Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm not exactly a hippie...Part 2

This kind of lifestyle is definitely easier said than done. The cultural norm in America is that we stay busy ALL the time (I need to work on lessening that myself!), so our eating habits, cleaning habits and exercise habits need to fit into that lifestyle. However, most good things don't come at the snap of a finger-they take time! Think about it-would you prefer a McDonald's hamburger, or a slow-cooked fillet Mignon (providing you like beef)? Pretty sure the fillet-it takes longer, but it's worth it! Same goes for our health. So maybe you have to actually prepare a dinner from scratch rather than heat up some pre-prepared frozen food item. Maybe we have to spend a little more money to get non-pesticide covered food rather than the cheap genetically enhanced food that doesn't even look natural. It's worth it-not only for our health now, but for our future health as well!

I look at both my and Jim's family, and while our great-grandparents lived to be quite old and most of our grandparents are still living, there are a lot of other health/body issues in both families on both sides! High blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, cancer, Autism, over-weight, depression...the list goes on. I don't think ALL of it could be prevented through diet, but a lot of it could be helped that way. The same goes for medication-I think that it can be a good thing, obviously God has given doctors/researchers the brains to develop treatments for things, but sometimes those are developed out of the same "quick fix" mentality, not caring so much about the possible side effects. I mean, the drug commercials anymore consist of 45 seconds of listing possible side effects and 15 of advertising the actual medication! Then, you have to get on more medication for the side effects of the other medicine you are on...and so on.

I've seen the results of living a healthier, natural lifestyle in our own home. When we were first married, I was on birth control, but began having a ton of health problems. I had eye problems and couldn't wear contacts for 6 months, horrible pain in my ovaries, headaches, random swelling in my joints, and traveling blood clots. (not saying it's wrong-I just am not a fan now of putting added hormones unnecessarily into my body.) The doctors kept trying to switch the birth control, but the side effects would just start over again after about a month. So, we decided I would just stop taking it. Surprisingly (or maybe not), the side effects slowly lessened, then stopped! Blood clots dissipated, swelling went down, eye sight cleared up...it was great! Now, that does mean we have to be a little more "careful", since we're not wanting to get pregnant yet...and yes, that can be inconvenient. But, to me, the health risks aren't worth the convenience.

Shortly thereafter, I started getting rid of buying food with preservatives in it, and have gradually gone to using as much "whole" and natural food as possible. It's been a challenge, as Jim's not always as big a fan of the different tastes and textures, but he's actually learned that he likes a lot of the food and will choose it now on his own! The health benefits have been awesome-Jim's been sick only once-MAYBE twice-in the past 2 years or so (he does still eat quite a bit of processed sugar...we're working on that one. ;) ), and I haven't been actually SICK at all! Maybe a little worn down from working too much or traveling, but no colds, flu, sinus infections...nada. We also go to the chiropractor 2x/month, which I think contributes as well. It's amazing how much you can save on dr. bills...when you look at it that way, the little bit of extra money for food isn't bad at all!

I'm not exactly a hippie...Part 1

But I do tend towards the "earthy" things. It's something that tends to cause occasional disruption on the homefront, as buying natural products tends to be a little more costly. It's not always, however, as one can score some great coupons and find good sales if looking hard enough. Plus, during the summer, growing your own veggies and/or buying them locally at the market actually saves a ton of money!

I'm not totally organic...there are some things that can be all-natural without being organic and still OK. However, I'm among the group of thought that if it's not something that is of natural origin, I don't think my body was meant to process it. That not only goes for food, but even for body care products, laundry detergent and the like. Thus the cause of a 15 minute debate at the grocery store over laundry detergent today. The ALL "free and clear" was on sale for $5/box, which did 40 loads of laundry. The BioKleen cost $18/box, but did 100 loads. So, we could buy 3 boxes of the ALL that would do about the same amount as the one box of BioKleen, but it would be still cheaper. Do we go with the cheaper, or the all-natural: thus our debate. We ended up with my first instinct: the BioKleen. Why? I mean, the the ALL was phosphate-free, plus free of dyes and perfumes, so that's all good. But, when looking at the ingredients, the first thing listed was "various cleaning agents". In the words of the SNL McGruber "What does that even mean?!"

If a national, well-known company is selling detergent, you know their main goal is to make a profit. So when it says "various cleaning agents", that does not make me feel very comfortable. There should be no reason they don't list every ingredient in their product. More than likely, it has sulfates and aluminum in it-neither of which are great for absorbing into your body. I may sound a bit extreme, but I'm convinced that a lot of the reason that people are so frequently sick, getting diseases and disorders (such as cancer, Autism, high blood pressure...) is because of our American "quick and easy" lifestyle. Let me clarify: I am NOT saying that all of these things are caused this way-sometimes they just happen because we live in a fallen world. However, I think a lot of things could be prevented if we take a step back and re-evaluate the "normal" way of life.