Living a life less toxic…

by Faith Canter


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From M.E to Recovery, or was that Negativity?

Sorry things have been a little quiet on the blog front.  I’ve had a number of other things going on and needed to give myself some much needed time to complete and address these first.

Firstly, I finally finished putting together all the information for my From M.E to Recovery facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FromM.E.toRecovery) and I launched this earlier this week. I was so pleased with this page as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I wanted to share my recovery story, inspire others and show people how I did it.  I know everyone’s recovery from ME/CFS is different, as all our journeys to becoming unwell in the first place are different but I honestly believe that some of the basics help all of us, if only to minimise the symptoms.

Being extremely pleased with myself for completing this project I posted the page on an ME/CFS facebook group page I’m a member of and was totally shocked and disappointed with the nasty, insulting and negative responses from a few of it’s members.  The majority of people were really supportive and pleased for me, but the minority I’m not ashamed to say really upset me.

I couldn’t believe fellow sufferers could be so cruel!  I’d been one of them and now I wasn’t they had turned on me.  What had I ever done to them?  I started to doubt what I was trying to achieve, my goals, my dreams and what I’d already done.  So easily I lost sight of everything I was working towards and slipped into a spiral of doubt, negativity disillusionment.

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You see in my excitement and haste to share my page I’d never considered that some people might not like my page, not believe I was recovered (because apparently you can’t) or that I even I had ME/CFS in the first place.  I just assumed everyone would be inspired by someone’s recovery as I had been inspired by others when I was unwell. WRONG!

So easily I almost lost me grasp on ‘me’, so easily I almost let them take it from me and so easily I could have reverted back to old thoughts and feelings.  However, this wasn’t me, isn’t going to be me and I wasn’t about to allow a few people with their negativity spoil what I had set out to achieve, what was authentically me! I wanted to help people and that’s what I was blooming well going to do!

So I took a step back from it all, considered the paths these people were on, how they’d come to be so negative and why they felt the need to be so rude and nasty to someone they had never met and then I forgave them, and not only that, but I thanked them for I realised this situation was sent for me to learn and grow from.  So that’s exactly what I’ve spent most of the rest of this week doing, learning about negativity, brushing up on my gratitude and seeing that if we can learn someone from every situation that appears negative to us then we can completely change our perspective of that situation – turning a negative into a positive!

As a result of this I have managed to write another 2 thousand words of my book (which I didn’t have before) and I’ve had masses of lovely positive posts/comments from friends and family (and people I’ve never met) saying how proud they are, how I inspire them and how much they think of me.  If it wasn’t for this minority of negative people I might never have known what these people really thought of me and my chosen path, so I am truly grateful for this.

I’ve also been exploring ways to not only deal with people’s negativity towards me or what I’m involved in but also how I could learn to help them turn their negativity around.  At the end of the day the only person this kind of negativity is really affecting is themselves. There is a lot of research out there now that shows how thinking negative thoughts affects our overall health and well-being as it creates chemical reactions in the brain and body (affecting things like our hormones, our immune system and our nervous system) and the more we think like this the more these pathways are reinforced.

What we need to try to do is form new pathways, new habits and look for the positive in our everyday lives rather than the negative and try to list what we are grateful for, rather than what we want or don’t have.  This may appear hard to do to start with, so start with the little stuff.  Are you grateful for your health, loved ones, work, a roof over your head, your pets, your friends, the natural world, peace and quiet, the ability to read, to listen to music or see a sunset?  Whatever it is note it down, do this every day, try to find at least 21 things a day you are grateful for and see your perspective on your life turn around!

Trust me, this simple technique really does work, create this new positive habit, go on, I dare you!

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If you want to share some of the things you’re grateful for below then I’d love to hear them =0)

I am grateful for all I’ve learnt this week, for all the teachers, positive speakers and for learning that if I’m genuine and authentic in all I do and want to achieve then it matters none what others think of me!

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Natural Cold Remedies

Last night I ran another Natural Products workshop.  It was a great evening, with a lovely group of people!  I love running workshops like this, I get a real buzz from the evening and also knowing I’m doing my little bit to help lessen the toxic impact we have on ourselves and the environment makes for a happy Faith. With that in mind I had wanted to run a workshop on Natural Cold Remedies before Christmas but my time needs to be spent elsewhere for now.  Instead you lucky people get to have a freebie Natural Cold Remedies blog instead.

The first item I would highly recommend, not just when you have a cold, but before that stage, is a natural Lemsip-style drink.

Natures’ Lemsip

I make this is a cafetiere  but you can make it in a teapot or on the stove in a saucepan.

You’ll need:

* Fresh ginger (for it’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties)

* Fresh lemon (for it’s antioxidant, antibiotic properties, free radicals neutralising effects and it’s ability to strengthen the immune system). 

* Fresh garlic (for strengthening the immune system, it’s an anti-inflammatory properties, for it’s ability to help alleviate respiratory issues, as an antioxidant, an antibacterial and antiviral). 

* Cinnamon (for being an antibacterial, having antibiotic properties and being very soothing). 

* Honey (for it’s antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antibiotic  and immune system boosting properties). 

* Hot Water

Put 4 slices of fresh ginger, one whole sliced garlic glove, a heaped teaspoon of cinnamon, two slices of lemon and two teaspoons of honey into the cafetiere and fill to the top with hot water.  Leave for 10 mins and then pour into a mug and drink.

