Saturday, 10 August 2013

Healthy living: all-or-nothing or pick-and-mix?

WARNING: This blog post contains some disturbing images - please do not continue if you are squeamish or upset by pictures of vivisection. (testing on animals.)

Healthy living: all-or-nothing or pick-and-mix?

Although I do everything I can to avoid eating or drinking anything that might be bad for my health, can the same be said about what I put ON my body?

I don't eat red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, sugar, or fat - the things responsible for most of the major killers/diseases in western society.  (My family medical history necessitated this change.  I thought long and hard about it and realised I don't want to go down the same path and wind up on the operating table to give me 'band-aid' kind of cure.)

For me it's usually all-or-nothing.  I'm not the kind of person who can phase changes in.  I can't do anything little-by-little.  I have to research, mull it over, and then jump in feet first.

So, as I thought yesterday morning in the shower, why do I have bottles filled with killer-chemicals in my home?  Why am I putting lotions and potions on my body that may too have a detrimental effect on my health?

I think that this is all a process that I am going through subconsciously, and it makes me uncomfortable as an all-or-nothing kind of gal.  I choose to use only natural products on my face.  I have done since I was a teenager and discovered The Body Shop.  However, now that they are owned by L'Oreal, the animal testing company, we call them, I cannot be sure that their products are ethical or whether consumers are being duped and lied too.
(Note - Lying is one thing I CANNOT stand.  There are no 'three strikes and you're out' with a liar - for me it's one lie and you're out)

On 11th March 2013 the European Union banned testing on animal for cosmetics, but with L'Oreal's history I am VERY reluctant to go back to The Body Shop - sorry.

Also a few years ago, I checked some of the products that I have been using since I was about 13 years old and found they contain chemicals!  Why?
So, I defected.  I use other stuff and have to scour the internet to get them usually.

I never use deodorant - hahahaha - no, I am not stinky!  I use Naturally Fresh deodorant crystal.  Why?  Well, scientists have discovered chemicals from 'normal' deodorants in breast cancer, that's why, and for me that means those products are no-go.  (I told you I was an all-or-nothing gal!)
Ok - so it's weird to use the first time.  I mean a crystal stick thing that you wet with water and then rub under your arms can't work, right?  And yet it does, very well!

The questions I asked myself have been playing on my mind and I've woken up in the night worrying about them.  I'm the kind of person who worries about that kind of thing.  After all, I only get one body and one life, right?

So, this morning hubby (also a vegan) and I will be visiting The Daily Bread where we live - a wholefood and natural product co-op shop.  I intend to replace the shower gels, the shampoos and conditioners and I may even try out eco-friendly/natural toothpaste!!  Yes, I am daring! haha

One of the things I like about shopping in such a place is that they only stock products from Fair Trade companies.  What is Fair Trade?  Fair Trade is business that is a) carried on legally, and b) trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries.  And I like that! :-)

Doesn't it cost a small fortune to do your shopping, and why don't you just get the stuff from the supermarket, I hear you ask.

Well, that answer is easy... as I said above.  It worries me.  It bothers me.  It pricks my conscience.  It gives me sleepless nights and perhaps most importantly, given my own family's medical history, it could save and prolong my life.

Am I advocating that you should do it too?  No, of course not.  It's your choice what you put in and on your body, not mine.
Certainly the world would be a better place if we all thought about what is in the products we buy and where it comes from. But ultimately the choice is yours.

This blog post is about me.  It's about how I feel and what's happening in my life.  A lot of you emailed me and wanted to know more about me personally.  Now you know a bit more.  I have a huge heart, an enormous conscience and, as my hubby says, I'm a wee bit of a hippy! ;-)