Oct 18, 2023

Fit Together: Health Goals, Toxin Swaps, and a Giveaway!

,
Share [Sassy_Social_Share]
Lara Casey | 2023

Welcome back to our Fit Together series!

Affiliate links are used in this post—many with discounts for you, like AirDoctor and AquaTru. 🙌 Find more discounts here.

Part 1 struck a chord with so many of you—my and Ari’s phones have buzzed with texts, calls, and messages since it went live! We’re grateful our story encouraged you to consider positive changes in your health. Most of all, we’re glad it gave you hope. Change is possible!

We shared why we changed in Part 1, and today, we’re digging into part of how that change has happened. Let’s go!

Ari: A quick reminder: while I am a physician, this is not medical advice, but rather meant to be educational. Read more in Part 1.

Lara: Ever feel like you’re going through the motions, unsure how to spend your time more intentionally? Do you lack intentional focus in your health journey? Maybe you know there are things you could change, but you don’t know where to start. A lack of clarity can be super frustrating.

Photo by Traci 💛

What’s The Problem?

Ari: Save yourself a lot of wasted mental and physical energy by writing down your specific health pain points. Maybe you’re frustrated with being sick too often or feel the effects of aging. Perhaps you lack energy during the day. What is it specifically for you?

Step 1: Name 1-3 pain points for which you’d like to find solutions.

Lara: Keep it simple. If you and I were walking together right now and I asked you, “What’s bugging you?” What would you say?

Ari: Lack of quality sleep, lack of energy, feeling weak, chronic pain (like Lara experienced!), being out of breath when you walk up the stairs, or a lack of motivation or stress resilience?

Lara: This might be the hardest thing you do on this journey. Writing down what’s been holding you back is often painful. It means seeing and facing it, which can bring some grief or emotion. Don’t be hard on yourself. Guilt, be gone!

Ari: Write down what’s bugging you, and then take a small step forward before you get overwhelmed about starting. One step forward gets the momentum going. You don’t need a plan for all your health issues to get started. My pain points were taking chronic medication that interfered with my gut health, dealing with elevated blood pressure, feeling worn out after work, and feeling distressed about physical changes associated with aging.

Lara: Taking just one step forward each time I identified a pain point helped me break through barriers on this journey. Act like the kind of person you want to be. Do the types of things they do. I was acting like a chronically ill person for a long time, which was understandable, but I got stuck there, and it perpetuated itself. As I shared in Part 1, there was a long period where I lost hope. Once I named the kind of person I wanted to be—strong, able to play with my kids, living a slower, faithful life, committed to the long game with my health—my actions changed.

What kind of person do you want to be? What matters to you in the big picture? What doesn’t? The answers to these questions will give you the oomph to begin something new, especially something that may take time and effort. Then, act like it right away with a micro-step! Send the email, make the call, make one of the swaps we’ll suggest below, read one of the articles we share that interests you, take a quick walk right now, take a single breath, or share a comment here for accountability—just do the thing. That first step will help you take the next. You will make little-by-little progress over time, and it will get you somewhere. You wouldn’t be reading this post if you didn’t have some fire to see this through. We’ll be here to cheer you on!

Ari: Now, what if you’re experiencing health symptoms, but you don’t know what the root cause is? Your pain point might be that you need to get some answers. In that case, testing can be a valuable tool. Our bodies are unique, and they have different functional needs. Your body may need nutrients that it is not getting–this can be determined with the proper tests and a medical professional to interpret the results.

Lara: Yes! My biggest problem, initially, was not knowing the root cause of my joint pain and inflammation. I didn’t know how to heal it because I had no idea what “it” was. It took several tests and labs, but now I know hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) is the root cause.

Ari: In the next post, we’ll dig into testing—and all the specific tests we’ve done (it’s a lot, and some were more helpful than others). So, if that’s you and you need more answers, hang in there and stay tuned.

Step 2: With your pain points named, what does solving them look like? These are your goals. (I’ve heard a few things about setting goals from my wife over the years…)

My goals were stop my medications, get my blood pressure under control, have more energy throughout the day, and adopt new habits to slow the aging process. My big picture is all about being fit enough (in mind and body) to enjoy active time with my family for as long as possible. I also enjoy strength training and aerobic exercise and would like to continue these activities as I grow older.

Lara: Write down your specific goal(s). Take a note on your phone, a napkin, on the back of an envelope—anywhere. (I once started a business by writing down the goal on a sick bag on an airplane!) Get it in writing somewhere just for you. You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. I spent most of my career studying this and seeing its effects. Friends, there is power in handwriting. It works. For this reason, I can’t recommend PowerSheets enough. Get yourself a copy of Atomic Habits and a set of brand-new PowerSheets—an effective combo for real habit change.

You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

Ari: What are your specific goals? Pick 1-3. Maybe your goal is to no longer take medication for an illness, like me, or to have enough energy to play with your kids after work—also like me. Or, as for Lara, to reduce chronic pain.

Lara: With a root cause in hand (hEDS), I now had a clear goal to tackle my problem: build as much stabilizing muscle as possible! Clarity leads to action. I shifted all my efforts to reduce inflammation and build muscle. This means eating a ton of protein daily, doubling the calories I was eating before, and focusing on solid form in the gym and physical therapy so I don’t hurt myself along the way. It has worked! Having a clear goal gave me focus, which produced focused results. The alternative is spreading yourself thin trying to fix many things that might not be the right things, and that’s not very fun.

Our full garage gym transformation reveal is coming soon!

Your Health Foundation

Ari: You’ve written down your pain points and have a few goals. Great! Now let’s look at obstacles that may stand in your way.

As you now know from our story, we were tired of being tired and so over taking chronic medication. Our bodies were pretty fatigued, though, and we were both worried we’d do more harm than good to our systems by making such big changes all at once. We needed to give ourselves the best chance at healing by reducing toxins.

Step 3: Reduce toxins with some simple and impactful swaps.

In our current world, there are things we take into our bodies every day that we don’t even think about because we either can’t see them with our eyes or we pass them off as inconsequential:

Pollution in our air
Contaminants in our water
Chemicals in our food
Toxins in household products
Emotional stress
Overstimulation from electronic media
Artificial light

Environmental toxins interfere with glucose and cholesterol metabolism and induce insulin resistance and obesity through multiple mechanisms, including inflammation, oxidative stress, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial injury, altered thyroid metabolism, immune system overload, and impaired central appetite regulation. Dude…

Lara: Looking into the world of toxins was an eye-opener to me. I used what I thought were healthy products in our home, and some things I used out of habit. I never researched what things like dryer sheets, household cleaners, fragrance-filled soaps, and clothing fabrics did to our bodies.

Ari: Although our world has made tons of advances over the last several hundred years, this has come at a price–toxins! While we’ll never be able to avoid all toxin exposure, there are ways to reduce it and help our bodies function better. It doesn’t matter how much you exercise or what supplements you take if you’re constantly ingesting things that work against you.

Lara: This can feel overwhelming at first—there’s so much to consider, and we’ve given you a lot of ideas below. But, perhaps there’s a fun mind shift here for you. Instead of looking at reducing toxin exposure as burdensome, think of the good ahead! 🙂 There is so much opportunity for positive change in your health—so many ways to feel better with micro-adjustments. The small things really are the big things.

When I started this functional medicine journey, I was encouraged by wise friends to get good at one habit or swap at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed trying to do it all at once. Once you get going, it’s fun to swap things out and feel the difference. I’m excited to hear what you think and a littttttle geeky about this stuff now. Don’t get me started talking about how much I love our wool dryer balls.

Ari: Life change can happen when you take it one day at a time (like flossing :)). Give your brain time to rewire and settle into new habits that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Toxins, You’re Outta Here!

Lara: Our whole journey, as you remember in Part 1, was fueled primarily by Sarah’s Autism. She experienced debilitating anxiety, an inability to sleep, gut issues, and episodes at home and school. Our functional medicine practitioner recommended the following:

—Clean your water
—Clean your air
—Get a Squatty Potty
—Optimize her diet for healing
—Remove sleep barriers
—Remove toxins from the house
—Make healthy sleep routines happen
—Help her process her emotions (everything is connected!)

