When I say detox from the world, I mean the world of toxins!
This post is not about a digital detox. I honestly believe we all need to step back and see how we can detox from the world of toxins we are immersed in. Yes, of course, I think we can interpret the word “toxic” to mean many things, but in this case, I literally mean toxins. I’m not going to go overboard as I have seen other websites and well-known, well-intentioned experts do when discussing toxins. I have decided to deliver to you accurate and more practical advice here.
Personal motivation regarding detoxification:
Without going into the gory details, here’s a preview of what I can fully disclose to you in about a year. We built a beautiful new home on the water and moved in December 23, 2013. The problems began shortly after and long story short, we had mold.
A Lot of mold. Mold in our beautiful brand new home? Yes, indeed. New homes are actually more apt to develop mold issues as a result of new building codes and more rapid “get ’em done” building procedures. Construction and HVAC defects left us with a house that made us sick.
That is all I can say right now, but it “goes to motivation” to detox from the world, your honor. So, if you have ONE “toxin issue” such as mold, dust mites, lyme disease or any one of a number of things, you must decrease your “toxin load.”
In my opinion, though, everyone should endeavor to decrease their toxin load. I daresay that, after reading about mycotoxins, herbicides, fungicides, organic versus non-organic products and so on for months that I’m fully convinced a full 25% or more of metabolic syndrome, leaky gut, heart disease, auto-immune disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease has environmental toxins as a component—if not a direct causative agent.
I’m no Erin Brokovich, but I think there are more cases of Chromium-6-like issues than we are addressing. Not to digress into politics, but I don’t see any help coming from Washington on this either. We must take it upon ourselves to detox from the world of toxins we are increasingly living in. I’m going to use not only “scientific literature,” but what I’m actually doing to help you on your journey to living a “doable” very-low-toxin-load life (toxin-free is impossible!). Let’s start with the basics—water and food.
Your drinking water:
Please don’t tell me you’re drinking tap water. Our infrastructure is decaying which includes all pipes. Flint Michigan is not the only city to have lead detected, and I daresay many municipalities have lead and “more” in their drinking water but just haven’t tested for it. Furthermore, there is just no place for fluoride in drinking water. Studies repeatedly show it holds no benefit for teeth. It can also be linked to many health issues including Alzheimer’s and possibly cancer.
If finances are not an obstacle for you, then please install a reverse osmosis filtration system. There are “countertop” filtration options, but they are almost as expensive if you keep up with the filter replacements. Bottled water can also end up costing as much, is terrible for the environment, and is quite a pain in the neck to lug home from the grocery store. The least expensive way to stay supplied with fresh water is to get a big jug at the grocery store, use a hand pump system and just keep refilling that. We have this system for hurricane season, and it works just fine.
All of your water:
I don’t want to be a nag about water, but it contains stuff you don’t want to drink nor absorb. You also don’t want to bathe your fruits and vegetables in it. Let’s talk about showering first. Your skin is your biggest organ, and during a shower, you absorb what you’re showering in. Either purchase a charcoal filtration system which you can fit at the portal of entry from your water source to your home to filter all water, everywhere or install place by place. Filters are made for showers. You can purchase these at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s. You need a new filter about every 4-6 months. If you don’t have the charcoal filter and want to be prudent, find a filter for the spigot where you wash your produce and brush your teeth, or bring a water bottle with you for when you brush your teeth.
Why Should you “Eat Organic?”:
Holy smokes! There are so many reasons! I’ll give you the big ones just in case you need me to “make a case.” This is where you really need to believe that health means oh-so-much more than money because, quite frankly, eating organic, grass-fed, cage-free, grain-fed-free, antibiotic-free, organic, non-GMO is more expensive than buying whatever looks appealing.
Since this blog is about toxins, I’m only going to mention you need to eat an anti-inflammatory diet plan for optimal health. In the context of that plan, you cut out sugar, highly processed foods and eat the way I’m going to discuss. So, if you want the “whole deal” then just circle back to that blog just mentioned. If you want it in PDF form, email me, and I’ll send it as an attachment to you. Let me just illustrate one thing which eludes most people as an “organic concept.” When you “imagine this,” I’ll wager that you’ll “get it” regarding the big organic picture.
