7 Easy Ways to Remove Toxins from Your Life

Want to have a healthy lifestyle? Heard about the dangers of plastics, non stick cookware, and chemicals? Here are 7 Easy Ways to Remove Toxins from your life.

It’s a huge burden for our bodies to handle all of the toxins in our world today – in our air, water, and food, and I’m convinced that things like autism, food allergies, cancer, autoimmune diseases and more are caused in part by toxicity. But what are we to do? Getting toxins out as much as possible is crucial, but it can be a daunting task. Today, Erin from Eat Real Stay Sane shows you some easy steps to clean up the toxins and lead a healthier life.

Did you know that it’s virtually a guarantee that you and your family have measurable levels of toxic substances in your body?

I’ll show you some of the scary stats in a minute.

You might be thinking “But I don’t use anything lead, our house doesn’t have asbestos, we don’t have nasty mold growing in the walls, and I keep our harsh chemicals in a safe place… what do you mean I have toxins in my body?!”

Those are the obvious toxins–the ones that we’ve been warned about for years. They’ve either been mostly legislated out of use or we’re aware enough to avoid their dangers.

BUT… what about the toxins we deliberately put on our skin? Or consume daily? We’ve heard the horror stories about lead, mold, and asbestos, but it’s time to pay attention to daily-use items that can be just as dangerous.

Toxins in the body lead to a host of chronic illnesses, including cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, and many mental illnesses.

Another dirty secret about toxins is they like to store themselves in your adipose tissue. If you’ve had fat packed on for 30 years, it’s sure to have toxins hiding inside it.

That’s the main reason people shed weight while detoxing – your body can’t get rid of fat that’s stored up toxins for years but it can do so more easily when you detox. That’s why weight you just barely put on seems to come off so fast – no accumulation of toxins).

Anyway, here are some dangerously common sources of toxins and a quick fix for each one!

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Want to have a healthy lifestyle? Heard about the dangers of plastics, non stick cookware, and chemicals? Here are 7 Easy Ways to Remove Toxins from your life.

 

1. Plastics

First, let’s talk about the endocrine system. One of the more vastly complicated and important systems in your body, the endocrine system affects literally every cell and function in your body.

This system includes:

Those glands and systems control basically everything in your body.

Ever heard the phrase, “all disease begins in your gut”? The more I learn about this stuff the more I believe that phrase is VERY true!

And that’s where plastic comes in. Many plastics contain BPA, which is a known endocrine disruptor. Seriously, check out that list above again, and you’ll see why messing with our endocrine system is a precursor to many illnesses!

There hasn’t been extensive human testing, but hundreds of animal studies demonstrate that BPA causes abnormal development of the brain and sex organs, feminizes male organs, causes early puberty, and leads to infertility.

In fact, BPA has been banned in several countries for use in baby bottles… and I’m pretty sure if it ain’t good for babies, it ain’t good for you and me.

Maybe the closest thing we have to a human study was a trial performed by Harvard researchers where 77 students drank water from stainless steel bottles one week, and then polycarbonate bottles the next. During the polycarbonate week, BPA increased 69% in the participants’ urine. That’s a drastic change over a really short time frame.

Imagine how those numbers would look after years and years of exposure.

So, the solution is to purchase BPA-free products, right?

Well, unfortunately it’s not that simple.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent study performed by Environmental Health Perspectives:

Results: Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled—independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source—leached chemicals having reliably detectable EA (estrogenic activity), including those advertised as BPA free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA than did BPA-containing products.”

Whoops.

Toxic Plastic Quick Fix

Begin replacing your plastic containers with metal ones, especially the ones you keep your leftovers in.

We’ve been getting in the habit of using ½ gallon mason jars to store things like our raw milk, apple cider vinegar, and granola.

I mean if I’m going to spend the money to buy raw milk, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and make my own granola, then I don’t want plastics leaching endocrine-disrupting chemicals into it!

We’ve also purchased glass food storage containers – which is especially important because your leftovers can sit for days in them and often get thrown in the microwave (another big no-no with plastics and food).

