We hear about being green all the time. We should use nontoxic household cleaners, we should bring our own bags to the grocery store, and we should definitely recycle. It's great to save the earth, but what about our bodies?
That's Deirdre Imus' message. She's a mom and founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology, and she's on the board of directors for the National Autism Association. Deirdre says it's great to protect our children and our environment, but we moms also need to take care of ourselves. "If we don't, no one else is going to," she told me recently. Deirdre quoted writer Kobi Yamada, who said, "If you don't take care of your body where are you going to live?'"
We can green our own bodies, and she has many easy tips for detoxing our diets and lives from her new book, The Essential Green You.
To help you get started, here are a few simple suggestions that will help you begin to green your way to a healthier diet. Remember, it is okay to start small.
Green one meal a day. Try Meatless Monday, swap that burger for a nice big mixed green salad. Vegetarians have a 28 percent lower death from heart disease than meat eaters. Try to buy choose grass-fed, USDA "certified organic" labeled meat, poultry and dairy when you can.
Eat your veggies. Keep fresh veggies in the fridge and make them the snack of choice. Adopting a plant-based diet is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health and set a good example for your children. Opt for a bag of crisp organic apples, or other fruit, instead of fat and calorie saturated chips.
Eat whole foods. Choose whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereal over processed, refined grains.
Avoid fish. This is especially true if you are pregnant or of childbearing age. As many as 75 percent of women who eat fish more than twice a week possess blood levels of mercury, a known neurotoxin, that are seven times higher than women who don't eat fish at all.
I definitely spend a lot of time making sure my kids eat the right things and avoid dangerous everyday chemicals. I spend a lot more time fussing over my family than I do greening myself. How about you?