Toxic load refers to the amount of toxins we expose ourselves to on a daily basis and it goes hand in hand with nutritional bankruptcy. Usually, when one is present, so is there other. Toxic load includes: air pollution; drinking and bathing water laden with chlorine, fluoride, and pharmaceutical, plastic, and chemical residues; chemical off-gassing from furniture, sheetrock, paint and other building materials; body products like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, shaving cream, conditioner, hair dyes and lotions; heavy metals from vaccines and mercury tooth-fillings, foods that the body can’t digest: pasteurized dairy, wheat/gluten, and processed foods laden with chemicals and preservatives or GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and sugar (white sugar is a double-whammy toxin because it’s sugar and it’s GMO).
Every single molecule of each of these items must be processed by the body; specifically, by the liver. The liver must neutralize each molecule of toxin (usually with glutathione) before it is rendered harmless to the body and will be excreted through the feces. Our modern problem is that most of us are taking in way more toxins than our liver could ever possibly handle even if it was working efficiently. Our livers are beyond struggling. When our livers struggle, they hire employees to clean up the waste they can’t get to; this includes viruses, bacteria, parasites and candida. This means we’ll have low energy, low hormones, unrefreshing sleep, and excess weight. It means we’ll have weak immune systems and we’ll get sick or suffer from “disease”, “autoimmune diseases”, or cancer. Ultimately, what our livers can’t handle, turns to disease.
So, I try to minimize, even eliminate, my toxic load. Toxins also make us look old and prematurely age us. If you want to look young and beautiful (or handsome)?—Reduce your toxic load!
QUIZ: What is your toxic load?
Think about yesterday, or today, everything you have done. Do you use, consume or expose yourself to the following? Count up the number of “yes” answers.
1. Bathe in chlorinated water
2. Drink chlorinated or fluorinated water (many bottled waters have added fluoride)
3. Eat pasteurized dairy of any kind (except butter)
4. Eat anything with white sugar in it (this includes spaghetti sauce, cookies, coffee, anything)
5. Eat gluten or wheat of any kind (except homemade sourdough bread from a sourdough starter)
6. Eat processed or refined foods like fast food, candy, microwave dinners, white pasta, muffins, etc.
7. Eat non-organic fruits and veggies (conventional contain higher levels of heavy metals, especially cadmium)
8. Drink alcohol
9. Smoke cigarettes or use chewing tobacco
10. Take pharmaceutical or OTC drugs like birth control, Tylenol, Claritin, Benadryl, painkillers, cough syrup, etc.
11. Dye your hair with chemicals (something other than henna or cassia) or use nail polish (even the organic stuff has chemicals in it).
12. Use commercial shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, hair spray, gel, soap or shaving cream (check your labels, most products even from Whole Foods will contain chemicals like sodium lauryl sulphate).
13. Use commercial cleaning products: laundry detergent, pine sol, bleach, Comet, Windex, etc.
14. Use commercial perfumes/cologne or makeup: mascara, foundation, lipstick, chapstick, eye shadow, bronzer, etc.
15. Live in a large city (how dirty is your air—is it mountain fresh or smoggy?)
16. Have mercury, or amalgam fillings in your teeth
Add up all your checks, and compare your scores below. When I realized I was in the midst of a health crisis in 2010, I would have scored a 14/16 here—yikes!
Score: 0 Congrats, you are a rock star! You should be feeling great or at least on a very fast road to health. If you still find yourself struggling, definitely make sure you are eating your foods at the correct time of day to ensure your liver is actually able to go clean up any incidentals or anything from your past!
Score: 1-4 Moderate toxic load. You are doing pretty well. Despite living in a toxic world, you are doing a pretty good job of limiting your exposure. Keep asking, “What feels good for me?” At some point you may find yourself seeking even more of the natural in your life.
Score: 5-8 High Toxic Load. Lots of people fall in this category. This is a high toxic load but it’s also sort of a tipping point—you are faced with really taking responsibility for your own health, or just going along with what society tells you to do. You may be feeling indifferent about this article, about yourself, and about life—this is a coping mechanism to avoid making the decision. However, your toxic load is definitely effecting your health. You could see giant improvements in your health if you are willing to be more aware of your environment.
Score: 9-16 Extremely High Toxic Load. You may be experiencing a health crisis, on the verge of one, or suffer from many maladies already. This is where I was 6 years ago. The great news is, there is room for drastic improvement! Just choose one bullet point at a time to eliminate, if you could eliminate one a month, your body could totally remake itself in a little over a year.
Now, that you know your score, which is the easiest toxic factor you can eliminate? Which is the hardest? Try to do both of those. I always recommend eliminating one of the hardest early on, because there will be SO much energy stored up in “the hardest” one that eliminating it will allow you to see GIANT returns on your investment!