Posts tagged ‘Health’

August 17, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Supportive Detox

by heatherkp
Cover of "The Fat Flush Plan"

Cover of The Fat Flush Plan

I’m still trying to play catch up after my couple of trips over the past month.  I feel like I should be doing a better job of blogging and getting back on track but I’m just not!  I am however in the midst (day 6 or 14) of doing a 2 week detox.   Let me back up and explain.  I think some form of detox is a good idea several times a year and I am way overdue for one. In addition to this I’ve had many days and nights of staying up too late, eating whatever I want, drinking a bit too much etc and I feel worn down and sluggish.  I’ve also been battling some digestive problems that I’ve developed this year so in order to get to the bottom of this I am kicking it off with a detox.

I had tried a 2 week diet eliminating gluten and wheat from my my menu but it wasn’t a long enough period to come to any conclusions.  This time I’m following the Fat Flush Plan (book) in order to give my liver, digestive system and lymph system a chance to restore and heal before I come to any further conclusions about food intolerance.  One of the reasons I choose this plan is that I am a meat eater and this plan allows for meat and eggs (but no dairy or wheat/gluten or other carbs) and I don’t think I’d last 3 days on a raw food detox so I wanted to do something that I knew I had a good chance of succeeding at. I also knew that this detox would be so much easier and more fun while there are so many fresh local veggies and fruit in season.  Let me say that so far it’s been a challenge beyond what I was expecting!  I’m not complaining because I know it’s going to be worth it in the end.  I was really worn down and had low energy levels for the first few days but started to round the bend on about day 4.  I honestly still feel very deprived of calories, energy and some of the things I love to eat.  Cutting the carbs and sugar (except 2 servings of fruit a day) completely has been so hard for me.  What can I say, I LOVE FOOD!  I’m a pretty healthy person and quite diciplined but this diet is showing me I still have a lot of room for improvement.

So pardon my absence from regular posting as I try to regain my strength, composure and sense of purpose.  I’ve had a very intense summer with a lot of “food for thought” on my plate, I’m busy digesting it all as I go through this supportive detox.

There are so many different detox plans, have you ever done a detox diet that you recommend?

March 2, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Natural Beauty

by heatherkp
The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals i...

Image via Wikipedia

Use natural and organic health and beauty products (that are not tested on animals and that do not contain parabens and other carcinogens).

Your skin is your largest organ so what you put on it is as important (if not more) as what you put in it!  A lot of people don’t realize how many products they use on their body contain formaldehyde and other carcinogens.

In the past may people have questioned the importance of avoiding some of  these ingredients and research in this area is ongoing with continuing evidence that supports a variety of health problems.  It’s becoming more widely recognized that certain ingredients are in fact carcinogens and in some cases are linked to specific forms of cancer.  The ingredients I try to avoid and an explanation of their uses are as follows:

  • sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates~ used as a foaming agent, can damage hair and skin follicles and even cause eye damage and liver toxicity.
  • mineral oil~used as a moisturizer or moisture barriers and derived from petroleum, can clog pores instead of allowing oxygen while moisturizing
  • propylene glycol ~used as a solvent, surfactant and wetting agent and derived from petroleum, can penetrate the skin extremely quickly and cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.  This is the main ingredient in Anti-freeze!
  • animal products (ethical reasons)~ can be listed as keratin, elastin, collagen, stearic acid and tallow.  Several of these are said to improve skin texture but the jury is still out weather there is in fact any significant benefit or harm to their use
  • parabens~widely used as a preservative, there is a low level similarity to estrogen which is still being studied to see if it can cause hormonal interference

Many products may also become contaminated by chemicals and because of this you may not even realize there is a problem since those ingredients are not listed (by law contaminants don’t have to be even if the company knows about them).   Some large corporations create huge quantities of products that are intended to have longer shelf lives and  preservation is one of the main reasons for some of these chemical ingredients.

I’d like to make a point about being overly paranoid and living in a bubble here.  As my grandfather, who is a retired Medical Doctor (General Practice) of over 45 years has pointed out to me, people need to be careful not to be too careful!  We live in a world that is increasingly paranoid (in my opinion) about germs and for babies and young children we need to allow them to be exposed to a certain level of “harmful substances” so their own immune systems can learn to build antibodies.  But, we also need to be aware of the ever increasing level of toxic substances that we are exposed to on a daily basis from a variety of sources.  These substances can have a cumulative effect and doing a little research can help you make a more educated decision.  My hope is that you will make your own choices based upon what you are comfortable with.

February 23, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Natural and non-toxic

by heatherkp
The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...

Image via Wikipedia

Use natural and non-toxic cleaning products in your home.

I do this and I think you should too.  Maybe you don’t care what I think but if your reading this, maybe you do, just a little.

