I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. No matter where I turn or what I read, it seems I'm faced with something else that's bad for me or for my kids.
There's sunscreen filled with nasty chemicals, and the sun's harmful rays. There's the danger caused by using the microwave and the health risks of texting too much. There's GMOs and parabens and BPAs and toxins in your clothing! And now video monitors are bad for baby's brains.
I've been on a personal quest to rid my home and life of some of these nasty chemicals and unhealthy habits, but sometimes it feels like every time I take a step forward, I'm finding myself two steps back.
It started with household cleaning products. I switched to more natural alternatives for sprays, cleaners, dish soap, and laundry detergent right before Willow was born.
Then I swept through all the makeup, cosmetics, and toiletries in our home. Swapping soaps and lotions with 'cleaner' less chemical-filled varieties, for me and the kids. I've tried many different brands along the way. And, while I'm still a bit confused about what's actually "good for you" and what is harmful—I think I've come a long way. Or so I hope!
Though many people have questioned this decision saying, "We were raised washing our hair with Johnson & Johnson and we turned out fine...," reports such as this one— "Johnson & Johnson to Remove Formaldehyde From Products"—found in the New York Times last year, made me even more confident in my decision.
Now I'm faced with the much more overwhelming challenge of changing the way we eat. This has always been a struggle for me, and it's become even more difficult since having kids. I desperately want to eat well and to make good food choices for my kids. But, I have years of not-so-great habits that I'm trying to undo, a husband who also needs convincing, and a 3-year-old who has already grown quite fond of ice cream and other treats. I love bread. I adore cheese. And, I crave ice cream. The more I read, the more I find problems with the foods we're eating. And, the more I hear about people ditching gluten altogether, removing sugar from their diets, and substituting dairy with other "milks" like almond and soy.
I stared reading a very well-written and extremely informative book by Toronto nutritionist, Meghan Telpner called UnDiet: Eat Your Way To Vibrant Health. If you're at all into food and wellness you've likely heard of it.
I'm only half way through and I've already done a full sweep of my home, eliminating many of the unhealthy foods that were causing clutter in my pantry.
But I worry that I have such a long way to go.
I'm also bothered by the fact that even the healthy foods are being made unhealthy with chemical sprays, genetic modification, and processing. I know I can't trust what the labels say. And, I know that "Healthwashing" is a real thing—and a huge problem for many shoppers. I believe, as Telpner says, that eating foods as close to their natural form as possible is the best way to eat. I love shopping at the farmer's market. I've been trying to buy organic as much as possible. I'm doing my best to avoid processed foods. But, these days, stepping into the grocery store is stressing me out.
And, then there's the whole issue with stress. Did you know that stress is actually super unhealthy? Oy!
When did life get so complicated? Being responsible for the well-being of two little people is starting to make my head spin. I guess I've got to start making choices. What really matters? How can I make the best of the information I have, without going crazy? What changes should I make now, and which ones can wait?
I'm still trying to sort this out. Any suggestions?
How do you cope with all the bad news about things that are bad for you?