TIME TO COME CLEAN

PES­TI­CIDES, PLAS­TICS AND PRO­CESSED FOODS — ARE HID­DEN NASTIES IN YOUR EN­VI­RON­MENT PUTTING YOUR WELL­BE­ING AT RISK?

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | WELLBEING - KARLA GIL­BERT Cham­pion ironwoman and ocean ath­lete Karla Gil­bert is an ac­cred­ited Nu­tri­tion and Health Coach and cer­ti­fied Level III and IV Fit­ness Trainer, with cer­tifi­cates in Child Nu­tri­tion and Nu­tri­tion. She is the au­thor of ebook Naked Habits. READ

Imag­ine your­self work­ing 24/7, 365 days of the year, year in, year out with­out a break. How would you feel? Tired? Stressed? Burnt out? Well, let’s spare a thought for our over­worked body sys­tem and the un­con­scious pro­cesses we take for granted. Since the in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion some 250 years ago, our body has been forced to deal with the chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment. Pes­ti­cides, med­i­ca­tions, plas­tics, chem­i­cally-laden skin­care prod­ucts, pro­cessed foods, air and wa­ter pol­lu­tion — the list goes on. Ev­ery­thing we breathe, drink, eat and ab­sorb needs to be dealt with at some point through the en­docrine sys­tem. This in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem is a com­plex net­work of glands and or­gans. It uses hor­mones to con­trol and co-or­di­nate your body’s me­tab­o­lism, en­ergy lev­els, re­pro­duc­tion, growth and de­vel­op­ment, as well as its re­sponse to in­jury, stress and mood.

Dis­rupt­ing nor­mal en­docrine func­tion can have se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions for health, so even if you feel like you are work­ing out and con­sis­tently eat­ing well, at­ten­tion also needs to be turned to the en­vi­ron­ment you are liv­ing in. Here are some tips to lighten the load.:

BAN­ISH BPA

Clear out all wrap­pings and con­tain­ers in your pantry that con­tain the chem­i­cal BPA (Bisphe­nol A). Pol­lu­tants leach into and con­tam­i­nate foods stored in cans and plas­tic. Opt for glass con­tain­ers and choose fresh foods wher­ever pos­si­ble.

SWAP SCENTS

Bin ev­ery­thing that con­tains a fra­grance —air fresh­en­ers, oven clean­ers, fur­ni­ture pol­ish, de­ter­gent, cos­met­ics, hair spray, nail pol­ish, paint, glue. Fra­grances are fumes that fil­ter into our lungs and skin and are toxic to our sys­tem. Or­ange oil makes a great air fresh­ener and there are lines of fra­grance-free al­ter­na­tives for most other prod­ucts.

GO NAT­U­RAL

Switch to nat­u­ral prod­ucts for clean­ing and per­sonal items. Chem­i­cals in wash­ing ma­te­ri­als and rinses cling to gar­ments and then pen­e­trate your pores. Choose nat­u­ral fi­bres over syn­thetic, es­pe­cially for sheets and blan­kets. Elec­tric blan­kets give off in­vis­i­ble vapours from heated wires coated in plas­tic that will ul­ti­mately en­ter your body.

TURF TE­FLON

Ditch Te­flon-coated cook­wear and choose stain­less steel and cast iron. Te­flon and alu­minium emit waste-laden fumes that leach into foods. If you mi­crowave, use glass­ware in­stead of plas­tic.

OPT FOR OR­GANIC

Choose or­ganic pro­duce where pos­si­ble, but if not, en­sure pes­ti­cides, her­bi­cides and fungi­cides are re­duced by prop­erly rins­ing. Xe­noe­stro­gens, which mimic es­tro­gen and dis­rupt hor­mones in the body, are ram­pant in meat and dairy prod­ucts be­cause the an­i­mals are fed di­ets that are high in es­tro­genic drugs to fat­ten them. Live­stock feed is also laden with chem­i­cal sprays that ac­cu­mu­late in an­i­mal tis­sue and pro­mote hor­mone dis­rup­tion in the per­son con­sum­ing them. Grass-fed meats, or­ganic milk, but­ter and free-range or­ganic eggs are well worth the ex­tra money.

DETOX YOUR DIET

Help the body to detox­ify free rad­i­cals, used-up hor­mones and de­riv­a­tives of mimic hor­mones by in­creas­ing your in­take of cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles (cau­li­flower, cab­bage, bok choy, broc­coli and sim­i­lar green leafy veg­eta­bles). In­clude pro­tein with help­ful amino acids. Fat cells are stor­age sites for ex­cess es­tro­gen and chem­i­cals, so weight loss is help­ful. Re­duc­ing the tox­ins you’re ex­posed to each day al­lows your body to fo­cus on its job with­out the ex­cess load.

EYE WELL­NESS

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