It is becoming increasingly obvious to many of us that there is an enormous problem of toxicity in every aspect of our daily lives – seriously impacting on our health. There are three main areas of concern as I see it. Ironically those same three are all under the “care” of government agencies who are supposedly there for the protection of US citizens.
Three main areas of concern
Although there have been great medical breakthroughs in recent decades, particularly in the field of surgery as well as trauma and emergency care, nevertheless many of these gains have been set back by the toxicity and/or side effects of pharmaceutical drugs as well as x-rays and other diagnostic procedures.
Food is another area which has become so far removed from being natural with processed foods and GM foods in particular being subsidized and promoted to such an extent that many exist on the standard American diet with disastrous consequences for their health.
The third is that of environmental toxins where everything you use, look at, smell, inhale, absorb and more can be detrimental to your health.
50 such reasons to live more naturally but of course these are just the tip
1. Change to healthier breakfasts for your children – fresh fruit, organic free range eggs, organic oats because there are at least 10 top selling breakfast
cereals that probably contain GM corn – and it does not always help to read the ingredients on a food product because GM ingredients do not have to be labeled in the US.
2. When buying for your children, choose toys made from natural materials.
3. Clothes, bedding and upholstery should also be chosen for their natural fibers rather than synthetic materials which are often embedded with toxic fire retardant chemicals.
4. Avoid poisons and choking items when there are young children around. Choking items can include food, toys and household items. A good guide is that items within reach of a young child should be large enough that they cannot fit inside an empty roll of toilet paper.
5. When re-decorating your home, look for zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and toxin-free alternatives to surfaces and floor coverings.
6. Avoid vinyl and other plastics with phthalates that are particularly toxic.
7. Upcycle existing furniture and fittings instead of always buying brand new.
8. When redoing your home, look for "green," toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.
9. Off gassing is the name given to the strong odor from VOCs. These are very toxic solvents used in paint, adhesives, building materials, home furnishings and so many every day items we use. It is not easy to find natural alternatives for some of these but there can be serious health hazards and some VOCs are carcinogens. The concentration of many VOCs is up to 10 times higher indoors.
10. Find alternative and natural remedies for those every day aches and pains or conditions instead of reaching for an OTC or prescription pill. Even serious conditions often have a natural treatment available.
11. Utilize the services of a naturopath or chiropractor (who would be more concerned about holistic healing) instead of a regular doctor and his prescription pad.
12. Avoid mammograms and instead look at the safer alternative - a thermogram.
13. If you are being treated by a medical doctor, question every drug and every procedure as to whether it is necessary and whether your doctor would use it for himself and his family.
14. If you end up in a hospital ward
, ensure you have someone protecting your interests – whether it is checking the right medication and the right dosage is being administered, that the staff are washing their hands thoroughly or what kind of food you are being served. More than ever, you need natural, organic, whole foods and supplements.
15. Keep your home fully aired by opening doors and windows even during the colder winter months. The air inside a home can often be more toxic than the outdoors.
16. Mold in the home can breed if the home is too warm and humid with too much stuff piled up and infrequently moved. The spores can also be walked or carried indoors. Mold
can be treated naturally with essential oils.
17. Dust mites are a major cause of asthma and allergies. Apart from frequent washing, a natural remedy is to hang duvets, blankets and pillows in the sun for at least 3 hours on a regular basis. This helps to to get rid of dust mites as well as mold and mildew.
18. Your skin
absorbs everything you put on it - switch over to natural brands of personal products, toiletries, hair products and cosmetics.
19. Use only natural cleaning products in your home and in your laundry. Commercial laundry products can be particularly toxic. There are plenty of natural products available.
20. Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, scented candles or other synthetic fragrances and perfumes. There are always natural alternatives.
21. Check your home's tap water for contaminants and filter the water if necessary.
22. You may also want to use an alternative to PVC pipes for your water supply.
23. Avoid bottled water
for the toxic plastic that it arrives in, and the effect on the environment for the many miles it is transported to reach you.
24. Air pollutants are everywhere with two particular dangers being diesel and benzene. Avoid walking or jogging where there is heavy bus or truck traffic. If you have a diesel-driven vehicle, don’t let the engine idle when parked outside your home. Take your family out into natural areas as much as you can for their leisure activities.
