Have you ever thought about how your lifestyle is effecting your hormone health? For a long time, I was so focused on getting my diet right, that I forgot about the important environmental impacts that were contributing to my health challenges.
I now cringe when I jump in a car with a ‘smelly tree’, hold my breath when I walk past someone with a strong perfume scent and avoid bright lights at night. Why? As I was writing my book: Balanced, The Natural Way To Healthy Hormones, it became very clear how disruptive environmental stressors can be to achieving regular periods, clear skin, relaxed moods and vibrant energy levels.
Where should you start? Right here, with my powerful guide to encourage an environment that supports healthy hormones for you and your loved ones.
DETOX YOUR HOME & WORK ENVIRONMENT
Plug your laptop, computers and if possible, iPads into your internet modems by cord or cable and turn off the wireless internet options. If you must use it, limit the time you are exposed to wi-fi by switching off the modem when it is not in use, especially at night while you’re sleeping.
On that note, keep your laptops off of your lap and phones away from your body, or switch them onto aeroplane mode when you do need to keep it close by. If the fellas in your life need some convincing, there are multiple studies (1,2,3,4) indicating the negative effects of sperm health with increased mobile phone usage. I will always switch mine to aeroplane mode at night (yes, the alarm still works) and only have it switched on during the day when I need to use it for work. Otherwise I’l check messages around twice per day. You will survive, trust me!
Also switch off (at the point) any gaming devices (particularly X Boxes), as they emit electromagnetic frequencies, even when not in use.
At night, reduce your exposure to light, to enhance the quality of your sleep (the crucial opportunity your body has to recalibrate). This particularly includes melatonin disrupting blue light from fluorescent lights, most LED lights, TV’s, laptops, phone’s and other devices. You can trick your body into producing melatonin, by wearing blue light blocking sunglasses from sun down and using himalayan salt lamps and candles for light. Our home has predominantly LED lighting, so along with wearing the blue light blockers, we’ll turn off the lights we’re sitting directly under and have the next-room-over lights on, to reduce this blue light exposure.
Prevent mould growth in your home and work, by opening windows and increasing the air flow. Keep the door open on your washing machine and dishwasher open when not in use and install a fan in your bathroom. Mould is a major cause of chronic health conditions, by disrupting your cellular energy production. The mitochondria, known as the powerhouses of your cells are negatively effected by mould exposure, particularly if you carry the genetics which lead to blockages in your mould detox pathways.
Ditch any home fragrant sprays, smelly trees, cheap incense sticks and candles containing synthetic fragrances in your home, work, car and on you! Swap these with fresh flowers in your home and the naturally beautiful scents of essential oils. Anything with the word fragrance on it’s label, is a source of hormone disruptive phthalates. You can find my favourite essential oil spritzers to freshen you up throughout the day, here.
CLEANING YOUR HOME & AIR
Clean your home with a vacuum cleaner containing a HEPA filter and if you live near a polluted area (next to a main road, golf course or air traffic), purchase an air filter, also with a HEPA filter. In saying that, the indoor environment has actually shown to be more toxic than outdoors, so an extra way to clean the air in your work and home, is to use indoor plants. You can read about my favourites here.
YOUR PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
Use organic sanitary products or a silicone menstrual cup, to avoid exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals such as dioxins, crude oil plastic, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG). (5)
Read about my favourite (and safe) body care products here.
IN THE KITCHEN
Ditch any non-stick cookware (this contains the harmful chemical Perfluorotanoic acid), and swap to cast iron, high quality stainless steel, lead-free ceramic (always ask the company before purchasing) and clay. My favourite way to slow cook is in a clay pot, like these ones. Opt for beeswax wraps in place of endocrine disrupting plastic wrap and go for unbleached natural wax paper (for a baking paper option) and brown paper bags in place of plastic bags, for packing lunches.
Throw away your plastic containers (or use them for other storage uses in and around your home) and store your food and drinks in glassware. Stainless steel thermos containers are also safe and a handy way to keep your meals and drinks hot until lunchtime (and to also avoid the nutrient destroying microwave). Otherwise, stainless steel lunch boxes are a healthy option for packing your meals for the day. More ways to safely store your food (and keep it fresh), in this blog post.
Replace your plastic water bottle (even if it’s BPA free) and choose from the numerous stainless steel and glass water bottle options on the market now. For your coffee, tea or smoothie on-the-run, purchase a glass takeaway coffee mug with silicon lid. If you buy a takeaway cup when you’re out and about, ask for no lid to both help the environment and avoid an unwanted source of the xeno-oestrogen (hormone disruptive) Bisphenol A (BPA), sourced by drinking from a take-away cup lid. Further reading over here.
Install a water filter, to avoid hormone disruptive chlorine and fluoride. One of my recommendations is found here.
To avoid the oestrogen mimicking toxin glyphosate (the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup), fertilisers and GMOs, choose organic produce where possible. Also support food delivery companies, organic supermarkets and farmers markets which minimise food packaging (particularly plastic wrap). Read a more detailed explanation of how glyphosate can disrupt your hormone health here.
Get to know the source of your food supply by connecting with your local farmers at markets and you will naturally be buying local and seasonal produce which is higher in nutrients, by doing so.
Choose smaller fish such as sardines, anchovies and herring, over tuna, shark, swordfish, marlin, sea perch and catfish, as these are high sources of the heavy metal mercury. Best, opt for fresh wild caught and local fish such as whiting, garfish, coorong mullet, snapper and tommy ruff (in South Australia).
Switch off the electronics and ground yourself regularly on grass or sand, spend time in nature and get your hands dirty in the garden. Avoid the use of fertilisers and pesticides and herbicides around the home and use natural alternatives such as weeding (great exercise by the way), whipper snippering, boiling water, or certified organic weed killers.
HOLISTIC HEALING FOR YOUR HORMONES
Wherever you are on your hormone health journey, you can’t ignore the impact your lifestyle will have on your overall wellbeing. Avoid insults to your hormone health by preventing mould growth in your home and your exposure to electromagnetic frequencies through wi-fi and usage on your blue light emitting electronic devices. Reduce your contact to endocrine disrupting toxins through choosing safer alternative with your foods, cosmetics, personal care products, cooking and cleaning products, food storage, gardening tools and embrace living the simpler, hormone friendly life.
Much more information on dietary, lifestyle and supplementation to support your hormone health, in my book Balanced, The Natural Way To Healthy Hormones.
(1) Agarwal A, Desai N, Makker K, Varghese A, Mouradi R, Sabanegh E, et al. Effects of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen:an in vitro pilot study. Fertil Steril (internet). 2009;92(4):1318-25
(2) Adams J, Galloway T, Mondal D, Esteves S, Matthews F. Effec of mobile telephones on sperm quality: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Environ Int (internet). 2014;Sept(70):106-12.
(3) Agarwal A, Deepinder F, Sharma R, Ranga G, Li J. Effect of cell phone usage on semen analysis in men attending infertility clinic: an observational study. Fertil Steril (internet). 2008;89(1):124-8.
(4) Liu K, Li Y, Zhang G, Lui J, Cao J, Ao L, et al. Association between mobile phone use and semen quality: a systemic review and meta analysis, Andrology (internet). 2014;2(4):491-501.
(5) Donsky A. Conventional Feminine Hygiene Products: A Women’s Issue With Toxic Implications. http://naturallysavvy. com/care/conventional-feminine-hygiene-products-a-womens-issue-with-toxic-implications#sthash.aHn9BzwX.dpuf. Viewed April 2016.