What I learned from my natural lifestyle journey in 2019

We are days away from a new decade… and, like me, you may be reflecting on this past year. One of my proudest achievements from 2019 is how much of a natural living family we’ve become. It’s been a long journey (10 years!) but it’s become my mission is to help others like you fast-track their natural lifestyle.

Thinking back, these are the top 3 lessons I learned from my natural lifestyle and by reducing my family’s toxic exposure. I’m also giving you my top 5 natural ingredients to have in your home at all time! So read on…

1. A natural lifestyle can reduce stress and increase joy

We often get caught up in our day-to-day routines because they are comfortable and familiar. Even though you feel stressed out most of the time, the idea of changing up your routine might cause you EVEN MORE stress.

Or you might think that living a natural lifestyle is more stressful because you have to:

  • intentionally look for or make non-toxic products…
  • spend more money on non-toxic products…
  • discover if these non-toxic products are actuallly going to work…

One of the lessons I learned this year is that non-toxic living does not have to be a stressful experience – in fact, it has been the opposite for me. Continuing my family’s natural living journey has reduced stress and even increased joy. Mundane chores, like making the bed, have actually become fun and empowering.

Maybe it’s because of the:

  • aromatic compounds from the essential oils and their effect on the limbic area of my brain…
  • empowerment that comes from knowing you can easily reduce your family toxic’s exposure by mixing 2 or 3 ingredients together…
  • ease that comes from always having everything on-hand to refill your natural cleaning or personal care products…

Whatever reason it may be, going deeper into the natural lifestyle has definitely reduced my stress levels, given me peace of mind and increased the joy I feel each and every day.

2. Nature and humanity are undeniably interconnected

Inevitably, as I’ve progressed on this journey, my connection to nature has strengthened and the environmentalist within me has be reborn. I was hyper earth-aware but, as I grew up, became more disconnected with Mother Nature around me.

I got caught up in the rat race, conveniences of the modern world and my focus was elsewhere for a long time. Even when my focus was on my family’s health and nutrition, I wasn’t really considering my impact on the earth.

Sound familiar?

But 2019 is the year I reconnected and my motivation to help save our planet was further solidified by our non-toxic lifestyle. At first, this journey was all about me and my family but now it’s part of a larger mission – including helping the planet.

Some accomplishments I’m particularly proud of:

  • Finally finding a super natural DIY dishwashing liquid and powder that works well and that I get excited about.
  • Turning our large garbage into our compost bin and our small compost bin into our garbage can.
  • Putting a deposit on an electronic car to trade in our current gas guzzling SUV next fall.

There are small steps you can take and also big steps. They are all equally valuable!

3. The simplest and cheapest products are the best

I used to roll my eyes at DIY products, especially when the recipes were too complex. Actually, I still roll my eyes at complex recipes! That’s because living naturally is NOT complex so why make it so?

In fact, the vast majority of the natural products I use in my home – whether to clean the house or for personal care – are simply a mixture of 2 or 3 ingredients. Some are even just 1 ingredient! These ingredients are also super easy to find (you likely already have some in your pantry) and not expensive at all.

The more I researched and experimented with recipes (don’t worry, I’ve done all that work for you), the more obvious this became.

Here are my top 5 natural ingredients to always have in the home:

  1. Baking soda: deodorizing, exfoliating, scrubbing and alkalizing.
  2. Vinegar: streak-free cleaning, unclogging, restoring PH balance.
  3. Soap nuts: washing, washing, washing!
  4. Castile soap: all-purpose cleaning, hair care and body wash.
  5. Essential oils: detoxifying, natural fragrance, physical and emotional support.

Keep these on-hand at all times so that when you run out of something, you can quickly whip up a new batch within a matter of minutes.

Watch me talk about what I’ve learned from my natural lifestyle journey in 2019.

M.



Non-toxic living during the holiday season

For many of us, the holiday season is an especially hectic and stressful time.

You might be fighting crowds trying to get holiday gifts for your family or trying to figure out the perfect present for a loved one. You might be looking at your calendar and feeling overwhelmed by the number of holiday gatherings you have planned. You might be looking outside at the snow-covered roads, dreading your travels to see family members.

Or maybe you are the one hosting the holiday gatherings and you find yourself busy cleaning, cooking and prepping your home before the guests arrive. You are bogged down by end-of-year deadlines at work and getting everything done before you take holiday vacation.

