Christmas and new year: 5 health and well-being tips!

The end-of-year holidays are a great opportunity to be reunited with family and friends, but it is also the time of year when we commit the most excesses! Discover our 5 recommendations to make the most of these holidays, while taking care of your health and well-being! 

Reading time: 7 minutes

 

Summary

A healthy holiday season 
Choose the right gifts, without hassle
A beauty and health routine: natural has never been so beautiful
Fireplace and indoor air pollution 
Preparing your home for the holiday season

🍴 A healthy holiday season 

1. A good menu

Any advice? Treat yourself, it’s a few times a year! (you don’t have to refill your plate 3 times, or to rush to the aperitif).

  • For aperitif : Don’t hesitate to add toast with homemade spreads, unsalted oilseeds (cashews, almonds, etc.) and vegetables to crunch.
  • For the starter : if you want to propose one, propose a starter with seafood or fish (smoked salmon for example) or a small mixed salad.
  • For the main course: : fish, white meat or a vegetarian option (legumes/tofu/seitan/eggs) accompanied by vegetables (mushrooms, beans…) and a starch (chestnut, potato, rice…).
  • For dessert : if you find the traditional Yule log too heavy, you can end the meal with a fruit salad with Christmas spices.
  • For the drinks: During the meal, remember to stay hydrated with water and to stay reasonable on alcohol and sodas. Sodas contain a lot of sugar and their containers, often cans, may contain bisphenol S and aluminum, both of which are toxic to your health. If you want to drink sodas, prefer those in glass bottles.

And finally, there is nothing better than a short walk to digest, which will also break the sedentary lifestyle!

2. Choose the right ingredients

Don’t hesitate to opt for frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals because they are harvested at maturity and then quickly frozen.

For meat and fish, give priority to quality by choosing artisanal butchers and fishmongers, even if it means reducing the quantity consumed.

Blinis, spreads, tapenades can be easily made at home, it is more economical and it will be without additives!

3. The right ustensils

👉 Cook your Christmas meal with wooden utensils rather than plastic or aluminum ones.

👉 Use your non-stick (Teflon) pans or pots only if they are not damaged! Otherwise your meals may also contain perfluorinated compounds and endocrine disruptors.

👉 Prefer stainless steel or natural cast iron containers. And avoid silicone molds (unless they are labeled “BPA-free”).

4. Proper cooking methods

👉 Prefer steaming, it preserves vitamins and minerals as well as taste.

👉 In the microwave, use glass containers, not plastic.

👉 For toast in the oven or toaster, do not overheat them (they should not turn black or too brown) because it forms a compound called acrylamide which is carcinogenic.

Prefer to cook in the oven rather than in olive oil (frying) for dishes such as pommes duchesses, hazelnuts, dauphines…

🎁 Choose the right gifts, without hassle

Choosing gifts for children is not always an easy task. What if this year you chose a gift that is also good for the health of your children?

Unfortunately, some toys hide substances known to be hormone disruptors, allergens and carcinogens. How to minimize the impacts of toys?

👉  Give preference to toys made in France. They meet the European quality standards, which are higher than some other countries known for the manufacture of toys;

👉  For wooden toys, choose raw wood and not varnished;

👉  If they are made of plastic, favor those with a “PVC-free” or “phthalate-free” label»;

👉  For dolls and stuffed animals, wash them before use and favor those made of natural fibers or “organic”;

👉  Forget make-up for children, which may contain heavy metal contamination;

👉 Let toys air out if they have a smell, it means they emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

NB: you can ask the composition of a toy in writing to the store selling it. The European REACH regulation requires them to answer you within 45 days about the presence of certain chemical substances.

✨ A beauty and health routine: natural has never been so beautiful

Cosmetics used for thousands of years have a composition that has evolved. They often include or contain molecules known or suspected of being endocrine disruptors, allergenic or toxic.

Mascara, varnish, primer, foundation, lipstick, eye liner, eye shadow, blush, perfume, deodorant, expose you to a cocktail of toxic substances: lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum, phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene, synthetic camphor, parabens …

This year, go natural by setting yourself the goal of using a maximum of one conventional beauty product.

