The year 2020 found most of us spending more time than usual in our homes. Things that we would normally do “out there,” such as working and schooling our children, were done within the confines of those four walls. This means that creating a toxin-free home was and is more important now than ever.
First Step: Ask the Right Questions!
The other day I was delighted to have a great conversation with an amazing woman. Aimee Carlson is known as the “Toxin Terminator.” In her early years, she had quite a wild ride going from toxic overload to vibrant health. For over three decades, while she worked in the automotive industry, she struggled with not only hormonal imbalances but also headaches that later turned into painful migraines and vision loss. You can check out the Podcast of my interview with Aimee Carlson, the Toxin Terminator, HERE.
“I really wasn’t looking for any solutions in my life,” Aimee admits regarding the beginning of her healing journey. “I also had no idea how poorly I felt.”
Sound familiar? During the course of our day-to-day life, we often become used to feeling low-energy, foggy-headed, or moody.
We can choose to reverse course and get on the path that leads to vibrancy, energy, and health. And we can do this before any dis-ease condition such as Breast Cancer sets in. The first step is to evaluate what is going on within our body.
We can ask ourselves:
How do I feel in general on a day to day basis?
Do I have enough energy to do all the things that I need and want to do in my life?
Am I experiencing any pain or imbalance regularly?
Do I feel “out of sorts” or just not right most of the time in general or in one particular area of my body?
Once we are honest as to how we really feel, many of us may discover that what we thought was just “normal” or “okay” is anything but.
So what can we do about it?
More often than not, the pain, hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and disease progression that may be occurring in our bodies have to do with our exposure to toxins, especially in our home.
Determining where these toxins may be lurking is essential before we can eliminate them and replace them with healthier solutions. Take the time to honestly “investigate” what may be lurking in your home. Here are 5 areas where you can find “clues” as to where harmful toxins may be hiding in your home:
#1 The Kitchen Cabinet
It may seem pretty obvious that food plays a major role in the overall toxic exposure for most people. Besides the obvious culprits such as chemicals in tap water, pesticides in commercial produce, and hormones and antibiotics in commercial meat and dairy, many food-based sources of toxins can be sneaky.
Did you know that some processed and packages foods available at your local health food store contain preservatives and other substances that can add to your toxic load? For example, certain kinds of carrageenan, which are used as emulsifiers in nut milk, toothpaste, and other products, have also been shown to increase inflammation?
Another example is canola oil. Many fried snack foods, even those that claim to be “all-natural,” are processed using this oil. Most canola is genetically modified and processed using a toxic solvent called hexane. Hexane makes the oil unstable and can increase rancidity. Canola oil becomes toxic when it is exposed to high temperatures, such as in a hot warehouse or in a fryer.
“Eat what your great grandparents ate. If it doesn’t come from the earth, don’t put it in your mouth,” says Aimee Carlson in our recent podcast interview.
I wholeheartedly agree! As much as possible, go fresh, organic, whole, unprocessed, and low sugar and you will soon begin to notice the results. If you need additional resources on how to change up your kitchen cabinet so that what you and your family are eating is both healthy and delicious, check out the dozens of articles I have written on the subject HERE as well as over 8 years of recipes on this website!
#2 The Bathroom Cabinet
Besides the pharmaceuticals, the bathroom cabinet is often where we keep all the lotions and potions that we slather on our bodies, use as makeup or spray on our skin to make it smell nice.
Remember that your skin will “drink up” whatever you put on it, and any toxic substances will eventually make their way into your bloodstream and organs.
Toxins can also make their way into our bodies through the airways, most of the time in the form of synthetic fragrances that are filled with dozens of harmful, untested chemicals.
The Environmental Working Group states that there thousands of chemicals that are regularly used by the cosmetic industry, most of which have not been adequately tested. Because their blends are proprietary, manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients on their labels. For more information about the harmful effects of the “toxic esters” especially that may be lurking in your perfume or cologne, check out this article.
A product line I love for moisturizers, makeup, and more is called Pure Haven. The founders of Pure Haven say that all of their products are 100% free of toxins and that the company’s mission is to “educate consumers about pure, safe, alternative personal care choices that empower people to live the healthiest lifestyle possible.” In an industry where the “bottom line” is more important than quality and safety, this is definitely a refreshing change!
#3 The Laundry Room
The reality of the health risks from commercial laundry products saw the light of day in 2009 thanks to the eye-opening research of Dr. Anne Steinemann. Dr. Steineman is now a Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne and James Cook University in Australia. She was one of the first scientists to analyze the toxic effects of common products that most Americans use every day.
Her University of Washington study took a look at 25 of the top laundry soaps as well as dryer sheets and fabric softeners. She found over 125 harmful chemicals within them, mostly in the form of “Volatile Organic Compounds.” Examples of VOCs are 1,4-Dioxane, Methylene Chloride, and Formaldehyde, all of which are possible cancer-causing substances.
Luckily, there are alternatives that can leave your clothes looking, smelling, and feeling fresh, and your body toxin-free. A product I have used for years is called My Green Fills. The My Green Fills website is packed with testimonials on both the effectiveness and safety of their products. Basically, this stuff works, and works well! Using My Green Fills for all your laundry needs can be good for you and the environment.
A while back I did an inspiring podcast with Stephen Ezell, founder of My Green Fills. My Green Fills is having an amazing 71% off sale, which includes 50 free loads of laundry soap. You can take advantage of this great, limited-time offer HERE.
#4 Under The Kitchen and Bathroom Sink
Now we are getting into the nitty-gritty of chemical toxins– all those bottles, sprayers, and sponges that are sitting in your cleaning closet or under the kitchen sink.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that most of this stuff is just bad news for your health. Then again, you only use that toilet boil cleaner or that container of disinfectant wipes every once in a while. It’s probably not that bad, right?
The truth is that even occasional exposure to these products can affect the body, especially the respiratory system. In this day and age when we are encouraged to clean and disinfect many surfaces (as well as ourselves) on an on-going basis, it is especially important that we do so using the most natural products possible.
The evidence is clear when it comes to an increase in Breast Cancer risk from commercial cleaning products. A survey sponsored by the Silent Spring Institute over 700 women with Breast Cancer discovered that “cleaning product use contributes to increased breast cancer risk.”
One of the most reliable resources out there to check the toxic risk of the cleaning products you use can be found on the Environmental Working Group website. Just plug in your brand in their database and check out the EWG rating. You can also investigate brands on the go with the new EWG app!
#5 In Your Own Mind
There is one more place where toxins can really take hold and cause damage. Surprisingly, it isn’t located in your home but exists in your own mind. First of all, if your mind that is racing, if you stressed out or you are aflush with constant negative thoughts, your body will produce more hormones for stress than healing. Hormones like cortisol tend to increase inflammation and disease risk all around. Studies in the field of psychoneuroimmunology have linked cynicism to a greater risk for dementia and heart disease. Other investigations have found a connection between depression and low immune function.
Getting rid of toxins in your home is as easy as throwing out the bad stuff and replacing the new. With toxic thoughts and emotions, it is the same basic process. It does take skill, patience, and a little sleuthing, but the rewards are so worth it!
Over time, the benefits you will inevitably reap from “cleaning house” both inside and out can be life-changing both mentally and physically. Be sure to check out next week’s blog where we will go into more detail on how to replace those toxic thoughts with healing ones on your Healthy Breast journey!