iBy Dietitian Jill Place AKA The Good Gut Queen
Gee … I talked about stress and mindset, food and exercise, and supplements … but it dawned on me as I was cleaning my kitchen counter with my homemade counter cleaner today that I hadn’t shared with you ImmuniTips for you and your environment
In other words … how to immunize your environment. And whoever lives in it. These are my own little tips and resources to keep you and the place you live healthier.
I must admit I’m a bit of a nut about this stuff. I often say to people, “I’m 75 this year and I want to stay healthy”.
And … to do that … I not only want to avoid putting known toxins into my body. But also want to give a wide berth to anything in my environment that might not tip the scales in my favor.
I explained this recently to a client … using a water bucket. Our bodies are very much (humor me) like a bucket. Keep filling the bucket and it’ll overflow, get you wet, and be too heavy to carry back to where you need it.
Visualize the bucket as your immune system. Toxins from everywhere (your unavoidable environment, food and drink, toxic thoughts, medicines … you name it) partially fill the bucket without you even knowing it.
Add to that stuff you put on your skin (clients have overflowed the bucket just by using lipstick that has lead in it). As well as the harsh chemicals in everyday cleaners we’ve been using for years. And you’ve got a FLOOD!
What Happens Then …
The overflow of toxins causes the body to work overtime. And, as you know, anything that works overtime will begin to break down.
The breakdown usually begins in the gut … stuff begins to leak into it that shouldn’t be there. And what’s underneath the gut? Most of the immune system.
And what happens to the immune system? It runs around trying to sop up this stuff. And sometimes goes so hog-wild that it begins to mistake things we normally put in our bodies for overflow. Biggest casualty in this flood … wheat gluten.
So here’s some things you might consider to stop the flood. These are my personal favorites … along with some good articles I found online. Broken down into categories …
No “Mr Muscle” for me! I’ve slowly transitioned almost all my products to non-toxic ones over the years.
I started out this journey years ago using Meyer’s products … I still do. Not only because they smell good … but because they’re environmentally friendly. I also like Open Nature, Seventh Generation, and Method.
You can get many of these products at Grove Collaborative, which carries a lot of different brands of “clean cleaning” supplies … including Meyer’s. As well as personal care products. So there are many options for this stuff.
Want to find out if your products have any issues? Environmental Working Group (EWG) has reviews of thousands of products … for cleaning and cosmetic as well as additional toxin monitoring such as pesticides in produce.
My Meyer’s products … a “B” rating. EWG-verified … AspenClean. Will try them next …
Because I didn’t know what was actually in these products (I feel the same way about food), I started making my own household cleaners awhile ago. I’m totally enamored of essential oils.
They’re not only antibiotic and antimicrobial (I use oregano and grapefruit seed oil in my SIBO and candida treatment), they have many other uses. Including reducing inflammation, decreasing migraine and other types of headache pain, and helping people sleep. Not only that, they smell pretty!
My introduction to essentials oils … The Healing Power of Essential Oils by Eric Zielinski. Lots of great info and recipes … and I’ll share his sanitizer spray (easy-peasy) at the end of this article.
A typical product will contain anything from 15–50 ingredients. Considering the average woman uses between 9 and 15 personal care products per day, researchers have estimated that, when combined with the addition of perfumes, women place around 515 individual chemicals on their skin each day through cosmetic use.Click To Tweet.
Boy .. that kind of shakes me up. I’m a makeup-o-phile from waaayyy back. As a matter of fact, my first job out of college was working for then makeup giant, Max Factor.
I thought I could break in as an actress that way. Little did I know that makeup departments in those days were totally controlled by men.
Anyway … I digress. Here are some ideas for cleaner makeup … some old standards like Almay and newer ones such as Aether Beauty (pricey but GORGEOUS) that actually uses CRYSTALS as color. I’m also partial to Milk and use several of their products.
Their airbrush cleaner is too. As is the essential-oil Sephora brush cleaner I use daily.
