5 tips for living simply without the junk

Updated: Nov 11, 2020


Chemicals hide in various places, both obvious and less obvious but they are easy enough to minimize; if you know where to find them.


As a mum to a neurodiverse child, we have found that life is so much easier if we minimize additives and chemicals (or ‘junk’) in our lives. There’s less overload, tantrums, and generally, it’s much more enjoyable to be mum.


Because of the benefits, I’ve been working hard at minimizing the junk in our lives and wanted to share them with you too.


5 spots ‘junk’ hides in our lives are:


  • Packet mixes

  • Cleaning products

  • Yogurt

  • Facial cleansers

  • Salad dressings


Packet mixes

Cookies from packet mixes
Packet mixes

Grab a large jar, and you can make the packet mixes you want for convenience’s sake.

Preparing bread mixes is easy.


Simply take your favorite recipe and add the bottom item of the recipe to the jar first. Work in reverse, and add the rest of the ingredients ending with the first ingredient at the top. This way your ingredients go into the pan in the right order, ensuring a good result.


Other items you can prepare like this include hot chocolate mixes, spice mixes, pancake mixes, soup mixes, smoothies, and lots more!



Cleaning products

Bench spray
Cleaning products

I’ve eliminated bench sprays and antiseptic sprays by switching back to the old days.


Vinegar is fabulous for a bench spray, however, the downside is that it stinks like vinegar!


To eliminate the odor, I fill a jar with orange peels, some cloves, and a cinnamon quill. I top up the jar with vinegar and let it sit in a cupboard for a couple of weeks. The result is a fabulous smelling infusion full of essential oils that you simply mix with water and a tablespoon of washing soda, to get a bench spray that cleans beautifully!


The antiseptic spray uses the same method, but instead of orange peels, I use a sprig each of tea tree, rosemary, lemon, lavender flowers, and cloves.



Skincare products

washing face
Skincare

A general rule of thumb is that if you find aqua or water in the ingredients, then there will be a preservative as well. This is because bacteria grow in moist environments.

You will also find emulsifiers, oils, stabilizers, surfactants, parabens, etc.


Companies are becoming more mindful of this and working to eliminate unnecessary additives, however, your skin will benefit greatly by switching to oil-based products. This is because your skin has a natural oil mantle which retains the moisture and collagen in your skin.


I created Edney Skincare specifically for this reason...to eliminate the junk. You can check out our range here or simply grab some oil from your pantry and use it to wipe off makeup at the end of the day.


Commercial Yogurts

Commercial yogurt
Commercial yogurt

Commercial yogurt normally contains milk solids, flavors, thickeners, stabilizers, and sweeteners. More and more companies are going back to basics but you end up paying a heck of a lot more for more natural yogurt.


To save some money and minimize additives, make your own. All you need is milk (or milk powder and water) with some live cultures. You can get the live cultures from a batch of yogurt if you already have some with lactobacillus acidophilus in it. If you don't have any on hand, just use a couple of probiotic capsules. All you need then is a warm environment and some time to create yogurt.


Condiments and salad dressings

Condiments and salad dressings
Condiments and salad dressings

Condiments and salad dressings are something that can hide a bunch of nasties that you really don't need to add to your life.


I picked up a salad dressing from the supermarket yesterday and was absolutely astounded as to how much was in it.


Looking at the ingredients, there were no less than 13 ingredients, with 11 different numbers on the back of the list!

I personally don't like the idea of potassium sorbate, potassium citrate, calcium phosphate, etc being in foods that I consume so I would much rather make my own dressings.


All you need is an acid (lemon juice, vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc), an emulsifier (miso paste, egg yolk, mustard, honey, etc), and an oil. Mix the ingredients until blended and voila you have a dressing!


What's something that you do to minimize the additives in your lives? I would love to know any other tips you can think of. Let me know in the comments!



Please note that this article talks about items in general and does not target any brand or company specifically. The comments made in this article are purely based on my personal opinion and findings.


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