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Hey, friend! This is post #4 in the #FabHealthFitBody 6-week series, & today we’re talking all about toxicity & detoxing! If you missed any of the previous posts in this series, you can check them out here:
- Post #1: Mindset & Motivation: The #1 Reason People Fail to Reach Their Health Goals (+5 Ways to Master It!)
- Post #2: 5 Tips To Become a Healthy Eating Rockstar (+ 6 Common Nutrition Myths You Might Believe)
- Post #3: 5 Exercise Myths That Are Holding You Back (+3 Easy Strategies to Up-Level Your Fitness)
I also want to remind you that I created a Fab Health Fit Body 5-Day Challenge to go hand-in-hand with this series. It’s basically a 5-day healthy lifestyle plan (including 5 days worth of meals, as well as fat-burning workouts, mindset & motivation tips, & daily detox strategies). You’re gonna love it! Download it for free below! 💜
Now, let’s dive into this week’s topic, which is all about how toxins affect your health, & how to create a more toxin-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, toxicity & detoxification is an aspect of wellness that most people AND health professionals fail to address. But hear this: It is absolutely essential in order to live your healthiest, happiest life.
The reality is, we’re more toxic today than ever before! In today’s world, we are bombarded with toxins every minute of every day. Outdoor pollution & toxins are a problem, but inside our homes, work environments, & other buildings are even worse. We’re continually exposed to far more toxicity than our bodies were meant to encounter & handle. We’re being exposed throughout our entire lives — & toxins start accumulating from the time a baby is in their mother’s womb.
Health Consequences & Symptoms of Toxicity
Now, traces of toxic substances might not result in noticeable or extreme symptoms right away, but the underlying damage is still real. The immune system, liver, & other detoxification organs will still be working overtime to remove the toxins.
And, while you may not always have noticeable symptoms of toxicity (especially in earlier stages & lower toxic loads), sometimes there ARE warning signs. Some signs of toxicity or that you may have a toxic overload include:
- Aches & Pains
- Belly Fat or Inability to Lose Weight
- Skin Problems
- Food Cravings
- Low Energy
- Bad Breath
- Mood Swings
So if you frequently struggle with some of these symptoms, it’s very possible that they’re being caused by too many toxins in your body.
In addition to the symptoms I just mentioned, there are also some major health consequences that can result from toxicity. A high enough toxic load accumulated over time can be a major contributing factor in the following health problems:
- Hormone Imbalances
- Digestive Issues
- Infertility or Reproductive Problems
- Autoimmune Disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, & scleroderma)
- Kidney Disease
- Lung Problems
- Depression or Panic Disorder
- Weight Loss Resistance or Excess Fat Storage
There are additional serious health issues that are linked to toxicity, but these are some of the major ones. Not something to play around with, right?? 😕
Toxicity & Weight-Loss Resistance
One of these toxicity-related health issues that I want to highlight here is weight loss resistance — because I know that a lot of people have a health goal of losing weight.
Now, if you’re following a truly healthy eating plan & doing 3-6 Metabolic Conditioning workouts per week — & you’re STILL not losing as much weight as you’d like, or you’re stuck at a plateau in your weight loss progress — then there’s a good possibility that you’re toxic.
Your body is super smart — & it’s always doing the right thing at the right time. So when you have toxins in your body, a lot of them are stored in fat cells. This is done to protect you! It would cause MORE harm if the toxins were allowed to run rampant through your bloodstream & around your body, rather than being locked up in fat cells. Your body then holds on to that toxic fat, because it definitely doesn’t want to release the toxins & risk causing more harm to your health.
This results in that stubborn belly fat & weight loss resistance. So in order to get rid of toxic fat, you have to focus on detoxification strategies.
4 Steps to a Toxin-Free Lifestyle
The sheer amount & prevalence of toxins in our lives, coupled with the potential health consequences they can cause, is exactly why we can’t ignore the issue of toxicity & the action of detoxification if we want to truly have abundant health & our most fit body.
While it’s impossible to completely remove all toxins from our lives, we have to take steps to eliminate them as much as possible. Here are 4 steps to start living a more toxin-free lifestyle…
1. Minimize Your Exposure To Toxins
We live in a very toxic world, & it’s unrealistic to think we can try to avoid or eliminate every single toxic source in our life. But, we can still avoid or limit certain sources to significantly reduce our EXPOSURE to toxins & our overall toxic load.
Rather than getting overwhelmed by the amount of toxins around us & the dangers they pose, the KEY is to identify realistic improvements that will reduce your current toxic load. There are healthy, non-toxic alternatives & solutions to many of the major sources of toxins in our lives.
2 of the biggest sources of toxicity in our lives that we have a lot of control over are our personal care products & our household products.