From early december:

 

Short-term effects

👉Maux de tête

👉 Inconfort olfactif

👉 Irritation de la peau et des muqueuses

👉 Fatigue

👉 Toux, respiration douloureuse

👉 Pneumonie, bronchite

Long-term effects

👉Le système nerveux central est altéré (maux de tête, anxiété)

👉 Maladies cardiovasculaires

👉 Maladies respiratoires (asthme)

👉 Cancers

👉 Impacts sur le foie, la rate, le sang

👉 Impacts sur l’appareil reproducteur

Use natural tricks

👉  Wash your face morning and evening (water, hydrolat…) to remove pollution that can make your skin dull see clog pores and cause inflammation;

👉  Make scrubs (home-made: sugar/salt + vegetable oil) 1 to 2 times a week;

👉  Let your skin breathe and reduce the use of conventional beauty products as much as possible.

Improve your lifestyle

The radiance of your skin also depends on your lifestyle:

👉  Drink 1.5L to 2L per day;

👉  Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables (abuse vegetables rich in beta-carotene: carrots, squash, papaya …);

👉  Sleep 7h to 8h per night;

👉  Do some sport, sweating evacuates toxins.

🪵 Fireplace and indoor air pollution

Are you lucky enough to have a fireplace? Sitting by the fire in this period is always a pleasure! However, in order not to go from a dream to a nightmare, it is necessary to have the right gestures to preserve a good quality of indoor air.

Fireplace rhymes with cosy atmosphere, but also with indoor air pollution. The combustion of wood produces pollutants in the air, mainly fine particles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

To protect your health and that of others:

👉 Have the flues and chimney swept at least once a year,

👉Choose your fuel well. No wet wood: rather use soft hardwoods to start a fire in a cold fireplace or a stove then hardwoods (oak, beech, birch, ash, hornbeam…) for a longer combustion. Avoid if possible softwoods which emit more tars and accentuate the clogging of the flues.

👉Light the fire from above. The reverse ignition technique greatly reduces smoke and prevents the emission of particulate matter. First stack logs in the firebox with those of smaller diameters on top, then place the small pieces of soft hardwood on top as well as the ignition cube. Light the cube, close the door and turn down the air supply after at least 10 minutes

Source: ADEME

If you don’t have a fireplace, a fireplace atmosphere on the TV will not compromise your indoor air quality 😉

🧼 Preparing your home for the holiday season

The holidays are not the most relaxing time of the year. This year, we make cleaning easier with natural products in order to have a healthy interior to attack this festive period. We give you THE secret for a healthy interior without spending hours cleaning. 🤫⬇️

The secret to easy and effective cleaning for a healthy interior: regularity!

By cleaning a little every week you will have a home that breathes health. Cleaning regularly, in addition to reducing the time spent on cleaning allows you to use more natural products because grease, dirt and bad smells do not have time to become embedded.

We get rid of classic household products that pollute to make room for eco-labelled products:

For the most motivated and for those who prefer to spend money on gifts/holidays rather than on household products, know that the simplest and most economical products are the best for your health!

  • Black soap: It is multi-purpose (floor, sanitary, oven, cooking plate…),
  • Marseille soap: It can be used in flakes for laundry but also to give a shine to PVC floors,
  • Baking soda: It can replace the traditional antilimestone, detergents or air fresheners,
  • White vinegar: Descaling, disinfecting or degreasing, it can be used to clean floors, windows, bathrooms, toilets…

Last advice: air at least 10 minutes in the morning and evening, especially during this period when family/friend gatherings, cooking or candles and perfumes tend to increase indoor pollution.

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Meersens is the specialist in environmental intelligence for health. Through a SaaS/API platform, Meersens helps reduce the impact of environmental risks on the health of populations. Meersens protects citizens, employees and patients from air, noise, drinking water and UV radiation pollution by making these invisible dangers visible. Beyond environmental compliance, Meersens provides the means to act and deploy predictive and preventive actions for smart communities, companies committed to CSR issues and health professionals. Meersens designs innovative solutions based on geo-temporal data processing and machine learning. Meersens has received several innovation awards and has been labeled DeepTech by BPI France and Greentech by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition.

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