I’m sure you’ve heard by now: You are what you eat. And, you are what you breathe. And, you are what you put on your skin! We live in some scary times; it seems there’s a new precaution at every turn. You may be asking yourself, how many preventative steps do we really need to take? Take a deep (cleansing) breath while I shed some light on some necessary tips to decrease your body burden
1. Organic when you can. In your quest to consume the most perfect foods, you can breathe a sigh of relief that NOT everything needs to be organic. Adhere to the “Dirty Dozen” & “Clean 15” lists; According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), the foods on the Dirty Dozen list contain between 47 and 67 chemicals when grown conventionally. (The DD are: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens and lettuce, green beans, cherries, potatoes and imported grapes.) The bright shining light in what seems like an endless tunnel of pesticides and other chemicals is the Clean 15. These fruits and veggies contain virtually no chemicals and pesticides when consumed conventionally. Tests show that 90 percent of these had one or fewer pesticides, and none had more than five types of pesticides. (The 15 are: onions, avocados, corn, pineapple, mangos, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi fruit, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes and mushrooms.)
2. Change a few key items. While most non-organic products contain a shocking amount of chemicals (see my blog on the “Dirty 30” chemicals in skincare, here are the products you should absolutely insist on being chemical free are:
- Perfume – I cringe when I think of the many years I faithfully sprayed perfume all over my “pulse points.” If you’re like most women, you liberally spray perfume all over your neck . You know what else is smack in that “spray zone?” Your thyroid! This delicate “master gland” is called as such due to the fact that it controls hundreds of metabolic activities and functions in the body! And you just sprayed it with carcinogenic hormone disruptors full of parabens, phthalates and synthetic chemicals!
- Deodorant – Aluminum, parabens and other chemicals smeared under our arms in a quest to smell clean – but is it worth it when the risks are Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer? Unfortunately, our underarms are another “sensitive” area as they contain lymph nodes (glands that are part of the lymphatic system, the body’s main detox network). Again, every time you use deodorant, you are putting chemicals right on an ultra-sensitive key gland of the body. Seriously, if I didn’t know better, it seems all of these so called “beauty” products are geared to “clog” up our bodies with toxins! Parabens have shown up in 99 percent of breast cancer cases!
- Toothpaste – Here we go again; yet another area of high sensitivity. Everyone knows that sublingual medicine works faster, but do you know why? The mouth, and more specifically under the tongue, contains millions of capillaries that are a direct route to the bloodstream. If medicine is deposited into the bloodstream quicker, so are chemicals! Time to give up your conventional toothpaste – opt for one that is fluoride and chemical free – trust me, your mouth won’t know the difference, but your body will!
3.Do some housecleaning. Another area of chemical abundance is in household cleaning supplies. These days, it’s very easy to swap out your conventional products for healthier options. Give up bleach and ammonia in favor of hydrogen peroxide. Think you need that bleachy, scouring concoction? Sea salt and baking soda do the same thing. Lemons and vinegar disinfect and brighten and leave a fresh scent. My favorite DIY home recipe is carpet refresher: I simply take baking soda, blend it with purifying essential oils and sprinkle on my carpet, let it sit a few hours and vacuum to a super soft, clean smelling, chemical-free carpet! Another household area that is rarely considered is food storage – do you use plastic containers? Wrap your leftovers in aluminum foil or plastic wrap? Frequently reheat things in the microwave in plastics, etc.? Before I recommend you throwing out your microwave (remember – baby steps!), I suggest you start stockpiling glass storage containers; most of them can be used to heat foods in the microwave or oven, and the best part of all is they’ll last forever. Plus, they’ll never “smell” like your recent leftovers, or become stained.
4. Maintain the temple. The easiest way to clear your body of toxins is to get ample exercise. Not only will you release toxins from your sweat, but also through breathing! The top choices are: rebound exercises, sauna and yoga. Finish off with a soothing detox bath with Epsom salt, and you’ll be on your way to a cleaner body.
While this list is certainly not the definitive list on releasing your body of toxic chemicals, it certainly is a start. Aim to begin these immediately, and in no time you’ll be ready to take on some greater feats (like ditching the chemical-laden cosmetics and throwing out your microwave!).