Your health starts in your home. If you want to get healthy and stay healthy in 2012, begin by taking eight small steps to make your home toxin-free. It's really pretty simple. Start by first becoming aware of what goes in you, on you, and surrounds you. Why? Because on an average day you are exposed to hundreds of untested chemicals... from the additives in your food and personal care products to things you come in contact with like your mattress or household cleaning products or even your pots and pans.
Scientists are releasing frightening studies about discovering chemical toxins in our drinking water, plastic toys and lipstick. Many of the chemicals in our food (like artificial colors), and cosmetics (like phthalates) have been banned in many countries around the world, but are available here in the U.S. without warning labels. (The Breast Cancer Fund says studies show there's a direct connection from our exposures to toxic chemicals and our breast cancer risk.) Lacking regulation by our government, it falls on us as consumers to watch out for ourselves and our families.
If you feel confused about the simple, practical things you can do to minimize your exposure and maximize your health, don't worry. Here are eight easy steps to decrease the amount of chemical toxins you are exposed to daily.
Start slowly. For example, pick one food or beverage (one you eat most often like milk or peanut butter) to buy organic, pick one personal care product (like deodorant or toothpaste) or makeup item (like lipstick or face cream) to buy without synthetic chemicals and pick one household cleaner (like surface spray or laundry detergent) without fragrance. Notice the changes that occur in a month's time. You may notice your headaches or chronic cough goes away when you stop using artificial fragrances, for instance.
Next month, pick another food, personal care product and household item in our home. Keep raising your awareness of what goes in and on you, and what surrounds you. That will mean reading labels carefully. And that can be tricky, because manufacturers routinely do something known as greenwashing: using misleading, vague or even false claims about the eco/health benefits of their products. For the lowdown on how to tell if a product is (or isn't) really "natural," read my HuffPost piece on the subject.
In a few months time you will be well on your way to creating a Super Natural Home. Not only will you be healthier and have more vitality, you'll be greening your home in the process which in turn will also help create a healthier planet!
Beth Greer, Super Natural Mom®, is a syndicated radio talk show host, former president and co-owner of The Learning Annex, Certified Build It Green® healthy home makeover specialist, and holistic health educator, who eliminated a sizable tumor in her chest without drugs or surgery. She's author of the bestseller, "Super Natural Home", endorsed by Deepak Chopra, Ralph Nader, Peter Coyote and Dr. Joe Mercola. Beth is leading a movement of awareness and responsibility about healthy home, work and school environments. Visit her at www.supernaturalmom.com and Red Room, where you can buy her books and read her blog.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more