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Trying to stay healthy in an unhealthy world

March 6th, 2013 at 08:26 am

I zipped over to BJs this morning and was able to return about $21 worth of foods I can no longer eat: cheddar cheese and pasta sauce. I had 5 large jars of the stuff (!) and only had a receipt for the cheese. I wasn't sure if they'd take it becus if you look at their website, they say they don't take food items back. Or maybe I'm just reading it wrong.

So, my monetary loss from getting rid of all these foods is now down to just 3/4 of a bag of navel oranges, which I'll give my mother, as well as 14 cans of tomato paste, which I've offered to my neighbor. Also, 2 onions. So maybe $12 worth of food. Guess I can live with that.

While I was at BJs I got more soymilk, salad greens and organic apples, all on my "safe" list.

I'm not ready to part yet with my 2 bags of small dark chocolate squares, or my sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (1.5 jars). Maybe I can have these things occasionally after I get this thing under control. (No one's told me yet not to eat all these things, but I've just taken it upon myself to be informed.)

I also recently returned a sun lamp (aka happy lamp), the kind that's supposed to help with seasonal affective disorder. I gave it a short run (one week), and would have given it longer, but since it said on the box you could see results in just 2-4 days, I gave it up and became more concerned about getting a refund. I really didn't notice any change at all, so I decided to return it (value about $35) so I wouldn't have yet another useless thing around here taking up space, and so I can spend the money on something else more useful to me, which these days is either gas for the car, food or products to help me do home maintenance/repairs.

Of course, since Amazon overcharges on most everything except books, I'm constantly analyzing whether I'm better off buying something on amazon using free gift cards or if i should buy cheaper elsewhere and save the gift cards for something where I can get a relatively decent deal.

Along with my ongoing concerns over diet and what i put in my mouth, I'm also becoming more resolved to make healthier choices about toiletries. Most fragrances, shampoos, lotions and make-up are filled with unsafe chemicals. But since I'm not made of money, I decided I would focus on things that stay on my skin and are thus readily absorbed into my system, as opposed to things you apply to your body but wash off fairly quickly, like body washes, shampoos and conditioners.

So I did select one or two Burt's Bees hand lotions for my amazon cart; a quick comparison to the same items' prices at Walmart showed me they were just a little more money. My hands get very dry in the winter but I no longer want to use things with ingredients I can't pronounce that disrupt my hormones or may cause cancer.

I really need to address chapstick-type products. It's another case of me having a ton of supplies that I'm reluctant to part with since it saves me money to use them up first, but lip products especially trouble me. If they wear off your lips, you can be pretty sure you're swallowing the stuff.

The more you think about it, the more crazy it seems. Like, a year or so ago I bought an air purifier for the bedroom. I don't have allergies, but with 2 cats in the house and a forced hot air heating system, there's usually a lot of dust around. I love my Airstream purifier, but it seemed so counter-productive and a little disappointing that a company in the business of "purifying" air would include 3 packets of "air freshener" with the air purifier. The air freshener packet fragrances were lavendar, lemon and citrus, I think, and while the latter 2 smelled great, you know obviously that what you are smelling is not real lemon or orange but pure chemicals.

I emailed the company a note asking for the ingredients and a rep replied that they were "nature-inspired" or something like that, which basically answered my question. When I pressed her again for the actual ingredients list, she never responded, I think becus she know this consumer wouldn't be pleased.

Also over the weekend I took advantage of a Staples offer for a free after rebate ream of paper and photo 4 x 6 paper. It's so easy to process the rebates on their website; everything you need to know is on the receipt.

Have to be at work at 1 pm today. I've been asking if she wants me to come in earlier in the a.m. for the past or so, and each time she says yes, cus there's work, but hey, if she doesn't reach out to me i don't think I'll bother, becus when I go in early, it's a real pain to work because my counterpart with whom i share the job is at our work station and I have to sit in other locations where i have to use remote web email (doesn't have my folders and saved templates that i use all the time) and sometimes i sit somewhere where there's not even a phone and i have to walk over to an empty office to make a phone call. (Wow, that was one really long sentence.) Don't really like to do my job that way so I think i'll try to stay an hour later each of the next 3 days but pass on the wandering employee routine.

For lunch today I think I'll make a fritatta with feta cheese, mushrooms and spinach. guess I'd better get started on that now.

5 Responses to “Trying to stay healthy in an unhealthy world”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    My MO is just not to buy most products. This might be easier as a lifelong habit, because I don't see the point of most products AND I am uber sensitive to chemicals. This means we don't buy most household or beauty products, we can't dry clean (Allergic), I can't stand to step foot into a salon (the SMELL!!), we can't stand sunblock so stay out of the sun during peak hours and wear hats/carry umbrellas. The cleaning aisles in the stores make me tear up. So what is often perceived as just being *Cheap* is really on a deeper level is just not being acclimated to most chemicals. I have trouble in some stores and homes (when they reak of cleaning products).

    I have always found it amusing when some people freak out about the food they eat while not paying attention to the chemicals they are exposing themselves to. So, I applaud you for the whole approach. I think most people buy the marketing and don't *think.* Though I mostly believe in moderation, I am not going to start using products I have lived my whole life without or that make me feel sick.

  2. Sunshine Suz Says:

    The brands "Kiss My Face" and "Dr. Bronners" are both environmentally friendly and seem to work well and have no "Bad" ingredients in them.

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  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    Hey, PS, you might be interested in this particular etsy shop:

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/FrugallySustainable

    I've used 4 of her products so far and I am amazed at how different and nice they are than normal store bought stuff.

    She also has a website on which she posts the recipes for her beauty and healing salves, balms, soaps, etc., if you want to try to make your own. It is www.frugallysustainable.com and the recipes are in the beauty section or in the build your medical chest section.

  5. carol Says:

    Once your cough goes away and the silent reflux is under control (and yes, giving up stuff really helps--I speak from sad experience), you can have some things again. (some chocolate, your own frozen garden tomato sauce--in moderation!) (I even had an orange again yesterday.) Caffeine was hard, but I make do with decaf and not too much of it.) Once the cough is gone, you can tell what makes you cough again right away. Good luck!
    P.S. It can take the meds and the regime a good 3 months to work.

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