Sophia Gushee
Founder, Practical Nontoxic Living

I also hated that I learned about these things accidentally: stumbling across information (usually late at night). Since my beloved physicians were not trained in this area of environmental health (as most are not), I also hated not having informed guidance to help me determine rational levels of concern. As such, I had to figure out a lot on my own. My learning curve was so challenging that I became determined to transform my experience and knowledge into creating an easier and less stressful path for others to learn about this overlooked pillar of health: the toxic exposures from what we buy and do.

I share what I wish I knew sooner about this topic in my critically-acclaimed book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures. A to Z of D-Toxing belongs in every home, and is an excellent resource for patients to share with their physicians to bridge gaps in knowledge so patients and doctors can, together, make responsible healthcare decisions that consider unnecessary toxic exposures.

After realizing how critical this overlooked pillar of health is — and that most people aren't aware of it — I became inspired to create my company Practical Nontoxic Living. Through podcasts, articles, and my online D-Tox Academy, Practical Nontoxic Living offers what I wish could have existed sooner. Specifically, it aims to make it easier for others to choose less toxic cleaning approaches, personal care products, children’s stuff, interior furnishings and renovation materials; how to detox our diet from toxic chemicals and heavy metals; and how to create a healthier relationship with technology (with consideration of reducing exposures to electromagnetic fields).

My brand stands out for its unique expertise, practical experience as a mother of three in Manhattan, and my lifestyle approach. My practical nontoxic lifestyle is simple, modern, non-judgmental, beautiful, yet accessible and super practical.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My children inspire me to try to live each day better than yesterday’s. And, as I become more aware each day of how much I influence my children by how I live and operate, I try harder each day to improve my self care. I am inspired by the question: how do I want my daughters to live, work, and treat themselves. And then I try to model what I wish for them.

Why did you start Practical Nontoxic Living?

Since World War II, more than 84,000 chemicals have been introduced into American commerce. And they exist in our lives as everyday household products: cleaning products, beauty products, food containers, furniture, electronics, and more.

Furthermore, less than 1% of these chemicals have been tested for safety; and hundreds have been detected in our bodies. Too many are known to contribute to cancer, neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, and hormone disruption.

While I had always been health-conscious, I focused on diet and exercise. I thought health was measured by weight, muscle and bone mass, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Only after I became pregnant with my first child did I start to think more about my internal environment. As I reviewed pregnancy books each week to learn about my baby’s weekly development, I became more connected to how what I eat, drink, breathe, and put on my skin influences my blood and other nutrients for my baby. I was upset to learn that the toxicity in our environment and in our household products posed risks to my unborn children.

What does the ideal Mother’s Day look like to you?

My ideal Mother’s Day is spending the day in bed: watching whatever I want to watch on TV; browsing magazines; and being served homemade, nourishing foods. I want to be able to turn my brain off and leave it off all day!

What’s something you love to do with your kids?

I have three daughters: Taylor is 10 years old, Bordley is 8 years old, and Sconset is 5 years old. My favorite things to do with them include family sports, like hiking, skiing, and tennis.

When I get a little time to myself, you can usually find me...?

Working, doing yoga, or playing tennis.

What are 3 things you always have in your handbag?

My phone, credit card, and driver’s license.

What your favorite Mia Tango item right now? Why?

When I was pregnant and nursing, my skin was extra sensitive — probably because it was so stretched out by pregnacy. It wasn’t until my pregnancy with my third child that I learned that organic cotton was the best fabric for my sensitive skin! And the comfort and practicality of my nursing bra was key to how comfortable I was.

Therefore, my favorite Mia Tango pick would be the Majamas Organic Easy Bra . This is the type of bra I wore 24/7. The design of this bra also makes it easy to nurse on demand.