Simple Tips for a Healthier You

Living healthier can be as simple as a few tweaks to your daily routine. Dr. Ron Merriel of Blue Skies Chiropractic has some suggestions.


In our modern world, we are constantly bombarded with toxins on a daily basis, so I have written down some of the easiest ways to lessen the toxic stresses put on our bodies. I believe that once you get adjusted to them, they could soon become a part of your lifestyle.

Buy organic and local food as much as possible. The East Falls Farmers’ Market on Saturdays is a great place to start! (10AM-2PM every Saturday into November)

Get rid of Teflon and start using cast iron. Cast iron not only distributes heat the best of all cookware, it actually gives you a little bit of dietary iron every time you cook with it.

Some more benefits of cast iron: It will last a lifetime; you can easily clean them by wiping them with a cloth; you never have to wash them unless you burn something on them and even then, you can scrub it with a soap-free brillo or copper scrub pad and then dry it right away; don’t worry about germs, because every time you heat up the pot or pan on the stove, the germs die; you may occasionally have to “season” it, but I generally just keep cooking with a pan and it becomes “seasoned” after a while. Click here for more on pan seasoning.

I know some people don’t like the weight of these, but think of it as being a little hand work out every time you use them. Your grip strength will improve which isn’t a bad thing. Another take on the benefits of cast iron here.

Toss your microwave. Reheat food slowly on a stovetop or in a heat resistant glass container in an oven or toaster oven (about 300 degrees for 10-15 min.), this will help to retain as many nutrients as possible. Also, microwaving food has been shown to alter the molecular structures of the food you cook, possibly making it harder to digest.

If you can’t throw away your microwave because it is built into your kitchen, you can still put it to use for sterilizing your sponges. Just put a sopping wet sponge in the microwave for 1 minute and it will get rid of that funky smell.

Avoid putting food (especially hot food) in plastic or Styrofoam.

Avoid K-cups. Think about it, pouring near boiling water through some of the cheapest plastic around may not be a good idea. Consider investing in a French Press, which in my opinion, makes the best coffee once you get the hang of the process. Editor’s Note: Even the inventor of K-Cups wishes they’d go away.

Filter water instead of buying it bottled. Again, it is best to avoid plastic around your food/drink as much as possible. I use stainless steel bottles which are especially useful to keep in your car. Have you ever tasted water from a plastic bottle that has been left in a hot car? Very “plasticky” for a lack of a better word. Heat breaks down plastic, so you will be getting a higher dose than in an unheated bottle with every sip.

If your shower pressure permits, filter your shower water also. Many shower filters will decrease the amount of chlorine in your tap water which is one of the most toxic substances in our water supply.

Use fluoride-free toothpaste. Believe it or not, we do not need fluoride for stronger teeth. As a matter of fact, it can actually weaken bones and disrupt our endocrine (hormone) systems. It is very unfortunate that our water supply is laden with this stuff especially since it is very hard to remove with simple filtration techniques. There are communities who are currently trying very hard (some succeeding) to ban the use of fluoride in municipal water supplies. Check out for some eye-opening details.

Get rid of air fresheners and scented candles. Switch to essential oil diffusers and organic candles. Most candles and air fresheners are laden with chemicals which have been shown to disrupt our endocrine systems.

Use French-milled soap. This type of soap has fewer chemicals and lathers much better than the big brand soaps. They are a little more expensive, but they will last much longer than the big brands. You may also want to check out Dr. Bronner’s line of soaps which can be used for washing your skin, hair, dishes and even pets. They also have a soap for babies.

Make your own laundry detergent, dish detergent and dish soap. You can find recipes on the internet and many of them will cost less than buying the big brands.

Believe it or not, you do not need to sterilize your home. We have been so conditioned to think that we need to do this through countless commercials (they don’t call them soap operas for nothing), but I believe it is actually doing us more harm than good. You can actually clean just about anything in your home with cheap white vinegar. Just keep it in a spray bottle and use it for counter tops, mirrors, sinks, etc.

Clean Green! Here’s an epic resource with everything you need to know about creating a naturally cleaner home: simple recipes plus information on how, exactly, commercial cleaning products are affecting our health and the environment– and the benefits we can expect with just a little effort and know-how.

Look around your house and ask yourself if your shaving cream, skin lotion, etc. may be doing you more harm than good and switch to a less chemically laden version. Who knows, you may actually like it better.


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