An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Almost any goal you have that's worth achieving takes real work and more importantly, time.
There's really no way around this. No hack, no shortcut. Don't ask if there is one, or get me started on that...
But if there was one thing you could invest small amounts of time into for a bigger ROI later, it's eliminating things that do not serve you and ultimately can rob your goals long term. Not present day "thieves," but slow, siphoning vampires. How's that for a visual?
This is most definitely a concept of minimalism, which should guide you in fitness and health. Marketing of "health" products is often based on "addition" and ultimately accumulation. Eventually, accumulation becomes too much. You have too many products, pieces of equipment, supplements... and body fat too. Strive for reduction. This is what the early years of my solo training career were characterized by in my work with Steve Maxwell. This is the philosophy he lives his life by and is often admired for.
For me recently this has taken the form of a few things.
I was turned on to the EWG database by Charles Poliquin and did a little plugging in and deeper research of skincare/daily care products I use a bit, but don't think of readily all the time as potentially problematic. The obvious ones that I corrected years ago were ditching anti-bacterial soap and obvious lotions with nothing but chemicals. This time around, the culprits were more in the realm of smaller, but common items: dish soap, toothpaste, etc. I encourage you to check out that site and do the same.
Here are my big two:
I have long understood the link between oral health and nearly everything else in the body, but wasn't too stoked to find out that the conventional brand I was using had triclosan in it.
Since July of 2017, I've been working on hypertrophy and healthy weight gain while keeping my body fat as low as possible. I've also kept a close eye on important hormonal markers for men- and this product undermines that.
Now, I'm trying out Dr Bronners and a few other brands of toothpastes sans fluoride and triclosan.
No more plastic bags
I learned from a Poliquin article recently that one of the most common places you'll find BPA is in plastic bags and receipts. We switched a few years ago to using reusable grocery bags and generally just use plastic bags for garbage, but now I no longer use plastic bags for dirty clothes or change of clothes after training or jiu jitsu and have switched to wet/dry bags. This is a great solution if you have to keep wet, sweaty stuff in your bag or car for many hours before being able to wash or air out your clothing. They make ones large enough for gis and bigger items and sell them on Amazon.
Hedging your bets for later
This is all done, like I said above, as a way of preventing problems down the road. A single interaction with a plastic bag probably won't hurt, but if you transport things in them daily for 10 years and we later find out they were seeping with BPA or some undiscovered chemical- then we certainly can say there was a high risk exposure.
Also, I find it's best to never approach this from a place of paranoia, but rather check it off your list as a marker of progress or a supplemental marker of helping you make progress elsewhere. The reason being: paranoia is a negative state of mind- you'll be unable to be your most creative self in that state, and biologically speaking, I can't imagine there is a positive hormonal response to living in paranoia (in fact, I know there is not).
I'll expand next time on the idea of all these little things being congruent with the "big things" you hope to accomplish.
Be well, be strong!
Project posts are a regular series on personal projects I am working on, and my own insight based on what I discover. Check back each week for them!