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Living clean is important for all of us, especially those who are battling a chronic illness. This includes avoiding toxins in food, eating less processed foods, and using less harmful chemicals that may harm our bodies (and nature!)
Experts and consumers are learning the serious consequences everyday chemicals have on our immune systems causing many ailments and worsening chronic health conditions. It’s not just the ‘woo woo’ docs that are encouraging us to double-check what we’re putting in or on our bodies, but mainstream doctors are suggesting we reduce our exposure.
Luckily, there has been a trend toward more toxin-free products coming to market. Here are the best clean living products I’ve tried or learned are the best for chronic illness warriors.
Clean Living Tips & Products to Get Started
Imagine the feeling of relief and wellness when you can start reducing toxins, releasing chemicals, and feeling BETTER! Many chronic disease sufferers see a decrease in symptoms after lightening their toxic load. Heck yeah! Here are the 11 best products to get started if you have a chronic illness or not!
Choose Safe Cookware & Food Storage
Many of us have been raised on nonstick cooking equipment like Teflon or other nonstick brands. While it was a convenient solution that saved time and money, it was silently poisonous! Eek. Despite being in compliance with e-WG rules, DuPont has used harmful chemicals in their production and in the use of Teflon products for nearly 50 years while ignoring harmful impacts. So if you made it through the 90’s – congratulations. What is the safest method today? Ceramic and glass!
Most people are aware of the harmful effects of BPA which can mimic estrogen in the human body and cause a slew of issues for both men and women. This affects the brain, and hormonal function and negatively impacts reproduction in women. Even plastic containers that claim it’s ‘BPA Free Plastic’ can have high levels of toxic chemicals so avoiding them completely is best when focusing on clean living – with chronic illness or not!
1. GreenPan Swift Healthy Ceramic Nonstick
We just got this cookware set as part of our non–toxic clean living lifestyle and I’m loving it! It’s super easy to clean and cooks food FAST! (Sometimes too fast, so word of caution here). According to its description, ‘GreenPan’s Thermolon healthy ceramic nonstick coating is free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium, so it will never release toxic fumes, even if it’s accidentally overheated’
GreenPan Swift Health Ceramic Nonstick Cookware | Image via Amazon.com
2. Glass Meal Prep Food Storage Containers
There are alternatives to plastic food storage containers to consider such as these glass food meal prep and storage containers from Amazon. We just bought one five-pack and went back to order more – they’re that good! The 30oz size is perfect for individual meals or salads making meal prep a snap. Plus, you can cook it up in the glass container and eat from it too!! Easy clean-up!
Swap your household cleaners (ASAP)
Even if you have no allergy or skin sensitivity you may want to consider using cleaners or other less harmful substances in your home. The chemicals found throughout our supermarkets and to clean kitchens and bathrooms can have serious consequences on our immune system and can be especially dangerous for those living with chronic illnesses.
I would encourage you to check what you put into your home and on your body! According to Lifetime, the most dangerous chemicals lurking in our household cleaners include:
- Sodium Hydroxide
According to the EPA, health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later – further lingering and increasing our risks. How can we reduce these toxic substances in our homes? I’m glad you asked! Here are a few of my fav product swaps to get started!
3. Branch Basics
Admittedly, I heard about this company from an influencer but after reading about the company online I fell in love before I even got my products! Their motto: We never set out to sell soap. We’re on a mission to help people create healthy homes and experience the power of pure. I immediately connected with these ladies and I ordered *almost* their entire product line that day. Now our home is a lot closer to being ‘toxin free’!
Check out the starter kit and you can too!
4. Seventh Generation
Seventh Generation is known for a full cleaning suite of products to clean the home. All their products are made from plant-based ingredients and are Certified B-Corp, and USDA Certified BioBased among others. Plus, all materials used for packaging are post-recycled materials. Plus, these work really well with our dishwasher!
Toss Your Air Fresheners
We all want our home to smell fresh, yummy, and clean – but at what price? According to WebMD, air fresheners are known to have chemicals that disrupt hormones and cause allergies such as formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p-dichlorobenzene, and aerosol propellants. Basically, loaded with harmful chemicals we’re spraying into the air we’re breathing. Yikes! So what are the options?
5. VIVTEST Ceramic Essential Oil Diffuser
Luckily there is a healthy and natural alternative! Investing in an essential oil diffuser will provide the same soothing freshness without the toxic load on you and your family. Obviously, it’s important to use 100% organic oils and to choose scents that don’t cause headaches, such as lavender and lemon.
I was just gifted a Young Living diffuser and I’m digging it. I had been missing the smell of my lemon balm candles and the sweet aromas filling our home. There are also some sleek and decorate options on Amazon such as this VIVTEST ceramic diffuser.
ProTip – Essential oils can be great for aches and pains too, especially peppermint or lavender oil for Migraine Headaches.
