Thursday, November 8, 2012

in which i'm a human and this is my health

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This morning I got up early and had time to take a leisurely shower, blow dry my hair, have coffee and oatmeal, and read a few chapters of Anna Karenina, all before work.  And I didn't even get up that much earlier than usual.  It seriously makes SUCH a difference in my overall alertness and interest in, well, life.  When I don't get enough sleep and I roll out of bed all grumpy and rumpled and just kind of throw myself in my car I cannot focus AT ALL and the whole day is essentially a waste of precious hours.  What a way to live!  I really need to make this early-riser thing a habit.

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(blazer/hat: vintage; dress/scarf/belt: thrifted; tights: tjmaxx; shoes: seychelles)

Speaking of what a way to live... (beware, this is a long one): After watching Pink Ribbons, Inc., I immediately went to the bathroom and started investigating my beauty products.  I discovered that my bubble bath--something I literally soak my entire body in for an hour at a time--has carcinogens in it, and now I'm on this new no-chemical kick.  I want to start making my own products as much as possible (starting with bubble bath, of course). I was with my girlfriends a few months ago and we were talking about those nights when we drink too much wine and then it hurts for days, or when we self-soothe with excessive consumption of cheese and chocolate, and I mentioned that it's so funny how we take such good care of our bodies when we're pregnant (women in general, not me or my friends, yet)--when we are given the responsibility of creating another human we want to them to be as healthy as can be--but we do such a bad job of maintaining the health of our own human. Why don't we take care of our own bodies like that? Why is it okay to drink to excess or soak in carcinogens or eat overly processed foods that our bodies can't digest properly just because we don't have another person growing inside of us? I realized that parents are so careful with their children because they take the time to inform themselves. They research the best diapers, or the best way to balance a child's diet, or the best baby shampoo or sunscreen or the best whatever... but we don't really bother to research the ingredients in our food or beauty products we use ourselves. Personally, I always just trusted that if something was bad, I would know about it. More and more I'm learning that that is just not the case. Just like we shouldn't have blind faith in anything--in religious reasoning that leads to human suffering or oppression, in politicians with shiny smiles backed by influential super-pacs, in the questionable ideals of our friends, family, partners, spouses, employers, in doctors or therapists who dismiss our pains or administer drugs for a quick fix--we certainly shouldn't have blind faith that the products we consume and ingest are safe.

 My goals are simple. I want to make as much from scratch as I can, buy as basic and organic as I can, and take responsibility for the health of my body and mind. Fun fact about me: I have to take a 24-hour allergy pill every day to function, or I become Snuffleupagus. And I don't know why. Well, I kind of know why. My mother has the same "allergies" (it's actually somehow neurological?), and an elimination diet showed that she probably shouldn't eat anything that is good: chocolate, cheese, beer, wine, or nuts. I've basically just decided that I would rather take the allergy pill than give up those things. But there is still something wrong with that. There is something suspicious about this gluten-intolerance epidemic. There is something wrong with the Asperger's/autism epidemic (don't even get me started on that, I think that's more cultural than dietary, although there have been links that suggest that diet is a factor). Research is indicating that Alzheimer's is actually a third type of Diabetes (diet-related). Cancer is way out of control. For a while I thought that maybe these diagnoses were just a result of better detection--maybe people were dying like this of cancer all along but nobody could identify the cause. Now I realize that there is something wrong with the way we are interacting with our environment. The foods we're eating are downright dangerous. The air is probably much more toxic than we even know. We are putting "known" carcinogens on our skin every day (I say "known" because the scientific community knows it but the general public really doesn't). These are all not good things.

