Friends will tell you, I’m well, let’s just say – an extremely “particular” person. I’ll drive 30 minutes for my favorite chai latte. My clothes come from one store (@Artizia). I decorate my home exclusively with matching furniture. I’m insistent on doing things in a certain way, so it’s probably not a surprise there are certain things I absolutely won’t compromise on when it comes to my health – for good reasons. Here are 5 fundamental rules I won’t break.

1. Soda is a BIG no-no

I loved Mountain Dew … like, loooooooooved it. But as I became more aware of the truth behind the foods I was consuming, soda quickly climbed to the top of my list for “never again.”

Soda provides no nutritional value, contains ingredients that are detrimental to our health and contributes to something no one loves: bloating.

Soda is delicious and addictive, so I understand how difficult breaking this habit is. But to achieve optimal health and well-being, ditching soda is a key and quitting cold turkey is best. If you don’t love drinking plain water, try infusing your H2O. I love adding lemons, but you can also use berries, mint, cucumber or limes!

2. No chewing gum

I got an almost twisted enjoyment from popping my gum 101 times. That was, I did, until I found out how harmful aspartame is. Aspartame is an ingredient found in almost all chewing gum, and it has been linked to weight gain, fatigue and digestive upset. Plus, chewing gum is associated with bloating; the excess air you gulp with your gum can get stuck in your digestive track. If you want to learn more about the adverse effects of aspartame consumption, check out this article:

Personally, I reached for an aspartame-free alternative such as PUR Gum when I needed to get rid of bad breath right away.

3. Fluoride-free toothpaste

Did you know the main ingredient in toothpaste, fluoride, is linked to a suppressed immune system, brain damage, digestive upset and many more diseases? Most of us brush our teeth at least twice a day, every day, meaning the exposure to this potential toxin is very high! Fluoride is also added to the water supply in many cities and towns. When you opt for a natural alternative to conventional toothpaste, you can still care for your pearly whites while you limit the exposure to fluoride.

Disclosure: I was first introduced to natural toothpaste 3 years ago and I was disgusted. It left a weird cardboard taste in my mouth. But I stuck with it and no longer noticed the differences in taste and texture after a few short weeks. My personal favorite brand can be found here.

4. Natural makeup

Just like toothpaste, conventional cosmetics contain numerous harmful ingredients. For this reason, I choose to opt for a natural alternative. Learn more about the ingredients found in makeup here!

5. Organic juices

I love juicing and do it regularly. Fresh, cold-pressed juices are an excellent way to load your body up with the purest nutrients. For optimal benefits, they should be organic. Juicing conventional (inorganic) products mean the nutrients from the foods won’t be the only things in your juice. The chemicals sprayed on them in the growing process will be there too. Conventional products are also known to contain lower amounts of nutrients. I choose organic to ensure I’m getting the purest and most nutrient-dense juice!

Like I said, I’m particular in my day-to-day life, and when it comes to my health, it’s for good reason! Are there certain health things you won’t budge on?