Dr. Laurén Doamekpor
I consider myself to be pretty healthy and health conscious. I try to stay clear of processed foods, I eat a good amount of veggies and fruits, drink water and work out regularly. But the other day, I realized that there is much more I could be doing to up my game and be and stay my healthiest. I decided to take action to limit my exposure to environmental toxins. I’m sure everyone knows that microwaving in plastic is a big no no…unhealthy chemicals in the plastic can leach into our food that way. And to my utter disgust and surprise, I realized that nasty chemicals like phthalates and parabens are not just in my plastic Tupperware but in some of my favorite beauty products. My favorite face cream had parabens and so did my favorite body wash. I was being exposed to all these nasty chemicals and didn’t even know it.
So I took a deep breath, and instead of throwing all my stuff out, I decided to take small steps toward a truly healthy lifestyle. Maybe some of you will find these steps helpful.
1. I am becoming more informed about the impact of these chemicals on my health. I talked with my doctor and did some research online about some of the harmful chemicals in everyday household products. There’s a lot of information out there, so I tried not to freak myself out. I stuck to reputable websites, mostly government websites like cdc.gov.
2. I made small changes in my kitchen. My husband and I are in the process of transitioning to a no-plastic-Tupperware/plates/cups household. I realized that glass containers are more expensive, but we are making small purchases at a time and in the long run, we are investing in our health. I’ve also stopped using that plastic thing to cover our food in the microwave and instead use a plate or paper towel.
3. I’ve been making small changes and slowly getting rid of my cosmetics that have harmful chemicals in them. I am much more conscious now when I shop for beauty products. I found a few ‘natural’ face creams and face washes that I like, and I’ve been slowly transitioning. Lines like Kimberly Sayer of London are eco-conscious, chemical-free, natural and organic. They are definitely pricier, but may well be worth the cost because of the myriad of benefits it gives your skin.
I won’t lie, this process hasn’t been easy AT ALL. Sometimes I feel like everything we use is exposing us to nasty stuff. But for right now, my goal is to limit our exposure. I’m not sure there is any way to completely eliminate our exposure, but I want to at least try. Because when I think about it, my future self and family will thank me.
Frugal Feministas: What small steps can you take to start living your healthiest?