Removing All Forms of Toxicity From Your Life
Who knew that reading Joseph E. Pizzorno’s “The Toxin Solution” would change my life in every way possible?
Yes, what started as a late-night Google search for “natural period cramp remedies” somehow quickly turned into a complete overhaul of every beauty treatment, cleaning product and food item in my apartment. And yes, even an overhaul of my toxic friends.
I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty healthy, well-rounded chick. I’m mindful about the foods I eat and I exercise almost every day. I rarely drink. And hell, I’m a vegan health coach for God’s sake!
I like to think that I’ve always prided myself on being healthy, getting enough sleep, having good energy and top-notch, fiber-rich digestion. 🙂
But for whatever reason (most likely because I’m in denial about aging) I’ve started to experience major hormonal swings in my 30s. Sure, we ladies can all recognize the difference between how we look and feel during our fertile “hot week” vs. our pre-period “bloated, hideous week.” But for whatever reason, as soon as I hit 33, the hormonal ups and downs became more and more noticeable. And I, of course, became more and more determined to balance that shit out!
So in my internet search for PMS SOS, I stumbled upon a variety of research and studies that revealed how peeps from all over the U.S., Europe and even my beloved Canada have absorbed a complex chemical shit storm of synthetic substances throughout our lifetimes — many of which are “endocrine disruptors” aka the likely cause of my hormonal imbalances.
I immediately purchased Joseph E. Pizzorno’s “The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons in the Air, Water, Food, and Products We Use Are Destroying Our Health—AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO FIX IT” and got reading. Then got terrified. And perhaps a little toxin-obsessed.
I started preaching to everyone I knew about the dangers of these toxins and immediately replaced all of my plastic tupperware containers with glass ones and my non-stick fry pans with cast iron skillets. Then tried pawning off all of my toxic shit onto those very same people… 🙂
I threw out every hair and skincare product I owned with chemically-sounding ingredients and invested in a bunch of all-natural alternatives, nearly experiencing a heart attack when I saw my total on the cash register. I even replaced my beloved, expensive perfume collection with strange, hippie-smelling, essential oils. Eau de “Ylang Ylang?” Sure, whatever.
I became diligent about eating organic foods and local produce and would analyze package labels even more anal retentively than when I was in competition prep mode.
I was on a mission to rid my body of all these toxic chemicals and hopefully repair the years of damage they had no doubt caused.
I learned that apparently the most common chemicals we encounter on a daily basis are actually the most worrisome because they’re the ones that seriously mess with our hormones. These are the endocrine-disrupting chemicals I mentioned earlier aka “EDCs” which are synthetic compounds that mimic our natural hormones (and not in a good way!)
EDCs can either turn on or off your normal hormonal signals. And just a tiny amount of one hormone can majorly effect your other hormones AND bodily tissues by attaching to your cell receptors. Your body obviously wants to keep everything in balance but when hormonal disruptions occur in one part of the endocrine system, it can wreak havoc in other areas.
So for example, there’s a pretty good chance that EDCs will bind to your hormone receptors and trigger either excessive hormone action or block your body’s natural hormonal responses altogether. Doesn’t sound too good, now does it?
And the long-term proven effects of EDCs in animal studies have linked pesticide exposure to deformities, sex-reversals and yup, even infertility.
And what’s even scarier is that the long-term effects of EDCs on humans are still a frigging mystery because there has never been so many man-made, unregulated synthetics at work in our bodies before! AHHHHHH!!!!
But humans’ exposure to EDCs have, however, been linked to reproductive disorders, endometriosis, adrenal imbalances, thyroid issues, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and various cancers. There have even been cases of mood disorders and autism related to these endocrine disruptors.
Needless to say, whether the proof is 100% in the toxic pudding or not, this was enough unsettling info for me to take immediate action.
Obviously I’m not so stupid to think that I can avoid ALL toxin exposure. I do realize that I have to leave my apartment sometimes and breathe in the outside air.
And thankfully, there is some good news for us vegans! Apparently the most toxic, pesticide residues are actually found in fatty fish, meat and dairy products. 🙂
[bctt tweet=”Good news for vegans! The most pesticide residues are actually found in fish, meat and dairy products.” username=”samanthashorkey”]
All in all, I’m pretty stoked on these changes that I’ve made. And I can honestly say that embarking on a “toxin free” life has almost become a high for me.
Everyday I’m making a solid effort to purge more and more of my toxic-filled belongings and replace them with safer, healthier (albeit more expensive) options. And let it be known that if I lose or smash my new $40 glass water bottle, I might have to murder someone.
But overall, it really does feel good to know that I’m on the path to optimal health and wellness. Call it the “Placebo Effect” if you will but it feels damn good to know that everything going into (and onto) my body **hopefully** isn’t harming me.
And low and behold: even my PMS symptoms GREATLY decreased after just one month. I’m still not sure if I should be thanking the $20 “clary sage” oil I’ve been rubbing all over my pelvis every morning or the $30 evening primrose oil I’ve been slathering all over my face at nighttime. But either way, I genuinely feel better so I’m sticking it out.
And now, two months into it, I’m proud to say that I’m still making strides in the right direction. Today, for instance, I’m headed to Home Depot for a water filtering tap faucet.
It’s been a pretty cool experiment so far and I recommend that we ALL become more conscious of these endocrine disruptors we’re constantly exposing ourselves to.
We can all do our best to reduce our daily contact with these bastards by paying more attention to the plastics, pesticides, clothing fabrics, cleansers, and cosmetics we’re using. And give the “Toxin Solution” a read. I can tell you that the knowledge and insight I’ve gained from this book has impacted my life in more profound ways than just mild PMS relief and major credit card debt.