Personal Care Products
Let’s start with personal care products: This is a HUGE source of toxicity — especially for women — that’s often overlooked. When I say personal care products, I mean things like cosmetics, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hand soap, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, hair products, skin care products, perfume, etc. — all that good stuff!
Here’s the thing: Your skin is your first level of defense & protection against toxins. Yet most personal care products are full of toxic, man-made, manufactured ingredients. What you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Now, you may or may not have skin reactions to toxic products. A lot of times you won’t have a single adverse reaction that you can see at the time. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe & healthy.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of chemicals that are harmful & toxic, yet they’re still approved & used on a regular basis in our personal care products. Many toxic ingredients that are banned in European countries are still approved for use in The United States.
Some of the most harmful toxins in personal care products to avoid include:
- Propylene Glycol
These are just a HANDFUL of the countless chemicals out there, but even just being on the lookout for these 8 toxins & avoiding them will make a difference.
One of my favorite resources for checking the toxicity levels of personal care products is the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This awesome database reviews over 70,000 different products in regards to toxicity, relative levels of concern, & potential health hazards of the ingredients. So basically, you can look up almost any specific personal care product or brand or ingredient in this database, & it’ll tell you HOW toxic or HOW safe it is. It’s SO helpful! So anytime you’re going to purchase a personal care product of some sort, I highly recommend checking this database first to make sure it’s safe & non-toxic.
Here are a few other general tips & ideas when it comes to healthy personal care products:
- Ingredients should be clear, simple, & ideally things that you could safely eat (I know, that’s tough to find — but the more pure & “edible” the ingredients are, the safer & healthier it most likely is!).
- Support companies & people who make natural, non-toxic personal care products.
- Or, if you REALLY want to make sure they’re super non-toxic, you can learn how to make your own lip balms, deodorant, toothpaste, sunscreen, or other personal care products (It’s not very difficult, & it can be super affordable, too!).
As far as specific brands that have healthy, non-toxic, safe products, a few of my go-to brands I recommend for personal care products include:
- 100% Pure (skin care, hair & body care, & make-up) 💋
- Beautycounter (also has skin care, hair & body care, & make-up) 💁♀️
- Crunchi (specializes in amazing, non-toxic, high-performance make-up) 💄
The more you can avoid toxic ingredients & personal care products and use toxin-free products, the more you’ll reduce your overall toxic load.
Another source of toxicity that you can easily make positive changes to is your household products. When I say household products, I mean things like cleaning products, dish soap, laundry detergent, cookware, as well as certain aspects of the home itself.
A lot of the same harmful ingredients in personal care products are also found in household cleaners, & many of these ingredients have asthmatic & carcinogenic (cancer-causing) potential. Some of the biggest toxins to avoid in household products include:
- Harsh Detergents
- PFCs (from non-stick coating on cookware)
One of my favorite resources for checking the toxicity levels of household cleaning products is the EWG Guide To Healthy Cleaning, which reviews 2,500+ products & grades them based on their safety & toxicity levels. This is similar to the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, except this one is for household cleaning products. You can search for a brand or a specific product, & EWG will grade them on a scale from A through F, depending on how safe or toxic they are.
As far as specific brands that have healthy, non-toxic, safe household cleaning products, some of the cleanest brands that I recommend include:
The more you can avoid toxic ingredients & household products and use non-toxic products instead, the lower your toxicity levels will be.
2. Actively Incorporate Detox Strategies
Now that we’ve talked about some ways to minimize your toxic load & reduce your EXPOSURE to toxic sources, the next goal is to take some steps to support the body’s natural detoxification systems & processes. In other words, the previous step was all about limiting & avoiding toxins as much as possible, & now this step is about DETOXING your body from the toxins that we’re still exposed to.
While it’s true that our body is self-healing & self-regulating, we also know that the world & our modern lifestyle will overload our body with toxins. Therefore, actively detoxifying your body on a regular basis is necessary for maximum health & wellness.
There are several ways to naturally, effectively, & safely detoxify, but a few of my favorites include:
- Intermittent Fasting
- Infrared Sauna Sessions (which also help with stress-relief, weight loss, immune function, & more!)
- Taking a high-quality detox supplement
My all-time favorite detox supplement that I’ve personally been taking for the past 7+ years is MaxLiving’s Detox System. It’s a super-powerful 2-part supplement that detoxes the body at a cellular level (meaning it helps clean out all the individual cells, rather than just a certain organ or part of your body).
The Detox System is designed to enhance your body’s natural detoxification system & keep it at peak performance each day. Taking this supplement gives me the peace of mind that comes with knowing I’m doing something very powerful every day to help detoxify my body.