25. In the kitchen, store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.
26. BPA will leach from the resin lining of a tin can into the food it contains and of course BPA in plastics has been well documented. Be very wary of all plastics, particularly because anything that is used by a manufacturer to replace BPA may be even more dangerous. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel instead.
27. Avoid all processed
and GM foods - often wrapped in toxic packaging to add insult to injury.
28. Sodas (whether regular or diet) are another source of toxins. Their high sugar content plus all the chemicals cause inflammation, demineralization, obesity and the risk of heart disease.
29. Focus your diet on fresh, organic and locally grown whole foods. Support your local Farmers Markets.
30. Salt is frequently made out to be the bad boy in your diet. Learn the difference between processed salt and natural salt. Processed salt is health harming while natural salt is health healing.
31. Natural salt
is an essential nutrient required for blood pressure regulation, transportation of nutrients into and out of your cells, ion exchange and brain-muscle communication.
32. When buying meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products look for “pasture-raised” and organic labelling.
33. Organic coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter from grass fed dairy cows are all good fats to use in place of margarine, sunflower or canola oil.
34. Avoid low fat
or no fat products because the fat has to be replaced with something – often sugar or a chemical substance.
35. Make sure you and your family are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need for optimum health. Use supplements from a good and reputable source if necessary.
36. Breastfeed your baby (exclusively if possible) for at least the first six months but the longer the better with so many health benefits for you both - but also to avoid phthalates exposure from infant formula packaging and plastic bottles and nipples.
37. Even baby formula itself is not considered to be a safe alternative. If you do use baby bottles, change to glass instead of plastic.
38. Vow to make your backyard or garden all organic. The environmental damage to you, your family, your pets and to wildlife from using toxic chemicals is huge.
39. Be aware that pesticides such as Roundup are commonly used in public parks, school grounds and of course neighbours’ gardens, affecting your children and your pets. There are many short term problems but long term exposure can have carcinogenic effects.
40. The run off from such toxic chemicals ends up in streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean.
41. Even the seemingly innocent garden hose can be made from phthalate-containing plastics – not so good when you are watering your vegetable and fruit garden or having a quick drink from the hose.
42. When travelling by air, avoid the airport security back spatter X-ray machines with their high levels of radiation. Ask to have a pat down instead.
43. Going natural to avoid long haul “jet lag” is possible. If it is day time when you arrive, try not to sleep but rather go outdoors and into the sunshine. Exposure to bright natural light helps shift the circadian rhythms (body clock) but this should be for at least 15 minutes without sunglasses.
44. Another tip is grounding or earthing. If you can kick off your shoes soon after landing after a long haul flight across time zones and connect with some grass or sand or even a stretch of water for about half an hour, this will help avoid jet lag.
or earthing is a great natural pastime during your every day life as well.
46. To avoid some of the notorious aircraft food, pack some health snacks before you leave home – suggestions include a large bag of trail mix, dried fruit and/or fresh fruit, a small jar of peanut butter with a spoon, a bag of carrot sticks and snap peas or homemade granola or cut up lots of raw vegetables plus a small container of hummus together with a packet of seeds and nuts.
47. Keep fluoride out of the water supply. It is impossible to control exposure levels in drinking water, and fluoride is a toxic chemical that can cause tooth discoloration, fractures, thyroid dysfunction and even bone cancer at high enough levels. If your drinking water is fluoridated, you can reduce your exposure with a reverse osmosis water filter.
48. Be informed about the risks of vaccinations particularly to the young and to the elderly.
49. Smart Meters
(monitoring electricity consumption for each household) have been introduced in many states in the USA causing considerable concern about the health risks from these low-powered frequencies travelling through homes 24/7, emitting pulse radio frequency radiation.
50. Cell phones, baby alarms and other devices have similar dangers but can at least be switched off.
We all need to make the effort to return to more simple and natural ways of living for the benefit of our health and the environment. But it is unlikely that most of us would be willing to do so.
Even for the willing and the well-informed, the task is daunting.