These things changed our family’s health faster than we imagined. We’ll focus on Air, Water, Home Products, and Beauty today—with a few extra ideas to get you started below, too!

Let’s make some less-toxic swaps, shall we?

Ari: We are constantly bombarded by various claims made about our health from numerous sources. My advice is not to believe everything you read. As a physician, I am constantly looking up the latest research to shape my medical practice and lifestyle choices. I recommend you do the same! We’ve included some references that support the claims we are making about toxins. I encourage you to be skeptical and to review them.

Air

The challenge: Breathing dirty air affects our immune function and our body’s healing ability. ​​

— Reductions in air pollution can have immediate health benefits, such as improved children’s lung growth and longer adult life expectancy.
— Scientific studies have shown that pollutants within the house can be absorbed into children’s brains and affect development.
— In adults, ambient pollution is associated with stroke and depression and interferes with brain and immune function.
— Household air pollutants can cause high blood pressure.
— Here’s what poor air does to the body and what to do about it.

The solution: Reduce your exposure to damaging particles in the air.

How? Give one of these a try:
— Open doors or windows when you’re cooking—and whenever you can to let fresh air circulate.
— Consider an in-house air filtration system. Call the Doctor. 🙂 This photo above is from yesterday – what our AirDoctor took out of the air in the kids’ room. Crazy!
— Depending on where you live, sleep with windows open or cracked for good air circulation.
— Use good ventilation with candles, fire, or open-gas cooking.
— Take your shoes off and leave them out of the house—lots of yucky things hitch a ride on shoes and get into your indoor air. We found the cutest “Please Remove Your Shoes” sign for our front door and garage gym. (I ordered it in English Sky with gold letters!).
— Opt for natural beeswax candles—we’ve even made them with the kids using these kits as a fun, easy project!
— Use the right cooking oils.
— Vacuum regularly. Here’s our HEPA favorite at a good price.
— Exercise away from busy streets where there is excessive car exhaust.
— Get your house checked for mold.
— Perhaps the most impactful daily change we’ve made to help us breathe better (and it’s simple and free!): learn the power of nose breathing. We get 25% more oxygen by breathing in through the nose, and we filter the air more effectively than mouth breathing. This is a game changer for health, sleep, and stress reduction.
— Do your own research and remember: there’s no way to eliminate all exposure to air contaminants, but you can intentionally reduce them by significant levels. There are so many more things you can do and swap for cleaner air. We’d love to hear your ideas, too!

Ari: Mold, bacteria, pollen, dust, smoke, pet dander—we breathe all of this in daily. However, by filtering our indoor air, we can reduce these contaminants significantly.

Lara: I sleep better with cleaner air. We’ve spent a few nights away from our house, and I always wake up with a stuffed-up nose from wherever dust or particles are in the room. I told Ari that I am 100% bringing an AirDoctor with us when we travel from now on—it’s worth being the crazy person bringing an air filter to the AirBnB in order to have a great night’s sleep!

When we had a flood in our house, I was super-concerned about mold and VOCs from the repairs. The AirDoctor went to town and removed so much of what would have gone into our bodies. We feel more confident that our kids are benefitting from cleaner air. When we have all the doors closed and cook with hot oils, our AirDoctor senses the extra particles in the air and revs up to remove them. We have a small cat; her fine hairs would make my nose so itchy. Not anymore—I canceled our auto-ship on tissues. This also helps with nose breathing. In all of my strength training workouts, nose breathing helps produce more nitrous oxide, which means more energy for my lifts. Everything is connected, and one good change can lead to another.

Getting our water officially tested. The kids loved it!

Water

The Challenge: The majority of household water comes from contaminated sources. Just run a water report for your zip code and see what’s in there. Our water is full of environmental contaminants we don’t want in our bodies.

— The body is made of 60% water. It is the source of life for our cells and protection for our brain and spinal cord, and it metabolizes and transports carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food.
— Our liver, kidneys, digestive tract, lymphatic system, respiratory system, and skin make up our detoxification pathway. They work around the clock to flush out toxins. Your water quality can help them or give your body more contaminants to detox.
— Most water surveys show that tap water contains high levels of PFAS (<- read that last paragraph), pesticides, microbes, plastics, metals, chlorine, fluoride, and other unwanted contaminants. Our water report from where we live shows that our tap water has fluorine, copper, lead, chlorine, and other organic carbon compounds.

The solution: Filter your water.

How? Try one of these:

Here are a few high, middle, and lower-investment ideas:

  • High: A whole-house water filtration system.
  • Middle: A countertop or under-sink reverse osmosis water filter.
  • Lower: Buy glass-bottled filtered water. Water in plastic bottles contains phthalates or bisphenol A, which are toxic petrochemicals. Basically, avoid drinking from plastic bottles altogether if you can. Mineral water bottled in quality glass is best. This adds up, though, over time. You might consider the middle option for long-term health.

— Common and inexpensive filters are available, such as carbon filters like the ones Brita makes, but they remove very little. Reverse osmosis filters remove over 500x the microns that carbon filters will remove. Reverse osmosis filtering puts the water through a multi-step process to remove these microbes, pesticides, metals, and other toxins. Distilled water has also been recommended to us for drinking.
— If you filter your water, you can add back trace minerals.
— If you have a countertop filter, put that clean water into your ice trays. There’s nothing like a glass of filtered water with chlorine/metal/contaminate-filled ice cubes. Here are our favorite ice trays.
— We’ll talk about this much more in our post on Nutrition, but a staple in our daily water consumption now is Real Salt. Allow the clean water to easily absorb into your cells with a pinch of real salt for electrolytes first thing in the morning (or for a little more flavor and minerals, try our daily favorite, Redmond ReLyte—it’s made with Real Salt).
— Here’s a podcast rec from Andrew Huberman on how to optimize water quality and intake for health.
— Do your part for water safety and dispose of paint, chemicals, and medications correctly.
— Consider donating to Charity Water or similar organizations to help others, too.

Ari: We did none of these things at the beginning of this year. We started with an AquaTru countertop unit, which has been a positive upgrade for our health and well-being. We are adding whole-house filtration soon. Our AquaTru will still be our drinking water filter, and the whole house system will give us cleaner water for showers and daily-use water.

Lara: The gentleman from the water filtration company tested our water yesterday (pictured above). It was incredibly insightful! He showed us these ppm (parts per million – see the colorful chart here) readings: the left is our tap water, and the right is our AquaTru water. From 139 to 3.7! He was super impressed with our AquaTru.

Household Products

The Challenge: Traditional household products like scented candles, cleaners, air fresheners, detergents, and mothballs release toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air and are readily absorbed through our largest organ: our skin.

— VOCs in cleaning products (even many “green” ones!) affect the quality of air both indoors and outdoors. But they contaminate indoor air two to five times more than outdoor air, with some estimates putting it as high as ten times more. Some products emit VOCs for days, weeks, or even months.

The solution: Swap household products for less-toxic options.

