
      May 26, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      Seriously, vinegar cleans everything. It’s amazing.
      You should get some Beauty Counter samples from Brie! Also, Burts Bees is suppose to be awesome for makeup as well.
      I used a lot of Live Clean products as well but I found that there is still a lot of junk in it compared to other products.

      • Reply
        Lindsey
        May 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

        I’ve tried Burts Bees and hated everything down to their horrible lip chap that is the worst. Oh really? I haven’t compared lately but did a couple years ago to other “clean” brands on the market and it had about half as other brands and stayed away from certain ingredients I basically banned whereas other brands didn’t. But that was about two years ago I did all the research. I still have all the spreadsheets if you ever want to take a look!

  • Reply
    Brie @ A Slice of Brie
    May 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Well, you already know I love this post! Funny how we’ve both been thinking about these things lately 🙂 I hear ya on the part about feeing our kids healthy/unprocessed foods at the beginning and then letting them sneak back in. I’ve been so lazy about that this past year. Mostly out of convenience and also because I’m tired of my kid not eating. I was talking about this to my mom today though…I think I might just need to go cold turkey on all the convenience snack foods I let Sully have. I’m thinking in about a month, when Emmy is old enough to start on solids, that will be a good time for sure! I used to be all “he’ll eat it if he’s hungry enough” but I’ve gotten weak on that threat 😛
    Do you use any norwex products? I only have a few, but I LOVE their enviro cloth and mirror cloth. It is the greatest thing for mirrors/taps/anything really! And the big mitt for dusting is good too. I use vinegar a lot for cleaning too. What do you wash your floors with?

    • Reply
      Becky
      May 26, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      Clean my floors? ?

      I use Norwex on my face but I haven’t used them for cleaning. Maybe I’ll pick some up.

  • Reply
    Susie @ Suzlyfe
    May 27, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I definitely cleaned up my diet long ago, started to clean up my living, and things did get better, though everything did not go away. I agree with you, but to an extent–I think, unfortunately that the state of the world that we are in right now requires a certain degree of “artificial” intervention, but again, only a certain degree. I think we should all do our part to try to live as cleanly as we can, but we should also realize that certain “artificial” interventions have really helped the world.
    I think that nutrition and fitness education for EVERYONE would be the first thing to do. Teach people how to actually fuel and take care of themselves.

    • Reply
      Becky
      May 29, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Yes, there’s definitely exceptions to every rule where intervention is necessary. There’s no black and white. But yes, I think it’s time for more people to learn about real food, how to cook things from scratch and stop relying on processed junk food, etc.

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