And either as a result of all of this stress or the germs going around – or both – you find yourself crashing and falling ill at this peak time…

I’d say there are 4 common obstacles that can affect your non-toxic lifestyle during the holiday season. Here are some of my favourite tips on overcoming them.

Obstacle #1: Lack of time

Probably the biggest obstacle to your non-toxic lifestyle during the holiday season is going to be lack of time. For all of the reasons listed above and maybe some additional reasons unique to your own circumstances.

But honestly, this might be the time of year when you need to gift yourself a bit of time for yourself THE MOST. To gift yourself the time to:

  • soak in a soothing, detoxifying and health-promoting bath.
  • proactively take care of your family’s health to maintain your sense of empowerment.
  • commit to doing a daily non-toxic ritual that brings you joy.

So I encourage you to think of one non-toxic ritual that you love most and set up a reminder for yourself to do it during this holiday season. You can set up this reminder in your phone with a notification to complete it or write it out in your planner.

Don’t worry… if the reminder pops up and you’re just not feeling it that day, feel free to push it back to the next. The point of this is NOT to add any additional stress! But you want to make sure not to forget it entirely.

As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So keep filling your cup with non-toxic living rituals so you can feel joy and keep pouring into the cup of others without sacrificing yourself.

Obstacle #2: Lack of control

Another thing we often lack during this time of year is control. You are at the mercy of traditions, family gatherings and expectations. You are no longer on your usual schedule, you might be staying and eating elsewhere and maybe indulging in excessive holiday cheer!

I encourage you to remember that there is only so much that you can control… it is okay to release and enjoy this time of year. By remembering this and creating your reminder to keep doing your non-toxic rituals, you will maintain a better sense of balance.

Obstacle #3: Falling ill

It always happens at the worst moment… and it often happens during the holiday season. You catch that illness going around at your child’s school or at work. The LAST thing you need is to be sick when there is so much to do and so much going on!

Prevention is key. There are simple non-toxic living rituals you can do to help support your immune system. I also highly recommend you work with a natural health practitioner to determine what is best and safest considering your circumstances and current health status.

Here are my favourite natural ways to strengthen my health and reduce susceptibility during the holidays:

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Start your day with a glass of lemon water and then fruit.
  • Avoid sugary and processed foods.
  • Get some vitamin sunshine.
  • Use immune-supportive essential oils (I love tea tree for this).
  • Add adaptogens (e.g. tulsi or ashwaganda) to your smoothie.
  • Use garlic as a garnish generously.

These rituals not only support your immune system and help reduce your susceptibility, they provide you with CONFIDENCE. You can release some of that fear around illness because you are taking proactive steps against it. Carry this confidence with you always.

Obstacle #4: Fear of being judged

Not everyone is going to be on board with your non-toxic lifestyle. You might be referred to as the crunchy, tree-hugging, hippy-dippy family member. They might snicker at your DIY hand sanitizer or comment on your patchouli pure-fume.

My best advice to you is keep living your non-toxic lifestyle during the holiday season and make it visible. Even better, gift some natural DIY products to family members so they can experience first-hand the amazing benefits and see how easy it can be.

Most importantly, OWN IT. The more confident you are in your non-toxic lifestyle, the more others will be curious about it and convinced that it is worth trying for themselves.

For more tips on overcoming non-toxic living obstacles, get my free e-book.

Hope this helps!

M.


Non-toxic, organic clay mask recipe

As a teenager and even into my early twenties, I had very oily skin. I would wear tons of foundation and powder my face multiple times to give a semblance of perfect skin. As you can imagine, my pores were also quite clogged and I was prone to breakouts.

I tried multiple different face washes, creams and masks but nothing make huge improvements. To be honest, massive shifts only began happening once I became much more conscious of my diet and transitioned to non-toxic face products.

To celebrate, I haven’t used face powder or foundations in YEARS. I can remember the last time I put anything on my face except for blush. I’m actually terrified to put anything more on my face than that given all of the progress!

For a while, my favourite non-toxic DIY face mask was simply egg white. I liked the tightening effect and may go back to it someday but lately this has been my go-to:

  • 1.5 tsp green clay
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 drop essential oil

This makes a one-time use portion, which I love because I don’t have to worry about it going back or adding preservatives to it. I leave it on for about 5 – 10 minutes, or dry, and then wash with water. I’ll then go over oil-prone areas with witch hazel and apply face oil to moisturize.

And your non-toxic facial routine can be as simple as that! I actually set a reminder on my phone to do this once per week.

What’s your favourite natural face mask?

M.