Since I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, I have been on a mission to figure out what lifestyle changes I can make to better support the health and balance of my hormones. For years, I’ve experimented with changes to my diet, my workout routine, and my mindfulness practices. I’ve found a lot of things that work, a lot of things that were total hoaxes, and a lot of things that seem to benefit me uniquely.
But one of the changes that has made the biggest differences in my life and the lives of my kids – and possibly the only thing that is “one size fits all” when it comes to health – is the importance of getting rid of endocrine disrupting chemicals (or EDCs).
EDCs are a class of chemicals that are found in many American products. Everything from the food we eat to the cookware we use and the skincare we put on our faces contain chemicals that research has found can disrupt our hormones. The health havoc these chemicals can wreak is extensive, affecting fertility, puberty, immune function, the nervous system, and even contributing to certain cancers, among other issues.
When I first learned how pervasive EDCs were, I was floored, but the good news is more products and brands are coming on the market every day that are safe, clean, and EDC-free – Veracity being one of them.
My quest to ditch all EDCs is still a work in progress. I’m clinging to a few products I know are problematic like nail polish (as a marathon runner, my natural toenails are unsightly!) La Croix (I haven’t found a replacement for my seltzer addiction) and eyebrow tinting (although I’m excited to try a new clean tinting service offered at Onda). But what I’ve learned is, if you take it one step at a time, get rid of one chemical baddie at a time, you will soon look up and realize you have made a big difference in creating a hormonally clean life for you and your family.
A few of the big changes I’ve made to get hormone disruptors out of my life are:
I ditched all plastic tupperware: There’s no getting around it – plastic is bad for your hormones. This is a big problem if you’re using them for food storage. But there is an easy alternative: glass tupperware is inexpensive and can be found pretty much everywhere. Bonus points, you can put it in the dishwasher (though continue to hand wash the plastic lids), which you shouldn’t do with anything plastic as the problems get worse when heated.
Plastic baby bottles are also gone: The same plastic rule applies to baby bottles. I’ve opted to use glass (with a protective sleeve) or silicone, which is a safe, non-toxic plastic alternative.
I waved goodbye to sweet breakfasts: Cereal is a staple breakfast food, but it is also known for spiking insulin. So do bagels, delicious morning pastries, and even sugary, low-fat yogurt. Rather than dealing with the day-long insulin roller coaster that comes with starting my mornings that way, I’ve switched to eating foods that won’t send my blood sugar through the roof, like plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries or eggs with veggies.
I no longer cook with seed oils: Canola, grapeseed, sunflower, and other seed oils have been shown to cause inflammation. Instead, I use healthier options like olive or avocado oil for cooking or coconut oil for baking.
Non-stick pans are a problem: The coating that makes food effortlessly slip over pots and pans is unfortunately toxic, containing PFAS, which has been linked to fertility issues, thyroid problems, cancer, and more. Instead, I use stainless steel or ceramic cookware, which are EDC-free alternatives.
I use Veracity products for all of my skincare: One of the main reasons I founded Veracity after learning about my thyroid disorder was that, in my effort to heal my hormone imbalance, I discovered many skincare products contain hormone disrupting ingredients. I founded Veracity as a clean skincare alternative that is always safe for hormones and for pregnancy.
I choose clean perfume: A spritz of perfume is a staple in my beauty routine. Unfortunately, most fragrance contains phthalates, which helps make the scent last longer, and parabens, a preservative, both of which are endocrine disruptors. But each year more clean perfume brands are coming on the market. Two of my favorites are Maison Louis Marie and Heretic.
I switched out retinol for Veracity’s Regenerating Infusion Vital Concentrate: Retinol is well known for its many superpowers. It can treat acne, boost collagen production, and is an all around “anti-aging” MVP. But it’s also not the cleanest ingredient, and it’s not safe for use if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. The hormonally clean alternative is Benthi Plant Peptides, a natural ingredient that works similarly to retinol and is used in Veracity’s Regenerating Infusion Vital Concentrate.
9. I embraced au naturel nails: Nail polish and gel manicures have been found to contain an endocrine disrupting chemical called TPHP that can seep into your body. Because of these findings, I’ve adopted bare, but well groomed fingernails as my new favorite look. (Though, my unsightly runner’s toes are still a nail polish work-in-progress…)
10. I opt for boring dental floss: The coating that makes some floss glide effortlessly between your teeth and gives it that nice, minty taste contains PFAS as well as petroleum, two things you want to avoid. Instead, I buy boring ol’ unwaxed floss that, on the plus side, is safer. Silk is another safe option, though it’s not quite as hardy.
11. I upgraded my shower curtain: PVC and vinyl shower curtains, the low-cost options offered at most big stores, have been found to release a startling number of toxic chemicals. There are a lot of safe alternatives – like cotton, linen, and polyester – but PEVA and EVA-based shower curtains are both safe and mold-resistant. I use Outlines, which is clean and sustainable given their affordable recycle-and-replace program.
12. I’m picky about my cleaning products: Regular cleaning products often contain several hidden hormone disruptors, including triclosan, phthalates, and BPA (used in the plastic bottles cleaning products come in). Instead, I choose one of the many clean brands on the market, which have the added benefit of usually coming in refillable glass bottles. Good for the planet and for my family!
13. I gave up regular sodas: While I haven’t been able to give up my La Croix yet, I have ditched regular canned soda, which may contain BPA as well as insulin-spiking sugar. I now drink Kin Euphorics when I need a bubbly pick-me-up. These drinks are clean, delicious, and contain adaptogens, nootropics, and botanicals that have perks for my energy, mind, and mood.