In fact, I was talking to a new “man friend” the other day about these recent lifestyle overhauls and he shared with me some pretty deep shit that I will now share with you.
It was: “don’t be afraid of removing the wrong people from the right place in your life. You can’t go anywhere with negative people. Negative people are like cars without fuel and engines. You can only sit in them but they will never take you anywhere.”
And his message got me thinking…
Somehow I had accumulated a few toxic people in my life. And how were they any different for my long-term mental health and physical well-being than the toxic chemicals I was exposing my brain and body to?
I’d been on such a good spiritual path these past few months that I realized the type of people I choose to surround myself with plays an equally important role in my journey to optimal health and wellness.
So just like my skin creams and makeup, I spent some time evaluating the people in my life and deciding who to keep and who to pitch. It sounds harsh but like I said on our podcast all about minimalism, anyone who isn’t adding VALUE to my life definitely doesn’t deserve a guest star role in it.
And just like my plastic tupperware and Teflon fry pans, let someone else find value in ’em. 🙂
Happy toxin-detoxin’, vegan fit crew!
-Sam Shorkey, The Mindful Meathead behind Jacked on the Beanstalk
Amen sista!! Love this! Especially this: “Love Yourself enough to Respect yourself and put down healthy boundaries.” I know I’ve been guilty of playing the “helper” role in the past myself. Not sure if it’s a side effect of being a coach or what. But I always have this desire to want to “help people.” But just like you said, when toxic people are making their way into your own life and negatively effecting YOUR health and well-being, time to say goodbye.
Getting rid of Toxic People is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Toxic people are energy vampires, and can poison you. Life is way too short and too precious to waste on Toxic men and women who are no good for you. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that. But alas, I can’t. Stay away from toxic people. Get them out of your Life. Toxic people can literally make you sick. So Love Yourself enough to Respect yourself and put down healthy boundaries. Your Health Depends on it.
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WOW!! David, thank you sooooo much for sharing!! And good for you for making the connection. I’m just kicking myself that I didn’t open my eyes to all this messed up shit a long time ago! But alas, we just didn’t know any better because we simply didn’t think our governments would allow this exposure and risky shit into our lives. So messed up. Nevertheless, I’m so sorry about your mom and I too, worry about my own loved ones who are still doing shady behaviours like microwaved plastic. You will probably dig this week’s podcast episode all about living a “zero waste” lifestyle. Thanks so much for sharing and reaching out. Means a lot to me. And keep fighting the good fight (for you, your daughter and our planet.) ❤
Awww thank you, Charlotte!! And please, stalk away. :) Your comment actually makes me feel less bad for just spending $40 on two bottles of non-toxic nail polish. But the way I see it, is I’ll save a lot of money now that I’m not slathering my nails with shellac and all the terrifying chemicals that come with it. Anyway, thanks so much for the comment and the support. Good luck with the detox and let me know how it goes!
I just wanted to share with you that this post about toxins really resonated with me. I spent saturday morning comforting my teenage daughter while she went through horrendous menstrual cramps. I’m working on improving her diet, and she just recently became very conscious of beauty products and toxicity. I also lost my mom a little over a month ago to cancer. While I was growing up, she always cooked with teflon (and in some cases the teflon was peeling and ending up in the food), and using plastic containers to store food and even microwave food in. Would you believe that the week of the funeral while at my dad’s house that he, and my brother and his wife were all reheating food in plastic containers? At one point I said something to my brother about it and why it was harmful and he rolled his eyes at me. I’ve been plastic free for a few years now, and massively reduced chemicals in my home and in life in general. So I really applaud you for your post, I know it’s one that some people will roll their eyes at, but you may also make a few people think too
That’s so funny because I actually started taking a selenium supplement last month and I’m now two periods in and so far, the PMS symptoms have been significantly better. Although did you know that many of us experience far worse symptoms every other month because our ovaries take turns? Cool eh? And that’s typically the case with me. Just trying to figure out which ovary is the asshole now ;) Thanks for the tip though, tips!
Awesome post!! P.s. While ago, my naturopath recommended eating 1 brazil nut a day (they’re incredibly high in selenium) for menstrual symptoms. After a few months, I noticed that most of those pesky symptoms decreased significantly!! My brother’s fiance and one of my friends tried it, and it’s been working for them as well :)
Great post Sam. I only learned of you after hearing your talk at the Plant Fit Summit and have been stalking you ever since! In a non creepy way of course lol! Really happy to have found you and your blog though. I’ve been going through some internal stuff lately and knowing someone like you can relate really makes me feel better so thank you for being so honest about your own self esteem struggles. I’m going to try a toxic detox of my own. Keep up the good work!
Damn girl! You must’ve read my mind! I’m actually planning to record a whole podcast episode about my fave vegan beauty and skincare products and will be posting it in November. So stay tuned for that. And I’ll try to include more vegan beauty blog posts for all my peeps who haven’t yet jumped on board the podcast train. :) Thanks for the suggestion though! It’s definitely something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while! So stay tuned and I got you on the natural, cruelty-free must-haves!
Could you please share with me some of the natural makeup lines you have found and liked? I really love your blog and you always have great advice- and look great as well! I would love to know more about legit natural makeup. All my skin and haircare is natural, but I have been having trouble finding natural cosmetics. Some that claim to be end up not being at all! I don’t mind spending a little more if they really are natural. Looking for a good BB cream, mascara, blush, and some eyelid/eyebrow powder mostly! But open to any suggestions!
[…] interested, I did write about the dangers of toxin exposure and how they can mess up our hormones HERE. But naturally, I had to bring it up with Dr. Danika on this week’s podcast […]
I’m delighted with your blog! You are my role model. Lots of love! Gulia http://fixthephoto.com/
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