FACT. I spend a lot of time telling you about the many healthy changes you can apply to your life.
Another FACT. There are still many that are absent from mine.
I don’t always take my own advice. And that’s ok.
Healthy hedonism is about picking your battles, going slowly, and forgiving yourself for not being perfect.
Part of finding that “balance”–and what I tried to do by the end of my project–is accepting that it’s ok not to do all of the above, all at once.
Since it’s Earth Day this weekend, you’ll probably be bombarded more than usual by the many man-made toxic dangers you should be avoiding. But want to know what’s equally harmful? Toxic emotions.
I recently listened to an amazing interview with Daniele Laporte on Rich Roll’s podcast, and they jammed big time on this topic. We have to recognize when our wellness to-do lists end up defeating the intention of our pursuit.
We have to look at our routines and ask: is my self-care getting in the way of my self-care?
As a proud healthy hedonist, this is a question I’m constantly asking myself.
Do I know how harmful BPA plastic is for my body and the earth at large? Do I try to limit it? Yes. Does that mean I live a plastic-free life? Hell no.
We all do what we can to do right by our bodies, while still living outside in the big bad world. And even with a little BPA plastic added to the mix, I’m still a big believer that the big bad world is better off with you in it, sharing your special pizzaz, than stuck inside the four walls of your home living the cleanest possible life.
I wanted to be really honest about the conveniences I embrace – the things that you’ll probably find 101 articles about how evil they are. I’m not telling you to embrace them too, or that the dangers are anything less than legit. What I do want to emphasize is that it’s ok to find other ways to tip the health scales in your favor. And for me, they don’t involve giving up my favorite mascara.
So today I’m sharing the toxic shit that’s still a part of my world. Some of these habits I might tackle over time. Others, I’m comfortable just saying fuck it. Because there are other ways I offset my toxic burden, and I share those too.
So this year for Earth Day, give yourself a break. Choose one thing and one thing only that you want to change in your daily routine. Try to make good on that for one month. Forgive yourself for the rest. If you want to share your one intention, use the hashtag #4WeekstoWellness and see what some other people are tackling in honor of The Wellness Project book release.
Need ideas? Pre-order the book and you’ll get a free calendar with tons of ways you can lessen your toxic burden, be kinder to yourself and support the environment. Just email your receipt to [email protected].
1. I don’t compost. This is a point of contention in my relationship with my roommate, who is very enthusiastic about the idea. I am a realist, however. The fact of the matter is we live in a small New York City apartment. Our nearest compost drop-off is three stops away on the subway. And I know we’ll end up either with a) fruit flies or b) throwing the food piles away anyway when we can’t make the trip.
I DO use our dog, Baron the Beagle, as a compost machine for much of my vegetable waste. He eats kale and broccoli stems, the gnarly tops of carrots and beets, and pretty much any other crunchy scrap. I keep a little container for him and use them as treats or to bulk up his kibble with real food.
2. I use some plastic storage containers. I’ve majorly cut back on my takeout habits since completing The Wellness Project and subsequently moving to Brooklyn. But those orders still happen. And instead of throwing out the plastic containers, I save them. They’re convenient to use when gifting food or sending Charlie to work with leftovers.
I DO also use mason jars and prep bowls (with, gulp, plastic wrap) as often as possible to avoid leaching plastic into my meals. And I never put them in the microwave.
3. Yes, I use the microwave. I discovered during this wellness project exeriment that they don’t denigrate the nutritional value of food as much as green goddesses have led me to believe. Plus, I cook in the first place. Which is healthier for my body and the environment. If I need to reheat the leftovers from my batch cooking sessions at the Farmer’s market to make my life a smidge easier, so be it.
4. I drink alcohol. Not as often as I used to during the week, but that toxin still pumps through my veins on weekends. I ALSO make kombucha. Yes, my own! This feeds my gut critters and offsets some of the damage caused by alcohol to my microbiome. I also save many glass bottles by making my own version from scratch!
5. I buy salad greens in plastic clamshells. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the teeny, tender baby arugula. And I hate using my salad spinner (which is plastic too…?). I DO also make my own dressings and many condiments from scratch, allowing me to nix a lot of added sugars and waste one less bottle from my fridge. Click here for my list of packaged food brands I actually trust.
6. I still have one or two nonstick pans. I wrote this extensive post about how to use nonstick pans in a way that’s less toxic for your health. There are only certain kitchen tasks that I still break out my two nonstick pans for. I use cast iron for everything else.
7. My baking sheets are aluminum. But I line them with parchment paper. Aluminum isn’t a heavy metal, but it has a similar toxic impact on the body. You can read more about it here. I also only use foil for roasting beets. That’s it.
8. My lashes are sponsored by L’Oreal. And occasionally my lips. During green beauty month of the wellness project, I switched almost ALL my products to natural items. Almost. After trying a natural mascara, I didn’t love it. So I’ve kept my old L’Oreal standby in rotation. I also didn’t want to overspend replacing all my lipsticks. As of a few weeks ago, I’ve added one signature red from NU Evolution, which I now wear 50 percent of the time and LOVE.
9. I still eat tuna. Mercury is a toxin that’s been particularly linked to autoimmune disease. I try not to eat it more than once a month. But I still gotta have my sushi!! I add chelating veggies like cilantro and cabbage to my meals before and after. More about this here.
10. My mattress is not organic. Nor is any of my furniture. Unfortunately, decor ranks as some of the most toxic items in your home. If I was going to replace anything, it would be my mattress, since you spend a third of your life on it (thank you Casper commercials). But the good news is: I’ve owned mine for nearly a decade, which means most of the toxic fumes have neutralized. I also switched my shower curtain to a natural hemp cloth so that there’s no PVC plastic hot boxing my bathroom every day.
Other things I do to reduce my toxic load and that of the world around me:
- I carry a reusable water bottle with me and use a filter on my tap that uses compostable cartridges.
- I don’t use plastic bags in the produce section of the grocery store. You’re going to wash your veggies anyway! Who cares if they touch…
- When I remember, I bring a canvas tote to the grocery store.
- Have I mentioned I make my own kombucha…?
- I donate excess or forgotten pantry items to a local church.
- I don’t hang out with toxic people.