Next week is Thanksgiving here in the states (helloooo to my non US peeps!), and if you’re sticking with tradition you’re probably planning your shopping list and getting ready for company.
Since my family is all on the opposite coast, I’ll be having “friends-giving”!
Whomever you’re with, my guess is that food will be involved and like most things in life these days, toxins will be the uninvited guest at the table.
I put together a list of things to be on the look out for to make your T-day toxin-free!
PLAN YOUR TURKEY ACCORDINGLY:
If you plan on eating turkey, and can afford it, buy one that is both Organic and Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, or Global Animal Partnership (GAP) rated. Each one of those organizations certifies farms based on the ethical, humane treatment of their animals, but does not require organic feed.
Don’t get duped by meaningless labels on poultry! Terms like: “Fresh”, “Natural”, “Premium”, “Cage-Free”, “Free-Range” and “No Hormones Added” are all unregulated and therefore meaningless. Check out this NPR piece that susses out the deal with all these terms.
While hormones are not permitted in poultry, antibiotics still are, and most animals are does with sub-therapeutic levels. Many scientists believe the widespread use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is responsible for increasing antibiotic resistance. Buying organic assures you that non-theraputic antibiotics aren’t used.
AIM FOR AN ORGANIC MENU:
Did you know that you can reduce circulating pesticide levels by 80-90% in just a few days by eating a *mostly* organic diet? This just reinforces that every bit helps, and that you don’t have to commit to 100% organic if that’s not possible.
Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 to help you spend your dollars in the best possible way!
DON’T WRAP FOOD IN ALUMINUM FOIL:
Numerous studies have indicated that aluminum can readily leach from foil into the foods it’s in contact with. This leaching is amplified when the foods are acidic, or if they are being heated for a long period of time. Aluminum competes with calcium in our bodies, can interfere with bone mineralization, and is an established neurotoxic metal. Instead, use parchment paper, and if need be, parchment paper in between the foil and the food.
BUY BOXED OVER CANNED:
Skip the canned beans, canned cranberry sauce and canned pumpkin! Canned foods are lined with an epoxy resin that contains Bisphenol-A, or BPA, and endocrine disrupting chemical that’s showing up in 98% of people tested by the CDC. Eden Foods sells beans (organic ones to boot!) in cans that are lined with a vegetable based enamel coating that does not contain BPA or any other endocrine disrupting chemical, so buy those!
Don’t buy canned pumpkin or cranberry sauce either, as those cans are all lined with BPA (some BPA free labeled cans may contain the similarly toxic BPS, so proceed with caution). Thankfully a few companies have started selling cooked pumpkin and cranberry sauce and jelly in TetraPak boxes. TetraPak boxes aren’t totally free and clear on the toxins front: the lining of those boxes can still release some levels of endocrine disruptors, but to a much lesser amount than BPA.
If you don’t have time to cook from scratch, buy boxed over canned.
PASS ON THE PLASTIC:
If possible, try not to use plastic food storage containers for leftovers. Plastics can easily leach estrogenic chemicals into the foods they come in contact with. Use glass storage containers if you can.
If you don’t have enough glass, lay down a layer of parchment paper between your food and the plastic container to prevent or limit direct food contact.
MAKE IT SMELL NICE, NATURALLY:
In an effort to create a warm and inviting home for family and guests, many people feel compelled to make their homes smell like cinnamon spice, or pumpkin pie, even if they’re not baking any!
While scented candles might seem like an easy way to create holiday ambiance, they are also creating a toxic home as these products, along with other kinds of plug-in and spray air fresheners. These products release endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogenic VOC’s into the air. Hardly a nice environment for your family (unless you really hate them!).
If you do want it to smell nice, simmer a pot of water with cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and cloves – it will instantly smell amazing! (just don’t forget about it!)
You can also diffuse some good quality essential oils from companies like DoTerra or Young Living. Or just let all those yummy food smells capture everyone’s attention!
SLIPPERS, NOT SHOES INSIDE:
Have your house guests remove their shoes when coming inside. Not only does this make cleaning up after a large gathering easier, it also reduces the amount of heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemicals that are commonly tracked in on the bottom of your shoes.
For a super cozy touch, offer your guests some house slippers to wear while they’re there!
RELAX & ENJOY:
While not conventionally thought of as a “toxin”, stress is indeed toxic to the body! The holidays tends to compound stresses that people have, so relax, take deep breaths (provided there aren’t chemical air fresheners in the house!), and take care of yourself!
I’m busy preparing something brand-spankin new for later this month. I’ll be checking in right after T-day with a free event invite. Woot woot!
Until then, Happy holidays!
Oh, and don’t forget to drink LOTS of water, eat those leafy green and cruciferous vegetables and get plenty of sleep. ALL of these things help support your natural detoxification process so any toxins that we are encountering have an easier time passing through!