[to see a prettier version, click here]

Following up on last week’s article about organic produce, I want to discuss other sources of substances that you are regularly exposed to that may be putting your health (and your children’s health) at risk. Here’s the short list:

·      Water (tap water, bottled water, showers, pools, etc.)
·      Food/Beverage (processed foods, juices, sodas, GMO’s, etc.)
·      Personal products (hair products, perfumes, soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, etc.)
·      House cleaning products (detergents, air fresheners, furniture polish, etc.)
·      Drugs (over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, vaccines, alcohol, etc.)

Now, I am not saying that any one of these specific items will cause you harm in isolation. In fact, most of the items on the list do more good than harm. I mean seriously, you couldn’t live without food and water, many people rely on drugs to sustain their quality of life temporarily and/or long term, and besides that, who wants to live in an unclean environment or scare people away with bad breath??!!

The problem is cumulative exposure to micro-amounts of harmful substances over time. Our bodies are well equipped to deal with exposure to these substances; that is what they are designed to do—protect you from harm and support your life.

Unfortunately, with the advent of technology, many of us have saturated our bodies and our natural filtration systems with these substances beyond our ability to cope. Just like a car engine, if you have too much junk in your gas (e.g., sugar in your blood) or too much oil in the engine (e.g., toxins in your food/water), the engine breaks down.

The good news is, you can do something about it. You can protect yourself from harm. You can avoid unnecessary disease and suffering. And, you can improve your situation, no matter how bad you think it is. If you don’t believe me, ask Tony Robbins, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, or Eckhart Tolle. (And that’s the short list!)

In order to do so, however, you must make better decisions. You will not get a different result by doing the same thing you have always done. Sorry, but it is true.

I could go on and on about this subject, but I will spare you my rants for now. Just know that all I am saying is this: you are going to eat, drink, shower, bathe, clean your home, medicate, deodorize, and do many other things on a regular basis that expose you to micro amounts of unsavory substances. If you are cognizant of this, you can minimize your exposure to the damaging particulates and protect your health by doing things like selecting organic produce, purchasing products that do not contain hazardous ingredients, filtering your water, detoxing, and using apps that help you make safer purchases (e.g., the Environmental Work Group’s Food Scores app and Skin Deep personal products app). 

Take control of the helm and you can steer yourself in the direction you wish to go. The good and bad news is this: it is up to you.

I hope you found the content of this post helpful and informative. Thank you for reading!!

Yours in health and well-being,

Allison

 
 
[to see a prettier version of this post, click here]

I am not writing today to tell you how much water you should drink or to discuss alternative hydrating options (you can read about that on my blog (scroll down to see the post prior to this article).  Instead I want to discuss what’s in your tap water and why it matters.

For years we have literally been programmed to “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.” Once the “drink more water campaign” gained steam, there was an onslaught of bottled water. Now, there are so many water options it’s mind boggling! Vitamin, flavored, sparkling, mineral, coconut, distilled, filtered, natural spring, tap, and plain old bottled drinking water. The list goes on.

Are all water sources equal in quality? No, not by a long shot. It gets a bit complicated so let’s narrow the discussion for now to tap water.

Most people in developed countries get water in their home from a municipal source (i.e., from your city or county), or they have wells that capture ground water for consumption.

Water that comes from wells can be exposed to toxins, such as pesticides, or run-off from nearby construction sites, and well water may have an unpleasant odor; therefore, most well owners filter their water to eliminate the contaminants and any undesirable smell.

Municipal water, while filtered and treated, still contains some less-than-savory (and frankly unhealthy) particulates. Many of these contaminants are toxic and can have long-term negative effects on human health.1 And some of these contaminants that are known to be harmful are actually added to the water! (i.e., chlorine and fluoride).1

While these particulates at low levels may not pose an immediate threat to your health, exposure over time does. In addition to other toxins that we are exposed to in our food and environment (house cleaners, perfumes, air fresheners, lotions, and such) our organs can get overwhelmed by the cumulative effect of exposure, leaving us susceptible to disease. For this reason, I highly recommend filtering all tap water used for cooking, drinking, and bathing.

A whole-house filter is ideal but cost-prohibitive for most people (starts around $1,000). An under-the-sink reverse osmosis filtration system for your kitchen is a great option for drinking and cooking needs but is not cheap ($200–$400 plus installation).

To keep the costs down, I purchase reverse osmosis water in 5 gallon bottles from the local health food store for drinking and cooking. It only costs 40 to 60 cents per gallon. And, I have a shower filter ($60) to protect my skin from unnecessary toxic exposure. Skin is the largest organ of the body, you know!

I just want to tell you, I was AMAZED at the difference the water shower filter made on my skin and hair. Literally, within a week, my chronic dry skin and the frizziness of my hair was eradicated! It’s one of the best investments I have ever made, and the replacement filters cost only $50 and they cover the amount of water required for daily showers for two people for 6 months.

If you are interested in purchasing a filter for your shower, sink or kitchen, click here to see my recommendations.

Now, I realize today’s topic was a bit less interesting than tips for shedding unwanted pounds, but it’s so important I felt I had to touch on it sooner rather than later.

In any case, I hope you found the post informative and I hope you will be proactive in taking measures to reduce your exposure to toxic substances. Filtering your tap water and shower is an excellent start.

Yours in health and wellness,

Allison

1. Drinking Water Contaminants. Available at http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/. Last updated October 29, 2014.