We're excited to share this Blog post written by Emma from Green at Home. Join us this Sunday for our Brunch & Learn with Emma where she will discuss these things and more and be open to our Q&A about how the things in our environment impact our health. There's a link below to get your FREE ticket and it includes a light vegan brunch.
When you think of staying healthy through cold and flu season, most tips focus on taking your vitamins, drinking enough water, limiting sugar and booze, and getting more sleep. All of these are definitely important, but it can also be a lot to remember. Which is why I love having some other strategies running in the background, without having to think too hard about it.
Did you know your daily routines – from your morning make-up to house cleaning to food prep – can affect how well you feel and healthy you are? Here are simple ways you can start to give you immune system a boost, reduce stress on your body, and boost your energy.
Your Immune System Needs Germs
Do you bring out the Lysol and hand sanitizer on a regular basis? Is your hand soap labelled “antibacterial”? If so, then you’re actually doing your immune system more harm than good.
90% of our immune system lives in our gut, and relies on a healthy population of good bacteria to thrive. The problem with antibacterials around the home is that they kill off both the good and bad bacteria. And without these good bacteria, our immune system isn’t as effective at fighting off the viruses and bacteria that make us sick. Studies have also found that children who grow up in homes with antibacterials are more prone to allergies.
For most of us, regular soap and water are all we need to reduce the transmission of viruses without killing off all the good bacteria we need for a healthy immune system. So give the antibacterials a rest. Your immune system will thank you. (If you’re really wanting some disinfecting power, you can find some natural options in this post.)
Reduce Toxic Stress
Our bodies are designed to deal with stress, but not the kind we’re under in modern times. Our stress response systems work really well for the types of stress we experienced back when we had to run from lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!). The stress was life-threatening, but relatively short-lived.
The same response happens with the chronic stress we’re under now – and the stress from a delayed subway, angry boss, or social media anxiety is hardly life threatening but also seemingly never-ending. Reducing stress overall is beneficial to your health, but not all of it can be avoided. You can help reduce stress caused by exposure to toxins in every day products with some simple changes to your body care routine, to help lower overall stress experienced by your body.
My favourite tool to help you detox your body care is an app called Think Dirty. You can scan your body care products to find out how they rate on a 0 (clean) to 10 (dirty) scale. If you’re ready to choose healthier options, you can head on over to the Green Product Forum Facebook Group to ask for advice and input on healthier products that work.
Boost Your Energy
We eat to give us energy (among other things). But when toxic chemicals enter our bodies, they cause damage within our cells that reduces our body’s ability to convert our food into fuel that we need to feel energized and stay healthy. Support a healthy diet with a healthy kitchen by reducing toxins that might be draining your energy and affecting your metabolism.
One way to start is to audit your food storage and reduce plastic – especially soft plastics like food wrap and freezer bags. These can leach hormone disruptors and other toxins into your food. Logan & Finley has great options that will help you break the plastic habit like beeswax food wraps and silicone freezer bags – healthier for you, and the planet! If you’re not quite ready to break up with your plastic containers just yet, at least avoid heating food or putting hot food in them.
There you have it! 3 simple changes that will start to have a positive impact on your health so you can have a healthier winter (and beyond). If you want more tips to make these changes even easier plus more health-boosting strategies for your home, join me on October 28th for a free Brunch and Learn at Logan & Finley. Register here – I look forward to chatting with you about your healthy home goals!
Emma is an environmental engineer, mom of 2, and founder of Green at Home. Through online programs and consultations, she helps women reduce toxins at home to support fertility, baby's health, and hormone health. She also helps health professionals incorporate environmental health into their practice. She is a David Suzuki Foundation Queen of Green Coach and guest lecturer at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Learn more at www.greenathome.ca.