It's Not Just the Food

I made the decision to go on a whole foods, plant-based diet about three months after my wife passed away from brain cancer. It became apparent to me, through the efforts of our local Eat Smart Live Longer Club as well as from things I was reading, that common western diseases could be mitigated or even eliminated through good diet.

But that's not all. Being conscious of my wife's brain cancer, I found myself wondering where that came from. I mean, how is it that one day everything can be fine and the next day, you have a brain tumor? Well, I came up with several possible culprits, including chemicals that she might have been putting in her hair to prescription drugs she was taking to holding a cellphone up to her ear to possibly a halogen light that she used for cross stitching to what the foods were that she ate.

So, I methodically changed behaviors in myself. Eating is perhaps the biggest change that I made. And by eating the whole food, plant-based diet, I eventually found myself off of all prescription drugs. So, that created another hazard gone. Getting rid of the halogen light was still another. And I've started using the cellphone in speaker mode so that I don't need to hold it up to my head.

But I've been slow about eliminating chemicals from my life. To tell you the truth, just like I did with food for so many years, I never gave chemicals and their impact on me much thought. And yet, there are so many chemicals out there that are considered either carcinogenic or their effect on cancer development and growth are not well understood.

But I ignored that because of the convenience of chemical usage. In fact, I told everybody about a chemical spray that I've been using in my shower. I spray it on the walls and glass immediately after taking a shower, and that's it. By doing so, it's been six months since I've had to actually clean my shower. That has seemed pretty cool to me.

But then, I had an epiphany one morning as I was spraying that on my shower walls. Here I am, without a mask on, spraying this stuff that I can smell all over this enclosed space that I'm in. Then I'll go out to eat a whole food, plant-based meal because I know that it will help to prevent cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and more.  And yet, at the same time, I'm counteracting those good effects by spraying chemicals in enclosed spaces that I occupy.

So, I've made the commitment to myself to go chemical free. It probably won't happen all at once. I still have some chemicals that I've bought. I'll probably continue to use those until they are used up. But then I'll be replacing them with greener items. Once you start to think about the chemicals you use, you start to realize just how pervasive they are. There's household cleaning products, body soaps, shampoos, hair spray, deodorant, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, sun tan lotions and so on.

It may require a little more elbow grease, and it may require some time to convert, but I think it makes sense to do -- especially for somebody like me who is following the whole food, plant-based diet for health reasons.

But it should also be noted, that just like the WFPB diet, what's good for our bodies personally is also what's good for the environment. Funny how that works, isn't it? If it's not safe for us, then it's probably not safe for the environment either.

And that's just one more reason to give up on chemicals for housecleaning, personal grooming and other things where chemicals are prevalent.