on detoxing your home & clean beauty buys
I recently became familiar with the work of Sophia Gushee and instantly wanted to know more about her. As a healthy living expert, she helps people detox their homes! Cool, right? In her new book, The A to Z of D-Toxing, she proves that a healthy lifestyle goes beyond eating right and exercising. Here, she talks detoxing steps, her favorite clean beauty buys and how toxic exposure in the home can lead to hormone imbalance.
If you were to start each morning with an intention, what would it be and why?
I have benefitted from taking one minute before a "moment" to set an intention. And a "moment" can be family breakfast, picking up the kids from school, family dinner, or putting the kids to bed. So when I wake up in the morning, before I get out of bed, I try to remember to set an intention for how I would like breakfast to go with my family. Before I pick up my kids from school, I set an intention for how I would like our after school reunion to go. Then I set intentions before dinner and bedtime too.
This has been a wonderful practice because it has allowed me to be more proactive rather than reactive in what I want to get out of the most special moments of my day (time with my family), which are also the most challenging (three young kids!). When I don't do this, it is more natural for me to surrender unconsciously to feelings that I don't want driving my kids' experiences: tired, cranky, impatient, or frustrated.
By breaking down my practice of setting intentions, I am able to be present in key moments with more presence, gratitude, humor, and appreciation. Best of all, when I am able to do this, I go to sleep feeling really good about my day.
How did you get into helping people detox their homes?
My passion for helping people detox their homes started with my own challenges when learning about this topic. From my struggles, I became inspired to make it easier for others to develop a more holistic understanding of how we can be healthy. I thought I knew how to be healthy: I ate well and exercised a lot. It wasn't until I had a newborn, however, that I started to learn about toxic exposures from household products. Upset that I didn't know about this topic sooner, I became motivated to create an easier path for others to pursue.
In my process of learning how to detox my homes, I learned of more scientific ways in which we are truly interconnected with each other, as well as with the planet, past, present, and future. This really motivates me to spread awareness and inspire engagement.
What types of toxic exposures are we trying to eliminate?
I focus on toxic exposures that we can control: what we buy and certain habits.
What are some of the health benefits involved?
One potential health risk posed by toxic exposures is hormone disruption. Since hormones are integral in our development (guiding the development during the pre- and post-natal periods, puberty, and menopause) and daily operations (sleep, metabolism, detox mechanisms, brain function, and more), hormone disruption can affect us in numerous ways. Anywhere from 800 to 1,000 hormone disruptors have been identified (different sources report different numbers). But there are undoubtedly many more that have not yet been identified. Hormone disruptors are found in everyday consumer products, dust, air, water, food, and in our bodies. And they are just one category of toxic exposures among others that we can reduce.
Generally, I use "toxic exposures" to refer to toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields (created from wired and wireless technologies). Reducing our toxic exposures can also reduce risks of developing cancer, brain and nervous system impairment, fertility issues, allergies, birth defects, and immune dysfunction. The potential health benefits are really endless and immeasurable.
Congratulations on your book, “A to Z of D-Toxing!” What inspired you to write it?
I was inspired to create something that I wish were given to me at my baby shower. This topic would not have felt relevant to me before I became a mother. And, after I became a mother, my protective instincts heightened tremendously and I wanted to learn everything I could about giving my children the healthiest foundation possible, in the shortest amount of time. So, I created the book to answer all the questions I had, but in an easy-to-skim presentation since I wanted to learn things just as they were relevant to me in a moment.
When it comes to your beauty, what are your favorite 'clean’ brands and why?
I try to be minimal in my approach to my external beauty so I don't buy many brands. I love cosmetics by RMS though, and I love skincare by Tammy Fender. I use sunscreen by EltaMD. Staples in my self-care include things that safe enough to eat: 100% pure essential oils, coconut oil, olive oil, and sesame oil. Other than that, I try to address beauty from the inside out: eat a nutritious diet, drink lots of filtered water, surround myself with supportive and uplifting energies, sweat, laugh, hug, and sleep.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start detoxing their environment?
Set small goals. This topic is so important and helpful that I want you to be in this for the long haul. So focus on small, achievable changes, and don't judge yourself! If you are new to the idea of detoxing your toxic exposures, then start with reducing the plastics that touch your food and drinks. You can't avoid plastic water bottles and food containers completely, butreducing your exposures to plastics is great!
Beauty is __________.
taking loving, compassionate care of yourself.