Spring-Clean Your Home:
- Toss the toxic cleaners: Most household cleaners contain ingredients that are harmful for you (some even can cause cancer) and the environment. Check your products out on ewg.org to see if they are safe to use.
- Choose healthier cleaning products: Simply using vinegar and water or an anti-bacterial cloth (like Norwex brand) can get your home clean without the use of toxic cleaners. For tougher dirt or mildew you can use one teaspoon of tea tree oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle (make sure to avoid eyes).
- Dust everything: Even the walls. Use a damp cloth and keep rinsing it out as you go. Don’t forget baseboards, trim, windowsills and the sides of furniture. Dust can lead to breathing problems and make asthma and seasonal allergies worse.
- Change your bedding: Strip the bed; wash all bedding on the highest heat. Use washing soda or Borax instead of toxic dryer sheets/fabric softeners to freshen up mattress pads and sheets. Air out comforters and wash if possible. If they need dry cleaning, choose a company that does not use perc (perchloroethylene, a carcinogen and a neurotoxin that damages your vision). Once the bed is stripped, vacuum the mattress. Use the beater bar on your vacuum’s carpet attachment to better rid the mattress of dead skin cells and dust mites.
- Open the windows: Instead of using air fresheners that contain many toxic chemicals, simply open up all the windows and air out the house. It doesn’t take long for the clean air to circulate through your home.
- Wash the windows: Inside and out. Use a solution of water and vinegar instead of toxic commercial window cleaners.
- Empty the Fridge: Take everything out. Wipe down all surfaces with vinegar and water. Never use a toxic household cleaner in the fridge as it may transfer onto your food and then into you. Before your return anything back into the fridge, wipe down the bottles/containers, check for expiry dates and toss anything outdated or things you haven’t used in the last 6 months. Line vegetable crispers with paper towel sheets. This helps keep them cleaner and will absorb some of the humidity keeping food fresher longer. An open box of baking soda placed at the back of your fridge can keep it smelling fresh for about a month.
- Empty the Freezer: Repeat the above for the freezer. When returning items, put the older foods closer to the front so you will use them first. I like to make an inventory list of what’s in the freezer so that I don’t buy anything new if I already have it.
- Empty the Pantry: Repeat the above for the pantry. Now is a great time to clean out the things you never use. If they are still good, donate them to the local food bank.
- Don’t forget about the outside of your home: Tidy up the garden, front yard and garage. These are some of the areas we see first when entering our homes. If they are cluttered and needing attention it may be causing you more stress every time you come home.
Spring-Clean Your Body:
- Clean up your diet: Take a look at how you have been eating and make a few small changes that are healthier. Even small things can add up to big health benefits.
- Start the day with Lemon Water: Drink one glass of room temperature water with the juice of half a lemon each day before you eat or drink anything else. This helps to jumpstart your digestive system so that it can function better.
- Drink lots of water: Water helps flush out any toxins in your body.
- Try an Elimination Diet Instead of a Cleanse/Detox: Cleansing and Detox programs are not safe for everyone. Do not do them if you are pregnant (or planning on being in the next year), nursing, have anemia (or other deficiency), have cancer or diabetes or another medical condition.
- The following elimination diet is safe for most people (always check with your doctor first if you are unsure). Eliminate the following foods from your diet for 2 weeks.
- Dairy: Try unsweetened almond, hemp or coconut milk instead. Avoid all milk, cheese, yogurts, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.
- Wheat: Substitute with other gluten-free grains: brown rice, quinoa or amaranth.
- Sugar: Avoid all sugars EXCEPT those from fresh fruit. Do not consume any sugar, products containing sugar or fake sugar substitutes.
- Alcohol: Do not drink any alcoholic beverages.
- Tobacco: Avoid contact with cigarette (and other) smoke.
- At the end of the 2 weeks, evaluate how you feel. When returning the above things back into your diet, do them one at a time and see if you feel better or worse when you do. You may discover that one or more of the eliminated foods has been causing you pain, discomfort or digestive issues.
Spring-Clean Your Life:
- Take inventory of your stressors: Make a list of everything that is causing you stress or making you unhappy. Once the list is complete, choose one item and plan how you can start to make changes that will eliminate or lessen that stressor. Small changes here can have huge impact on your health.
- De-stress: Find activities that help you unwind and distress and do them daily. Stress is toxic and is linked to many diseases.
- Do something fun: Phone a friend and plan an activity together that makes you happy. Happiness can have an impact on your health.
By spring-cleaning the holistic way we can start to feel renewed motivation to make more healthy changes in our lives. Remember that small changes can have huge benefits. Happy cleaning!