If you’re like me, you try your best to stay healthy. You have a list of do’s and dont’s that you follow and hope that you don’t get sick. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. Normally I like to focus on the positive things that can be done to optimize health but there are times when you have to look into the things that you could be doing wrong. Here is a list of 6 ways that you may be sabotaging your health on a daily basis and ways to keep yourself healthy.
1. Eat Processed Foods
You know processed food is bad for you. Eating fake food full of artificial colors, flavors and chemicals causes us to be fed but malnourished. This leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a myriad of other ailments. Our bodies can’t recognize what we are putting in it as food so it stores it in all the wrong places. Our immune systems go bonkers, our hormones go wacky and we are all-around unhealthy.
What can you do to avoid processed foods and make better choices? Choose fresh options. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket where all the fresh foods are. Eat a rainbow variety of vegetables, fruits, meats, raw dairy, grass-fed meat, pastured poultry, etc. Eat your food as close to natural as possible. Join a food co-op like Your Family Cow and get food farm to table. Local Harvest is a great source to find food co-ops and farms that participate Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) food shares. Follow blogs with real food recipes. Many food bloggers have amazing eBooks. Get out of the rut of processed foods. Eating real food will make a huge difference in your quality of life, guaranteed.
2. Drink Chlorinated and Fluoridated Water
You can eat the best diet in the world and still be sabotaging your health. It horrifies me that people drink water straight from the tap. If you are drinking unfiltered tap water or bottled water, you may be filling your body up with chlorine, fluoride and petrochemicals. If you are on the West Coast you may have to worry about rocket fuel in your water supply! Chlorine leaches the minerals out of your body and is also a known carcinogen. It is a health wrecking ball! If you are taking supplements but drinking bad water you are poisoning your body and wasting your money! I do not recommend bottled water because the chemicals that leach from the bottles are very dangerous hormone disruptors that mess with your endocrine system. Fluoride is a neuro-toxin that has no business being in your body. Steer clear of fluoridated toothpastes as well!
What is the solution for clean drinking water? Buy a filtration system. Be sure it can filter out chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals. I like Berkey Water Filters as well as the filters Dr. Joseph Mercola has on his site. I do not recommend distilled water for drinking. It also leaches minerals from the body and just isn’t natural. I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this and I am fine with that. I am all about being as close to nature as possible and you simply cannot find distilled water in nature.
3. Diet Constantly
Constantly depriving yourself of food or going on fad diets wrecks your health. It messes with your metabolism and blood sugar. It affects your moods and natural rhythms. Calorie counting is not an effective way to lose weight and if you are like me, it will drive you crazy trying to count every single one!
How can you break the chronic dieter cycle? Just eat real food! You won’t have to count calories if you are eating to live instead of living to eat. Food is your friend! Properly preparing grains by soaking them, making sourdough, eating healthy fats like coconut oil, ghee, cod liver oil, and eating and drinking more fermented foods like sauerkraut, beet kvass, water kefir and milk kefir, kombucha etc. can really help you get to your ideal weight and stay there. Exercise is important too but you can sabotage any workout routine with unhealthy eating.
4. Depend on Conventional Medicine to Stay Healthy
The number one killer in America is our medical system. More people die from prescription drugs and medical malpractice than from anything else. We are the sickest country in the world but the most technologically advanced. How does that happen? Big Pharma has convinced us that we need pills for everything and anything. Restless leg syndrome, dry eyes, short eye lashes. You name it, there’s a medicine for that so go ask your doctor. Are you sick of it? I AM! We need to learn how to take care of ourselves! I am not against doctors, please don’t misunderstand. I believe there are good doctors out there that really care about healing their patients. I just think that our healthcare system is so money driven that the person becomes another number and the bottom line becomes the most important thing.
How can we take care of our own health? Learn how to take care of yourself and your family with herbs, homeopathy, essential oils, and food. Make your own herbal medicines like tinctures, syrups like elderberry syrup, and teas. Take a class or course. Read books and alternative medicine texts. Natural medicine is such a fun modality to learn and practice!
5. Neglect Your Gut
To add my own spin to an old saying, “If the gut ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”, is so true! 75% of our immune systems are housed in the gut so if are digestive systems are compromised, there goes our health. Autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, etc are all gut issues at their core. By healing the gut it is possible to reverse these illnesses in many cases.
There is hope for chronic illness! Two diet protocols that are often used to heal the gut are The GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) and The Body Ecology Diet. These diets are rich in bone broths, liver, and fermented foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics to help seal up what is known as leaky gut and heal the lining of the stomach and intestines. Anyone who is suffering from food allergies, sensitivities or any chronic illness owes it to their self to go through the gut-healing process.
6. Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is crucial to health. When you sleep your body rejuvenates, restores and heals. Without adequate rest the immune system depletes and your are more susceptible to illness. I know it’s hard to get a good night sleep these days! I have four kids and a business so I know how tempting it is to stay up until the wee hours of the morning trying to get things done. Going to bed earlier really is key, even if it’s just a few nights a week.
But I have trouble falling asleep. What can I do? Supplements such as melatonin can help aid sleep. Also, drinking a cup of Chamomile or other evening tea can really help. I like Chamomile, Peppermint, and Catnip for a mild tea and if I really can’t sleep I’ll add Valerian and Passionflower…maybe some Hops.
Hopefully I have provided some insight on things to watch out for on your journey to health. At the very least you have an idea of what not to do. I am happy to answer questions and welcome your comments about natural health and wellness here on the blog.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in my blog is to be construed as medical advice. I encourage everyone to educate themselves in the areas I talk about and make their own informed decisions. If you are having a health issue please see your healthcare provider. Use common sense.
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