What exactly is nature? When you hear the word nature, what do you think of? Sunsets over the ocean, pine trees towering tall deep within the mountains, exotic animals lurking, insects buzzing. Beauty, elements, outdoors, ecosystems. Something that we all love. Something that we all share. We all have a beloved spot in nature where we and feel right at home wrapped in its serenity. Your body relaxes softly just thinking about it. Nature is serene. And today with the hustle and bustle of the amazingly connected world we live in, we have gotten so far away from “nature” that we have come to believe we are separate from it. Nature is viewed as something that we go out and visit. Something that is outside these four walls. But guess what? I am going to remind you of something… we are nature. The fact that we are born and naturally grow throughout our lives, whether we want to or not, is a glaring example of how we are indeed nature.
My simple definition of nature is something that occurs without external manipulation.
Examples of this would be: rivers that flow, moon cycles, seasons, evolution, birth, you and I. These things just happen. Nothing makes these things happen, they simply occur on their own.
So then, what is not natural? My definition for this would be something that occurs from external manipulation.
This would be things like genetically modified foods, where the genes of the foods are modified. This would not be ingredients that are synthetically made in laboratories. This would be anything that man is interfering with.
So why is the difference between natural and non-natural so important? Why do I care so much about this returning to nature stuff and defining what is and isn’t nature? Really, who cares?
Remember when I told you that sometimes I would share things that weren’t always warm and fuzzy? But that sometimes things that are important can be hard to hear? Well, this is one of those times. However, I want to preface this with a reminder… I am not saying ANY of this to point fingers and blame. I am not saying any of this to send you in a panic (although it absolutely feels overwhelming at first… don’t worry – I’ve got you). I am saying this from a place of empowerment. That we have the power to educate ourselves and become the leaders of our lives. Remember, this is just information. Take from it as little or as much as you want, but please understand my intent behind it - to help.
…I digress… or do I?
Right now, more than ever, the difference between natural and non-natural is so important on a number of levels. The main points are summed up in two sentences and explained further down:
1.) There has been a recent surge in the production of non-natural products. With this, has proven to be detrimental to our health, the health of others as well as the health of our planet.
2.) There is so much that we can do to control and prevent our health detriment to the above.
There are endless amounts of non-natural toxins that we are exposed to all day every day. Toxins in our water, food, toothpaste, shampoo, tampons, food containers, air. Those are just a few. Stay with me – there is a way to reasonably live without toxins, and I am here to help bring ease to this.
First of all, how the heck did we end up in a world full of toxins? So many reasons, but summed up… money. It’s cheaper, more productive and faster to produce things with synthetic (man-made) ingredients. Longer shelf life means less production waste.
When these synthetic ingredients are added to our products, this is when the health detriment comes into play. Typically, when things have been made up in a laboratory, they are seen as foreign and toxic substances to our naturally occurring cells.
But why would our bodies reject these ingredients that are created in a laboratory? Our bodies are amazingly adaptable and have evolved to the food we eat and our environments, but over THOUSANDS of years. While our bodies are able to adapt, adaptation takes an incredibly long time. And certainly not quickly enough to adapt to the the man-created laboratory concoctions that are far from the resemblance of natural composition. This is why you often see FDA approved product recalls. It takes time to prove that these FDA approved items are detrimental. Simply put, our natural bodies have not evolved to adapt to these non-natural products. Now, this being said, over time, perhaps THOUSANDS of years, our bodies will learn to adapt, but the truth of the matter is right now, nature is suffering from science.
With the increase in toxic ingredients, there is also an uptick in cancers (especially in younger ages), infertility, obesity, neurological disorders, early puberty, allergies and so much more. There have been studies that have shown that 70-90% of cancer is caused by extrinsic factors, meaning external factors (not genetics). This also means that there is the possibility that the majority of cancers could be prevented. The fact of the matter is cancer is not the problem. Cancer and other diseases are the body’s natural defense to fight an imbalance it is experiencing. The extrinsic factors that are causing the cancer are the problem. And the incredibly empowering point of all of this is that the external factors that contribute to many types of cancer and disease are typically things we have control over. Some we do not, but at Harmonious Return, we focus on what we do have control over. Our food, our water, the air quality we have (in our houses and cars), the products we put on our bodies as well as our levels of stress. This is what we at Harmonious Return are here to guide you through.
While I will be rolling out all sorts of resources and support for you, here are some simple rules of thumb to follow to get you started on your natural lifestyle transition:
· Water: filtered, always. Avoid plastic water bottles as they tend to have microplastics in them and are detrimental to our environment.
· Food: your best bet is organic, non-GMO whole food. The rule of thumb I follow is the best source is whole, organic, non-GMO food. This is closer to the actual source the better. For example, the difference between a potato and a potato chip – what ingredients does a potato have? One, it is the direct source. What ingredients does a potato chip have? Multiple, and the first ingredient may not even be a potato!
o The key is to begin awareness in what you are eating. Another great rule of thumb is food on the outside lanes of the grocery store. More in the fridge and less in the pantry.
· Personal Care Products: this is where it starts to get overwhelming. Again, I am working on rolling out personalized services to guide you through this, as well as dive way deeper into this topic. In the meantime, these Apps show you how toxic your products are and offer substitutions. Think Dirty and Healthy Living.
o Additionally, I just signed up to partner with Beauty Counter. While this was certainly not my intent, after years of my own personal research, Beauty Counter is one of the only companies who is leading this charge in safer beauty, so anything you buy from them is safe as well as 100% money back guarantee. I personally love their sunscreen and charcoal soap.
· Home fragrance (candles) and air fresheners: Unless it is made from essential oil fragrances, I would suggest stopping use. There are SO many studies behind the phthalates found in synthetic fragrances to link to so many issues. This has been linked to lower sperm count in boys, early puberty in teens . These have been banned in the use of children’s toys and products, but not yet banned in anything else. More to come on all of these as mentioned, but with fragrance, only safe swap is essential oils. I use an essential oil diffuser and use candles only made with soy or beeswax with essential oil fragrance.
o Another great way to help your home air is house plants. I, personally am plant obsessed. They are natural air purifiers. I have them at my desk and all through our house.
The beautiful reminder here is that the overall goal is to gradually transition to a more natural lifestyle. Have grace and meet yourself where you are. It is easy to get overwhelmed and panicked, but remember, you are in the right place. I have been there, I have done the research, I am here to bring ease to you and your health. The plants from Mother Earth have been healing it’s inhabitants since it’s beginnings. There are alternatives that are healthier and I am here to help you transition.
Like I mentioned, sometimes things get out of balance and need a good hard reassessment when they are no longer serving our highest and greatest good. Together we will journey to the healthiest and best versions of ourselves!