By Janelle Bertler, Traditional Naturopathic Practitioner, Longevity Health Center


As parents we all want what is best for our children! Whether your child is an infant, toddler, elementary school aged, or a teenager, it’s important to put some conscious thought into making a safer and healthier environment for our “little men” to thrive. (A lot of these suggestions can also apply to your Little Princesses too, so don’t shy away from the pointers below.) 


As we begin re-establishing school year routines, it’s a perfect time to look at cleaning up our home environments as well as adopting some naturopathic approaches, to set our little men up for healthier adulthoods. 


Endocrine Disruptors


The biggest hidden danger for our boys these days is an ever-increasing exposure to estrogen mimickers, also called endocrine disruptors. These compounds mimic estrogen in the body, disrupting the natural balance of hormones within the system. The cumulative effect of exposure to multiple sources of endocrine disruptors can be significant. Young boys are particularly vulnerable during critical periods of development. Exposure to these substances can have a significant impact on our kids’ delicate hormonal balance and can interfere with normal growth and maturation. These chemicals are commonly found in plastics, pesticides, personal care products and even some foods. 


Since our home environment is the space that our children spend most of their time in, adopting a toxin-free lifestyle has become increasingly important in promoting overall health. Let’s explore practical steps in creating a toxin-free home:


Choose Organic Whole Foods

Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables often contain pesticide residues; some act as estrogen mimickers. Choose organic produce whenever possible. Also, avoid processed food containing additives and preservatives, which are hidden sources of endocrine-disrupting compounds. Remember to avoid those harmful food dyes, too.


Food Safe Storage

Plastics, BPA’s, and Phthalates are sources of estrogen mimickers. Not all plastics are created equal. Some contain more hormone disruptors than others, yet when storing or heating food, avoid using plastic containers of any kind. Glass or stainless steel will always be the healthier options. Also be mindful of using plastic wraps. There are eco-friendly alternatives like beeswax wraps.


Personal Care Products

Many personal care products like shampoos, soaps, and lotions contain harmful chemicals, which can also act as estrogen mimickers. Choose natural and organic personal care products free from synthetic compounds. Since anything put on your body is absorbed through your skin, make very conscious decisions in this arena! Make sure your kids are using fluoride-free toothpaste as well.


Filter Your Water

Since public water supplies may contain trace amounts of estrogen mimickers, chemicals (such as chlorine & fluoride) and/or pharmaceutical medications, and even lead, installing a quality water filtration system can go a long way in reducing your toxin exposure. Use filtered water for your “little men” to drink as well as for any family cooking needs. If you want to take it a step further, look into shower filters too!


Avoid Synthetic Fragrances

Air fresheners, cleaning products, and personal care products with fragrances are all toxin building. Opt for naturally scented or essential oil scented products. If you want to take it one step further, entertain the idea of creating your own cleaning or personal care products with natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and lemon juice. 


Air Filtration

Indoor air can be more toxic than outdoor air. Many indoor items, such as furniture, carpets and cleaning products release volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). VOC’s negatively impact respiratory health and contribute to indoor air pollution. To improve the air quality of the home, think about: 

  • Increasing ventilation by opening windows or using fans
  • Using HEPA filters to remove airborne pollutants
  • Incorporating indoor air purifying plants, such as peace lilies or spider plants
  • Choose low-VOC paints, adhesives and building material when renovating or redecorating

Mindful Pest Control

Common pest control methods involve the use of toxic chemicals that can harm both pets and humans. Keeping a clutter-free home can reduce pest attraction and when needed opt for natural and non-toxic approaches. Natural repellents like diatomaceous earth, vinegar or essential oils are great at deterring pests. My hidden weapon of choice for the wasps that hide around entrances of buildings is WD-40. The extended nozzle lets you aim up high under building overhangs. (It’s a great solution for single mothers terrified of bugs!)


Now that we have reduced the toxic load of the home environment, let’s look at other holistic principles in regards to raising healthy men. 


Balanced Nutrition

Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you need a little extra support in this area, take a look at a greens powder for increasing nutrient intake. Or one of my favorite nutritional supports for my boys is IntraMax or IntraKid. It has a broad range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids like Omega-3s, and even some food based toxin binders!



Water plays a crucial role in optimal health and proper cellular functionality. Have your kids focus on drinking plenty of water for their size. Typically 1/2 of their body weight in ounces of water (For example, an 80-pound boy would need 40 ounces of water per day.) Avoid sugary liquids since they play a role in high blood sugar levels, obesity, and behavioral issues. 


Regular Body Movement

Physical activity is vital for boys’ health as it promotes healthy growth, improves cardiovascular health, and aids in maintaining a healthy weight. All little men need to engage in regular exercise. It supports mental well-being as it releases endorphins. Encourage them to find activities they enjoy – this can simply be outdoor play!


Mindfulness & Stress Management

Teaching boys mindfulness and stress management skills can have a profound impact on their emotional and mental health. Teaching them meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or even spending time in nature can help them better cope with stress and anxiety more effectively. Meditation apps and podcasts are an easy way for kids to learn these techniques. Some of these programs even come with tracking so you can see that they have been completing sessions.


Sufficient Sleep

Sleep is when the body heals, repairs, and consolidates memories. Adequate sleep is essential to support physical growth, physical health, and cognitive development! Aim for a consistent sleep schedule. Limit screen time/blue light before bed. Assist them in creating a calming bedtime routine to promote better sleep quality. Getting kids to bed a little early is really supportive on days when they are learning lots of new information. A few of our favorite kid-friendly sleep support products are Calms Forte and Melatonin


Emotional Well-being

The interconnectedness of the mind and body is recognized in Naturopathic medicine. Encourage your boys to have open communication. Validate their feelings. Teach them healthy ways to express their emotions. Help them to build resiliency by teaching them healthy mindsets and emotional intelligence, so they can develop resilience and grow up effectively navigating life’s challenges.  


