In college, I started a small Etsy shop and blog from the storage closet in my sorority house. A few years later, and through a very non-linear journey, that small Etsy shop grew into an internationally recognized sweatshirt brand & that little blog led to bestselling books and a publishing career. Now, I'm obsessed about helping other women uncover what they're made to do and take steps to make it happen, too.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the idea of creating a healthier home and making changes to the way you’re eating or the products you’re using?
Maybe you’ve heard about toxic chemicals in products or pesticides and it sounds important, but it all feels overwhelming.
Girl, I feel you.
That’s where I was a year ago. When I’d hear my friends talk about buying organic meat or switching to healthier products, I thought “Wow, that just sounds like a lot of effort.” 🤷♀️
If you’re in the same place, or if you wanna know more about building a healthier home, this episode’s for you.
Now, listen, hearing about all of this at once can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get stressed about changing everything at once. But it’s important to be grace-based in any changes you make.
Changes don’t have to happen overnight. And you might not find yourself in a season where you can change everything.
Start by focusing on one step at a time. Ask yourself: what’s one thing I CAN do right now and what are some resources that will help me do that?
To help you take those steps and give you the resources you need, I talked with Teryn Robinson.
Teryn’s own health journey started with one small change at a time. And it all began when she started to build her family.
When Teryn and her husband decided to start trying for kids and got pregnant a few months later, everything looked great.
But, around 12 weeks, they found out their baby no longer had a heartbeat. She often wondered if there was more she could do to improve her health.
A few months later, they got pregnant again – this time, with triplets. After the babies were born, they were in the hospital for months. When they were finally released, Teryn found herself at home with three preemie babies, who needed a lot of care.
She then made it her goal to become (and help her daughters become) as healthy as possible, as naturally as possible. (Cue the wellness journey and years of learning).
Her goal now is to help others build healthy homes and lives by taking control of their health and making their next decision a better one.
It doesn’t happen overnight. And you don’t have to have all the answers before you start (or else, you may never start).
But each step taken is a step closer to better health.
Before I dig into the good stuff, I need to throw out a disclaimer. I’m not a doctor or an expert. I’m sharing what I’ve learned and Teryn’s doing the same. This is what works for us and our families. But what works for me might not work for your family. So do your own research!
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to the good stuff!
I asked Teryn what she thinks the biggest challenge is for healthy living and guys, her answer was so helpful! 🙌
She explained something really important.
A lot of people are starting to seek healthier options. Companies are catching on to this and are greenwashing their labels.
They use hot words on their labels like “all natural” or “plant-based” in order to attract you and make you feel like the product is clean, when it’s actually not. They’re tricky about it on the label and in the ingredient list.
Take sugar as an example. Companies realized that a lot of people don’t want to consume tons of sugar. So in the labels, these companies started calling sugar a hundred other names that people don’t recognize. So you may think you’re buying something that doesn’t have sugar in it, when in reality, it still has a lot.
Navigating what’s truly a good product has become increasingly more difficult.
That’s why Teryn shares the importance of knowing the farmer and who’s making the product. You need to find who you can really trust.
Teryn emphasized that it’s taken a lot of time, through trial and error, to find cleaner food options. In the beginning, she started buying everything organic, but then discovered that some things still tested positive for pesticides. Plus, some brands were bought out by larger companies and started producing products containing harmful ingredients.
So Teryn doesn’t buy any dairy, meat, seafood or eggs from the store. Instead, she buys directly from farmers, makes it herself, or has it shipped to her from a trusted company.
When it comes to sweeteners, Teryn sticks to natural, unprocessed options like honey, maple syrup or date sugar, so she knows where they come from.
Teryn also explained that oils are some of the least healthy foods you can have – and cheap oils (like safflower, sunflower, vegetable, and canola) are often used in processed foods. Many of these oils are highly processed and harmful to your health. So Teryn suggests sticking to coconut, olive, and avocado oils, which are all healthy options.
If you’re sitting there thinking “How in the world do I even know where to get clean food,” I’ve got you, girl.
Here are some resources that Teryn shared to help you find food you can trust:
Another option is to look into signing up for a CSA (community supported agriculture), where you’ll periodically receive fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farmer.
Teryn explains it this way: it all comes down to eating food as God intended it, as unprocessed as possible. By just making that shift to whole foods, you’ll eliminate some of the worst foods.
When it comes to skin and beauty products, the first step is finding something with the least amount of ingredients that’s as natural as possible.
Avoid harmful ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, or fragrance. When companies list fragrance as an ingredient, it’s actually a blend of hundreds of harmful synthetic ingredients and chemicals. So you don’t actually know what you’re getting.
So make sure you go fragrance free.
Many companies are now advertising things like “paraben free” because they know that people are starting to recognize it as a harmful ingredient. But there are still a lot of harmful ingredients out there that are hormone disruptors and carcinogens.
So it’s important to do your research. Know the company’s values and mission. Know their process and where their ingredients are sourced from.
Toxic chemicals and fumes can also be found in your home through things like paint, furniture, carpeting that releases VOC’s (harmful chemicals), and even your water.
So if you’re about to re-paint, get new furniture or carpeting, or replace a mattress, research non-toxic options.
And look into getting a whole house water filter that will keep your water clean.
Teryn also brought up the importance of limiting EMF exposure, which is something I’ve been looking into as well.
EMF’s are a type of radiation released by electronic products like microwaves, phones, and computers. There’s a lot of research that still needs to be done on how it affects our health.
Sometimes, I just wonder if it’s going to be like smoking was thirty years ago. For a long time, everyone was smoking until one day the research all came out and they realized how much harm it was really causing.
I mean, are we gonna one day get new research that shows how harmful EMF’s are and then say, “Well shoot dang, I wish I had known before”?
I don’t know. 🤷♀️ So, my philosophy is to limit my exposure as much as I can, since we don’t fully understand the effects it’s having. And it’s so easy to do, so why not just do it?
Teryn shared some great suggestions on how to do limit EMF exposure:
Look, not everyone has acres of land where they can raise chickens, grow their own food or be self-sustainable.
So, what’s a girl to do when that’s not an option?
Teryn suggests that you get creative. You can:
At the end of the day, it’s about being creative and finding the one next step you can take.
Remember, friend: any adjustment or change you make is beneficial and is gonna get you healthier.
Okay, so I know that was a lot of information and it’s probably got you feeling overwhelmed.
Before you run around the house trying to frantically dump out every product you own (and I know it’s tempting), hear me on this:
As with everything else in life, you need to take a grace-based approach to this. You’re not gonna change everything overnight. That would be super unhealthy and probably impossible.
Instead, focus on one step at a time. The next time you run out of shampoo, replace it with a cleaner option. Then, when you run out of detergent, look into a brand that would be better than what you were using.
Just don’t take things at face value. Do some research. Listen to some podcasts, watch some documentaries on the subject and keep learning!
If you’re ready to hear some of the amazing wisdom Teryn has to share on this topic, tune in to learn:
Once you’ve listened, let me know in the comments: what’s your biggest takeaway and what is one thing you can do next?
To learn more about Teryn, go visit her and her cute home and garden on Instagram.