2. Cleaners

We pretty much already know that household cleaners are dangerous – yet we still spray them on our counters where we prepare our foods. Are we sure we’re getting every last molecule off our counters before we knead some bread dough there?

Think about something we consider semi-harmless, like Windex. Here’s what the caution label says:

“Avoid contact with eyes, skin, or clothing. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling. Avoid contact with foods”

Do you always wash your hands after using Windex? Does it all get on our mirror and nowhere else? Does the fine mist float around, being absorbed by our skin and breathed in our lungs?

We know to be careful with stuff like drain cleaner, but even something “harmless” like Clorox Wipes carry the recommendation to rinse your counters afterwards and wash your hands thoroughly.

How often are these chemicals making their way into our systems?

Quick Fix for Cleaners

We use an all-purpose cleaner made mostly from water. Basically, you could drink the stuff (probably would taste nasty though!), so if trace amounts find their way onto our skin or into our foods, it doesn’t matter one bit.

You can find some amazing easy and cheap recipes for household cleaners HERE.

3. Laundry Detergent, Softener, Dryer Sheets

The scientific community is coming out with more and more evidence that these laundry products are damaging to our bodies.

For example, every news outlet in the country reported on a major issue with children eating laundry detergent pods, with hundreds of children being hospitalized and at least one death occurring.

Okay, I know you’re not eating laundry detergent, but we’re soaking our clothes in this stuff every week. Our skins absorb stuff pretty darn well, meaning detergent makes it into our system every week, for decades.

On top of the soap itself being dangerous, the University of Washington discovered that detergent, softener, and dryer sheets all emit at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous (without any labels indicating this). Most of these products also produce carcinogenic air pollutants.

Quick Fix

If I wanted to, I could sprinkle our homemade laundry detergent over my potatoes with no adverse effects … well, it’s made from baking soda, so it would taste terrible.

I know, you’re thinking that this is one more thing you have to learn how to make. But, laundry detergent requires just 2 ingredients, and takes very little time to make – well worth the all-natural results that won’t harm your family.

We use Mommypotamus’s recipe from her DIY Cleaning Recipe ebook and it works great! Our clothes come out clean and smell great. (From Adrienne – You can also read Why I Don’t Make Laundry Detergent Here.)

DY Cleaning Book - Mommypotamus

For fabric softener? Simply pour ½ cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle.

{From Adrienne – I’m such a DIY-er too, but if you’re not, there are a few other great alternatives.  I personally use Miessence’s dish soap and probiotic cleaner.  Make sure to buy from a reputable company as some have been found to mislabel their products.)

4. Tap Water

The hazards of tap water aren’t some underground secret anymore – a quick Google search reveals dozens of articles from reputable sources reporting the dangers.

For example, the New York Times reported that only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are found in tap water. Hundreds of those chemicals contribute to disease and cancer.

That same article ends with “Government scientists now generally agree, however, that many chemicals commonly found in drinking water pose serious risks at low concentrations.”

The fluorine found in tap water has never been shown to prevent cavities or tooth decay (except by direct application like your dentist might do). On the contrary, it’s been shown to destroy teeth in young children and babies.

The chlorine (according to Environmental Health Perspectives) can contribute to low birth weight, preterm birth, birth defects, fetal deaths, and other pregnancy problems. I’ll go out on a limb here and say it’s probably not good for adults either.

Quick Fix for Water

The best overall solution would be to buy a complete home water filtration system, but that’s not feasible for everyone. A small filtration system that sits on your counter (like a Berkey) can be a more attainable solution for most people.

At the very least, you can begin purchasing distilled water by the gallon (less than a buck at Walmart) and use for caring for your probiotics and cooking.

UPDATE 1/15/16 from Adrienne: This post talks about my best advice for How to Make Your Water Safe.

5. Cosmetics/Personal Care Products

Did you know that cosmetics and personal care products require no safety testing?

Good thing for them, as they use known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Stuff like petroleum and formaldehyde, to name a small few, are some of the ickies they use.