Yes …you can't have clean makeup if you don't CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES OR SPONGES EVERY TIME!Click To TweetThat’s what I love about Dinair … you never have to touch your face. And … remember … we’re not supposed to be doing that anyway.
Just one product can initiate a flood … as happened with my client and her Burt’s Bees lead-containing lipstick. I’ve often found, when doing my FOODStrong for food sensitivities program, that just one product might make the difference between sickness and wellness … between a half-full and overflowing bucket.
My apologies to Burt’s Bees. But I calls ’em like I sees ’em.
Other Skin Stuff
It’s not just makeup … everything that goes on your skin needs to be checked if you don’t want to add to your toxic load. The long list includes toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, face cleanser and other things that you use to clean makeup off your face (biggie for me), fragrances, shaving supplies … yadda yadda.
I love Alba Botanica and have several of their products (they make an entire line including shaving supplies). They even make a color-treated hair (yes … I do!) shampoo and conditioner. And Revitin … a toothpaste created by a holistic dentist that actually promotes (most toothpastes destroy) a balanced mouth microbiome (yes … it’s in there too!).
Soap … here’s a non-toxic recommendation from Dr. Tom O’Bryan … one of my fave alternative doctors … and it’s even (mostly) free. My advice … get on a lot of these guy’s mailing lists to have access to good products.
My advice … check all your products with EWG. My big shocker this week was that Ensure, which used to be lactose-free, now is mainly milk-based.
No … I’m NOT endorsing Ensure … far from it. It’s one of my go-tos, however, when I work in the medical-model trenches at the hospital. But it IS a wake-up call thatEVEN SO-CALLED 'CLEAN' PRODUCT FORMULATIONS CHANGE ALL THE TIME ... so check frequently anything that you're currently using.Click To Tweet
DIY Cleaning and Cosmetic Supplies
I could talk forever about this stuff! But let me close with some information on start-up ideas if you want to try your hand at making your own “clean” cleaning, cleansing, and cosmetic products.
My first advice … buy the book, The Healing Power of Essential Oils. I know there are lots of others out there but this was where I started.
There’s lots of great info in the book on how to get started with DIY products. But here are some of my own tips …
Bulk Apothecary is where I get most of my supplies, from essential oils to raw materials. The 190 proof organic grain alcohol used in this recipe, though, I ordered from Amazon, but you can only get the 32 oz. size there now.
So here’s an Ebay link for an 8 oz. size of 190 Proof E-O-X which is what I began with. Oh … and don’t be put off by the often humongous prices at Bulk Apothecary … those are often for bulk amounts. Click on the oil you want for 0.5 oz prices … you won’t need more than that if you’re starting out.
And the bottles … best on Amazon for small amounts … here’s a link. Too much work? Bulk Apothecary makes their own hand sanitizer but … be advised … there’s an up to two week wait for it … as there is for other supplies. They also have pipettes for managing the drops.
And … just yesterday … someone offered to pay me for the hand sanitizer I shared with her … and am going to share with you.
I told her I would do it for free … that’s how powerful and comforting this spray is. It’s kept me healthy in the trenches. And will do the same for you.
Eric Z’s Hand Sanitizer
Organic grain alcohol (190 proof)
15 drops Immunity-Boosting Blend (cinnamon back. cinnamon leaf, clove, frankincense, rosemary, orange, and lemon) or any other oils you prefer (I used rose, lavender, and geranium) per ounce
2 or 3 drops vitamin E (optional) per ounce
2 or 3 drops aloe (optional … I used argan oil to keep my skin from drying out) per ounce
1 or 2-ounce glass spray bottle
- Fill a quarter to a half (if you want to follow COVID-19 guidelines) of the bottle with alcohol and the rest with water.
- Choose the essential oils to add that meet your desired result … for example, if you want a soothing sanitizer, use lavender … or an uplifting blend … use sweet or wild orange.
- If you want a moisturizing spray, add some vitamin E and aloe.
- Shake to blend.
- Spray on your hands and rub them together as you would a conventional hand sanitizer.