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RAW Lifestyle Changes - Beyond just the food.
by John Kohler  (Earth Day 2001)

I have become aware of many things on my "Raw Path".. This article is here to share with you some of the non-food related changes I have made in my lifestyle that complement my diet related path to optimize my health, energy and well-being.

When I first went raw, I used all the "standard" products- i.e.: toiletries (aquafresh toothpaste, paul mitchell shampoo, ivory soap, edge shaving gel, etc.).  I had no idea how bad these products were for my health!

When becoming raw, and started to detox my body, I found that many of these products contain some "nasty" ingredients, that I believe were not good for my system.. After all I was suppose to be "de-toxifying".. and without other lifestyle changes, I would "re-toxify" myself....  

So why would I want to put all these toxins back into my body? Some of the primary ingredients that I am now weary of: anything with alcohol, sodium laurel sulfate, or any other "big words" I can't pronounce or don't know what they are... I mean-- what is raw foods about anyway? Its about getting back to nature, and  eating simply- whole, uncooked and minimally processed foods.

I believe that in life, we should reduce toxins in our environment such as we do with our diet. (Minimally processed, and natural as possible products.)

Skin is the largest organ of our body.  Is it permeable?   Many think, no..  But think again.   Yes, its very permeable, and things we put on our skin, get absorbed into our body.  It also works the other way.   The skin also excretes toxins, if its not clogged up...  To cleanse the skin, I recommend dry skin brushing with a  skin brush. (Available in many health food stores) 

Here are some of the areas that I have changed:

SHOWERING:
Chlorine found in many "city" water systems is REALLY TOXIC STUFF.  Do you drink purified water? I sure hope so..    Why put chorinated water on your skin or breathe it?  That's what you are doing every time you take a shower.   Here is a quote:

"Not only is chlorine absorbed through the skin, but also vaporizes in the shower, inhaled into the lungs and transferred directly into the blood system. In fact, chlorine exposure form one shower is equal to an entire day's amount of drinking the same water. Therefore, drinking filtered or bottled water addresses only half the problem"

At my residence, I have installed a shower filter, and when I travel, I take a shower filter with me to install at the hotel.  I have noticed softer skin and more vibrant hair after installing the filter.  An affordable shower filter with replaceable element can be found here.

SOAP:
Now days, I use little natural soap (such as dr. bronners, or hand made soap (with few ingredients) from a farmers market). I use no deodorant, since its just not needed.   Many days I take a shower with only water..  Do animals take showers or baths with soap?  Do they use shampoo?

SHAVING:
I couldn't believe  a good friend who has been raw for a number of years still using a "natural" shaving cream.. I had him list the ingredients, and one of them was the same ingredient that is in antifreeze for cars!  I said, what are you doing?  Do you want to shave with antifreeze?  Now days I use a little soap with some jojoba oil ( a little goes a long way).  I get really close shaves with the oil and soap)

DRYING HAIR:
I never use a blow dryer.  They are one of the highest sources of EMF (Electromagnetic Fields).. I just towel dry and air dry my hair.

DEODORANT:
I don't use any. Once your body gets "clean", you shouldn't need any.  If you really must use some, I have seem some "crystal" products that may be better that other products.

TOOTHPASTE:
I don't use anything with fluoride in it.  I don't use anything with Sodium Laurel Sulfate.   I use natural toothpaste's or tooth powders with all natural ingredients.

PERFUMES/COLOGNES:
Many just nauseate me.. I had a college instructor who was allergic to all scents, she said that most are made with formaldehyde.  Now days I use only essential oils for perfume/cologne.

AIR FRESHENER:
I use essential oils (aromatherapy) for freshing the air, or if its really bad, I get out the Air Wise - air purifier

WORKING ON MY CAR:
When working on my car (such as changing the oil, etc.), I ALWAYS wear gloves to minimize contact with oil, grease, etc. 

