If you’ve been a reader of MsModify for a while (or even if you’re fairly new around here- welcome!) then you know my primary focus is to help you live a gluten free life and provide you with modifications (hence the name MsModify 😉 ) so you don’t miss out on your old favorites!
Since getting diagnosed with celiac disease it really has opened my eyes to so much more than just living a gluten free life. Not only am I more aware of what goes in and on my body, but it’s opened my eyes to living an overall healthier lifestyle. In addition to always being on the hunt for gluten free modifications, I’m also trying to find healthier/non-toxic modifications for all aspects of my life from what goes inside my body, on my body, exercising to how I can help protect the environment.
We do better when we know better. I can admit it, when I was first diagnosed with celiac I loaded up my shopping cart with all the “gluten free junk food” that’s out there because I didn’t want to miss out and I thought as long as I gave up gluten my body would heal. I quickly realized I probably wasn’t feeling better because I wasn’t eating healthy (even though I was eating 100% gluten free). I started learning about different chemicals and additives that go into processed foods and began looking at labels differently.
Not only am I now aware of chemicals in food, but also in my personal care products and household products. I watched a documentary on endocrine disruptors (it was years ago and I can’t remember the name of it but there are SO many now on that topic that you can find!) and it changed my life! It was as if a lightbulb went off in my head and there was no turning back! I’m a big fan of documentaries and reading to educate yourself. As with anything, check your sources and see who’s funding the article/film- unfortunately sometimes you get one-sided facts.
Think Dirty App: This app has been a game-changer for me! You download the app, scan the product barcode and Think Dirty will give you easy-to-understand info on the product, its ingredients, and shop cleaner options. I quickly found out many products that I thought were “clean” aren’t!
Health & Wellness Super Bundle: I’m SO excited to share this one with you! This downloadable bundle is a collection of 30 online courses and programs designed to help educate you in order to take control of your health and wellbeing. The courses cover topics such as confidence, yoga, self-care, going toxic-free, fixing your period problems, living gluten free, paleo lifestyle,etc. These 30 online courses have a $5,012.00 value but are only $99.99. How can it be so discounted and why? That’s what I asked too! It’s because this is only available until Tuesday (9/17/19) and then will go away- but if you purchase it before then, you will have lifetime access to it. I’m blown away by the amount of info it consists of!
There are also many great social media accounts that have helped educate me on living a healthier life. Some I recommend are: OrganicBunny (organic beauty), TheFoodBabe (sheds light on chemicals in food), Just.Ingredients (explains ingredients in food and household/personal products).
Take Baby Steps
It can be overwhelming (and expensive!) to try to completely overhaul every aspect of your life in order to live a healthier/non-toxic one. I say just start small, even with baby steps you’re still moving in the right direction! Rather than going through your entire house and throwing out every product you have, I recommend starting with one or two items in each area of your life (bathroom/personal care, household products, kitchen, environment, etc) and go from there.
Often times people burn out when it comes to exercise because they overdo it from the beginning… Yes, I’m guilty of this! I’ve been that person that set a new goal for fitness, pushed myself way too hard, couldn’t walk for two days later and then didn’t go back to the gym! It’s not about how much weight you lift at the gym or how far/fast you run. It’s about being consistent and doing what’s best for your body. Exercise is a big part of my life, it helps me physically/mentally/emotionally but I’m the first to recognize my limitations. Living with an autoimmune disease I’ve learned quickly that I have good days and bad. Some days I go to my barre class and the gym (and feel great!) and other days going for a stroll through my neighborhood is all the exercise I can take. I think when people hear they need to exercise more, they don’t realize it comes in different forms. Pick what’s best for you!
Drink More Water
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but focus on drinking more water throughout the day! If you can’t put down your soda or flavored drinks, try adding fresh fruit and mint leaves to your water. Water helps with digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Start small with this as well (see baby steps above), swap out one of your drinks of choice per day for water. So, if you drink three sodas a day… for one week, replace one of your sodas with water and then (you’ll see you survived and feel good!) the next week swap out 2 sodas for water, and keep going! This is the behavior analyst in me… I’m all about shaping behavior!
Lose the Plastic
A 2018 U.N. Environment report on single-use plastics defines them as plastic “items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.” These include items such as: straws, plastic bags, water bottles, etc. The U.N. Environment reports just nine per cent of the world’s nine billion tonnes of plastic has been recycled. Most of our plastic ends up in landfills, our oceans and the environment.It can take up to thousands of years for plastic bags to decompose and in the meantime it contaminates our soil and water. The toxic chemicals used to make plastic eventually enters the human food chain. According to the World Economic Forum by 2050 there will be ore plastic in the ocean than fish. That is a mind blowing statistic to me and has made me commit to not using single-use plastics!
Go Organic When You Can
I know having celiac is expensive… gluten free products cost more, you always have to buy more food since cooking and eating at home is a part of life with celiac… and now you say buy organic?! Yes, I personally do shop organic because I don’t want to ingest toxic chemicals/pesticides. I always remind myself I’d rather pay the farmer than the pharmacy! I know eating organic isn’t always possible (due to either or both financial reasons or availability) so I say buy organic when you can and it’s most important with food you eat raw. When shopping keep in mind the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
It’s called a transition for a reason, so take the time you need and show yourself grace. Just how you didn’t learn the ins and outs of gluten free living overnight, it’s the same when transitioning to a healthier/non-toxic lifestyle. The difference between the two is with celiac you can’t take your time and slowly transition to a gluten free life… you have to dive in 100%, whereas you can slowly transition to a healthier/non-toxic life by starting with a few small daily or weekly changes and then slowly add to it!
I’m incredibly passionate about this topic and would love to share more with you, as well as learn from you! Please share your tips and let me know what topics you’d like me to share when it comes to healthy living!
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