How? Try one of these:
— Get the Environmental Working Group’s free guide to healthy household cleaning.
— We’ll cover more about kitchen items in our next post on Testing and Nutrition, but here are a few healthier swaps to get you started. Trade your Teflon-coated pans for cast iron or safe ceramic, your plastic cooking utensils for non-toxic teak wood Spurtles and your plastic cups and dishes for clean glass. We swapped out our old Teflon cookware set for a few select Our Place, Lodge, and Caraway pieces. I did a ton of research on this, and these swaps have been a game-changer. First of all, we have far less cookware now. You don’t need as many when you have just a few good pots and pans. I am cooking far more than I used to, and these non-stick surfaces make it easier and more fun. I rarely need to oil pans, and they clean like a dream. While the care instructions took some getting used to, this has been one of the best investments in our health. I can’t say enough about how much I love cooking on our cookware and with non-toxic dishes and utensils!
— We swapped our metal and plastic spatulas for non-toxic teak wood Spurtles. Friends, where have these been all my life?! They make cooking more ergonomic for my hands and more fun for everyone. Also, they are so beautiful we put them in a container on our kitchen counter for easy access.
— Toilet paper, oh, toilet paper! It’s a major source of toxic forever chemicals in water and it’s often made white with bleach. Swap for sustainable bamboo.
— We have these sustainable salt and pepper mills.
— We recycled our plastic colander (that was likely melting every time we put hot pasta through it—yikes) for a well-designed metal colander.
— Simple things like dryer sheets cost a ton of money over time and add chemicals to your clothes and air. Check out the infographic here. Try sustainable organic wool dryer balls instead. This was an easy swap for me, and I’ve never looked back. They cut drying time, and we love adding essential oils to them. A couple drops of eucalyptus and lavender oil on them make our laundry smell like a spa!
— We use a mix of vinegar, water, and essential oils for cleaning now. It’s cheap, and it works. We also love Aunt Fannie’s.
— Trade your plastic dish brushes for bamboo or another natural material. I just ordered these.
— Switch your laundry detergent for a less-toxic version like Molly’s Suds. We use the unscented powder, and it works well.
— We’re scratching the clean home surface here, so be sure to look at other things like furniture, rugs, synthetic clothing, and paint. They can bring VOCs into your home and body, too. I recently placed my first order with a sustainable, organic clothing brand and will report back soon. I’m also on the lookout for an Avocado mattress sale in November!
— Check your library for a copy of Home Detox by Daniella Chase and A Healthier Home by Shawna Holman. I got a copy of these this week and love what I’ve read so far—excellent summaries of basic how-to’s for reducing toxins in your home with more details than we have room for here.
— This is a great post with more swap ideas.

My favorites!

Clean Beauty + Personal Care

The Challenge: Traditional personal care products are laden with harmful chemicals.

— It has been estimated that 70% of personal care and makeup products are contaminated with harmful impurities like lead, mercury, and formaldehyde. Here’s a comprehensive list with risks that we found helpful.
Phthalates in beauty products pose significant risks, including cancer, human reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, birth defects, and respiratory problems.

The Solution: Use clean products. Your skin is your largest organ and one of the body’s detox pathways—love it well.

How? Try one of these:
— Search your beauty products, lotions, and personal care items on EWG’s Skin Deep database.
— I’ve been a long-time fan of One Love Organics for all of these reasons. I LOVE this small business and their extraordinary skincare line. (I have something fun below for you from them!) My daily skincare routine includes Easy Does It Cleanser, Botanical Bio Retinol (super gentle on my sensitive skin), and the Botanical A Facial Cleanser. I faithfully make a purchase from them on Black Friday each year: the family size of Easy Does It. Grace and Ari love it now, too!
— Fluoride in our water and toothpaste can cause a whole host of health problems. This is one of those things that large companies pay a lot of money to tell you otherwise. Consider the switch to fluoride-free products and ask your dentist to hold off on using it when you visit. We use David’s toothpaste.
— Find more of our favorite Beauty and Personal Care finds organized here.
— We’re scratching the surface here, but we hope this gets your wheels turning! Bottom-line: read your labels, do your research, and make swaps where you can. We’d love to hear your swaps and what’s worked for you, too.

A Word on Detoxing

Ari: We’ve talked about the products we use to reduce toxin exposure, but what about helping toxins to come out of our bodies? This happens naturally through our kidneys, liver, and gut. However, the best way we can actively promote detoxification is by sweating! When we sweat, a lot of the bad stuff in our blood moves into our sweat glands and ends up on our skin. So, sweat more! Obviously, this can be accomplished through exercise, but regular time in a sauna or steam room is probably the most efficient way to get your sweat on.

Lara: I can’t help but think of Richard Simmons—sweat it out, friends!

Stress ‘n Stuff

Ari: To give our bodies the best chance at healing, Lara and I also needed to detox our lives of stress where possible. We started with our schedules and named the pain points that were keeping us from real rest:

We said no to weekend sports this year
We chilled out on after-school activities
We unscheduled our Saturdays to have time for an actual Sabbath
We started going to bed at… well, I’ll wait for our upcoming post on sleep.

Lara: After my Dad passed away last year, something clicked in me about stuff. Have you ever heard of Swedish death cleaning? After a loved one dies, you see the value of things and what lasts. More stuff = more to manage, less stuff = less to manage and less stress. I came home after Dad‘s funeral and started a year of clearing things out. When we had construction from a flood in our house and renovations in the spring, I could’ve kissed our dumpster it was so helpful. Less stuff, less stress. These two books got me thinking and encouraged me to let things go for the big picture: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande and The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson. (Also… I’ve been considering getting some friends together to do a year-long toxin-swap and declutter party—one room or area per month in 2024. If this interests you, let me know!)

Celebrate all the Tiny Victories

Lara: We hope this post gets your wheels turning on laying a solid health foundation to achieve your specific goals. Even if you make just one of these changes, it could bring a whole lot of good to your life. Where do you start with all of this? Where all good things begin: with what matters.

Ari: Share your answers to these as a comment here or write them for yourself:
—What are your health and wellness pain points?
—What are your goals to solve those pain points?
—What matters to you in the big picture? What doesn’t?
—What swaps interest you to reduce toxins?

Lara: If you need a boost of motivation, there’s nothing more motivating than tiny wins. You probably have one small action step you want to try from reading this post. What is it for you? Give it a whirl! Start with something small, and feel the positive change; it will give you more energy for the following change.

For example, I love feeling the strength of my muscles now. I did not always feel that way, though. Far from it! Just ask Ari. For most of the months in this year, I felt exceedingly weak, but I did see incremental change, even while feeling weak. By tracking my progress lifting weights, for instance, I could see my muscles gradually getting stronger. Eventually I felt strong, but it took celebrating little wins along the way to keep me going to that point. Celebrate all the tiny victories, and let them propel you forward to more!

And now, for a little surprise I’ve been cooking up… drumroll… 🎉

A Fit Together Healthy Home Giveaway

We’re thrilled to partner with these amazing companies we love to give away some of our absolute favorite products that have helped us on this journey! You guys, we wish we could have won our own giveaway a few months ago! 🙂

ENTER TO WIN!
—An AirDoctor of your choice
—An AquaTru countertop unit
—A collection of my favorite clean beauty products from One Love Organics
—A Lodge Dutch Oven
—And our favorite wool dryer balls!
—Beautiful soaps from RH Soap Co.
—A copy of A Healthier Home

There will be a separate winner for each item, so there are many chances to win. US entrants only.

⭐️ UPDATED: WINNERS! Congrats to Sarah Null, Heather McCormic, Emily DeArdo, Lashawn G, Julie Roberts, Gayle Vehar, and Lara Sadowski! Friends, please leave another comment on this post with your prize of choice (this way you can see what’s already been claimed!), and I’ll get your item sent to you. Didn’t win this time? Hint, hint: there will be another amazing giveaway with the next post in our series! 🎉

YOUR TURN! We hope something in this post or our story encouraged you! What’s bugging you most in your health? What goals do you have? What matters to you? Any toxin swaps you’re going to try—or favorites you’ve done yourself? We’d love to hear!

P.S. Up next in our Fit Together series? Testing and Nutrition! Join my new email list to be the first to know when new posts are live.

147 Comments

  1. Jodi on October 18, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Lara & Ari – I am so excited for this series! Thank you for sharing your health journey with us, the tips you have given so far are so very helpful. What’s bugging me is being tired all.the.time. I’ve had enough so I am going to write down some goals and solutions to this huge pain point! Looking forward to the next installment! 💕

    • Lara on October 18, 2023 at 7:16 pm

      We’re so grateful you’re here, Jodi! We know how your pain point feels. Much more to come and we’re happy you’re here with us!

      • Bryn Ghio on October 18, 2023 at 7:58 pm

        Excited to continue reading and learning from your journey!

        • Jenifer Metzger on October 19, 2023 at 2:51 pm

          Wow, what a generous giveaway! We’ve been working in eliminating toxins in our home, household products, and beauty products. I desperately want an air purifier!

