TOXINS – PART 2
So now that we know what toxins are and the terrible damage they can cause – and why detoxing is so important – we need to discuss the next big issue… How do we reduce our exposure to toxins and prevent these issues in future?
Doing regular detoxes to cleanse our body and our diet helps to reduce our toxic load – but by making small, yet valuable, changes to our everyday life we have the power to reduce our everyday toxin exposure to lessen the burden of future toxic buildups. Whilst we’ll never be completely free of toxin exposure (think back to that list of common toxins in part 1 – they’re everywhere!), there’s lots we can do to reduce it and prevent our body’s natural detoxification system from becoming overloaded.
There are 4 key areas of our lives that need attention when it comes to reducing toxin exposure – Diet, Lifestyle, Home and Mind. These are the areas we have the most control over and where simple, practical changes can be made with very little disruption to our daily lives.
Following a clean, healthy diet is the foundation for not only reducing the amount of toxins we eat, but supporting our digestive function to limit the amount of new toxins being made in our gut. But we’re not expected to be perfect all of the time – simply do your best to shop and eat smart. Our lifestyle refers to all of the decisions we make, whether healthy or not, because they impact our wellbeing. Our lifestyle is led by our decisions and our habits – so be present and conscious of your decisions – recognise what’s best and then create the habit.
Home is where your heart is, where your family is, and where your healthy self thrives. Slowly adopting some changes can help turn your home from a toxic hive to a healthful hub, and protect your family’s wellbeing. And a toxic mind makes toxic choices. Make stress management and emotional support a priority. Not only does it help to relieve inflammation that can exacerbate toxin symptoms, it also helps us to make better, less toxic decisions.
Tips to reduce your toxin exposure:
- Try to choose fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables
- Buy the fruits and vegetables you eat the most organic
- Avoid packaged and processed foods
- Limit foods containing artificial colours, flavours, additives, stabilisers and flavour enhancers, as well as foods containing hydrogenated fats
- When eating out, enquire about any hidden, unwanted ingredients (such as MSG)
- Get plenty of antioxidants from berries, green tea, and leafy greens
- Cut back on alcohol
- Do a detox once or twice each year
- Have a regular exercise routine – regular light to moderate exercise helps to improve circulation, eliminate toxins through sweat, and deliver much needed oxygen to your cells
- Go a day or two without makeup – give your skin a break from the toxins in cosmetics, it’ll give your liver a break too
- Don’t sleep with your phone too close – EMF emissions are toxic, especially to your thyroid gland, so sleep with your phone further away to decrease exposure
- Be proactive when catching up with friends – suggest going for a walk or bike ride instead of meeting for a coffee or beer
- Switch to natural cleaning products, especially in the kitchen – find which products have cleaner alternatives and plan to swap these out when you run out. Examples include laundry powder, laundry liquid, bleach, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid/tablets, cooking utensils, cleaning products, bathroom products, personal care products, deodorants, perfumes and cosmetics.
- Change to BPA free plastics or use only glass containers and bottles
- Stop heating food in plastic or storing hot food into plastic containers – this results in plastics leaching into your food!
- Check for these “Free From” items on product labels – Phthalates will be listed as “fragrance”, Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), chlorine, BPA (although the alternatives used may be potentially as harmful). Personal care products should be free from SLS or SLES, mineral oil or petrochemicals, talc and in deodorants that can contain aluminium and parabens. In cleaning products be aware of ammonia.
- Have indoor plants -they help to absorb toxins from the air. Easy to care for plants such as Aloe vera, bamboo and peace lilies work wonderfully to mitigate environmental toxins.
- Arrest your stress – identify strategies that work for you to lower stress your levels such as; reading, meditating, exercising, breath work, stretching, journaling or walking
- Consider the toxic emotions that may be weighing you down – when you notice yourself caught in the grip of unhealthy thought patterns, stop for a moment, breathe, and reframe your thoughts into something more positive
- Make time to do the things that make you happy
Now, no-one is perfect. We don’t expect you to become a toxin-free goddess overnight and implement all of these changes at once. Honestly, it’s unrealistic. Instead, start by choosing 1 thing from each category and build on them. You could start replacing your plastic containers with glass ones slowly each week, and buying your favourite fruit from an organic grower. Then try to sleep with your phone a little further away, and do 5 minutes of meditation 3 times per week. And build and build.
Don’t just eat healthy, think and live it too. You’ll be surprised how good you feel.