Let’s talk about the simple concept of grain-hay-feed fed cows for meat/dairy versus cows which are eating non-pesticide sprayed grass. Were you aware that stored hay and grains fed to “livestock” were typically doused with fungicides? Yes, that’s right, fungus-killing agents. This all began years ago when Dupont introduced its huge money-maker benomyl to the U.S. marketplace. At one point dairy cows were fed this fungicide which was ultimately declared a “possible carcinogen” by the EPA despite proof of tumors in dogs and cattle and lawsuits settling in favor of plaintiffs for children born without eyes.
I’m not trying to gross you out here, but I hope to demonstrate that big companies have a lot of leeway and many years to get you sick before anyone dares to stop them. The reason I’m singling out this particular fungicide (there are many) is that a slew of experts point to it’s use in the evolution of mycotoxin production in several species of mold. This is a whole other story which I’ll discuss another time for those of you who find it interesting. What I find fascinating is that indoor, mycotoxin-producing mold is found all over the U.S. in up to 50% of buildings. Conversely, in Scotland, for example, where fungicides are and have always been universally banned, indoor molds do NOT produce mycotoxins. Hmm. I know that was a big veer-off from spraying toxic stuff on grains, but I’m trying to get you thinking here.
Hormones, Antibiotics, and GMO
Obviously, I’m saying pay a little extra for organic meats and dairy. I haven’t even mentioned the hormones and antibiotics used, or the mycotoxin-binders (clays, charcoals) fed to cows and pigs. Wow, I’m just grossing myself out now, but you get the point. Don’t feed yourself second-hand “garbage.” This goes for fruits and veggies, too. In fact, strawberries just made it to the top of the “dirty dozen” list for 2017 meaning the #1 most pesticide laden produce. You cannot wash this stuff off. I know they look so red, plump and juicy but they are toxic waste. Look up what you “must” buy as organic and what is OK to purchase non-organic.
Don’t buy any GMO and I don’t care who says there is no proof about GMO. Do you think there is any money in suppressing evidence sort of like the tobacco companies did for over 25 years? Use your head; GMO organisms were created to make money by decreasing spoilage and/or pest susceptibility. A lower chance of pest and weed susceptibility means they use an average of 10x the amount of pesticides on GMO crops!! Again, you can’t get it off or out because it’s embedded in the product.
Read labels please:
Here is where you need to read labels and be extremely conscious. Unless the label reads otherwise, all U.S. corn, soy and wheat are GMO. This means the fillers in medications and supplements (typically corn or soy) are also GMO. You can look at labels and get non-GMO for supplements and check with your Pharmacist about medications. Remember, gluten, organic, and GMO does not have to be labeled on foods, so it’s up to the consumer to check this.
As far as cans and plastics go, look for both BPA-free and BPS-free. BPS is often used instead of BPA in plastics, so those are the two “biggies.” Don’t microwave food in any plastics, plastic containers or bags with a plastic lining. I’m not going to go overboard and give you data about molecular changes from microwaving, but let’s just say that if you can choose to boil, slow-cook, or bake rather than microwave, opt to do so.
Cosmetics and toiletries:
Again, recall that anything you apply to your scalp (shampoo, conditioner, hair dye), skin (moisturizers, cosmetics), nails (formaldehyde in some nail polishes as well as the chemicals in acrylics), fluoride in toothpaste, aluminum in deodorant are absorbed as toxins. I’m certainly not suggesting that you “go without”—I’m just saying that this all adds to your “toxin load.”
It’s easy to use a natural toothpaste, no toothpaste or a pinch of baking soda. It’s also easy to check with the EWG website to see what products (make-up, skin care, shampoo, etc.) are “safe” and organic. You want to avoid parabens in topical products and formaldehyde in nail products. You might want to use aluminum-free deodorant. Again, “pick your poison” meaning eliminate what you think might be a poison for you. It’s very easy to find high-quality products which are safer than others which might be more “popular.”
Scientific data has shown “old root canals” can be infected easily. These infections are being increasingly implicated in (of all things) heart disease, and goodness knows what else will emerge as a problem. Just have a low-radiation (check this!) upper and lower panoramic X-ray annually if you have root canals. Note the debate continues about whether or not to remove mercury fillings.
