I can safely say that there most certainly has been a shift in health consciousness and that we are finally gaining some momentum towards a new global awareness. Hooray!! While we still have a far way to go, I have begun to really see some great changes in the way of thinking. For example, it seems as though most people are at least beginning to think dynamically about their health, and what simple additions can be added into their lifestyle to increase their overall wellness. Therefore, based on the most popular question that I receive almost daily, I have put together a little list of some simple changes and additions that can be made in order to begin the transformation of having a healthy house and therefore body. While this is certainly not the entire list of healthy house staples, it is an excellent start that will dramatically move you along. We are working on baby steps here 🙂
1. Filtered Water
If there was one piece of advice that all health practitioners could agree on, that would be the importance of water. Drinking half your weight in ounces of water filtered daily is so essential to health, that it is practically a rule rather than a suggestion. If you have not mastered this practice yet, start right away because the truth is that all symptoms and complaints cannot even be truly addressed until you are actually HYDRATED.
Make sure that you have a water filter in the house as well. There are too many nasty components lurking in your tap ranging from prescribed medications and chlorine, to parasites and radioactive materials. I always recommend Reverse Osmosis water filters, but for a cheaper less labor intensive option, I like this one called the ZERO water filter. As for bottled water, the plastics (specifically BPA) leach into the water, which interrupt your hormone balance (think lowered testosterone, breast cancer, weight gain and lowered libido) so this would only be a temporary solution. This is a must for getting started with healthy house staples.
*To learn more about the best water to drink read “Bottled, Filtered or Tap Water? What’s Healthiest?”
2. Unheated, Sea Salt
If there was a book of testimonies of how incorporating unheated sea salt into the diet rapidly influenced people’s health, the book would be hundreds of thousands of pages long. Unheated sea salt is second to water in being an imperative component to our health. If we were plants, salt would have about the same importance as the sun. Essential to life. Get the point? So shoot for 1/2 to 1 tsp daily in your food or water. My favorite salt is called Pink Salt by Premier Research Labs.
Unheated sea salt contains valuable trace minerals that are necessary for almost every function in our body. Not to mention, it is these trace minerals which keep our tissues oxygenated and our pH alkaline. And guess what? In an alkaline body, disease, cancer and other states of dysfunction cannot exist. Basic chemistry here.
Finally, unheated sea salt provides the chloride fraction from which HCL or hydrochloric acid is produced. HCL is produced in our stomach to not only DIGEST our food, but to also DISINFECT anything coming down the pipeline. Therefore, without proper HCL production, you are setting yourself up for rotting food and a high probability of pathogenic (parasite, bacteria, fungus etc.) exposure. To learn more about why unheated sea salt is so vital as well as different than regular table salt, check out this post HERE.
3. Healthy Fats/Oils
The GOOD guys
Include the following into your diet daily. * The highest fat meal is best at lunchtime because it is the time we can digest it best.
– Oils: coconut oil/butter, olive oil, sesame oil, flax oil, hemp oil
* All oils must be stored in dark glass bottles to prevent the oil from becoming rancid
– Raw nuts/seeds (soaked and sprouted is ideal)
– Hemp and Chia/Salba seeds
– Coconut meat
– Organic, farm-raised, hormone-free eggs
The BAD guys:
– Fried foods
– Oils/fats: canola oil, vegetable oil, margarine, “I cant believe its not butter,” conventional butter, soybean oil, peanut oil, corn oil
– Trans Fatty Acids, also known as polyunsatured fats. These are found in processed and packaged foods and drinks, especially creamers and peanut butter. Learn more about these fats in THIS article.
Healthy fats and oils are now finally being given the recognition that they deserve. We are now in a state of epidemic where unhealthy fats and oils are one of the leading factors in health dysfunction and therefore, it is more imperative than ever to purge the unhealthy fats from your diet and add in the healthy ones. By adding the previous list of fats into your diet, you will be able to manage inflammation levels, increase cognition and mood, keep your hair and skin supple, while actually preventing disease.
Our cells are housed by a very special membrane called the cellular membrane, which is actually composed of fats. This membrane is our protection against pathogenic (virus, bacteria, parasite, fungus) materials, and without a strong layer, these bad guys can more easily get in. When we eat BAD fats they are used to make up our cellular membranes, and guess what…. our protection becomes weakened and more permeable. Therefore when our little cells are exposed to the bad guys, the cells have a harder and harder time protecting themselves. As a result, we become vulnerable to disease. On the other hand, if we eat healthy fats, our cellular membranes become SUPER DUPER strong, preventing any bad guys from entering.
On another note, healthy fats, in particular, saturated fats, are ESSENTIAL for hormone production. If you want to look young and beautiful, while maintaining your youth-like virility and vitality, eat plenty of healthy fats and ELIMINATE the unhealthy fats. To learn more about oils and fats, check out my article on cooking with oils.
4. Fresh, Organic Produce: fruits and vegetables at every meal
The power of organic is something that we have to remember is essential to health, as much as the type and quality of the food that we eat. Fill your fridge with fresh organic fruits and vegetables that should be eaten with EVERY meal. Organic is necessary because the daily consumption of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, not to mention the genetically modified component, creates a real health risk long-term. These pesticides are not only carcinogenic but they also interrupt your natural hormone balance since pesticides are actually xeno-estrogens. These means that they increase bad estrogens in your body leading to a host of symptoms including weight gain, low libido, hair loss and memory loss. Yikes! Yes, you men should be listening here…
As for fresh fruits and vegetables, I think we are pretty well aware of their importance in health. This is where we find the TRUE cancer and disease-fighting components that keep us healthy and young. Not to mention, we also find a bulk of our minerals here (especially in GREEN leafy vegetables), which keep our body ALKALINE. And we all remember why being alkaline is so important right? Alkaline equals TISSUE OXYGEN, and a DISEASE-FREE body.
