There’s no question our bodies were not meant to battle the number of toxins we are now exposed to each day. The rise in cancer rates is enough of a barometer to incite fear. We can also find warning in the rise of asthma, autism, ADHD, dementias, and auto-immune diseases. So how do we survive, and better yet, achieve optimal health?
What to eat in a toxic world
First and foremost, eat organic whenever possible. This is such a no-brainer. Why would you want to add herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides to your body?
If you eat meat or dairy, remember you are eating on top of the food chain. Organic is vitally important for meat and dairy foods. If you eat conventional, you are exposing yourself to all of the toxins that animal has accumulated, which include those above plus GMOs, antibiotics, and hormones.
Do not ingest artificial chemicals. In other words, do not eat any food with artificial flavorings, colorings, or preservatives. No BHA, BHT, MSG, GMOs, or trans fats. And if you want your immune system to work right, stay away from processed sugar – all processed sugars. The bottom line is this: eat real food – unprocessed, fresh, organic, whole, nutrient dense food. The best possible diet is for 80% or more of your diet to consist of raw produce, more vegetables than fruit.
Drink clean water -distilled or spring water is best. At the very least, filter your water.
Diet is the most important factor in our survival – it is the basis of good health. Even in a cesspool of environmental toxicity (Okinawa) a good diet results in low cancer rates. Yet these same people immigrate to the United States, adopt a Western diet, and their cancer rates mirror our own.
How to cook and store food
Don’t use a microwave and never cook in aluminum. Don’t use non-stick bakeware of any kind. There is a new breed of non-stick pots and pans, but why risk it? Use cast iron, glass, enamel, ceramic, and stainless steel. Cast iron is the original non-stick pan. If you season it right, cast iron is always easy to clean. Even if food is glued to it, a ten-minute soak in hot water is all it takes to completely loosen the food. A quick scrub and it’s clean.
Don’t cook with high heat, and don’t cook quickly unless you’re boiling, steaming, or using a pressure cooker.
Cook with whole herbs that have superfood qualities like turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, and oregano.
Don’t cook so often. Prepare raw meals and eat lots of raw produce and big salad with the aforementioned herbs.
Store leftovers in glass, not plastic. Chemicals from plastics leach into food. And do your best to avoid buying food in plastic containers. Again, whole foods avoid the packaging issue so common to processed foods.
Don’t pollute your environment
Whenever possible, surround yourself with non-toxic furnishings, carpeting, paints, etc. But since we can’t always take control of what’s already built in to our environment, the least we can do is avoid adding to our home’s toxic load. Use natural cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, and lemons or purchase toxic free cleaners. Do not use air fresheners. If necessary, use essential oils or boil citrus peels on the stove to freshen the air.
Don’t add toxins to your body through your skin
Our skin absorbs any and everything we put on it. So choose organic skin products – soaps, shampoos, conditioners, shaving cream, lotions, and make-up. Use oils for lotions (like coconut oil or almond oil).
Kill Candida and detox at least twice a year
A bi-annual detox is a necessity, even when you are living as clean a life as possible. There are just too many toxins in the food, water, and air to miss this opportunity to cleanse the body. For more on detoxification, check out Balance Your Eco-system and The Cheap and Easy Detox.