Maybe it’s my problem. I read too much and subscribe to way too many health tip Web sites. I’m always trying to find the latest news on how to live healthy but it’s so hard to keep up with the ever-changing sea of bad things that will give us cancer or worse.
Nine years ago, when my oldest son was two, he was diagnosed with asthma. I was a pediatric nurse at the time so I researched everything I could to help him. Top on my list of things to do was an appointment with an allergist. The allergist we saw was adamant that because my son was asthmatic he shouldn’t be exposed to nuts or nut products until he was over three. Yesterday I read an article that nuts should be introduced at an early age.
Not long ago I watched a documentary where a mother was brought to tears when she spoke about her son and how she’d failed him. In her words “I had two naturopaths, a doula, a midwife, and a doctor but no one told me to check my plastic.” Her child’s health condition was directly related to the plastic used in baby bottles.
It made me remember that when my kids were babies I went to the organic supermarket and bought organic produce to make fresh baby food for them. Then I heated their Playtex bottles in the microwave or in warm water and all those lovely chemicals leeched into their milk.
Of course there is always an element of guilt with motherhood. You go back in you mind and question if you ate the right thing while you were pregnant. Did you exercise enough, did you do enough. But how can we blame ourselves for something we are unaware of. If only I could go back in time … yet even if I did, I still wouldn’t have all the answers.
Our life of convenience has become a life of internal pollution. I can cope with my body, but what about my three children? They depend on me to give them the best.
I have always cooked most meals so I can provide them with healthy food, or so I thought. I use lots of black beans and chickpeas, legumes are considered the perfect food, but mine start out in cans, bad.
So studies roll out like products on a conveyer don’t do this and especially don’t do that but most of these studies come with flimsy solutions and the same tired line “we need to do further testing.”
What was considered safe two days ago is horribly carcinogenic today.
Let’s talk about water bottles, the worst offenders, as of late. Gone are the days where people happily drank “spring water” from disposable bottles, you may as well smoke a cigarette instead.
One of the most widely debated subjects is coffee. It’s good to stop a headache, boost mood, and even prevent cavities, but bad for your blood pressure and acid reflux. Okay fine I won’t have caffeine but if I have something decaffeinated then I am risking getting more chemicals that they use to remove the caffeine in my decaf coffee. Tea is great too but wait a second, they use chemicals to dry the leaves. Did I mention melamine in chocolate? How about stuffed toys? Too many allergens. A rubber ball? Latex. A soft plastic toy… no they contain phthalates. How long did my teething babies chew on these carcinogens? I shudder to remember.
Is organic the way, not really because most organic produce and products aren’t regulated by the government so basically you consume them at your own risk.
So I go to the supermarket and browse the aisles. There are cans, bad, plastic bottles, worse. I see aspartame, and food that doesn’t even resemble food any longer, packaged in colourful wrappers to feed to our children. I hear about recalls, peanut butter allergies and salmonella, mice in cheese and I throw my hands up in the air and say enough.
Sometimes I wish that I didn’t know half of the “advice” out there. Maybe I would be happier living in ignorance of the garbage that we inhale, ingest and absorb each day.
What can I do? Well I will start by shaking off the nagging feeling that I am not doing enough. I will do my best and try hard not to beat myself up every time I pack my kids carrots in a plastic container. I will use glass when I can, I will not microwave in plastic. I will cook when I can and always look for the best possible alternatives. I will take the information I want and leave the rest behind. I will live without fear that I am polluting my children and take life one day and meal at a time.
In the end I will take the middle road, let go of the fear, and live knowing that I have tried my best. No one can ask for more than that. D.