Chef Ellen


Unraveling The Toxic Web

Environmental toxins are in our water bottles, food, and homes. We are sick and tired. Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is essential for lifelong health and longevity. However, exploring the impact of toxins on overall health and our environment and addressing feelings of tiredness, sadness, or general unwellness may uncover the hidden culprits disrupting our quest for optimal well-being.

Digging deeper and understanding how simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce one’s exposure to toxins starts with awareness. Actionable steps from food sourcing to incorporating detoxifying habits into your daily routine are positive actions and a foundational approach that paves the way to improvements.
The following are ten practical tips to aid in minimizing overall exposure to toxins in our everyday lives:
1. Opt for organic, when possible, to reduce exposure to pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Foods overly sprayed with pesticides are berries, leafy greens, and apples.
For more information on the shopper’s guide to Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen list, click here. We can’t always be perfect, but when we do our best, long-term improvements make a difference.
2. Convenience foods are products with the highest amounts of processed ingredients. Tap into mindful eating practices and become more aware of overly processed ingredients like preservatives and additives. Choose products with minimal processing and ingredients that are wholesome. Click here to become better acquainted with label- reading food packages to make healthy and informed food choices.
3. Practice mindful water consumption and avoid contaminants in tap water by investing in a water filter or filtration system. Avoiding plastic bottles is a feat, but if we use carriers made of stainless steel or glass to prevent plastic leaching, we make small changes that eventually add up. Shower filters are also a wonderful way to remove or reduce impurities like chlorine, heavy metals, and contaminants we tend to not think of when showering daily.
4. Cookware and making a cautious effort to elect safer options like cast iron, stainless steel, or glass instead of non-stick Teflon-type pans can reduce the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals released when heated. Also, be conscious of storing food in plastic containers and using plastic utensils because of the danger they pose with plastic’s exposure to heat.
5. Personal Care Products, from shampoo and skin creams to laundry detergent and toothpaste, may contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Opt for more natural and organic ingredients from sources with mission statements that give the consumer full disclosure of what these products contain. Click here for a great article breaking down questionable ingredients and giving props to companies that vow never to use harmful irritants or additives.
6. Cleaning Products have made strides in recent years, becoming eco-friendlier and more non-toxic, but it’;s up to the consumer to be more mindful of what they are using to clean their homes. Marketing campaigns can easily trick the consumer into thinking their products are safe, but if they aren’t, you may risk exposure to hormonal disruptors that many of these products contain. In addition, consider making your own effective cleaning solutions using vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.
7. Plants naturally clean and purify the air in and around your living space. English Ivy, spider plants, Gerber daisies, snake plants, peace lilies, aloe vera, and chrysanthemum are houseplants known to cleanse the air and remove harmful chemicals.
8. Reduce Plastic Usage and elect containers and storage vessels made from glass or stainless steel. Microplastics have also been getting much press lately as they settle in water, soil, and our bodies. By cutting back on plastics, we can also aid in preserving natural resources, protecting the environment, and saving money in the long run.
9. Limit Electronic Exposure, especially with children and young adults. Reducing screen time can profoundly affect our overall health and well-being, such as improved sleep, reduced eye strain, better posture, and enhanced mental health
10. Gardening awareness and using pesticides and fertilizers may present harmful exposure as these chemicals leech into our water and food supply. Research and seek out natural and organic solutions to reduce exposure to noted harmful synthetics like glyphosatelime, copper salts, ammonium nitrate, sulfate, and phosphates. 
Remember progress, not perfection, as gradual adjustments lead to sustainable, healthful change, more energy, and pitching in to preserve our earth. If you aspire to a less toxic lifestyle, these minor revisions collectively place us all in a better position to have little to no risk of harmful exposure. Instead of tired and toxic, let’s become more aware and energized! 
Always consult your healthcare provider, especially if you have specific health concerns or conditions.

Do you have a burning question about toxins and steps you can take to reclaim vitality? Any questions on this subject will remain anonymous, and I will do my best to answer inquiries in my next edition.

In good health!
Time to clean toxis from your life