Have your hormones been invaded? I would argue that hormones are one of the most important things in our bodies. They are the chemical messengers in our bodies secreted by the endocrine glands that do little things like coordinate growth, metabolism, and fertility. They also impact the function of the immune system and alter behavior. So when I ask if your hormones have been invaded, it's an important question, and could explain any number of health concerns. Many of the things that we use or consume daily have little things called ED's in them....What on earth are these?! ED's are Endocrine Disrupters. These are toxins or chemicals that come into our bodies and mimic hormones. They bind themselves to our cells and block our hormone receptors and begin to wreak havoc on our bodies. So what should we be avoiding? Chemical preservatives in plastics such as BPA, parabens, phthalates as well as xenoestrogens that are found in food and personal care products. Let me break it down in to six main areas to watch for and adjust as you can.
1) Thing twice about plastics
We all know the concerns around plastics the BPA and PVC can leech into what we store in them or drink from them. It's difficult to entirely remove plastic from your life, but start to look at some simple swaps. Use glass storage containers instead of plastic. Check out these produce bags to take to the store and go straight into the crisper, I love them! Use reusable lunch bags, and NEVER microwave anything in a plastic container!
2) Clean Greener
Many of the household cleaners we use are laden with chemicals. Check out the labels on your cleaning products you'll see words like glycol ethers, fragrance (phthalates). This label decoder from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a great help! Watch my blog for simple cleaning solutions utilizing essential oils and everyday household items. Comment below if you'd like my FREE ebook on green cleaning!
3) Watch out for kids cosmetics and personal care items
Kids love all of the cool products on the market, glitter roll ons, pretty smelling lotions or cosmetic items like nail polishes and lip glosses. These are irresistible to kids, but are full of harmful fragrance chemicals. A great resource for cosmetics is the EWG Skindeep website, they also have an app you can download to your phone for easy access on the go.
4) Pitch the Perfume
Perfume and colognes are widely used and contain some highly toxic chemicals. Do you ever pass the perfume counter and a few minutes later leave with an awful headache? This is your body rejecting the chemicals bombarding it. Create your own perfume or use a 100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oil blend. I find them easy to use, don't cause a headache and also have aromatherapy benefits to ease my day. The downside? You may need to re-apply throughout the day, since they are pure they aren't using some chemical to stick to your skin. Not really a downside if you think about it; keep a couple of rollerballs in your purse and you can change your fragrance based on what you need for your mood during the day :)
5) Eat Clean
The chemicals and pesticides used in our food system are more than a little scary. When your budget allows, purchase organic produce, and when looking for a quick meal try using fresh frozen vegetables instead of their canned counterparts. Processed foods are full of additives to stabilize them for a long shelf life. A good way to begin to remove processed boxed meal items from your home is to get a group of a few friends together for a couple of hours. Pick 3-4 recipes and everyone pitch in. Layer ingredients in freezer bags and then when you need a quick meal pop them in the crockpot or oven and you are ready to go! It gives you a fun social afternoon, and solves weekly meal problems!
6) Wash your Hands
Always a good practice, hand washing helps to keep your hands chemical free from touching items out and about in the environment. Stay away from antibacterial soaps. They contain triclosan which is not only a hormone disrupter, but these microbial products may be contributing to the antibiotic resistance problem. They have also not been proven to have any better effect than regular soap and water. Utilize all natural and castile soap based items; super easy to make at home for pennies on the dollar.
Do you have any tips on how you try to eliminate toxins from your home? Comment, we all learn from one another and I'd love to hear them!!