When people ask what lifestyle I follow – paleo, gluten-free, Low GI, vegan, etc etc. – my answer is simple: my lifestyle is one whereby I limit our exposure to toxicity. You can read more about my reasons here, but in a nutshell, this is how I feel:
We are CONSTANTLY surrounded by and ingesting toxins – from pesticides in fresh food and chemicals in processed food, to the overuse of medications, to the water we drink and the air we breath. It’s everywhere. And because it’s everywhere we cannot totally eradicate it, especially when living in a city like London. This is the exact reason why we need to limit our exposure to the toxins where we can, and there are many ways to do that, ensuring we are doing our very best. By reducing our contact with these toxins, we are enabling our bodies to function in the way they are meant to instead of helping them to cry out, in the form of dis-ease.
Where we can reduce our exposure to toxicity, we absolutely must and amongst the plethora of ways to do this, of the most important are what we put in and on our bodies, and what we use in our homes. With every mouthful you take and every product you use on your body and in your home, you are either feeding disease or preventing it.
My recipes are all created with this in mind. Although most of them are free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar, the common thread is that everything I make is made from real, natural ingredients. Besides which, gluten, dairy and refined sugar are all man-made to a degree.
I have posted home and beauty products before, like my Himalayan Salt Scrub, but since getting more serious with my essential oils, I began to make all my own cleaning products. It didn’t happen overnight – so don’t be daunted – it was a slow process until I felt comfortable in my understanding of the oils and the other ingredients such as vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and soda crystals.
I recently read the absolutely beautiful book, The Art of The Natural Home by Rebecca Sullivan, founder of Granny Skills, and she has totally inspired me. The whole ethos is that if your granny doesn’t recognise it, it’s not food (with the exception, of course, of fruit and veg that your granny wouldn’t have come across before goods could be freely imported from other countries. My grandmother, for example, couldn’t fathom the idea of an avocado!)
In the same way, our grandmothers used to make their own household products and find ways to be economical, to reduce costs and reduce the amount of waste created by the members of the household.
We have gotten so used to the idea of convenience that we refuse to do anything for ourselves anymore, down to something as simple as cooking. When I was having a debate with someone once about my healthy lifestyle and I said I cooked fresh meals every day she literally said, ‘Oh come on, what are you trying to prove?’ Umm.. I’m not trying to prove anything! No one is standing in my kitchen when I’m covered in turmeric with a 2 year old attached to my leg giving me a medal or washing my dishes! I’m doing it because it’s the healthiest option. Period.
I can understand that the thought of making your own household products can seem daunting – it used to seem this way to me – but honestly it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a few standard ingredients, some good essential oils and some spray bottles. You can actually save the ones you are currently using, sterilise them and use them for your homemade products. And guys, it works out SO much cheaper! (BTW if you want to know more about essential oils and how to use them for every aspect of your life, get in touch on the contact page and I’ll help you out with doTERRA oils, the only brand I use due to their purity and ethical sourcing.)
Aside from benefitting financially, I feel so much happier knowing that I am not damaging our lungs and our immune systems with toxic oven cleaners, surface sprays and polishes. Even the ‘natural’ ones on the market always have one or two questionable ingredients. (Method bottles make great reusable spray bottles though!)
So here are my home products for you to hopefully make yourselves. I’ve decided to post one at a time as posting them all at once can seem overwhelming to people who are just starting out. Even if you only make one product, you’re on the right track!
Today’s product is oven cleaner (just go to the Home and Beauty page for all the other products). God, don’t you just HATE the smell of store-bought oven cleaners, and the way it just kills your chest?? I can’t even begin to tell you the disgusting, toxic ingredients found lurking in that stuff. The good news is they are so pointless when there is a simple and REALLY cheap, super safe alternative – bicarbonate of soda!
Bicarb has been used for centuries all around the world for its cleaning abilities. It can be used for literally anything and is perfect for oven cleaning…
Ingredients (makes enough for one use)
3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda (use more if needed)
A little water
Half a cup of white or apple cider vinegar
Put the bicarb in a glass bowl and add a little water at a time until it forms a paste. Wearing rubber gloves, wipe the paste all over the oven and leave to set overnight.
In the morning, use a damp cloth to wipe it all away, spray some vinegar on the surfaces then wipe that away with warm water to remove all residue.
Give it all a final clean down with some warm water and a clean cloth.
Love & health,