By Shannon Keirnan
Last week I participated in an online en*theos conference, hosted by Dr. Sara Gottfried. It was nearly 20 hours of discussion with doctors and scientists and specialists (oh my!), so, as you may imagine, my notes became quite lengthy.
It also varied widely in topic - from the environment, to proper posture, to toxicity in the body... there was a ton of information covered.
So, can I save you 20 hours?
While not everyone interviewed agreed with one another on EVERY topic, there was plenty of information that came up repeatedly, and everyone could get behind. I've written out the highlights of the conference below, along with the best practical health tips and tricks I learned.
Endocrine disruptors: What is an endocrine disruptor? Put simply, and endocrine disruptor is anything that messes up the hormones and chemicals in your body... and we are bombarded with them daily. They come from our food, our environment, and even our attitude, and can wreak havoc in the body by throwing the natural order of things out of whack. This imbalance can manifest itself in a vast variety of ways, and none of them are pleasant. Heavy metals like lead and mercury are especially problematic.
So how can you stabilize your system?
Avoid processed foods
Eat organic - avoid chemicals in your diet
Adhere to a paleo-type of lifestyle (what that entails differs by individual, but should be more plant-based than meat-based)
Reduce your stress levels as much as possible - practice meditation, earthing, and healthy relationships
Stay away from hidden chemicals in plastic, lurking BPA's, and flame retardants - they hide in surprising places, like store receipts, canned food, and baby clothes! Store your food in glass, ceramic, or stainless steel. Swap out that vinyl shower curtain for natural fibers. Get rid of anything that is artificially scented
Switch to natural cleaning products and cosmetics
Purchase a water filter for your faucets
Detoxing: While the concept of detoxing may sound like a trendy way celebrities avoid eating, it has become a necessity for us in this polluted world we live in, and it doesn't have to be misery-enducing or difficult.
The meat many of us eat is now more fat than anything else (well, some hormones and antibiotics are in there too), contributing to our own weight gain.
Fat cells hold onto toxins, and we are dealing with an obesity epidemic.
What this all boils down to, unfortunately, is that even if we make the change and start working to lose that extra weight, our bodies may sabotage us. When we lose the fat, those toxins are released back into the body. We feel crummy, we feel tired, and we probably are more inclined to gain the weight back, because our system has been flooded with all the gunk the fat has been clinging onto. It's kind of unfair, really.
So how do we move the toxins, and the fat, out of our bodies and get everything working properly again?
Eating lots of sulfur-rich vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, and onions
Eating more vegetables in general. Fiber helps our bodies cleanse the system. Gottfried recommends a pound of vegetables a day, so you'd better start snacking
Consider investing in an ozone generator for your home, and "bomb" it a few times a year when you are absent. It can neutralize indoor air pollution, which is significantly higher than outdoor.
Get the proper amount of sleep, so your body can do its work without added strain
Drink more water. Like, way more water. "The solution to pollution is dilution."
Exercise, and keep that entire system moving.
Practice good posture - if you slouch (like me), try tapping your sternum periodically. It will become a habit to remind you to hold yourself correctly, and the movement itself aligns your torso properly. Having good posture will improve oxygen and nutrient flow throughout your body.
Seek optimal gut health: As if this blog didn't discuss gut health enough, right? But seriously, it's amazing how much of your body is dependent on a healthy gut. If your gut is not healthy, you are not healthy. Allergies, auto-immune problems, links to autism, low energy, etc... you have to "love up your gut" if you want to optimize your health and vitality.
Why is this so complicated to maintain? Largely, because our guts are a complex micro biome in and of themselves. We have ten times the amount of bacteria in our gut than we do cells in our body, and we need them to work properly and stay in the correct balance... or we're going to have issues.
How do we do this? Well, all of the above tips, plus these:
Stay away from grains, and sugar, which will feed the bad bacteria
Eat fermented foods! Don't like sauerkraut (I don't blame you)? Try fermenting other vegetables, like green beans. Ever tried a fermented cucumber? Yeah, you probably have. How about kefir, if you can have dairy, or low-sugar kombucha? Just make sure you're getting raw or untreated foods, or making them yourself. Pasteurization and processing will kill off all the good bacteria you're trying to ingest.
Get enough fat. Mitochondria need good fats to keep their membranes strong. Weak mitochondria = weak body.
While it may seem like a lot, these changes with time can help transform your health and your body. Change your habits, change the way you live, and you will change the way you feel! We all know that's true.
I'll be putting these into practice - will you?