Functional Nutrition Blog

Focusing on gut health and Functional nutrition

How to Reduce Toxins Day-to-Day

Jul 23, 2021 | Autoimmune Disease, Gut Health, Nutrition

You hear me talk about toxin a lot. You probably gets tons of ads showing you “less toxic versions” of all your favorite products (if you didn’t – I’m sure you will now that you read this!). But what does that mean?  What are toxins, where are they found, and why are they so damn problematic?

In case you don’t want to read all of this, you can download my free Guide to a Less Toxic Life and just get to work!

Why Toxins are such an issue:

I will sum this up briefly:  toxins do not belong in the body. In order to remove from the body, the liver has to detoxify them through its natural detoxification systems (yes – that is a thing).

In order to do this, other jobs the liver is responsible for can fall to the side.

Among MANY other things, liver:

  • metabolizes fructose (fruit sugar)
  • produces bile in order to digest fats
  • removes hormones like estrogen when it’s done being used

When the liver is too busy working on all the excess toxins, it can’t do these other vital jobs well and you put into effect a CASCADE of other potential issues:

  • decreased ability to tolerate fruit
  • inability to digest fats properly – uncomfortable GI (bloating diarrhea/constipation, pain, tenderness, oily bowel movements)
  • increase in estrogen which can cause INCREASED symptoms with your period (bloating, cramps, you know them well…) as well as cause hormone-related acne with your cycle

This is a totally incomplete list, however – it’s enough!  These pieces of your health day to day are compromised when the liver has to do too much UNNECESSARY detox work.

What’s the answer?

REDUCE YOUR BODY’S INTAKE OF TOXINS

How to Reduce Toxins:

I like breaking this into 3 categories:

  1. Food
  2. Personal Care Products
  3. Cleaning Products

 

How to Avoid in Food:

My best trick is to use the Environmental Working Group’s Guide: Dirty Dozen.  This is a list of 12 foods that take up the most amount of pesticides while being grown with conventional farming methods.  They also have a Clean 15 list you can check out!

I like to recommend prioritizing meat and dairy products as being organic along with this list of the Dirty Dozen for produce. That will give you a starting point!  If only 1 or 2 of these categories is a possibility for you, then pick the one you and your family consumes the most of.

Things I find helpful personally:

Butcher Box – all organic meat delivered straight to your door, no brainer choices which I LOVE so I don’t have to think too much about the transparency of the packaging/labeling ($30 off your first box with that link)

Misfit Market – organic produce (also delivered to your door). You can either decide how to build your box (all seasonal produce that rotates!) or have them build it for you

Another tip is to READ THE INGREDIENT LIST!  Through the calories out the window for a minute and take a look at WHAT you are actually consuming instead of “HOW MUCH”.  Just for a moment – humor me. Give it a try.  You’ll realize how much you’re consuming that you don’t actually recognize AS FOOD.

Take stock of these items and start to find their alternatives so you aren’t missing out on the things you love to eat but can do so without adding to your toxic load.

Thrive Market – just a million different options for ALL TYPES OF DIETS but with really high quality choices – this is a great tool to use to browse for potential items to swap to (25% off your order with that link)

How to Avoid in Personal Care Products:

This one can be slightly easier with these steps:

  1. Take stock of all the personal care products you have.  Go on – don’t be embarrassed, I see you.  Get every single thing that you own and decide if you need it or not.  Once you decide what you ACTUALLY like/need to use you can decide which things you may need/want to SWAP OUT.
  2. Swapping out.  Use my free Guide to a Less Toxic Life for SO MANY brand ideas and some discount codes here and there to help make this FUN and super easy.
  3. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT:  do not let yourself run out of your current product completely BEFORE you purchase the new Less Toxic option!  If you do, you will not purchase something new.  You’ll run to the store and buy the exact same thing you always buy because it’s what you know and what you have time for.  Yes, I have learned this the hard way…several times.

Let’s be honest – not all products are created equal so you’ll want to read reviews and take a look at what works best for you.  ALLOW YOURSELF SOME TIME TO DO THIS.  Do not settle for dyes in your deodorant.  Who cares what color that stuff is!

How to Avoid in Cleaning Products:

Use all of the above tips and apply to cleaning products!

The detail I will point out that is specifically helpful here is WHAT CLEANING PRODUCTS DO YOU REALLY NEED?!?!?!

You definitely do not need everything under that sink (or sinks!).  What can you empty out and recycle and how many products can you replace with just 1 or 2 options that cover everything?

Grove is amazing for that (I personally use them about monthly – $10 off after your first order using that link)

A million more options in my guide!

Seriously, you can do this.  You can do it for you. For your kids, for your partner, for your parents, and for your friends.  Be “that person”.  It’s okay – we like those people!  Model what it looks like to have less toxic products coming into your body and give yourself some time to notice the benefits and differences.

 

If you are reading this and feel totally overwhelmed because there are too many other potential starting points, you can fill out an application HERE to see if doing some more specific work is a smarter starting point!

 

Always cheering for you!

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