How full is your bucket?
We live in such a toxic world that it is becoming more and more difficult for our bodies natural processes to keep up with detoxifying. The liver, kidneys, and skin are major areas of filtering and cleaning up the daily onslaughts of toxins we encounter. The skin is often referred to as an extra kidney because of the volume it filters for our bodies. Our reality is toxins fall into two categories; choice or accidental. What we are aiming to do is be very aware and all the areas we have a choice and minimize the accidental exposures. In order to this, we need to be aware of how toxins are creeping in and sabotaging our health and wellness.
At Health Coach Tulsa, I always discuss the “Bucket Theory” with my clients when we are looking to lower inflammation, slow disease progression, or prevent disease or symptoms. I will let you in on my theory right now…
We are ALL born with a bucket!
Each and every day from the moment we are born we are in contact with toxins or creating them ourselves. These toxins go in our “BUCKET”. Our detox pathways work diligently to break them down and clear them out of our “BUCKET”. Have you ever put in the ice after the liquid in your glass and the liquid spills over? We blame the last piece of ice that caused the spill. When, in reality, it is all the liquid and the other pieces of ice in the glass too! Your bucket gets full and one more little thing gets in creating an actual symptom sending you to seek medical help. The medical provider treats the known symptom and ignores the bucket full of crud that got you to that point.
This process of emptying the bucket can seem very overwhelming so Health Coach Tulsa prefers to categorize according to rooms in the house then proceed to other areas of life. I have created a workflow sheet to help you identify areas of your home and life where toxins are present and infiltrating your body, mind, and soul.
The first space I chose to inventory was my pantry/freezer/fridge. It seemed to be the shortest flash to bang, if your will. Here were the known food offenders I evicted first:
- Processed sugar items
- Anything with dairy
- Anything with corn or any derivative of corn(Lord, help us cause there’s a lot!)
- Canola Oil
- White Potatoes
- White Rice
- Anything processed!
The process of overhauling my nutrition and finding alternative foods that worked for my unique needs and circumstances was and remains very fluid. I am a decade in to this journey and truly only focused on toxins in my food for the first 3-4 years. I was persistently researching my nutritional landscape to be as informed and “clean” as possible.
Eventually, terms like BPA, GMO, rancid fats, smoke points, organic, grass-fed, and nutrient dense whole foods crept in to my vernacular and further influenced my food choices. Becoming comfortable with these concepts without having a 3 hour Googling/Grocery trip took time so be sure to give yourself plenty of grace in this adventure. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I thought I found an amazing food just to feel miserable after eating it and discovering it contained a pro-inflammatory offender. So disappointing in the middle of the acute misery flare of joint pain, head ache, and fatigue following consumption. However, that food was well catalogued in my working columns of “Eat” and “Don’t Eat” in my brain.
As I grew more comfortable with my newly established food world, it was time to conquer new territory!
My next manageable step was to inventory my hygiene and beauty products and make some financially sound shifts. Keep in mind, I was a single mom of 2 kids on an Oklahoma teacher’s salary and still made it work because it was really important for me to keep my bucket as empty as possible for my kids. No time to be sick meant I was on a mission to lower my risk as much as possible!
The lowest hanging toxic fruit was anything with “fragrance” on the label.
Hygiene is about smelling good and fragrances do accomplish this feat. However, at what cost to your health and wellness? I found 10 toxins in my deodorant alone including but not limited to:
- Propylene Glycol
This was just in my deodorant! I found similarities in the ingredient lists of my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, shaving cream, toothpaste, and lotions. It all had to go and I clearly needed to research replacements. Young Living and essential oils became a great source of non-toxic products and ingredients to make my own products. Over time and much label reading, I have found additional cost effective products like Dr. Bronner’s line. Nothing is perfect so I have a handy dandy app on my phone called EWG’s Healthy Living that is a tremendous resource of information about a ton of products simply by scanning the barcode or searching the product by name. Knowledge is power and you can now make informed choices based on the ingredient information and how much room you have remaining in your bucket. BALANCE is the KEY!
I was nearly 5 years into my journey when my nutrition became pretty locked in and my bathroom from a hygiene and beauty perspective was under control and converted. Kitchenware became the next area of focus. What good was it for me to invest in better nutrition when I was just destroying the quality with aluminum and plastic cookware and utensils? Two steps forward and one step back until now…time to take a big leap!
After much research, I had settled on stainless steel cookware and that was expensive! I saved and saved and pieced and pieced until I had converted everything. I still have a few supplemental pieces of glass that I use sparingly for fear of lead and lack of time to research any specific brand in depth but that will happen soon as well. I also kept my cast iron skillets. Here is the bare naked truth…I am still on my journey and still doing research with little tweaks here and there and you will too!
Other areas Health Coach Tulsa began detoxing were home cleaners, laundry detergent, and candles or air fresheners. I also left some relationships behind that were no longer serving me and had become toxic to my life. I underwent 2 career changes seeking alignment for my values with platforms to use my God given gifts. I became very aware of things creeping in to my life and sabotaging my spiritual and mental peace so that I could place strategic barriers.
Several creepers were identified:
- Negative self-talk
- Anxious thoughts
- Not feeling good enough
A stronger prayer life, therapy, and meditation began detoxing my emotional and mental life and are still routine endeavors!
Some things (not all) that are still in my bucket and I am vigilant about making space for:
- Fillings and root canals
- Surgery trauma (appendectomy and gall bladder to name a few)
- Environmental pollutants like exhaust and BPA in receipt paper.
- Hair dye (not ready to yield to silver just yet)
- Occasional restaurant meal
- Cleaners used in public places
- Stress because…life
Stay curious my friends and empty those buckets!