10 Ways to Successfully Reduce Your Toxic Load in 2018
It is the beginning of another new year with new goals (or maybe the same ones again). This year make your “detox” goals a success by following these step by step guidelines with product suggestions included.
We are exposed to toxins daily from the water, air, soil, food and products. While at times we cannot avoid it such as walking by an area just heavily sprayed for weeds and inhaling it in or the chemicals used to sanitize your work environment. There are, however, many areas that we do have control over and we can do a great deal to reduce our toxic load.
While the EPA may report that many chemicals and toxins you are exposed to are not harmful, they typically look at these chemicals in isolation and consider the harm of just that one dose of one chemical.
Stop and think for a moment. A non -organic piece of fruit, such as an apple, may have 10, 12 even 20 or more chemicals on it. What happens to your body when you consume all those chemicals at once? As of now, no one still knows. (and by the way, don’t think you can wash them off, since on thin skinned fruits and veggies, these chemicals get absorbed)
What happens when you consume those chemicals from your food over years and years? Then add to that the chemicals in the water, soil, air and in your cleaning products to name a few? This is a toxic burden to the body.
Your liver is meant to remove toxins, but our modern lifestyle is also a toxic lifestyle. Our livers are in overdrive, constantly trying to keep up. Often it is a struggle. To support your liver, your health and your, start by slowly reducing the toxins that you do have control of. This will make a huge impact on your overall health!
I also created a swap chart to make it easier. Get the Toxin Swap chart here
Product Switch to Help You Reduce Your Toxic Load
How to Reduce Your Toxic Load This Year
Focus on just ONE of these on the list! Then move on to another one on the list. In one year, look at how much you have reduced your toxic load
Reduce the Amount of Times You Order Food at Work
These foods are not typically healthy. Even if you order a salad, the dressing has refined, rancid, inflammatory oils. The food is cooked in these same oils. Sometimes the oil in the fryers are not changed daily-yuk (and very unhealthy). Cold cuts are from animals that are fed a GMO, heavily processed diet and these animals are given hormones and antibiotic.
It is very challenging to avoid toxins when eating out or ordering in. If you order in every day, try to reduce this to 4, then 3 etc. If you must eat out often for business meals or travel for work, order grilled foods and instead of the fries or rice on the side, ask for extra serving of vegetables and order a salad to start the meal.
Some people make their own salad dressing and then bring it with them in a very small container. Skip the bread as it will fill you up, and raise your blood sugar and it does not provide you with any nutrients. For more on gluten go to Go Gluten Free or is it a Fad?
Cleaning products can be so harsh that they can irritate the lungs, eyes, throat and the skin. When I used to work in long term care, on the deep cleaning days, the place had a very strong chemical odor that caused asthma flare ups for one and made me cough and itch and gave other headaches and burning eyes. Some felt lightheaded from the breathing in of the chemicals.
The best website to use to find out what are safe products to use in your home is www.ewg.org. They state that just 7% of cleaning products disclose their contents adequately. According to the EWG, 53% of the products they reviewed contained lung harming ingredients.
Go to their site to see which products they gave an “A” to. I also like Air Biotic for cleaning products. They have travel sets and natural hand sanitizer if you are like to carry hand sanitizer with you. You can find their cleaning product here
Otherwise, you don’t need harsh chemicals to clean your home. White vinegar, lemon juice, borax and baking soda can often do the trick. Some store- bought brands that I like are Ecover All Purpose cleaner and Sevenths Generation All Purpose Cleaner. You can also buy them here and here
This site is also a good resource for a list of safe products to use, many of which you can find in your local store. https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/how-toxic-are-your-household-cleaning-supplies
We are now aware that a chemical in plastic called BPA (Bisphenol A) is harmful. It is a known endocrine disruptor. In fact, it was once used as an estrogen replacement drug for women. BPA can interfere with estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, insulin and other hormones so it is best to avoid it. Since it is an endocrine disruptor, it can impact your weight, insulin levels, and may increase your cardiovascular and cancer risk.
Mothers with high levels on BPA in their urine during pregnancy have children who are more likely to suffer from behavioral problems than children of mothers with low levels.
But did you know that even if a product says BPA free, the odds are that it contains other harmful chemicals in the plastic. These other chemicals known as BPS and BPF can be just as toxic for you and can have similar hormone disrupting effects.
Avoid bottles with the number 3,6, or 7 on the bottom. Avoid Styrofoam cups with the number 6 on the bottom. Avoid plastic containers that have 1, 2, 4 or 5 on them.
Don’t put plastic in the microwave or the dishwasher. Don’t put hot liquids into plastic. Minimize the amount of canned goods you use. If your plastic container is scratched, toss it.
Also, thermal receipts have chemicals on them such as the BPF and BPS. When you touch the receipt, these chemicals can be absorbed via your skin. Ask for the receipt to be emailed to you instead.
Avoid buying water in plastic water bottles. Use your own bottles and fill up with filtered water instead. (see info on water below). While you may not think your plastic, store bought, water bottle has been exposed to heat, this is untrue. You may have kept your bottle at safe temperatures, but think about the back of the truck that the water travels in to stores. Just the heat alone in the truck could cause toxins from the plastic to be released into the water.
Make the switch to glass and stainless steel. Spend some time going through your cabinets and tossing most of your plastic. Save money by buying a glass or stainless-steel water bottle and filling it up at home. Replace your plastic containers with glass or stainless steel. Pack lunch in healthier container options.
When you get your dry cleaning, take the plastic off before you come into the house and leave the clothes outside for a few hours, if you have a covered area. To dry clean your clothes, harsh chemicals and solvents are typically used.
