Katie shares the secret of how she gracefully manages five kids, a company, and a career without sacrificing her desire to embody a healthy, natural lifestyle, both for herself and her family. With her simple 5-step plan, she'll show you how to implement a system for living healthier by transforming your diet, getting rid of the chemicals in your everyday life, and organizing your time in order to achieve maximum confidence, productivity, and wellness. You will be able to detox by trading in your traditional household cleaning products, beauty products, and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals for more than 100 all-natural DIY "recipes." You'll also learn how to create an organizational framework for each day, incorporating time-management strategies, bulk-cooking techniques, chore charts, meal plans, and more. The book will showcase Katie's natural answers to matters of home, nutrition, and motherhood, and provide the harried with advice on how to painlessly incorporate these tips and remedies and reap the benefits of a natural life.
KATIE WELLS, the "Wellness Mama," is an award-winning blogger, author, podcaster, and real-food crusader. Her mission with WellnessMama.com is to provide simple answers for creating healthier families through practical tips, real-food recipes, beauty and cleaning tutorials, natural remedies, and more. As a mom, Katie offers advice for living a Wellness Lifestyle with a family and on a budget.
"Katie Wells is my go-to expert on how to make your home a healthy oasis. In her new book, she shares countless ways that you can lower your chemical burden and take control of your families' health. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to have more control over the health trajectory of their loved ones." -- Alan Christianson, NMD New York Times Bestselling Author of The Metabolism Reset Diet
"Katie Wells is my go-to expert on how to make your home a healthy oasis. In her new book, she shares countless ways that you can lower your chemical burden and take control of your families' health. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to feel more control over the health trajectory of their loved ones." -- Alan Christianson, NMD New York Times Bestselling Author of The Metabolism Reset Diet
Katie Wells, the force behind the incredibly popular website WellnessMama.com and author of The Wellness Mama Cookbook, teaches readers how to become healthier and more productive with a 5-step plan of DIY tips and tricks to detoxify and take the stress out of daily life.
Chapter 1 What We''re Up Against I''ve always considered our bodies like a bathtub. You can put a lot of stuff into a bathtub. You can just add water, which is nonthreatening and easy to drain. You could add sand, or dirt, or fruit, or chemicals, or rocks, or any other substance really. No matter what you put in it, it has a maximum capacity. Once that bathtub is filled to the top, it is going to overflow, no matter what you put into it. It is the same with our bodies. You can put a whole lot of different stuff into (and on) it and our bodies are pretty good at draining and cleaning out the junk. But if it''s full of toxins, then the body can no longer drain it out and disease will manifest. Our bodies can handle only so much. In their day, our grandparents weren''t trying to put too much into the bathtub. Their bodies could relatively easily drain and stay below capacity, even if there was a large influx in a short amount of time. Now we''re throwing junk into the bathtub all day long. We''re cramming them with plastics and chemicals and junk food and slowing down the drain with lack of sleep, too much stress, and lack of real human connection. To fix it, we must reduce all the junk we''re throwing in and address the draining issues. But before I get into that, let''s delve into what we''re up against (what''s going into our bathtubs) so that you can understand how to combat it. Food Additives There are thousands of chemicals in our foods, and some experts estimate that consumers eat about four pounds of chemicals annually. Sure, some additives are harmless, but others haven''t been adequately tested and a bunch are downright dangerous. After looking into this issue, I''ve compiled a list of the ten most dangerous. 1. Artificial Sweeteners. Anything dubbed "sugar-free" probably contains artificial sweeteners, none of which have any redeeming value. I''m talking about aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, and others. These have been linked to cancer and a number of other serious health problems. 2. Cochineal Extract. Found in beverages, candy, ice cream, yogurt, this additive is a red coloring made from the dried and pulverized bodies of insects. It has been shown to cause rare allergic reactions that range from hives to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. 3. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Found in almost all processed foods and beverages, this highly refined form of sugar is the chief source of calories in American diets. HFCS promotes obesity faster than many other sugars, builds up levels of low-density lipoprotein--LDL ("bad") cholesterol--and promotes the development of type 2 diabetes and other illnesses. 4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). A flavor enhancer found in soups, salad dressings, snack foods, chips, frozen meals, and many restaurant dishes, MSG is an "excitotoxin," meaning that it overstimulates brain cells to the point of damage or cell death. Studies show that regularly consuming MSG triggers depression, mental disorientation, fatigue, headaches, obesity, and other adverse side effects. 5. Partially Hydrogenated Oil. This is a type of vegetable oil hardened into a semisolid (such as shortening or margarine) by chemically adding hydrogen. This process creates trans fats, which can damage cell membranes. They also raise LDL cholesterol levels and lower high-density lipoprotein--HDL ("good") cholesterol--levels. This additive is found in many food products, including baked foods, microwave popcorn, piecrust, shortening, and stick margarine. 