Going chemical-free improved my health

It’s suspected that allergies, asthma, some cancers and reproductive disorders are increasing, in part, due to the use of chemicals in our homes and on our bodies. For 99% of common chemicals (i.e. those used in household and beauty products), there is too little information on their safety – we don’t know their effects on our health or on the environment.

When I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) I made big changes to my diet and to my lifestyle and I felt a lot better. But, it wasn’t until I switched to chemical-free living that I completely recovered.  I believe that was because my body could finally stop having to process and eliminate the various irritants and toxins I was inadvertently exposing myself to.

Also, I think going chemical-free helped settle my hormones. So many beauty products (including shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers) have hormone-disrupting chemicals in them.  This should be a HUGE red flag for everyone, but it should particularly concern people with hormone problems such as thyroid disorders and adrenal problems.

Cancer has also darkened our doors, so using chemicals when water and a special cloth with do the job just as well, if not better!

Also, any chemical you use in your home will go straight into the environment. So going chemical-free also helps the planet – win-win!

Going chemical-free is a bit of a lifestyle change, and can seem daunting – I know only too well. It’s hard to figure out how to clean your house without cleaners (right!?) and what about your body products?!

Here’s what I did, and it’s actually really quick and simple to make the switch – and TOTALLY WORTH IT!

I first made the switch when I was living in Australia, and there was a lovely local shop that made and sold their own plant-based beauty products, which was perfect. At that time I used a combination of traditional cleaning concoctions, like lemon, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. It was alright, but a bit of a pain and not quick and easy.

Now I live in the UK have discovered better ways to be chemicals-free. I use various brands of organic, chemical-free shampoo and conditioner. I use organic coconut oil, sesame oil or this cream to moisturise and I use a range of body cloths (microfibre so no need for soap!), organic soap and shower gel.  I find the Norwex make-up remover cloths to be fabulous – they remove all make-up with just water, and gently cleanses your face without stripping it, so great even if you don’t wear make-up. I use them everyday!

Chemical-Free_Badges_GreenFor my home, I exclusively use Norwex products because they are the best I have found and I like the company’s ethos. I haven’t looked back. Norwex has made the transition to chemical-free living so much easier, because cleaning with their products is so quick and easy! (No really, it’s almost addictive and I am not a compulsive cleaner!).

Since I switched to Norwex EnviroCloths (and stopped using chemical cleaners) and Norwex Washing Powder my health has improved, son’s persistent nighttime cough has gone and I’m not freaking out about giving my kids Cancer by using chemicals on and around them (I know that sounds dramatic, but when it’s that close to home, these fears are real).

I also wouldn’t do without the Blue Diamond Bathroom cleaner, which is a natural product that gives that extra clean to the areas that really need it!  You dilute it down so much that it lasts for ages.

I’ve also just had first hand experience of the amazing Odour Eliminator, as our cats used the cupboard under the stairs as a latrine while we were on holiday – nice.  I’ve cleaned it all without using chemicals, and there is no cat pee smell – amazing.

I haven’t come across anything that I can’t clean chemical-free.

Still have your doubts?  Get in touch if you have any questions!

Be healthy!

C_14Caroline xxx

caroline@flourishwellness.co.uk

Are you vegan?

I get asked this question a lot, and I can understand why – I, and my family, eat a mostly plant-based diet and we avoid dairy.

Am I a vegan?  No.

It took me a good while to work out my family’s optimal “diet”.  I was troubled by the fact that many lifestyle factors, including diet, can significantly affect our chances of developing disease. So, I wanted to put some thought into how to keep my family healthy, through food. I had a Cancer patient, my thyroid and adrenal issues, two kids under 3 and several intolerances to consider, so it was not an easy task!

A quick scan of the light “science” available online told me in no uncertain terms that becoming vegan was the way forward. After all, vegans are reported to live longer and healthier, with lower risk of nasty things like cancer and heart disease.

I toyed with this idea for a while, and it was tempting. But, a few things didn’t sit right. First and foremost, getting your recommended daily allowance of nutrients from a vegan diet requires a lot of vegetables (clearly!), and a fair bit of digestive effort. I had the whims of a toddler and the tastes of a baby to think about, as well as some questionable digestion my part thanks to my thyroid. Secondly, I couldn’t, and still can’t, get past the fact that being a vegan deprives you of Vitamin B12.

B Group Vitamins are water-soluble (you need a regular intake) and enable the release of energy from your food. Energy is not something I take for granted – as a sufferer of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and hypothyroidism I need all the energy release I can get!

Vitamin B12 has a role in the formation of red blood cells, nervous system and the metabolism of fats and proteins, and not enough of it can cause fatigue, shortness of breath and numbness.

Of course, these days, as a vegan you can overcome these risks by taking a daily vitamin B12 supplement. 

Brain Food: We have evolved to eat meat

A recent article in the journal Nature discusses the need for quality meat in our diet, in a world that is rich in nutrient-poor food. Read the article HERE.

Gupta highlights that the consumption of meat by our primate ancestors enabled them to evolve bigger brains. Meat provides readily available iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and fatty acids – all of which are required for brain development and optimal function (so not something I’m willing to deprive my kids of). 

The article does note, however, that nutrient-poor, factory-farmed meats are nowhere near as beneficial for us as free range meat.

So where does this leave us on the “healthiest diet” dilemma?

My view is that your diet needs to suit your needs. For me, and my family, getting our daily requirements for optimal health purely from plants would be challenging. I alone have a thyroid condition which predisposes me to have an array of nutrient deficiencies – including B12!

This doesn’t mean we eat loads of meat everyday – far from it. We eat a diverse mix of gluten-free, plant-based foods including vegetables, nuts, pulses and the odd bit of seaweed!  We eat free-range chicken and well-sourced oily fish, like mackerel and salmon. We rarely eat red meat or processed meat because of the links to increased risk of cancer (Cancer Research UK).

We also don’t eat dairy, primarily because of intolerances (did you know that Thyroxine can make you lactose intolerant?), but also because of the potential links to some Cancers and the fact that our ability to drink milk into adulthood is due only to a chance mutation – only 30% of people can digest the milk sugar lactose (mostly Europeans).

Most importantly, I am open to changes in our eating regime – the aim is to get the most from our food and to feel our best!

This is what works for us. What works of you? 

Are you vegan? 

I make homemade gluten, dairy, egg and soy-free food, many of which are suitable, or can be made suitable, for vegans (or all of which if you are a vegan who eats honey!). Have a look at what you can order HERE.

Is it time you took a look at your diet, but aren’t quite sure where to start? Get in touch HERE and we can have a chat about how I may be able to help.

For more information on my Coaching sessions and Packages click HERE

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Caroline x