Have you ever noticed how much the food and other products in America are focused on convenience? Aisle after aisle of pre-packaged, pre-cooked, pre-processed. Ugh. Just stick to the sides and back and you can sort of avoid some of it. The French (often) don't think we offer much real food. They are right. Coca Cola is great....as a drain cleaner. Do you really want to chug that on a regular basis? Spray sunscreen is awesome, until you inhale the poisonous gases you are spraying on your tots. :( Consumer Reports says don't do it, but I still see many parents out there spraying away on the most innocent among us and I admit, I have a can too, it's so fun to just spray away, right??? Ack. I'm really getting saddened lately by what we have given up in exchange for these pretty boxes and bags and cans and spritzes. We are giving up authentic flavor, taste, simplicity, the joy of creating something from scratch, and ultimately, our health. I'm reading an excellent book on the subject of dangerous chemicals in our environment and lives: "Toxin Toxout" written by two of the leading environmentalists in Canada (http://toxintoxout.com/)
Maybe my search for such topics was propelled a few weeks ago when three wonderful people I know shared with me in various ways that they have a family member with a scary and severe form of cancer. The one victim of the three that I know personally is a healthy young physician. It's devastatingly sad, although we are not without hope and optimism for the very best outcome of course! It's not completely clear why cancer rates are climbing, but I have a good list of probable suspects and I have found them in this book about toxins, and others. Did you know most processed meats contain nitrates which essentially convert into a carcinogen in your digestive system? I learned that while pursuing my chemistry degree. The teacher of organic chemistry essentially turned me off of hot dogs forever, not that any of us every really thought that was healthy, right? I lost a good college friend to a re-occurrence of cancer, and watched a young coworker succumb as well, far before they should have ever left this planet. I know not all cancers can be blamed on toxic chemicals, but surely they are not helping any of us. Recently I lost a cousin that fought a horrific cancer battle over several years. Is there anyone among us that has not been touched by cancer? I also just starting to read "Poison Spring", the story of how the EPA is not really protecting us as well as we may think. When will we wake up as a society and demand that our health not be boxed and foiled and advertised just like all those shiny packages sitting on the shelves and promising us big fat lies?
This post is a bit all over the place and I hope some of it is sinking in or resonating with you. My bottom line here is to try, if you can, to avoid convenience as it relates to what you consume. It's a shameful trap and it's not entirely our fault, we feel we don't have time to cook or clean from scratch and our lives are indeed hectic. We all fall into these patterns sometimes, but the more we know, the more we can fight it. Personally, I'm phasing out Teflon in my life, and trying to avoid sitting in new cars and purchasing other new products likes rugs, pillows, and other plastics/chemicals that can off-gas toxic fumes at alarming rates. In addition, I'm working on making a lot more foods from basic wholesome ingredients which are organic and/or local when I can, even local to my own backyard when I can! The same goes for cleaning products, it's pretty darn easy to make your own and with the addition of a few essential oils, it's a relaxing aroma worked into cleaning, rather than noxious fumes stinging your eyes: win win win!! In addition, I'm carefully scanning anything that touches my skin (sunscreen, makeup, hair products) in order to assess what exactly is making its way into my own personal biosphere. I love Environmental Working Group and the work they are doing but there should be more going on in the government to protect us. In this way, I am avoiding as many additives, preservatives, carcinogens, and fillers as I can. Items that are essentially not tested on humans or not something we realize may be harming us or the planet.
I hope you will join me in saying no to the convenience of foods and products that are hurting us. Unless we stand up and make our position known, companies will continue to churn out unhealthy foods and products and we will continue to fall prey to the casualty of convenience.
If you haven't seen it, this little 20 minute video is a nice eye opener about how we are primed and manipulated to believe we must consume like crazy:
Oh. Ahem. Um, how does this relate to yoga you say? Well, yoga makes me sweat, how 'bout you? And yep, I am ANTI antiperspirant too. Did you know that most breast cancers are found in the upper outer quadrant of the breast, closest to where deodorant/anti-perspirant sits (read parabens)? Sweat is actually just one of many ways our body pushes out what it doesn't want or need. Why would we stop that process??? Personally I like Tom's of Maine deodorant in lavendar or apricot. MMMM. If I smell a little bit stinky, I apologize, I know it's probably not 100% as good, but I hope you'll still love me. ;) Please ax the Axe and find your way to a healthy and natural approach to life. You body and mind will thank you. Let me know what revelations you make and how you are getting rid of "convenience" in your life. I applaud you.
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