The reason there is a debate is that if not removed by a “biological dentist,” your system can be flooded with mercury if the fillings are removed incorrectly. This can be pricey, so I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to run out and remove these fillings. Dentists are not “supposed” to use mercury or “silver” fillings nowadays, so my first suggestion is to make darned sure your dentist is “on board” with non-silver amalgams.
Then, if you are someone who is suffering from a high toxin load or you just have an interest in removing these things, get a biological dentist and protect yourself with chelating agents such as zeolite. If you have mercury fillings, I would suggest using a zeolite spray as part of your daily regimen. It clears mercury quite well, and if you’re chewing, you’re “leeching” some mercury out of those blasted fillings. I didn’t mention the mercury in fish during my “food discussion” because I hope you are aware of the fish which have high mercury levels. If not, please get familiar with that information which you can find on my blog and elsewhere.
Clothing and Washing:
Organic cotton is the ideal fabric so when you can buy organic cotton, that’s the best thing for you and the environment. Using low phosphate detergent is also better for you and the environment. Dry cleaning is bad for both you and the environment, but here are two suggestions. The do-it-yourself dry cleaning “system” you can do in your dryer is a lot less toxic and a lot less expensive. If you “must” use a dry cleaning service, see if you can find one that will do a drop-off and have garments dropped off outside where you can remove the plastic and air them out before bringing the VOC’s (volatile organic chemicals) into your home.
If you live in a city and are breathing polluted air outside you should make sure the air in your home is nice and clean. We’ll discuss that in a moment, but back to pollution first. Pollution worsens oxidative stress which you should know about if you follow my blog. If you don’t, here is an article about oxidative stress relief. Now, back to indoor air quality.
As someone who has just been out of my home for literally months during “remediation” I can tell you that if you are at all concerned about mold, the first thing to do is do a test you can purchase online from a company called Mycometrics. If it’s positive, get experts in—don’t mess with mold yourself. Seriously. Also, make sure the air from the garage or wherever you store things that produce VOC’s (gasoline, herbicides, turpentines) doesn’t “communicate” with your home interior. I now think it’s very important to HEPA-filter your air. One, portable unit per floor is sufficient. The best product out there appears to be (per our “mold remediators” and most experts) the IQ-Air brand.
Let me mention cleaning products:
Vinegar and water and essential oils are safe to use. I’m certainly no expert here though, and there are blogs galore from people who are experts. Here is what I did. Having others do my house cleaning is a luxury I am happy to be able to afford. I found an “organic cleaning service, and they only use “safe” products which don’t have that eww-chemical smell. The owner makes her own products and sells them to customers, too. These services seem to be springing up, presumably due to consumer demand for “natural” products. If you can’t afford to hire a service, I’ll bet you can find an owner who will sell you products. Invest in a HEPA-filtered vacuum if you don’t already have one.
Detox from the world products:
There is a lot of great scientific literature about far and near-infrared saunas; so much, in fact, that I purchased one. I love all of the benefits from decreasing toxin load to relieving achy muscles and much more. If you go this route, find one that is all-natural inside. You don’t want to detox in a sauna which is all glued together.
Further, detox methods such as juice fasts and things of that nature don’t do anything to decrease toxin load. If you like a lemon juice and water or other juice you are “regularly” doing, that’s fine. I’m just focusing on what has actual proof to decrease toxin load, that’s all.
Activated charcoal tabs (made from coconut husks) are safe and likely to be an effective daily detox from positively charged molecules such as some heavy metals. Zeolite powder or spray is a good all-purpose detoxifier and works for things from heavy metals to fluoride to pesticide residues.
There is some research on bentonite clay but it’s mostly in animal feed, so I can’t really recommend that one right now. The resin binder cholestyramine is used to bind mycotoxins, but it must also bind other negatively charged toxins; it just has not been studied enough. In addition, other up and coming detoxifiers include things such as chlorella, the particular probiotic yeast called saccharomyces boulardi and a few others with inadequate data to even mention just yet. Lastly, if you have found this information to be useful, kindly share it!
Editor’s Note: The Moorspa skin care products have received numerous EWG awards as a leader in non-toxic, organic skincare products. Sitopharma products are all Gluten-free, Non-GMO, with a GMP sticker.