3. Get Plenty of High-Quality Sleep
Most people understand that getting proper sleep is obviously a good idea, but a lot of people don’t realize just HOW important sleep is for a healthy mind & body, & the consequences of NOT getting enough quality sleep.
The truth is, adequate amount & quality of sleep is VITAL for overall wellness & detoxification. While everyone’s sleeping needs can vary slightly, adults should be sleeping at least 7 full hours per night, with 7-9 hours being the recommended range for adults.
Among countless other health benefits, sleep is critical for brain detoxification. Research shows that your brain has a unique method of removing toxic waste, & this brain detoxification method increases its activity during sleep. Therefore, sleeping allows your brain to clear out toxins, including harmful proteins linked to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
To sum things up, while we’re sleeping, our bodies spend quality time healing, rejuvenating, & detoxifying. And without enough sleep, our physical, mental, & emotional health suffers in many ways. With this in mind, we MUST find ways to get an adequate amount of high-quality sleep on a regular basis.
Aim for 7-9 hours per night — and if you don’t currently get that, here are a few quick tips you could try to improve your sleep:
- Create a calming, relaxing bedtime routine: This can help you physically & mentally unwind, & it signals to your body that it’s time for bed — making it easier to fall asleep. Everyone is different, so find what works for you!
- Avoid sugar & high-glycemic carbs later in the day or evening.
- Avoid electronic “blue light” at night — the bright lights on these screens cause alertness before bed, & sometimes even headaches, making it harder to fall asleep.
- Adjust the temperature of your bedroom — 60-70 degrees F is usually the best range for sleeping.
- Drink some calming herbal tea about an hour before bed. Chamomile, lavender, passion flower, valerian root, & specific sleeping blends are all great for improving sleep.
4. Address Any Emotional Toxicity
Emotional toxicity is real, & it’s a major contributing factor for several health issues. Toxic emotions, toxic thoughts, & toxic relationships all contribute to emotional toxicity. These things may not be “chemicals”, but they absolutely are toxic to us & can lead to health problems — not just emotionally & mentally, but physically as well.
Even if you implement everything I’ve talked about in this #FabHealthFitBody series up until this point — your mindset & motivation, your nutrition, your fitness, & your detoxing are all great — BUT you have underlying emotional toxicity that isn’t addressed — you won’t be able to experience FULL healing & the most abundant life! Because the thing is, TRUE health & wellness is about body, mind, AND spirit! They’re all interconnected, & emotional toxicity affects all of them.
Some common toxic emotions include:
Now, we’re all human, & we will all experience some of these emotions to some degree at certain times in our lives. But the problem becomes when we struggle with these emotions too often, too intensely, & for too long. The longer & more frequently you feel these negative emotions, the more toxic they become.
Start by evaluating your emotions. The first step in healing & detoxing is awareness. So, do a self-evaluation of your emotions: Write down 1-5 negative emotions that you struggle with the most. And be real & honest with yourself — don’t ignore your struggles.
From there, make a proactive plan to start overcoming those toxic emotions. Maybe for you that includes reading something life-giving every day, meditating on specific quotes, focusing on what you’re grateful for, finding a support system, or spending more time doing things that bring you joy.
Emotional toxicity can be one of the hardest things to heal & detox from. Don’t get discouraged if your emotional struggles last longer than you expected. Remember that overcoming toxic emotions, thoughts, & relationships can be an intense process & journey, & it often doesn’t happen overnight. But don’t give up! 💜
Your Action Steps
So here are your action steps to start creating a more toxin-free lifestyle right away:
- Review the signs of toxicity in this post: Do you struggle with any of those symptoms? If so, make sure you make detoxing a priority so you can reduce your toxic load. And, regardless of if you have toxicity symptoms currently or not, make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to make detoxing on a regular basis a part of your healthy lifestyle moving forward. Because remember, we’re all exposed to numerous toxins every single day — so minimizing your toxicity will result in better overall health & a greater chance of you reaching your health goals!
- Switch out your toxic personal care products & household products for healthier, non-toxic versions. Check out the recommended brands I mentioned, or use the EWG Skin Deep Database & EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning to check toxicity levels of personal care products & household cleaning products before buying them.
- Decide on at least 1 natural detoxification strategy to implement into your lifestyle on a regular basis.
- If you don’t currently get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, create a calming bedtime routine & implement some natural sleep-promoting strategies into your daily life.
- Do a self-evaluation of your emotions. If you’re experiencing any toxic emotions, make a proactive plan to start overcoming them & combatting them on a daily basis.
- Want to start creating fabulous health, a fit body, & a happier life? Download the free Fab Health Fit Body 5-Day Challenge below!
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