I’ve been talking a lot about living a cleaner life lately. Not just here, but in my everyday life. People ask me about it, like it’s something mystical or impossible to do. Let me tell you right now: it’s not. And it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I’m not telling you that you have to literally toss everything out of your cupboards and reinvent yourself into some kind of hippie homemaker. Baking your own bread, and making your own soaps and yogurt, isn’t for everybody. But if you’re reading this then it probably means there’s some part of you that is at least secretly intrigued by the notion that it’s possible to attempt. What I do isn’t some kind of fad diet or amazing invention. It really is just living like people used to, before convenience foods. It takes a bit more time and organization, but the end results are worth it.
So, let’s say you’re looking to transition into a cleaner lifestyle for you and your family but you’re just not sure how to start. Look no further than here: my one month clean challenge. It’s easy and doable: just three small changes you can make, that will help improve the quality of your life. At the end of the month, if you like the results of the small steps you’re making, then check back here for more quick and easy tips on living cleaner!
Not only is this challenge easy, but it’s one you can start today, where you are, with what you have. Give yourself one month. One month to try implementing these three tricks into your life.
Three tricks to a cleaner life
Ditch you household cleaners and start using homemade ones.
Now, like I said, you don’t have to toss everything out. Hang on to your trusted cleaners and wipes if you want, while you give natural cleaning products a go. I did. In fact, there is still a bottle of Lysol in my basement. Gathering dust. Cleaning with natural products couldn’t be easier. You probably have most of the ingredients at home already, and if not, they’re all easy to obtain and very affordable.
You need three things:
- Vinegar: pour into a spray container, 50/50 with water. It’s great for cleaning mirrors, countertops, surfaces, toilets, etc.
- Microfiber cloths: use in place of paper towels. They’re amazing, streak and lint free, and best of all can be reused. Just toss in the wash, and they’re ready to be used again!
- Baking soda based cleansing paste: this is great for tubs, toilets, and sinks. It won’t scratch, and it’s great on soap scum. Use it with a scrubbie sponge for the best results.
- **extra**for floors: for day to day use I just use the vinegar spray, but when I actually pull out the pail and mop I use either a Castile Soap and water mix or Dr. Bromner’s Sal Suds. You don’t need to include this in the challenge as it’s an extra cost, but it does get sticky stuff off the floor better than vinegar.
For one month: no wipes, no sprays or creams or cleansers. Only the ones I mentioned above. Extra points for not using room deodorizers, scented candles or scent plug-ins.
Eat out less.
We are a culture of convenience, and one of the biggest conveniences is affordable dining. We can grab a burger, burrito, sub, or steak, quickly and easily. However, eating out costs us. Not only does it add to monthly household expenses, but it costs us our health. Next time you’re out, check out the restaurant’s nutritional guidelines. Typically, restaurant menu items will be higher in calories, fat, and sodium than the homemade version (which is, of course, why they taste so darn good!). If you are eating out three times a week, aim for two times. If you’re eating out once a week, aim for once every other week. I’m not saying never eat out because that’s not realistic for most people. After all, life is all about moderation. And people lead busy lives and sometimes dinner out is much more attractive than scrubbing pots.
Cook more from scratch.
Notice I said cook more, not cook everything. Everything is an overwhelming word and I hate feeling overwhelmed. It makes me eat a bag of chips and loathe myself. If you don’t cook anything from scratch right now, aim for one thing a week. If that means making scrambled eggs for breakfast (or dinner!) with real eggs, then do it. If you can handle cooking up a pot of soup, using real stock, then do that. If you only have time to shake up a bottle of homemade vinaigrette then do it. One single thing, once a week. That’s all.
Living a cleaner life doesn’t have to be unattainable or something only meant for someone else. It can be for you, too. It does mean paying closer attention to what you buy, what you use, and what you consume, but the health benefits make it worth it. It’s about being a little more organized in the kitchen, and learning a few basics. You don’t have to be a foodie, or even a fantastic cook. You just have to be present.
At the end of the month challenge, if you think you’re ready for more, check back here, where I’ll be posting more tips, recipes, and DIYs that I use and have been successful with.
Scrambled Eggs. Like A Boss.
Yes, you have probably made scrambled eggs before. And you’ve probably made bad scrambled eggs, I know I have. Tough, and browned, and flavourless. I thought I hated scrambled eggs, but I just hated bad ones. Now, though, eggs for dinner? Yes, please!
¼ cup milk
1 ounce (give or take!) crumbled feta (or cheese of your choice)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon butter for pan
Place medium sized non-stick pan (preferably one that is PFOA free) on medium low heat. Toss in butter and allow to slowly melt.
In a large bowl, crack eggs, then whisk the eggs until frothy.
Add milk and whisk again until well combined. Add salt, and pepper, and give it one last whisk.
Once butter has melted, add eggs to pan. Allow to sit for two minutes or so. Using a spatula, gently stir eggs. As you move the eggs around you should see larger chunks of cooked egg forming.
Then let sit again for a minute or so before stirring again. The object is to have bigger, fluffier chunks of eggs, vs. the really chopped up scrambled eggs from a diner.
Once the egg mixture is half cooked, sprinkle crumbled feta (or other cheese) on top. Stir gently.
Turn heat down to low, and let slowly cook for 1-2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat while eggs are still a tad moist, as they will continue to cook from residual heat from pan.
That’s it. Easy. And totally clean.