Not to toot my horn, or your horn, but us health coaches are a really special and unique group of people, don’t ya think? We dedicate ourselves to helping others, to making complicated issues clear, easy to understand, and easy to incorporate into the daily lives of those around us and those we help. This, to me, totally kicks ass.
Years ago, when I worked in the corporate stock photography industry as an “account executive” I struggled with feeling like I wasn’t contributing – or at least not the way I wanted to. I harshly used to refer to what I was doing (selling stock photos for books and magazines) as “contributing to the garbage of society”. I probably could have been doing much worse, but I felt like all I was doing was feeding the “media machine” and that my work wasn’t contributing in any real, meaningful way. Needless to say I was super unhappy – in fact, I was kind of a bitch at that time. Grumpy, jaded, and feeling pretty lost.
When I stepped into the health coach community, I found something that had been missing – my opportunity to be of service in a meaningful way. What was pretty great is that I wasn’t alone! There were tons of us! Thousands upon thousands of other people striving to make things better, each in their own way.
A big part of this community is all the connecting, collaborating, and sharing. I dig it. In fact, my whole business is based on that – taking complicated, overwhelming info on chemical toxicity and health and sharing it with my fellow coaches in a way that helps support them and their businesses.
I tend to drop some information bombs on my health coach clients sometimes, and because of that I tend to get a lot of questions from people about where I’m finding these juicy info nuggets. So in the spirit of sharing, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite websites that have some of the clearest, and easiest to understand info. These are sites that I reference when I’m looking for those single statistics that reinforce a point, or add some punch to a topic. Obviously, these are all toxin-related, but I hope that as you move towards having a greater understanding of the issues that toxins pose to our health, they will become valuable resources for you.
PANNA.ORG (Pesticide Action Network North America) – PANNA works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. They offer all kinds of information about the use of pesticides and their impacts on both farm workers, and consumers, taking special care to highlight the effects that pesticides have on children. They have also created the site Whats On My Food, a searchable database of foods that displays the name, types, and quantities of pesticides found on them, pulling the data from the USDA Pesticide Data Program.
HEALTYCHILD.ORG –Their mission: To ignite the movement that empowers parents to protect children from harmful chemicals. Sounds pretty kick-ass to me! The Healthy Child website has tons and tons of really great information and resources – from how to host your own healthy child party, to where to go to advocate for change on a federal level.
FOOD & WATER WATCH.ORG – Food & Water Watch looks out for, you guessed it, our food & water – taking steps ensure that our food, water, & fish we eat is as safe as possible, accessible, and produced sustainably. From GE salmon, to nano-technology, Food & Water Watch is an important resource for all coaches!
ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP – The Environmental Working Group is the crowned jewel of the eco/health/toxins world and every health coach should be intimately familiar with what they do for us. They created the amazing Skin Deep Database, listing over 70,000 personal care products and rating their toxicity levels based on their ingredients. Recently they released the EWG’s Guide To Healthy Cleaning with more than 2,000 household cleaners. From helping to undesrtand the Farm Bill to what’s in your local tap water. If you’re not on their mailing list – get on it!
Explore these pages – soak in what they have to share, and then share the best nuggets you can with people you know!