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Wednesday
Oct052011

Leading An Organic Life

With the rise of genetically modified food, chemical exposures and hormonal overload, it is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to lead an all-natural, organic life.

I am an Organic Medicine physician having the privilege to help my patients get off their medicines and clean up their lives. This is not always an easy process, but it is always rewarding.

Let's face it, we live at a time when there are more chemicals and hormones in our environment than we, as humans, have ever been been exposed to. Many chronic medical problems from cancer to weight gain to chronic fatigue are the result of these influences on ourselves.

Whether we like it (or even believe in it), the environment we interact with has a direct effect on how we feel and how we age.

I certainly am not pessimistic about this. I take the stance that we are strong and can handle what is thrown our way--be it chemical exposures or heavy metals or MSG. But, to me, it makes sense to reduce our individual exposure to these foreign substances with the goal of leading the most natural and healthy life as possible.

On that note, here are several steps you can take to get yourself on the all-natural track:

  1. Cookware: needs to be ceramic, glass or stainless steel only. No teflon or synthetic material that leeches into food.
  2. Cooking oil: coconut oil, grapeseed oil and walnut oil are the very best. Organic butter is also great. Olive oil is great for dressings and dipping but due to its low flash point, please don't heat olive oil. Canola oil is one step away from plastic, so try to avoid
  3. Filter your water: at our house we filter all the water going into our house and then filter our drinking water with the Berkey Water Filter. Where we live in SC, we have so much fluoride and other contaminants that we really want to keep those chemicals out.
  4. Cleaning detergents: in our household, we only have two: Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap (the purest soap in the world) and Bac-Out (enzyme based, all-natural cleaner). We dilute the Dr. Bronner's soap and use it in our washing machine, dishwasher, dish soap and even bath soap. It is amazing stuff. We also dilute the Bac-Out with water and use that as cleaning spray in the kitchen and bathroom. We also use baking soda on occasion to help with crud that needs to be removed.
  5. Microwave: please remove from your home and don't use OR at least minimize how much microwaving you do!
  6. Organic Latex Matresses: we spend about one third of our lives sleeping, so it make sense to sleep on only organic material. Conventional mattresses are stuffed with bad things like Arsenic (I know this personally because we did hair testing of my children when they were young and they both showed high levels of Arsenic exposure...) and other debris. Organic Latex mattresses are ONE time purchases and should last an entire lifetime. They are expensive, but well-worth it. These same companies also make Organic latex mattress coverings that you can put on top of your conventional mattress, as well as Organic Latex pillows. Check out Savvy Rest for more information.
  7. Grow your own food: my wife leads the way with the planting of our garden each season with Heirloom seeds. Our goal is to eat as much food that we grow as possible. Right now we have lettuce, broccoli and carrots in the works along with our blueberry bushes, apple and nectarine trees that are too immature for fruit. Our Spring/ Summer garden includes tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, popcorn, onion, lettuce.
  8. Compost your food scraps: this helps out from an environmental perspective but also leads to fabulous soil for your garden. Check out my wife's tutorial on how to compost!
  9. Join an Organic Food Co-Op: every community has their share of these types of co-ops where you pay for organic produce. Check out this link to help you find one in your area. Buying your food locally reduces the amount of "handling" your food goes through to get from the ground to your plate.
  10. Choose only Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide sunscreen: we now know that all the chemicals in most sunscreens are worse for you than the sun's rays. There are a variety of brands out there that you can choose from. 
  11. Never use pesticides/ herbicides/ fungicides: there is mounting data that exposure to these harsh chemicals leads to Parkinson's, MS, Dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders. There is no need for these chemicals period.
  12. Choose Organic and All-Natural food as much as you can: it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find "real" organically grown food, but it is worth making that journey. Always choose Organic dairy products, Grass-Fed, Hormone-Free Beef, Free-Range, Hormone-Free Chicken and Eggs. Yes, it is impossible to eat everything organic, but do as much as you can. Organic food is certainly "cleaner" but also more nutritious.

This is just a start. There are so many ways for you to reduce your exposure to the chemicals and toxic components of our environment. Again, this does not mean you have to go to the extreme to accomplish this. One step at a time. But the more energy and time you invest in leading an organic life, the better you will feel and the more extraordinary your health will be!

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