Detoxing is big business these days, but most of the pills and potions on the market will do little to remove the most toxic substances from your body, explain Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith. Together, the two environmentalists have written two groundbreaking books about the chemicals and pollutants most of us come into contact with almost daily and how to get them out of our lives.
In their latest book, Toxin Toxout (St. Martin’s Press), they share a few startling facts about our lifestyles. In the United States, they report that the “Environmental Working Group’s body burden testing has found 533 different industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in the bodies of 149 people from 27 states.”
Another study found more than 200 toxic chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of a small sample of African-American babies.
Unfortunately, Lourie and Smith also warn that most cleansing methods — colon cleansing, ionic footbaths — and most supplements won’t clean much of anything but your wallet. Though saunas (sweating helps), fasting (it does increase circulating toxins a bit), prebiotics and probiotics (helps the body excrete some toxic compounds) have a limited effect.
Overall, they suggest taking a slow, but steady approach to creating a cleaner, saner lifestyle. Here are their top recommendations:
- Clean house. Starting this weekend, get rid of personal care products that contain phthalates, parabens or other harmful chemicals. These are commonly found in shampoos, lotions and cosmetics. Your local health food store is chock full of healthier options.
- Shop organic. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s really worth it to buy organic produce to avoid pesticide residues. You can wash fruits and vegetables, but you can’t remove all residues and in some cases, the residue is beneath the skin of the produce. At the very least, avoid the dirty dozen.
- Kick the bottle habit. Bottled water is expensive, and 87 percent of the bottles in the America end up in landfills or incinerators, further poisoning our environment, Smith and Lourie note. Unless your plastic bottle is BPA-free, it may bring health risks. Best bet, invest in a good home filter and drink from the tap.
- Go natural. Whenever possible, use natural fibers, green products, low VOC paint and avoid products that off-gas.
- Eat more veggies. Animal fat holds on to toxins, so the more organic fruits and vegetables you eat the better.
- Break a sweat … often. BPA and phthalates leave your body through perspiration, so get moving and make use of a sauna or steam room if you have one at your gym.
To learn more about living clean and fighting for a tox-free world, pick up a copy of the book.
About Fierce Fridays — Tips for Weekend Well-Being
We each cherish those precious days off at the end of the week, but increasingly those of us who are charter members of the sisterhood of the stressed and overworked are losing our Saturday and Sunday leisure time to weekend work and domestic duties.
To make sure that you do something every weekend that’s just for you, we’ll be sharing a little advice to make those 48 hours a great time to recharge your batteries, bring a little good news into your life, or discover a quick and easy way to improve your health.