Detox. That's a word that really divides people. From the pushers of The Master Cleanse Diet, to the hard core “there's no such thing as a detox, you're a criminal and should be arrested!!!” (this is a true story FYI).
Well I fall somewhere in the middle. I do see too many “detoxes” sold to people as short term often weight loss gimmicks that offer no real long term solutions, and many are just versions of fasting or promote healthy eating, which should be done anyways. But I also know that there are a number of facts as well with the human body that adds some credibility to the idea of detoxing.
There are a number herbs and plants that can help certain organs operate better. For example, milk thistle does help stimulate the liver. DIM does help metabolize estrogen better, so we can excrete it.
There are a HUGE amount of chemical substances in our environments and foods that our bodies have not evolved with; artificial sweeteners, colours, pesticides, herbicides, medications, chlorine, etc.
There are also substances such as heavy metals and molds in our environments as well that can have negative affects on us.
There are herbs and plants that can both relate and cling to many of these substances to help get them out of the body. Chorella + Cilantro can mobilize and remove the heavy metal mercury. Sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts can help excite benzine and acriline from exhaust and high heat pollution. These are just 2 examples of many.
What I choose to focus on instead is removing the root causes of these toxins. I have 0 belief that by doing a week long “detox” from a bottle then going right back to your normal lifestyle helps you in any way. I prefer to really look into where these toxins are coming from, and how we can EASILY remover them, with no disruption of your daily life, or your families.
Below, I will show you the first level of my home and body detox with 5 simple changes you can make this week.
1. Fix your water. Water has chlorine, and often fluoride added. Chlorine is needed. We need it to kill germs and microbes in the water. But, we don’t need it in our bodies. Flouride on the other hand is really not needed in our bodies in any way. So we want to use a filter in both our drinking water AND in our shower/baths.
There are of course a multiple number of other trace chemicals being found in our water like plastics, medications, hormones, etc, and we can’t really get obsessive with this, but by using a good 3 - 5 stage filter, or reverse osmosis filter machine is a great start. make sure your filter also uses a charcoal filter as well.
To make your water even better, especially if using RO or distillation, make sure to reintroduce some minerals by using either sea slats, Himalayan salts, or trace minerals.
2. Fix your air. Indoor air, no MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, can be 3 - 10X more polluted than outdoor air. Why? Because outdoor air flows, theres trees, it disperses toxins like smoke, fumes, etc. However, you indoor air doesn’t do this. Many people rarely open their windows, don’t have any plants growing, and if they do, may not be the best plants for cleaning the air, and very little air flow. This means trapping toxins and chemicals inside. From off gassing of your expensive furniture, to your freshly “cleaned “ laundry or even worse dry cleaning, the perfumes, the harsh chemical cleaners you use, and the list goes on.
A simple solution start is opening a window. Keep a couple cross breeze windows open, even a crack, just to generate one air movement and exchange. Add a ceiling fan as well which can help move the air around better as well as helping maintain a better temperature.
For scents I simply use pure essential oils. I cannot recommend you get rid of all the cheap Glade Plug Ins, and all those jelly plastic air fresheners and switch to simple yet amazing diffusers. Essential oils not only provide a great range of scents, they can also clean the air, have medicinal and cognitive effects as well. Just make sure to research which ones as some can walk you up, some can make you tired, and some are not good around pets of babies.
My final hack is taken from my years living in Asia. Take off your shoes at the door. Shoes are said to bring in tip to 80% of indoor air pollution. I simple keep my shoes outside, and you can even place a small rack by your front door to keep them off the ground. If taking them inside, take off at the door, have a front entrance mat on both inside, and out, and whatever you do, don’t walk through your home in shoes! Would you lick your shoes if I gave you 5 bucks? The why would wear them across your homes floors?
3. Fix your cosmetics & soaps: The things we pul on our bodies can affect our health in so many negative ways, yet its very easy to start to fix them as well. The first thing I suggest is deciding what do you really need. Moisturizer? Ok. Shower soap? Ok. Laundry Soap? Ok. Lipstick? Ok. Really try to minimize what you need. Honestly I think way to many people, and women in particular, have way to many cosmetic and beauty products, and we can probably really cut down on these if we look at what we actually use daily or weekly.
