Long-lasting energy to make it through long days. A tough-as-nails immune system that keeps colds at bay. Glowing skin and shiny hair that makes you confident about your appearance. A clear, focused mind that’s got you feeling positive, creative, and ready to go-go-go. A body that helps you reach your goals.
A clean, all-natural diet can help you achieve all that and more.
But did you know the basics of what you eat isn’t the only thing that can help you look and feel your best? Detoxifying your life can give you another healthy-body boost, just by eliminating the invisible toxins that are hiding out in your home.
The first place you should look: in your refrigerator.
Keep reading for an in-depth look at the toxins lurking in your fridge—and see how you can avoid them, for better overall health once and for all.
Buy organic produce
Science has shown that organic produce is better for your body than non-organic. It’s free from all the chemical additives and treatments large agricultural corporations use to grow as much food as they can as quickly as possible. The difference, health-wise, makes organic produce worth prioritizing in your grocery budget.
What does the label mean? To use the “certified organic” or “100% organic” label, farms and food manufacturers have meet strict, government-mandated standards. Organic food must be free from synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and unnatural dyes. It can’t be processed using industrial solvents or irradiation treatments, and it can’t be genetically modified. This means you won’t be ingesting the toxic chemicals responsible for sabotaging your health.
Need to pick and choose? Sometimes, access and higher price tags make going 100-percent organic a hurdle. That’s where EWG’s annual Dirty Dozen list comes into play. Each year, the EWG tests hundreds of different fruits and vegetables to see which ones test positive for pesticide residue. The top-12 most contaminated offenders make the list.
The 12 items where buying organic can make the biggest difference are:
- Sweet bell peppers
Know your nutrition labels
A nutrition label is about more than calories, proteins, carbs, and saturated fat. With all the crazy, five-syllable chemical compounds, I know they can seem like they’re written in another language. But take a deep breath. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed. My suggestion: If you can’t pronounce them, don’t eat them. Overall, whole foods that don’t need a nutrition label (or a can, box, or bag) are the way to go. For packaged products, look for items with less than five ingredients on the label.
But if you are picking up food that comes in a box or can, here’s a shortlist of ingredients to be on the lookout for (and why you should avoid them):
- Artificial dyes. These bad guys are largely banned in the E.U., but they’re prevalent in the U.S., even though they’ve been linked to cancer and behavioral problems, including hyperactivity. Look for ingredients listed as colors and numbers, like “Blue #1” and “Red #40.” You can find them in juices, sports drinks, yogurts, ice creams, and any refrigerated item that tends to be dyed a color to match its flavor.
- Butylated hydroxyanisole, or BHA. Research suggests this potential carcinogen disrupts hormone production and can damage your reproductive system. You can find it in packaged fatty food, like preserved meats and butter.
- Carrageenan. This seaweed extract has been linked to gastrointestinal diseases, inflammation, and gut irritation since the 1960s. You can still find it in dairy products, dairy alternatives, nutritional drinks, deli meats, and some frozen food.
- Growth hormone, or rBGH. When dairy cows are given hormones to increase milk production, they are given more antibiotics to offset infections—and both the hormones and the antibiotics are in their milk. They can prevent the body from naturally destroying cancer cells and can cause antibiotic resistance. Look for labels that read “hormone-free” or “not given rBGH.”
- Mercury. This deadly heavy metal can affect the brain and kidneys, causing strange behavior, disrupting your hearing and vision, and harming your memory. Mercury is particularly toxic in fish thanks to soil run-off into our rivers and oceans. Eat these fish sparingly: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Also opt for “light” tuna.
- Sodium nitrite. A commonly used preservative and coloring agent, this chemical hangs out in the processed meat aisle. A build-up of sodium nitrite can impact your respiratory system, increase your risk for cancer, and irritate your GI tract.
- Sodium benzoate, or benzoic acid. If you stock up on low-sugar foods as well as flavored drinks, milk, and processed meats, be on the look out for this preservative. It can screw up your digestive system temporarily, causing anything from an upset stomach to headaches and behavior problems.
Toss plastic packaging
Bottled water and canned food get most of the BPA hype, but they’re not the only offenders. Many types of plastic packaging, including reusable plastic containers, also contain bisphenol-A and its replacement, bisphenol-S, which have both been linked to cancer. Sometimes, we don’t have a choice about how our food makes it to our refrigerators. Once it gets there, though, pulling it out of its potentially poisonous plastic packaging is one of the easiest ways you can detox your diet.
Here are a few must-do’s:
- Wash and prep produce when you get home from the grocery store. If you need to wrap them back up, paper towels are a better option than plastic produce bags. Even better: reusable cloth produce bags.
- Buy items that come packaged in paper or glass rather than plastic. This is a great option for condiments, sauces, butter, and similar items.
- Remove packaged food, takeout, leftovers from plastic containers and store in glass or food-safe ceramic, instead.
- Read up on your go-to household storage items, like plastic bags and wraps, to see if they contain BPA or BPS. Some brands have eliminated them from their manufacturing processes, so check on company websites before you buy.
- Look for BPA- and BPS-free packaging on food products and push your grocery store to go BPA- and BPS-free on their pre-packaged goods.
Want to detox your life? I can guide you through the process
The number of toxins lurking in your daily life can be intimidating. Pinpointing the sources of toxins can be a game changer in your health and even stubborn weight.
From detoxing your lifestyle to creating the right food plans, I work one-on-one with my clients to help them live their best lives. It’s my job to help you figure out what’s bringing you down—and find solutions that will get you back on your feet again.
Ready to detox you life? Let’s do it together. Start by requesting a free consultation with me today.