Healthy Bodies, Healthy Choices, Healthy Environment

Every day we make choices about the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the places we go. In a world of convenience, we are also presented with a multitude of choices in the products and goods to buy that can help us keep our households and yards looking sparkly clean and free of pests, or that make our skin look blemish and wrinkle-free. Unfortunately, the ingredients in these products, while they may be effective in the action they are purported to perform, can actually be very detrimental to our health.

Envision for a moment your body as a bucket that fills up with exposures to the various chemicals in the environment. In a healthy body, the liver, kidney, gastrointestinal system, lungs, skin, and other organs are able to effectively process and eliminate these chemicals. However, as the bucket gets more and more full with these chemical exposures, these organs of elimination get overwhelmed with the shear volume of work they must do. Eventually they may no longer be able to keep back the tide of chemicals entering the body. As the bucket overflows, symptoms may develop, including skin lesions, chronic allergies, body aches, fatigue, intolerance of odors, and many other symptoms.

Part of helping keep your "bucket" from overflowing includes using your buying power as a consumer to choose products that contain more natural ingredients. Thankfully, there are many resources available to the savvy consumer to quickly decide which products have a better profile related to their impact on the body and the environment.

The resources listed below will be part of a growing list of books and websites that can assist you as an informed consumer of healthy products.

1. http://www.bodysense.com/Default.asp

This website is great for choosing personal care products with reviews by parents and other consumers.

2. http://healthychild.org/book

A great book for making choices that can keep your children healthier from conception to birth and beyond, including how to reduce the chemical impact in your household.

3. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

The Environmental Working Group's website to compare the chemical ratings of over 65,000 personal care products.

4. http://www.nrdc.org/

The Natural Resources Defense Council has tons of information on current environmental issues, as well as how to reduce chemical exposures in your daily life... from school, to work, to home, and throughout all life stages.

5. http://www.foodnews.org

This is the Environmental Working Group's shopping guide to "The Dirty Dozen" produce that will help you to choose foods that have been grown with the lowest amount of chemicals.

6. http://www.eatwild.com/

Eat Wild is a great resource for finding grass-fed animals in your area to ensure great nutrition for healthy bodies. They also have some good information on the health benefits of eating grass-fed animals.

7. http://fluoridealert.org

The Fluoride Action Network is a helpful resource for education about the health effects of fluoridated drinking water. Excessive fluoride consumption has been linked to numerous health consequences, including major effects on the thyroid gland, the pineal gland (responsible for immune regulation), and many others. Filtered, reverse osmosis or distilled water will be your best bet to avoid fluoridation, as well as the plethora of other chemicals, drugs, and hormones found in tap water.

As you make your daily choices about what products you use and the foods you consume, be gentle with your bucket and give it a little break by filling it with the good things already found in nature. The health of you and your family is truly in your hands.