  2. Emily D. on October 18, 2023 at 7:41 pm

    PART TWO! Yay!!!!
    I have always used dryer balls in my dryer and I love them! I’ve also started using the Equip collagen powder and oh my gosh, it totally tastes like chocolate milk or hot chocolate–I love drinking it every night! My joints and tendons have been affected by necessary antibiotics and cystic fibrosis related arthritis (yes, that’s a thing) and I was wondering how to fix the increasing pain I was feeling. I’ve only been taking it for about a week but I love how it tastes and I hope it will lead to either increased healing or at least stopping the deterioration in my tendons and joints!
    Post-transplant we’ve always been advised to drink bottled (ie, non-tap) water, and that’s generally what I o, but lately I’ve been thinking about filtering my water for my tea and coffee. I have a Britta filter right now but I’ll be working to save up for a better model.
    I’m also TOTALLY saving up for an air doctor–that’s something that definitely has to happen around here!
    Love the beauty advice as well, I will be checking out your products!

  3. Jessica on October 18, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    I love hearing your progress! This is just what I needed. Thank you for the step by step and encouragement!

  4. Jody on October 18, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    I’ve been chipping away at significant health challenges for a few years. Although product recommendations are helpful, I’m really grateful for the goal coaching at the beginning of this post (name three things, start with one small thing, etc.). The suggestions really helped me visualize some next steps. I also appreciate the vulnerability of sharing your personal challenges in a way that is both encouraging and realistic. You’ve obviously put a lot of effort into the creation of this series – thank you.

  5. Rachel on October 18, 2023 at 8:57 pm

    Thankful for your faithfulness and the good health you are enjoying. You are inspiring me to take steps to better support my family’s health!

  6. Theresa on October 18, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    Love love love!! I started my own clean health journey a few years ago. I love Beautycounter products and use them for all my skincare and makeup needs. I changed my diet to be mostly anti inflammatory. More organic veggies and grass fed meats. We already had a reverse osmosis filter available in 2 faucets plus ice. I use wool dryer balls and also a ECCO laundry egg. I love force of nature for my cleaning. I use just ingredients protein powder, toothpaste , mouthwash , lotion and dry shampoo. I have all clad pots which I love and just bought caraway food storage containers. More to go! But I’m still making progress and interested to read all your changes. Thanks!! You are the best!!! ❤️

  7. Beth on October 18, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing your wellness journey with us. It is so inspirational and encouraging!! I have been on a health/ wellness journey since last August and it has been life changing for me as well. I love learning from you and all that you have experienced. I have just recently begun trying to reduce the toxins in our home and have been making small changes as I can. I often get overwhelmed and wish I could change everything all at once, so thank you for the reminder that it’s ok to make small steps over time. Thank you for all that you are doing to help others! 🩵

  8. Lindsey on October 19, 2023 at 6:30 am

    Love this! We’ve made many of these changes in our home over the last few years as well!

  9. Jocelyn on October 19, 2023 at 7:04 am

    Love following along on your journey. It’s been a few years since I’ve used EWG and swapped things out, so thank you for that reminder!

  10. Leslie on October 19, 2023 at 7:14 am

    I am so excited to follow this journey and implement the changes in my own life! I’m also very interested in joining you for your 2024 challenge to declutter and detoxify ❤️

  11. Amy Stoks on October 19, 2023 at 7:24 am

    I love this whole series and have been eagerly awaiting the second post and can’t wait for more!!! Your health adventure is inspiring and I’m taking all the tips and pointers.

    I would love to do a monthly reduce your toxic load/declutter challenge! What a fabulous idea.

    Big love to all of you 🩷🩷🩷

    Thanks for always inspiring me!

    Oh and I’d love to enter the giveaway too…so generous!

  12. Brooke on October 19, 2023 at 8:03 am

    Lara, this is so inspiring! The picture of the AirDoctor filter…wow. Random, but I’ve always been so puzzled by dryer sheets…My mom didn’t use them when I was growing up (probably because she is very sensitive to scents), so I’ve never bought them! What is their purpose? Haha such a silly question. I’d love to hear about the 2024 declutter and detoxify challenge!

  13. Emily W on October 19, 2023 at 8:36 am

    I love following along on your journey, and am so exited to read about these changes your e made and how they’ve helped! What a wonderful giveaway, to help others follow your lead. Someone is going to be very blessed… and selfishly I hope it’s me! 😁

  14. Chelsey on October 19, 2023 at 8:36 am

    This has been such an interesting series! We have made a good portion of these swaps but I have loved hearing about the others. Can’t wait for part 3!

  15. Shanna on October 19, 2023 at 8:49 am

    As someone who is totally on this bandwagon, I love this series. Also appreciate the humility it takes to reconsider and be open to change. You guys seem like a wonderful team, love following you and these posts!

  16. Alyssa on October 19, 2023 at 9:03 am

    Love having all this info in one place.

  17. Heather on October 19, 2023 at 9:09 am

    I am so excited to follow along as we are expecting our first child in 2024! I have year-round allergies so having better swaps for indoor air quality is a must anyways, and knowing that we are bringing a precious new person into the picture makes me want to provide a safe and nurturing environment in the home while loving our planet. Thank you for sharing all of this great information in one place!

  18. Katy on October 19, 2023 at 9:25 am

    Wow. So many ideas and resources. Thanks so much for sharing your journey.

  19. Ashleigh Ashleigh on October 19, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Thank you for taking us on this journey! I am currently working on ‘why do I have so many skin problems’ and ‘having more energy to better interact with my kids’. This post could not have been more timely. I have been putting off water testing/purification because we rent & are a military family, so lots of moving. Thank you for sharing things that we can do that can move with us! I am looking forward to Part 3, while making those first tiny steps.

  20. Jos on October 19, 2023 at 9:41 am

    Thank you for this wealth of info! All points are things I’ve heard to reduce toxins in but a little lost on how to start. Will check it out!

  21. Kristen S on October 19, 2023 at 10:28 am

    Thank you for writing this series! You have motivated me in so many ways and I am already starting to see improvements. Love following along and can’t wait for the next post.

  22. Faith on October 19, 2023 at 10:40 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience and such valuable resources!! Making big changes is so overwhelming, especially when you’re already chronically ill, but clearly worth it. Please keep up this series! It’s definitely making an impact.

  23. Julia on October 19, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Thanks for sharing! Appreciate your insights, as always. ♥️

  24. Annie on October 19, 2023 at 10:59 am

    I’ve loved following along on these posts! It’s incredible what these changes can do for our internal and external health. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  25. Jen on October 19, 2023 at 11:25 am

    Thank you for sharing the steps you took to make changes. I am working on writing down my pain points/goals this morning. Please keep sharing more! It helps watching someone else’s journey.

  26. Emily C on October 19, 2023 at 11:52 am

    I’ve so enjoyed following your journey, and have loved using powersheets as well!! Thank you for all the wealth of information you have shared on these posts! I’m excited to try some of these things. And what a fun giveaway!

  27. Jen on October 19, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    It’s so true, little by little these non-toxic health choices add up! I’ve been making healthy swaps for the last decade and it’s so fun to follow this journey of yours now, Lara! I love the little reminders of the things I’m doing well and then I love to hear of new things that I can start to focus on – I think the next big thing for me is focusing on air quality!!

  28. Gayle on October 19, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    I have loved reading about your health journey. I have recently started one of my own. These suggestions are so wonderful and seem pretty simple to implement. I’ve been trying to reduce toxins this year but I really didn’t think about the air too much. I am thinking about it now! Thank you!

  29. Laura Kliewer on October 19, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Thank you! This was so helpful!

  30. Julie Roberts on October 19, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Such a great and well-written post. I really liked the action steps you added! I’ve been working on a less toxic home as well. I have compiled a list of clean products I love so that I can just reorder as needed. The decision fatigue from finding the “perfect” product was too much for me. I would spend hours trying to find the best shampoo or face wash.

    My pain points are: interrupted sleep, energy level, mood/blues, sensitive back, and, starting lately, balance loss. My goals would be: to get restful rejuvenating sleep leading to increased energy, less depression, and more joy in life. 2) to be consistent in getting exercise which will lead to more energy and better sleep.