These companies sleep at night because they (hopefully) think their products are literally skin deep. However, according to the Environmental Working Group:

“Cosmetic ingredients do not remain on the surface of the skin. They are designed to penetrate, and they do. Scientists have found many common cosmetic ingredients in human tissues, including phthalates in urine, preservatives called parabens in breast tumor tissue and persistent fragrance components in human fat. Do the concentrations at which they are typically found pose risks? For the most part, those studies have not been done. But a small but growing number of studies serve as scientific red flags”

Also, the European Union has banned hundreds of cosmetic chemicals, while the US has only deemed 11 unusable. Clearly, many of these chemicals are proven hazards, yet we continue to use them.

Quick Fix for Toxic Cosmetics

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make your versions at home. And, most of these are products you use a little at a time, so a batch can last you months.

I realize it’s a bit daunting to replace ALL of your personal care and cosmetic products that you use daily (not to mention expensive). But a little at a time is definitely doable! We haven’t gotten rid of everything yet, but I recently made body wash for my husband and he loves it. I recently made my own face wash, toner, and moisturizer that I love as well and it’s anti-aging!

Our major 2015 goal is to replace all these products with a healthy homemade substitute!

Still haven’t found a foundation recipe that I like… maybe I’m just addicted to Estee Lauder?

From Adrienne, I highly recommend Beautycounter cosmetics. 

Every single batch is tested for heavy metals and other contaminants and the quality is superb.

Beautycounter – Has amazing foundation and a nearly waterproof mascara.  The lip glosses are gorgeous and their lip stick is the only one that I can wear.  Twig and Petal are my favorites.

6. Nonstick Cookware

Most people buy the nonstick variety because it’s so easy to use and clean. The manufacturers claim there are no issues with this coating as long as it’s not overheated, but that assertion is coming under fire.

The EWG conducted a series of tests, with results proving that a mere 2-5 minutes on a conventional stove top were enough to begin breaking down the coating. This coating leaches harmful particles into our food and into the air.

One of the most interesting tidbits I’ve found is that a bird will die quickly if kept close to where a cook uses nonstick cookware. Probably not good for us people, either.

Teflon and similar nonstick coatings are chemicals belonging to the PFC family. According to the EWG:

“PFCs have been found in nearly all Americans tested by federal public health officials. Chemicals from this family are associated with smaller birth weight and size in newborn babies, elevated cholesterol, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, liver inflammation and weakened immune defense against disease.”

Quick Fix for Toxic Cookware

Ideally, my family would be using ceramic cookware but it’s crazy expensive. There’s this pot I’ve had my eye on that costs over $200… so file that under “things I’ll buy when we win the lotto or are included in a massive inheritance”

We compromised by buying each other a stainless steel cookware set for Christmas. They were surprisingly affordable and we love them – especially since we’re not consuming hazardous chemicals.

{From Adrienne – I got this Ceramcor Cookware set in September and I am using it all the time. My husband even commented on its obvious high quality. You can read more about it in this post.}

7. Pesticides (Produce/Home Use)

The sources I’m referring to here are the ones found on your non-organic produce as well as the bug spray you use in your home to poison/drown unwanted creatures.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the poisoning risks of pesticides are clear, from both acute and chronic exposure. Exposure to pesticides is linked to decreased brain function, pediatric cancers, and behavioral problems.

I’m not sure I need to delve deeper into the problems pesticides cause – they’re very similar to the issues I’ve mentioned already. Just remember that toxins accumulate in your body (and aren’t easily expelled) causing most degenerative diseases known to man.

Quick Fix for Pesticides

When purchasing produce, we buy everything organic that’s found on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, and the rest we buy non-organic (unless the organic is on a killer sale). If you can buy everything organic, then good on ya. But avoiding the most pesticide-riddled produce can help rid your life of high sources of toxins.

Do a Google search for CSA (community supported agriculture) or farmer’s market and maybe you can find some awesome local organic farm to buy your produce from. I just volunteered to run a drop off site for a local CSA.

In your home, there are easy alternatives to spraying massive amounts of Raid at every bug that dares cross your home’s threshold. When the weather turned cold and every spider within a mile tried to come inside, we spread diatomaceous earth on the window sills and by the doorframes (you know, like warding off evil spirits).

