Last month I finished copy edits on my first cook book — Skinny Juices, 101 Juice Recipes for Detox and Weight Loss (coming out in June!). This week I’ve been busy prepping for the launch of my sixth group detox program. So detox is on my mind! But more specifically, toxins. Mostly because I keep seeing quotes and stories online suggesting that toxins are not something we really need to be worrying about. This upsets me for one because it’s misleading, but mainly because it’s just not helpful. I write a lot about eating clean, but I don’t really talk about why I eat clean, and why it’s so important to me.
So here’s an example of an unhelpful comment that got me crazy:
He says, The idea that your body needs help getting rid of toxins has no basis in human biology. Your organs and immune system handle those duties, no matter what you eat.
This is a quote from a Harvard-trained medical professional. I have to ask, is this all the medical profession has to offer us in response to legitimate concerns about toxic exposure? Okay, yes he is correct. Our liver and kidneys do handle those duties. But it ain’t pretty, people. And it’s not that black and white.
So let’s talk some truth about toxins. You don’t have to dive deep into research to know that we are confronted every single day with toxic chemicals. It really can’t be helped when there’s over 80,000 chemicals currently being used today, most untested for safety. It’s also a well-documented fact that many of these chemicals have taken up space in our bodies. And because they’re a part of us, they become a part of our family line…they will be in our children, their children, and their children. The Environmental Working Group studied the umbilical cord blood of 10 American babies and found over 413 different chemical toxins. Some were neurotoxins that had been banned over 30 years ago. The industry who uses and creates these chemicals wants us to think that the exposure we get is too low for it to matter, that the “parts per billion” is so low that none of the chemicals can have any real effect. But no long-term safety studies have been done on these chemicals. So the argument that there’s no research to show any harm really makes no sense when there is no research at all. There are, however, tons of safety studies done on a certain class of chemical toxins that we use everyday…these are called prescription drugs. And guess what? Turns out very low doses do matter. They’re called side effects. At levels less than 30 parts per billion (which is not a lot), over 13% of the prescription drugs on the market today have serious side effects.
Having a hard time losing weight? Well, there are even special toxins that make us fat. They’re called obesogens. Obesogens are special chemicals that mess with your endocrine system. They tell your body to make more fat cells, decrease your metabolic rate, and make you hungry…all the time. Two of the most ubiquitous obesogens out there are BPA and high fructose corn syrup. I’d like to ask Mr. Harvard how well his body is “handling” them. I can tell you, not so good…considering 93% of us have BPA in our bodies. So yes, BPA, a chemical that has been linked to everything from cancer, infertility, obesity, early puberty, and heart disease is now a part of your body. Is that okay? Is that what he means by “handling” it?
So yeah, I do have an issue with toxins. Few people know that decreasing toxic exposure is one of the reasons I started my Nourish program. I know that I can’t prevent the use of toxic industrial chemicals in our society. Nor can I control what’s in the air I breath or the water I drink. But I can make choices about what I eat and the products I put on my skin. I can control, to some degree, the amount of toxic exposure I encounter on a daily basis by eating clean. And so can you.
A client told me I should call my Nourish program the “re-inventing eating” program and I love that. Because that’s what we’re doing. We are re-inventing healthy. We are reviving choice. And we are literally changing the way we think about what’s in our food. And I love it. I’m so grateful to guide my participants on this journey.
When I read and hear health professionals and “experts” making generalizations that our body handles toxins just fine and that “detox” is not necessary, it really bothers me. And not because I think my program is going to remove all toxins from our bodies. Obviously that’s not going to happen. But we are doing something very important. We are detoxing away from a toxic lifestyle. We are removing the destructive, inflammatory foods we’ve been eating our whole lives and have been told are healthy. We are learning so much about our bodies — which foods make us feel good, which makes us feel great, and which cause us pain. I think it might be the most important work that I do.
But hey, I’m not in the convincing business, I’m in the healing business. I know that my clients feel better eating clean. They feel better when they don’t eat toxic food. They feel better when they can lose weight without deprivation. They feel better when they start choosing their food and not being numb to what food can do to their mood, vitality, and overall wellness.
So if you want to learn more about toxins and living a cleaner lifestyle, I hope you’ll join us in Nourish, while we eat clean for 21 days straight and literally change our relationship with food.