It is good to rub, and polish our brain against that of others.
~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne 

Our body is truly amazing because it is constantly bombarded with toxins during every day living.  It is detoxifying, balancing, and ensuring hundreds of bodily functions are working together for us to do even the simplest of tasks.  But what happens when we don't help it out?  We actually add to this toxic burden by not paying attention to every day culprits which can have some serious consequences. 

It's not just about what we eat, but also the relationships we have, the work environments we spend most of our days and also what we think of ourselves. Good news ... is  we have choice and although one can't live in a toxin-free environment, there are easy ways to reduce this burden on your body.  In doing this you will improve energy levels, strengthen your ability to manage every day stress triggers, and most importantly give your body the boost it desperately needs to keep you youthful and fight off illness.

As a Holistic Nutrition professional, I emphasize the importance of paying attention to the body's health and wellness as a 'whole'.  It's not just what you put into & onto your body, but also what you allow into your mental wellbeing which includes: stress levels, negative environments, toxic relationships, and lack of self confidence, etc.

 Into Your Body ~ Common Food Toxins

There are good, better and best choices you can make.  Do the best you can, shop the perimeter of the grocery store, try to stay away from packaged and processed foods, and try to buy organic when possible. Here are some common food toxins I recommend to avoid:

  • Trans Fats / Palm Oil - this increases shelf life on the product but is terrible for your blood viscosity.  It increases the 'bad' cholesterol and decreases the 'good' cholesterol.  If you see this type of fat in the ingredient list, look for possible alternate products.
  • Preservatives - used to preserve freshess of produce but does nothing to preserve your health.  Look for words or derivatives of these words: benzoates, nitrates, sulfites, sulfur dioxide, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
  • MSG - added as a flavor enhancer but messes with your brain.  Look for words or derivatives of these words: glutamates, yeast extract, soy proteins or isolate, yeast food, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein, gelatin or glutamic acid.
  • Artificial Coloring - look for words such as blue 1 and 2, green 3, red 3, and yellow 6 which have been linked to thyroid, adrenal, bladder, kidney, and brain cancers. Look for natural colors that use foods to color like beets, turmeric, and spirulina.
  • Carcinogenic foods: processed meats such as bacon, sausages, hot dogs, pepperoni, prosciutto, beef jerky and salami (any meat that has been preserved by curing, salting or smoking, or by adding chemical preservatives) & burnt or heavily barbequed foods.

Onto Your Body ~ Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC)

When we buy commercial products we tend to look at the packaging; and the one that appeals to us is generally the one we tend to buy.  Take the time to look at the ingredients list of your favorite body care products or packaged food items such as pizza's, frozen meals, canned goods, prepared foods, body cremes, shampoos, make up, nail polish, body sprays, cleansing or shaving products.  But some of the top household brands that have been used for years, are the worst ones.  These products can affect your mood, sex hormones, fertility, obesity, diabetes, sperm counts, thyroid irregularities and some cancers.

  • Parabens - look for words such as: butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, and methylparaben.  Basically anything that has the word 'paraben' in it.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) - these are in products that are wrapped in plastic, reusable water bottles (usually marked with a #7 at the bottom), cans, cash register receipts, Store your food in glass, porcelain, or stainless steel.
  • Phthalates in many plastics which are added to body products but also listed as 'fragrance' in your ingredient list.  Stay away from this.  Look for pure essential oils instead of fragrance.
  • Lead & Color Additives - many cosmetics and hair dyes, still contain lead, Research has also shown that lead can disrupt the hormone signaling that regulates the body’s major stress system (called the HPA axis).  
  • Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamide (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) - this is used in to make your product sudsy, creamy and foamy like dish soap, bubble bath, cleansing cremes.  Look for any derivatives of these words in your ingredient list.

Into Your Mind ~ Mental Wellbeing

We often forget about our mind and mental wellbeing because we get so used to being busy, stressed out, frustrated, lonely, scared to try new things, and generally always tired that we forget what its like to just feel 'good'.  We have a million things to do and so many worries that we don't 'have time' to do the very things that will help us deal with the lifestyles we currently have.  

  • Accept your emotions - let yourself feel what you feel.  Sounds simple because it is.  Don't let people tell you how you should feel because they don't agree with you or it's too weak, or too strong, or whatever else they say.  Just let all your emotions out - give yourself permission to do so.  
  • Practice gratitude - when you have thoughts of gratitude you do not have room for negativity.  There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.  
  • Take Risks - don't let your fear or insecurity control what you do.  Go outside of your comfort zone, I am telling you - you will be surprised with yourself.
  • Mindfulness - have moments in the day, even 10 minutes to stop, close your eyes and imagine something calming.  I like to think about waterfalls and try to imagine I am there.  Try to 'hear' the water.  So healing.
  • Let Nature Heal - very few people get enough of the Earth.  Walk barefoot in the grass, go for a walk in nature, try to hear birds around you, stare off into the sky.  Your connectness to nature will profoundly help you.
  • Join a Meet Up Club - there are lots of apps and clubs you can join that are likeminded people.  Whether it is a mom's group, outdoor group, crafting or stamp collecting it is always fun to meet people who share your common interest.

Bottom Line - Reduce the Toxins, Boost the Body

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