Anyone who ever made that leap to becoming a health-conscious, aware individual has admitted being overwhelmed at first. Every client I’ve coached has felt like this (which is why they hired me), and much of the time, feeling overwhelmed is all it takes to throw our arms up in the air and say, “Forget it!”
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Everyone has a basic idea about what foods are good and bad and may just need a little help. However, it’s not so easy when it comes to personal care and household items. Thanks to the health trend of late, there are many tools available to help us make green decisions. Check out online resources like
o care2.com, livinggreenresources.com
I have to admit, it is easier to put the blinders on and ignore this health trend, go about doing what we’ve always done and not worry about anything. There are days I want to crawl in a hole myself, but a “warrior princess of health,” (as a friend recently labeled me) can’t do that.
So what keeps me on this quest? Toxins. Poisons. Things that make us sick. Sometimes seriously sick. Sometimes even causing us to die. There are many things in this world we can’t control all of the time, especially if we want to live reasonable lives. We can’t control the air we breathe everyday. We can’t control the products that others use. And sometimes, we can’t afford to control even our own environment or the products we choose to use. Going green can often be quite costly.
However, there are things we can control affordably in order to live healthier lifestyles. Why not take advantage of these to improve our quality of life as well as our children’s, making us healthier and happier in the end.
Where do you start? That depends on what’s more important to you. Most people start with what is most obvious and seemingly most simple-our diet and lifestyle. Here are a few tips to start you off:
o Choose as much organic food as possible. Organic is sustainable as well as healthier for our bodies because pesticides and chemicals are not used in the growing and processing.
o Make at least half of your meals consist of the colorful, vitamin and mineral rich fruits and vegetables that help keep our bodies healthy and strong.
o Avoid processed foods as often as possible. If it isn’t in the form that it grew in (animal or plant), then it’s probably processed.
o When you get a sweet tooth, turn to fruit or sweet vegetables like carrots. Though they may not appeal to you next to that chocolate bar, the craving often goes away after having eaten the healthy choice-your body got what it wanted, in a good way.
o Get outside and be active. Take stairs instead of elevators or escalators. Walk instead of ride, and stand instead of sitting, etc. Getting outdoors will give you a natural dose of vitamin D-something most people in our country lack.
If you’d like to start with your environment-where you live, household products you use, how you care for your yard, and so on, try these simple steps:
o If there is a WARNING or DANGER label, or rubber gloves and/or a mask are required, you may want to reconsider buying or using that product. Many products are left on surfaces even after wiping or rinsing.
o If you fertilize your lawn, do so only sparingly and use an environmentally friendly fertilizer. Besides the negative environmental effect, synthetic fertilizer and lawn products are toxins that can cause serious illness when exposed regularly.
o Don’t use bleach or chlorine products, often labeled “sodium hypochlorite” or “hypochlorite.” Breathing in the fumes of cleaners containing a high concentration of chlorine can irritate the lungs, which can be dangerous for people suffering from heart conditions or chronic respiratory problems such as asthma or emphysema. Chlorine is a deadly poison and a highly corrosive substance, capable of damaging skin, eyes, and other membranes.
o Be aware of benzene as it is a known human carcinogen. The main indoor sources of this chemical are tobacco smoke, stored fuels and paint supplies, and automobile emissions in attached garages.
I think it’s also important to take it all slow. It has taken me close to ten years to be where I am today. Take baby steps and forgive yourself for not being perfect. A big part of being healthy is to have a positive frame of mind. If trying to get healthy is stressing you out, relax on some of your changes and make a promise to yourself that you’ll get there when you are ready.
by Debbie Peterson