The First Three Steps to Creating a Holistic Lifestyle You Actually Love

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I'm wendy!

I'm a environmental toxins lawyer turned clean living coach who is obsessed with morning sunshine, Ningxia Red and all things holistic living (but for real life).  Catch me over on Insta and come say hi.


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Taking control of your health should not be a competitive endeavor. We’re not out here trying to win a game. I don’t believe in extremes or making anyone feel bad about their choices. Instead, let’s embrace a toxin-free(ish) approach, where every small step toward a holistic lifestyle makes a significant difference. My motto is ‘We don’t do fear. We do facts, and we do fun.’

The internet is packed full of tips and tricks to detox your life. But if you try to do it all at once, you’re going to spend a TON of money and stress yourself out so much that it will all be futile. 

So today, I’m going to tell you exactly what I would do if I went back in time and started this journey from scratch. I’ll go over the first three steps I would take towards a toxin-free(ish) holistic lifestyle!

You’ll also get a sneak peek into my course ‘Toxin Free In 3’, so if you’ve been curious about what it’s like inside the course, you won’t want to miss this! 

By the end of this episode, I hope you’ll be inspired to make small, manageable changes that can have a big impact on your health and the health of our planet. Let’s embark on this toxin-free(ish) journey together!

In this episode, I chat about:

  • Why it’s important to take one small step at a time 
  • The first three steps I would take on this journey 
  • How to shop for clean products
  • A sneak peek into my course ‘Toxin Free in 3

Every Bit Helps

Let’s start by saying you don’t have to give it all up. Any little bit helps. Any toxin, product, brand, or swap you make in your home is a step in the right direction and it is worthwhile. You don’t have to go around your house with a trash bag and literally throw away everything in your home that you have now figured out is admitting toxic chemicals and then spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on all new products for it to matter.

I give a lot of detailed education on ingredients because I feel like people need to know, but you do not have to be perfect for getting rid of toxins to make a huge impact on your holistic lifestyle. 

You also don’t need to be overwhelmed by it. If I was not an environmental toxins attorney or had gone through ten years of experience and education and swapping products and understanding the way that toxins are regulated, I would be so overwhelmed, stressed out, and scared by what people are preaching on social media. I probably would just get off Instagram and keep drinking my tap water and cleaning with bleach. The overwhelm that’s out there on this topic even stresses me out watching it. 

I did not create my business to scare people. I created my business to be a place of education and awareness, not through shaming or judging, which I feel happens a lot. Getting rid of toxins in your house should be joyful, and it should be freeing! If this is stressful for you and you’re super overwhelmed, I promise you it doesn’t have to be. 

3 Steps to a Toxin-Free Holistic Lifestyle

Alright, let’s get into the good stuff! These are the three steps to start your journey towards a holistic lifestyle.

1. Eliminate Synthetic Fragrances

The first thing you should do is get rid of as much synthetic fragrance in your home as possible. I’m talking about anything in your home that you put on your body, that you have to make your home smell good, or anything else containing a synthetic fragrance. Here are a few common examples:

  • Febreeze room spray
  • Air freshener plugins
  • Wax melts
  • Scented candles
  • Scented location
  • Perfume
  • Fragranced trash bags

Synthetic fragrance can also be hidden in things like your cosmetics, skincare, laundry detergent, and hair care products.

What’s wrong with synthetic fragrances? 

There is a very good chance they contain a class of chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates stick to that fragrance, and they make them long-lasting. Whenever you use something and hours later, you can still smell it, that’s how you know there are phthalates in there. 

Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. They have a similar shape to estrogen in our bodies. When they get into our bodies, they can block or mimic our estrogen, and that disruption of our hormones leads to a whole host of health issues, like:

Natural fragrances like essential oils, plants, bark, leaves, citrus, or fruit will dissipate fairly quickly, and the smell won’t stick around for a long time. So if you’re using something and the smell sticks around for a long time, you know there are likely toxins in there.

The Swap

Rather than purchasing endocrine-disrupting fragrances and products, use pure essential oils in a diffuser on an intermittent setting for a home fragrance that lasts all day. Choose perfume and personal care products that are free of endocrine-disrupting toxins. 

I did a whole series on the Toxin-Free-Ish podcast about fragrances. Check them out!

2. Analyze Cleaning Supplies

We clean our homes with toxic chemicals. We’re basically saying we don’t like germs, and we want to clean the germs up, but we’re going to replace those germs and expose ourselves to toxic chemicals instead. 

In a published study by Chemosphere, scientists tested 30 cleaning products that included a mix of multipurpose and glass cleaners, as well as air fresheners. The analysis detected 530 unique VOCs, including 193 with the potential to cause health harms such as:

  • Respiratory system damage
  • Asthma
  • Increased cancer risk
  • Developmental and reproductive problems
  • Infertility

That’s probably what you’re cleaning your house with! When you go to Target and you buy things off of store shelves, that’s what you’re getting. The fragrance-free options scored significantly better and safer in this study. That doesn’t surprise me because fragrances, which we just talked about, have phthalates in them. By choosing fragrance-free, you’re automatically taking away a significant amount of harmful ingredients.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?

