Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Time for a Lifestyle Change? Keep It Clean


We live in a very different world today from when I grew up in the 50's and 60's. Even though there were issues with pollution and toxicity, it seemed nothing like the saturation point it appears we have reached today.

We are surrounded by chemicals that cause cancer. Chemicals are in our food, clothing, furniture, water and air.

Is it any wonder cancer is so pervasive today? It used to be few knew anyone with cancer. Today, we all have family, friends and neighbors confronted with the horrible diagnosis of cancer. In the Us vs. Them War on Cancer, clearly cancer has won.

So what can we do?

First, make the choice and act to go CLEAN.

The foundation of a healthy lifestyle starts with living clean. Simply speaking, it means removing chemicals from every part of our lives that we control—in and around our homes, in our food, what we put on our bodies, furniture we buy... you get the picture.

Start With Your Food

Open your pantry and refrigerator and throw out anything that has artificial sweeteners, corn syrup (sometimes it may appear as "flavor"), trans fat or hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and artificial colors. Those might be the obvious ingredients to look for on the label. For a more comprehensive list, check out Eliminating Unhealthy Foods for a list of more ingredients to guide you in your decision.

Nix GMO Ingredients
Anything with corn, canola or soy that is NOT organic is 98% likely a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). Throw it out! GMO food will contribute to destroying your gut health, add weight particularly around the stomach and overall compromise your immune system causing you to be sick more often. Oh and cause cancer.

Nix Sugar
Once you start reading food labels, you'll realize that sugar has been added to everything in the processed food aisle in the grocery store. Bread, canned beans, dressings, sauces... everything! And if it's listed as simply "sugar" (rather than cane sugar, coconut sugar, etc.) it's likely corn syrup, therefore GMO. Bye-bye! Seriously! Throw it out.

Don't buy anything if sugar is listed on the label. Sugar definitely makes you... ahem... fat and is the cause of the "life-preserver" (not at all preserving your life) around your middle.

Sugar is BAAAAAAD! Don't buy it.

NOTE: I realize this can be an overwhelming project. It's okay to take it in reasonable "bites." Start with a few shelves at a time. Some things you should not be replacing because you really want to eat more real food not from a box or can.

If you eat meat, you have other issues to deal with. Unless the animal is wild (such as wild-caught fish—the only meat I eat) or fed its natural food it will be loaded with antibiotics (because they live in horrible disease-ridden conditions), given hormones (for growth), fed cheap GMO grains and corn (grass is real food for cows—greens, seeds, worms and bugs is real food for chickens, etc).

Also, consider buying only organic produce because it will not be laden with pesticides which cause cancer and upset your gut balance. And organic food cannot be GMO.

Be a Smart Consumer

Furniture is often sprayed with fire retardant. While I don't expect you to throw away your furniture, if you buy or replace something, you should make sure it is not going to add to your home's toxic load. Buy low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds: unhealthy solvents that evaporate from a product into the air) paints, cleaners and materials. VOC's are toxic and using them should require a respirator, but no-one ever does that.

If you buy something that has a strong chemical smell, leave it outside or in the garage for a few days to let it out-gas before you bring it in the house.

We recently purchased the most comfortable bed we've ever had. It's manufactured by Loom & Leaf and made from organic cotton, plant-based foam and no chemical flame retardant. Ahhhhh! Blissful sleep.

Detox Your Home

Reduce or eliminate chemical cleaning products. There are cleaning products for every type of cleaning job and most are toxic. Do you really need all those cleaning products? I use water and white vinegar in a spray bottle for most of my cleaning. It's cheap and gets the job done. If I need something a bit stronger I use a "green" cleaning product made from plant material. Same for laundry, automatic dishwasher soap and dish soap.

Some good brands for green cleaning include Planet, Ecover and 7th Generation.

More ways to detox your home:
  • Filter your drinking water. 
  • Install a chlorine filter in your shower. 
  • Don't use a pest control service. 
  • Use only organic fertilizers and pesticides.
Check out 5 Tips to Detox Your Home for more details on making your home Clean.

Stop Bathing Your Body in Chemicals

Let's talk shower and bath products, hair-care products, makeup, cosmetics, skin care and dental care products. These can be a toxic soup of chemicals that add to our body's toxic load. The skin is the largest organ in the body so anything put on our skin is quickly absorbed into the blood. These chemicals interfere with our hormones and can contribute to an inflammatory response. Do you have headaches? Could be that perfume you spayed on or that skin lotion you rubbed in.

I buy hand-crafted skin care products that are made in the city where I live. Rachelle Neal the owner of Abundant Life Healing offers salves, tinctures and teas that have pure ingredients with no preservatives. Check out her product line. I LOVE her skin care products and double LOVE the Lemon Lime Deodorant—it is amazing. Don't leave home without it!

Once you've thrown out all the icky stuff, look for products that are less harmful. Check for green products on Amazon, Whole Foods, and Thrive Market or look up DIY solutions on Google.

If you do all of the above, you'll be clean as a whistle—figuratively and literally. And you'll feel and look better.

Welcome to CLEAN living! The foundation for a healthy lifestyle.