3 Simple Steps Toward Natural Living
My journey toward wellness has been one of three steps forward, two steps back. The problem is, we often don’t start listening to our bodies until they are crumbling beneath us. I began my health trek three years ago when I couldn’t eat without feeling queasy. I went to several different doctors, but none had answers. It was a vicious cycle of anxiety fueling sickness and vice-versa. At one point, I hadn’t eaten an actual meal in so long, I asked Matt to take me to the hospital.
During that time I began doing copious amounts of personal research. I listened to doctors who had left their practices and journeyed down the path of holistic health and functional medicine. I discovered that Americans are exposed to hundreds of chemicals every day and most of the foods we consume...aren’t really even food. No wonder I was anxious. We live in a country where the two leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer--and both are largely preventable.
But if you are anything like me, the path of where I was to where I needed to be felt impossibly daunting. I follow a lot of health-nuts on Instagram who appear to have a bottomless budget and all the time in the world to eat clean and sustainably, but could not for the life of me figure out how they made that leap. The thing is, I'm not personally a huge fan of diets. I think they are well-intentioned in nature, but there’s a reason why nobody can stick to them. They require strict routines and drastic overnight changes. So I decided to start small, and it is crazy the difference it has made in my own life.
If you have been struggling with your health lately, or really just want to take back control of your body and how it feels, you can take simple steps today. Here are three things you can do now to get you on a good path.
Drink Water. I’m sorry to all the soda drinkers out there, but this is one of those simple in concept, but harder in practice. If you want to stop feeling like crap all the time, make the switch to water. It seems cliche, but you’d be surprised at how under-hydrated most people are without even realizing it, and it takes a huge toll on your health. Begin by replacing your beverages with water, and set a goal to get in 8 glasses (or half your weight in ounces). It will aid your digestive system, give you energy, clear up your skin, along with dozens of other benefits.
Switch to organic. It’s a huge shame that eating an apple in today’s world could be just as harmful as a donut because of all the pesticides. Organic is great, but it can be expensive...and it’s hard to really know what brands are best. I buy all of my organic produce at Kroger and Trader Joes. The dirty dozen list is a great resource of what fruits/veggies contain the most pesticides if you have to pick and choose. This week, try to replace a few of your weekly grocery items with organic alternatives. Better yet, look for labels like non-GMO, free of antibiotics, minimally processed, preservative free, no artificial flavors, etc. It’s sad that so much junk is added the food we consume. But it’s also no wonder we feel the way we do even when we thought we were eating decently healthy.
Begin replacing your household products with natural alternatives. It’s not just what goes into our bodies that is making us sick, but what goes on them, as well. Our skin is incredibly porous, soaking in topical ingredients in seconds. It’s overwhelming to think of every product in your house from cleaners to makeup to lotions. Fortunately, holistic health is a growing trend and companies are beginning to catch on. Again, start small. What are you exposed to on a daily basis that could be replaced with a healthier option? We started by switching to natural toothpaste and deodorant, then moved to cleaning products, soaps, shampoo, lotions, and makeup. Give yourself time to find brands that work for you and fit within your budget and start by replacing items as they run out. I am a lot less anxious knowing I’m not ingesting hundreds of chemicals every single day. The Think Dirty app is a fantastic resource for letting you know how safe your products are!
This is really just skimming the surface, but it is a good start. Also, just a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and these tips are not intended to treat or cure any type of illness or disease. As much as I love natural remedies, there is a time and place for modern medicine. This post is simply a glimpse into my pursuit of being the best version of myself. I’m far from perfect and don’t always take my own advice, but when I do, I feel SO much better.
If you are interested in more posts like this one, please leave a comment below or shoot us a message!