    Thank you for helping me to write these down and flesh them out, which I plan to do more of.

    Your suggestions for cleaner and less toxic items were also very helpful and I will look more into them.

  31. Christine E. Garrison on October 19, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    I so appreciate you sharing your health journey with us! I’ve made small changes over the years (fellow wool dryer ball fan over here!) but this series is encouraging me to dive deeper into our overall wellness as a family. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual health are all so intertwined. Your gentle nudges towards making those little by little changes are exactly what I need at this moment.

  32. Emily H on October 19, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    I am obsessed with wool dryer balls, Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner, and most recently acupuncture!! I am going through IVF treatment and I have a newsletter called Good Egg documenting my journey (https://emilyhoward.substack.com/) and will definitely be sharing my toxin swaps and favorite clean living products!

  33. Carrie on October 19, 2023 at 3:58 pm

    Such good stuff! I lost my mom almost a year ago after fighting cancer for almost 10 years on and off! We had to sort through her entire house with our 4 young homeschooled kids 600 miles away from our house! 😣 Is such great motivation to get our own stuff and health in order! Still reeling from it all some, but as we head to the one year milestone I see just how far we all have come! Excited to hear more about your transformation! Any curly hair advice for someone allergic to coconut, which is in a lot of glycerin used in healthier options?

  34. Katie on October 19, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    I’ve started the journey of ditching toxins in my home, but found your post and recommendations to be SO helpful! Making swaps can feel overwhelming, but you and Ari have made it seem very approachable! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  35. Steph Black on October 19, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    I appreciate you sharing your own health journey and thoughts about how to weigh toxins and a family. We began slowly become toxic free with our household cleaners and self care items a few years ago, but takes a lot of time, money, and energy to research. I’m interested to read more about what you’re learning and deciding to implement with your own family!

  36. Erin on October 19, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    This was packed with so much to chew on!! I’ve always been a fanatic about our water quality, but we recently moved to a new state and much closer to a busy street and I’ve noticed such a change in the gunk in our air in the house and the increased dust! I’ve started the preliminary research on air filters and I’ll certainly be using this post as source! Thank you for being so generous in sharing what you’re learning!

  37. Meghan on October 19, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    I’m LOVING this series! It’s so inspiring. My biggest change this year was also adding more protein to my diet. I would love tips and suggestions on how you’re doing this, as I’m not the type of person to randomly snack on lunch meat…that said, I have been loving Chomps! 🙂

    I hadn’t thought about air quality at all, so thank you for brining this up. I’m not on Instagram, but subscribed to all the newsletters and looking forward to some sale notifications!

    Can’t wait for the next installment of this series!

  38. Katelyn on October 19, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    I’ve been really trying to handle my stress better. To do that, I have focused on my breathing and taking walks outside. There is always going to be stress but it’s using the tools I know to handle it better.

  39. Angela C on October 19, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Really enjoying this series!

  40. Danielle D. on October 19, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    I’m loving this series, Lara & Ari! This is a journey that I’ve been on over the past 10+ years but I continue to learn more all the time and am continually tweaking and experimenting. It can feel so overwhelming at first when you start learning all of this information but it has been manageable for me to keep focusing on incremental progress. I got a couple Air Doctors during a great sale earlier this year and was especially happy to have them as we entered wildfire season in the West. I’d love to tackle water filtration next. 🙂 I look forward to continuing to read about your journey and get more great recommendations from you!

  41. Cara on October 19, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    So interesting! Especially the info about our shoes and what they bring into the house. I’m motivated to make some changes in our house!

  42. Lysandra on October 19, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you for continuing to share your health journey! It can be overwhelming at times, but I appreciate you both sharing all of the resources you’ve cultivated. 🙌🏽

  43. Sarah on October 19, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    This is awesome!! I have def swapped a lot of things including beauty products and cook ware+ utensils.. no candles. I’ve swapped my dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent…. It’s been a 10yr + adventure. Now starting shampoo next and need to do the air doctor and water! My challenge is to really deal with stress.

  44. Marisa Christian on October 19, 2023 at 8:07 pm

    This has been such a fun series to keep up with. I was excited to see your second post come to my email this morning. My husband and I have slowly been making quality changes for our family of 5 for the past couple years. It is hard to know what is truly a good swap and what is just advertised as a good swap. I appreciate the sources to do my own research to find what might work best for our family! Also–what a fun give away! Looking forward to your next blog post!

  45. Jessica Law on October 19, 2023 at 8:10 pm

    Encouraging to see bite size changes toward better living. I’ve really enjoyed this series. Thank you!

  46. Kimberly on October 19, 2023 at 8:21 pm

    Love this! Thanks so much for sharing all this info. I started on my health journey a few years ago but have a ways to go to swap out all the things in my household. Because of your info in Part 1, we got our son an air purifier for his room to help with all of his allergies. We’ve really seen a difference!

  47. Marie Heckard on October 19, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    What a wonderful giveaway! We are slowly making changes and it feels great to improve for your family. Thank you for sharing all the details!

  48. Chloe S. on October 19, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    I can get SO overwhelmed by all the things I want to address to live a healthier, less toxic life, so I love how you break it down into manageable steps!! I definitely need the reminder to pick a few pain points to focus on instead of attempting to change everything at once. So far this year I’ve swapped out my laundry detergent (love Molly’s suds!), learned how to make my own cleaners from Shawna Holman’s book, and started thinking about the fiber content when I am purchasing new clothes. I’m thinking I might focus on finding ways to move my body more and make more nourishing meals next. Looking forward to the rest of the series! 😁

  49. Eva on October 19, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    So excited to journey with you both. I have been swing a functional doctor for almost a year and have seen great results but still have awhile to go. About 2 1/2years ago I started having eczema ( never had it before) and severe gut discomfort issues! Hoping to learn some more tips from you to hopefully alleviate my symptoms.

  50. Julianne on October 19, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    Love seeing all these swaps. My mom was diagnosed with cancer 13 years ago. We did a deep dive on many of these things and her 3-6 month diagnosis changed to 4 years. She had a completely normal quality of life which was the most amazing part. This is inspiring me to continue to make conscious choices about what we use. It’s easy to get lazy over time. I need a new water filtration system! Looking into Aqua tru now!

  51. Anna on October 19, 2023 at 9:53 pm

    I’ve used EEG verified beauty products for years and have found some great brands: Beautycounter, Biossance, and Cleo and Coco.

    We’ve explored cleaner water and now I’m on the air filter market!! Thank you for sharing your journey and favorite products.

    My growth edge is thr stress reduction piece and saying yes to less. Doing less, having less—- making MORE space. 🙂

  52. Keri on October 19, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    Love this! I e made lots of swaps over the last 10 or so years, but I still need a good air purifier. We have a countertop water filter but would love to eventually get a whole house one. I’m excited to continue following your journey.

  53. Laura Arnold on October 19, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    You guys are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your journey!!

  54. Jess on October 19, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    So so so excited about this series. I’ve traveled a little ways down this road but am ready for tips for next steps!

  55. Hannah Y on October 19, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    First off, I’m so happy for you guys! Your health journey is inspiring and your joy radiates through the blog. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series. I love so many of the products you mentioned. Some of my other favorite non toxic products are: branch basics for cleaning (honestly can’t believe this wasn’t mentioned – the hype is real!!), Ilia mascara (white tube), primally pure deodorant (all their products are fantastic, but I have solely used their deo since 2019), anything and everything made by Just Ingredients. I really need to start purifying my water, but I loveeee my city’s tap water (Richfield, Minnesota – lots of other people are also obsessed). Anyways – thanks for the great resources and links! Can’t wait to learn more about the other aspects of your journey 🤍

  56. Leanna H on October 19, 2023 at 11:02 pm

    Loving these recommendations! I’ve made many of these swaps over the years and always looking for what to do next. Have you tried doing castor oil packs yet and if so, what has your experience been? I’ve been following Taylor Dukes for a while and she’s worked to shrink her brain tumor and doing alternative cancer treatments. She’s amazing! She’s created a line of supplements, salt and detox bath that are worth checking out! I also want to submit a plug for Branch Basics, I’ve been using for 7 years and it’s a concentrate that can be used for laundry, windows, soap, bathroom and more. And wool dryer balls are the best!

