Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do we need wake-up calls to live healthily?

I can't exactly pinpoint when my wake-up call was, but I know I have had many aha! moments that have attributed to my mindful and healthy living habits. 

When I was pregnant with E, I became much more aware of household products that were toxic in our house. The cleaner I used on my floor, dish soap, laundry detergent, air fresheners, bathtub cleaner - these are all things my baby was going to have direct contact with - why hadn't I thought about these things earlier? All along Hubby and I purchased these products and hadn't thought about the impact they could have on our health. Instead we were tricked about how effective their scrubbing bubbles and scent would make our lives easier.  I had much higher standards for my sweet unborn child. I wish I could say I immediately removed them all, but instead I gradually phased these items out of our house and I'm still working on it all the time. It really is a huge eye opener the more you read labels and become mindful of what you are allowing into your house and body. These days I am a vinegar, washing soda, borax, natural cleaning product machine and I feel so much better about these choices.

My next aha! moment was when we came to the conclusion that E had a sensitivity to dairy (in his first few months while I was nursing him).  Something I was ingesting was making him ill and it was up to me and my self control to prevent this.  It was tough in the beginning, growing up on a dairy farm and only knowing dairy as a major food group, but we have come a long way to a dairy-free house.  Since after college (because college should never count when your talking healthy), I have maintained a very healthy diet consisting of wholesome foods and limiting overly processed and pre-made foods.  I had to take it to an extreme level and remove almost all processed foods because almost everything has an dairy and/or soy additive in it.  It was shocking, but awesome at the same time. The best excuse to eat healthy all the time ever.

I've read many articles and studies about hormones, genetic modifications and pesticides in foods and allergies (just to name a few). It's shocking how much information is out there, yet how little people attention to it.  Unfortunately, in today's fast-paced world everything is marketed towards convenience.  It explains the obesity epidemic, the pollution, the rise in allergies and the many, many more attributing health issues that are out there today. I'm no expert or saint - but it only takes a quick google search to realize how much you are putting yourself and your family at risk by purchasing many of today's brand name products.

People often ask me how I do it. How I eat healthy and prepare wholesome meals for my family.  For me it just seems so easy and common sense.  I often think about what our grandparents or my parents ate, or even what I ate growing up on the farm.  It's really not that hard to eat REAL food.  I am not perfect by any means and I could do much better and yes, I cheat, but I am trying to do what I can as much as possible. 

I'm not sure how serious or passionate I would be about healthy living if I wasn't faced with these life changes.  It did take some aha! moments for me and I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason.  I've met many parents that are reluctant to read articles or try anything new.  Their mentality is that they grew up with these products or items and they turned out just fine, so why should they go green or eat organic?  It's nearly impossible to approach the topic of healthy and mindful living with them and I rarely try. I wonder if they  are just waiting for their wake-up call?

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