- Filter Your Water
From drinking and cooking to brushing and washing (not to mention laundry and dishes!), unfiltered water can allow potentially harmful chemicals into our homes in a dozen different ways. These toxins might include heavy metals, endocrine disruptors and other chemicals that remain unregulated in our water supply. Filtering water is one of the simplest techniques we can use to keep our living spaces healthy and clean.
Bottled water is an easy option when we’re away from home, but filtering is often safer and more cost effective. That makes it our favorite trick for Fully Functional®, clean water! Consider investing in a cheap, efficient carbon filter for drinking water and explore installing faucet filters for sinks and shower heads.
To carry water out of the home, we recommend reaching for BPA-free stainless steel water bottles. Many of these now come with attached filters, allowing you to save money on bottled water while protecting your health!
- Clean Up Your Cleaning Supplies
Although we often think that “killing” germs is a necessary part of home cleaning, the truth is that natural products are just as effective at clearing away dirt and debris while leaving surfaces sparkling. And by cleaning without strong chemicals like bleach and ammonia, we’re eliminating the potential hazards of breathing fumes and exposing our skin to irritants.
The EPA’s Safer Choice Database contains a list of alternative cleaners that makes an easy starting point. A simple Fully Functional™ alternative is to reach for cleaners derived from natural sources We love and personally use Thieves cleaning blends from Young Living Essential Oils, but making your own cleaning supplies is simple and cost effective.
A few common, natural cleaning options include Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, Borax and baking soda. Essential oils, especially citrus and peppermint blends, make a lovely, safe alternative to scented cleaners.
- Keep Fresh Within Reach
A Fully Functional® kitchen provides plenty of healthy, veggie-focused meals. Rather than regularly turning to quick snacks like crackers, cookies or chips, try replacing these empty calories with nutrient dense vegetables combined with some protein and healthy fats.
This might mean keeping spending one day a week cutting up vegetables such as celery, carrots and cucumbers during the weekend so they’re ready for the week ahead. Place pre-cut veggies on a refrigerator shelf in easy reach. To spice them up, try Dr. Ellen’s Cashew Avocado Spread as a dip! It’s savory and packed with healthy fats to keep you satisfied between meals.
- Switch to Safer Skincare
Unfortunately, many of our most commonly-used personal care products (and yes, even our makeup!) are packed with endocrine disruptors, heavy metals and chemicals that may delay or reverse any healing we’ve made.
As a first step, the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database is a credible source of safety ratings for many common personal care products.
If we find that your current routine contains products with ratings of 3 or higher, it may be beneficial to begin swapping them out for safer options. Deodorants and other long-wearing options like lotion and sunblock are a good place to start. Many aluminum-free deodorants are available in our office as well as commercially in many stores, and zinc-oxide based sunblocks are a great alternative to the more toxic options during warmer months. A Fully Functional® personal care routine is one simple way to create a healthier home environment.
- Make Space for Play
Reducing stressors is a key pillar of the Fully Functional® healthcare model. Play is a fabulous and natural way to reduce stress, encourage the development of positive feelings and even regulate our neurotransmitters!
By encouraging play in your home, you’ll actually be contributing to your healing. But for many adults, play is easier said than done. We have a few thoughts to get your started. You might:
- Place a box with balls, Frisbees, jump ropes or other outside toys near the door
- Stack board games in the family room or near the TV as a reminder of alternative entertainment
- Intersperse furniture with open space for stretching and movement
- Replace furniture with standing desks, exercise balls or even floor pillows to encourage movement
A Fully Functional® living space is about more than just healthy food. We hope these simple tips will help you live more joyfully and fully in your own space starting today!