3 essentials for summer outdoor adventures!

Summer is here! Here’s a list of 3 essentials for healthy summer outdoor adventures:

1. A glass or stainless steel water bottle.  A re-usable water bottle helps the environment and keeps kids hydrated.  You will also avoid excessive bisphenol A (BPA) exposure from plastic water bottles that are left sitting in the hot sun for too long.  BPA is a hormone disrupter and linked to cancer.  Add some lemon, lime, cucumber or berries to your water to keep it fresh and tasty!

2. A natural sunscreen with zinc oxide as the active ingredient for preventing exposure to harmful UV rays.  Check out the Environmental Working Group’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens to see where your sunscreen ranks in terms of safety and effectiveness.  Remember to reapply after swimming and don’t forget the ears, hands and feet! Check out my post on the ABC’s of Skin Cancer Prevention.

3. A natural essential oil bug spray.  Bug bites can lead to unpleasant itching and discomfort.  Prevent them with these Essential oils!

Image purchased from www.dreamstime.com

Image purchased from http://www.dreamstime.com

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Xenoestrogens, what are they and why should I avoid them?

Xeno-what?!

Xenoestrogens are chemicals that imitate estrogen and act like estrogen in your body, negatively impacting your hormone balance.  Health conditions associated with excessive xenoestrogens in the body include PMS symptoms, fibroids, endometriosis, breast cancer, early puberty, ovarian cysts, migraines and weight gain.

Probably the most famous xenoestrogen is BPA, the bisphenol-A found in plastic water bottles, plastic packaging, lining canned food and baby bottles (although Canada was the first to ban BPA from baby bottles in 2008).

BPA has gotten lots of publicity, even from the David Suzuki Foundation with their ‘12 ways to avoid hidden BPA.’

However, there are lots of other classes of chemicals that are considered xenoestrogens and can influence your hormone balance.  We are literally exposed to them everywhere, so it is impossible to eliminate them completely from our lives (unless you can live in a bubble!).

I like handing out the following list to my patients which contains many sources of xenoestrogens.  I suggest they take a look and pick 1-2 items that they are exposed to daily or in excessive amounts and make a change in their lives.  1-2 changes can go a long way to improving the health of yourself and your family.

Xenoestrogen list

What are you doing to make a positive change for your hormonal health? Feel free to share your stories and tips!