Optimize Your Health By Optimizing Your Home
Recently, Jonathan Carp, M.D. hosted a webinar, Making a Healthier Home, that revealed how you can easily grow your own food, drink the healthiest water, breath the cleanest air, expose yourself to healing light and learn how to balance your nervous system in the comfort of your home. Here are the highlights of Dr. Carp’s webinar.
Optimal health starts at home. Beyond getting rid of junk food and sugary drinks and avoiding using toxic household cleaning products, there are other ways you can boost your health at home.
Grow Your Own Food
Dr. Carp’s first recommendation for making a healthier home is learning how to grow your own food. Contrary to what you may think, you don’t need to have a big yard or garden to grow your own food. In fact, Dr. Carp lives in an apartment that doesn’t receive a lot of sun.
Yet he’s first-hand proof that you can grow a decent amount of food without being a green thumb. Doing so, says Dr. Carp, provides a renewed natural appreciation for plants and will lead to other healthy changes in your life.
The easiest way to grow your own healthy veggies is with microgreen seeds. You can either use soil, or, like Dr. Carp, use hydroponic seed mats. You can have enough microgreens in just one week to provide you with a salad.
Microgreens are especially nutrient-dense. That’s because these “newborns” of the plant world are in a major growth phase, offering a robust profile of vitamins and minerals. You can choose between several types of microgreens such as broccoli, celery, arugula, etc.
Making your own microgreens provides you with a nutritional powerhouse, one which Dr. Carp guarantees you’ll the difference if you incorporate them into your diet on a regular basis. And to do so, just cut a small portion and add to a sandwich or to a smoothie.
Dr. Carp also suggests growing your own food using the Kratky method, which is named for the Hawaiian agriculturist who devised the easiest way of growing food without soil (hydroponic). To do so, all you need is a nutrient solution and seedlings. The seeds are placed in a container filled with water and a nutrient solution.
This method of growing food is so convenient, Dr. Carp calls it , “Set it and forget it.” In as little as 4-5 weeks, you can grow a whole head of lettuce. If you can’t wait that long, you can take the leaves off sooner and eat them and the plant will regrow whatever leaves you pull off. And the best part is you don’t need to rewater the plant to get more as long as there is sufficient nutrient solution.
Double Cup Method
Another easy method for growing your own food is by using plastic party cups. Simply add a couple of small stones at the bottom of the cup and add nutrient solution. You can grow a whole cucumber or head of lettuce.
The last method for easily growing your own food Dr. Carp describes does involve soil. But rather than using a pot, Dr. Carp recommends using cloth grow bags. Grow bags allow for more favorable air pruning, which is when the roots of the plant are exposed to more air, which in turn produces newer and healthier branching roots. With grow bags, you can enjoy “enormous yields,” adds Dr. Carp.
You don’t need to have a ton of kitchen appliances in order to be healthy. But if there is one single piece of equipment Dr. Carp recommends, it’s a juicer. Dr. Carp says that juicing has undeservedly gotten a bad reputation lately because of misleading statements by companies marketing blended veggie drinks.
One of those myths espoused by blended beverage purveyors is that with juicing, you lose some of the nutrient density, especially the fiber component. This couldn’t be further from the truth, says Dr. Carp, who adds that, indeed, the soluble fiber from veggies does dissolve into the juice.
The fact is, he says, humans are by nature juice extractors. Our job is to break down food so it gets absorbed. And when your food is absorbed, in what form is it? That’s right, liquid.
And besides, there’s no other way to get the amounts of vegetables you can get in raw form from a juice. You’d have to eat a mini-mountain of salad in order to get the same amount of nutrition from just one glass of veggie juice.
Another knock on juicing is that it doesn’t provide protein. But the amount of protein you can get from a large leafy green salad can provide up to 20 grams of protein. Just make sure to limit the amount of higher-sugar veggies such as carrots and add a little dietary fat to absorb the nutrients.
The good news about drinking municipal tap water in the U.S. is that you won’t die from a fatal parasitic infection. However, drinking tap water may contribute to longer term health consequences because of the impurities it contains such as arsenic and chlorine to name just a couple.
The healthiest water you can drink, Dr. Carp, says, is structured water. The water contained in plants, streams and in cell membranes contain a different type of water than ordinary tap water. Under a microscope, the molecular structure of structured water, which is technically H30 (containing an extra hydrogen atom than regular water) appears more like a crystal.
What are the benefits of structured water? It’s more hydrating. And one of the best sources of it is the vegetable juice (yet another reason to dust off your juicer from storage). Structured water differs from molecular hydrogen water (antioxidant water), which is water infused with hydrogen.
Asked by a webinar viewer what he thinks of the celery juice fad, Dr. Carp believes that part of the benefits of celery juice may be attributed to the fact that it’s loaded with structured water.
Another couple of sources of structured water include fibers such as chia seeds and Miracle Noodles. With these two fibrous foods, the water in them becomes structured when the water becomes bound to the fiber.
For regular drinking water, Dr. Carp suggests reverse osmosis (RO) purification because it effectively removes heavy metals. The downside, however to RO is that the process also removes beneficial trace minerals. To remedy this problem, you can purchase trace mineral drops.
Nervous system balancing
Even if you think your life isn’t that relatively stressful, you should devote 15-25 minutes during the day to recharging your parasympathetic nervous system. This is the branch of your autonomic nervous system that helps you relax and shuts off the fight or flight, stimulatory branch of the nervous system (the sympathetic system).
Why not just take a cat nap? While dozing for a few minutes certainly offers health benefits, it doesn’t do nearly as much as nervous system balancing when it comes to training your body and mind to become more resilient to stress.
So how do you balance your nervous system without sleeping? Dr. Carp urges people to create a sanctuary anywhere in the home, be it a corner in the living room, the bathtub, etc. The key is to stimulate your sense of hearing, sight and smell in a restful, healing way.
Taking a bath with essential oils and listening to relaxing music is one way. You can light an aromatherapy candle, listen to a meditation app, use a red light, whatever you need to do to signal to your body to switch to a resting phase.
In 1989, NASA released a Clean Air Study, which determined what plants are best at removing volatile organic compounds and other air pollutants. The one that Dr. Carp recommends are:
- Areca palm
- Snake plant
- Money plant
- Gerbera daisy
- Chinese evergreens
If you have a large house, just one or two plants per room will suffice. You can also enhance the air quality in your home by purchasing a HEPA air filter, which removes and traps harmful particles.
Rule number one when it comes to light is to power off any electronic devices that emit blue light. The biggest offenders are cell phones, computers and TV screens. Dr. Carp also recommends using a red spectrum light bulb at night because it increases melatonin.
As for the best type of lightbulbs to use, Dr. Carp claims that incandescent ones are the safest. However, they are very difficult to find these days. Halogen lamps are ideal for daytime use only; at night they may contribute to insomnia because they emit blue light.
The new generation spiral-shaped CFL bulbs may be good for your wallet because they last longer, however, they have a downside to them: If they break, they emit mercury vapor. As for LED lights, Dr. Carp cautions that they emit blue light and may also emit heavy metal vapor.
Finally, Dr. Carp highly recommends being exposed to near infrared light. These orange-red bulbs which are used to heat chicken coops and saunas, penetrate your tissue and provide deep heat, which helps to remove toxins from your fat cells.
Try adopting some of these recommendations for a healthier home and a healthier you.