Still, want the scent and feel of a candle in your home? There are new options in the market to consider for non-toxic candle replacements. My favs include :
Both use a cotton wick, organic or soy, or coconut waxes and incorporate essential oils for varying scents.
6. Pure Plant Home Candles
Pure Plant Home candles are homemade with real essential oils and coconut vegetable wax – free of petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes, or colors. Plus, they have a large collection of aromas and candle options – jars, tins, glass, etc. All their products are at a very reasonable price point too!
7. Slow North Candles
Slow North offers a variety of all-natural, soy-wax candles, made with 100% essential oils. According to Slow North, ‘We’re proud to use only biodegradable and renewable resources and hand-pour our candles into American-made, frosted glass tumblers that feature a sustainably sourced, fire-branded cork lid.’ Plus, the candles are super classy and go with any decor.
Slow North Spearmint & Grapefruit | Image via SlowNorth.com
Clean up your Beauty & Personal Care
According to Goop.com, each day, the average American woman uses about a dozen personal-care products containing more than one hundred chemicals that we ingest, inhale, and absorb through our skin, so they end up inside us. Crazy!
While it’s clear that consumers are becoming more aware of the need for more non-toxic products, it’s still amazing how companies are sneaking in chemicals under labels like ‘Natural’ or ‘Pure’ – to get us to buy without questioning. Greenwashing, the idea that a product portrays its green, natural, etc., is not new – but spreading further and further.
A great way to check your current personal care products is to visit www.ewg.org/skindeep/ where you can get a ‘hazard score’ to determine the toxicity of what you’re using today.
Also, here are a few of my clean beauty favs!
8. Native Deodorant, Body Wash & Lotion
Native claims to make products ‘without dirty little secrets’ and have done so since the beginning, with a deodorant that eliminated aluminum, paraben, and other dangerous toxins. Since their debut deodorant, they have been re-formulating and offering an entire line of body products with the purpose of offering clean personal products for all. Did I mention how reasonable it is too?
Photo via Native.com
9. KORA Organics
According to KORA, all their products are Certified Organic in accordance with Ecocert/COSMOS strict standards —no Sulfates, Parabens, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colors, Ethanolamines (TEA, DEA), Glycols, Silicones, PEGs, Ethoxylate, Formaldehyde or Formaldehyde derivatives are used. (Gosh, what a long list!) KORA has a full line of skincare, with their Turmeric Glow Moisturizer and NONI Glow face oil topping the list of most popular products.
Image via KORAOrganics.com
10. Wellnese Shampoo, Conditioner & Dry Shampoo
Wellnese products are free of parabens and sulfates and actually contain ingredients that are not only effective but are beneficial to your body. Win-Win!
Buy Organic Food (as much as possible)
Well, this topic is an entire post in itself! While we know that we should avoid highly processed foods and cook organic and natural whole foods as much as possible, it’s not as easy in practice.
Our busy culture paired with the convenience of fast food and pre-packaged treats has set us up for a higher toxic load. But when health is priority uno, such as for those dealing with a chronic illness like myself, it’s imperative that we set ourselves up for whole food options easily..
My favorite places to shop for organic ‘real food’ that have delivery!
11. Sprouts Farmers Market
Sprouts offers thousands of organic, natural, and gluten-free foods throughout their store. Personally, I find they support many small brands providing even more healthy options for customers.
12. Whole Foods Market.
Whole Foods is committed to high standards – which they set themselves! For example, Whole Foods has banned over 230 food ingredients and 130 cleaning ingredients store-wide that prohibit nasty ingredients from entering our bodies.
13. Thrive Market.
While this retailer does require a membership, similar to Sam’s or Costco, Thrive Market has one of the largest varieties of clean/organic food, household, and beauty products – all in one place.
With a Thrive Market membership you:
- Save up to 30% off the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP)* on hundreds of healthy, organic, and sustainable brands.
- Fast and carbon-neutral shipping on all orders
- First to hear of member sales and promos
How to get started
Phew, that is a lot! Wondering how or where to get started decreasing your toxic load? Like any new habit or routine, start with small steps. For example, take a look at the biggest offenders in your home and start with those. These include air fresheners, cleaning products, detergent, and dryer sheets.
Next, take a look at the beauty products you use most frequently and start swapping them out with a non-toxic alternative. (I started with deodorant because the brand I was using had a lot of endocrine disrupters in it! Maybe you start there too? )
Wherever you are now, you are one step closer to creating a less toxic environment for your health and healing as a chronic illness warrior!
There are many products in our home we use on a daily basis that are loaded with chemical toxins. A clean life includes avoiding toxins in food, eating less processed foods, and using less harmful chemicals on our bodies that may harm us and our environment.
And those dealing with chronic illnesses (hey, my spoonies!) with disrupted immune systems and fighting ailments are some of the most important people to take steps to decrease their toxic load. Remember, the exposure adds up quickly and even small steps and swaps can make a big difference.
What are your favorite clean products? Holler at me to share!