Plastics: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle… and Wash

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It’s a good idea to reduce your use of plastics. The potential health consequences notwithstanding, we’re running out of places to sort and store this stuff as part of the process to recycle it.

Long story short: China used to be our go-to-country for plastics disposal. It was in their interest – they got cheap plastic from all over the world they recycled into new products, and the world got a place to send their trash. However, because China received so much plastic debris – expected to be 111 million metric tons by 2030 -, they closed their doors to most of it in November of 2017. It’s spilling over now into countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea. The rest of it is piling up in the countries of origin – the US included.

That’s as if every human on Earth contributed a quarter of their body mass in mostly single-use plastic polymers to a massive, abandoned pile of garbage.

The US is one of the biggest exporters of plastic waste. We owe it to ourselves and to the rest of the world to be responsible. There are things each of us can do to reduce our exposure to plastic for the health benefits, while simultaneously reducing our contributions to the growing garbage problem:

  • Eliminate single-use items. This really may be the easiest and most impactful you can do.
    • Replace your bottled water with a reusable beverage container. This keeps you hydrated, saves you money in the long run, and prevents the bottles from ending up in the ocean
    • Ditch the plastic straws. They are some of the worst offenders. Trade them for silicone or stainless steel alternatives.
    • Trade in for reusable shopping bags. Those flimsy plastic bags at the supermarket almost always get tossed. Buy a few large, sturdy canvas totes, consider an insulated one as well, and just keep these in the car. At the very least, ask for paper over plastic if you don’t live in a place like California that mandates reusable bags.
  • Wash your recyclables. Please, please, please wash your recyclables. As the article notes, contaminated waste (i.e. covered in food, debris, etc) will gum up sorting facilities and cause them to reject the item altogether. This means it goes into a landfill rather than be recycled at all. You don’t have to send your empty food containers thru the dishwasher, but just rinse them really well. t doesn’t take that much time to rinse them before placing them in a recycle bin.
  • Skip the plastic option altogether.
    • Buying produce at the grocery store? Skip the little produce bag-on-a-roll in the produce aisle. You’re washing your produce at home before using it anyway, right? Of course you are, so just put your fruits and veggies right in the cart (or in a multi-use bag), right on the check out conveyor, and then be sure to wash them before eating them at home.
    • Get the pasta sauce, the applesauce, the hummus, salsa, mayo, etc. that comes in a glass jar or a metal can – leave the plastic one on the store shelf.
    • Visit the deli. Instead of buying cheese and meats from the cooler section, where they come stored in plastic bags, go to the deli and buy it in bulk. Additional benefits including having the deli slice it just how you like, potential for a free taste sample prior to buying, reduced prices, and product recommendations. Ask the deli to wrap it in paper rather than plastic.
    • Visit bulk foods with your own container. Get a container with it’s tare weight (the weight of the container without any contents) printed on it so the checkout clerk can weigh it correctly – or use brown paper lunch bags – and get your rice, cereal, pretzels, candy, nuts, trail mix, and other dry goods from the bulk section. You’ll save money and get exactly what you want.
  • Other ideas – some easy, some complex.
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Hydration Strategy: Intravenous

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Summer climates make people prone to dehydration, not only when spending long periods outdoors, but also from going about daily activities in the heat. Travel, strenuous physical activity and compromised immune systems exacerbate the risk.

If you are drinking the recommended amount of water (aim for 3 liters daily) and replenishing lost minerals by using an electrolyte product but still feel lethargic, consider I.V. hydration to get you back to feeling better.Read More »

Preconception Nutrition

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Photo by Foodie Factor on Pexels.com

There is one aspect of creating healthy babies we can all agree- Nutrition! Prepping for pregnancy is all about eating well, and more than just eating good food, eating GREAT food. Your body will become the house in which your baby is created, and your baby will only receive the abundance of nutrients your body has to give. Your partner’s body will create half of the DNA and cell messaging to create your child, which can be enhanced with great nutrition. Eating a clean diet, robust with great nutrition a minimum of 3 months preferably 6-12 months prior to conception gives your baby a lifetime of wellness.

So, what DO you eat?

Learn more nutrition prior to pregnancy on our sister blog at Natural Preconception with Dr. Sinsheimer.

Healthy Hydration

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We write often about the importance of hydration. Here’s a healthy drink to prevent dehydration when you’re planning to be out in the hot summer sun or have spent too much time in dry, air-conditioned settings.

Coconut water is known for providing electrolytes, and this concoction will make it even better than sugary, artificially-colored rehydration beverages.

Ingredients

Read More »

The Ketogenic Diet: Pros and Cons

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True ketogenic diets, which provide up to 90% of calories from fat, are still used to treat epilepsy, other neurological conditions and cancer. Those who follow a ketogenic diet for better athletic performance or longevity tout the benefits for its effects on cardiac and metabolic markers.

But as with most issues related to human health, the evidence is mixed. Below we examine the pros and cons of a ketogenic diet. First, the good news…

Dr. Needle is a contributor to Desert Health News
Read the Rest at Desert Health News

Jessica Needle, ND practices at Optimal Health Center

 

Farm-To-Table Dining at Heirloom Craft Kitchen

Optimal Health Center’s providers make a lot of recommendations to patients regarding healthy eating and treating food as medicine. They stress the importance of whole, unprocessed, organically grown foods. Helping our patients find local resources for healthy lifestyles is a big part of what we do and we’re always delighted when we find one we can share.

Heirloom Craft Kitchen in Indio is a welcome addition to the Desert and especially to the Eastern half of the Valley. We had an opportunity to enjoy a meal there the other night and think our local readers may enjoy it as much as we did.

As a diner, you’ll feel like you’re in your favorite neighborhood joint – comfortable, casual, relaxed, and friendly. You have the choice to sit at booths and tables, inside or on the patio, and enjoy friendly table service; or you can select from the grab n’ go case if you’re on the move. Every surface is impeccably clean and inviting, without feeling sterile.

Just like your favorite neighborhood joint, just about anyone, regardless of dietary preference, will find something delicious on the menu. Small and large plates, as well as sandwiches and salads are planned with special attention to local, organic produce and grass fed/free range meats. You can choose gluten-free and vegetarian options from every section of the menu and you vegans out there will enjoy an entire Vegan Friendly menu. As parents, you’ll be impressed there is a healthier kid menu with dishes kids will actually eat.

When you’re eating healthy and responsibly it’s so much easier to actually enjoy a dessert without feeling guilty about it – so be sure to check out the bakery items – we split a strawberry margarita cupcake and loved it.