Nutritional Support

Herbal remedies can be an excellent part of your home’s first-aid kit. ImmunoBerry and Echinacea can support the immune system. Olive Leaf is a wonderful herbal antimicrobial. ViraKid is excellent for cold or flu symptoms. Droscera is my go-to for my kids’ cough. There are so many options, and as always consult with your child’s naturopath about herbal remedies before using. 


My Challenge to You


Put some thought into these practical steps. Take this list in a slow and steady manner and begin making changes in your life to create a healthier future for our world’s children.  Try to make one change every week (or even every other week) so you don’t become overwhelmed. Another method of integrating these changes is this: As each product runs out, replace it with a healthier version. You will be surprised at the compounding results these little swaps will create over time.


In today’s fast-paced world, it’s essential to prioritize the health and well-being of our boys. As they grow and face various challenges, it becomes crucial to instill healthy habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. From infancy into adolescence, adopting a whole and healthy lifestyle can provide practices that promote physical, mental, and emotional health of our little men. Reducing exposure to hormonal disruptors, lays a foundation for healthier hormonal balance supporting their growth into healthy and resilient men. 


Remember that each child is unique, and it’s essential to adapt these principles to their individual needs. Let’s prioritize our young men’s health for a brighter and more vibrant future. If you desire personalized guidance and support, feel free to consult with one of our naturopathic providers. We are here to support you every step of the way! 


Unmasking the threat: Cardiovascular Disease in Men

by Janelle Bertler, Traditional Naturopathic Practitioner


Despite medical advances and technologies the leading cause of death worldwide for both men and women is cardiovascular disease (CVD). Heart disease claims millions of lives each year! Although CVD affects both men and women, let’s shed some light on the unique aspects of CVD in men.

  • According to the World Health Organization, approximately 17.9 million men die from CVD each year, accounting for more than half of all CVD related deaths globally.
  • Men tend to develop CVD at a younger age compared to women. On average, men experience heart disease about 10 years earlier than women, often during middle age.
  • Globally, heart disease and stroke account for approximately 1 in 4 male deaths, with some regions reporting even higher statistics. 


Let’s look at cardiovascular disease risk factors, symptoms, prevention and management strategies specifically pertaining to men.


Understanding Heart Disease:

Cardiovascular Disease encompasses a broad range of conditions that affect any part of the cardiovascular system: heart, blood vessels (including arteries, veins, and capillaries), or circulation of blood throughout the body. The most common types of CVD are coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, peripheral artery disease, arrhythmias, heart valve disorders and congenital heart defects. 


Risk factors associated with CVD in men include:

  • Age: especially for men 45 years or older
  • High Blood Pressure: In 2019 according to the WHO, around 35% of men age 18 and older have hypertension worldwide. 
  • High Cholesterol: Imbalanced LDL to HDL increases plaques, inflammatory response, and formation of blood clots.
  • Smoking: Damages blood vessels, promotes clots, and reduces healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Obesity and Poor Diet: Leads to elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammation.
  • Diabetes: Due to its potential to damage blood vessels and nerves
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Family history of CVD, especially if a close male relative ie: a father or a brother experienced heart disease at an early age.
  • Stress: Unmanaged psychological factors can lead to coping mechanisms, such as poor dietary choices and increased alcohol consumption, both of which increase risk of CVD.



Most people are aware of the classic symptoms of heart disease. The typical chest discomfort (pressure, tightness, squeezing or burning) with pain radiating to the arms, shoulders, jaw or back; often triggered by physical activity or emotional stressors. However, the symptoms can vary widely depending upon the specific condition involved. 

Here are some of the more mild and common symptoms connected with CVD:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical exertion or laying flat
  • Fatigue, even with minimal physical exertion
  • Weakness, caused by inadequate oxygen supply to the body’s tissues
  • Sweating excessively, unrelated to physical activity or external temperature, especially in conjunction with chest discomfort
  • Nausea or dizziness, sometimes associated by vomiting
  • Rapid or Irregular heartbeat 
  • Edema / Swelling, caused by fluid accumulation


Sometimes CVD symptoms are masked by other underlying medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes or chronic lung conditions. Other times, the symptoms are atypical and attributed to other non-deadly issues such as fatigue or indigestion. In the early stages of cardiovascular disease, there are usually no symptoms! Due to these factors a severe event such as stroke or heart attack may come without warning. The sudden event may be the first sign of disease – which is why heart disease is called a “silent killer.” 

According to the American Medical Association, the average age for men to have their first heart attack is around 65 years of age. Although disease processes could have begun as early as 40 years of age. Cardiovascular disease significantly impacts quality of life! However, many CVD’s are preventable or manageable through lifestyle modifications, regular monitoring and treatment by healthcare practitioners. It’s never too late to create change for improvement to the cardiovascular system. Let’s look at what you can control at home for a healthy heart and circulation system.


Prevention & Management Strategies:

Multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors are interconnected, one often affects the other. Which makes adopting a healthy lifestyle crucial in prevention and management. 

Lifestyle for a healthy cardiovascular system:

  • Engage in Regular Physical Activity: Physical activity maintains healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight, and overall cardiovascular fitness.
  • Quit Smoking: 88% of smokers worldwide are men
  • Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
  • Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
  • Maintain Healthy Weight
  • Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Regulation
  • Manage Stress
  • Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
  • Use medical professionals to monitor necessary blood markers for early detection and timely intervention


If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is time to be evaluated by your cardiologist! If you are ready for a protocol to move you towards further health resiliency, reach out to Longevity Health Center. We strive to support men to feel their best so they can show up in society with the strength to function at higher levels. Please share this with all the important men in your life.