To get the list of produce that needs to be organic, and which can be conventional, read “Budget friendly organic shopping.”
5. Shower Filter
Did you know that spending 10 minutes in a hot shower is the same as drinking 10 gallons of water? WOW! So if we are so concerned about DRINKING filtered water, why are we not concerned about showering and bathing in it?
While the majority of toxins and pathogens found in drinking water cannot bypass our epidermis, or skin layer, a few KEY toxins actually CAN. The big guys here are CHLORINE, FLUORIDE and VOCs. These toxins can cause a host of problems in the body, including thyroid suppression, and neurological and cardiovascular dysfunction. Not to mention, these toxins could also be the hidden cause of your dry, itchy skin. So do yourself a favor and purchase a SUPER affordable shower filter. I love this one by Rainshow’r. It is easy to install and each filter lasts about 4-6 months before you have to change it. Voila! Problem solved.
6. Non-toxic Cleaning Products
So now that you have gone to all the trouble of following steps 1-5, why mess it all up by exposing yourself to unnecessary chemicals and toxic agents? Our cleaning products are probably the most toxic substances that we subject ourselves to on an ongoing basis. And the worst part is that they are not just toxic while we are using them. The majority of them CONTINUE to be toxic, even when they are just sitting idle on the surfaces we have used them on or even where they are stored!
Think about it. You wash your clothes in laundry detergent that contain all sorts of chemical agents, and then you wear it ALL DAY LONG. Yep… those chemicals are still on there! Or for example, if you use air fresheners in your house, that synthetic imitation of the Ocean’s Breeze is getting into your body every breathing moment in your home or car! It is no wonder people suffer from foggy brain, skin conditions and headaches. Opt for the non-toxic versions instead. A great option is the Seventh Generation brand, which can be found online and at most grocery stores and Target.
* To see if your product is non-toxic, check out cosmeticdatabase.com
7. Switch to a Toaster Oven instead of a Microwave
This is a big one here. I know we have all heard something about the possible radiation exposure from microwaves, but have you also heard that it actually damages the food as well? This is a two-fold issue, making it very important to switch to a toaster oven for your main heating needs.
Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation—waves of electrical and magnetic energy moving together through space. This microwave radiation interacts with the molecules in food, by causing them to rotate millions of times a second. All this agitation creates molecular friction, which heats up the food. This friction causes substantial damage to the surrounding molecules, often tearing them apart or forcefully deforming them. As a result, the nutrition of the food is lost (up to 90%), leaving you little to no benefit from eating it.
In addition, there have been studies which have shown that eating microwaved food increases the formation of carcinogenic substances (cancer-causing agents). Use a Toaster Oven (I love the one by Cuisinart) instead. They can easily heat up, cook and toast food quickly.
8. Tongue Scraper
Did you know that the color of your tongue can tell a lot about your health? The coating of the tongue is actually also the buildup of toxic material similar to plaque.
Much like your colon, the mouth has its own environment of good and bad bacteria. It is our goal to make sure that the good bacteria always wins over the bad. If not, we are putting ourselves at a higher risk for tooth decay, gum disease and even sinus and throat infections. Therefore, the tongue scraper is a super easy method to reduce these bad guys while preventing their reabsorption into the body. Besides, we brush or scrub every other part of our body, why not the tongue too? My favorite is this one, which is the Metal U tongue cleaner.
9. Natural Deodorant/Antiperspirant
This is a great one that is not typically addressed by health practitioners or on health and wellness websites, but is most certainly deserving of a spot on my top ten. For one, both deodorants and antiperspirants contain toxic chemicals that have a fast track entrance into the body through your sweat glands. Not to mention, women typically apply it right after they shave, leaving our exposed and often broken skin to these very toxic chemicals. The toxins of highest concern are aluminum and parabens. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds may be absorbed by the skin causing estrogen-like effects. Furthermore, parabens also have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells. These two components have led to claims that deodorants and antiperspirants can cause breast cancer since xenoestrogens (foreign estrogen) are known to drive the growth of cancerous cells, especially in breast tissue. Furthermore, this type of estrogenic activity can also drastically affect your hormone balance, leading to a host of problems from weight gain, fatigue and hair loss.
So the bottom line is to switch to a non-toxic deodorant and ditch those antiperspirants. To learn more about this read my article “Are deodorants safe?”
10. Organic Unpastuerized Apple Cider Vinegar and Aloe Vera Juice
Now for a little fun. Since the process of digestion, absorption, assimilation and excretion are KEY components to getting you where you want to be health-wise, I have added in my two very simple diet additions for optimal digestion and therefore health.
Apple cider vinegar and aloe have a laundry list of health benefits that range not only from improving digestion, but also to fighting disease, combating inflammation, and alkalizing the body. Yup, there is the word ALKALINE again! But rather to bore you with all the nitty gritty details, I am going to just put it plainly. Add 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar and 1-2 oz. of aloe vera juice to your water, fresh juice or smoothie daily to improve your health. Remember to purchase unpasteurized ACV, like Braggs, and Aloe Vera juice that does not contain flavors and harmful preservatives such as sodium benzoate. I personally use Organic Aloe Vera Juice by Lakewood.
If you want to actually see this laundry list of health benefits that I have been referring to, then check out my Superfood Guide. It has all those reasons on why adding these two ingredients into your diet will make you feel kick-ass!