How to Make Holistic Detox a Part of Your Life

Concern about toxins in the environment is not a modern phenomenon. Ever since industrialisation factories have been producing waste and pollution along with their products.

When industrial pollution was obvious as in smoke stacks or foaming or discoloured rivers that provided an obvious signal that unacceptable shortcuts were being taken.

Modern industries often look a lot cleaner with fewer chimneys and less polluted rivers but often the pollutants are not visible so they do not call attention to themselves.

In many homes you will find chemical coatings on many household items that give rise to concern. Many fabrics have a chemical coating which has the purpose of resisting staining, many kitchen tools have "non stick" coatings and most painted surfaces emit a chemical cloud into the air.

All these and many other chemicals in our home environment find their way into the body as we breathe.

As time goes by the levels of these chemicals rise and may start to produce hormonal or neurological effects.

Mostly we are unaware of the effects of these toxins. We may feel fatigued and anxious and blame our daily commute or our boss.

They may well add to our burden but often it is the load of toxins we carry rather than our burden of responsibility that is responsible.

To sum it up nicely,

Environmental toxins hidden in our air, food and water are also hiding in us. Author unknown

At times of such fatigue and low energy we may wonder if we have an underlying problem and go to get a check up. Perhaps our thyroid is sluggish or our adrenals are "burnt out" by years of over work and under sleep.

And if we are given an "all clear" we may decide to take matters into our own hands and do a detox.

Of course there are many different types of Detox. In Nature Cure or Naturopathy a detox is accomplished holistically and according to the constitution of the individual.

But if we are doing a D-I-Y detox we need to choose a detox diet and a detox formula and a few detox techniques to make our own programme.

A Detox Diet

This needs to be clean and mild as well as nourishing. We cannot detox and eat junk food so we lose the sodas, sugar, and deep fried foods.


Some of the detox diet should be raw but vegetables soups being nutritious and emotionally satisfying are a healthy and important part of any diet – detox or not.

Add some mild foods such as steamed brown rice or quinoa and lightly cooked veggies and don't get picky about recipes and you'll enjoy it.

And if you have a juicer, then a daily green juice or green smoothie gives your whole detox diet a boost.

A Detox Formula

This is what does the "heavy lifting" in the liver and colon. Diet alone cannot do what the body needs in the complex process of detoxification. Special detox ingredients are required and they may be a blend of vitamins, minerals and herbs.

There are many different detox formulas that are made up according to the views of particular Naturopaths and herbalists.

Of course some of this may conflict with any pharmaceutical drugs you many be taking and that needs a consultation with your health care professional.

If you go "D-I-Y" you are taking responsibility for all this!

Detox Techniques

You can give yourself quite a boost by adding one or more traditional cleansing techniques to your detox programme.

A brief sauna can help you both relax and sweat out some of your toxic load. If that is not possible then try an Epsom Salts bath. Skin brushing may encourage drainage and circulation and can be done as a regular part of daily life

Doing this regularly can be very helpful. You could spend one day a week as a rest and detox day – or maybe a detox weekend once a month. And of course in the spring we can do a Spring Clean of your homes and maybe follow that up with a Spring Detox for ourselves too.

A Holistic Detox need not be expensive or difficult – with a little forethought you can detox and have fun. Part of that can be to get a "Detox buddy" and perhaps detox at the same times and support each other. Journaling can be another way to add some depth to your detox.

Relaxation is an important part of any detox whether it is a D-I-Y approach or at a spa. Gentle Yoga workouts or other stretching exercises relieve tension and help us to de-stress from the daily tensions that can so easily get on top of us.

The whole point of a Holistic Detox is this all round balanced approach. We are more than a vessel that needs cleansing and detox is more than a way of removing toxins from your liver of colon, it can and should be an opportunity to "Reboot" our lives and bring more energy and a clearer vision to who we are and how we live.

Diesel Deception – Is Dieselgate The Door To a Cleaner Future?

The revelation that VW, the carmaker, has been cheating environmental standards is slowly working its way through official circles, clean air campaigning groups and the public.

Labelled #Dieselgate by the media it promises to have enormous consequences for VW and for diesel cars generally.

The deception was found and published by West Virginia University although it seems that authorities on both sides of the Atlantic were aware of the problem and had been for several months.

The Problem In A Nutshell

Diesel engines work at higher temperatures than petrol aka gasoline engines and for that reason there is the possibility that they could burn fuel more cleanly and more completely. For that to happen they need to have the right fuel to take advantage and to pump smaller amounts of particulates, CO2 and NOX into the exhaust.

In Britain and the EU a political decision was taken about 15 years ago to promote the sale of diesel cars which up to that time were rarely bought by the consumer.