Now that we have reduced them down, lets look at how to replace them. For soaps, I use Dr. Bronners and Everyone soaps. I sue these for both hand soap, shower soap, shaving soap and shampoo. But you can also use them for hand washing dishes, laundry (adding some cheap white vinegar), and home cleaning including mopping floors.
For moisturizer I tend to use either virgin coconut oil, or all natural Shea butter, which I love. I use Pure Shea Butter from the African Fair Trade Society, and I think it works very well. Virgin coconut oil on the other hand also has a mild UVA protection benefit, so Ill use that in the summer often.
You can also get natural toothpastes that use coconut, charcoals, tea tree, natural mouthwashes, and pretty much anything else you use. From essential oil body sprinters, to essential oil perfumes.
I personally use a simple Rock Crystal deodorant stick. It's made from just natural rock salt, last for years and is only $3.00. How can you beat that?
4. Fix your food: This one is a bit trickier. The simple answer is “buy organic”, but that's not the absolute solution. While organic is great, they still use poisons to kill bugs, and often organic farms are found intermixed with conventional farms, meaning crops contamination. Not to mention they still get touched by people, shipped in various manners, exposed to various machinery, etc. So what we need to do is Deep Clean our foods, regardless of whether they are organic or not. One company I have found is EatCleaner. This company product clean 99% of all pesticides, mild, bacterias and even fruit waxes. And not just from the skins. They even tested soaking strawberries, the worlds #1 pesticide packed fruits, and EastCleaner removed over 96% of pesticide and toxins from within the strawberries.
So if you can, buy organic. But even if you do, still clean them well. Water and vinegar does an okay job, but look for a solid researched product like EatClener to get “the deeper clean”. They even have Poultry and Seafood cleaners as well
For dairy and meats, this is where you can try to do 2 things:
1- Treat meat and dairy like treat a condiment. There is no reason to really not eat less meat overall for our health.
2 - Try to get these in organic or free range. The fact is typical meats are chock full of antibiotics and hormones. For dairy, consider again, organic, or even goat or coconut milks.
5. Fix your food/beverage storage. Besides focussing on less toxic foods, and cleaning them really well, we also have to be aware of how we store foods. The issue is that today all of our foods usually come wrapped in plastic, canned in plastic lined bottles, wrapped in Styrofoam and plastic wrap, and store in our homes in plastic Tupperware’s. Plastics regardless in ANY WAY if they are BPA free are not healthy for us. They have a number of substances that can affect out hormone health, and even the health of your future children via changes to our endocrine system leading to possible epigenetic adaptations.
The first thing we want to do is make sure that you are storing most if not all your foods in glass containers at home. This is especially important for liquid foods or beverages. Hard and dry foods like pastas are not as much of a risk, however, I still choose to store these as often as I can in glass as well, if not just for the functional feng shui benefits of having the healthier food options on display reminding me to eat well. But foods like sauces, oils, acids (vinegar), etc. Also important is not not heat your foods or beverages inelastic containers. One of the worst things are plastic coffee makers and kettles. If you have one of these toss it out and invest in a stainless steel one, these are literally about only $10 more in many case. last longer, look better, and have a lot less health disrupting issues. Think about it, these machines not only heat water in them, they also store the water sometimes for hours or even a day at times.
For meats, and anything wrapped in plastic wraps, try to get them out of the plastic as fast a possible, give it a rinse and wrapped in paper. If you can, try to buy your meats from a local butcher, that wraps meats in old school paper.
While canned foods may on the outside look like a better choice, that insides are another story. The cans have a seal in them that is made from a BPA plastic, so these are a terrible choice when it comes to our health. Try to get your fresh vegetables in the fresh, loose grocer section and use paper bags (often only available by the loose mushrooms).
The long story short, when dealing with food storage try to cut down on storing foods in plastics, or buying foods that come packed in plastic.
With these 5 steps to launching your new detox lifestyle you will be well on your way to decreasing the risks of a number of our modern chronic health issues. The evidence is mounting more and more everyday that these invisible and often ignored toxins are affecting our health, from cognitive issues, to infertility issues, to age related diseases like Parkinson’s, cancers and Alzheimers disease.
Watch for part 2 in this 2 part series Advanced Detox practices, where I go into some the higher level and deeper ways to detox your home and body.
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