Naturally Simple Solutions: Reducing Your Toxic Load

There has been a lot of talk lately about toxins and our toxic load.  We are surrounded by reports that new products, fragrances, foods, are proving to cause cancer, disease, and neurological disorders.  The information available is extremely abundant.  I have found it so overwhelming at times, that I find it easier to throw up the defense mechanism of “Oh, please, another study showing such-and-such leads to such-and-such and is dangerous. It’s probably inaccurate, and I shouldn’t worry about it.”

However, as overwhelming as all this new information can be, there is at least some truth to it.  I want to raise my family and care for my home in as healthy, informed way as possible.  But I do not want to become obsessed with this, or make natural, healthy living my gospel.  I want to learn and apply these things as a means of preparing my family to be better enabled to serve Jesus and spread the gospel and glorify God.  And for that reason, I plug on, sifting through the mounds of information out there to seek out what is true and beneficial for me and my family.

I know many of you feel the same overwhelmed, condemned, despair at all the information about dangerous toxins out there.  It is my desire to lay out some simple, step-by-step solutions to help ease our toxic load a bit at a time.  We all have a certain capacity for toxins.  Some have a higher capacity, some have a lower capacity.  But eliminating any little bit helps. Do not think about the grand scheme of things and all that you could be doing but aren’t.  Simply do the best you can with what you know. Rejoice in each and every tiny step you make towards reducing your toxic load!

Below are some simple steps you can take to reduce your toxic load. They are by no means comprehensive, and they are not in any particular order of importance.  Choose one or two that seem easiest to implement and go with it!

Simple Steps to Reducing Your Toxic Load

  1. Whenever possible, eat organic. This can seem like one of the most daunting and expensive steps, but it is so very important!  Produce are laden with pesticides that seep into the fruit and have an affect on our bodies.  This same produce is fed to the animals we eat, who are in turn bolstered with artificial hormones and antibiotics.  All of this makes its way into our system and harms our bodies.  There have been numerous studies done on the validity of these points, so I will not belabor the issue. I only want to reinforce the fact that what we consume does affect our ability to think clearly, live healthfully, and function properly.
    • Begin by downloading this list of the “Dirty Dozen” and, if nothing else, substitute one item for the organic.  For all non-organic produce, use a cleaner (like Veggie Wash) found at your local grocery store and scrub under hot water to remove as much residual pesticide as possible. Every little step helps! To help economize your food budget, try these suggestions: Eat out at a minimum, Menu plan, shop in season, homemake as many items as possible (you pay a premium for processing and packaging), create a budget and stick to it.
  2. Eliminate chemicals from your home.  We are, unfortunately, surrounded by chemicals.  They are in our food, in our utensils, our toys, that “freshly” scented air we breathe, even down to what we use to clean our house.  I have found that it is not as much that chemical-free options do not exist as we simply do not know about them!  I have been posting a series of very practical, helpful tips on how simple and economical this can be!  Check out the side bar categories for Toxic Talk Tuesdays and Naturally Simple Solutions. (I know there isn’t too much there yet, but it is growing!).  Start by replacing your cleaning options with more natural, eco-friendly ones. Melaleuca offers fantastic options while you are figuring out how to make your own out of four simple, natural ingredients! Also, opt for natural solutions to air fresheners. Open the windows (even when it’s a little chilly!), use lemon in your disposal and essential oil diffusers.
  3. Use the stove and oven, not the microwave. Microwave ovens not only emit harmful rays, but their method of cooking/reheating destroys the nutritional content of the food.  Whenever possible, cook and reheat using the stove or oven or eat your food cold.
  4. Reduce your use of plastic. Plastic is made out of petroleum and contains chemicals that are harmful to our health even at miniscule levels.  For an excellent online shopping resource, check out Life Without Plastic.  For our part, we are purchasing these sippy cups and using these utensils as a step in the right direction.  I am also looking into chemical-free toy options like wooden kitchen sets and Brio train sets.
  5. Drink purified, filtered water.  I am still searching for a filter or water source that will help take out the added fluoride to water, but for now we just use a Brita filter.  Avoid plastic water bottles, due to the toxicity of plastic and their carbon footprint.  Refill a BPA-free Nalgene multiple times a day and enjoy!
  6. Cut back on screen time.  Televisions, computers, and cell phones are some of the more recent inventions that pose a possible threat to our health. The effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are still being studied, but it is at least hypothesized over exposure to these fields are harmful.  At the very least, taking a few measures to decrease our exposure is not only beneficial to health, but also to the family and society as a whole! Limit television watching and computer use time.  Do not carry your cell phone in your pocket. Instead, drop it into a purse or backpack.
  7. Deny, delay, or space out vaccinations.  For more information on making informed decisions regarding immunizations, read my post here.  I hate communicable disease as much as anyone, but I have found that vaccinations are not the answer to stopping the spread of these diseases.  The effectiveness, validity and safety of immunizations and have been largely propegated by falsified information out of fear and monetary gain.  There is considerable evidence that they are causing far more harm than good by compromising our immune and neurological systems with numerous neurotoxins and heavy metals. Dr. Bob Sears has a revised immunization chart to space out the vaccinations and allow the body to absorb them at safer intervals.  This can be found in his book The Vaccine Book.
These are simply some of the first steps we are taking as a family, and this list is by no means complete.  I am still learning in all of this!
What steps have you taken to reduce your toxic load?

3 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks Ashley-Nicole, these are helpful tips!


  2. Good ideas for being responsible stewards of the Earth that God has given us.

    I will say, however, that while there’s nothing wrong with being prepared for something, suggesting that EMFs are “at least hypothesized [to be] harmful” may induce an unnecessary societal panic in people. Were this theory more than a hypothesis, such a panic would be expected. But one could also say (and scientific studies are being done just as much on this, for instance) that it is hypothesized that there is life intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Simply because it has been proposed by science does not (necessarily) mean we need to defend against it. And the most recent studies suggesting EMFs could be dangerous are from the early 90s.

    The reason I felt compelled to comment is because EMFs are actually far more prevalent than you suggest, and were they as dangerous as the early 90s studies suggest, we’d all likely have cancer right now. EMFs come from power lines, power stations, transformers (like the one on the other side of the wall from your bedroom), TVs, computers, microwaves, satellites, radio and cell phone towers–even down to things like digital clocks. In fact, digital clocks release more EMFs than most modern TV sets.

    That being said, if you truly are that unnerved by EMFs, there are devices that you can put around your house or in your car that will absorb the majority of the magnetic field rather than it going through your body. Good luck getting a radio, TV, or internet signal with those devices on though ;), and don’t be surprised when most of the digital devices in your house start acting funny.


    • Posted by ashleynicolewillcox on November 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      The Kid, Thanks for this response. I am actually not very concerned about EMFs, I have simply read many things that suggest perhaps not carrying your cell phone in your pocket because it has been linked to infertility, etc. that I want to at least be aware that it is possible we should take some precautions. As you know, I have a cell phone, computer, TV, etc. and don’t have any of those “protective” things to guard me from EMFs. I just thought it was worth mentioning, but obviously, I do not see it as a huge threat!


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