  57. Kallay on October 19, 2023 at 11:21 pm

    So many great suggestions for swaps! Thank you!! I’m always looking for new nontoxic things to try. And you have a truly inspiring story as well! 🥹

  58. Laura on October 20, 2023 at 12:01 am

    Wow, thank you for all the information you packed into this post, and the sharing of your journey. We too started a health journey in February, we hit our gut health first. Our next step is cleaning swaps and household that’s free of toxins…and clean air. Looking forward to following along and gleaning from the journey you are sharing. Blessings

  59. Katherine J on October 20, 2023 at 12:04 am

    It’s been so interesting reading about your journey! I’m going to be looking into swapping items- especially household cleaners and skincare. I’d love an air filter! I don’t know why I’ve never used one, given my breathing problems as it is, but there’s always time to start something new. Thanks for sharing!

  60. Allison on October 20, 2023 at 12:04 am

    I appreciate you sharing was has worked for you all and the results you’ve seen. You’re inspiring! Thank you!

  61. Rebecca Long on October 20, 2023 at 12:27 am

    So many wonderful thoughts put together in such an encouraging and non-fear-inducing way! Love your insight and research you’ve shared so willingly. And the products on the giveaway I’ve been eying for a while – so many great opportunities for spring boarding change!

  62. Mackenzie T on October 20, 2023 at 3:12 am

    So happy to hear how these changes have been serving your whole family!

  63. Erin on October 20, 2023 at 7:06 am

    Really loving this series! I’ve made some swaps and plan to make more! It feels somewhat overwhelming when I start thinking about all the areas I could or should change! My perfectionist tendencies come out swinging but I’m working to give myself grace and make the small changes. It doesn’t have to be done and perfect in a day. That’s not possible! Grace upon Grace!

  64. Crystal on October 20, 2023 at 7:27 am

    When I think about wellness I think about eating clean and moving more but I don’t give much thought to environmental toxins. This was eye-opening. Thank you for sharing!

  65. Brandi Reed on October 20, 2023 at 8:05 am

    This is so encouraging and helpful! Thanks for all the practical advice and steps. Writing it down is huge! And I love all the recommendations- especially the AirDoctor! 🙂

  66. Tracey on October 20, 2023 at 9:10 am

    Wow! So glad I started reading this series. Great information! Can’t wait to read more. And already have a list of a few things I can start to change!

  67. Jessica on October 20, 2023 at 9:38 am

    I have really enjoyed the two posts of this series so far and can’t wait for the coming posts, especially the nutrition one! I can’t believe that picture of the Air Doctor that you shared, I didn’t think I needed one but now I’m rethinking that. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity and for sharing all of the things that you’ve learned and done in this series 🙂

  68. Crystal on October 20, 2023 at 9:44 am

    I’ve been anxiously waiting for part 2. 🙂. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’ve switched out our laundry soap for an all natural healthy detergent, reduced the sugar in our family drastically, cooking almost all Whole Foods and hardly any processed, made getting intentional movement a daily priority as a family. I’m trying to make little steps. 🙂

  69. Missie Bourgeois on October 20, 2023 at 9:57 am

    This is such anGod thing. I have been dealing with some issues and most of what you are saying has been coming to me in so many areas. Would love to win a “kick start” on this journey. Thank you for sharing.

  70. Bianca on October 20, 2023 at 11:05 am

    Thank you Lara & Ari for this post, I have been trying to make easy swaps for a few years now, I defiantly think that it improves my quality of life. Especially since I am a type 1 diabetic with a compromised immune system.

  71. Lara on October 20, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    Lara and Ari, THANK YOU!! I was so excited to see and read the second installment of your Fit Together series, and it did not disappoint. I have several pain points, and writing them down was very cathartic and empowering! Mine are as follows: 1) My gut is completely out of whack (IBS-C, etc.); 2) I have Interstitial Cystitis and chronic UTIs, so my bladder/urinary system is inflamed; 3) Fatigue (from the aforementioned 2 pain points); and 4) Joint Pain. Upcoming SIBO test, and throw menopause in there, and my body is having all kinds of fun! 🙂 I’ve made progress in that I sought out a functional medical doctor and determined through testing I have Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, yeast overgrowth, and food sensitivities to several things including eggs (Ugh!), bananas, vanilla, carob, pineapple, and buckwheat. Trying to navigate how and what to eat has been a challenge over this last week, so I just made an appointment with a functional Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to make sense of all of this and to make a plan. I’m determined with the Lord’s help and guidance to be strong and healthy, to have more energy, to have a well-functioning digestive system and healthy bladder and urinary system. WOW – I did not mean to write my life story, but I am pumped to take small steps each day to be healthy. Thank you for all the great information and suggestions; excited to look at the AirDoctor!! And thanks for the sweet giveaway- it looks AMAZING!! Have a blessed weekend!

  72. Martha on October 20, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    This is so timely and helpful! Thanks for being so detailed and sharing this journey

  73. Jill on October 20, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    Chronic fatigue over here. And I so want to do some swaps for the cleaning products we use! And wow. Learned so much about the air & water quality! My wheels are turning.

  74. Katie on October 20, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    Chronic pain and fatigue sufferer from an autoimmune disease. So grateful for these swap ideas!

  75. Neely on October 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you for the motivation! It is a little overwhelming, but I am going to pick one thing and start there. Excited for the change!

  76. Natalie on October 20, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    I bought an air doctor after reading your last post, and I love it so much! Thanks for sharing your best tips and tricks!!

  77. Lou Ann Rudd on October 20, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing all of this helpful wellness info!

  78. Mackie on October 20, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting this post!! Thank you for sharing your journey & looking forward to the rest of it!

  79. Katie on October 20, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing your health journey! I am in the midst of my own journey, and reading your blog is another helpful resource as I research, learn, and try to help myself and my family!

  80. Jess H on October 20, 2023 at 10:48 pm

    Loving this series!

  81. Jan on October 21, 2023 at 2:05 am

    I’m so loving this series. I would absolutely love to do a year long toxin swap and declutter. I’ve never thought about writing down what’s wrong in order to find solutions. One thing I’m trying to start is journaling as a way to help deal with my anxiety.

  82. Joanna on October 21, 2023 at 8:47 am

    Thank you for sharing your journey!

  83. Anna Robertson on October 21, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Thank you for sharing all this! One huge take away is thinking about pain points writing them down and doing actions for who you want to be/how you want to live. I’ve been going through health stuff and I’m just starting with a functional medicine practitioner. But while reading this I realized I’ve been living like a sick person, rather than doing daily actions as I can of the person/life I want to be/have. I’m enjoying this series! Thank you!

  84. Stacey on October 21, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    Oh, friend! This post was exactly what I need. It seems like once Andrew and I hit 40 that all the health concerns surfaced. I appreciate the reminder to start with small changes that can make a difference for our family over time. I’m looking forward to future posts.

  85. Katherine on October 21, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    This series is so interesting, Lara! As a mid-life yet still-beginning runner, I struggle with the side effects of having my body let me down A LOT. But maybe there is hope for change! It’s challenging to think through all the things that could be affecting me that have literally nothing to do with actually running! Thanks much!

  86. Kayla on October 21, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    Loving this series, guys! I’m learning a ton and it’s all very encouraging. Thank you for these thoughtful posts!

    • Rachel on October 22, 2023 at 4:00 pm

      I am glad to hear a good report about the wool dryer balls. I have been hesitant probably because I have never known different. I swapped my laundry detergent last year and have noticed my husband’s skin issues are much better. I appreciate all of thr work you and Ari have put into these posts. They are filled with information I need.

  87. Alison on October 21, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    I’ve been inspired by your words for many years but there’s something very powerful about this combination of goal setting along with this set of health goals, which resonates with me very deeply. I’ve shared your story with my husband as well and he’s following along, too. We both deeply want some change in our lives. There’s so much to learn and there’s so much to try and there are so many voices. I appreciate you and your husband working together to not only tell your story, but break it down into manageable and helpful chunks of information. Thank you all for all your doing and the ways you’re sharing!