TOILET PAPER
Many toilet paper and paper towels are made from "virgin" (non-recycled paper). I have switched to using recycled toilet paper that is not "bleached with chlorine" (which releases toxic dioxins into the environment).  Read more about it here.

PAPER TOWELS:
I'm working towards reducing all paper towel use.  I strive to use sponges and cloth towels whenever needed when cleaning.

TISSUE PAPER/NAPKINS:
Before I was raw, I can remember getting runny noses, blowing my nose, etc., now days, this rarely ever occurs, so I no longer purchase tissue paper.  I do not purchase napkins either, and use cloth napkins or a cloth towel when needed.

CLEANING PRODUCTS:
"Standard" cleaning products in "supermarkets" are toxic.  I recommend cleaning products that are from yesteryear, like grandma use to use- i.e.: lemon juice, vinegar, etc..  Or try some less toxic cleaners available in health food stores..

TECHNOLOGY
I have even gone so far to cut out some "technology" out of my life, which may pose health risks.  

I believe one of the biggest health risks in todays world is CELL PHONES.   When I use a cell phone, or if one is in CLOSE PROXIMITY to me, and being used, I will get a headache.  I believe that I am really sensitive to the energy fields that the cell phone produces..  Therefore I believe they are not good to use...  and toxic...  It surprised me when at a recent raw food dinner in Santa Monica, California how many people had cell phones at the event! I do however have a pager in case there is some sort of emergency.  Since pagers do not have to TRANSMIT, they do not give me the same headache.   Lately, I heard on the news that several cell phone manufacturers were being sued by people "claiming" that they cause cancer..  Hmmm.   maybe my head is trying to tell me something??   Just listen to your body, and all will be revealed.

While I believe the computer is a "great tool", I believe in   minimizing any risk factors that may arise due to its use. 

COMPUTER MONITORS (glass picture tubes) or CRT may be another health hazard from research I have done.  Since most of my day is spent behind a CRT, I decided to purchase a "FLAT SCREEN LCD" monitor, which doesn't pose the same risk as a CRT screen.  I have noticed I feel more "calm" after switching to the LCD panel.   While the text on the screen is comparable, for fast action graphics (such as games or watching movies, or even viewing pictures- the quality is just not the same).  The prices recently for the LCD screens have been coming down lately.   A 15" can be had for about $500, and a 18" for about $1000.

To check for  EMF (Electro Magentic Field) Exposure, I purchased a "cell sensor" which is a meter  to measure EMF.  Its amazing to walk around the house and see how much EMF is around, and how much it dissipates with distance.

In order to mitigate the effects from EMF on my person, and increase my personal energy or "chi", I purchased a Q-Link Pendant.   Before and after purchasing the Qlink, I had kirilian photography done, which showed the energy increase after using the qlink.  Read more about the Q-Link here.  If your interested in purchasing a "Qlink Classic Pendant", email me.  I may have some still available at 20% off the retail price.

To mitigate the effects of EMF throughout my house, I purchased 3 tachyon discs.  According to the Tachyon Web site: "Electromagnetic fields lose their negative effects when they become coherent through the unified field of Tachyon.". I figured that the discs "couldn't hurt", and after I received a recommendation from a friend, I went ahead and purchased them..  Learn more about Tachyon here

RECYCLING:
I also strive to recycle more, and help save mother earth. You can help by using a cloth bag, backpack or bring a cardboard box when shopping,  Minimally reuse your paper bags  to carry your food away from the supermarket.. (many markets will even give you a "bag credit" for doing this).  Be sure to compost all your fruit and veggie items! (I purchased a worm composting bin).

Hopefully you will (or already have) implemented some of the above less toxic solutions  to "optimize" your health as I have mine.

john@living-foods.com, is the webmaster and creator of the Living and Raw Foods Online community which currently recieves over 2,500 visitors a day.    He has led a "healthy' lifestyle since 1995 when he started on the living and raw foods path by juicing.   He started the web site in 1997 to educate the world about the living and raw food word.

 

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