We were sold the lie that diesel was clean, in fact VW even poke fun at people thinking that diesel was dirty.

Video here

In the years since then diesel growth was so massive that most sales in the UK are now diesel so they outsell regular gasoline / petrol cars.

The air quality has suffered as you would expect. It has been a long running scandal that air quality in London and other major European cities has been so drastically bad.

It beggars belief that the real cause of this was not known to a lot of engineers and regulators.

Until West Virginia Uni published their report.

Not Just VW

The consequences of this debacle will be very serious for VW as a company. They have put aside several billion dollars and expect to add to that sum. VW also make Audi, SEAT, Skoda as well as several luxury brands like Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

VW will probably survive – albeit with less capital and maybe fewer brands but how about VW diesel?

The management of VW seem to have been asleep at the wheel. We do not know yet if this disaster was due to a small number of software engineers or whether there was supervisory or management involvement.

Does VW have the will, the initiative or the vision to do what they need – to focus on Electric vehicles and clean up the environment with determination?

When Elon Musk was asked his view of #Dieselgate

Video here

It is unlikely that VW will drop all diesel production and focus on gasoline (petrol) cars and electric – I don’t think they have the guts or the vision but Joe Public is not limited by those considerations.

The public realisation that diesel and gas cars cannot be clean, cannot be green is growing fast. Battery power is growing fast too and electric cars are well out if their novelty stage.

The first mass car manufacturer to roll out large numbers of electric cars will trigger a stampede by all the major brands. All have well designed electric cars waiting for launch and are hanging back like shy teens at a dance.

Elon Musk has the boldness of vision but is a comparatively small niche brand. #Dieselgate may initiate the beginning of the conversion of a clean and green mass car industry.

This will clean the environment up significantly and make our job o detoxing our bodies easier. We have a lot to thank West Virginia University for!

Bisphenol A and How You Can Limit Its Health Risks

Bisphenol A often called BPA is a widely discussed chemical that has been causing concern and even alarm since the 1990s. The worries focus on the ability of the BPA molecule to trigger hormone pathways in the body.

So the popular press has used the word, “gender bender” to describe some of the effects of BPA and the scientific press describes it as an “Endocrine disruptor” and of materials with BPA having “EA” – that is of having “Endocrine activity”.

What all this boils down to is that BPA mimics both the structure and function of estrodiol which is a hormone of crucial importance to both men and women.

If estrodiol levels in your blood are too high then you are at increased risk for atherosclerosis and stroke so chemicals in the body that can mimic estrodiol are deeply unwelcome because they can pose a serious health risk.

In addition the widespread presence of BPA may be responsible for the widely noticed drop in sperm count that has been seen all round the world.

The Frustration of Infertility

Infertility is a growing problem and leads to so much sorrow and disappointment.

Studies have also shown that over 90% of us have BPA present in our urine and even that new-born babies have measurable levels. This latter concern shows why Governments around the world have banned BPA from baby bottles even though they have continued to allow the chemical industry to use bisphenols for many other applications and products.

There are many varieties of the bisphenol molecule. We discuss BPA but this page on the Wiki shows variations such as bisphenol B, C, E, F, G…all the way to Bisphenol Z!

The reason I mention all these kinds of bisphenol is that some manufacturers are marking their products “BPA free”.

And some of these products have Bisphenol S, also written as BPS, which like BPA is an endocrine disruptor and may be even worse for our health than Bisphenol A is.

Can you imagine people buying products labelled BPA free in the hope of protecting their families not having an inkling of other dangers lurking in the product?

Another example of how widespread this issue of chemical pollution by bisphenol is that BPS has been found in paper currencies of 21 countries around the world as well as in kitchen and toilet paper!

So this is not just about plastic in the kitchen, it is much wider. BPA is found in the inner lining of some Beer cans and food cans; it is found in the small receipts printed by thermal printers inside automated tills and it is in food containers and in the clear tough polycarbonate bowls and parts of juicers.

Action Steps To Reduce Bisphenol In Your Life

So what do we do?

In the modern world it is somewhere between hard and impossible to avoid all plastics so we need to follow a practical path based on likely risk.

1. Babies and children are at most risk so we prioritise the materials their possessions are made of. BPA free just does not cut it because we do not know what the materials do have!
2. Studies in which people avoided canned food and packaged food showed that the BPA levels in the blood drop dramatically when people eat at home and cook from scratch.
3. Swap material where you can. Use Pyrex rather plastic bowls and glass and not plastic food containers
4. Do not heat food in plastic containers
5. If you have a juicer or smoothie maker keep using it. The juice you are making is only in contact with the plastic for a few seconds.
6. Wash your hands after handling paper money and till receipts and check out the paper towels you may use.
7. Lobby your political leaders. People power works!