  88. Jana on October 21, 2023 at 10:05 pm

    I love reading about your journey. I’ve struggled with EBV, Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism for many years, but have slowly changed things for the better. An AquaTru countertop system is a dream of mine since I rent, and the water here in Az is disgusting.

  89. Nikki Esere on October 22, 2023 at 12:56 am

    Thank you Lara for sharing your journey! The details are very helpful. I’d love to win the giveaway of these amazing, healing products!

  90. Vicki on October 22, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Lara…thank you for such an extensive list of products and recommendations! I have an auto-immune and have made many of these changes already, but I’m always looking to make my environment better and healthier. Thank you for sharing! 🥰

  91. Christina on October 23, 2023 at 9:00 am

    Loving this series! One goal around our home are to make sustainable swaps that promote health and enable us to steward our resources well. In this season, that means small changes (like clean skincare and toiletries for the whole family, green cleaning supplies) and a larger purchase (air purifier) that maximize our health and keep our home running smoothly. We started with skincare and air care as we have family members with eczema and asthma, and then tackled cleaning supplies because we live rurally and are on a well and have a septic system (so we want to be mindful of what’s coming from and going back into the environment).
    We are saving up to purchase a second air purifier as it rotates between the kiddos’ rooms currently. The portability of the air doctor is such an attractive feature – I’m saving up so we can have it downstairs when cooking and then bring it upstairs as needed!

  92. Audrey Cushion on October 23, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Ari and Lara, thank you so much for sharing your health journey. I am dealing with some of the same issues that you had Lara and am excited to begin making some of the changes you listed (small steps). I look forward to reading your continued journey. It is very inspiring. Thank you again.

  93. Anne on October 23, 2023 at 11:03 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It is pushing me to make some much needed changes!

  94. Jordan on October 24, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    I love this series! I have been working on switching a lot of my products out to better my health as well! It’s very hard to do in Alabama but I’m hoping that will change. Your home gym is incredible!

  95. Katrina on October 24, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    This series has been such a JOY to follow along with! I got in a horrible car accident a year ago – I was hit by a semi 3 times and landed in a yard sign. By the grace of God, I walked away 100% fine when they told me I should have died. He protected me! Then I got engaged in May (the greatest gift!) and both of my sister’s got married this year. The combo of the traumatic accident, and ALL the life change – though huge blessings – sent my normally calm, joyful self into an anxiety spiral that I struggled through so hard for months.
    I’m grateful to be on the other side – and a huge part of it has been cleaning up my lifestyle!!!!! Really committing to drinking a lot of water, really committing to going on a walk EVERY day + working out, committing to lots of sleep and attending counseling for the first time in my life. Tossing the toxins and switching to Branch Basics for cleaning (love it) plus natural beauty products. It’s crazy how much all of this has impacted my life!!!!!
    Reading your posts are like “amen amen amen” and give me more ideas!!!!!

    It would be such a blessing to win anything in your giveaway as I continue to make lifestyle changes and prepare for marriage – the airdoctor and water system would be GAME CHANGERS!!!!!!! So fascinated by air purification!

    Thanks for this series Lara! And for sharing so generously. You are a gift to SO MANY.

  96. Latisha Rivera on October 24, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    wow you were not kidding when you said that writing down what is holding me back from my health journey is not easy. It feels like writing them down is like scaling a 1,000 foot cliff. But I know it a great starting point on my health journey. Also thanks for the tip on not running by busy streets because my father is an avid runner and can’t wait to share that too with him.

  97. Jessica on October 24, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you for writing these blogs! This information is so practical and helpful. Lots of great ideas to implement 🙂

  98. Allyson on October 24, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    I love this series so much! Our family started this process a few years ago and it’s done wonders for our health. It’s definitely a journey and can feel overwhelming at times but you guys did a great job breaking it down into bite sized pieces and making it easier for people to get started! Can’t wait for more from this series.

  99. Beth on October 24, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you for all the helpful recommendations- and I appreciate the exhortation for us to do our own research too. We have been able to implement a couple things already. I struggle with near-constant sinus troubles and I think the Air Doctor is the first thing I need to save up for!!

  100. Gail Boos on October 24, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    Ready to get back to putting me and my health at the front of the line. Everyone else has gotten all of me and I’ve forgotten how to take care of myself. I hope some of your tips help push me back on to the right path. ❤️

  101. Multifaceted Lorraine on October 24, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Lara and Ari,
    My FIRST tiny step is to enter your Giveaway because it’s also prompting me to search for answers within myself and to take some action!

    I usually pass on Giveaways because not only do I never win, but they usually benefit the organizers and not me. This one feels very different.

    I took notes and answered the question prompts from this post, right into my PowerSheets! I don’t usually use the month pages so I wrote my notes there 😄 This is my 8th year using PowerSheets and I can’t wait to start my 9th 😁

    While I’m not overweight, my biggest pain point is my weight. I want to achieve my ideal weight in a healthy way and to maintain it once I’ve reached it.

    I do believe that our physical health is deeply connected to our mental health and vice versa. I want to be overall healthy!

    Thank you for this new adventure and I’m excited to begin it together with you and Ari 💕

  102. Elizabeth Beatty on October 24, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey! My husband and I have begun a wellness journey, too. Our first three years of marriage threw us life challenges with stressful job situations and caring for aging parents. We let our health move to the back burner while trying to take care of life, and we’re fighting to get back to that place again where we’re moving our bodies, eating good foods, and resting our minds. You’re encouraging me to keep going, and I’m grateful!

  103. Emily Enockson on October 24, 2023 at 9:59 pm

    Lara,
    This has so many helpful hints! I’ve had so many bouts of sickness over the past few years and a functional medicine doctor and amazing Chiropractor have helped me work with my body to strengthen, heal, and thrive even in stressful times!

  104. Jessica Hwang on October 24, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    Lara!! I LOVE this series so much and can’t to watch the rest of your wellness journey unfold. I’ve been working through leaky gut and an autoimmune condition this year and it is so encouraging reading y’all’s journey. I love so many of the products you guys recommend! Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

  105. Christina on October 24, 2023 at 11:03 pm

    Wow! We have been on a never ending health journey for my son’s eczema and allergies with no results (except with steroids 😒). This post has provided so many other things for me to consider. There HAS to be something other than steroids that can help. It has also resparked my desire to find a functional med doctor for our family.

  106. Jill Cornell on October 24, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    So many great options out there! Thanks for sharing your journey!

  107. Meghan White on October 25, 2023 at 7:53 am

    Lara and Ari, thank you so much for sharing this health journey with us. My husband and I have also been going to a functional Medicine dr for years – it was the only way we discovered my husbands thyroid issue – because other dr kept swearing he was a”normal and healthy for his age and active lifestyle.” Since then I’ve also been trying to find ways to continue helping our family on our journey as I work to resolve issues with chronic anxiety, IBS, hormone related issues, etc. I look forward to reading more of your posts about healthier alternatives and swaps you have made along the way! Thank you for your transparency.

  108. Brittney on October 25, 2023 at 9:26 am

    Congratulations on your healthy journey! I actually have an Airdoctor on my Christmas list lol. I often get so overwhelmed and have gone through stages where I felt like I was poisoning my family if everything wasn’t organic or we weren’t using the cleanest products. God has brought me back down to earth and I know he is the ultimate healer. I have found much more balance and not driven by so much fear.

  109. Cate on October 25, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you so much for putting all of this together! I have PCOS and this post encouraged me to start considering functional medicine to help with that–particularly cleaning up our water! You also inspired me to reach out to my son’s pediatrician regarding his mouth breathing a night. He’s healthy but I know this is something we should consider helping with for his long term health!

  110. Kim on October 25, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you for breaking this down into such manageable steps! It actually seems doable one choice and change at a time.

  111. Erin on October 25, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    What a great giveaway! I’m enjoying reading the series so far and looking forward to the next post.

