I turned 70 today. It is a real milestone for me, especially since when I look back to turning 50 (which was a big milestone as well) I was facing some real serious health issues. Fortunately I took responsibility for my own health and began reversing some unhealthy habits and taking steps that made the difference. Today I feel younger than I did at 50, am prescription-free and full of energy! So I feel empowered to enter the next decade prepared and full of excitement, feeling much stronger and healthier than I ever have felt before.
So what are these seven “steps” that made the difference? Here goes…….
(1) I replaced all household toxins from my home ~ no more bleach, ammonia, formaldehyde, phthalates, butyl cellosolve… any household cleaners that were “outgassing” toxic odors and fumes into the home (including laundry products) with nontoxic, concentrated biodegradable cleaners and fragrance-free laundry concentrate. This really helped my husband who is highly allergic to dust and strong chemicals.
(2) I replaced all of my personal care products with nutrient based, pH balanced, hypoallergenic (never animal tested) healthy beauty products, formulated without parabens, FD&C or D&C dyes, propylene glycol, animal products or by-products, mineral oils or petroleum, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate and phthalates. Basically my skin care products include only antioxidants and nutrients my skin craves (nutrition therapy skin care system). My soaps are “soap-free” – containing soothing oatmeal, vitamin E and wheat germ oil that softens my skin. It is also biodegradable and pH balanced.
(3) I eliminated all meat from my diet and concentrated on lots of vegetables and fruits, preferably organic and legumes such as lentils and black beans. I still occasionally eat wild salmon. Avoiding highly processed and refined foods and concentrating on more nutrient-dense foods has become my mission. This, of course, leads me to purchase primarily perishable food rather than prepackaged food. I start each morning with a nutritious shake with 24 grams of protein, 6 grams of dietary fiber, lactose free, low glycemic index, gluten-free, with 35% of the DV of 21 vitamins and minerals. It also contains Leucine which helps me retain muscle, not fat. This has enabled me to drop almost 25 pounds this past year. This program is helping me to be at a more healthy weight and body mass index.
(4) I avoid cans and plastic as much as possible because of the BPA (bisphenol A) which is a hormone-disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen, a cancer causer in lab animals, and possible source of hyperactivity and other behavioral disorders in children. The plastic containers marked with a number 7 on the bottom can leach BPA, making them a no-no. If I use plastics in the kitchen I look for those marked number 1, 2, 4 or 5. These are the safest ones. A good resource to use to learn more is the Green Guide, the Web site run by National Geographic Magazine (thegreenguide.com). Just click on the section called “Buying Guides” and then click on “Plastic Containers” under “Kitchen.” I have found my choice is to use glass containers in the kitchen.
(5) The water I drink is always filtered with a water system that uses a refillable carbon-block filter system, (filtering 80 gallons of water per filter). It saves me money and gets rid of the chemicals such as pesticides, heavy metals and industrial pollutants that can be in our drinking water. Since the body is made up of about 70% water, water is linked to all the body’s functions. In the colon, it is essential to flushing out waste matter and toxins.
(6) I literally replenish my cells each day with nutrient-dense foods such as broccoli, kale, dark leafy greens, cabbage, tomatoes, etc. Unfortunately food is not as nutritious as it once was (According to data collected by government agencies in the U.S. and U.K., modern harvests are lower in many nutrients than those in the 1940s and 1950s because of poor soils and synthetic fertilizers) so I have chosen to supplement with products that are tested for harmful contaminants resulting in products of the greatest purity and potency possible. I supplement daily with multivitamins (that support overall nutrition and may help prevent chronic illness by simply providing the basic micronutrients often missing from modern diets), Omega-3 fish oil which help reduce inflammatory conditions and protect against heart disease, cancer and other chronic illness, and calcium, vitamin D and magnesium which helps to protect my bones (with vitamin D helping to decrease the risk of some cancers. I also take a liquid dietary supplement that contains the power of both resveratrol and a proprietary phytonutrient blend that improves cell defense, increases cell energy, promotes cell repair and optimizes cell performance.
(7) I have incorporated exercise into my daily routine. Most studies do agree that for optimal health it is important to exert yourself aerobically for 30 to 45 minutes at least 3 to 4 times a week. Even dividing this into several smaller increments has shown to be beneficial. I have joined the YMCA and love the water aerobics program they offer. I actually lift weights and “kick-box” in the water 3 days a week. This has really helped me with my weight loss as well.
So there you have it! It is interesting that Time Magazine, just this week, (Vol. 181, No. 8, 2013) published an article called Bitter Pill ~ Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us by Steven Brill, which is a powerful examination of America’s health care costs. It is actually frightening to read and I am so happy that I chose, 20 years ago, to take charge of my health and practice prevention. It has enabled me to lead a much healthier and more robust life and I look forward to reaching my 80′s and 90′s with the same vigor!