Humans are exposed to environmental and biological toxins on a daily basis. This can overburden the body’s natural ability to detoxify. Mounting evidence has linked the accumulation of toxins to many chronic conditions including fatigue, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Although we can’t avoid ALL toxins ALL of the time, focusing on the things we use the most and choosing less toxic versions of these things can make an impactful difference. Here’s my list of 8 things I’ve personally chosen to focus on to lessen the toxic load in my life.
- Glass or stainless steel containers to prepare, store and transport food and drinks. Plastics are a remarkable material offering us many functional, practical, and efficient products. But while they have many functional benefits, they can also contribute to health and environmental detriments. Plus, they are EVERYWHERE. Any chance I get to use a little less plastic, I’ll do my best. One really easy swap was all of my plastic containers (especially water bottles) for glass or stainless steel alternatives.
- Shampoo, conditioner and soap. Since I use these every day, choosing products free of triclosan (recently BANNED in Minnesota), parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, and phthalates – just to name a few, seemed like an easy thing to do. For myself, I buy Intelligent Nutrients shampoo and conditioner and homemade soaps made by a few of my patients which I sell here at the clinic. A great resource to check out the toxins in your products and find cleaner alternatives is the Environmental Working Group.
- Organic tea and coffee. I don’t do everything organic, but I won’t compromise on coffee or tea – two of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops. I drink coffee every day and I drink tea in the winter to warm me up. Since organic versions are so easy to access, it is a simple thing for me to implement.
- Reverse osmosis water filter system. Chlorine and fluoride are added to my city water in Osceola. Chlorine is easily removed by carbon filter systems, but reverse osmosis is the only water system that will remove the fluoride. You may be undecided on fluoride, but for me – since I’ve never had a cavity, it’s simply a drug I don’t feel I need or want.
- Dryer balls. I don’t know what is in those dryer sheets, but the fragrance gives me a slight headache and why have the extra expense? Dryer balls last forever and work well enough for me!
- Toothpaste. I recently switched from Crest to using straight Thieves Oil from Young Living. One drop on my brush does the trick better than anything else I’ve tried including baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. I can’t go back.
- Deodorant. I don’t “perspire”, I sweat. A lot. I’ve tried many “natural deodorants” – the crystal stick, primal pit… none have worked well enough for me to make the switch from the aluminum filled ones. But I think I’m on to something. Jenn introduced me to NATIVE deodorant which looks, feels and smells better than regular deodorant but is aluminum free and works!
- Higher quality meat. It can be difficult to find, so here are some local suggestions:
- Crystal Ball Farms, Osceola, WI (pasture raised chicken and eggs)
- Silver Creek Springs, Clayton, WI (pasture raised chicken and turkey)
- Bull Brook Keep, Clear Lake, WI (grass fed and finished beef)
- Northstar Bison, Rice Lake, WI (grass fed bison, elk, venison, beef)
- Misty Fjord, Alaska (okay, not local – but they ship awesome salmon right to your door!)
Higher quality animal proteins can also be more expensive so I add a lot of beans to my meat dishes whether its chicken stir fry with garbanzo beans, meat loaf with pinto beans, or spaghetti squash with ground beef and black beans.
Identifying toxins in our environment helps us avoid or find alternatives for some of the most common and frequent ones. For the ones we can’t identify, using targeted nutrition and phytonutrients can help your body optimize all three phases of detoxification to help minimize accumulation and maximize elimination. This year I’ll be traveling to San Diego and Chicago teaching other practitioners how to create detoxification programs for their patients. Would you like me to create one for you? Just give our office a call to set up a time for us to meet. Are you more of a Do-It-Yourself kind? If so, check out our 10 Day Clear Change Detoxification Program which you can order online or stop by and pick it up!
Here’s to a happy, healthy new year! And as Joyce Meyer once said “I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.”
Last night, I had a terrible night’s sleep. I woke up around 2 in the morning, moved to the couch because hearing my husband sleep was making me angry (sorry honey – I know it’s not your fault) and proceeded to toss and turn until close to 4AM. My shirt was annoying me and I felt it was making me hot so I took that off. The legs on my sweatpants were riding up to my knees and felt too tight around my calves. And my shins were extremely itchy to the point where I sprayed them with Benadryl spray to make it stop. Everything was annoying! It was too bright outside with the snow, the light coming from the kitchen nightlight was in my eyes, the humidifier was making too much noise, and my eight-year-old woke up with a bad dream.
The most frustrating part of all of this is that I really wanted to sleep. So very badly. Our schedule at work for today is very full so I knew that I was going to need to bring my A-game. Instead, things were looking like I was going to be bringing my “Three cups of coffee game”. As is the case when I find myself restless and unable to sleep, I know to check in and see if I can ask myself why. The closer I can get to understanding what is literally keeping me awake at night, the sooner I can usually find myself nodding off and getting back to sleep. (more…)
Sure, I’ll host Thanksgiving.
Actually, saying it that way means that I was answering a question. As in, “Will you host Thanksgiving?”
And that’s not really how it went.
It actually came out as, “Hey, I can host Thanksgiving.”
I grew up in a small family where my aunt hosted Thanksgiving in her home every year. While the last minute cooking was underway with gravy simmering and grandpa carving the turkey, my ten year old self was enjoying shrimp cocktail, black and green olives, mixed nuts and a cheese ball with crackers. Eight of us would then sit around her dining room table quietly enjoying a thoughtfully prepared Thanksgiving feast. I would sip cranberry ginger ale from a pewter wine glass and anxiously await the arrival of the next dish to scoop onto my plate.
After dinner, we would find ourselves in the living room while Kenny G lulled us into a turkey-induced nap. Upon waking up from our food comas, round two would be taking place with at least three different pies, coffee and vanilla ice cream. And if I was lucky, after dessert was done, I would have birthday presents to open with my birthday falling toward the end of November. I did this every year for almost 25 years.
When I volunteered (sacrificed) myself to host Thanksgiving, it was for my father-in-law’s family. There would be around 35 people in attendance. A few years earlier, I had hosted a combined Thanksgiving and Christmas for my mother-in-law’s side with close to 70 people so I thought, “I got this.”
Gone were the relaxed, intimate holidays I had grown up with. This was a whole new ball-game- the kind with no referees, or rules, but still lots of yelling, cheering, booing and whistles. It is here that I should mention that I am also a type-A introvert so clearly, this was a great plan. (more…)
Are you ready for the bad news?
The initial changes as you transition to healthy eating habits are not going to come naturally and they are going to be hard.
Yep, it’s not going to be easy. But if you keep on at it and if you keep on trying, eventually you’ll get it. I promise. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve been where you are right now. And sometimes, when I fall out of sync, I’m right back in that spot of “stuck.” But when you have a system, when you have a plan, getting back on track is easy. Okay, easier. (more…)
Hillside Middle School
When I was at Hillside Middle School, once acknowledged by Ripley’s Believe It or Not for having three ground level entrances on three different floors and all on the same road, I had a social studies teacher named Mr. Scheithe that loved to tell stories. It was this knack for telling tales (some tall), that got me an A in a class that I would have otherwise disliked; history and I are not friends but his musings made it more memorable. One of the units that we covered in great depth was Ancient Egypt. And of course, in this section, we talked about the role of the great Nile River. It was near impossible to make it through this section without hearing the quote, “Denial…it ain’t just a river.”
I was reminded of this quote this past weekend when on Sunday night, I started reflecting on all of the crap that I had eaten over the weekend. At the time, I was somewhat aware of what I was allowing myself to do. There was no agreement that I had made with myself prior to the onset of the weekend; but maybe there was. (more…)