Black Hills Woman Magazine | The Toxic Truth of Our Mondern Lifestyle

The Toxic Truth of Our Modern Lifestyle
by Sasha Campbell

Have you ever applied makeup? Worn perfume? Used hand lotion? Ate a frozen dinner? Taken a pharmaceutical drug? Painted a room in your house? Cleaned with bleach? Felt anger at someone that you couldn’t easily let go of? Authored an indignant post on social media? Chances are, everyone reading this has experienced at least one or all of these things in their lifetime.

We know that we don’t always feel radiantly healthy. We inherently sense that there is a better way to feel and live. We suspect that our modern lifestyle is somehow contributing to this feeling. The problem is that most of us do not understand the why, or even how to go about looking and feeling better. We all want to glow. How do we get there?

The truth is; we are toxically unaware. When individual food, chemical, pharmaceutical and personal care products are tested for market safety, they are singled out. A specific product is tested for negative effect in an isolated laboratory scenario. The FDA does not require multiple products be tested together for safety over the lifetime of an individual. This is where we run into major problems. Do you know anybody who uses only one personal care product or eats only one type of processed food? Is exposed to only one airborne pollutant? Pthalates, sulfates, parabens, food additives, preservatives, pesticides, VOCs, heavy metals, and Teflon are not just buzzwords. The list of noxious and carcinogenic substances in our current world is virtually endless and pervasive. So many of these toxic ingredients found in everyday products and our environment have been proven detrimental to human health over the long-term.

Toxic chemicals combined with the standard American diet, which tends to be high in sugar and low fiber, disarms our body’s natural detoxification process and creates high levels of physiological imbalance, which leads to chronic disease. The build-up of toxins from the multiple influences in a person’s life is often referred to as their toxic load. This toxic accumulation is what causes the overall feelings of sickness, fatigue and lack of vitality that we so often experience. On top of this, there is emerging research showing how psychological stress (i.e. toxic thoughts) can have a negative effect and make us even sicker. Are you tired of feeling this way? The good news is that there are steps you can take to feel better! If you want to look younger and feel amazing every day; know your toxins, know your detox strategies:

Types of Toxins

Toxic Food – Research processed food ingredients and additives, or better yet, stay away from all chemically altered food products and stick to a whole foods diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. The fiber and antioxidants in foods from the earth (not the lab) help to detoxify the body of harmful substances. Avoid harmful pesticides by choosing USDA certified Organic. Sip lemon water daily. Watch the Food Matters documentary. (

Toxic Environment – Find low to no-toxin versions of your favorite products. Environmental Working Group ( has an excellent smart phone app called Skin Deep that gives ratings to thousands of brand name self-care products for their toxicity levels. Watch a very informative documentary on this subject: The Human Experiment. (

Toxic Thoughts – Dr. Caroline Leaf states, “75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.” Change your thoughts, change your life.

Ways to Detox

Sweat – Hot yoga, aerobic exercise, steam rooms and infrared saunas all get the toxins moving out of your cells and facilitate your body’s inborn detoxification process.

Pray/Meditate – Heal your toxic thoughts. While traditional psychotherapy is an effective route towards self-awareness, new research points to regular meditation and prayer as also having significant positive neurological benefits. Getting started with meditation? There is a plethora of free guided meditations on You Tube, and some fantastic new apps: I like both Headspace and Calm.

Supplement – The one supplement it appears that everyone should take: a high quality probiotic. Why? Most man-made chemicals, including those in pharmaceutical drugs, deplete our bodies of their natural beneficial bacteria. Recent scientific research has uncovered that our microbial makeup outnumbers our cells by 10 to 1; these are important little critters. Over the last 50 years or so, we have been obsessed with killing every speck of bacteria in our path with antibiotics, antibacterial soaps, cleaners, etc. The major irony here is that our body requires a strong population of beneficial bacteria to be able to fight the pathogenic bacteria we seek to destroy! All of these chemical interventions mentioned above kill ALL bacteria, including the good guys that boost our immune system and keep us healthy. Find a high quality probiotic, avoid products that harm your health-promoting microflora unless absolutely necessary. BHW

For more information on how to live a low-toxin lifestyle, find Sasha Campbell on Facebook @glowlifedetox or

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