Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Chemical-free life

Being a graduate of an Institute of Holistic Nutrition I found myself knowledgeable theoretically in keeping a healthy lifestyle. Being a young wife and a mother, I struggled financially keeping a healthy lifestyle. These two experiences combined brought me to well-considered and thoughtful solutions. Here is my opportunity to share them with you.

It is not easy for us to live a healthy life in our modern world contaminated with chemicals. Yet, every individual chooses what food to eat – healthy versus junk, organic versus conventional; as well as what cleaning and beauty products to use at home – with or without chemicals. It is our personal decision whether we choose to be healthy or not.  Although the concept of “holistic lifestyle” sounds a little bit complicated and expensive, let me assure you that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Let us start talking about food – the main fuel to sustain our life. We should be aware that whatever is in the food we eat will certainly be absorbed by our body. Just thinking about all the herbicides, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics that we consume is so overwhelming. At the same time, eating all organic is very expensive! So, what is the way out? Have you heard of “dirty dozen and clean fifteen”? According to the EWG 2018 Shopping Guide list the following twelve fruits and vegetables have the most chemicals used while they are grown, therefore it is suggested to buy them organic: Strawberries, Spinach, Apples, Nectarines, Grapes, Peaches, Pears, Cherries, Tomatoes, Celery, Potatoes, Sweet Green Peppers and Hot Peppers.  The following pieces of produce require the least chemicals sprayed on them, that is why they can be still consumed when grown conventionally: Avocado, Cabbage, Onions, Sweet Peas, Asparagus, Mangoes, Eggplants, Kiwis, Honeydew Melons, Cantaloupes, Cauliflower, Broccoli. I shortened this list to twelve items due to possible use of genetically modified seeds when growing corn, papaya and pineapple.

Nevertheless, the best fruits and vegetables are the ones that are grown by you. If you have at least a little piece of land available, this is the best investment you can do for your health. What can be purer and tastier than those red tomatoes full of vitality that you just picked up from your own garden?

This summer was my first time growing my own produce in my little backyard and it was the most rewarding and exciting experience ever! Even if you don’t have any land available, you can also use little pots and plant some herbs like parsley, dill, cilantro and even mint at home. Those are just my favourites, but there are a lot more options available.

As to meat choices, there are plenty of small farms which grow their animals without the use of hormones and antibiotics, but they cannot afford to be labeled “organic”. Check your local farmers’ markets to see if you have any meat like that available near you or check your grocery store for brand called “Free from”. Usually it is more economical than organic but could be potentially as clean and healthy.

If you are limited with your finances and debating which food is more important to buy organic, I would recommend choosing organic dairy products. This is the food that has higher fat content, and fat tends to store the most amount of chemicals in it.

Now it is time to talk about cleaning products. Your house can be a very toxic place if your cupboards are full of conventional cleaners, bleach, detergents, air freshener etc. Remember that everything that touches your skin is being absorbed right through and whatever aroma you have lingering in the air most definitely enters your lungs. The cheapest and very effective things to use for cleaning is household vinegar and baking soda. They kill the bacteria and leave the place clean and shiny. These items have been used in homes for years, but unfortunately today they have been forgotten because of an abundance of all types of cleaning products that are full of chemicals. I also like to use lemon and other citrus essential oils for cleaning my house. I simply add about 10 drops in a small spray bottle with water. This option is more expensive than household vinegar, but it also kills bacteria and gives a great natural aroma that is beneficial for our health.

Nowadays, people have lots of issues with their wellness, they keep wondering where those health problems come from. Unfortunately, not many people can see the connection between their imbalances and the chemicals penetrating their bodies due to the wrong choices in their lives. This article is my attempt to put you and your family on a healthier path.

Marianna Martinez,  CNP

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