What are toxins and how can they impact your health?
Toxins are harmful agents found in the environment. They can encompass anything from digestive and metabolic byproducts to environmental chemicals that can pass through and/or collect in your body.
The toxicity of many chemicals is dose dependent, meaning that they can have toxic effects if they're consumed in significant quantities. This can even go for certain foods, for example spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard contain oxalic acid, which can block the uptake of calcium. So, it's wise to not eat too much of these foods, but they shouldn't be avoided entirely because they contain a lot of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
Toxins can enter the gut through:
It's becoming easier and easier to identify toxins in your home and avoid them. I became more aware of toxins that might be present in my home environment and foods when pregnant with my first child. The childbirth classes I took emphasized avoiding toxins to increase your chances of a healthy birth.
During my pregnancy with my second child, I became especially aware as we were remodeling our home and had many decisions to make regarding carpeting, wood finishing, paints, and wood floor refinishing, While there were some resources, there definitely weren't as many as there are now!
Then, when I was trying to help my son heal from the heavy duty antibiotics he'd been on following a bone infection, the protocol that ended up helping, stressed removal of anything with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or fragrances. It was much harder than I thought, as even natural and organic foods, body care products, and cleaners contain these chemicals. It was especially hard because, he was school aged and exposed to whatever was used to clean classrooms.
I again faced frustration when our family was traveling for a time several years ago. I wrote an article how I was moved to tears when my laundry smelled so strongly of fragrance here. Looking back, I find it kind of funny that we travelled through South America with our container of fragrance free laundry detergent. And one Airbnb apartment we stayed at in France had so many air fresheners plugged into walls, or hiding here and there, that I was constantly gathering them and stashing them where we couldn't smell them. I had write an apologetic note to the host telling her where I had hidden them.
It might sound crazy to you, but once your remove artificial fragrances from your life, for better or worse you become much more sensitive to them. The benefits to your health, though, is worth it!
This article was originally posted on November 23, 2016. Our family was three months in to a ten month "round the world" trip.
Our food habits changed quite a bit from country to country. In Australia, we were mostly cooking on a camp stove or in the communal kitchens at the caravan parks as we were mostly traveling by camper van.
In New Zealand it was mostly hostels. We had our boxes of food that we stored in the communal kitchens, then packed up for the next place.
We met so many wonderful people and observed different cooking and eating habits. In many ways, cooking in hostels wasn't too different from cooking at home. If I had a plan and the food to prepare, a meal would happen!
The more you cook, the more you will cook.
We're travelling by car in New Zealand and staying in hostels most of the time.
As much as I've talked about being an introvert, I've preferred hostels to our Australian campervan experience.
I'd never stayed in hostels before, so its been quite fun doing it with our family of four. We are all having fun having other people to talk to. Our fellow travelers are interesting as are the people managing the hostels.
It really struck me the other day how much people were cooking. Not just throwing sauce on pasta, although that is a good option for a long travel day. They often cook good healthy meals from whatever country they are from. Hardly anyone is American, most often they are German, Dutch, French or from various Asian countries.
I was really impressed!
Why using Real Plans weekly meal planning service has been a life changer for me.
First of all, why should you go to all the effort to meal plan?
I’ll share my story first, because I definitely haven’t always been a meal planner, unless it was one big meal, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or for a party of some kind. And I really needed some help. I couldn't manage to come up with a weekly meal plan on my own.
*If you want resources for meal planning on your own, click here.
I’d usually go to the store with a plan for that night’s dinner, then fill in with items I knew I was out of (I would make lists for those kinds of things) and staple items that I used all the time, like onions, carrots, lettuce, bread, cheese, rice, etc.
Should you take a supplement to improve your gut health?
My personal preference when trying to improve my own health is always to focus on the foods I eat on a daily basis first. In fact, I'm really not very good at taking supplements, although I do try hard to at least take my multi-vitamin and magnesium supplements every day.
When it comes to improving your gut health, the most important first step is to eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes though, if you aren't feeling well, you might want to do a little more to kickstart your gut health.
That's where supplements come in!
*As always, check with your doctor to verify dosages and make sure their aren't any contraindications for you. This article is meant for educational purpose and not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
Also, what works for one person may not work for another, so always do your research and pay attention to how you feel.
THREE TYPES OF SUPPLEMENTS THAT HELP IMPROVE YOUR DIGESTIVE HEALTH
1. Supplements that Support Digestion
Thanksgiving is coming up in a couple of days here in the United States.
It's one of my favorite holidays because it's purpose is spending time with friends and family, eating a nice meal, and ideally expressing gratitude what we have in our lives. It's an innately positive experience, even when we factor in the family dynamics we might be dealing with. (-;
While it's nice to have a day focused on expressing our gratitude, practicing gratitude on a daily basis has many positive effects, some of which you may surprise you.
First, though, I'd like to give a little explanation about practicing gratitude, while understanding that it can take many different forms.
What is a gratitude practice?
What are polyphenols?
I'm sure you've heard plenty about the health benefits of polyphenols, but do you know what they are?
Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in plants. Polyphenols give plants a certain color or taste and they generally serve the plant by defending it against ultraviolet radiation and agressive pathogens.
Towards the end of the 20th century, epidemiological studies started showing that a diet rich in polyphenols may offer some protection from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. Reference.
What are the health benefits of polyphenols?
Do you experience too much stress? Do you feel like your hormones are out of whack or like your immune system might need a boost?
My guest, Paula Grainger, has just released her new book, Adaptogens, Harness the Power of Superherbs to Reduce Stress and Restore Calm.
Paula has been practicing herbal medicine since she obtained her degree in herbal medicine from the University of Westminster in London in 2004.
Following her graduation, she worked in several busy London clinics, and then opened her own herbal clinic and apothecary called Lemon Balm. She successfully ran and worked in her clinic until moving to Santa Cruz, California in 2010.
What's the difference between acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD? You've probably heard of them all, and I know that I hear from many women feeling miserable after eating.
These three are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing! In this article, I'm going to clear up the confusion and banish the most common myths around these conditions, which might be making you feel worse.
Acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach flows backward or "refluxes" up into the esophagus.
Normally, the peristalsis that causes your food to go down, and not up, is so strong that even if you stand on your head, it keeps it moving in the right direction down towards the intestines.
When the body needs to quickly get something out, it has a built-in reflux response. For example, vomiting or burping.
We all know that sugar isn't great for you, but do you know why?
Our cells use blood sugar or glucose as fuel to keep our cells alive and functioning. We need it to survive. So why then should eating sugar have a negative impact on our health?
How does your body use sugar to fuel it?
Click below to join my FREE Facebook Group-
Women's Wellness Circle: From Inflammation to Vibrant Health
Hi, I’m Crystal!