Just in time for Spring!

Spring is in the air! And if you live in Atlanta, so is the pollen! But, our trees are a lovely, spritely green, the grass is growing (hmmm, speaking of that, I need to mow today) and flowers are blooming.

Spring is the perfect time to clean your home in preparation for a new, warmer season – and the perfect time to clean up your act and get healthy! Below are some tips to rid yourself of unhealthy products and habits and make room for healthier products and a cleaner lifestlye.

Get rid of your diet pills – or any other medication that has expired.

  • Most diet pills are a scam and are more likely than not causing your body harm. Get rid of them! Instead, make an appointment to see your doctor and ask what supplements he or she recommends to help you maintain a healthy weight. I often visit Chinese Medicine practitioners for this specific purpose. They are extremely knowledgeable about the human body and usually have a supply of all natural supplements available in their office.
  • Check your medicine cabinet and throw out any expired or unused medications. Most medicines are okay to through right in your garbage can, but some require special disposal. Click here to read a quick how-to for disposing of your medications.

Remove all the clutter that has gathered around your exercise equipment. Then sell it! – the exercise equipment, not the clutter…

  • You thought I was going to tell you to use your old exercise equipment didn’t you? Well consider this: Your treadmill or stationary bike won’t call you up when you miss a workout, nor will they cheer you on when you’ve reached a goal. Your money will be much better spent on a fitness class or other group activity in which you will be held accountable by others.
  • Martial arts classes are great for the whole family. Co-ed sports leagues are forming for the Spring and Summer and would be great for you and your spouse or significant other. Or use the money to get a membership at the YMCA!

Purge all the junk food in your pantry.

  • I am not going to tell you to throw away all your sugary, salty snacks. That is wasteful and I dislike waste. What I suggest is that you finish up whatever you have left – don’t eat it all in one day though – and replace those products with healthier alternatives.
  • My family and I have chosen Xochitl Blue Corn Chips as a replacement for Fritos/Doritos/Tostitos chips.
  • We eat steel cut oats instead of quick coooking oats. You invest only 4 minutes more time for a myriad of additional health benefits.
  • I purchase all fresh fruits instead of packaged gummy snacks.
  • We still eat cookies and candies, but only in moderation and I typically make them myself.
  • Check your spice cabinet too. Many spices have an expiration date and will lose their flavor. You can really “spice up” your cooking by getting rid of the old and getting new!

Make your own household cleaners instead of using store-bought toxic cleaners.

  • Again, don’t throw out all of your cleaners. I don’t want you throwing away your hard earned money. When you do your whole-house, Spring clean-up, use all of your toxic cleaners and then say good bye to them! (Keep the spray bottles, you can use them for making your own products.)
  • My three boys all have sensitivities to commercial detergents, cleaning products, soaps and chemicals so I have been making my own cleaning solutions for a few years. But I recently found a blog – DIY Natural – that has some really great recipes for pretty much every cleaning product used in a home.
  • You can almost literally purchase all the supplies for making your homemade cleaning products for the cost of purchasing one large box of laundry detergent. BONUS: Many of the cleaning solutions use the same ingredients…so you don’t have a long list of ingredients to purchase.
  • If you LOVE the smell that cleaning products leave behind, let me first tell you that the smell is toxic for you and your family (and is a very clever marketing scheme) and then let me suggest that you go out and buy some handmade soy candles. Not only will the natural essential oils in them make your home smell lovely, but you can dip your fingers in while they are warm (after you blow them out) and rub them on your skin for an all natural moisturizer!

Don’t forget about the outside of the house!

  • When I was growing up I attended a tiny, two-room, Lutheran school house until the end of second grade. Every Spring we had a clean-up day where all of the students (all 30 of us,) our families and the church congregates spent the day cleaning the school and church grounds. We raked, weeded, snacked, planted, played, and had a generally enjoyable day!
  • Give the kids small tasks, like picking up sticks or stones. Then reward them with some homemade trail mix.
  • Instead of planting annuals in your flower beds – plant some basil, rosemary or lavendar. You can eat them and they smell wonderful!
  • Have a picnic under a shade tree and talk about stuff!
  • Have fun by playing games and don’t forget to step back and admire the work you’ve done to make your yard beautiful!

Okay! That’s all I have for right now!

Take the rest of the week to plan your attack and then let me know how your Spring clean-up projects go!

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