  112. Kathleen on October 26, 2023 at 5:57 am

    Little by little! This is so encouraging for me, thank you for sharing your journey. I have a young family and I’m always looking at how the things we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink impacts our way of life. Can’t wait to dig in personally and keep learning.

  113. Manda Rosser on October 27, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    Love all of this!! And someone who mentioned MTHFR-a real doctor who doesn’t rolls their eyes about it!! All of my family has the mutation and my boys have the double mutation-it affects so many things if it goes unknown. Thank you for validating so many things about my story as well!! The recommendations are great and I appreciate you sharing your journey!!

  114. Megan Costanzo on October 27, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this series! I’ve been feeling a nudge to make some of these changes and your super informative posts are making me feel ready at last!

  115. Sheila on October 27, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Writing down a goal and taking one step at a time is such good advice. Sometimes there is so much information out there that it gets so overwhelming with what to do first.
    Thank you for sharing your journey! It is so inspiring.

  116. Elizabeth on October 27, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    I probably shouldn’t write this comment while so emotional because I don’t want to sound too sappy. But I feel a little teary eyed reading this. It’s been a rough day for me with health issues and this year a withdrawal of resources has become a theme. I can’t say thank you enough for your willingness to show up here vulnerable with your story and generous with your knowledge and resources. Thank you!! I see so much hope in these posts to take back some control over our bodies and how it’s impacted by our everyday choices.

  117. Ginger on October 27, 2023 at 9:01 pm

    Wow! I’ve been on my own health journey and it can be tricky to know where to start. I love some of the simple swaps you shared. I would love to hear more about your work with a functional medicine doctor.

  118. Tarma on October 27, 2023 at 11:35 pm

    You are so inspiring!! Thank-you!!

  119. Natalie on October 27, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you so much for gathering all this information and sharing with us! I’m inspired to make some changes in our home to pursue better overall health!

  120. Andrea on October 28, 2023 at 12:47 am

    I loved reading about your journey. I’ve been slowly trying to add more and more non-toxic products to our home, be conscience of what I’m bringing in, caring for/fixing what we have and as a woman in perimenopause, looking at all the ways I csn be improving my health and quality of life.

  121. Clarissa on October 28, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    I’m eagerly waiting for the next blog! I’ve loved reading your journey. Our bodies are incredible and are so influenced by our environment. Thanks for compiling & sharing all of this! I’ve made some of the smaller switches, but want to make some of the bigger ones. Thanks for making a difference in the lives of others!

  122. Elizabeth Gallagher on October 29, 2023 at 7:53 am

    Wow! Such great things to think about. I’m thinking we will start with air and water. Now that I read it, my nose was way less stuffy when I was sleeping with the windows open in our early fall! Definitely overwhelming but somewhere I read little by little change adds up! Thanks for sharing.

  123. Amy on October 29, 2023 at 9:42 am

    Loving this new series and seeing how all your changes have impacted your lives! Looking forward to more!

  124. Megan Kurtz on October 29, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    I’m obsessed with this series and truly inspired and motivated! There are so many pain points I’m experiencing right now. It seemed to all happen as soon as I had my second baby at 35. Working through identifying and setting goals accordingly. Can’t wait for part 3!

  125. Nicole on October 30, 2023 at 11:08 pm

    I love this series and am so excited for the next post! One of the main things I’ve noticed is that my kids, husband, and I have been having more frequent (and longer lasting) illnesses. I’ve slowly been transitioning to healthier cleaning and beauty products, but I would love to have an air filter and water filter. We recently replaced flooring in our guest bath and found mildew, so the air purifier is probably the first thing we need to look into (my son has asthma and some other health issues).

    Thank you so much for all of this information. I think it will help a lot of people (already forwarded to my mom and a couple of friends)! I’m also so happy to hear you are all feeling better. ❤️

  126. Jennifer Teubl on October 30, 2023 at 11:38 pm

    Loving reading your health journey and excited to try some of these swaps. It definitely can feel overwhelming, but as you always say “little by little adds up.” 🙂

  127. Sarah on October 31, 2023 at 6:01 am

    Very interesting! I have a public health degree and am really interested in ways to reduce chemicals in food and improve nutrition, not just for my family’s health but for our community. That air filter picture was really something! I’m so curious what it would look like in my house now. What has happened to your food budget since implementing these changes?

  128. Janine R on October 31, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    I love everything in these last few posts. We’ve been on a very similar journey over the years as well. Excited to hear about your testing and more of the process in the coming blogs.

    I’ve started to feel achy during the night and morning. Feeling weak is also something I’m working to change.

  129. Sarah on October 31, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! I am learning more things about what is truly healthy for us and have also been on this journey as some family members have had cancer and my husband has an autoimmune disorder. There’s so many things to improve about our environment and the things that we bring into our home, but we are slowly working on making the switch with water and cleaner body products as finances allow.

  130. Emma on November 1, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    I’m so happy to see this series! I’ve been slowly working on my own health journey after seeing my parents struggle healthwise as they age. I feel like I have a lot of different pain points with health. I struggle to balance some of the information overload that sometimes conflicts. I struggle with how much it seems to cost just to try to be healthy. I guess the pain point I’m currently navigating is my monthly visitor. I’m trying to ease into eating and training with my cycle in the hopes that it’ll help my energy levels, skin, mood, etc.

  131. Krista on November 1, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    Yea! This is inspiring. Love the breakdown so things seem less daunting. That’s always my biggest challenge. I want to change my whole life right now!!! But like you said, that’s just overwhelming

  132. Lashawn on November 1, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    What an incredible intentional journey! I love this for you guys!! Right now, I am struggling with the air in our apartment! I know exactly when it’s time to change the filter because I have cough fits at night and I always am stuffy when I wake up if we haven’t dusted. This particular apartment community has extreme amounts of dust in the vents and I know it’s not the best for us at all! We switched to Bamboo toilet paper and we’ve never been happier. I have also swapped out my feminine hygiene products. Next, we’ll be working on how we clean and filter our tap water and swap out more cleaning products. We use a lot of natural cleaners now.

  133. Emily DeArdo on November 1, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Squee, I won! I’d love the AquaTrue unit!

    • Lara on November 1, 2023 at 6:55 pm

      You got it! 🎉 CONGRATS! I will email you this week to coordinate!

  134. Kelly T. on November 1, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Lara, I have loved reading about your family’s healing journey! Like you, I have hypermobile EDS! (Sidenote: I also relate to your grief journey, as I lost my Dad last year too.) My family has made similar swaps in our home, and I’ve made significant progress in my healing. One continued pain point is chronic headaches. Right now I am focusing on nutrient-dense foods, and I am considering adding a second Air Doctor to my home since dust is a major headache trigger for me. I look forward to reading more about your health story. May you and your family be blessed!

    • Lara on November 1, 2023 at 7:08 pm

      We have so much in common, Kelly. I am sending you love and prayers in your grief—and our shared hEDS! I’m grateful we’ve connected here. 🧡

  135. Julie Roberts on November 1, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    Woo hoo, thank you! I’m excited to be one of the winners. I’d seriously be happy with anything. 🙂

    • Julie Roberts on November 1, 2023 at 7:04 pm

      The Air Doctor would be my first choice followed by the lodge, if you really need me to pick. 😝

      • Lara on November 1, 2023 at 7:07 pm

        Congrats! Hooray! The AirDoctor it is! I’ll email you this week to get it to you! : )

        • Julie on November 1, 2023 at 8:16 pm

          Thank you so much, Lara. 😊

        • Heather McCormic on November 1, 2023 at 8:18 pm

          Sorry if this double posts – the website kicked me out! So exciting, thank you for this awesome giveaway! Sad I missed the Air Doctor but I’ll take you up on a One Love Set!

  136. Heather McCormic on November 2, 2023 at 11:36 am

    Hi there! I realized this posted as a reply to someone else’s comment last night! Would love the One Love set! Thanks again for the giveaway!

    • Lara on November 2, 2023 at 2:48 pm

      Wonderful, Heather! I’ll send you an email to connect you with OLO for your prize. Congrats!

Leave a Comment