Since 2015 I have been on a journey to replace my not-so-"clean" products with natural, non-toxic alternatives. Before I even get started, I wanted to make it clear that transitioning to a non-toxic lifestyle takes time! It's best to not do it all at once, as one, it's super expensive - and two, you'll get burnt out fast. I recommend using the products you have on hand, and then as you run out of a specific item, look online for some non-toxic alternatives.
Okay, so now back to my story. In December of 2015 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. If you're unfamiliar with the diagnosis, it's more common than you think! In fact, it's said that 1 in every 10 women have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome.) PCOS is a hormone disorder with symptoms such as weight gain, ovarian cysts, cystic acne, irregular menstrual cycle, heavy periods, cramping, and the list goes on and on.
I'll save you the long dramatic story, and sum it up with the brief synopsis that this "diagnosis" changed my life completely, and I am still working on balancing my hormones thanks to to a recent gut dysbiosis/SIBO diagnosis. However, this initial PCOS verdict led me to start my non-toxic journey.
So first, why was it important to ditch the toxic products and make the switch to plant-based alternatives? Well, conventional cleaning products (as well as make up, candles, skin care products, etc) have ingredients that disrupt reproductive hormones (known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals -EDC's) - they also disrupt a lot of other natural functions in the body, but again I'll try and just stick to my story.
After reading Alisa Vitti's book, Woman Code, I was inspired to start this process as soon as possible, as she reiterated that exposure to these EDC's, especially synthetic fragrances, can have a negative impact on one's health and hormones.
The first thing I swapped out...my make up! I started by going to W3ll People here in Austin, as they were one of the first (and only) non-toxic make-up brands that I was aware of. After swapping out my make up, I then got into replacing my skin-care products with the help of Skin Owl. Slowly but surely, I started tossing my candles, my toxic house-hold cleaners, my shampoo/conditioner, and other feminine products.
And like I mentioned earlier, this has taken me YEARS to do. I didn't make the swap to use essential oils instead of candles until 2017. Even now, I'm slowly working on replacing my toxic cookware for a cleaner option - I'm looking at you Caraway!
Some of the biggest changes I have seen since ditching the EDC's and synthetic fragrances - my skin has changed drastically, I almost never have menstrual cramps, and my headaches have reduced significantly.
I also feel the need to tell you that the process of eliminating my EDC exposure didn't bring magical results overnight. It was a consistent process of reducing my toxic load, in addition to seeking out other holistic healing practices such as chiropractic care, natural supplements, and monthly counseling sessions to help me process everything that had been going on. In fact, I'm still using this magical trio (in addition to a few other practices) to help me heal and nourish my imbalanced gut.
What reducing your EDC exposure does, is it limits how many toxins your body comes into contact with. Meaning your body doesn't have to work overtime to filter out toxins, and can focus on healing the dis-ease within - which in my case has been PCOS, and SIBO.
While I thoroughly enjoy discovering new non-toxic products to use, I understand not everyone finds it thrilling. With the New Year just starting, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite non-toxic and low-waste products, in case any of y'all are interested in starting a more natural, low-tox lifestyle.
So keep your peepers open, and get ready for a fun few weeks of wilde content.