• leighmcswan

Lessening Your Toxic Load: Part 2

Updated: Oct 5

This is part 2 of this mini series. If you haven’t read part one yet, click here.

You can get all this info, condensed into a handy one-page guide, with quick reminders, food, supplement and product recommendations here.


Plant-Based Cleaning Products

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it’s now estimated that 1 in every 2 Canadians will develop Cancer in their lifetime. Our skin is our largest organ and anything that comes into contact with it is absorbed into the body, this includes the products we use to clean, the residue they leave behind and the airborne particles they emit.

Our bodies are being bombarded. Toxic chemicals are turning up in breast milk and umbilical cords of our babies and it’s now estimated that indoor air pollution is WORSE than outdoors as a result of the products we use on a daily basis. The toxins build up in the body and have a hard time breaking them down. Over time, the buildup happens faster than the breakdown - and could lead to serious health issues. You may not notice it today, but over time you will and you may never even make the connection.

Plant-based products are better for you, the environment, family & pets! Consider this: what products are you keeping out of reach from your kids and pets but are then dispersing throughout your entire home for them to breathe in? Use a truly natural (not greenwasher) product that actually works and keeps you safe. In our home we exclusively use the Thieves Household Cleaner and the Thieves Kitchen & Bath Scrub

If you’re looking for a whole home solution including laundry soap, dish soap, all purpose cleaner and more, I suggest getting this bundle- which helps you accelerate your low-to home easily and more economically.


Air Out New Furniture

Are you familiar with off-gassing? Off-gassing is when carcinogenic chemicals (listed below) found in furniture; including cribs, dressers, mattresses, rugs, desks, chairs, tables, etc, are slowly released into the air of your home. Many products that enter our homes are made overseas where these chemicals are allowed and used frequently, and these chemicals typically aren’t disclosed on any labels or packaging.

Furniture that is off-gassing will accumulate in a home, especially a tight, energy efficient home resulting in adverse health effects like headaches, rashes, eye, nose and throat irritation. This can happen for upwards of a few years.

You can definitely seek out low-tox furniture for your home, but let’s be realistic- it’s extremely difficult, just ask my parents who are building a 100% Canadian made cottage right now- sourcing is very difficult, selection is limited and even locally produced doesn’t mean low chemical (although Canadian laws are tighter than those overseas, yet we still allow these chemicals into the country via consumer products- it makes no sense).

Common chemicals that will off-gas from every day home items:

  • Formaldehyde

  • Polyurethane foam

  • Phthalates

  • Chloroform

  • Phthalates

  • Acetone

  • Ozone

  • Ethanol

  • Chemical flame retardants

  • Methylene chloride

  • Benzene

  • Perchloroethylene (found in dry cleaning solutions) (1)

What can be done? Well, a little bit of effort goes a long way. Looking at the labels before you buy items can be very useful if that information is provided by the manufacturer. Any furniture item made with pressed-wood products should meet the requirements for ultra-low emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) or NAF (no added formaldehyde). The products will also be labelled “No VOC/Low VOC”. When it comes to nursery furniture, there are Greenguard certifications that can show that the furniture items emit low or no levels of the hazardous VOCs. SCS Global Services is another organization that certifies furniture (2). These are some things to look for when you are reading the furniture labels.

You can also, whenever possible, air out new furniture before bringing it into the home. Leave your new item outside, unboxed or assembled and allow the majority of those fumes to be released outdoors. When the boys were little we would leave anything we purchased for them outside on the back deck in the warmer months or in the garage during wet/snowy weather. You’ll notice a difference in the smell of the item from the time you open it up to just 12 hours outdoors. The longer you can leave your furniture or decor outside, the less strong the smell and the less potential for those chemicals to be released directly into your home. It’s difficult to determine when a product will stop off-gassing but like always, don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good, and just do the best you can to mitigate unnecessary risks.

Take Care of Your Liver

Your liver is an impressive organ. Did you know it’s the largest internal organ, responsible for 500 bodily functions? The liver plays many roles in keeping you alive, including; managing your metabolism (breaking down fats and proteins for storage), creating energy from the foods you consume, maintains healthy blood sugar levels, regulates clotting, helps you resist infections, stores vitamins and minerals, to name a few. One of its main functions and what most people know of the liver is that it assists with detoxification. The liver filters and detoxifies the materials not meant to be in the body like alcohol, drugs (recreational and prescription), metabolic waste products (like ammonia), old red blood cells, parasites, funguses, viruses and bacteria, chemicals and pollutants.

Your liver works hard, day and night, acting like a filter for the body. If your filter is trying to process too much, it gets congested and slows down. This can happen with the liver when our diet is full of seed oils, sugar and chemicals. Our environment is polluted from conventional personal care and household products and we live in densely populated areas.

Take care of your liver by consuming foods and herbs that assist with the detoxification phases of the liver.

Consume more:

  • broccoli

  • cabbage

  • cauliflower

  • pastured eggs

  • garlic

  • onion

  • grass-fed beef liver

  • berries

  • wild caught seafood; salmon, shrimp, trout, sardines

  • bell peppers

  • kefir

  • sauerkraut

  • leafy greens

*ideally consume all organic produce to lessen the toxic load

Supplements can also be very helpful. Our family does a gentle daily heavy metal detoxifying spray, called Zeolite which safely removes heavy metals and pollutants from the body. We also like to take an herbal product, twice a year to help maintain healthy liver functions.

Get Out of the House

Our indoor air is more polluted than our outdoor air so it’s important to spend as much time outside, in nature, as possible for lessening the toxic load. Studies have shown that even 10 short minutes a day can improve our quality of life, both mentally and physically. If you have the opportunity to explore nature through forests, sunshine and beachfront, you’re strengthening your immune system, reducing cortisol levels, you’re more inclined to sweat, increase your cardiovascular health, oxygenate the body, reduce your EMF exposure and enjoy the negative ions from the earth.


Increase Your Fibre

There are two main types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Each performs a different job in your body.

Soluble fiber creates a gel in the system by binding with fatty acids. It helps lower blood glucose levels and cholesterol, supports the liver and is found in foods, such as oatmeal, berries, beans, and legumes.

Insoluble fiber acts like a broom, cleaning your digestive tract of carcinogens and toxins. It provides bulk in the intestines, while helping balance the pH levels in the intestines. It promotes regular bowel movements and helps prevent and relieve constipation. Insoluble fibre is found in nuts, seeds, potatoes, fruit with skin and green vegetables.

Foods High in Fibre:

  • avocados

  • artichokes

  • pears

  • chia seeds

  • squash

  • nuts

  • bananas

  • oats

For a one page summary with food recommendations, supplements and reminders click here to grab my free guide.


Shop my favourites for lessening your toxic load here:

In vibrant health,


Leigh

ox

References

(1) https://www.getgreenbewell.com/what-is-off-gassing/

(2) https://indoordoctor.com/blog/furniture-off-gassing-your-health/



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