6. Food Dyes. These artificial colorings are used in soda, fruit juices, salad dressings, and other foods and have been linked to behavioral problems in children. According to a study funded by the British government and published in 2003, coloring agents in foods can cause kids to become hyperactive and disruptive. The UK Asthma and Allergy Research Center looked into the impact of artificial colorings on 277 three-year-olds over a two-week period. Researchers monitored the kids'' behavior over the next two weeks, during which time the children were given placebos. Parents were asked to fill out assessment forms to track any significant differences in the children''s behavior. Guess what? Parents observed substantial improvements when their children were not ingesting artificial colors. The researchers concluded that "significant changes in children''s hyperactive behavior could be produced by removing colorings and additives from their diet." 7. Sulfites. These are preservatives used to increase shelf life in processed foods. According to the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA), approximately one in one hundred people is sensitive to sulfites in food. Side effects include headaches, respiratory problems, and skin irritations. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death by shutting off the airway altogether, leading to cardiac arrest. 8. Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite. Used as preservatives as well as for coloring and flavor in bacon, hot dogs, lunch meats, corned beef, and other processed meats, these substances can turn cancer causing once they enter the digestive system. 9. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene). Both preservatives are found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. They have been found to harm the neurological system of the brain, alter behavior, and increase the risk of cancer. 10. Potassium Bromate. This is a "dough conditioner" that plumps up volume in breads and rolls. It has been found to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts can be harmful for humans. Wellness Mama Detox Solution: Reduce or completely cut out the processed foods you normally purchase. Switch to a nutrition plan that consists of natural, organic foods, and always read labels. The more chemical ingredients in a food product, the less healthful it is. I feel happy when I feed my family quality food that avoids unnecessary harmful food additives--and so will you. Want to learn more? Visit WellnessMama.com and click on Health to read more about food and health topics. Pesticides and Herbicides Each day, we encounter countless pesticides and herbicides, especially on food and even in our home environment. Of course, many are on our fruits and vegetables (unless you buy organic produce). There are too many to mention here, but there are two you should know about: 2,4-D and glyphosate. The most commonly used weed killer for lawns and gardens, 2,4-D has been linked to cancer, neurological impairment, and reproductive problems. It is an "endocrine disruptor," a substance that wreaks havoc on weight, metabolism, and even fertility. Incidentally, 2,4-D was also a poisonous constituent of Agent Orange, which was used by the United States in the Vietnam War to defoliate jungles to expose hidden enemy installations. It turns up in those weed-and-feed products you''ve probably bought hundreds of times to treat your lawn. Also problematic: 2,4-D lingers in the environment. It can drift by wind from the fields where it is sprayed to other places or be tracked inside homes by pets or kids. An analysis by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found 2,4-D in groundwater and surface water, as well as in drinking water. Wellness Mama Detox Solution: This chemical has not yet been banned; until that happens, I suggest contacting a lawn service company that uses natural methods to control weeds on your lawn. Other good moves: Avoid gardening and lawn care products that contain it. Ask your municipality whether 2,4-D is used in local parks or outdoor recreational areas. Check out the website of the National Pesticide Information Center, which has information on 2,4-D and most other pesticides. If you think anyone in your household has been exposed to 2,4-D or any other pesticide, contact a poison-control center. Another scary chemical is glyphosate, the world''s best-selling weed killer. Developed and patented by Monsanto, it is the active ingredient in the company''s flagship herbicide Roundup. This product is a weed killer that consumers can use on their lawns. It is also sprayed on genetically modified crops, including soy, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets. The authors of an MIT report have expressed concern that Roundup is contributing to a wide range of diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, infertility, cystic fibrosis, cancer, Alzheimer''s disease, and Parkinson''s disease. The report notes that it "may be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment." Wellness Mama Detox Solution: Eating organically grown foods and non-genetically modified foods is one important way to avoid the cocktail of synthetic chemical pesticides and excessively large amounts of the glyphosate. Another is to grow your own veggies (see Chapter 5). Cosmetic Chemicals The twenty-first-century woman unknowingly applies hundreds of chemicals to her body every day. And the skin, as the body''s largest organ, absorbs about 70 percent of whatever it comes into contact with. Cosmetics and beauty products are thus a major source of chemical exposure for most people. An average beauty product contains dozens of harmful chemicals, many which have not even been tested for safety in humans. So, what should you avoid? * Synthetic Fragrances. Although they may make products smell good, they often contain phthalates, harmful chemicals added to stabilize and preserve fragrance oils and make plastic more durable. Phthalates mimic hormones and may alter genital development, particular
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