Your alarm clock goes off and you have the best intentions to make it a good day with a morning walk and healthy meals. By mid-day you feel drained or unmotivated, you may have a headache or an allergy attack, and 5 pm can’t come quickly enough. You jump on the scale and it hasn’t budged at all. You just don’t feel on your game, and you realize you are missing something.
You may be aware of environmental attacks on your system, but have you ever realized just HOW many times a day you are exposed to silent toxins – whether they are in your food or in your environment?
The list is endless but let’s break it down as simply as possible. There are over 90,000 chemicals in our country most of which are unregulated and not tested on humans for safety or toxicity. What you ingest and what touches your body on the outside are equally as harmful. How do you avoid being a sitting duck and educate yourself on what is affecting you on a moment-to-moment basis?
The categories to be aware of are beauty and personal care products, clothing and detergents, food and water, cookware and cooking, and home environment. Since going through all these categories in detail would take more than a blog (and future blogs) let’s start with some basics:
Personal care products: this list is long but if you use beauty products and makeup see this blog for how to begin the process. Most of these products contain phthalates and parabens (a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable), which are endocrine disruptors (think things that highjack your metabolism and hormones). Other products to consider are lotions, hair products, toothpaste and dental floss, aluminum-based deodorants, Botox, and if you have amalgam fillings in your mouth (mercury). I’ve blogged about a few replacements with links to those above. A meal can feed your body for a few hours but putting products on your skin can “feed” your body for much longer (or until the next shower).
Clothes and Detergents: the detergents/fabric softener sheets, dry cleaning chemicals all affect and highjack your system. Think about it – all these fragrances are manufactured with the illusion of giving you a sense of clean clothes, but these clothes have now become a vehicle for the chemicals to rub against your skin for an extended period of time. I had a few clients who used dry cleaning for many of their clothes and had endocrine challenges and when they switched to green cleaning the medical challenges disappeared. A hard one is starting to think about the fabrics you wear and how they are treated– many health care professionals are now recommending using 100% organic cotton.
Home Environment: this one is quite extensive and includes cleaning products, air fresheners, aerosols, candles, fragrances in multiple products, mattresses, furniture glues, paint, carpet, and air pollution.
Cookware and cooking: storing food in plastic, using non-stick cookware and cooking with most oils (including olive oil) produce AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End Products which accumulate in the body and cause chronic disease). Heavy metals can come from cookware so choose carefully.
Food and Water: water (unfiltered) is the biggest category, followed by pesticides (glyphosate AKA Roundup), herbicides, heavy metals, plastics (drinking out of plastic bottles with contain BPA), ingredients in your food such as titanium dioxide (creamers, candy, baking decorations), propyl paraben (extends shelf life of food and is in many packaged and baked products including corn tortillas), brominated vegetable oils (used in sports drinks, and sodas especially the colored ones), and food dyes (especially red dye #3 in baked goods, snacks, cereals, candies, sodas). Even herbs/spices and chocolate can contain heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and lead.
It’s mind boggling when you think about it and speaks to why people get diagnosed with unexplained illnesses such as cancer, neurological, endocrine, and cardiac challenges, infertility, etc.
So where do you start? It’s too difficult to tackle all at once so begin with what makes sense to you.
Here’s some suggestions. Pick what you like and leave the rest until you’re ready to tackle another one:
Consider a water filter that filters pharmaceuticals, lead, mercury, chlorine, fluoride, etc. I recently bought One Water Systems due to meeting the requirements above but see what is in your area and budget and go from there. A whole house system is important since you want to drink, shower, and rinse your food with filtered water and feed your plants health.
Look at ingredients in the food you buy. Foods without a label are the best but the next best is looking to see if there are ingredients as above and/or fake sweeteners and inflammatory oils (such as soybean, vegetable, canola, etc.). Buy organic foods and spices to avoid pesticides and heavy metals.
As your personal care products run out consider trying out a toxic free toothpaste, deodorant, perfume, and personal care products. Many of my blogs have links to the ones I recommend.
Change your cleaning products to green or use vinegar or essential oils – here’s a link to a website for some suggestions. Avoid regular dry cleaners and switch to green cleaners.
Get rid of all air fresheners and plug ins that are not natural and consider an air diffuser that uses essential oils such as eucalyptus, sage, peppermint, orange.
Change cookware to porcelain or ceramic to avoid PFAS, lead and cadmium. When cooking use grass-fed butter, ghee, organic coconut oil or avocado oil to avoid the AGE’s and acrolein (toxic substance produced when oils become hot).
Buy a 100% cotton shirt or two and observe how your body feels when you wear it. This one surprised me and as I starting to replace my wardrobe, I felt better, and my energy levels increased.
Even small changes over time will start to take the toxic load off your system. Eliminating just 1 or 2 toxins can help with waking up with more energy or sustaining it throughout the day and avoiding the afternoon slump, headache or allergy attack.
Awareness and taking charge of your health is more challenging than any time in history and our health and longevity depends on it. You may not feel well or be able to lose weight despite your best efforts because of the toxins you are being exposed to daily. However, cleaning up toxins over time will help and at some point when your alarm goes off you will feel better and energized throughout the day!