While you are doing your best to live a “Honest” life, you’ll notice that more and more children are suffering from asthma, allergies, ADHD, autism, and autoimmune diseases like diabetes. The conventional health care solution has been to prescribe more medications, a one-ill-one-pill approach that is increasingly expensive, ineffective, and unsafe.
Time for a paradigm shift!
In my integrative pediatric practice, I choose instead to prescribe deceptively simple yet profoundly transformational lifestyle changes that are effective, safe, and inexpensive. These solutions are truly preventive rather than reactive, helping families create health and wellness.
1. Rx Food.
Eat real food, not a long list of processed ingredients mashed together masquerading as food. Realize that food comes from the earth, not from a can. Grow and prepare your own food. Cultivate a garden or a farm. Know that eating is a mindful process, not only about ingesting calories but also about nourishing your body, mind, and soul. Eating is and ought to be a community activity.
2. Rx Activity.
Move your body. Start with something – any amount, as much as you are able, and build on that foundation. Get your heart rate moving and see what it feels like to be so active that even your hair sweats. School recess is a right, not a privilege.
3. Rx Nature.
Get outside. Go on a hike. Go jump in a lake. Explore the nearest nature center. Spend more time playing, freely, in natural settings. Refuse to suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder.
4. Rx Creativity.
Be silly. Sing and dance like no one’s watching. Color outside of the lines. Build something with your own hands. Paint using every color you’ve ever known. Make up stories and tell anyone who will listen.
5. Rx Rest.
Make sleep a priority. Create opportunities for rest. Learn to love downtime. Find a quiet, calm place for restful activities. Take time to simply be. Unplug and recharge. Know that sometimes it’s okay to stop.
6. Rx Mindfulness.
Be here now. Right here. Now. Pay attention to the process. Build your stress-coping toolbox. Try yoga and meditation. Be willing to sit in the mud until it settles and the water clears.
7. Rx Connection.
Realize that we are all connected, and that our relationships make us stronger and healthier. Be courageous enough to be vulnerable, and let others see you for who you really are. Look through someone else’s eyes as if they are your own.
~ Lawrence Rosen, MD
Dr. Rosen, who originally published this on MindBodyGreen, is an integrative pediatrician and co-author of Treatment Alternatives for Children, an evidence-based guide for parents interested in natural solutions for common childhood ailments. He is the founder of one of the country’s first “green” pediatric practices, The Whole Child Center, in Oradell, NJ, and serves as Medical Advisor to the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at HackensackUMC. Dr. Rosen is a founding member and Past Chair of the AAP Section on Integrative Medicine and is appointed as Clinical Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at UMDNJ. A graduate of New York Medical College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he completed his residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Follow Dr. Rosen on Twitter at @LawrenceRosenMD.
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.
This is part of our ongoing series to help consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!
Ingredient: Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
What it is: This ingredient has a real mouthful of a name, but it’s botanical origin is the humble “guar,” or cluster bean. More specifically, it’s a water-soluble, derivative of guar gum — another great plant-derived ingredient.
What it does: Hydroxypropyl guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride gently conditions hair and prevents static.
Why we use it: We chose hydroxypropyl guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride because it’s very mild, but also very effective. In our search for the best ingredients, we noticed this one was widely used with great success in Europe and had relatively recently become more accessible in the United States. In a 2012 meta-analysis safety assessment examining the body of evidence regarding toxicokinetics, short-term and repeated dose toxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and dermal irritation and sensitization, the Cosmetics Ingredient Review Expert Panel deemed hydroxypropyl guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride and a handful of its cousins in the galactomannan family as safe for use.
It’s also approved for use in ECOCERT Certified cosmetics — a stamp of approval that gives us great confidence in the safety and sustainability of this ingredient. (ECOCERT is based in Europe and is one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world, conducting supply chain inspections in over 80 countries!)
Why we’re featuring it today: We’ve seen an increasing amount of sources that recommend avoiding ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s a great starting point for trying to better understand what’s inside your products, but it certainly doesn’t mean that anything difficult to pronounce is inherently bad. So, we decided to showcase one of our most multi-syllabic ingredients to highlight that fact.
Fear of the unknown is basic human nature, but researching and learning and familiarizing yourself with what’s unknown is far more productive and empowering.
Bring the outdoors in by decorating with houseplants — they breathe life into any space, reduce stress, and purify the air. Because cleaning doesn’t remove most of the indoor air contaminants that accumulate from off-gassing throughout the day, these green accessories are a must-have for reducing toxins and refreshing rooms. A NASA study even found that houseplants make the best air-filters in space stations, helping to eliminate benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Thankfully, such greenery provides the same health benefits on Earth.
Note: Houseplants, including some of those listed above, may be poisonous if ingested by children or pets. So, consult with your local garden center, horticulturist, and/or health care provider to identify the non-toxic choices. And take extra care when placing them around your home.
NASA recommends placing 15 to 18 plants in six- to eight-inch diameter containers for a 1,800 square foot home. And Healthy Child Healthy World reminds, “You should also be sure to keep the foliage clean and dust free (so the leaves can do their job). And, keep the top of soil clean and free of debris, as in some cases, that’s where the bulk of the filtering is taking place. The healthier your plants, the more vigorously they’ll grow, and the better they’ll clean the air for you.”
Both Christopher and Jessica offer great clean air (and all-around healthy home) solutions in their books, which you can check out here.
How do you use plants at home or in the office?
Perfect for brunch, date night, or slipping into a larger on-the-go tote, this chic clutch will only get better with age. The purse can be customized with natural or black vegetable-tanned leather and blue or pink thread for a subtle pop of color. And we promise that no detail will be missed, as craftsman and designer Scott Goodman carefully cuts, punches, and stitches each piece individually. Scott shares, “A key element of my training as an environmental designer was to plan for sustainability by applying smart design to quality materials. With my leather goods I aim to adhere to the same principles.”