Too many things in your salad? Or: Too many toxins in your body?!

People often want to talk to me about toxicity, or usually, they want to ask me what I think of detox diets or how they can tell if they need one.

Want me to be totally honest?

I answer differently every time, depending on what I know about the person who is asking me.

When I do that, I’m honestly tailoring a response to what they need to hear for (1) their current lifestyle and (2) their apparent attitude.

I had someone ask a question the other day (and I won’t name her in case she doesn’t want me to point it out) how bad mercury fillings are for a person. Do you wonder that too?  Or how bad tap water is? Or air pollution? Or BPA in plastic containers? Or swallowing too much toothpaste? Or inhaling the chemicals from newly laid carpet or new car smell? Or the bi-products of diet soda in the body (formadehyde is one, btw)? Or microwaving food?

I’m not actually an alarmist, but I would like to say that mercury fillings are, in fact, bad for you. They can cause symptoms, variable by person, of toxicity because mercury is poisonous. So, using mercury to “fix” tooth decay is really inappropriate.  Mercury exposure to your organs, glands, and cells is almost constant when you have these fillings, and can lead to other health issues, and even diseases and death. But, if you have mercury fillings, there isn’t a guarantee that you’ll become toxic from them. (So if you have them, don’t freak out!)

What contributes to your body being toxified?

Your genetic weaknesses, your exposure levels, and the overall toxic load you’re experiencing.

This is why mercury fillings can kill one person and do nothing to the next guy.

As a result, it’s very difficult to predict someone’s toxicity level from just talking to them, and medical/blood tests don’t always tell us either (what looks like normal levels can be personally toxic or deficient to any given person). This sounds like really bad news–it means that we can’t get really good answers from Western medicine, and we don’t know if what we’re doing in life is hurting us or not.

My best advice is to build up your health and then control the toxins in your life in any way you can easily do so, and ease into the not-so-easy changes over time. For example, today you can stop using any plastic containers that are not BPA-free, eat more things like cilantro and foods high in antioxidants, and schedule over a couple years to have all of your mercury fillings replaced. For now, focus on things like buying the Dirty Dozen produce organic (and if you can’t afford it, buy mostly things from the Clean Fifteen list). When you replace things you own or remodel, do research first and choose healthier and less toxic options.

If you are experiencing any health issues, before you blindly medicate…experiment with your life (hopefully with a super awesome doctor as your partner—and if your doctor is not super awesome, find a new one). I worked in a place where this one woman was sick all the time—she had breathing problems, a cough, and headaches everyday. They moved their office to a different building, and she was cured within a month. No one else had the same issue, and she had no identifiable allergies.

Toxicity is like a salad (I had to find some way to show you my salad from yesterday!). You can keep adding things to it, and it stays manageable to eat and yummy. But if you keep dumping things onto it with wild abandon, it ceases to be a healthy nutritious meal…and becomes a garbage plate! The salad is ruined and you feel like garbage after eating it.  The human body is amazing, and can handle a lot of gunk…but at a certain point, it will quietly or noisily express that it is overloaded. If you approach your body as if it is both your most prized possession and a groundbreaking research project…you can explore how to make it run optimally.   Symptoms are clues. Putting bandaids on the clues prevents you from discovering the real problem and encourages the problem to get even worse and express itself in different ways.

Salad: spinach, apple, avocado, sprouted grain pretzels, warmed black beans. Dressing: tangerine, lemon, tahini, walnut oil, sesame seeds, himalayan crystal salt

I know that was long. I thought about how to answer the question in a shorter format…couldn’t be done by this wordy lady!

Have you ever worried about your toxicity level?

I took the honest approach here, not tailoring it to anyone’s current lifestyle…and wasn’t intending to be alarming, but just realistic. We can ignore things that don’t affect us now (think smoking cigarettes), but later they will. I’d rather try to change things slowly now!

Have you ever done a cleanse?

Have you heard of the Garbage Plate? I know people here in Rochester have! What gross food do people eat in your city?

Do you mix warm things on a cold salad (my new fave!)?

861 thoughts on “Too many things in your salad? Or: Too many toxins in your body?!”

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