Make sure to avoid the hidden toxins

Most of us are pretty aware of the standard toxins to avoid: pesticides, herbicides, gasoline, household cleaners with labels on them, etc. The little skull and crossbones, or the skeleton hand. Easy.

But what about the hidden stuff that doesn’t have a convenient label? You might be a little surprised at how much of that stuff is all around you, and it ALL has a very negative effect on your health.

There are so many versions of this, but let’s focus on just three.

Toxin #1: Social. I started with this one because it really seems relevant these days. The fires in Fort McMurray have seen an unprecedented mobilization of amazing energy to help and to give in a time when the recession has left many of us with very little to offer.

Yet we did. (That’s good) but peppered in with the good are some really awful, insensitive, uneducated and ridiculous things, and those are toxic.

Some of them made me so mad I was shaking. ‘How could someone say something so rotten?’ That stuff is toxic.

Thankfully lots of this is on social media and facebook makes it really easy to unfollow or unfriend, and folks – we need to do that.

If you have someone toxic on your news feed, you have to cut them loose for your own health.

I also watch or read very little news, because that too, can be toxic. I have to say, I love our Sylvan Lake news paper, because it tends to be a great balance of good local news, upbeat and positive and not a steady diet of negative – bravo.

This also goes with negative people, you need to spend less time with those folks. They will suck you into their negative energy vortex of toxic yuck, and you just don’t need that. Hang around with positive people, people solving problems, not just listing them off and adding to them, or finding fault in things that are wonderful.

Toxin #2: food. One of the things I really stress when I teach nutrition is how to read a food label. It really is critical that we understand what is in our food.

Some of it isn’t food at all.

For example, when my son was little the health nurse said we should start giving him Cheerios.

“It improves manual dexterity, fine motor skills and it’s yummy and nutritious.” she said. So of course I read the label in the store. Gross. In addition to the high amounts of refined sugar, (which they claim to not have much of – marketing lies) one of the top ingredients is trisodium phosphate.

Now why on earth would food have TSP (paint degreaser) in it? Easy. It makes the little donuts sticky so they can roll through the assembly line to the oven. Gross.

I noticed the all natural generic version in the organic aisle had none of that gunk.

Toxin #3: makeup and skin care products.

I am not an expert in this one at all, but I do know that lots of products in this world are very toxic, and since our skin is known to absorb medicines and chemicals directly, it’s one to watch for sure!

There are several natural makeup lines and a few simple requests will get you there for that. One big one for me here though, is sunscreen. The sun has somehow been proclaimed as toxic (and I have a really hard time with that, but I would have to get heavily into some conspiracy theory and long-winded evidence) when oxybenzone (one of the main ingredients in most commercial sunscreens) is known to be found in mother’s milk (meaning it gets past all of our internal safety stops).

It alters hormones, messes with fertility (including causing endometriosis) and more.

Find a natural sunscreen which uses zinc as the active ingredient – it won’t get into your blood and hormones. Be really informed about what you cover your skin with and keep it real whenever you can.

Natural is beautiful, it really is.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and the owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.