If a dry cleaner calls itself “Green” or “Organic” do your homework first as it may sound too good to be true. Another option to consider is wet cleaning which may be safer and just as effective as dry cleaning.
As said above, use your own filtered water instead of spending your money on water in plastic bottles. In the end you will save money and it is healthier for you. Your city water contains numerous chemicals and can also contain residue from medications. Most city water adds fluoride which can suppress the thyroid and suppress IQ in children. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/#.Wh30q7hlCf0 is a site to plug in your zip code to see results of your water.
If you want to know why fluoride should not be in your drinking water, read Fluoride and its Impact on your Health
I personally like Berkey products and use the Berkey water bottle when I am traveling and use the Big Berkey in the home and fill up my glass and stainless -steel bottles with that water. We also use the Berkey shower filter. The Big Berkey is perfect for a family of four. Get it here and the here for the filtered water bottle. For the shower head click here
Shower Products/Body Care Products
We often do not think that what we put onto our bodies is a big deal but your skin in one of your largest organs and these creams, soaps, lotions and hair products all get absorbed.
I admit, I have not tried the cleaner shampoos and conditioners yet. I do buy mine from Natural Grocers, but I know there are still better options out there. The one I have set my sites on to try this month is called Morroccon Method.
As for soap, I love Dr. Bronner’s soap. They come in bars and liquid soaps. I use the tea tree one, but they have many options. Tea Tree has antibacterial properties. I also will cut the large bar into a smaller piece when I travel as I do not like the hotel soaps that are loaded with perfumes.
Your deodorant is another one that can be toxic for your body. Regular daily use of deodorant and antiperspirants can influence the bacteria amount and varieties in the arm pit. Antiperspirants can wipe out the bacteria and also wipe out odor but studies suggest that since these products disrupt the microbiome balance in the armpit, it can lead to even more foul smelling sweat. Aluminum is a common ingredient in these products and may play a role in breast cancer.
There are several clean deodorant products out there such as Fat and the Moon that people seem to really like. I personally make my own just using coconut oil, baking soda and arrow root. The nice thing is, that it lasts a very long time so you make it once and forget about it. If you are used to it having a scent, add in an essential oil that you like. Once you start to minimize toxin exposure, you will notice that you need deodorant less and less often. A shower with soap and water may be all that you need.
Toothpaste, even ones that look healthier such as Toms of Maine, will still contain fluoride. See the link under water to read more on fluoride.
My personal favorite and the one that I use and sell in my office is Revitin and you can also buy it here
For a toothbrush, I recommend Dr. Tungs Ionic Toothbrush and this is the one that I use.
For oral health, you can also swish 1 T. of coconut oil in your mouth daily for 15-20 minutes. Avoid the store- bought mouthwashes. Read 6 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch Your Mouthwash
Avoid the harsh laundry detergents, and again, go to www.ewg.org as they will have the best recommendations. Recently I switched to the Magnetic Laundry System (MLS) which are magnetic balls. It is more expensive than detergent up front but I don’t need to buy detergent anymore so in the long run it is worth it.
Coffee is a heavily sprayed crop. Up to 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers are sprayed per acre of conventional coffee. Some say the residue is burned off during roasting and others say it is cooked into the beans.
If you are a daily coffee drinker, consider switching to organic coffee to reduce your toxic load. Coffee has its benefits so if you are not dependent upon it for functioning daily, you don’t necessarily have to remove it from your diet.
This brand gets top marks for its care for people and the planet and it is organic.
Food And Cooking
Many toxins are on and in our foods! Reduce the processed food in your diet, as well as foods that are heavily packaged. When you reduce processed foods, you will automatically reduce a lot of extra packaging. There is no way to get around foods packaged in cans and plastics but by eating more whole foods you can minimize your exposure.
Look at the dirty dozen and clean 15 list on www.ewg.org to help you shop. Some foods you can save money on and not buy organic and others splurge on. Think of your meats, poultry and fish and what is added to conventional products such as hormones, antibiotics and GMO feed, on top of these animals not living in healthy conditions.
Glyphosate is now associated with intestinal permeability which can lead to a host of health conditions and some are now questioning if glyphosate is a contributing factor in celiac disease. I know organic can be expensive so do the best you can and avoid the conventional foods that are the most heavily sprayed.
If you are going gluten free, minimize the gluten free products since these often contain brown rice. Brown rice is high in arsenic, so you want to limit the amount you regularly consume. Gluten free foods also contain processed non- gluten fours and can be high in refined sugar. Save them as treats.
www.naturalhomebrands.com has some great products to use for at home cooking and food prep that are free of plastics and many are made with bamboo.
Try to not use tin foil if you can when cooking. It has been shown when used with acidic foods or when wrapped around hot foods the aluminum can leach into the foods. Aluminum has been associated with dementia and Parkinson’s. ( Aluminum can also be found in your deodorant and drinking water too). Instead of tin foil, use parchment for cooking or use cooking ware with glass lids for oven use. To store foods use glass containers instead of storing in foil. You can also wrap foods in wax paper and then seal in a bag.
This should be a process and could take a year to gradually remove toxins from your life. I can help you if you find the process to challenging or don’t know where to start.
Many of you will need to then address toxins at the cellular level. This applies to those of you with chronic fatigue or sleep issues, can’t lose weight, have an AI condition, have a mood disorder and those of you who just “feel like crap”. If this sounds like you, contact me for a more detailed detox approach.
If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need.
Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC.
For more information visit www.trufoodsnutrition.com
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As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.