Guide to Detoxing Your Life


Topping the Grilled Steak with Roasted Beets, Sautéed Beet Greens, and Fresh Watercress, photo by Kent Anderson
Photos by Kent Anderson

We view our homes as our sanctuaries, our sacred spaces in which we take pride. We like to keep them clean, organized, and decorated to our liking. What we don’t realize is that within that sacred space hides, on average, 62 different toxic chemicals. The products we use to wipe our countertops and clean our toilet bowls fill the air in our homes with toxins, irritants, and carcinogens that could be contributing to many of our health issues.

We do the same with our own bodies—from the pans we use to cook our food to soap and deodorant. It is said that the average woman uses 12 different personal care products per day and the average man uses 6 per day; in the 12 products that women use hide 168 different chemicals (85 in the men’s products). What’s even more alarming is that 80 percent of these chemicals aren’t even tested before they hit shelves.

Chopping beet greens, which aid in the body's natural detox process.
Chopping beet greens, which aid in the body’s natural detox process.

These chemicals and pollutants are inhaled and/or absorbed through the skin and, once inside the body, they can alter hormones, causing a slew of health issues including early puberty in children, fertility issues in women, thyroid dysfunction, and weight gain—and even potentially contributing to the development of breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers.

The good news? You can start limiting your exposure and detoxing the body by incorporating a few different practices and foods. Switch to nontoxic cleaning products and cosmetics or make your own; swap aluminum foil for parchment paper; switch to cast iron, stainless steel, or 100% ceramic cookware with no aluminum core; switch from plastic to glass or stainless-steel reusable water bottles.

You can also add indoor air purifiers to reduce pollutants like dust, pollen, bacteria, and mold in your home, and invest in a quality water purifier that will remove harmful levels of fluoride, viruses, bacteria, lead, arsenic, mercury, chlorine, heavy metals, and pesticides from your drinking water. Maybe go for a spa day, too: infrared saunas can help release toxins from the liver, intestines, and kidneys, and lymphatic drainage massages aid the body in its natural detoxification process.

Chemicals to Avoid

  • Phthalates: Found in fragrances and makeup, phthalates alter sex hormones estrogen and progesterone and can cause early puberty and menstruation and lower sperm count.
  • Parabens: A preservative found in makeup and cosmetics, parabens mimic estrogen, affecting fertility and reproductive development. Parabens can be measured in breast tissue.
  • PFAs and PFCs: These chemicals, used in non-stick products like Teflon and food wrappers, are also found in hair-care products, sunscreen, shampoo, and shaving cream. They can cause thyroid issues and cancers.
  • Lead, arsenic, mercury, and aluminum: Can be found in lipstick, teeth-whitening products, eyeliner, nail polish, and deodorant; these heavy metals are neurotoxins, harming the nervous system and potentially leading to reproductive issues.
  • Triclosan: An antimicrobial, antibacterial agent found in soap, toothpaste, and deodorant that affects thyroid function.
  • Formaldehyde: This chemical used in building products and embalming fluid is also found in nail polish, eyelash glue, and hair-straightening products.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): This chemical used in cosmetics, soaps and dish soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, and detergents to create foaming or bubbling action has been linked to skin irritation, neurotoxicity, and organ toxicity.
Infrared saunas can help your body release toxins from the liver, intestines, and kidneys, photo by Kent Anderson
Infrared saunas can help your body release toxins from the liver, intestines, and kidneys.

Foods that Support Detox of Chemicals, Pesticide Buildup, and Heavy Metals

  • Organic produce and meat: Keep in mind that pesticides accumulate and are stored in the colon—this includes all animals. When you eat non-organic meats, you are essentially eating the toxins they have been eating. Remember, “You are what you eat eats!”
  • Chlorophyll: Found in dark green leafy vegetables; can also be taken as a supplement in liquid tincture form.
  • Spirulina: Blue-green algae rich in chlorophyll, spirulina makes a great addition to smoothies.
  • Beets: Known blood purifiers and cleansers for the liver.
  • Seaweed: Binds to heavy metals and helps eliminate them from the body.
  • Apples: The fiber in apples binds to cholesterol and heavy metals and helps eliminate them from the body.
  • Raw carrots: Contains fiber that binds to excess estrogen and helps the liver eliminate it from the body.
  • Cabbage: Supports liver detoxification and binds to excess hormones.
  • Watercress: Increases production of certain detoxification enzymes.
  • Milk thistle: Full of antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatory properties, milk thistle teas and supplements improve liver health and promote cell repair.
  • Ginger: High in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ginger helps treat liver disease and protects the liver from damage.
  • Turmeric: Helps support the liver’s ability to flush out toxins and increases gastric juices to aid in digestion and elimination.
  • Parsley: Rich in chlorophyll and enzymes to help break down foods and helps flush bacteria and pathogens from kidneys.
  • Cilantro: The chlorella found in cilantro helps bind to heavy metals; cilantro is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial agent.
Grilled Steak with Roasted Beets, Sautéed Beet Greens, and Fresh Watercress, photo by Kent Anderson
Grilled steak with roasted beets, sautéed beet greens, and fresh watercress

