18 January 2015

Ten Tips to Protect Your Body from Toxic Chemicals

  1. Don't put anything on your skin you wouldn't eat! Avoid mainstream consumer skin care, cosmetics and personal care products, period! Need soap? Try natural brands like Dr Bronner's, Mrs. Meyers, Watkins or Nubain Heritage.
  2. Don't eat foods made with chemicals you can't pronounce. Read the ingredients labels. If the list of ingredients is too long and complex to figure out, it's probably made more with chemicals than actual food.
  3. Don't use unnecessary over-the-counter drugs or prescriptions. If you do need to use medication for short-term emergency use, be sure to detoxify your liver afterwards. I recommend Milk Thistle 250mg twice daily to protect the liver.
  4. Drink more water. Most people simply don't consume enough water to effectively remove toxins from their bodies. If you don't like water by itself, add sliced lemon, lime or cucumber to a pitcher of water and enjoy.
  5. Cleanse your body with parsley, chlorella or activated charcoal. All these substances can help cleanse your body and eliminate toxic substances that may be detrimental to your health. I use a bunch of parsley in my smoothie every day. I also use activated charcoal when traveling or if I'm exposed to food that may not be the safest.
  6. Don't use products that off-gas toxic chemicals in your home. Air fresheners, perfumed candles, particle board furniture, carpets, glues, etc. Get a high quality air filter to run 24/7 in your home, like mine from Austin Air
  7. Don't use non-stick cookware. These are the worst! Although they are very convenient to use and clean it emits toxic fumes when overheated. Invest in quality copper-clad stainless steel pans or cast-iron. You can also use ceramic coated ones, like this from Orgreenics. They last a lifetime and they don't contaminate your body with chemicals.
  8. Buy certified organic products. The USDA Organic Seal is a trusted seal that genuinely indicates organic quality (both in foods and personal care products). Don't be fooled by brand names that use the word "organics" in their name but aren't really organic. For example, "Joe-Bob's Organics" may or may not actually be organic.
  9. Get the chemical out of your laundry! Stop washing your clothes in toxic brand-name laundry detergents and fabric softeners or dryer sheets. It is astounding what chemicals these can contain. I prefer simple homemade detergents like this one from Wellness Mama.
  10. Do a 14-21 day detox least once a year. You can do this with a modified fast (eliminate gluten, dairy, egg, soy, corn, sugar, alcohol) combined with detox support. I routinely recommend using the delicious chocolate shake, Thorne Mediclear SGS to accomplish this. For a complete guide to your personalized detox, click here. You can order Mediclear at Thorne.com using code: HCP1004064

Stay healthy by staying informed. For more visit http://www.ewg.org/

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01 January 2015

Eight Keys for Healthier Food Choices in the New Year

Start where you are and proceed step by step toward the goal. Follow these overall guidelines:

  1. Read the label before buying anything. The best indicators of how highly processed a food is can actually be found in the list of ingredients. If what you are buying contains more than 5 ingredients and includes a lot of unfamiliar, unpronounceable items you should reconsider before buying. Avoid packaged and processed foods - don't buy anything in a box, bag or can.
  2. Eliminate partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats from your diet. These have no nutritional value and serve no purpose other than to derail your health. Keep in mind that certain products that actual contain trans fat (like the chocolate chip cookie dough you can buy pre-made) can get away with listing 0 grams of trans fat on the label as long as the amount per serving is under 1 gram. Don't be fooled!
  3. Don't use coupons! Yep, you heard me.... cheap food is usually just that, cheap! When was the last time you saw a coupon for a organic avocado? or for organic eggs or beef? That majority of coupons are distributed for big box manufacturers, like Kraft and Kellogg so you'll often be forced into buying boxed, packaged and highly processed food thinking you're saving money. Just don't! Instead buy from local farmers or in bulk and you still save money and avoid those "deals" that are detrimental to your health. If you do happen to find the rare coupon for whole foods, by all means use them!
  4. Avoid eating at fast food restaurants. Instead plan ahead and bring a home-cooked meal or healthy whole food snack with you. Learn to cook at home with real whole food ingredients. If you really want to be in optimal shape and your best health in 2015, there is just no getting around the fact that you must learn to prepare food at home.
  5. Dump the sugar and high starchy foods (crackers, potatoes, rice, scones, cookies, etc.). Sugar is the most inflammatory thing that we consume and most of us consume far too much. Recent studies showed sugar addiction to be a more powerful stimulator of dopamine reward pathways than cocaine! While it's hard at first, going through a sugar detox will free you from the need to eat every hour or two to keep blood sugar stable and will give you mastery and control over your food choices since you're not following cravings.
  6. Use healthy low-glycemic fruits to satisfy sweet cravings. You can make some delicious desserts in a healthy way to satisfy a sweet craving. Some of your best options are fresh or frozen organic berries, green apples, or a fresh fig. Try my delicious recipes for Chocolate Avocado Pudding and No Bake Vitality Treats if you need a start...
  7. Eat 4-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables daily. Best bets are cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens. If you don't like them steamed, broiled or raw, try a green smoothie drink with lots of spinach or kale - it's delicious! Here's a great Green Smoothie you might enjoy. Be sure to add fiber, too, like chia seed, psyllium or flax to your meals, smoothies, veggies. Fiber is filling, good for healthy bowel function and aids in producing short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) to feed your good bacteria.
  8. “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself, ” to quote Michael Pollan. If you have to peel, chop and deep fry potatoes every time you wanted French fries then you might not eat them very often. Eating “junk food” such as cakes, sweets, and fried foods only as often as you are willing to make them yourself will automatically reduce your consumption.