Integrative Health Blog

How to Live Clean

Posted by NIHA Staff on Mon, Dec 30, 2013


It's a new year, which is a chance for a new you!

January is a great time to think about living a healthier, cleaner lifestyle. 

One of the best ways to start a new year is a nice detoxifying cleanse.  A cleanse removes the "bad stuff", or the toxins from your body and your home. In order to maintain optimum health and treat disease, it is imperative to decrease one's toxic load.  Think about the toxins we consume in just one day through the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the products we use to clean, the clothes you wear, the products you use in the shower and the make up and lotions you put on when you get out of the shower! We live in a toxic world, yes, but we also have access to things which lessen the toxic overload! Here are some small changes that you can make today to start living a cleaner, healthier life.

Tips to Lessen the Toxic Burden on Your Body:

1. Food:

Nutrient rich foods like local, organic vegetables and fruit, and high quality animal protein contain vitamins and minerals which can help heal the gut and strengthen your immune system. Toxic foods and substances include sugar, caffeine, mercury-containing fish, alcohol, gluten and dairy.

⁃ Limit the foods you eat out of a packagedetoxification

⁃ Choose whole foods

⁃ Try a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) where you can enjoy food for an entire season straight from the farm - or shop at local Farmer's Markets for fresh-from-the-farm produce, cheese, honey and organic meats.

-Cook more meals at home using local, fresh food. The CSA's and farmer's markets will often supply great recipes for the seasonal vegetables.

⁃ Limit inflammatory foods (gluten, dairy). Or avoid gluten all together this year, go ahead, I dare you!

⁃ Avoid GMO foods (corn, soy, canola oil)

⁃ Limit fish that are high in mercury (tuna, swordfish, grouper, atlantic salmon)

⁃ Eat your biggest meal during the day, and your smallest meal at the end of the day, at least 3 hours before bedtime.

-Try growing your own food. Start with tomato plants and herbs, which can be grown in pots on a small balcony or deck.

2. Water :

Water is essential for optimal health. Every cell in your body needs water to function. It is important to understand quality of water. Not only are you drinking it everyday but you are bathing in it too. We absorb water internally as we drink it, and absorb it through our skin when we bathe in it. Also take note in how you are consuming your water. Plastic bottles are so 2013. Plastic waste from plastic bottles are harmful to you and the environment. There is a chemical called Bisphenol A, or BPA in plastics which makes the plastic reusable bottles hard and unbreakable. BPA's get inside your body through things that you eat and drink because they leak through your containers. WHen these plastics heat up, they leak ever more! Choose to drink from glass or stainless steel bottles. My favorite is LifeFactory Glass Bottles

Ditch the tap water this year too. Go for Spring water, structured water, and/or filtered water. Have fun and add minerals to it too! I like to add Matrix Minerals. 

⁃ Ditch plastic water bottles. Opt for glass or stainless steel

⁃ Don't use microwaves, or at least don't heat up food or liquid in anything plastic!

⁃ Add minerals to your water

3. Air :

The quality of the air we breathe is another important factor in optimal health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns, "the concentration of indoor air pollutants may be 2-5 times, and on occasion more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels." Luckily, you can protect your home environment with air purifiers and plants!

⁃ Bring in some nature! Plants remove chemicals in the air. Good plants to keep inside your home are; English Ivy, Peace Lily, Lady Palm, Boston Fern, Snake Plant, Golden Pothos, Wax Begonia, Red-Edged Dracaena, Spider Plant, Arrow Head Plant, and Philodendrons.

⁃ Invest in an air purifier

⁃ Don't allow smoking inside

⁃ Circulate fresh air. Open up windows on opposite walls for cross ventilation for a few minutes a day.

⁃ Avoid using toxic cleaning products

⁃ Vacuum and dust regularly

-Get outside, breathe fresh air and walk barefoot, which grounds you to the earth

4. Non-Toxic Cleaners:

For many home cleaning chores, you can make your own products! There are many inexpensive, easy-to-use natural alternatives which can safely be used in place of commercial household products. Here is a list of common, environmentally safe products which can be used for many household applications!

  • Baking Soda

  • Lemon

  • White Vinegar

  • Corn starch

  • Citrus Solvent

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Essential Oils

  • Apple cider vinegar, castor oil, coconut oil, and Castile soap.

⁃ Make your own cleaning products for your home, my favorite is a mix of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water to clean kitchen and bathrooms.

⁃ Look for "green" and non-toxic cleaners that don't contain chlorine, alcohols, triclosan, triclocarbon, lye, glycol ethers, or ammonia. Choose those that say "petroleum-free," "90% biodegradable in 3 days," "VOC-free," "solvent-free," or "phosphate-free."

5. Cosmetics and Body Care Products :

detoxificationWhen I say makeup, I refer to all those products people put on our faces, around our eyes, on our lips, and noses. Have you ever wondered whats in all those products? I mean, who hasn’t tried to waste time in the shower by hunkering down with a good shampoo bottle ingredient list? It’s a huge list of unpronounceable words separated by dozens of hyphens that can not possibly be English.

I'll make it easy for you and let you know about the 5 chemicals in products you really should avoid: Parabens, Phthalates, Triclosan, Fragrance, and UV-filtering Chemicals.

⁃ Companies using natural products:

100% Pure- They produce makeup and other cosmetics using food-grade plant-based ingredients

Bite Beauty They create lipstick which you can safely eat

Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan oil-based makeup. They also use food-grade ingredients like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, and mango seed butter.

Scotch Naturals Non-Toxic nail polish

Lavanila Fragrance free fragrances

⁃ Keep it simple. Coconut oil can be used for so much! I put it on my hair (before I shower), I use it in the morning for oil-pulling, and I use it on my body when I get out of the shower!

⁃ Make your own products!

Companies using natural ingredients:

Skincare for Athletes Certified organic, paraben free, fragrance free and more.

Weleda Weleda grows the bulk of their ingredients in their own biodynamic gardens.

Dr. Bronners Made with all organic ingredients, mostly oils, including coconut, olive, peppermint, and jojoba.

Primal Life Organics 

Trillium Organics Makes treatments for specific conditions, like acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, and diaper rash.

Acure Orgranics 

Eco Beauty Organics


Find the Right Doctor

Integrative medicine recognizes detoxification as the first important step in restoring the body to a natural, balanced, healthy state. If you want to fully detoxify to start the new year off right, use the  detoxification therapies available at NIHA:

Colon Hydrotherapy

⁃ Massage Therapy

⁃ Aqua Chi Detox Footbath


Topics: natural remedies, detoxification, natural products