One problem with health gurus–no matter how much guru juice they have or how right they are–is that they forget that humans can only handle making a few changes at a time with success. Most of us have experience at the beginning of January when you’ve resolved to change the hardest parts of your life and in a few weeks (or days) those goals have lost their shine. Another factor is that when the people around us (both family and friends) are used to operating in a certain way, changing it up–even for the better–is uncomfortable and there is resistance.
I suggest fighting one tiny battle at a time. When you conquer one small thing and then another and another, you gain compounded courage and a desire to keep going.
Our family has been transitioning to a healthier lifestyle over a period of about five years. If you’re looking to lead your family into great health, I invite you to pick one from the list below that looks doable. Implement it long enough to make it a habit and then a standard. When you do this, you literally raise your own standards of what healthy means to you, and it’s very difficult to go back.
Here are 27 Health Hacks that have helped my family:
- We drink from glass water bottles and cups. We all own Lifefactory bottles and use them daily.
- We drink filtered water (We have a special Kangen water machine that not only filters but pH balances the water).
- We threw out all processed foods. And it’s rare if we buy anything processed now and focus on real food, raw food, paleo and vegan recipes exclusively.
- We buy 100% organic and locally from farmer’s market when we can.
- We found a local rancher and buy only meat that is pasture raised in the Flint Hills and given no antibiotics.
- We juice (using a Champion juicer).
- On the recommendation of an internationally recognized and awarded psychotherapist and brain researcher, we removed all electromagnetic technology from our bedrooms. Our phones and headsets charge in the kitchen and our computers downstairs. (Research has drawn conclusions that electromagnetic waves can increase brain tumors, anxiety, sleep disturbances, etc.)
- We use Marpac white noise machines in our bedrooms to get deeper sleep.
- We make our bedrooms 100% pitch black–cave like–to get better, longer sleep. (Light’s job is to wake up the brain!)
- We don’t look at our phones after 9pm (most of the time). Because light wakes up the brain.
- We don’t watch TV past 7-8 (usually…because again, light wake up the brain). Plus, we find it difficult to turn off the TV and stop watching once it’s one. It’s an addictive little monster.
- We removed 100% plastic containers and bowls from our homes and only use stainless steel and glass.
- We use only cast iron skillets (made in USA).
- We make our own laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets.
- Since the beauty industry is not regulated and puts cancer causing chemicals in our makeup, we ditched (most) of it and are sourcing makeup made from real plants and flowers. I’m still looking for eye concealer if anyone has a recommendation.
- We removed 100% of toxic lotions (including semi-organic ones trying to slide by).
- We use 100% lotions, creams, facial cleansers that are paleo, organic and of the highest quality. Many of them we make ourselves.
- We removed about half of our carpet and replaced it with flooring.
- We ditched diet pop and rarely drink regular soda.
- We take top of the line, prescription grade supplements and antioxidants used by functional medicine doctors. These are expensive but make you feel wonderful.
- We finally found a chicken farmer that agreed to remove her organic soy from the chicken meal. Now we have a local source for organic plus soy, hormone and antibiotic free chicken.
- We switched to shampoo and conditioner made from a variety of organic mineral-filled clays.
- We are now officially gluten-free. Phew! #gf
Here’s what’s in progress:
- Eliminating all refined sugar.
- Eliminated all iodized salt (it has fillers in it and often has sugar put it in it, believe it or not). We either don’t use salt or use Pink Himalayan salt.
- In the next year, we hope to all get genetic testing done and other very sophisticated (yet affordable) blood tests to determine what our bodies are currently deficient in, what pathogens are currently moving through our bodies and any other genetic markers we need to be aware of that may cause problems later.
- Weight-lifting thirty minutes a week. Long stretches of running and aerobic exercise are now showing to be really hard on the body. We are moving toward exercise that is better for your health like yoga, swimming and weightlifting.