FACEBOOK LIVE RECAP: 3 SIMPLE STEPS TO A HEALTHIER LIFE & HOME

Regardless of where you are on the spectrum of living a healthy lifestyle, we can all agree we'd welcome having a healthier life and home for our family. That was the topic of the Facebook Live chat I hosted on Saturday.  For those that didn't have a chance to join us, you can scroll to the very bottom of this post to view it. Or, read today's blog post recap highlighting what was covered.  Here's to a healthier life & home, one pinch at a time! 🙂

 


 

3 SIMPLE STEPS FBL Recap-01
 
IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY LIVING IN GENERAL

As a people, we can now expect to live longer than ever before. In the 1950s the average life expectancy was around 50 years give or take a few. Nowadays, people can expect to make it to the age of 80 and beyond.

 

It’s important to realize though, that the longer you live, the greater chance you have of experiencing different diseases. And yes, we all will die of something, but don’t you want to live out the rest of your years feeling great with a sound mind?

 

Diseases and major health issues don’t develop overnight. Rather they are the accumulation of years and years of habits, exposures, and choices we make on a day-to-day basis.

 

So if you want to make the rest of your life, the best of your life, healthy living should be a key focus for you and your family.

 

3 SIMPLE STEPS

 

To live a healthier life and provide a healthier lifestyle for your family, you must WATCH WHAT YOU PUT IN/ON YOUR MOUTH, SKIN & AIR.
 

 

So there you have it. The 3 simple steps are to be mindful of what you put in your mouth (i.e.-what you eat/feed your family), what you put on or in contact with your skin, and what you put in the air.

 

Let’s break it down.


#1 HEALTHY EATING HABITS

 

Obviously what we eat is highly important to our health. And while your food will not be the focus of most of what I cover here or on the Facebook Live chats, it’s crucially important to living a healthy lifestyle.

 

Here are some key elements to include:

 

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables

 

  • Organic Food

 

Organic food is important not because it’s significantly more nutritious than non-organic (aka conventional) food. In fact, most studies show that organic and conventional food are nutritionally similar, with organic milk and organic tomatoes being the exception.

 

However, it’s what isn’t in organic food that sets it apart. Of main importance, organic food does not contain pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), antibiotics or artificial food additives.

 

Pesticides are chemicals used in non-organic farming to keep bugs or ‘pests’ from ruining or jeopardizing their crops. The problem is the chemicals in pesticides remain on most of the produce selections and have numerous negative health effects for you and your family.

 

GMOs are created by altering the natural genetic makeup of a particular food in such a way that would never occur in nature. The purpose is to create a final product that resists insects and diseases, require less money/resources to produce, produce a larger yield in less time, etc.  

 

Genetic modification is still in its early stages, so the long-term effects of it on human health aren’t understood as well as we would like. In animal testing genetically modified food showed a major reduction in immune system strength, an increase in birth mortality, as well as in certain sexual dysfunctions, cancers, and sensitivity to allergens.

 

When it comes to the chemicals used in pesticides and on GMO crops, it’s especially important to remember that children are particularly susceptible to chemical exposure for 2 main reasons.

    • They are still growing and developing. So we want to give their organs a chance to develop as naturally and purely as possible.
    • Their immune systems are underdeveloped.

 

Organic food does cost more and this is largely because it takes more time and resources to produce crops because organic farmers must refrain from using the chemicals and growth hormones used by conventional farmers.

 

Dirty dozen

When it comes to buying organically, and to save money, begin by buying the products on the dirty dozen list. Meaning the products that have the most pesticides. I’ve linked to the list here. 

 

  • Healthy Protein Sources

Another important component to a healthy diet is to have healthy protein sources. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. I’m not going to get into the should I eat meat or no meat debate, and yes, there are other sources of protein besides meat including nuts, vegetables, etc. But healthy sources of protein (i.e.- not a McDonald’s hamburger) are crucially important to a healthy lifestyle.

 

  • Water, Water, Water

If anyone watches the Discovery Channel show, Naked and Afraid, you know that water is of paramount importance to any hope of survival. You can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water.

 

Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water like cucumber and watermelon.

