It all starts with a craving…a craving for something delicious. So you pull out your favorite recipe and start mixing. One ingredient here, another there, and before you know it, it smells delightful!
Though you may not realize it, without that basic recipe, it would be much more difficult and time consuming to achieve the same level of flavor!
And if you want to implement a healthy lifestyle, but don’t know how, it’s the same: You need a recipe.
Let the 10 steps in this post be your “recipe” for beginning a healthier lifestyle!
#1: Prepare food from scratch
Processed food is full of GMOs,[i] vegetable oils, preservatives, artificial flavorings,[ii] dyes,[iii] and chemical residues,[iv] plus the rigorous growing, preserving, and processing practices strip nutrition from the food.
When you cook with whole foods, however, you can avoid most or all of these dangerous ingredients and customize for your family’s health needs and personal preferences (e.g., low-fat, wheat-free, spicy).
#2: Change your personal care products
Your skin is the largest organ on your body. Unfortunately, many personal care products contain unsettling ingredients. One of the worst? “Fragrance.” According to current regulations, that single word can mean a bottle of unidentified ingredients![v] Many of these have been shown to be problematic to your body’s natural hormonal processes, among other things.[vi]
When you switch to natural and/or homemade products, however, you’re avoiding these harmful chemicals and fragrances. Plus, many of these natural products may work far better than their synthetic counterparts, because they’re actually good for hair, skin, and nails!
#3: Exercise in the fresh air and sunshine
Are you reading this on your phone or computer? If so, this might be a little unsettling. Electronic devices emit something called EMFs, which have been shown to contribute to cancer and other disease.[vii] In addition, these devices are hard on your eyesight.[viii] Worse yet, many of us don’t get enough exercise, fresh air, or sunshine (critical for Vitamin D levels)![ix]
Getting exercise in the sunshine and fresh air clears your head, gives your body a little break from EMFs and stale indoor air, and also stimulates your body’s natural systems.[x]
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#4: Replace household building and cleaning products
Modern houses are often built using chemical-rich products.[xi] In addition, cleaning products in particular can be dangerous–antibacterial products alone have been shown to have a negative effect on your health.[xii] Older homes may also have lead and/or asbestos in their construction materials.
Indoor air is often the most polluted air, so if you can rid your house of these ingredients, you won’t be breathing them all day (and night)!
#5: Preserve foods at home
Preserved foods from the store not only contain questionable ingredients, but they may also be packaged in materials that just aren’t very healthy. Tin cans,[xiii] plastic containers,[xiv] and even aluminum foil[xv] have health concerns associated with them.
If you preserve food at home, however, you will not only know the exact ingredients, processes, and containers used, but you’ll also have a much tastier and nutrient-rich product!
#6: Use herbs, essential oils, and home remedies
Many over-the-counter drugs have serious side effects,[xvi] and everyone knows that medical costs continue rising, too.
If you know how to use herbs, essential oils, and other home remedies, you might save money,[xvii] and you’ll also be more prepared for emergency situations when traditional medical care isn’t immediately available (e.g., during a natural disaster, when you’re in a remote location).[xviii]
The threat of antibiotic resistance grows more serious with each passing day. An American woman died from a superbug resistant to 26 different antibiotics. Studies have uncovered that flies on chicken farms in China are spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And doctors are using last-resort antibiotics previously banned…because nothing else is working.
The United Nations has declared antibiotic resistance a “fundamental threat” to society. In fact, it’s predicted that with antibiotics no longer available, humans will see the end of modern medicine in the next 35 to 50 years.
#7: Do dental work carefully
Traditional dental care uses TONS of chemicals–fluoride, chlorine, fillings, and more. Many dental procedures (including root canals) and ingredients used in dental procedures have been linked to health problems.[xix] Instead, you should choose dental work carefully and try to take care of your teeth, so you don’t have to make those choices in the first place.
If you take good care of your teeth, you won’t have to visit that dreaded dentist office as often. Isn’t that reason enough? 😉 However, if you do need dental work done, there are also holistic dentists. (See a list of such dentists here.)
#8: Watch your water
Most municipal sources of water add chemicals like chlorine, which can be harmful. In addition, many water sources have been contaminated with antibiotics and agricultural chemicals.[xx]
While you may not be able to change your water source, you can utilize water filters, softeners, and other purification practices to provide a clean, safe source of water for your family. Since the average adult consumes 11-16 cups of water a day, not counting bathing needs,[xxi] purifying your water will be cutting your chemical exposure drastically.
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#9: Cut sugar
Sugar (and non-sugar substitutes) are everywhere. They’re added to processed foods and home recipes, and they’re used in gums, candies, and toothpastes. In addition, even some animals have been fed sugar during their lives![xxii]
Sugar isn’t the healthiest ingredient–we all know that. In addition, reducing sugar allows you to enjoy sweet flavors more,[xxiii] even the delicious, natural flavors found in fruits and veggies.
#10: Keep looking
As history shows, we’re always learning new things about our health. Foods once called dangerous are now staple grocery items, while some building products once used across the Western World were later determined to cause serious health problems. (Asbestos, anyone?)
That’s why you should always be looking, not in a paranoid way, but in a wise way. Learning how to live healthy is an adventure, an adventure that will last your entire life! It all starts today.
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To learn more about these topics, follow the links below. (These websites were used as references for the preparation of this post.)