/Empower/Part 1: Awareness

An upfront disclaimer on this post is to tell you and to reassure me that I certainly do not have an ideal picture of my personal health put into action. I make my fair share of imperfect choices about food, home products, skincare products, environmental exposures. I too often choose to sleep in instead of exercise, and I choose to hold in anger and stress instead of coping in a healthy manner. But I do claim to have made significant strides in awareness and the beginning of application. I take pride in having learned and continuing to learn to be an informed consumer. Thinking about the strength of the word “empower” immediately takes me into thoughts about health.

I cringe and sigh when I hear about yet another friend, family member, co-worker, friend’s friend, neighbor, or singer is diagnosed or re-diagnosed with cancer or other disease. It feels so fear-evoking, frustrating and sad that so many carry the weight of diseases. It must feel powerless, and it would be so easy to let this feeling of powerless consume us. But I will partially disagree.  I disagree because I do believe that you and I can take strides to be proactive against cancer and diseases. My personal opinion is that these efforts will unlikely directly benefit me or my generation, but I do believe that we can start the trend now for future generations. If my children are raised with far less processed foods and knowing how to read an ingredient label and choosing skin and beauty care products that have minimal to no harmful chemicals, then I have true hope and comfort that they will live healthier lives.

Have you seen this video on youtube: “Toxins in, Toxins out“? To me, it makes sense. It puts toxins into perspective. Or this video “Why Beauty Products Are Toxic & What You Can Do About It” by Heather White hits home.

My co-blogger, Debbie, has made the definition of empowerment come to life! An autoimmune disease could have a variety of impacts and reactions, but I love what she has come to and what she has put her mind to. Through many of her posts, she has shared alternative recipes such as three-ingredient pancakes and how to swap out this for that peanut butter. And I look forward to what she writes and shares next because it simply resonates empowerment. She has taken an unfortunate diagnosis, found her mix of Eastern and Western medicine, looked to Specialists, worked with a variety of healthcare practitioners, but she also has done her own research in finding what works to control and eliminate symptoms. She has become empowered to control what she can through food changes, removal of processed foods and a switch to natural skincare and beauty care products (to name a few).

Bringing awareness will lead to empowerment. Be empowered. Be in control of your choices. Be that informed consumer. So today, as a first step, I encourage you to bring awareness to the kitchen and to the bathroom cabinets.

When you pull out the loaf of bread and the jar of peanut butter, take a minute to read the ingredients out loud. Can you pronounce them? How long is the list?

When you go to wash your face, take a minute to again read aloud the ingredients. Do you know what they are?

When you apply your deodorant, again take 30 seconds to read aloud the ingredients.

As consumers, we get to choose the food we eat and the products we spray in the air, apply to our bodies and stock in our cabinets. By bringing awareness to our choices, we begin to feel and to be empowered.

If you missed our first post on re-defining “empower”, check it out here.