I know why we do it.  We do it because it's easy and convenient and cost-effective to be careless.  Carefree.  We should be able to trust that the products we buy won't kill us, right?  So we do.  They don't knock us dead on the spot, so they're probably fine, right?  I know I'm guilty of it--I go to the grocery store and the organic apples look mealy and small and cost more, so I buy the regular apples and tell myself that I'll just "wash them better."  The bottom line is that good food is more expensive.  Good products are more expensive.  And people are poor (myself included).  This is the way the system traps us into submission.  I've always said that good food should be subsidized.  Wellness should be subsidized (gyms, etc.).  The best things in life may be free, but the best things that aren't free are always the most expensive to make up for it.  I promise I'm seriously not on a high horse or anything.  It just makes me mad.  I just want to try to do better.  These things are weighing on me lately.  I just want to live a long, healthy, happy life.  I want to be carefree, but I can't be careless anymore.  Believe me, I am sad about it.  I really did like that bubble bath.

In other news, I'm wearing an outfit.

10 comments:

  1. I added up the $$ we spent on groceries for a month spanning Sept/Oct - a shocking 683 bucks. 298 on alcohol. (thats a separate calculation mind you)

    we eat pretty healthy, certainly more so than I ever have before and for the most part its dairy, nut, egg and preservative free.

    still ouch. but i hear ya sister and agree.

    how do i make my own bubble bath?? can we do that this Christmas season?? i can take the bus up....

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  2. This was a seriously interesting post, I have been feeling really "off" lately, super tired, not as much energy and just lethargic. And I am really considering changing my diet (I already eat pretty healthy, but there are of course things I could change).
    Thats interesting about the bubble bath, i am definitely going to check mine out! And i will be investing in lots of natural bubble baths for my mom for christmas I think
    Also, I love this outfit, the colours are so perfect for autumn.

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  3. I'm not certain what the Asperger's/autism epidemic is but otherwise: this is an interesting post. This especially 0 Personally, I always just trusted that if something was bad, I would know about it. More and more I'm learning that that is just not the case. Just like we shouldn't have blind faith in anything--in religious reasoning that leads to human suffering or oppression, in politicians with shiny smiles backed by influential super-pacs, in the questionable ideals of our friends, family, partners, spouses, employers, in doctors or therapists who dismiss our pains or administer drugs for a quick fix--we certainly shouldn't have blind faith that the products we consume and ingest are safe.

    Yes.

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  4. I had a client recently that made an eco-friendly pet cleaning product and learned SO MUCH about all of this. Where beauty and cleaning products are concerned, there is so little regulation and so many known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors going into them. And that's just what they put on the bottle! But that said, it's really, really exceedingly hard to find completely "clean" products that still work and don't break the bank. You get "fragrance free" this but it still has sulphates. Cleaning products are even scarier. Even if you wear gloves, a mask, and open all the windows while you do it, you're still exposing yourself to some really tough stuff. This is definitely a huge issue in our country that has gotten very little attention. I'm going to have to watch this movie you mentioned.

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  5. I have no idea what carcinogens are but I gonna check my bubble bath for them. Gosh I hope Mr. Bubbles is free of them cause I really love those bubbles but I love my health more so thanks for the tip. In other news, I like your outfit.

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  6. You can't be real, too amazing.

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  7. Great autumn outfit and you must be fairly alert in the morning since you manage to take outfit posts every day! Which I find very impressive. Very interesting and well written post as usual. I am the same I always think I will know if something is bad but you are totally right that its mostly hidden. Also if you do make any beauty products - I would love some tutorials. And yes Slouching towards Bethlehem is great, I need to check out her other stuff myself.

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  8. Agreed in general, but I'm livid at the organic industry as well, and I'm livid with the government for essentially allowing the big food corporations to take over the world, therefore making it an "organic or big food" choice.
    In my opinion, all large scale food producers should be shut down and local produce should be subsidized, over organic. I'd get into a ranty list of reasons, but I've already had a glass of wine and the mental faculties have shut down, so I'll leave it for another day.
    I will say though that my grandmother had Alzeihmers and in no way had a bad diet and I do think it's more complicated than that for a lot of these big illnesses.

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  9. great blog :) so lovely pics..
    you have new follower, hope you visit me back and follow..kisses

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  10. You look awesome and nice outfit...I like that hat!

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