Sarah’s Rap: If you’re like me, you barely go a day without meeting someone with health issues of their own or talking about someone they know with illness. It makes me so sad, partly because of the sheer prevalence but also because most people chalk up their illness or symptoms to genetics, bad luck or no idea. They often live a life of suffering, prescription medications and a pile-up of diseases.
Sure, genetics can play a role– some of us are more susceptible to certain conditions based on our DNA, and when we live a lifestyle that doesn’t support our own body’s needs we can flip that genetic switch on. But just because your grandmother had breast cancer, doesn’t mean you will definitely get it. The conditions have to be right. And maybe bad luck has a small part, but ultimately I feel that the majority of illnesses are caused by a handful of specific things. I’m not alone in this. Raymond Francis, author of Never Be Sick Again, believes that only two causes of disease– deficiency and toxicity.
I’ll be doing a post soon on some great books by doctors that, in my opinion, are healing patients by helping them to address problems in diet, gut health and lifestyle. For now, I want to share my thoughts from research and experience with you. Many of you also are suffering, I know. It pains me to see it in those of you that I know personally. You may read these posts and think they’re interesting (at least I hope you do), but that they don’t apply to you. But these things apply to all of us, even if you feel perfectly healthy. I had no major health issues until I was 35 and it’s been a rollercoaster of illness ever since.
We can all benefit from a cleaner diet, more sleep, less stress and more exercise. So your next argument may be that it’s too difficult or no fun. For that, my answer is to stay tuned for my next post on denial. 🙂 If you want to get healthy and/or stay healthy, or to even help the loved ones in your life, I hope that you take these posts to heart. You are worth the effort. We all deserve the optimal life we can have. Physical healing will also help mental healing, increase happiness and improve your way of life.
In my first post in this series, I discussed the problems with the Standard American Diet.
In the second post, I vented a bit, I’ll admit, about how the US Healthcare system is not helping.
The third addressed how poor lifestyle choices can impact our health.
This post is about toxic products in our physical environment that can pollute our bodies. It’s best to reduce or eliminate these items from your house and the air you breathe, even if it means relocating or making some big changes.
- heavy metals
- PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls)
- cigarette smoke
- VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
- other chemicals – in cleaning supplies, food, air, water
- cell phone radiation
- chemicals in tap water
- industrial farming methods for meat
- processing of food
- GMOs (genetically-modified organisms)
- some prescription medications, particularly if overused
Once you start taking a look at your habits, it’s easier than you think to reduce or eliminate these items. Here are some actions we can all take to reduce harmful toxins in our environment:
- Replace plastic containers with glass
- Never microwave in styrofoam or plastic containers.
- Replace plastic water bottles with glass or metal reusable ones (be sure metal ones aren’t lined with any BPA-containing materials)
- Avoid eating out of styrofoam and plastic, particularly for hot foods and beverages
- Check out The Environment Working Group’s site for cosmetic ratings, tap water information, shopping guides, sunscreen recommendations, cell phone tips, safe seafood lists and more! This site is your friend! Bookmark it today!
- Avoid GMOs (genetically modified organism). Buy organic when you can, avoid eating conventional varieties of these commonly GMO crops and look for the the “Non-GMO Project Verified” symbol
- Stop smoking. Okay this one’s a no-brainer. Encourage your loved ones and friends to stop, or at least not smoke in your vicinity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says “Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body.” Here’s some info to give to that smoker in your life.
- Test your house for mold and asbestos
- Check your body for parasites, heavy metals, mold and other toxins. See your local Muscle/Nutrition Response Therapy or naturopathic doctor for testing options
- Use headphones when talking on the cell phone and charge it in another room when you sleep
- Buy grassfed beef, organic poultry and wild caught fish and look for hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats
- Support companies and politicians that advocate for a healthier environment
- Plant an organic garden
- Plant a tree. Plant lots of trees. If you don’t have room in your yard, check out this site: https://onetreeplanted.org
- Buy low VOC paint
- Research medication, get a second opinion and read the fine print of side-effects
- Use chemical-free cleaning products
- Don’t litter and support efforts for environmental clean-up – Find a local beach clean-up through your local Surfrider chapter or organize a trash clean-up in your neighborhood
- Be informed and use your voice
- Use or vote for water/air/solar power sources, where possible
- Do your part to reduce air pollution – check out these tips from the EPA
Not only are these changes good for your health, most are also good for the environment. If everyone made these changes, the world would be a cleaner place and so would our bodies!
Love yourself. Love Mother Earth. You will be rewarded.