I recently read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, considered one of the greatest science books of all time. Published in 1962, this book launched the environmental movement, and it is still relevant today (sadly, not much has changed). According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG):
“When Congress enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act in 1976, it grandfathered in more than 60,000 known chemicals already in commerce. The law exempted the substances on this list, known as the TSCA inventory, from any initial EPA review and from the requirement that chemical makers notify the EPA when they begin manufacturing or importing a new chemical. Once a new chemical has gone through the notification process, it is added to the TSCA inventory, now numbering about 85,000 chemicals, many of which are no longer in use.”
Although many are no longer used, that doesn’t mean they are no longer in our soil, as some persist for decades. Additionally, there are very few studies on the synergistic reactions of the plethora of chemicals we’re exposed to, but some combinations of chemicals have been shown to exponentially increase their toxicity when combined. For the most part, chemicals are introduced first, and only taken off the market (or reduced) if they later prove to be toxic to humans.
On June 22, 2016, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law with bipartisan support. This law amends and strengthens the TSCA. The EPA finally began to review the worst chemicals and proposed bans on some of them. However, the Trump administration has blocked those bans and placed pro-industry executives in charge of the EPA. Dow Chemical has spent many millions lobbying and contributing to the current White House, and it appears to be paying off. Rollbacks of protections and bans are now under way, and restrictions have been placed on the studies that can be used by the EPA to determine safety. The EPA appears to be moving in a direction that protects industry more than the general public, in my own opinion.
This is just a tiny piece of the whole picture, but regardless of your political views it’s clear that we continue to be exposed to more and more chemicals, and that appears to be escalating. Helping your body detoxify daily is extremely important!
With the Lenten season reaching a close (we have a little more than two weeks left before Easter), you still have time to add a detox to your Lenten practice. I’ve been sharing ideas for following a spiritual detox as well as a few detox-friendly recipes. If you want to do more, here are some simple changes you can make. These steps can be followed year-round, but if they are a large departure from your norm, try to follow them for just a few days, a week, or from now until Easter.
- Start a detox by increasing your consumption of water to at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day, and make sure it is purified water.
- Cut out added sugars and juices for the duration of your detox, and limit the fruit you eat to about 1 or 2 each day. (I add blueberries to my morning smoothie and sometimes eat an organic apple as a snack in the afternoon.)
- Eat as much organic food as possible.
- Eliminate all processed foods, including white flour, white rice, and white sugar.
- Eliminate or cut back on common allergenic foods like gluten, dairy, corn, or any other food that causes problems for you.
- Eat lots of vegetables and adequate but small amounts of protein (to support numerous detoxification pathways).
- Add detox-supportive foods like radishes, artichokes, and asparagus.
- Drink detox teas like dandelion root and nettles.
These changes will help your body handle toxins the way it was designed to do. Feel free to add juicing to your diet, but don’t fast with only juice unless your system has been prepared, and you have received approval from your doctor to do so.
There’s no such thing as one size fits all, when it comes to detox. For example, if you are diabetic, fasting can be dangerous and ill-advised. If you have gout, certain detox foods like beets, can cause a flareup. And anyone can be vulnerable to releasing too many toxins too quickly, which can cause detoxification pathways to get backed up. In this case certain compounds might be partially broken down and then reabsorbed in a more toxic form.
That’s why I prefer basic dietary detoxes over extreme cleanses and fasts. I look at each individual’s diet and together we find ways to make reasonable changes that will eliminate toxic offenders, while adding the appropriate foods that will support proper processing of toxins. Each person and each detox is different. If you want a more personalized approach, I’m happy to help you design your own detox at any time during the year. Go to Detox Lifestyle for more details.
Copyright © by Bobbi Mullins, published April 4, 2019