This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have over 20 years experience in helping people improve their health.
I help people get healthy, and more importantly, stay that way so they're not miserable and just slowly dying for the last 20 years of their lives, which IS the "norm" today.
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Whew! Just finished one of my busiest weeks in a long time. It started with being out of town for the long weekend at my son's soccer tournament, which of course then didn't feel like a long weekend at all. Then it was a short week, with 2 days working in the pharmacy and the other two days filled with business meetings both during the day and in the evening, and finished it off with 2 basketball tournaments (one for each child). I think I was only home one night during all of that...
While I would prefer for the activities to be a little more spaced apart, I love that my life is so full and I truly enjoy watching my children play their sports. I can't imagine what my life will be like in 5 years when all of these sporting events are over. Makes me sad to think about it... I'm sure I won't be bored- I always manage to fill up my schedule, but it's such a huge part of our lives that it will seem strange to be
When you're on the go as much as we are, it definitely takes planning to make sure that you're eating properly. We end up eating out much more than I'd like to (although we DO only choose restaurants that offer healthy choices) and we try to make extra for dinner so we can have leftovers. That means that we're often storing and reheating leftovers. One thing that most people don't realize is that the containers that are holding your food can also have an effect on your health, which is what today's article is about.
Plastic: Are We Killing Ourselves For Convenience?
Plastic has become so integrated into our lives that I don't think we could possibly remove it at this point- nor am I suggesting that you do.
What you really need to do is keep it away from your food and drinks- definitely more do-able.
Here's why: No matter how durable the plastic is, it will always leach out toxic chemicals under the right conditions. Most people know not to throw plastic or styrofoam into the fire because toxic gases are released that are even more dangerous when inhaled. Well, kitchen plasticware can do the same thing, whether or not you can actually see or smell it happening.
The chemicals being released are called "endocrine disruptors", because they mimic the hormones in your body, which disrupts the delicate hormone balance. These have been linked to neurological problems, infertility, breast and uterine cancer, decreased testosterone, insulin resistance and diabetes, obesity and heart
disease. The effects are amplified and even more devastating in fetuses, infants and young children because their neurological and reproductive systems are still developing.
The most well-known of these chemicals, BPA, has been banned in infant products. Most people assume the ban is for everything, but that's not the case. And even BPA-free products have other toxic chemicals that can leach out.
Getting back to how the kitchen plasticware releases it's chemicals: "Heating and microwaving (especially), repeated washing in dishwashers, scratching or cracking, and prolonged contact with fatty foods and oils will damage plastic enough to allow dangerous chemicals to leach out." Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Aren't all of those things why we love the convenience of plastic in the first place?
Here's what you don't want touching your food:
- Styrofoam containers!!!!!!
This is the worst culprit,
because the styrene that is the main building block is a carcinogen and toxic to the gastrointestinal, kidney and respiratory systems. Considering heat is one of the worst culprits for releasing toxins, it's scary that we drink HOT beverages out of these cups. Also, most restaurant leftovers are packed in these and then people actually reheat the food in them! Aack!
Turns out heat isn't even necessary to release the toxins- eggs stored in styrofoam containers for only 2 weeks had huge amounts of styrene in them! So make sure to transfer your leftovers into glass containers as soon as you get home and buy your eggs in cardboard.
- Plastic wrap
Luckily, the plastic wrap that you buy for home use no longer has PVC as an additive- because they had to remove it due to its harmful effects. However, that's what gave it it's "stickiness" (you may have noticed it's not as effective as it used to be). Because of that, most delis,
butchers and restaurants continue to use PVC-based wrap.
Your best bet is to remove the meat or cheese from the packaging as soon as you get home, trim away the parts that were touching the wrap or styrofoam (if possible) and store it in a lid-sealed glass container.
And no matter what type of plastic wrap it is, DON'T use it in the microwave!
- Cans (as in canned food)
Yes, even cans are lined with BPA, which of course leaches into the food that's stored in it. Especially because it's hot when they can it. I was dismayed to find out earlier this year that BPA levels in people eating canned soup once a day for 5 days were astronomical- now I have to make my own soup :(
- Water bottles and plastic "Go" mugs
For sure the flimsy one-time-use water and soda bottles aren't great- and if you leave it in your hot car, throw it away!!!! Don't even open it first to see if it smells OK-
it's not. And please tell me why it's so difficult to find a to-go coffee mug that isn't plastic on the inside? You're putting HOT beverages in a plastic container people- the toxins are practically flying out of the plastic into your drink!
Even the re-usable, hard plastic water bottles can be an issue. Check the number inside the recycling symbol on the bottom. If it's a 2, 4 or 5, you're good. Otherwise, get rid of it (if it doesn't say anything, it's likely 7 which can contain BPA).
Stainless steel is your safest alternative for all to-go beverage containers- nothing at all leaching out. Make sure it's not aluminum though- they're lined with a resin that contains BPA so it's just as bad. (I know, it shouldn't be this difficult to be healthy right?)
- Any re-used plastic container
Any plastic container that you purchased food in (yogurt, margarine, trays, etc.) is not stable enough to be washed and re-used.
Instead of re-using, just recycle it.
If you're like most people, you've just discovered that you've been exposing yourself to a lot of toxins. So don't feel bad, this is new information most people don't know.
The best thing to do is to start replacing all of your plastic kitchen containers with glass or ceramic. Glass containers with sealing lids (the lids are plastic, but at least it's not in constant contact with the food) are readily available now, so it's almost as convenient. Replace your water bottles and "Go" mugs with stainless steel, and make sure never to put plastic in your microwave.
If it seems too complicated to remember all the details, just remember this:
Avoid your food and drinks coming into contact with plastic as much as possible!!!!!!
Obviously it's going to be impossible to completely avoid it, just do the best you can.
Hopefully regulations will come sooner than later that mean we don't have to worry about it...
Another Grateful Customer...
"I started losing weight immediately with the program & noticed that my heath conditions were improving. The pain & stiffness in my joints is much improved and my high blood pressure numbers lowered. I have experienced swelling in my legs & feet & was thrilled to see this disappear.
I have learned a lot from Kristy and now understand that you need to eat to lose weight. After "dieting & starving" my whole life in a "yo-yo" scenario, I am so grateful for her program that is highly effective, tops in nutritional recommendations & has amazing support in place!"
Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...
23 Adult Truths:
1 Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How on earth are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind-of tired.
10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.
13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.
17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?
20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an
entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
23. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.