Toxins, Toxins, Everywhere? Detox!

Over the weekend, I watched the latest Brenda Watson special on PBS. She was introducing her latest book, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps (RENEW: Remove, Eliminate, Nourish, Energize and achieve Wellness). Although I thought that she was a bit alarmist at times about the sort of toxins we are exposed to on a normal basis, she did have very good points about what a healthy/normally functioning body is able to do with those toxins (eliminate them) and what an unhealthy/abnormally functioning body does with them (store them). Her discussion focused on reducing your exposure and ensuring that your body can properly remove any toxins that you consume or absorb.

I must admit that I was distracted by her outfit during most of the show, but I did learn a few things that I hope to incorporate into my daily life. First, I want to purchase a shower filter. I didn't realize how much water my body absorbs in the shower. Absorbing water in the shower is great in terms hydration and ensuring that my skin feels moisturized. But given that tap water isn't as clean as it could be (and often contains traces of chemicals, metals, etc---though, thankfully, no microorganisms like in many developing countries!), I should be alarmed about what else my body is taking in. Please note that I am not endorsing the use of bottle water! If you are concerned, use a filter. It's cheaper, better for the environment, etc than going through a thousand bottles a year. Plus, some of the bottled water is just purified tap water anyway!

Watson also brought up the absorption of other substances through skin. This is something I knew about but didn't feel that alarmed about--until now. I'm making a stand. Over the next year, I'm going natural. Yes, that includes my hair (though mainly in preparation for Peace Corps)! I want to pay more attention to the sorts of moisturizers, deodorants, and other toiletries I put on my skin. I know that I'll probably get cancer at some point in my life (for both hereditary and environmental reasons) but I want to reduce the risk. Besides having the product's chemicals absorbed by and stored in my body, those chemicals are also flushed into the environment during production and disposal (washed off my skin or poured down the drain). I can only imagine how much gunk I've put into the environment as a result of my petroleum-based lotion addiction.

So, the next time I'm at Whole Foods, I'm going to check out the personal care aisle for better options. I've gotten quite comfortable with my moderate environmental lifestyle. It's time to shake things up and push myself further. I can definitely do more.

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