My Other Journey – Living More Green (Something more fun than Infertility!)

Ever since we started our infertility roller coaster, I have been working hard on this (other) goal of becoming healthier. Not only have I focused on my weight, the foods I eat and mindset, I have also been mindful of the products I use. I have read when women prepare to start a family; many of them make lifestyle changes. Perhaps on some level, this has happened to you. I have read women stop drinking caffeinated coffee or switch to decaff. Some quit habits such as smoking, drinking or doing drugs. Others start exercising and eating better. Personally, I did switch to decaf coffee, started exercising and eating better. I also decided to change things up by switching the chemical laden products I used to simpler, more natural products and that’s what I share with you in this post.

I recently picked up a book by Dr. Alan Greene called RAISING BABY GREEN. I haven’t read the entire book yet but have read through the chapters important to me. One thing I like about the book is it’s divided into specific chapters so I can read what I want. So far Chapter 1 speaks volumes to me. I have never been a fan of artificial ingredients like sweeteners or artificial colorings and have been more of a naturalist at heart but this chapter really enlightened me. It’s titled, The Womb, and hits home the effects of the environment on a mother and baby. I wanted to share some startling points for me:

  • The umbilical cord study (study by Environmental Working Group which tested the umbilical cord blood of 10 babies born in US hospitals for industrial chemicals. The results are scary; over 200 chemicals were identified).
  • How buying organic foods has much positive impact: on our drinking water, milk (think growth hormones and antibiotics), fruits and vegetables, on our soils and lands, the treatment of agricultural animals, hormones used in livestock and how many billion barrels of oil are imported annually.
  • How something simple like switching the regular foods your children eat to organic versions can reduce or eliminate the breakdown products of pesticides found in their urine.

I SO don’t want any of these or any other chemicals in my body or my families’. So in the past year, I already decided (probably like many of you) to get my body into prime baby making (and baby keeping) shape. I started researching chemicals and what their potential harmful effects are and decided to simplify and de-toxify my life as much as possible. So far, these are the items I’ve switched out, but it’s still a work in progress.

     BPA

To avoid this estrogen mimicking chemical, whatever I use that comes from a can, I have either purchased it in a BPA FREE can or buy it in dried version (e.g. beans). I personally use Eden’s Organic Cannellini White Kidney Beans. Instead of paying US$2.99/ can at the outside grocer, I can pay US$1.86 online (which is a huge difference).

I’ve also changed food containers from plastic to glass. Dr. Greene in his book advises to minimize eating and drinking from plastics with the recycling numbers 3, 6 or 7 because harmful chemicals can leach out. He says to opt for symbols 1, 2, 4 or 5. Even better is if you carry your food or water in stainless steel or glass containers. I carry my water in my SIGG Hello Kitty Aluminum bottle! (The lining is BPA free and it’s way cute!).

     Chemical exposure

To lessen the amount of chemicals exposed to my skin, I looked at the products I use and did Spring cleaning.

  • I replaced my (favorite) Bath and Body Works anti-bacterial hand soaps (filled with Triclosan) with Dr. Bronner’s Castile liquid soap. I use it to clean the dishes, bathroom sink, tub and toilet (added with baking soda and a little dilution). It’s a pretty versatile soap.  The best part is I scent the hand soap with a few drops of Lavender essential oil and I am in heaven (I just love Lavender!).

Chemicals just have harmful effects. They’ve been known to cause allergies, skin problems, disrupt and mimic hormones and cause cancer. They are showing up in our bodies, our waters and our wildlife. I do think of what the impact of all these chemicals will be on our health decades from now as well as our children we all are trying so hard to conceive (and boy, hasn’t it been hard trying??!)

  • Replaced artificially colored and fragranced lip stains with Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm and Crazy Rumors Hibiskiss lip color.
  • Replaced chemical sunscreen (Neutrogena Helioplex) to a mineral sunblock. (I totally loved the sunscreen until I developed an allergy to the chemicals. I was horribly itchy with red bumps every time I used it). Badger’s Baby Sunscreen uses NON Nano zinc oxide and contains mostly organic ingredients. For lip protection, I use Alba Botanica Mineral Terra Tints SPF 15 and Loving Naturals Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 30. The Loving Naturals has a more pasty texture due to the higher percentage of zinc oxide (24.8%) compared to the Alba brand (5.5%). The Alba has a hint of color whereas the Loving Naturals does not.
  • An interesting tidbit about decaffeinated coffee, it still has some caffeine in it! But besides this, did you know there are several ways coffee beans are processed to lessen the caffeine content?? I sure didn’t know until I read about it in RAISING BABY GREEN. The 2 ways without the use of chemicals are the Swiss Water Process and CO2 process. The other methods utilize chemicals! OMG. The things I did NOT know!!! Now I only buy decaf coffee marked Swiss Water Press or has the logo.

As you can see, I’ve become semi obsessed, ehem, PASSIONATE about my other goal detoxifying our lives. I hope by making small changes here and there will make us healthier down the line. It’s been fun researching and trying out new ways of doing things. It’s also been very helpful to have my mind on other things besides injectable meds and ultrasounds! (We love those don’t we???).

I recently started working out again which has been great. To compete with my fast metabolism, I’ve been focusing on more healthy proteins, more high fiber veggies and fruits (can’t forget the carbs though, luv my rice and pasta!). After my complication post retrieval, I was so worried about losing all the weight I put on last year. What a feat!!! Not one pound lost!

2012 was the first year I started purchasing organic produce. For anything I cannot buy organic, I use this to wash; Environee Fruit and Vegetable Wash.

For those concerned about pesticide amounts in produce, here’s a helpful list made by the Environmental Working Group, http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

Arsenic in food,

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/11/arsenic-in-your-food/index.htm#chart

 These are just some of the changes I’ve made. What are some things you’re doing to change it up and get healthier??? Please share what interesting facts you’ve learned and what kinds of products are you changing up???

This one’s dedicated to my online peeps!!!

My sanity would not be here without you!!! Xoxo

hopin’ and prayin’ for us ttc 2013