I give up! I can’t! It’s too much! Everything is trying to kill me!
I’ve heard this a lot, and uttered it myself more times than I can count.
Living toxin-free can feel really overwhelming, especially for a newbie. Heck it’s overwhelming for me sometimes!
It can be tough to keep track of all the sneaky ways companies are adding dangerous new toxins to seemingly benign foods.
From GMOs in baby formula, to BPA lined cans, to strawberries loaded with up to 45 kinds of pesticides (source), …it can be really hard to know where to start.
I’m here to tell you we all get overwhelmed from time to time, but it’s important to stay focused and take it one step at a time. Your health and your family’s depend on it.
So today I’m giving you five high impact steps to avoid eating toxins.
These are straightforward changes that can make a huge difference in your health and toxin load. Start with one then add another until you’ve detoxified your diet.
Step 1: Eat organic food and/or grow your own
If your top priority is to avoid the many toxins and chemicals found in today’s food then eating organic food is going to be at the top of your list.
If you’re not convinced yet about why you should go organic just read my post, The Dangers of Pesticides: 35 Ways Pesticides Are Destroying Your Health.
By choosing certified organic food you’ll be avoiding food grown with pesticides, loaded with artificial preservatives, made with artificial colors, and foods that are made with GMO crops.
Another option is to grow your own. This may seem like a big step but even families living in apartments can grow some foods in containers and window boxes. And you’ll save lots of money by growing your own.
My Pinterest board, Grow Your Own Food is full of tips for the aspiring gardener.
If budget is the reason you hesitate to go organic read my post, Eating Healthy on a Budget.
Step 2: Avoid GMO crops (or make sure it’s non-GMO certified or organic)
Another big thing to watch out for are GMO crops. By design these crops are grown with tons of herbicides and pesticides which make their way to your plate.
The top GMO crops are Soy, Corn, Canola, Cotton (think cottonseed oil), sugar beets, papaya, and squash (source).
Avoid these foods and their derivatives (which are is nearly everything) by buying Non-GMO certified foods and/or Certified Organic Foods (which has no GMOs).
Step 3: Avoid packaged foods and especially microwavable foods
Packaged foods are often loaded with preservatives, stabilizers, and chemicals.
Even organic foods are known to have crazy high levels of salt and sugar.
Plus the packaging itself often leaches more chemicals, like BPA in cans and phthalates in plastics. You can read more about the dangers of BPA and plastic in this post.
Finally, microwaved foods are something many clean living advocates avoid.From GMOs to strawberries with 45 kinds of pesticides, food is a minefield, learn how to avoid the worst offenders. Click To Tweet
Step 4: Drink and cook with only filtered water
This step is critical if you want to avoid toxins. Almost all public water systems have a combination of chlorine, fluoride, and chloramines added.
Plus water systems using recycled water may also carry pharmaceuticals that weren’t properly filtered out. Aged pipes can also leach lead.
Finally, proximity to mining operations, and fracking operations can also add dangerous by-products to the water.
The best solution is to install a reverse osmosis filtration system at your drinking water source. Many families also add systems at the point of entry to make sure bath water is safe.
This is the system I recommend and is based on my extensive research. Keep in mind not all reverse osmosis systems can filter out fluoride so make sure you check before you buy.
If a full in house system or under the sink system is over the budget (it does get expensive) then make sure you are getting purified water that also filters out fluoride, chlorine, chloramines, etc. The Berkey fits the bill for a great countertop option that does filter fluoride.
If a countertop option is not in the budget either then there are many health food stores that offer high quality water at a reasonable price.
Glass jugs make the safest containers but they are heavy and prone to breaking so if you do use plastic make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight and heat as this will accelerate chemicals leaking into the water.
Step 5: Prepare and store your food in non-toxic cookware and containers
The last step in making sure you avoid eating toxins is making sure you use safe cookware and storage containers.
In general stainless steel, cast-iron, and ceramic coated cookware are your best options. I wrote much more about safe cookware in this post, Toxic Cookware: How to Choose Safe Cookware.
As for food containers glass and stainless steel are your best bets. Remember “BPA free” plastic likely still has harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals in the form of BPS.
Glass is inexpensive and widely available, stainless steel can be a bit pricier, but since it weighs less it makes a good option for packed lunches and water bottles.
I go into more depth in this post, 5 Kitchen Swaps to Keep Your Home Toxin Free.
You can also find more recommendations at the Filtered Living Shop.
There you have it! Five totally doable steps to eliminate the biggest sources of toxins for you and your family.
Remember, take it one step at a time, build on your progress, and focus on the wins…because you my friend, totally deserve good health!
Share your thoughts in the comments below and tell me what steps you’ve incorporated into your Filtered Life.
And if you want to read more about dealing with overwhelm you can read my post How to Deal with Overwhelm When You Are Trying to Live Healthy.
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