I'm all about holistic health these days. Everything is linked. The food we eat, how we move our bodies, the products we rub into our skin, and the time we take to sit, and breathe. When Alzheimer's became a part our lives with my mom's diagnosis, there was a shift for me and how I was going to let it alter my own future.
For brain and heart health, I eat a plant based diet, and subscribe to the Forks Over Knives meal planner for recipe suggestions and weekly healthy meals for me and my family. I joined a local Orange Shoe Personal Fitness in October of last year, and I work out twice a week with personal trainers - an incredible husband and wife duo who have changed my outlook on what I am physically capable of, and they keep me accountable with my at home workouts too. I have lost 20 pounds since I joined. My stamina and endurance are through the roof, and I am stronger than I have ever been.
After my mom's Alzheimer's diagnosis, I left a stressful [more than] full time job, and now (along with parenting and caregiving) I work a couple part time jobs from home. Both jobs are better for my health, and here is why. One of those jobs is working admin as a Business Director for a meditation and holistic life coach who leads an incredible retreat company. She's been a yoga teacher for decades, she's a trained Shaman, and she's getting certified in crystal healing. She's taught me so much about building a meditation practice and how to positively shift my overall life perspective. For me, my soul health is vital to my overall health.
My other new venture is safer skin health. 3 years ago, when we shifted to become vegan, I also started using BeautyCounter products. With my mom's Alzheimer's disease, coupled with the incidence of terminal cancers in both my family and my husband's, we knew that we needed to not only be hyper vigilant about what we put IN our bodies, but also ON our bodies. The beauty industry in the United States is completely unregulated, and like it or not, the "beauty industry" is not just makeup, but it is soaps, lotions, shampoos, deodorants, and sunscreens. There are no rules or standards to what can (or cannot) go into your skincare products. The last law passed by the U.S. for safety in these products was in the 1930s. There are only 30 ingredients banned from use in U.S. skincare products (compare that to the European Union which has banned over a thousand) - but BeautyCounter - what I use, has their own NEVER LIST of 1,800 ingredients. You can trust that everything you buy is the highest quality and tested for safety. If you buy over the counter at any store, there is a very good chance the products you rub into your skin have known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and toxic chemicals.
I recently ran an informational event about the link between brain health and skin health and found a couple great articles. This one is pretty heady and scientific, but it's also very interesting: The Role of Environmental Contaminants in the Etiology of Alzheimer's Disease: A Review.
And also This Is Why Your Skin & Mental Health Are So Connected. Remember, holistic health. Everything you eat, do, and use on your body affect your overall health and well being.
One small change can make a big difference. Go to the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website and do a search to see where your skincare and household products fall on the scale of being EWG verified. If you have or use anything that is higher than a 3, I recommend that you phase it out and find a better, safer option. You don't have to throw everything away and spend a fortune today. Take it one step at a time. The next time you run out of your blue-dyed dish soap, order something cleaner. The next time you need face wash or lotion, order from BeautyCounter or pick up something of safer quality at your local food coop. I slowly and deliberately started switching over all our home care products from skincare and sunscreens to dish soap and hand soap to be healthier, safer options that also are more environmentally friendly, with recyclable or compostable packaging. We use bamboo toothbrushes, plastic free tablet toothpaste, steel razor with mail-back recyclable blades, ...and more! Please feel free to email me for recommendations on products I use. Or check out these sites that I regularly order from:
BeautyCounter - Face soaps, lotions, makeup, anti-aging regimens, sunscreen, kid shampoo/cleanser, baby oils and balms, and more!
Grove Collaborative - Bamboo toilet paper, shower soaps, compostable pet waste bags, etc
Etee - Food storage, dish soap, hand soap, plastic free dental floss, plastic free chapstick
Thrive Market - Organic pantry foods with vegan and gluten free options
Norwex - Cleaning cloths that don't require using spray cleaners too
I realize it can be overwhelming sometimes with all the shoulds and should nots. It can be hard to stop and take a breath and focus on your health. Life is busy, and there is sometimes too much information out there. I am by no means perfect. But little by little you can adapt and repurpose and retrain yourself to change, grow, and make better choices. More than anything, I wish you and your family good health and long lives.