As Police Officers and First Responders we’ve established that in order to reverse and prevent burnout one key factor is to reduce as much stress that you can control, so that your stress management system can handle the many stresses in your day that are out of your control.
Did you know that our kitchens are a big source of our stress?
Common kitchen items that we use every single day not only contain hormone disruptors (this article explains more about them) of which you now know cause issues to our sleep, moods, energy, digestive system, heart health and more. But they also contain other chemicals that cause cancer, diabetes, asthma, liver damage, ADHD and the list goes on…
Knowledge is power.
Today I am going to teach you three of the top environmental toxins in your kitchen and how to best get rid of them. When reading what they are, think about which one you are going to implement first and focus on it so as not to get overwhelmed. Break it down into steps as well. You do not have to do them all right way. I’m still working on some myself. Every little bit helps.
Keep that in mind through this blog.
Think of all of the plastics that you have in your kitchen. We have a cupboard full of plastic containers, cover bowls (sometimes plastic) with plastic wrap, use plastic cooking tools, drink bottled water, throw anything and everything into zip lock baggies and the list goes on.
The chemical that makes plastic clear and/or hard contains BPA’s which are hormone disruptors throwing our hormones – sleep, wake, anger, anxiety, depression and more- out of synch as well as infertility and other health issues.
Soft plastic leaches into our foods, even with cold foods though heat speeds it up. The hard plastics when exposed to heat (hot foods placed in them or microwaved) then leach chemicals into the food. This includes coffee makers. Every time you make a cup and the hot water flows through the plastic pieces it leaks chemicals into your coffee.
- As your plastic containers and kitchen tools need to be replaced, change them up for glass or stainless steel.
- Always use glass containers in the microwave. Make sure that the lid does not contain plastic as well.
- Use reusable stainless steel water bottles instead of plastic bottles.
- Make sure food is cooled before placing into plastic containers.
- Use containers and lids (we use a large plate on bowls) instead of baggies and plastic wrap.
Remember every bit counts. Start off with one change and work your way towards more over time. The effects compound.
One thing to note is that companies are getting smart and replacing BPA’s with other chemicals that do the same thing. So if plastic and other products say BPA free, this does not mean it is safe. You will have to dig deeper to find out. Which is why it’s best to decrease your plastic use as much as possible.
Now this one should get it’s own blog article because water helps reduce your bodies stress load tremendously, BUT if we continue to drink from our taps and wells with testing them first, the benefits may not be there. And here is why.
Prescriptions are found in tap water.
It’s true. Our cities tap water is usually sewage water that has been treated. Many people flush their unused medications down the toilet and medications we take are excreted as we pee.
Birth Control, Steroids and other synthetic hormones
Anti Anxiety and Depressants
The list goes on…
Our water treatment plants are not equipped to filter them out, so they end up in our water and studies now show even our lakes and rivers contain pharmaceuticals, which means well water is not always a safer option.
Chemicals, lead and other toxins are also found in our water.
Pesticides that have been banned for many years can still be found in our soil, even in areas where pesticides were never sprayed. This is because they are water soluble and have seeped into our rivers, lakes and streams over time and can now be found in areas that have never used pesticides.
Most cities water filtration plants are not equipped to filter out these pesticides as well as lead and other toxins such as flouride and chlorine which is small amounts are non toxic, but because we cook and drink with water that contains them they add up in our body.
- Get your water tested to see which toxins are in your water.
- After you have determined what is in your water, then you can choose which filter is right for you. You can find information in this article to help you navigate your way.
I’m adding this one in here, only because it is quick and easy and effective.
Chemicals and fragrances in our dish soap and cleaners that we use in our kitchen contain hormone disruptors. As we’ve discussed when we talked about stress in your bathroom we absorb and inhale these hormone disruptors which can really mess up our stress management system causing sleep issues, energy lows, anger, anxiety, depression, cognitive issues and the list goes on…
I honestly didn’t realize how much I was affected until one day we ran out of our non toxic dish soap and I instantly started yelling at my husband. It was how I used to get angry with him, but never understood why. My neck got tight, head foggy and low back started to hurt. It’s was right then that we realized how much the synthetic fragrances and chemicals in many products we were using really affected me and how much of a difference the changes we had made benefited our health and relationship. I drained the sink. Washed off all traces of the soap and took out my tool box of things I have to support my stress management system. In 10 minutes I was back to my normal self…
How much are the synthetic fragrances affecting you?
- Download the Think Dirty App on your phone and join the Green Product Forum FB Group
- When you need to replace your dish soap, dishwasher soap, all purpose cleaner, hand soap or any other cleaning products type it into the search bar in the think dirty app and it will give you a list of the least toxic products to most. Use this as a guide to decide which one to purchase. Many you can order online saving you time.
- If you are unsure of which product to get ask in the Green Product Forum and people will tell you their favorites. This is most helpful when it comes to all purpose cleaners that work really well.
Now I understand your head is probably spinning. I know mine was when I learned this. It can feel overwhelming. Take time to digest this information.
From there make a list of which order you want to make these changes to decrease the stress load on your body. When I first started I went with the easiest and cheapest switches and am working my way through the more expensive ones.
Keep in mind that your goal is to reduce as much stress as you can on your body, so that you can handle the stresses that are out of your control without overwhelm. Reducing your bodies toxic load can take so much stress off of your body and once you have replaced the toxic products there is no extra work involved on your part.
In my opinion environmental toxins place more stress on us than we realize. Pushing it to the side can make the difference between reversing and preventing burnout or staying in that place where anger and exhaustion and sleep issues continue to tax your body.
If you are a Police Officer, First Responder of family member of one and would like support and to learn more about the 5 stress triggers you will want to join my Free 911 Stress management group.
Click this LINK to JOIN
The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.
About the Author
Andi Clark is a mom, wife of a Police Officer and the founder of 911 Lifestyle.
Andi suffers from a genetic stress condition that puts her body in an increased stress response state all the time, similar to what Police Officers and First Responders experience when they put on their uniform and have to mentally prepare for whatever may happen in their day.
Through years of research and studying, Andi formulated a completely different way to look at and handle burnout. One where it is possible to reverse and prevent an officer from getting to a point where they struggle to get through their days by taking a preventative approach instead of a reactive one. And one that reduces the negative effects of shift work on the body.
Through her husbands career as an officer her focus has been on preventing burnout, exhaustion and tanked immune system that she knew can result from poorly managed stress, not to mention the toll things take on family life.
As she watched his co-workers struggle with everything from sleep, exhaustion and anger leading to divorce, PTSD and even suicide it became apparent how LIFE-SAVING the foundations she was laying down for her husband actually were, because not only was he tolerating the shiftwork lifestyle, he was thriving in it.
Andi knew that the strategies her husband was using MUST become available to all Police Officers and other First Responders. She couldn’t watch others suffering when she knew there was a solution. And 911 Lifestyle was born.