Certain elements of life can be toxic enough, so we need to reduce all of the artificial chemicals and toxins that are entering our body on a daily basis. Below are some of the rules I follow to make sure I am living as much of a chemical-free life as possible.
Our sweat glands are made to release toxins, so when we clog them up with a product, moreover an aerosol product, we are clogging up one of our body’s natural ways of getting rid of unwanted toxins. Although there is nothing concrete linking deodorant and illnesses, I believe it’s best to avoid using it just in case. Aerosols are also harmful to the environment, so I am happier using a roll-on, non-spray deodorant knowing it’s helping the world around me as well. I use Dr. Organic’s Manuka Honey Organic Deodorant, which is available online or at Holland and Barrett health shops around the UAE.
I avoid drinking out of plastic whenever possible. Especially living in such a hot country, when plastic heats all the chemicals are released into the drink, so the mineral water you think you are drinking may contain a handful of harmful chemicals as well. This is also better for the environment as glass bottles can be reused over and over again.
I filter my water using a Nikken water filter, which means my drinking water and even the water I use to shower is as ‘clean’ as it can be without chloride. Filters also add extra minerals to the water that can aid your skin and hair.
The slightly alkaline water produced by the PiMag Waterfall may help offset the acidic nature of a typical modern diet and other environmental conditions. It decreases oxidation reduction potential — a high ORP contributes to oxidative decomposition. An ionizing effect further reduces potential oxidation by providing ions to neutralize free radicals.
Aluminum has a negative health impact on the body, so cooking with aluminum is a bad idea. According to Health Canada, cooking your meal in an aluminum saucepan can add approximately 1 to 2 mg of aluminum to your food! Instead I opt for stainless steel, a material that does not leak in to food.
If you have the means to eat everything organically then great, but many of us simply can’t. The increased cost of organic goods means it’s hard to sustain this style of living, but increasingly there are more and more places to buy cheaper organic food in the UAE. If you have to choose which foods to buy organic and which can be non-organic, there is a list of the ‘dirty dozen’ that you should follow. The 12 products with the highest levels of pesticides are: peaches, apples, cucumbers, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, potatoes, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and snap peas.
Fabric softener is loaded with chemicals, all of which are unnecessary. Our clothes have already been cleaned by the detergent or soap, so adding extra chemicals simply to make the clothes softer should be avoided. Instead I spray my clean clothes with water mixed with a few drops of essential oil or baby cologne when ironing, which helps the clothes smell nicer without adding these harmful chemicals. You can also buy olive oil soap, which is a natural clothes cleaner, at Union Coop.
Although both contain the same amount of sodium, sea salt undergoes minimal processing, so trace levels of minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium are retained in the salt. However, table salt is highly processed so all of these minerals disappear and additives are usually added to stop the fine salt sticking together.
Killing off bacteria is crucial to maintaining a clean and healthy home, however using toxic chemicals to do so, such as
Clorox, can be very harmful to your health. At home, I either use vinegar, baking soda or tea tree oil mixed with water to clean. Add some baking soda to your sponge and it will get your bathroom tiles shining in no time, while vinegar is great for floors and windows. Tea tree oil and water is a great alternative to Dettol and to get your mirrors shining all you need is water and vinegar. These homemade tips really do work and save you money in the meantime!
Fluoride is an extremely strong chemical and can have adverse reactions on our teeth and overall health. I have switched to a naturally effective toothpaste that cleans my teeth and takes care of my gums, without containing any strong, and potentially harmful, chemicals. You can buy great non-fluoride toothpastes at Organic Foods Store.
Although our busy modern lifestyles sometimes mean we do end up eating processed food or eating out at restaurants more often than we should, you should always try to avoid eating processed foods. One way of looking at it is to eat as previous generations did – our parents and grandparents made everything from scratch as processed food or ready-meals were not available. They lived off a more naturally organic diet and cooked everything at home; something which we should take up.
Asma Hilal Lootah,
Owner & Founder of The Hundred Wellness Center.
Winner of Mohammed Bin Rashid Award 2010
Emirates Woman of The Year 2012