How to reduce toxicity? …Stop putting toxins in!
One of the first things you can do to help your body clean itself up, is stop loading rubbish on the pile! Our bodies are fully equipped to deal with toxins and safely remove them from our system. But over the last 50years or so, the amount of toxins our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis has significantly increased and for many people’s constitutions the load is just too heavy. If you have some unhealthy habits, love all the food you know is bad for you, or even just if you use mainstream off the shelf toiletries or live in a city with high levels of air pollution, your body is probably overburdened with toxicity and could use a hand to get some of it shifted.
Step one: Ditch the bad habits! If you smoke, drink regularly and consume copious amounts of coffee then your system is likely struggling to keep up with the toxic burden you are loading on it. Over time these habits can cause significant health problems, you don’t have to be a genius to work out that cutting out these baddies can significantly improve your overall health.
Step Two: Get on the Natural Wholefoods Diet! Stop buying processed foods. If it comes in a packet with an ingredients list (especially if it’s a long one with words you can’t pronounce) don’t buy it. Buy whole foods, your food should BE the ingredients… to a delicious home-made meal! If you eat meat, I would recommend cutting your consumption down drastically and making sure you buy the best quality organic, grass-fed, free range options available. Same goes for Dairy. These are not only better for your health, but better for the environment and marginally more for the animals involved both of which I believe contribute to your spiritual health and mental wellbeing.
Grains should be consumed in their wholegrain form and it is worth checking if you have any intolerances. You shouldn’t need to cut out any food groups unless you have a specific intolerance or allergy. I highly recommend taking the time and seeking professional help to locate any existing intolerances you might have as soon as possible. Especially if you are experiencing any symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach cramps, or fatigue. I have a gluten intolerance so any recipes and lots of the nutritional advice on this blog will be gluten free.
Step Three: Detox your toiletries! Did you know women put an average of 168 chemicals on their face and bodies every day? Baring in mind that our skin is the largest organ in our body does that really sound like a good idea? Many popular ingredients in mainstream personal hygiene and beauty products contain toxic chemicals that are known carcinogens (cause cancer) or are endocrine disruptors (alter your hormones), and they are usually tested on animals in inhumane ways. Some of the top ingredients to avoid are: Parabens, Parfum (aka fragrance), Sodium Laureth Sulfates, Triclosan. I will do another post specifically about detoxing your toiletries soon.
And don’t forget your tampons and sanitary towels: Swap them for organic alternatives asap, especially if you want to look after your reproductive system!
Step Four: Breath clean! If you live in a city or built up area with lots of traffic pollution it is really important to prioritise getting some clean air in your lungs as often as possible. I live in London and I absolutely adore city life, I was born and raised here and although I dream of living abroad and romanticise the country life, I could never permanently leave. To try to help my body detox the air pollution I am exposed to, I make sure I get to Hampstead Heath or another big green space as often as I can, usually once a week, for a few hours. When I’m there I prioritise taking the time to do some deep breathing and really expand my lungs to take in as much clean oxygen as possible. (If you live in London and you want to put a bit of people-pressure on our mayor Sadiq Kahn to keep his promise of cleaning up London’s air, you can text AIR to 62277 to sign Greenpeace’s petition at no charge.)
It is also important to be aware of the air pollution in our homes. I will do a more detailed post about this soon but for now be aware that paint containing VOCs (all paint that doesn’t declare itself as VOC free, all mainstream paints) cause air pollution in your home, as well as soft furnishings like curtains, sofas, cushions and bedding and of course toxic chemicals from cleaning and beauty products like air fresheners, bleach, surface cleaners, fragranced laundry detergent, scented and regular candles, hairspray, perfume etc. Also, if you live anywhere near a road with traffic (as most of us do) your home can become a stagnant place where traffic pollution can accumulate in the air.
If you have any plans to redecorate soon, make sure you are choosing VOC free paints; natural furnishings, fabrics and dies; and avoid anything that is flame retardant. Avoid buying regular cleaning products and instead opt for natural and organic brands or make your own simple products (how-to coming soon). Always open windows to ventilate if you must use perfume or hairspray, and replace toxic air fresheners with essential oils (if you want to use scented candles or an oil burner, make sure they are made from natural beeswax). Keep your windows closed on days when traffic air pollution is high. And invest in a few houseplants that will help to detoxify the air in your home. (A more detailed post on plants to detoxify your home is coming soon!) You can get a home air pollution meter to find out what the air pollution levels are like in your home.
If all this sounds like a drastic change from your current lifestyle, just take it one step at a time.
1 – Cut back or cut out the booze, cigarettes and coffee
2 – Stop buying processed foods, and check for any allergies or intolerances
3 – Stop putting toxic toiletries on and in your body
4 – Avoid adding toxicity in your home and start collecting houseplants to up your oxygen levels.
If you have toxicity in your body, and especially if you have any substance addiction like cigarettes, alcohol or caffeine (which is highly addictive) you will experience withdrawal symptoms and possibly a healing crisis (also know as Herxheimer Reaction). In other words you will feel worse before you start to feel better. During this time it is important to drink a lot of water and take up some detox activities (detailed post coming soon!) to help your body remove the toxins as quickly and effectively as possible. You should not see this as a bad reaction to the positive changes you are making for your health. If you have any concerns or a severe dependence then seek the advice of a health professional before you make any drastic lifestyle changes.
Much love and wellness,
Any advice given is for the purpose of conversation and sharing of personal experience. It is not intended to replace the advice, diagnoses or treatment of an experienced medical practitioner.