If you are reading this newsletter, you are probably on a journey to regain or maintain your health. Whether you have been implementing life style changes for a while or just thinking about what you need to do, it is time to look at where you are and where you want to be.
Start by making an appointment with your chiropractor or other natural health provider to openly discuss your journey.
Then ask yourself a few questions and answer honestly:
What changes have you actually made?
Are you still implementing the changes?
If you’ve slacked off on your commitment, why?
What differences have you seen in yourself and your family?
Take stock of how you are doing with the basics of good health, starting with detoxification. Many if not most health problems are directly or indirectly linked to toxicity. One of the keys to regaining health is eliminating toxins from your body and environment. If what you eat, drink, put on your body, or put in the air you breathe is toxic, you are toxic.
Many of these changes are simple.
- Quit drinking tap water. Invest in a reverse osmosis filter system which eliminates fluoride if your water supply is fluoridated. If this is not possible, find a brand of spring water that comes from a clean, toxin free source. Beware of bottled water as much of it is simply bottled tap water. Above all, know what you are drinking.
- Eliminate toxic food. Meat, milk and eggs from conventional farms can contain hormone drugs, antibiotics and many other chemicals unfit for human consumption. The animals can be fed grain containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and they have probably been confined in horrific conditions. Milk from conventionally farmed animals is likely to contain antibiotics and may contain hormone drugs too. As much as possible, switch to animal products from organic free range farms. Other options while not perfect, are local farms raising free range animals. While not organic and probably supplemented with GMO grain, this kind of meat still is much more nutritious than factory farmed meat, and probably does not contain antibiotics, hormones or other chemicals. Organic meats, dairy and eggs found in the grocery store come from animals that have received some pasture time, and their diets have been supplemented with non GMO grains. They do not generally contain hormones, antibiotics or chemicals. Produce should be organic when at all possible. Produce grown using hydroponics is another option as no pesticides are used. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a guide to produce which should always be bought organic due to high levels of pesticide contamination. This guide also tells you which produce has the lowest levels of pesticide residue and can be safely eating when conventionally grown. Print this guide and take it when going grocery shopping.
You read a lot about how fish is good for you but beware of what you are eating. Fish may be contaminated with mercury, dioxins and other industrial contaminants. If you are eating farmed fish, add antibiotics to the toxins. Know where the fish you are eating came from. A good rule of thumb is the smaller the fish, the lower the toxic load. Large fish have had longer to grow and accumulate toxins. Get more information of safe fish here.
- Eliminate artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame and sucralose. Study after study is proving these cause weight gain, high triglycerides and many other health problems. They are also toxic to your brain. If you must have something sweet, use stevia or xylitol. Don’t be fooled by claims even in health food stores that isolated fructose is all natural and good for you. The body cannot utilize isolated fructose; instead, it converts it to triglycerides which in turn are deposited as abdominal fat. The small amounts of naturally occurring fructose found in fruits and vegetables are fine as they are in whole foods where absorption is slowed. Unprocessed honey is probably also alright.
- The skin is the largest organ in the body and absorbs what is put on it. If you soak in the tub full of tap water, you are absorbing huge amounts of chlorine, fluoride and dangerous volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Invest in a shower filter that removes these and if possible, removes much fluoride also. Once you have the shower filter, use the shower to fill the tub.
- Look at cosmetics and personal care items. Even organic brands frequently have multiple toxins present. EWG has a comprehensive guide to these products. Switch to non-toxic products!
- Eliminate use of toxic chemicals in your home. There is very little that cannot be accomplished with vinegar, lemon juice and/or baking soda. There are safe alternatives to laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Look at soap nuts and fragrance free enzymatic spot removers. You do not need air fresheners. They are some of the most toxic things present in most homes. Triclosan, found in many soaps, toothpastes and many other products, not only is contributing to antibiotic resistance but is toxic. EWG is an excellent resource showing you what the effects of various chemicals can be on your body.
- If you must use plastic, use the ones that at this time, have not been found to leach various chemicals. Don’t be fooled by the new BPA free plastics you see everywhere now. They’ve removed the BPA but substituted other estrogen mimicking chemicals that aren’t in the news yet. The safest plastics to use are recycle #2: High-density polyethylene (HDPE), #4: Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and #5: Polypropylene (PP). These 3 plastics are not known to leach chemicals at this time. #1: Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene (PETE or PET) is generally considered safe but does leach antimony when exposed to high temperatures.
A giant step toward regaining or maintaining your health can be taken right now by simply commiting or recommitting to a toxic free lifestyle, and by putting your committment in writing. Look at what you have done and at what you still need to do. Lifestyle changes must be for a lifetime, not a few weeks or months. Talking yourself into making the changes is the hardest part, and actually implementating them is not that difficult. If you find areas you still need to work on, don’t beat yourself up about it…just recommit and keep going.