You can live a healthy life using natural solutions without too much effort. But it does take a change of mindset and willingness to put it in practice. It may seem out of the modern way of living to remove all those chemical cleaners, over the counter drugs and prescriptions in order to maintain a healthy life. We have been so indoctrinated into the NEED for harsh chemicals - from our cleaning products to the chemicals used in processing foods. The truth is we are not lacking for these chemicals. For thousands of years, humans lived without chemicals and synthetic materials and were overall healthier than we are today.
I've written about my daily routine to live more naturally and use products that are still in keeping with a modern lifestyle without the harsh chemicals. You too can make your daily routine more natural just by doing some simple lifestyle swaps. Look around your house and see if you find products that have chemical sounding names or ingredients you don't recognize. (That doesn't mean Googling them and now you know what they are!)
In the Kitchen
The kitchen is the hub of the home. It is where food preparation and sometimes eating meals takes place. This generates the dishes that need to be cleaned for the next meal. Do you wash your dishes with harmful cleaners? I recently posted on social media a link to an article which lists the dish washing detergents that have carcinogenic ingredients. Honestly, we don't need those types of chemicals. If you're argument in favor of them is that you can't get greasy, cooked on foods off your dishes, then you need a lifestyle readjustment. Don't cook greasy foods, especially if they are fried. Common cooking oils, especially vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils cause more harm than good. Eating more plant-based foods that require less cooking and increase healthy benefits will reduce the amount of time cleaning dishes. There are other avenues to make things even greener, but we'll go into that another time.
Take an inventory of your cabinets. Do you have stacks of plastic containers that you use to store leftovers? Consider that heating food in plastic may introduce chemicals into your food that have harmful side effects. Some plastic containers may contain phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors. Consider replacing plastic containers with glass. It may take some time to replace the amount necessary for a typical week's worth of meals but they are easy to clean and don't leech chemicals in to your food when reheating.
In the Living Room
Do you smoke in your house (or anywhere for that matter)? Years of scientific research has proven that smoking causes lung cancer. But years later we are still a society of smokers. Yes, there has been a reduction of smoking over the past several years but young people are still being introduced to smoking - not only from peers but the examples set in their homes. If you still smoke, the best advice I can give is to quit. It's not easy and it may take several times to actually break the habit for good. There are lots of support organizations out there. But it will only work if you have the commitment to make it happen. If you have children, think of the positive example you are setting for them by taking this huge step.
In the Bathroom
Do you have your medicine cabinet filled with prescriptions and over the counter medications? I work with my clients on reducing and potentially eliminating synthetic prescriptions and replacing the necessary nutrients that are missing in their bodies. Just remember - you are not deficient in that chemical you are introducing in your body. You are deficient in a nutrient that is causing a reaction that the medication is going to mask the symptom. I'm all for medications where appropriate. But it is a common situation that I see in my clients all the time that a doctor will prescirbe a medication for one symptom and when a new symptom appears or the original one is not entirely alleviated, that another medication is introduced. These medications are only addressing the SYMPTOMS. It is necessary to find the root cause and treat it. Most times, the root cause is lack of adequate nutrients. Finding those specific nutrients and adding them - first with food, then with supplements - is the most efficient way of correcting the actual cause of the symptom.
In the Bedroom
Do you fall asleep easily and without tossing and turning? For the best sleeping habits, we need to get to bed at the same time every night and wake around the same time every morning. In order to do that, you have to set a priority for sleep. Many of us work too many hours long after the sun has gone down and sit in front of computer screen or smartphone with blue light staring us in the face. This disrupts our normal circadian rhythm and creates more stress on your entire nervous system. Strive to get 7-9 hours of sleep on a nightly basis, including weekends. Maintaining the same schedule keeps your circadian rhythms in sync.
In the Trash
Even if you recycle, check how many soda bottles you have gone through. Soft drinks are filled with sugars or artificial sweeteners that drive our sugar and insulin levels out of whack. If you replace your soda drinking with clean, filtered water, you can use the money saved to purchase higher quality foods. People always comment to me that eating well, organic and non-GMO food is too costly. My food budget has remained fairly the same when I stopped buying the packaged and processed foods and started eating cleanly. I no longer have the need to have snack to fill out my eating because the food I eat sustains me and I no longer get food cravings. I changed my relationship with food and learned to eat to live, not live to eat. The first step was to get rid of the sugars and empty calories. This had the biggest impact on my health. And I am sure it will make a significant difference in your health, just by removing sugar, artificial sweeteners and the foods that trigger a blood sugar spike followed by an insulin surge.
In the Car
Americans spend a great deal of time in their cars. Driving to and from work, picking up the kids and on and on. Is the time behind the wheel so nerve wracking that you need something to soothe you? Are you guzzling specialty coffees, super-sized soft drinks or eating some sugary snack just to get you through the traffic? Instead, pack a healthy snack when you need the pick-me-up. Have single serving bags of cashews available to toss in your purse, pocket or travel case. Eating cashews will help naturally provide a calming effect from the amino acid tryptophan in cashews. One way of reducing stress is to garden. Even if you have just a little patch to grow vegetables or a single pot for herbs, the tending of a garden can help reduce stress while providing organic food to supplement your meals. Plants will grow without pesticides and herbicides and your food will be so much richer in nutrients for it. As you get more experience, you can grow more of your own food. Reap the benefits of organic food, reduced stress and more cash in your pocket to pay for the organic foods you need to complete your meals.
In the Backyard
One way of reducing stress is to garden. Even if you have just a little patch to grow vegetables or a single pot for herbs, the tending of a garden can help reduce stress while providing organic food to supplement your meals. Plants will grow without pesticides and herbicides and your food will be so much richer in nutrients for it. As you get more experience, you can grow more of your own food. Reap the benefits of organic food, reduced stress and more cash in your pocket to pay for the organic foods you need to complete your meals.
This is just a small list of what you can do to live a more natural life. I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions. Please leave a reply in the comment section.