Photos c/o Kristen Kilpatrick
Marilee Nelson is a Texas-based Environmental Consultant, Building Materials Specialist, Medicinal Cook, Board Certified Nutritionist, and co-founder of Branch Basics. She is on a mission to inspire and motivate people to experience the transforming power of eating real food and creating a truly healthy home. She lives in Texas with her husband and enjoys playing the piano, spending time outdoors and visiting her grandchildren.
We often stand at different crossroads in life. Thankfully, we have the power to meet these situations with our deepest intuition, unafraid to say no to the norm.
Years ago, I was told by doctors that I could never have children, and that I would need to go on dialysis and receive a kidney transplant. My response to these bleak diagnoses rose up from my heart spontaneously, “I am just so glad you are not God!”
I knew I didn’t have to be subject to the limitations the medical world was offering at the time. There had to be another way, and I began to search for alternatives.
I had the same response when I was told my son would never recover from his catastrophic exposure to pesticides, and I began studying how chemical exposures and the environment impact health.
After a steep learning curve, our family transitioned to eating real food, using safe products, and living in a healthy home. My son fully recovered – and I never had the kidney transplant!
I believe we can transform our health by making everyday choices to help us thrive. The price of convenience—new technology, fast food and instant everything—is robbing us of the richness that life has to offer.
The ability to live a vibrant life is at stake, but we have the power to take control. These simple changes and additions to your daily routine (that cost little or no money) can significantly impact your health and wellbeing.
Eat Real Food
Eating food that hasn’t been processed is foundational to health. It reduces inflammation, balances hormones, and improves gene expression.
- Begin to remove processed foods from your diet, pay attention to labels, and try to shop from the perimeter of the grocery store where organic fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and bulk foods are found.
- Increase your vegetable intake and make your plate colorful with variety.
- Try to reduce your meat portion if you are typically a big meat eater.
- Don’t be afraid of fat! Eating high-quality fats and oils like avocado oil and ghee is incredibly beneficial to your health.
- If you eat something processed — read the label! Try to avoid GMOs, excitotoxins, additives, colorings, preservatives, processed sugar, andharmful oils like canola oil.
Stress Busters – Timing is everything
- Take regular breaks during the day. Set a timer so you don’t get lost in the busyness! Taking a short walk or stretching will make you more productive!
- Boost melatonin production. Stop working on any digital device two hours before bed. If you must stay up and work, turn on “Night Shift” if you own an Apple device, or install software that can reduce the melatonin-disrupting blue light spectrum on the computer like Iris Tech or Just Get Flux.
- Make sleep a priority! Going to bed by 10:00 pm reduces stress and maximizes rejuvenation. The gallbladder starts its cleansing mode between 11:00 -1:00 am, so it is best to be asleep by 9 or 10 pm.
Reduce Your Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
A home free of toxins enables our body to use its energy for rejuvenation and healing instead of detoxifying harmful chemicals.
- Review and identify toxic products in the home. Use your nose as a guide. If they smell they may have a synthetic fragrance, they may contain antimicrobials which are designed to kill, endocrine disruptors that can cause fertility issues, neurotoxins that affect our behavior and mood, carcinogens that cause cancer, irritants that trigger lung and skin issues, and more.
- Remove unsafe products. Begin to remove any pesticides and toxic cleaners found under sinks, in cabinets and in bathrooms. This can dramatically improve your home air quality and is an easy first step in creating a healthy safe haven.
- Replace with safe products. Branch Basics makes this transition easy! Read how to cleanse your home in 3 simple steps, here.
- Open your windows for 10 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon to flush the air in the home. Indoor air in our homes is typically more polluted than the outdoor air.
- HEPA vacuum your home to reduce chemicals that ride on dust.
Guard Your Mind
We cannot make changes to our diet and physical environments without also paying close attention to our thought processes. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can improve blood quality as your stress levels become lower.
- Try journaling
- Pray, meditate, or do restorative yoga.
- Start feeding your mind with what is true, good and pure. How you look at life is the single most powerful healing tool you have. Fill your heart with compassion and love. Every thought we have sends signals to every cell in your body.
These steps will change not only your health but your entire outlook on life! I hope that these suggestions will be used as a guide to help you thrive because we all deserve to live the most vibrant lives possible!