As you are aware our health had deteriorated to a point where it made it very difficult to have children (and is still ongoing….). The funny thing was we were never sick! We thought we were healthy, we ate well, we exercised more than the average Jo but we were still having significant trouble in conceiving naturally and with assistance. There comes a point where you realise that there must be more than just trying IVF for the 6th time or resorting to a donor egg. This thought led us to a place where we cannot come back from. You can’t unlearn this stuff, it sticks with you which makes it damn easy to change your lifestyle.
Below are some of the things we have changed in our life that we were surprised about but haven’t looked back. And believe me there are plenty more where these came from but these are the top 5 changes we made for our health and the health of our future children.
- We went Plastic Free: This one seems to be on everyone’s lips lately but no one really takes the leap to try and change a significantly ingrained habit. Plastic is made from chemicals, these chemicals can leach out into our food and water and can cause harm to our bodies. This study shows that even the BPA free bottles are harmful. This one shows that exposure to plastic compounds in the embryonic development stages can increase an animals chance of developing adult onset diseases like PCOS, Obesity and kidney disease.
There are so many studies out there now that are supporting all of this so why stay in the dark. When you know that this can effect you negatively why would you not change those habits!! A couple of easy to do things that will make this transition a lot easier for you.
A. When Pyrex dishes come on sale go and fill your cupboards!! They are safe to cook in and store all of your food in. Just don’t put the plastic lids in the microwave! (Catch of the day always have sales)
B. Change to a glass water bottle, stop using the plastic ones! (Try and get the ones that are surrounded by a silicon protection to avoid the glass breaking, or Voss bottles are relatively cheap from any Supermarket)
C. If you are not at this stage yet to change your beloved Tupperware, please don’t cook your food in the microwave with plastic or glad wrap!!
2. Gluten free/Dairy Free/Sugar free: This is a triple wammy! There are many reasons for each one of these and they each deserve a blog post in themselves. One of the main reasons for a change in these foods for me was down to an intolerance or reaction to these foods.
Gut health and food intolerance’s are at the forefront of the health and wellness space at the moment. When someone has a food intolerance (ie. feels tired, fuzzy head, bloated, gassy, generally uncomfortable after eating) this is the bodies immune response gearing up for assault. If you are continually eating/drinking foods that are causing these reactions and increasing the immune response there is a constant slow irritation and inflammation of all the structures in the gut lining. This can lead to problems with weakening of this lining and foods/nutrients that weren’t supposed to pass through can start to circulate in the body, affectionately known as ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’. This is not an ideal environment to thrive in so ideally people need to avoid the foods that cause this reaction.
The function of food is for nourishment, to provide the cells in the body with enough energy and appropriate vitamins and minerals to help the cells function optimally. If the gut lining is compromised the food is not digested properly and the nutrients aren’t absorbed as well and this leads to poor health.
Gluten, Dairy and Sugar are the big 3 which are inflammatory foods, and most people find these difficult to digest properly in general. However, there are exceptions to these rules so listen to your body. If you are experiencing bloating, fuzziness, fatigue, farting and just generally not thriving then please get it investigated, or see how you go with a reduction in these foods in your diet.
Sugar is also a major blood sugar spiker, which has many health problems associated with it. Read more about this here.
3. Toxic free self care: Wow, we put so many chemicals on our skin!! The skin is the bodies largest organ and we are slathering it with chemicals every single day. This article is a little scary, but is important to show us the harmful effects of toxic self care products. 168 chemicals a day! Seriously! Why are we doing this to ourselves?
There are some amazing toxic free products on the market now and they are so easy to find. The Nourished Life and the local health food store is where I shop for all my products. The costs to your pocket are comparable but the benefits to your health far outweigh any negatives. If you wanted to go really deep like myself (nerd alert) there is a website called Skin Deep and you can write in each ingredient and it will tell you the toxic load and if it is safe. Unfortunately there are some brands that say one thing and still have harmful ingredients in their lists. If you want any specific information about any products I am happy to let you know the ones I use, just send me an email or comment in the section below.
(Perfumes, or anything with fragrance in the ingredient list are toxic, maybe doing your own research into this would be helpful)
4. Toxic free cleaning: This is along the same lines as the self care products but the world’s obsession with cleaning and sanitising are affecting our gut microbiome and are causing some health issues. Abode and Eco store are my two favourite non-toxic brands and they are an equivalent price to normal household chemicals. Say NO to bleach, hand sanitiser and air freshener all together and start using beautiful products like Enjo and substituting your detergents, dishwasher tablets, spray and wipe with natural alternatives that do a fantastic job with none of the adverse effects.
The rise of 100% pure essential oils with Doterra and Young Living is the way forward for fragrances in your home. The artificial chemical fragrances are toxic, they contain phthalates which can disrupt your hormonal regulation and this is how the body sends messages around the system. It’s like having a disruption in your everyday communication system and can’t send messages/emails/phone calls etc to others because their inbox is full, not ideal for organising life and business. So please only use the 100% essential oils with a diffuser and open windows to improve the smell of your home.
If you would like any more help with this just let me know or you can participate in the Low Tox Life e-course which helps you to change your ways over a period of weeks.
5. Meditation: I know this sounds weird but all the personal development books I have read and podcasts I have listened to have focused a lot of time quoting the benefits of reducing stress and adding regular meditation into your daily routine. It has taken me a while to form this habit and admittedly I am not crash hot at it yet. However I have noticed a significant improvement in my ability to handle stressful situations and I feel calmer in general. Stress can have a significant impact on your health via your gut-brain connection. This has a direct impact on hormone production which effects the bodies ability to send messages around the body.
So my advice to you would be to dabble in a bit of guided meditation to start, try and make it a habit of five minutes a day and see how you go. They say that a habit is formed in 21 days so give it that long. There are loads of free meditation apps, or you tube channels that you can start with.
In conclusion: Be open to adding some health improvements into your life, before you have the negative big impact life changing moment. The people that are in health and wellness always have a health challenge so be the person to change because you want to be the best version of yourself, not because you have to.