 

Being properly hydrated is important to healthy living because water

  1. Helps your body to remove waste. Your organs cannot function properly if they are not adequately hydrated.
  2. Water protects your joints, tissues, and spinal cord.
  3. Crucial to your immune system. What happens when you go to the doctor and are sick? They tell you to drink lots of fluid.
  4. Water also helps to circulate the nutrients and oxygen to all parts of your body.
  5. Nearly every major system in the body needs proper hydration to function properly.

 

Now let’s talk about the things we don’t want to include in a healthy diet:

  • Preservatives
  • Artificial flavors
  • High sugar foods/drinks
    • Many in the health community say that sugar is the single worst ingredient in an American diet.
    • The problem with juice and other fruity drinks is that the sugar content is so high and without the fiber of the actual fruit, this sugar is directly absorbed into the bloodstream resulting in hikes in blood sugar. Not to mention the chemicals and artificial flavors and colors put in most non-organic juice.
      • Birth to 6 months. No fruit juice, unless it's used to relieve constipation.
      • 6 to 12 months. If juice is given, limit it to 4 to 6 ounces (118 to 177 milliliters) and serve it in a cup (not a bottle) to avoid tooth decay.
      • 1 to 6 years. Up to 6 ounces (177 milliliters) a day.
      • 7 years and older. Up to 12 ounces (355 milliliters) a day.
    • We all know that eating lots of sugar can lead to diabetes and a host of other issues in our bodies that keep us from feeling our best.

 

  • Processed foods

Think most things sold on a shelf, that is in a package.



VIEWER QUESTION Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 10.55.22 AM

ANSWER: I looked up the Horizon Organic Milk that is sold on shelves and outside the refrigerator. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 10.57.59 AM

*It is important to note, however, that milk that has been UHT pasteurized has been heated to such a high temperature to kill the bacteria that spoils the milk at a faster rate. But along with the killing of bad bacteria, many of the good qualities of milk are also lost.


 

Prevention.com had an article highlighting the 7 foods that should never cross your lips. There are much more than 7 but this is a good starting place. 

 

The point is this, think more about what you are eating and feeding your family and begin to educate yourself. Knowledge is power!

 


 

#2 HEALTHY SKIN HABITS

 

The skin is the largest organ. For simplicity’s sake, I will not go in great detail on how the skin absorbs the products we put on it. But please know, much of what you put on your skin can get absorbed into your body.

 

Laundry detergent, fabric softeners, lotions, soaps, deodorant are typical culprits that can lead to allergies, breathing, and neurological problems.

 

Fabric softeners, for example, are largely made of toxic chemicals coat your towels, sheets and clothing. They are designed to remain in fabric for long periods of time. As a consumer who loves things that smell good, this seems like great news right?

 

Not so fast! Remember we said the skin was the largest organ. When you wear chemically "softened" clothes, you not only inhale these chemicals by breathing, but they are directly in contact with your body which can lead to a host of neurological effects on the brain.  

 


VIEWER QUESTION Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 11.29.08 AM

ANSWER: Here is a complete list of all fabric softeners ranked by the EWG. I advise choosing between the "A" and "B" ranked products (which was only 8 out of more than 100 products tested). 


 

It always helps to go back to thinking about a baby. You would never put a highly perfumed product on a baby because you know it would be too harsh for their skin. But for some reason, we don’t necessarily give the same thought to what we put on our skin and our child.

 

I am in the process of working on a new product that will shed some more light on this and give you a better guide for products to use for healthier living.

 

This is a highly complex issue, in part because of the way our government is set up.  

 

Federal law allows companies to leave some chemical ingredients off their product labels, including those considered to be trade secrets.

 

These fragrances may include any number of the industry’s 3,100 stock chemicals, none of which is required to be listed on labels.

 

And even some claims that are put on labels, are nothing more than marketing schemes to trick you into thinking a product is healthier.

 

Take for example the word “hypoallergenic”.

 

Most of you would think that this means something that wouldn’t cause allergic reactions and something that was healthier to use.