Any other points not in the list or any question you may have, please drop them in the comment section below! Thanks!

Get Happy With Recycling Textiles

happyRecycling textiles sounds quaint, unlike recycling electronics which sounds obvious – all those precious metals that can be used again and many toxic substances which we don't want in landfill where they can pollute the water table and outgas greenhouse gases.

Turns out that the same considerations come up for textiles too. After all textiles will generally decompose and the bacteria that find their way into the material may well generate Methane which is a very potent greenhouse gas.

So we need to recycle materials; this can be clothing, curtains, fabric of all kinds that we might automatically or rather unconsciously, dump in our black bin – the “sin bin” that goes to landfill.

My local recycling arrangements changed recently so that we can dispose of textiles in our recycling or Green Bin, so it's easy to do. No more trekking off to a special recycling centre miles away at a cost of time and effort.

Here's some encouragement. A store in Atlanta is using a cover of Happy by Pharrell Williams in a very creative way, have a listen…and join in the recycling even if you don't sing or dance along with the music!

credit for photo Joe Shlabotnik


After a Diagnosis of Cancer…

Fear is the usual response to a diagnosis of Cancer. Even though other diseases may actually be a bigger threat and Cancer has such a grip on our imagination. The Cancer establishment offers and mandates only 3 ways to respond to Cancer and they are Surgery, Treatment with Cancer causing chemicals and treatment with Cancer causing radiation.

It takes a an independent thinker with some courage to withstand the assault by the establishment – they will do their best or should I say, worst to threaten and pressure you into one of the 3 responses above.

Not that any of them actually work.

What does work for many is a natural and plant based diet. Lots of details here on the blog and please ask if you have any questions. A recommendation I don't make is exactly the diet this lady chose.

Get some details in the video

I'd love to hear your response and reaction so please comment below.

Air Pollution and Our Health – What Can We Do?

Los Angeles at DawnI have been breathing polluted air and reading about air pollution all my life. And of course old news is no news at all. This post is not so much about the facts of air pollution or its causes but about what we can do about it.

Setting the scene – I want you to imagine being in London in the 1950s. The smogs that cloaked the city were so thick that we could not see more than a few inches ahead of us at a time.

We don’t have that level of pollution now. Looking at a Los Angeles skyline – it looks and feels bad but is not killing the huge numbers on a daily basis that the 1950s smogs did.

Or are they?

The smogs of the last century were from dirty coal and worked directly to irritate and inflame the lungs. It was particularly bad for babies and the elderly and anyone else with compromised lung function.

Nowadays the fuel that pollutes our cities and our lungs and sinuses is different. Added to that we have a whole slew of chemical pollutants that are new and found in the air and in our food.

New chemicals should in a logical world be tested and certified for safety before general release into the environment.

Obvious eh?

Equally obvious is that we live in a world dominated by commercial interest and not by logic or health concerns – or even due process.

Given then that we have many novel chemical agents designed to protect us against fire, to chemically clean our floors, help gasoline burn better and a thousand other “good causes” and that we are breathing all this – what can we do?

We cannot control the pollution that is dumped in the air – our air- daily apart of course by political activism and by all means do what you can on that front.

But we can control whether we smoke or spend time with someone who does and we can control the food we choose to eat and what we drink.

And, to some extent we can control the pollution that we breathe too. So let’s look at these one by one.

Smoking Tobacco

Smoking was recommended in the 1930s by Doctors for, “Health Reasons”! This is a wonderful example of why we should never take heed of advice from Doctors or governments.

Of course what breathing the smoke from burning leaves or fuel really does is to fill our bloodstream with inflammatory free radical which are volatile molecules that damage every tissue they come in contact with.

It is not just the lungs that suffer but arteries and organs all round the body – such as the stomach and the brain.

How to give up smoking? First pay attention to the diet and improve that then cut the number of cigarettes and start using nicotine patches. Keep improving the diet and with the help of a professional health care expert and smoking can be left behind.

In the meantime 1 gram a day vitamin C can help the body deal with the effects and damage made by the smoke.

Our Food

Some food of course is smoked! I have always found that amusing – as if smoking is not bad enough already we have to choose to eat food that is smoked already!

Food that is burnt, overcooked in any way whether by being roasted too long or cooked at a temperature that is too high will have similar effects to breathing smoke – a wave of inflammatory chemicals will flood the bloodstream and damage all they come into contact with.

I am not recommending that we stop eating cooked food but that we stop eating overcooked food!

Avoiding any food that contributes to inflammation is a major step forward for our health. This means that our diet needs to be “anti-inflammatory”.