Grilled Steak with Roasted Beets, Sautéed Beet Greens, and Fresh Watercress

Serves 2

Ingredients

Steak

1 lb. grass-fed organic beef (New York strip, skirt steak, or any cut of your choice)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 minced or grated garlic clove

Salt and pepper

Beets

3-4 red beets

1 tbsp. olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar + 1/8 tsp. or drop of honey, whisked together

Beet Greens

Greens and stems from beets

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 minced garlic clove

2 tbsp. lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

Other

1 cup watercress

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Directions

Steak

Pat steak dry and rub with olive oil, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Using a grill or grill pan over medium high heat, grill steak for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Beets

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut beet greens and stems from beets and wash thoroughly using a salad spinner. Under cold water, brush beets gently with a brush. Place whole beets on a parchment-lined stainless-steel baking sheet. Drizzle beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt then bake for 45 minutes. Allow beets to cool for 15 minutes before gently rubbing the skin off; cube beets and toss with balsamic vinegar and honey. Set aside.

Beet Greens

In a cast iron pan, heat olive oil over high to medium heat. Add in chopped beet greens and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 2 additional minutes. Finish with lemon juice.

Arrange everything on a large platter, beginning with a bed of watercress, beet greens, and cubed beets. Slice steak and add to platter. Garnish with fresh parsley and cilantro.

Ivey's Chlorophyll Lemonade, photo by Kent Anderson
Chlorophyll lemonade

Chlorophyll Lemonade

Ingredients

1 tsp. chlorophyll liquid

2 tbsp. lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

8 oz. purified filtered water

Drop of honey (optional)

Stir all ingredients together and serve in a glass garnished with a slice of lemon.

The cleaning products we use daily in our homes contain numerous chemicals that pollute the air we breathe and the surfaces with which we come into contact. In fact, it is said that indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside—and considering the average person spends 90% of their time indoors, this is a huge cause for concern. From window and counter spray to oven cleaner and shower scrub, the average household contains as many as 60 toxic chemicals.

Below, find my simple and completely toxin-free yet very effective cleaning products:

Tools and Products Needed:

  • Glass spray bottles
  • Stainless steel funnels
  • Pure castile soap
  • 60-90% isopropyl alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Distilled white vinegar (organic)*
  • Olive oil
  • Essential oils

*Distilled vinegar is derived from corn, which is frequently genetically modified and heavily sprayed with pesticides, so to limit exposure, choose organic when possible.

Naturally Antibacterial Essential Oils:

  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Cinnamon
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree
  • Clove
  • Thyme

Stainless Steel Cleaner 

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 20 drops of lemon essential oil

Combine in a glass spray bottle. Shake before use. 

All-Purpose Spray

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 20 drops of essential oils

Combine in a glass spray bottle. 

Marble/Granite Cleaning Spray

  • 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp. pure castile soap
  • 20 drops of essential oils

Combine in a glass spray bottle. 

Glass Cleaning Spray

  • 1 cup isopropyl alcohol
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar

Combine in a glass spray bottle.

Oven Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dish soap or castile soap
  • 3/4 cup filtered water

Combine ingredients in a bowl to form a paste. Apply a thin layer to all inside surfaces of oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Scrub with sponge or steel wool to remove stuck-on bits. Wipe clean with a dry towel.

Mildew/Mold Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 5 cups water
  • 20 drops tea tree oil

Combine ingredients in a glass spray bottle. Spray mixture on surface and let sit for one hour. Rinse and let air dry.

Sink/Bath/Shower Scrub 

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oils

Combine into a paste and apply to surfaces. Scrub with scrub brush.





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