Who knew that reading Joseph E. Pizzorno’s “The Toxin Solution” would change my life in every way possible?
Yes, what started as a late-night Google search for “natural period cramp remedies” somehow quickly turned into a complete overhaul of every beauty treatment, cleaning product and food item in my apartment. And yes, even an overhaul of my toxic friends.
I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty healthy, well-rounded chick. I’m mindful about the foods I eat and I exercise almost every day. I rarely drink. And hell, I’m a vegan health coach for God’s sake!
I like to think that I’ve always prided myself on being healthy, getting enough sleep, having good energy and top-notch, fiber-rich digestion. 🙂
But for whatever reason (most likely because I’m in denial about aging) I’ve started to experience major hormonal swings in my 30s. Sure, we ladies can all recognize the difference between how we look and feel during our fertile “hot week” vs. our pre-period “bloated, hideous week.” But for whatever reason, as soon as I hit 33, the hormonal ups and downs became more and more noticeable. And I, of course, became more and more determined to balance that shit out!
So in my internet search for PMS SOS, I stumbled upon a variety of research and studies that revealed how peeps from all over the U.S., Europe and even my beloved Canada have absorbed a complex chemical shit storm of synthetic substances throughout our lifetimes — many of which are “endocrine disruptors” aka the likely cause of my hormonal imbalances.
I immediately purchased Joseph E. Pizzorno’s “The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons in the Air, Water, Food, and Products We Use Are Destroying Our Health—AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO FIX IT” and got reading. Then got terrified. And perhaps a little toxin-obsessed.
I started preaching to everyone I knew about the dangers of these toxins and immediately replaced all of my plastic tupperware containers with glass ones and my non-stick fry pans with cast iron skillets. Then tried pawning off all of my toxic shit onto those very same people… 🙂
I threw out every hair and skincare product I owned with chemically-sounding ingredients and invested in a bunch of all-natural alternatives, nearly experiencing a heart attack when I saw my total on the cash register. I even replaced my beloved, expensive perfume collection with strange, hippie-smelling, essential oils. Eau de “Ylang Ylang?” Sure, whatever.
I became diligent about eating organic foods and local produce and would analyze package labels even more anal retentively than when I was in competition prep mode.
I was on a mission to rid my body of all these toxic chemicals and hopefully repair the years of damage they had no doubt caused.
I learned that apparently the most common chemicals we encounter on a daily basis are actually the most worrisome because they’re the ones that seriously mess with our hormones. These are the endocrine-disrupting chemicals I mentioned earlier aka “EDCs” which are synthetic compounds that mimic our natural hormones (and not in a good way!)
EDCs can either turn on or off your normal hormonal signals. And just a tiny amount of one hormone can majorly effect your other hormones AND bodily tissues by attaching to your cell receptors. Your body obviously wants to keep everything in balance but when hormonal disruptions occur in one part of the endocrine system, it can wreak havoc in other areas.
So for example, there’s a pretty good chance that EDCs will bind to your hormone receptors and trigger either excessive hormone action or block your body’s natural hormonal responses altogether. Doesn’t sound too good, now does it?
And the long-term proven effects of EDCs in animal studies have linked pesticide exposure to deformities, sex-reversals and yup, even infertility.
And what’s even scarier is that the long-term effects of EDCs on humans are still a frigging mystery because there has never been so many man-made, unregulated synthetics at work in our bodies before! AHHHHHH!!!!
But humans’ exposure to EDCs have, however, been linked to reproductive disorders, endometriosis, adrenal imbalances, thyroid issues, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and various cancers. There have even been cases of mood disorders and autism related to these endocrine disruptors.
Needless to say, whether the proof is 100% in the toxic pudding or not, this was enough unsettling info for me to take immediate action.
Obviously I’m not so stupid to think that I can avoid ALL toxin exposure. I do realize that I have to leave my apartment sometimes and breathe in the outside air.
And thankfully, there is some good news for us vegans! Apparently the most toxic, pesticide residues are actually found in fatty fish, meat and dairy products. 🙂
[bctt tweet=”Good news for vegans! The most pesticide residues are actually found in fish, meat and dairy products.” username=”samanthashorkey”]
All in all, I’m pretty stoked on these changes that I’ve made. And I can honestly say that embarking on a “toxin free” life has almost become a high for me.
Everyday I’m making a solid effort to purge more and more of my toxic-filled belongings and replace them with safer, healthier (albeit more expensive) options. And let it be known that if I lose or smash my new $40 glass water bottle, I might have to murder someone.
But overall, it really does feel good to know that I’m on the path to optimal health and wellness. Call it the “Placebo Effect” if you will but it feels damn good to know that everything going into (and onto) my body **hopefully** isn’t harming me.
And low and behold: even my PMS symptoms GREATLY decreased after just one month. I’m still not sure if I should be thanking the $20 “clary sage” oil I’ve been rubbing all over my pelvis every morning or the $30 evening primrose oil I’ve been slathering all over my face at nighttime. But either way, I genuinely feel better so I’m sticking it out.
And now, two months into it, I’m proud to say that I’m still making strides in the right direction. Today, for instance, I’m headed to Home Depot for a water filtering tap faucet.
It’s been a pretty cool experiment so far and I recommend that we ALL become more conscious of these endocrine disruptors we’re constantly exposing ourselves to.
We can all do our best to reduce our daily contact with these bastards by paying more attention to the plastics, pesticides, clothing fabrics, cleansers, and cosmetics we’re using. And give the “Toxin Solution” a read. I can tell you that the knowledge and insight I’ve gained from this book has impacted my life in more profound ways than just mild PMS relief and major credit card debt.
In fact, I was talking to a new “man friend” the other day about these recent lifestyle overhauls and he shared with me some pretty deep shit that I will now share with you.
It was: “don’t be afraid of removing the wrong people from the right place in your life. You can’t go anywhere with negative people. Negative people are like cars without fuel and engines. You can only sit in them but they will never take you anywhere.”
And his message got me thinking…
Somehow I had accumulated a few toxic people in my life. And how were they any different for my long-term mental health and physical well-being than the toxic chemicals I was exposing my brain and body to?
I’d been on such a good spiritual path these past few months that I realized the type of people I choose to surround myself with plays an equally important role in my journey to optimal health and wellness.
So just like my skin creams and makeup, I spent some time evaluating the people in my life and deciding who to keep and who to pitch. It sounds harsh but like I said on our podcast all about minimalism, anyone who isn’t adding VALUE to my life definitely doesn’t deserve a guest star role in it.
And just like my plastic tupperware and Teflon fry pans, let someone else find value in ’em. 🙂
Happy toxin-detoxin’, vegan fit crew!
-Sam Shorkey, The Mindful Meathead behind Jacked on the Beanstalk