Take clean to a whole new level and detox your body, mind, emotions, spirit, and relationships.
My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. is a brilliant functional medicine physician. Here is his take on how to detox, not just your body, but your life.
I have combined his Six Rules for Detoxing your Life with additional ideas to get you started!
Take one step each week for 6 weeks and you will lower toxicity in your body, your environment and your life!
1. Eat organic, grass-fed, sustainable food.
This will enable you to avoid the most common sources of chemicals and toxins in our diet.
- See “The 12 Most Toxic Foods You Must Buy Organic” to get started.
- Buy local and seasonal fruits and vegetables whenever possible and avoid the most contaminated ones.
- Choose the best-quality meat and poultry you can afford – ideally from animals raised without hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides and that are free-range or grass-fed.
- Review the “Meat Eaters Guide” to learn how to choose the safest and most sustainable animal products.
- Avoid large predatory and river fish, such as swordfish, tuna, and tilefish, which contain mercury and high amounts of other contaminants (get this handy wallet card for a portable list of the best fish choices).
- Choose only from the list of seafood with the “least mercury”.
Take just one step: Add one healthier food to your diet and remove one unhealthy food.
2. Drink clean water.
- Drinking 6-8 glasses per day of clean, fresh, pure water has many benefits.
- Drinking water before meals helps with weight loss and appetite control. Often when we think we are hungry we are really thirsty. It also flushes out metabolic and environmental toxins through your kidneys.
- Your urine should be light and clear. If it is yellow or strong smelling, you are not drinking enough water.
- The best option is to filter your own water with a simple carbon filter or a reverse-osmosis filtering system, and then carry it with you in BPA free stainless steel or glass bottles.
Take just one step: Commit to drinking 2 quarts of fluid daily. Fill 2 glass or BPA free Stainless Steel bottles in the morning with clean filtered water. Drink all of the water by 8 pm.
3. Purify your home.
Most of us don’t know the extent to which we’re exposed to environmental toxins right in our own homes. We can’t eliminate all risk or exposure, but we can change the important things:
- Fill your home with plants to detoxify the air.
- Use HEPA/ULPA filters and ionizers to reduce dust, molds, and off-gassing from synthetic carpets, furniture, and paints.
- Clean your heating systems and monitor them for carbon monoxide.
- Look for non-toxic household products.
- Substitute florescent lights with incandescent or LED bulbs wherever possible.
The Environmental Working Group has a wonderful online resource for green cleaning products.
Take just one step: Remove toxic cleaning products and replace with green, safe, non-toxic products for kitchen, laundry and bath.
4. Purify what goes in and on your body.
- Avoid microwaving food, which produces AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products) that create more inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Stay away from water in plastic bottles that contain phthalates.
- Avoid charbroiled foods, which contain carcinogenic hydrocarbons.
- Opt for clean cosmetics and personal care products without parabens, petrochemicals, or other toxins (rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!).
- Avoid excess exposure to petrochemicals and toxins in garden chemicals, dry cleaning, car exhaust, and secondhand smoke.
Take just one step: Remove your old shampoo and body lotion and replace with safe, chemical free products.
5. Minimize your exposure to electronic pollution.
- Mitigate any potential risks of electromagnetic radiation or electromagnetic frequencies by using an air tube headset or speakerphone when talking on your cell phone (wireless and wired may still conduct radiation).
- Keep your smart phone at least six to seven inches away from your body whenever in use.
- Replace as many cordless and WiFi items as you can with wired, corded lines.
- Sit as far back from the computer screen as possible.
Take just one step: Make sure you use headphones or speaker phone with your cellphone. Don’t keep your cell phone in your pocket or next to your bed.
6. Detox your relationships.
Often and inevitably, our lives bump up against challenging or difficult relationships – in family, at work, or in random encounters.
Some we cannot escape – such as parents or children who are inextricably tied to us. Others are by choice, and for those we can choose to alter our relationship by changing our way of being within them, or ending the relationship entirely.
Even within our family, we can change our response and behavior, try to heal the relationship, and, if they cannot be healed (and some cannot because of mental illness or abuse), then we can separate from the toxicity of those connections.
This perhaps is the hardest part of the “detox”, but poisonous emotions can be as harmful as or more harmful than any chemical poison. And, of course, this is not a 6-week project but a lifetime’s work of healing and creating a circle of love, support, and connection that elevates and heals your being.
Take just one step: Reflect upon your 2-4 most important relationships. Plan one small act of kindness on a daily basis (include yourself!). Cultivate the practice of gratitude every evening before bed.
(Photo credit: Bergius)