2020 –– if you feel like this is the year to start living a more natural life,
or if you feel it’s time for profound change, this post is for you!
Going for a natural, toxic-free lifestyle is a decision you can rationally make, yet really – to be able to keep it up – it has to come from within. It’s a process, a journey. You start by changing one aspect in your life, and then, steadily, the rest follows.
I’d like to give you a glimpse into my “natural” journey and how it all comes together organically over time.
I started by changing my “diet”, meaning the things I eat every day. That was more than six years ago, and my reason for it were a few health issues I wanted to tackle by eating differently: headaches and migraines, severe sinus infections, a HP virus. Under the guidance of my naturopath I went on a radical dietary change. (Amongst other things, I cut out all gluten, refined sugars, dairy and alcohol.)
Without diving into too much detail, I can say that by skipping well-known foods, additives and addictives (sugar!), and by incorporating completely new items, my relationship to food changed by 180 degrees: I started cooking; I started looking for alternatives to mainstream staples like pasta, eggs, and packed muesli; I started reading the labels in the supermarket. For the first time in my life I really engaged with my food. I became aware of what I ate.
What I didn’t know back then was that changing my eating habits would change the way I feel and perceive the world. It was the initial spark for my journey towards more naturalness and the driving force for so much more: a more conscious way of consumerism; a simpler, freedom-filled life; overall consciousness.
Apart from becoming healthier, getting much better skin and loosing weight, I started questioning. Not only did I read the labels on food items, but also, eventually, on deodorants and body lotions. I wanted to know: What’s in here, what’s in there? I enquired about ingredients. I didn’t blindly believe things to be what they were promoted to be anymore. I started looking beyond common assumptions of what’s healthy or non- toxic.
One thing lead to another: First came the food, then the everyday pharmaceuticals like Paracetamol and Aspirin. I stopped taking them, because I was healthier and also realised that these drugs would do more harm than good in the long run. I began replacing regular drugstore face- and skin care products with more and more natural ones (I personally love, love, love the Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn from Living Libations)
I switched to alternative dental care.
By end of 2018 I finally threw away the remains of my conventional perfumes and replaced them with essential oils. After a couple of years of trying natural and semi-natural deodorants I also ditched my last “rescue” bottle of aluminium chloride filled roll-on (you know, the heavy stuff, the sort that doesn’t make you sweat at all even in 40 degrees in the non-air-conditioned office ?
And right now, I’m in the process of going natural in all my cleaning products.
You see? It’s a process. It comes naturally. So please don’t feel overwhelmed or afraid to start.
Key takeaways from my natural & consciousness journey so far:
– If you want real natural products, inform yourself (it may take a bit more time than your usual shopping experience, but it’s worth it)! Chances are that you won’t find these products in the supermarket or the common drugstore. Check the labels and ask someone you trust and you know who’s got knowledge, like Wilma
– The simpler, the better – a good quality oil (olive or coconut for example) is a healthier way to nourish your skin than an expensive, chemical-laden body lotion! A freshly prepared lemon water (with lemons from the garden or the farmers market) is likely to have more nutrients and positive impact on your body than “freshly squeezed” juice that comes in a plastic bottle.
– Play around and see what works for you! Try things and see how your body responds: What kind of food gives you energy? What lifestyle routines bring you into a good mood? What (self-)care does your skin love?
Start easy and take it step by step.
You don’t have to change everything over night!
If you allow one small change of habit to become a true routine, you are going to win so much more than changing all things for a week but not sticking to them afterwards.
If you don’t know where to start, start with what you eat. It’s one of the easiest and most accessible tools and a powerful, lasting way to transformation. I’m sure you will feel the impact after a short time.
Ask yourself what you’re eating.
Especially processed foods and refined sugar are major players when it comes to a more conscious, natural way of eating, living & consuming. You could begin by skipping sugar (its included in most packaged foods, by the way) or dairy (all milk, cheese, butter, …), for example.
Exclude it from your diet for three weeks or a month and see how you feel!
Take daily notes during your journey: How do you feel? How does your energy level change? Is your mental clarity better or worse?
Check the labels – not only on food products, but also on body- and skin-care products, on household cleaners, air fresheners (actually, you should ditch those toxic scents completely), medicine, …
Stay away from or inform yourself about products that contain ingredients you don’t know.
If you’ve never done label reading, I guarantee you that you’ll be kinda shocked!
Don’t be intimidated by “all the other people” asking you weird (and repeatedly the same) questions holding on to their wheaty-white sandwich toast and chemical-filled moisturising body lotions.
Only YOU hold the power to empower yourself.
And eventually you will know what to do/eat/rely on to feel and be at your best.