In research terms the phrase “plant based diet” keeps cropping up; this is the diet that all the major research projects over the last 50 years have shown to be the best for our health and the simplest description of what a healthy diet is.

Bluntly – all meat, fish and eggs contribute to inflammation in the body and some would add dairy products to the list too.

A plant based diet then is a healthy and wholefood version of a vegan diet and is promoted by experts such as Drs John McDougall, Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn.

If you follow a diet as clean as this you will notice a gentle detox going on right through your body and several health complaints you have had for years will just melt away.

But even reducing the consumption of meat will yield benefits; it is not all or nothing!

Our Home Environment

Many of us who endure long commutes would love to spend more time at home but there are pollution problems not just on the way to and from work but in the home as well.

The air in our homes starts being as mucky and polluted as the air outside and then we add a slew of our own pollution to the air and that makes it the unhealthiest place to be!

But we have choice over which products we buy. We probably did not realise that all the chemical sprays and cleaners we buy for cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom will contribute to the formation of a chemical smog throughout our home that we are breathing night and day.

Now we know we can throw them out. Most personal products have dubious chemicals in them – unless you have shopped very carefully and consciously to avoid them.

Well our household cleaning still has to be so whet do we use? As odd as it sounds a combination of Baking soda and white vinegar can clean almost any surface in the home without leaving any nasty traces of volatile and damaging chemicals behind too.

Healthy alternatives are available but a slight caution don’t think that all the products you see in “Health” or “Wholefood” type of stores will automatically be safe!

Experience of label reading and speaking to manufacturers informs me otherwise. There’s no substitute for being a savvy shopper.

The Air in our Homes

Once you have done a clean sweep of your cupboards and thrown out all you can you may want to go further – and get an air filter.

A high quality air filter does not have to cost a lot – although of course the very best will cost more. But lots of vacuum cleaners and even some cars have HEPA filters which will substantially cut down the particles and even viruses circulating in the air we breathe at home.

I will do a review of the best HEPA air purifiers for the home but for now there’s a starter HEPA air filter in the Honeywell HHT-011 and a more advanced Honeywell here and a Winix WAC5500 here .

Please feel free to ask questions and share your experience below – and share this post on social media too! Thanks

Photo Credit LA at dawn

Air Pollution and Disease: Can Air Filters Help?

air pollution from factory chimneyPollution is not just ugly and smelly; It is a serious health issue too. And it is not just about causing and exacerbating lung disease and sinus problems, but much more seriously there is now evidence that air pollution is a powerful factor in the causation of ADHD, autism and infertility.

We got to see just how serious air pollution could be back in the 1950s in smoggy old London. The smog was caused by the smoke from sulphur rich coal that was used in British fireplaces. The clean air act cleared the air and saved goodness knows how many lives too.

The change to burning a different type of coal and to using gas fires certainly did clear the air, but our pollution problems may actually have got worse since then.

Industry has moved on and is producing thousands of new chemical based products, many of them producing invisible vapours, which because we cannot see them seem to be innocent and inoffensive.

Modern pollutants appear as phthalates (silent “p”), plasticizers, Organophosphates, Bisphenol A and solvents. Even the names of these give me “the creeps!” and they will appear in future posts.

To tell whether or not our homes are safe now we need modern technology that can “sniff” the air in our home to check to see if it is safe and this technology is very expensive and complex to use and to interpret.

And it is not just these chemical vapours produced in our homes from the paint work, curtains and carpets that we and our family are breathing in but we are also breathing the pollution produced outside the home – emitted by vehicles and chimneys – all this spreads inside the home and cannot be kept outside.

No matter how clean you keep your home the burden of external air pollution cannot be avoided and can only be dealt with by a high quality air filter.

Air Filters For Every Use

There are various types of air filter. Yes they all filter out dust and pollution from the air but they do so with a level of thoroughness and deficiency depending on the technology they use and their price!

A basic filter will trap dust particles and remove them from being recirculated by the heating and ventilation systems again and again.

Particles come in different sizes and all filters will be able to deal with large particles and probably not be able to deal with the very small particles called “particulates”.

High efficiency filters are called HEPA filters, which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and filter out even the tiny particles 1/3 of a micron in size.

Such HEPA filters can be built into vacuum cleaners and even high end cars and aircraft but are commonly used in portable standalone home appliances used in homes where someone has asthma or allergies to reduce the load of allergens that they breathe in.

The air filter mentioned in the video above has an extra unit to filter vapours from fragrances and volatile chemicals.

To read more about the IQAir® Filter go here and if you know of a retailer selling this at a lower cost please let me know and I can share the news right here. Thanks!

Photo Credit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


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