When it comes to clean living, there are people who are purists. They don’t stray or slip up or treat themselves every once in a while. And that’s great, kudos to them. I admire their dedication. But for most of us, it’s far more realistic to know from the beginning that we’re not going to do everything perfectly…
I have something a little different for you today as we continue our quest for clean living. I was inspired recently as I was eating a plantain burrito from my favorite taco shop. This burrito, let me tell you, I don’t even know if I have the words honestly, but this burrito is what dreams are made of. I think I would honestly choose it as my last meal if I had to. But as I was eating it, enjoying it, loving every bite, I also had this little nagging voice in my head telling me, “Shannon… these ingredients are definitely not organic…” So yes, today we need to talk about the 80/20 rule.
When it comes to clean living, there are people who are purists. They don’t stray or slip up or treat themselves every once in a while. And that’s great, kudos to them. I admire their dedication.
But for most of us, it’s far more realistic to know from the beginning that we’re not going to do everything perfectly. We’re not going to be able to eat 100% organic, we’re not going to have non-toxic everything in our homes, our wardrobes aren’t going to be 100% sustainably made.
Our busy, complicated, modern-day lives generally do not allow for that type of rigidity and I’m here to say, that’s okay.
My husband will often say to me, “Shannon, do you think maybe the stress of freaking out about the hot food going into the plastic container is actually worse than the food actually going into the plastic container?”
And to his question, my answer is always no, the stress is not worse than BPA releasing into the food we’ll ingest.
But, I get his point.
The 80/20 rule (when it comes to clean living) is this: Let’s aim to live clean and non-toxic and organic and sustainable 80 percent of the time. But let’s also account for slipping up, or things being out of our control, or treating ourselves, 20 percent of the time.
Because if that 20% is going to give us 20% more joy, then it’s probably worth it. It means that I can still have that delicious burrito and highlight my hair 2-3 times a year and order takeout and know that there are going to be products I buy that aren’t perfectly clean but that I’m still learning and still trying.
So, that’s where we are. Let the purists be purists and we can strive for that level, maybe one day. But for right now, let’s know that we’re all doing the best we can, with what we’ve got.
Because even small, gradual changes can have SUCH a significant impact — simply switching to a clean shampoo is going to decrease the levels of industrial chemicals in your body. Buying 75% organic food instead of 10% is going to reduce the amount of glyphosate in your gut microbiome. Sprouting dried beans instead of buying canned will increase the amount of disease-fighting nutrients you and your family are eating.
So, while yes, going down the clean living rabbit hole can be overwhelming, we need to remember that the goal isn’t perfection — it’s progress.
Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you learned something today and enjoy this podcast, please leave a review — it will help other people find out about the show and I’d appreciate it so much. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.