 

Well I went to the FDA to see how this term is regulated. What I found was startling yet because I’ve done this type of research I wasn’t surprised. They said, and I quote:  Hypoallergenic means “whatever the company wants it to mean”. :-/

 

Want to see for yourself? Here’s the link.

 

Many of these products don’t cause immediate reactions but can slowly build up in us through repeated use over time. So be on the lookout in the next couple of months as I will be rolling out something that will help you make better decisions for yourself and your family.

 


VIEWER QUESTION Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 11.29.51 AM

ANSWER: Refer to this pdf by the EWG featuring their advice for avoiding bug bites. If you are particularly concerned about Zika, see this guide.


 
#3 HEALTHY AIR

 

Finally, our 3rd step is to be more cautious of what we put in our air. We’ve discussed at length, the importance of not polluting the air inside your home. But in general, candles, cleaning products, chemical fragrances, air fresheners etc. all contribute to indoor air pollution which can lead to various diseases and neurological issues.

 

We can’t necessarily control the outside air pollution so do what you can in your home.

 

Things like making sure your home is clean and not dusty, again being more mindful of the laundry products you use, using better cleaning products, an essential oil diffuser instead of candles can help the air in your home.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency warns that the health effects of indoor air pollution can occur years after exposure.


 
BONUS STEP

 

I didn’t mention exercise but I’d like to add it as a bonus 4th step. The benefits of exercise are numerous and you should aim to be active every day. Do not lead a sedentary lifestyle. Many studies are now showing that sitting for the length of time that many of us do, behind computers and at desks, in our cars, etc. is as hazardous to our health as smoking. So get out and move and encourage your kids to do the same.

 


 

On Facebook I asked the question, what hinders you from healthier living. And I want to close by going over that.

 

Many of you mentioned money. And yes, some products and food will be more expensive. But you have to make the decision what is more important? Your health or your wallet. I’m not saying go out and buy every organic, or healthy product known to man, but be strategic about what you purchase.

 

The average 60 year old takes anywhere from 4-5 or even more prescriptions every day in the United States. Do you think that’s cheap? No! I’d much rather make investments into my health than to have to pay for prescriptions to mask symptoms of illness and possibly lead to other complications.

 

For those of you that mentioned time: I get it. I want to take some time to speak directly to the mothers out there. Not to discount the dads, because I know my husband is super helpful in every area of my home. But as mothers, we carry the majority of the burden as it relates to our children. Keeping up with everything in the midst of all of our other responsibilities can be a challenge. BUT, I challenge you to try and make it more of a priority. We all know we get done the things we find important. Health is something that is easily taken for granted...until we don’t have it or start to lose it. Really sit down and think of ways you can implement healthier practices. And take it one step at a time. Buy a better all purpose cleaner, stop burning toxic candles, little progress will eventually add up to large progress and you’ll be on your way in no time.

 

Lastly, many mentioned knowledge of what to do.

 

Of all the reasons, this one is to me the biggest hindrance. I was a biology major and have a master’s in biomedical science and it is STILL a challenge to keep up. Science changes. What was once approved is now not approved. But the biggest tip I can give you in terms of this is to keep it simple. Use simple products, eat simple foods, not things that have 100 ingredients on them, and be vigilant about proper exercise and sleep habits. Yes, there will always be something else that comes up that could possibly kill you. It’s the world we now live in. But keeping things simple while getting the necessary knowledge is key.

 

And that’s where I am here to help you. Always feel free to email me through my website’s contact page with ANY questions you could possibly have. Read the blog, take from it what you can. Keep joining me here every other week for these Facebook Live chats. I’m constantly thinking of ways to help you on this healthy lifestyle journey and want you to know I am here to help. And don’t just stop with me. Research other brands and find other information to answer your questions.

 

As you know, I believe the kitchen is the center of your family’s health. Not only because it contains the food you eat, but also because many of the cleaning products you own are used there, the cookware you use, food storage containers, etc. are all important pieces to the puzzle for building great health. Click here to see exactly what is covered in the Healthy Kitchen Guide and to purchase your copy today.

 

*The next Facebook Live Chat will be Saturday, September 10th @ 10AM (EST)

 

HERE'S THE LIVE VIDEO CHAT

                     

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