Though homeopathy is a big part of helping the body get back on track and heal itself, prevention is the best thing we can do TODAY!
– Never microwave in plastic (Tupperware, plastic wrap, etc) – only glass, to prevent the plastic from leaching into your food in the high heat of the microwave. This can cause a build up of xeno-estrogens (outside estrogens) in the body which none of us want, especially in our children (!) who often microwave their lunch at school.
– Avoid aluminum foil, especially cooking in it – in the oven or on the grill. Aluminum has been found in high levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. (In fact, avoid ANY exposure to aluminum – check the ingredients in your anti-perspirant and consider switching to deodorant if you absolutely need to use something)
– Speaking of Alzheimer’s disease, one of the best preventions is the spice tumeric. Put a small plate of it on your kitchen table and sprinkle a bit on your food as often as you can. (Curcumin is extracted from this spice, and as with all supplements, it is always better to take it in its ‘whole food’ form when possible).
– Throughout the winter, a few well-chosen supplements can keep your immune system strong enough to resist getting colds and flus. I recommend Vit D (1-2,000 iu per day), Vitamin C (2,000mg per day) and NAC (N-acetyl cysteine – an amino acid) which helps build immunity (1,000mg per day). Also, the homeopathic flu nosode – Influenzinum – taken once a month can help prevent the flu; it is made new each winter from that year’s strain of the flu (the same strain the vaccine is made with).
– Moving your diet to one that is more plant-based (fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, nut butters, seeds, lentils, beans, hummus, tofu, etc) vs. animal-based (dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, meats) will help you live a longer, healthier life and avoid the common killers (heart-disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes….). PLUS, its better for our planet! (good reading on these points: Whole by C. Campbell and Eating Animals by Foer). If you can’t commit to being mostly vegan, try to choose animal products less often, and then in smaller amounts. If you can’t move your family to this way of eating (and chances are, you can’t!), simply eat more of their side dish/veggies and skip or minimize eating their ‘main’ dish.
– As an adult, don’t be over-concerned about “getting enough protein”. Protein is used primarily for growth and repair in the body. As adults, we are no longer growing and thus need protein mostly for repair. You can absolutely get an adequate supply of protein from nuts, higher protein grains such as quinoa, beans, tofu, lentils, etc. Eating too much protein can accelerate the aging process.
– Similarly, dairy products in particular are not a health food, contrary to what the American Dairy Association would have us believe (good reading: Whitewash by Koen), and actually contribute greatly to digestive distress and skin problems such as acne and eczema in many people. If your main interest in dairy is calcium, more absorbable forms of calcium are actually found in non-dairy sources: green leafy vegetables, broccoli, almonds, sesame seeds, beans…
– IF and when you do eat animal products, eat organic! The hormones, pesticides, anti-biotics used to raise farm animals for consumption make them very toxic.
– Avoid frying, cooking with high temps and cooking over flames (grilling). Avoid vegetable oil consumption whenever possible, choosing only extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil for cooking and salad dressings.
– If you tend to have allergies, or wake up with headaches or post-nasal drip, foggy in the morning… try buying dust-mite covers for your mattress, pillow and duvet as well as a small air filter to put next to your side of the bed. Breathing cleaner air all night could make an enormous difference in those symptoms!
– Avoid x-rays unless absolutely necessary. I cringe when I hear patients tell me about their routine 1-2x yearly dental x-rays and the casual way x-rays are given to us and our children with coughs, sinus infections, etc. X-rays are an exposure to radiation which is one KNOWN cause of cancer, and there is no one keeping track of the total number of x-rays we get each year (and the subsequent cumulative radiation exposure), not that anyone knows what is an acceptable amount of exposure anyway – which surely varies from person to person. So, say NO to x-rays (challenge your Dr or DDS and ask – “Is this absolutely necessary?”) wherever possible!
– The studies on longevity consistently show that the people who eat LESS live longer (and healthier). Digestion uses a lot of resources that the body could be using for repair. So, in general, eat less and less often, eat better quality… and consider replacing a meal a day with a fresh juice, doing a week-long juice fast, or some type of “intermittent fasting”.
– I could say a lot about vaccines, but I won’t in this venue! I will just point out that there is an incredible documentary making its way around the world, so keep an eye out for it – its called VAXXED https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdCU2DfMBpU
– We all know that exercise is good for us. DO IT! J
– Stress management: meditation is a fabulous way to find some peace. I also like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique – http://eft.mercola.com) as a way to manage day to day stress and difficult emotional patterns we can have in relationships. Emotional stress lowers immune function (mind-body connection!) and makes us more susceptible to disease. Prevention is by far the best cure!
– Most of us are already in the habit of reading labels at the grocery store and avoiding purchasing food with ingredients we can’t pronounce. Hopefully, most of what you buy is already non-processed (packaged, canned, etc), whole foods. However, it is also important to scrutinize labels of products we put on our skin: there was a study done where a sunscreen was applied to the test subjects and their urine was collected for 6 hours after the application. EVERY CHEMICAL in the sunscreen, including the fragrance, colorants, etc was found in the urine! This means that everything we apply to our skin is rapidly absorbed into the body, processed and excreted (to the best of the body’s ability). Chemicals in anti-perspirants, skin creams, etc. add to the body’s toxic load. As we often cannot avoid exposure to these chemicals in the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, be conscious to use products with mostly natural ingredients. It makes a difference to both your health, and the health of the planet!
– Patients often ask me why gluten intolerance has recently become such an epidemic. After all, people have been eating wheat and since the first nomads settled down and began to plant fields! Did you know that the wheat we currently eat in North America bears little resemblance to the original wheat (emmer, einkorn, faro, spelt) that our ancestors ate? That is because modern wheat has been hybridized specifically to have more gluten in the grain. Why, you ask? Because it makes for better bread (higher gluten flour results in fluffier, less dense bread). Sadly for those with some gluten sensitivity who might have easily been able to enjoy the ancient grains of our forefathers (I’m not talking about the extreme case of celiac here), one slice of today’s bread can have up to 4x the amount of gluten of that found in the ancient varieties of wheat! Hence, the current ‘epidemic’ of gluten-intolerant people.