Just being a VOC in itself doesn’t make it bad, harmful, or toxic. Essential oils are a VOC. Anything that you can smell is volatile, which means it dissipates quickly in the air. Examples are a banana ripening, flowers blooming outside, etc.

Are You Cleaning with Bleach?

Chlorine bleach is a halogen, meaning it competes with other halogens in your body. Iodine is another halogen, and it’s important to your body because it’s what your thyroid needs to function. 

When you’re around, inhaling, or touching chlorine bleach, that chlorine is getting into your system. It attaches itself to receptor sites in your thyroid, similar to the way endocrine disruptors can attach themselves to your receptor sites in your body as well, which can lead to hypothyroidism. So, if you’re using chlorine bleach, you’re putting your body at risk for hypothyroidism.

Here’s the thing. You don’t need to use bleach to disinfect. There isn’t bleach in my home because there’s no reason for me to have it. There would never be a moment where I would feel like I need to buy some bleach and take care of that.

The Swap

You don’t need toxins to clean your house. There are some fantastic toxin-free cleaners on the market now that work!

There is a company that I love called Force of Nature. They make a completely toxin-free, EPA-registered disinfectant that works as well as bleach and has zero harmful ingredients in it. It works fantastic, and that’s such an easy swap to make to get chlorine bleach out of your life.

Get my whole list of clean, toxin-free cleaning supplies in my Toxin Free Shopping Guide. The brand Thieves is my favorite! Use Code SHAREYL for 10% off your first order!

3. Ditch the Detergent

Switching your laundry detergent takes a little bit of a mindset shift. A lot of people don’t think laundry detergent is something they need to be super concerned about, but it’s one of the things that you should be the most concerned about. 

When you wash your clothes in laundry detergent, especially if there’s any fabric softener involved, a lot of chemicals are left over. They’re all not just washed away in the wash. They attach themselves to your clothing, sheets, and towels you use every day. Then they’re absorbed into your skin when you wear and sleep on them. 

Fragrance is one of the biggest culprits in laundry detergent, but there are other issues as well. Most laundry detergents contain ethoxylated ingredients, which leave cancer-causing contaminants behind. I talk about this more in-depth in episode #40. What you wash your clothing with matters so much.

The Swap

I promise you – shopping for toxin-free laundry products isn’t as difficult as you think! Throw out your Tide detergent and purchase a toxin-free laundry detergent option. You can find my recommendations in my Toxin Free Shopping Guide.

I did a Spring Cleaning series on the podcast a while back. Listen to the episodes!

How to Shop for Clean Products

I know I just made those three steps to a holistic lifestyle sound really freaking simple, but I also understand the overwhelm that comes with knowing and understanding how to shop.

Greenwashing is a huge problem. Brands will market themselves as clean, use all the right buzzwords, and put pretty leaves on their packaging, but they have an ingredient label that reads super toxic. 

Unless you’ve gone through my holistic lifestyle course or you’re educated on this issue, you look at a label on a product and see ingredients, but you don’t know what they are. You don’t know if they’re harmful. You don’t know if you should be avoiding them or not. You’re just looking at the front where they probably said we’re the cleanest thing ever made. Then you buy it and realize later, it’s full of toxins, and they were greenwashing

The company Tula is a great example. Tula sells themselves as a clean company, and they’re not. They use a ton of toxic ingredients that you should avoid in their skincare. People get mad at me when I say that, but it’s true.

So what can you do? I created my course Toxin-Free in 3 for people just like you. It’s my signature course that steps you through the three stages of creating a toxin-free-ish life that you actually love. But the first thing I teach every student is ingredients and label reading because this is the hardest part and also the foundation. It’s so important to understand how to spot the ingredients you want to avoid and the health risks of why you should avoid them, and I give access to tons of published research.

There you have it! Three very simple steps towards a lower tox life. Want to dig a little deeper? You can download my free ebook, Tossing the Toxins, and shop for all your toxin-free products on my Toxin Free Shopping Guide. I hope this episode helps you on your toxin-free holistic lifestyle journey!

Related Episodes:

Episode 1: What the F*ck is an Endocrine Disruptor, Anyway?

Episode 8: Toxin Free(ish): How to Prioritize What Matters Most

Episode 25: Stop Obsessing: Navigating a Toxin-Free Lifestyle with Balance

Episode 28: Going Toxin-Free on a Budget: The Power of Non-Toxic Living

Episode 40: Not So Clean? An In-Depth Look at Ethoxylated Ingredients (Used by Dropps, 9 Elements, 7th Generation)

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