Welcome Spring! I’ve found that focusing my energy on strengthening my body and detoxing has been a beautiful spiritual practice and want to share with you what I’ve learned on this path (so far).
The new life energy coming forth from the earth creates an inspiring time of year to purge our bodies of its heavy toxic load. The toxic load we carry comes from both what we absorb from our environment every day and what has been passed down to us through our parents and those before them. These toxins can build up in our system and cause chronic health conditions such as anxiety, headaches, dizziness, weight gain etc.
If you are interested in improving your health and state of wellness, this is a great place to begin. Nothing harsh, just a few simple changes that when combined, can have a tremendous impact. It’s also a good practice in changing routines, nourishing your body and truly listening to what it is telling you. I found that in the beginning, some of the changes in diet and lifestyle brought up all kinds of emotions and resistance inside me. It felt challenging to follow this path when society was telling me to eat, drink and be merry because I “deserved” it. So this is a very different perspective, eat well, avoid things that can increase your toxic load, and be kind and gracious to yourself- because my dear ones, this is what we deserve.
Things to avoid or eliminate from your routines:
- Plastics– We have been wrapping ourselves in plastic since the 70’s and it has leached into everything;our food, our water supply, and our bodies. Plastics are particularly harmful to our reproductive systems, they may contain the chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) and phythalates.
- plastic wrap & baggies- avoid wrapping your food in plastic at all costs, use reusable containers when possible.
- plastic containers- I find that glass containers such as pyrex work great! Never reheat food in plastic.
- shower curtain liner ( these contain phythalates which can damage sperm)
- EMF’s– Electromagnetic frequencies are everywhere. They are emitted from anything electronic ( computers, cell phones, cars, airplanes, appliances etc). The problem with EMFs is that they interfere with our body’s own electrical frequencies which can prevent our body from letting go off toxic heavy metals and can cause adverse health conditions, both neurological and otherwise (i.e. cancer, insomnia, anxiety, headaches). Since EMFs are everywhere, you may want to take precautions. One product I use is made by Memon. I wear a memonizerBody on my wrist and have a memorizerMobile on my cell phone. I also have organite throughout each room in my home and on my desk at work where I sit with my computer throughout the day. You can also remove electronics from your bedroom, run appliances such as the dishwasher or dryer when you are out of the room, and turn off your wifi at night. For all men out there, never carry your cell phone in your front pants pocket.
- Chemicals– This is a fairly broad category. As a guideline, I only buy products that are cruelty free, plant based, environmentally friendly, and free of dyes, fragrances and preservatives. The fewer ingredients, the better.
- Household- Think of your home environment as a sacred space. We need to take extra care not to pollute this space with toxins. Nothing works better than good old vinegar, lemons, baking soda and peroxide and there are many websites devoted to cleaning with these items. If you can’t part with the convenience of a bottled cleaner, I like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, and my newest fave, Ecos.
- Beauty products & nail polish- This is a tough one for a lot of people, but we really need to be looking at what we are putting on our body. Many products out there are laden with harsh ingredients, parabens, toxic fumes and dyes. If possible, opt for using food grade products on your body. Some that I love include Lux shea butter for my face, and coconut oil for my body. I am also loving this oil based facial cleanser.
- Toxic/Heavy Metal Exposure– These metals include lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and aluminum. They can be found everywhere, but especially in fish and processed cheese, vaccines, nasal sprays, fertilizers, plastics and antiperspirants. A great first step to reduce toxic metal exposure is to ditch the antiperspirant! It took me quite a while to find a really good deodorant that I love, but you will not be disappointed in Primal Pit Paste.
- Pesticides/ Herbicides– I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but eating organic dramatically reduces your exposure to toxins. If you can’t afford or find organic produce in your area, try to avid the dirty dozen as much as possible. When I first started out, I would keep a list on my phone and reference it whenever I went to the grocery store. The dirty dozen includes the following foods listed from most to least contaminated:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Meat and Dairy Products– This list could not be complete without mentioning meat and dairy products. From a toxicity standpoint, the fat and protein compounds in these products clog the liver causing it to be sluggish and reducing its ability to do it’s job of filtering the blood and removing toxins from the body. Simply said, if your liver is sluggish (or fatty), the toxins stay put! in addition, meat and dairy contain high amounts of growth hormones (there is no such thing as hormone free, all animals in the industry have been exposed), antibiotics and adrenal compounds (from the slaughtering process). Increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption will improve overall liver function and go a long way in detoxing your body.
- Added Sugar– Yes, it’s really bad for us. It’s corrosive to our system and damaging to our organs (and dairy is liquid sugar meant to grow a baby calf/goat/lamb). If you feel a sweet craving coming on, grab a piece of fruit or use some maple syrup or dates in your baking- you won’t be disappointed. The glucose from fruit is extremely important for brain health and body functioning, so indulge as often as possible. For more information on the healing powers of fruit (and vegetables) check out Anthony William’s latest book, Life Changing Foods.