What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “detox”?

Maybe it’s lemon juice and cayenne pepper, or weight loss or food restriction.  As common sense as it is, the first step in body detoxification is to reduce the intake of poisonous and toxic substances on a regular basis.

Toxic chemicals create negative reactions when introduced in the body, which can range from neurological disorders to skin reactions, digestive disturbances, hormone disruption and cancers – and unfortunately, smaller amounts don’t necessarily mean less harmful!

We ingest toxins in three basic ways:

  1. Consumption
  2. Inhalation
  3. Skin absorption

In this series of articles, we spell out what you need to know to be a savvy consumer for what you put in, on and around your body, keeping you healthier and leveraging your detox!

This week, when gearing up for your seasonal reset take the following into consideration when buying food, and start to notice the difference!

Part I:  The Food Pantry.

There are thousands of sources of toxins in our food supply – and unfortunately we can’t rely on the powers that be to keep harmful ingredients out. 

Follow these top 5 simple methods to ensuring that your pantry is full of foods that are healthy, not harmful:

1. Stick to whole and fresh foods + read labels.  Avoiding food that comes in packages is the easiest way to eliminate sneaky chemical preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, as well as toxic solvents used in refining and processing…not to mention that it saves loads of natural resources in processing, packaging and transportation.

Be educated and get in the habit of looking at the ingredients labels of the products you buy on a regular basis and take control of what you allow in YOUR body!  When you do buy processed foods, pay more attention to the ingredients than the nutritional facts, and stick to products that have short, recognizable lists and GMO-free labels.

2. Purge Your Pantry + Refrigerator: Start with what’s already in your pantry and fridge – get your recycling bin out and part with things that contain chemical preservatives, artificial flavors and colors. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is another one to say goodbye to, as well as foods that have expired or are very old! Although it can seem wasteful or time consuming, rip off the band-aid and launch towards better habits and health. Commit to making smarter purchases and replacing the items you threw out with cleaner alternatives!

3. Shop from a business that holds a standard of health – or even better, directly from a producer.  Buying from stores with have values in place for what they purchase for resale, you’re automatically eliminating a substantial amount of toxic ingredients from your daily consumption.

Or become a member of a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and get fresh, in-season produce, dairy, grains and meats delivered to your doorstep – hard to beat that! When you support producers that hold environmental and social standards, you’re voting with you dollar, and will promote healthier food systems.

4. Use the 80:20 rule. Do your best to stock clean foods in your home, and cut yourself some slack with the remaining 20% of the time eating at restaurants and enjoying meals with friends – this is a more sustainable formula that beats floating from one extreme for a short time only to revert back to the opposite.

5. Invest in your wellness.  While it’s best to buy organic foods which restrict higher levels of pesticides, fungicides, hormones and genetically-modified ingredients, it can be limiting and expensive. Reference the Environmental Working Group’s 2018 Clean Shopper’s Guide to read in more detail which conventional foods are most highly contaminated with pesticides and products of genetic modification.  Invest in the actions that will go the farthest for your health – the upfront costs may seem overwhelming, however the investment is the best insurance policy money can buy for a life long lived with joy.

It’s easier to stay well than to get well!

Keep your eye out for next week’s post – Detoxifying Your Bathroom Cabinet!

Missed last week’s article? Read Summer Days are Approaching…Are You Storing Toxic Fat? here!