This drink is incredibly soothing as well as being really good for you and helps with coughs, colds, flu and sore throats.  I have one once a day if anyone around me has a cold.  Since discovering this remedy I haven’t actually had a cold myself, but if I did I’d be sure to have at least two of these a day at that stage.

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Vapour Rub

As most of you will know items like vapour rubs are made of petroleum, which is a nasty chemical that really shouldn’t be put on our skin, so here’s a natural alternative which is easy to make, better for your health and also keeps for quite a long time.

You’ll need:

* 1/2 cup coconut oil

* 2 level tbsp of beeswax

* 20 drops of eucalyptus oil

* 20 drops peppermint oil

* 10 drops cinnamon oil

* 10 drops of clove oil

  1. Melt beeswax with oil in a double boiler until melted.
  2. Add essential oils just as it’s starting to cool down (and not before as you’ll lose the scent to the heat of the oil)
  3. Stir until well mixed and pour into little jars or balm containers and allow to harden
  4. Rub onto chest area when congested or coughing

Mouth Wash/Rinse For Sore Throats

You’ll need:

* 30ml of water black tea (helps reduce scratchiness at the back of the throat)

* 1/2 tsp of salt (kills bacteria in the mouth)

* 30ml of apple cider vinegar (helps drain sinuses and is an anti-inflammatory and has antibiotic properties)

* 1 tsp of honey (as above)

* Juice of half a lemon (as above)

Mix all items together and gargle with it for as long as possible and then spit out.  Use this as often as you like throughout the day but try not to drink anything immediately afterwards so it has a chance to do it’s work.

Lastly you ideally want to eat as much good and nutritious food as possible (lots of fresh fruits and vegetables) and drink plenty of water to help re-hydrate, detox and strenthen the immune system.

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any natural cold remedies yourself that you would like to share then please feel free to leave a comment below.


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Just Another Visit to the Dentist?

Today’s blog is inspired by my normal 6 monthly checkup with the dentist (oh exciting I hear you say)!

When I got there today, there was a new dentist, a new fluoride pushing dentist!  I say this as I happened to mention to her I only use natural toothpaste and mouthwash……..this may have been my first mistake!

She proceeded to tell me why fluoride is good for dental health, so I countered her argument with one of my own about why fluoride is bad for your teeth and more importantly for overall health.  I was already starting to think at this stage that this could all go horribly wrong, as both of us had poplar opposite opinions on this subject and she, of course, held all the cards, as in she had the sharp metal instruments hovering over my mouth and face!

I decided at this point (don’t ask me why I had to rub salt into the wound but I couldn’t help myself) to ask her her opinion on why since using natural tooth paste and mouth wash my teeth were noticeably whiter, are no longer sensitive (even when eating very hot foods), my gums no longer bleed and I never have to have any work completed on my teeth.  She of course couldn’t answer, but was good enough not to try to wire my jaw together to shut me up, so I feel we both won a little bit of this round and we continued the rest of my checkup in begrudging silence.

One of the reasons I felt inspired to write a blog about this was because this episode made me realise I hadn’t had any plans to add dental care to the book I’m writing about living a less toxic life (yet it most definitely should be in there).  I have found in the last few weeks a few things like this have come up and on each occasion I’ve realised I would have missed an important element of my book if this hadn’t happened to me to remind me to add it in.  So I’m very grateful for these slightly uncomfortable showdowns, but I’m also wondering if that’s the end of it or am I going to upset everyone I come across until the book is finished?

The other reason I wanted to write a blog about this was to just share the basics of why fluoride is potentially damaging to our health, as most people don’t realise this and it’s really important people begin to realise the potential harmful effects of what’s in normal everyday items we use in our homes and on our bodies, as we can easily make small changes to address these.

So I’ve put together a little list of the possible side effects of using fluoride based products and drinking fluoridated water:

* Increase risk of thyroid disease (and worsening of symptoms if you already have this)

* Decrease in bone strength

* Acute body toxicity

* Affects sleep

* Can affect children’s brain development and even intelligence

* Arthritis

* Hormonal Issues

* Kidney Disease

* Hypersensitivity (rashes, lesions, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, intolerances and vision problems)

* Can hinder teeth development in children (yep, you read this right)

* Digestive Issues

* Infertility

* Cancer

* Cardiovascular Issues

* Hinders the absorption of antioxidants

* Incresed risk of Alzheimer’s

* Muscle pain

* Hair loss

* Weight gain

And lastly, if you cook with fluoridated water in aluminum pans then this makes the pan leach more of the aluminum into your food!

If all this wasn’t bad enough there have been a number of studies recently, that suggests fluoride isn’t even as good for our teeth’s health and development as first thought all those years ago when they started adding it into dental products and our water, but for some reason we’re still adding it and being told it’s good for us??

So you all now see why I got on my soap box today and why I was pretty lucky my dentist didn’t wire my mouth shut.  I’m pretty sure I won’t change my dentists views on the subject (although I’m tempted to send her a copy of my book when it’s published, ha) but perhaps I’ve opened your eyes to it instead.

For those of you that want to know, I use the following toothpaste as it’s the closest one I’ve found to normal toothpaste, as in it doesn’t feel like your brushing your teeth with clay like a lot of the natural toothpastes do and I know this is one of the things that put people off going natural.  You can get this brand in most health stores, online and obviously in Holland & Barrett (where it’s often on special offer), oh and a little goes a long way, so don’t be put off by the price.

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/product_detail.asp?pid=1675&prodid=1759#.Un05AHDwle8

Thanks for reading my dentist-inspired rant/educational blog today, ha =0)