Nasty Stuff-Chlorine, Formaldehyde, Chloroform, Lye,  Hydrochloric Acid, Ammonia , Phthalates, Parabens, Petroleum Distillates, VOC’s…these are the worst offenders causing a whole spectrum of health problems that you probably don’t want to know about but should.  I don’t have kids but I care deeply about how and what I surround myself with and if I had children I’d probably be even more fanatical about this topic (I’ve been known to buy bleach on occasion and use products that may contain Lye and maybe a hint of Ammonia-I’m not perfect, I confess!).

Now that I listed the Nasty why the HECK would you want to use toxic products?  Hello?

From my experience there are 2 reasons people haven’t already made the switch to non-toxic:

1.) They think that toxic means cleaner…!*@#???=healthier (please refer to the Nasty above, does that seem healthy to you?).

2.) They think natural means more $$

Seriously, do you want to have anything with a skull and crossbones in your house (and I’m not talking about your sense of fashion or your funky taste in art)?

I don’t and sense I’m not paid to endorse any products here (or anywhere) I’m not going to.  I’m sure you know how to use a search engine of your liking to find the ton of websites, books and blogs out there that already give you the specifics about what to look for and how to make your own-it’s easy and cheap (so you can eliminate #2 from your excuses now). 

As for #1, there are a lot of germaphobes out there and I’m not one of them.  I’m very healthy, I don’t get sick often (neither does my husband) and I spend a lot of time in my home (I work from home) so something must be working for us.  If this is your excuse for not using natural cleaners than I urge you to do a little research and give some products a try, you just might find that they smell better, don’t require using heavy duty plastic gloves to apply and work just as well as the toxic avengers!

One note of warning, so-called “green” cleaners are a big area of revenue for business but not all products are created equally.  Some “green” products are nothing more than the same old toxic cleaners diluted and with “essential oils” added.  Beware, read up and be a smart consumer (read the ingredients).   Seriously, it’s not that much work and you and your family are worth it.

Your life is worth living well so don’t pollute it when all your trying to do is clean it up a little!

PS.  For those of you who are lucky enough to hire cleaning help, supply them with the cleaners you want them to use in your home and make sure they are using them:)

January 19, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Sleep Well

by heatherkp

Do you get enough sleep?  Being well and feeling well literally begins with getting a good night sleep.  I know that I generally need 7-8 hours of sleep a night to feel my best.  I am not really able to sleep in past 7 or 8 so this means I have to get to bed by 11 or 12 at the latest.  We each have to listen to our internal clocks to determine the right amount of sleep and the optimal time for sleep.

I know the practice of napping is something some people swear by but I’ve never been able to nap.  I’m just not a napper, wish I was!  So that means I need to get that sleep at night because once I’m up, I’m up.

There are so many fascinating studies that illustrate all the ways in which sleep is important for us.  Lack of sleep and fatigue can lead to stress, weight gain, depression, anxiety, heart and other health problems (especially with sleep disorders) and it can be downright dangerous (as in driving and falling asleep etc).

January 5, 2011

Wednesday::Wellness

by heatherkp

I had planned to start off the new year with at least 1 or 2 posts by now but I’ve been totally off line for a couple days and recovering from all sort of nonsense.  I had a great holiday despite having “the bug” and a cold over Christmas and now a bit of a re-bound cold I do believe.  Jeeze, hopefully I’ve got it all out of my system for some time to come!  All this rest and recovery got me thinking quite a bit about wellness.  Despite the fact that I’m posting about this on the tail of 2-3 illnesses over 2 weeks I had not been sick at all for the entirety of 2010!  Wellness means more than keeping myself from getting sick, it means feeling good about myself, finding balance, nourishing my spirit and soul and being a good steward of the earth.

Here are 11 ways I’d like to share with you for 2011 to BE WELL.

1.  Keep a Journal (I practice writing for about 30 minutes each morning).

2.  Get 8 hours of sound sleep (give or take what feels right to you).

3.  Exercise regularly (3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes), some of my favorite forms of exercise are Yoga, walking and Dancing (Nia)

4.  Eat lots of organic and local produce.  Same goes for meat and dairy if you are not vegetarian (which I am not but was for quite a few years).

5.  Take time to do something that gives you Joy each day.

6.  Drink as much water as possible every day and  take good quality supplements (especially if you are not a big veggie and fruit fan).

7.  Use natural and non-toxic cleaning products in your home.

8.  Keep houseplants and get out and garden if you can.

9.  Use natural and organic health and beauty products (that are not tested on animals and that do not contain parabens and other carcinogens).

10.  Volunteer and help others out when/however you can.  Online is great but in person is even better!

11.  Eliminate Debt!

These may all seem like really basic practices and I commend you if you already do all of these (they are all a part of my regular routine at this stage in life).  If you feel like some or many of these goals are not attainable please stick with it, you can change habits but it takes time.  Find the ones that seem the most EASY or the most REWARDING or the most FUN and start with them!

I will be share more ideas about each of these over the next 11 Wednesday’s and I’d love to open this up for discussion.

How do you define Wellness?

PS...Bonus Be KIND, and I mean to everyone (yeah, I’m still working on this one so that’s why it didn’t make it to this years list…maybe it will by next year!).