We also sprayed cedarwood essential oil on these areas for a little extra protection I mixed about 15 drops into 4 ounces of water in a spray bottle.  (For the company that Adrienne chose when she went on a hunt to find the “best” essential oils, go here.)

I also put each leg of our baby’s crib in a tupperware container that I filled with baby oil to keep the bugs from climbing the crib. Then it became the husband’s job to fish the dead spiders out of it…. Gross, but effective!

Plus it protects little man from bug bites. Call me paranoid, but if you saw the spiders we get in our house you would be too … they’re BIG!

Conclusion

It’s scary how often we expose ourselves to toxins.

Take a look back at the 7 points mentioned, and you’ll realize that it’s many times per day that you’re adding toxins to your body… and you can’t get rid of that stuff easily.

I know it’s not easy to get rid of products we’re conditioned to use every day. Plastic? Seriously? EVERYTHING comes in plastic! I’m a hair product snob and I haven’t found a shampoo recipe that is making me want to part with my shampoo.

It starts with you deciding that your health is worth the inconvenience of making some changes. Once you realize that you can prevent most chronic diseases by avoiding toxins, you’ll see that it would be worth ten times the work to avoid poisoning ourselves.

Plus you will notice that you will feel amazing as you become toxin free.

Take one step at a time and you can get rid of the toxins in your house. I mean shoot, I’m planning on taking a whole year to get everything out of my house! When your cleaner, deodorant, dish detergent, or whatever you want to get rid of runs out, replace it with the good stuff.

Have you made any changes to rid toxins? How did it go?

 

Erin Smith from Eat Real Stay Sane - Guest Writer for Whole New MomErin and Cameron Smith teach people how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes eating real food,
eliminating toxins, and overcoming chronic illness. You can click here to get her 7-part series about how
to incorporate a real food lifestyle to help you lose weight, reverse disease, and be healthier than ever.

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

Comments

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  1. The recommendation to buy distilled water at WalMart contradicts the recommendation to avoid BPA plastic bottles, please clarify.

    • Erin Smith says:

      I know… unfortunately I have never been able to find distilled water that didn’t come in a plastic bottle. We will usually pour our water into a glass jug when we get home. Eventually we want to buy a Berkey for filtering our water so we don’t have to go through the hassle of doing that.

  2. ive been slowly replacing my Teflon cookware with good old fashioned cast iron! I’ve also been buying. Enameled cast iron cookware too! You can get it cheap at the flea market or even online. I make my own laundry detergent and am slowly trying to replace all the processed foods. Working on being healthier on a budget!

  3. We can’t install a water filter on our sink because of the faucet type and it’s not our house. I use a pur water filter pitcher but it’s made of plastic! Any glass water filter pitchers out there?

    • Would you be interested in a Berkey? They are stainless and that is what I have in my home. I can give you a good deal on it if you would like. They have a plastic one too which is quite nice and it’s non BPA and the same material that the Vitamix is made out of. Copolyester. Some green companies are very keen on it. Thanks. Plus it filters much better than the PUR and it’s stand alone. I have mine in the mudroom.

  4. So I see inexpensive ceramic cookware at the store. I was thinking that once my non stick griddle wears out, I will get a ceramic coated one. This stuff isn’t half as expensive as what you are talking about. What is wrong with the inexpensive stuff?

    • I can’t say for sure that there is anything wrong with it. Do you mean it’s half the price of the Ceramcor? I would just make sure that it is really good quality. If you think it has the same qualifications as Ceramcor then I would think it’s good quality :).

    • When we bought our new stainless steel set we did a lot of research on what cookware to buy. From what I was able to find the ceramic coated cookware is great except over time the coating starts to wear off into your food starts to chip. Kind of like your non-stick stuff. I’ve decided to not buy the coated stuff just to be sure. When I’m rich I’m going to get Ceramcor. 😉

      • Too funny Erin about the “rich” thing. Maybe wait for a sale…I’m thinking about 1 of their frying pans…..my nonstick one needs to bite the dust for sure even though it’s a safer kind.

  5. Thanks Adrienne for letting me guest post on your blog! Hope you guys like it. 😉