As you may know, we are starting a one-goal-a-month Renew Your Health Challenge. For the month of August, my hubby and I would like to invite you to join us in our current Renew Your Health Challenge: Detoxifying! I’ve shared our personal detox plans, but I know that we are all at different places in our health journeys, so I wanted to encourage and inspire each of you where you’re at. Whether you’ve never even considered the toxins you come in contact with or you have done several detoxes already, I hope that you can find something here to help you take the next step.
None of us want toxins in our bodies. They drain energy, damage health, promote disease such as cancer… I think we can all agree that they’re a bad thing, right? My hubby and I are focusing on getting rid of toxins that are already in our systems, but maybe you’re wondering how they got there in the first place. If so, perhaps instead of doing a “detox” of your body, you would benefit from detoxing your lifestyle. That will stop many new toxins from going it, then you can move on to taking special herbs and supplements to get rid of the toxins you have. There are many different ways that toxins get into our bodies.
How Toxins Get Into Your Body
- Foods we eat: There are countless toxins in our food supply. These come in the forms of pesticides, growth hormones, artificial flavors/colors/sweeteners/preservatives, GMO’s… there’s more than I can go into in this post, but you can learn about why to switch from processed to real foods here. Although few of us can afford to eat 100% organic real food, we can drastically reduce the amount of toxins we take in by changing our diets. My hubby and I did that a year and a half ago. Although we allow for some grace in our food choices, we do plan to be extra “good” during our month-long detox. By the way, don’t forget to include beverages you drink, when you think about this category.
- Pills we take: In some situations, a prescription medication is necessary. In many, it isn’t. Research any medications you are taking and talk with your doctor to see if there is a less toxic alternative. A non-toxic herbal remedy would be ideal, and many naturopaths are very knowledgeable about helping patients to wean off of pharmaceuticals by using natural remedies. Consider switching to a more naturally-minded doctor, if your current doc isn’t supportive. Next, think about any over-the-counter meds you take. Do thorough research on each and every item in your medicine cabinet. See what you can switch out a natural remedy for. For example, we never use Tylenol because it is bad for the liver. We’ve also learned that reducing a fever prevents the body from fighting illness, so we don’t reduce fevers. If we have pain, we’ll often rub a little arnica cream on the sore spot (not over broken skin, though) or use an herbal salt bath. The point is, do your research and know the risks of what you’re taking and the alternatives.
- Personal care products: Unless you’re spending quite a bit of money on ready-made all natural personal care products, or you’ve learned to make your own, you’re probably putting countless toxins on your skin every day. Did you know that what you put on your skin is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels throughout your body. I have known people who truly don’t believe that, so let me point out that many drugs are administered through the skin (nicotine patches, birth control patches, hormonal creams, etc.). When we put perfumes, lotions, shampoos and such on our skin, the toxins are absorbed. How do we get rid of them? Often, we don’t. The liver, if it is healthy, can break down many of them, but most people have livers that are overloaded with those toxins. Again, thorough research into each and every ingredient is important. We make most of our own body care products (such as chapstick and lotion bars), which is much cheaper than buying them. You can learn more about what is in skincare products and what the ingredients do in my post about infant skin care.
- Environment we live in: We can’t do much about exhaust fumes or secondhand smoke, but there are many things we can control in our own homes. Cleaners are a huge factor when it comes to toxins in the home. Those scented cleaning sprays and laundry detergents are packed full of toxic chemicals- many of which are listed merely as “fragrance”. Do some more research, if you want to try to keep using some of those products, but also consider buying natural cleaning products or making your own. I’ve learned that I can clean my whole kitchen and bathroom with this fabulous all-natural cleaning spray that is literally just pennies a bottle! Another huge contributor to home toxins are scented candles, plug-ins and sprays that are meant to make the house smell good. Unless you are getting ones that are all-natural and are made with 100% pure essential oils, you are filling the very air you breathe with toxic chemicals. There are many wonderful, non-toxic versions of these things that you can use, so please do look into your options. We use essential oil diffusers that plug into the wall, essential oil room sprays and a few non-petroleum wax candles that are made with essential oils. Not only do those products smell amazing, the oils themselves actually have health-promoting effects, rather than health-damaging ones. One of the easiest things you can do is put a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil on it in a hidden spot in a room.
My hubby and I have already made all of those changes, but it wasn’t a quick fix. Truth be told, it’s taken several years to get to where we are since we weren’t exposed to all of these ideas at once. Now that we have drastically reduced the amount of toxins going into our bodies, we’re ready to wage war on the ones that have built up in there. We aren’t doing anything drastic (especially since I’m breastfeeding!), but I believe that we’ll have great results and we’re both excited to get started.
What about you? Is there something toxic in your life that you’re going to switch out for a healthy version? Or have you already done all of these things and you’d like to share some tips, advice or encouragement to other readers who are just getting started?