Nutrition and non-toxic living

Although non-toxic living is my jam, I talk A LOT about food.

This might seem incongruent but, IMO, it goes hand in hand. You see, a good portion of our toxic exposure comes from the foods we eat. That could be from conventionally grown produce that is covered in pesticide-residue or packaged foods filled with additives.

You might think:

  • The pesticide amounts are so minute
  • Our bodies are designed to detoxify/eliminate bad stuff
  • It’s safe; otherwise, why would they sell it?

But really, who knows for sure?!

The lawsuits against a very large offender continue to this day…

The problem I see is that most of us have NO IDEA how well our bodies are metabolizing these toxins. Are you 100% confident your kidneys, liver, GI tract and skin are running optimally? I sure ain’t.

The more I research this area, the more I see our body leaves clues and we need to pay better attention to them. And the more I believe our detoxification + eliminative pathways are in need of more support.

Here are three ways to love on your detox organs:

  • Eat organic: one of the best things you can do is avoid conventionally grown food in the first place. I realize this is not realistic for all of us… it’s not always available and can be cost-prohibitive. Just do your best. If it has a thick peel, like melons or avocados, it’s usually not worth spending the extra buck.
  • Up your fruit intake: fruits are some of the most astringent and hydrating foods on the planet. They will help cleanse out your lymphatic system, which is basically your body’s sewage system. You want to make sure it’s not clogged up. Here are some of my favourites.
  • Use essential oils: essential oils are a simple and effective way to help move toxins out of the body and support your cleansing organs. My whole passion for oils and the reason I became an advocate + educator stems from a detoxification blend called Zendocrine I purchased for my son. I am currently obsessed with Juniper Berry to support my kidneys. I shop my oils here.
  • Rebuild with herbs: you can be rebounding to move your lymph or exercising to sweat out the toxins but if your eliminative pathways are blocked, you won’t get far. Herbs are a great way to support kidneys, liver, GI tract and any system in your body. Be sure to always check with your health practitioner before you begin using herbs if you have a medical condition, are on medications or have any concerns.

So now you better understand the two sides of non-toxic living: reducing your toxic exposure AND supporting your body’s natural elimination processes.

Got questions? Comment below.

M.

PS – do you want to learn more about non-toxic living and the different ways you can support your health naturally? Make sure to join my email list to receive valuable information every two months.

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What is non-toxic living?

I just realized I’ve been sharing toxic-free, plant-based living for 2.5 years now and I’ve never actually provided my own “Rustik Health definition”. Just like anything else, non-toxic living means different things to different people.

The easiest way for me to define it is by explaining what it is and what it is not in my view.

What it is

Non-toxic living is about avoiding any man-made chemical in the products we consume internally, put on our bodies and use in our homes. It is also about ensuring our bodies are functioning optimally to metabolize any existing toxins we have stored over the years and the toxins we can’t avoid exposure to in our daily lives.

Non-toxic living is a continuum. You can take it as far as you want to go… and you can make it a quick journey or a slower, ongoing journey. Personally, I hopped on the bandwagon about a decade ago and made some drastic changes initially but have kept a more moderate pace ever since.

Non-toxic living is a LIFESTYLE. It is a practice that weaves seamlessly into your everyday living. And while it may seem daunting at first, you will soon realize that it is WAY:

  • SIMPLER – no more driving across town to various natural health stores to get all the products you need. When you do run out, you can usually quickly whip up a new batch.
  • CHEAPER – many of the ingredients can be found at discount stores and they often serve multiple purposes.
  • GREENER – again, one product can serve multiple purposes so less plastic bottles make their way into our homes (and, ultimately, landfills).

What it is NOT

Non-toxic living is not about perfection. Nope… I don’t own an organic mattress (yet!) and I haven’t replaced my stash of nail polish (I just avoid wearing any as much as possible) and I’m still searching for an effective DIY dishwasher machine soap (working on it!). It’s about focusing on the positive changes you are making and not on the places you fall short.

Non-toxic living is about accepting certain social constraints and, especially, not judging others. Yes, I will use that toxic-ingredient-filled hand soap at the restaurant and won’t dart out of a room sprayed with synthetic fragrance (although I may hold my breath for a while… lol!). We’re not all of the same mind or beliefs and that is TOTALLY OKAY.

Non-toxic living is not about knowing and understanding all of the questionable toxic chemicals out there. Honestly, I used to try to remember them all… then I figured why on earth would I bog down my brain with that useless information?! At the end of the day, all you need to know is they are either: neurotoxic (super bad for your brain), endocrine-disruptive (they mess with your hormones) and/or carcinogenic (screw up your DNA).

When you live a non-toxic lifestyle, you frankly couldn’t care less about the names of all those toxic ingredients in our foods and products because they are no longer part of your world… they become completely IRRELEVANT.

Innocent until proven guilty

People will argue that in many cases there’s no proof these man-made chemicals carry negative effects. I say that’s exactly why I avoid them as much as possible. I’m not going to be a guinea pig (and neither is my family), plus there’s no good reason to use most of them. Nature has provided us with the powerful and safe tools we need.

While I see value in the notion of “innocent until proven guilty” in the context of criminal justice, I see ZERO value in it in the context of the safety of man-made chemicals.

What steps have you taken lately towards a non-toxic lifestyle?

M.

PS – I’ll soon be offering group challenges to help you either get started on your non-toxic lifestyle or push your existing journey one step further. Sign up below to BE THE FIRST to know more!

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Picture of smoothie

What’s in my smoothie?

I need to preface this post by saying that my smoothie-recipe skills are by no means refined. One thing you need to know about me is I don’t eat for taste (most of the time), I eat for purpose. And that purpose is HEALTH…

So my smoothie recipe is not for every palate. If you’re a crunchy health nut like me, you might think it is delicious! Otherwise, don’t get your hopes up 😉

This is my basic recipe, and it rarely changes:

  • 1 banana 🍌
  • 1 cup pineapple 🍍 or mango 🥭 
  • 3-4 kale leaves or a handful of spinach
  • 1/2 bunch parsley 
  • 1 chunk cucumber 🥒 
  • 1 tbsp goji berries 
  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds or chia seeds
  • 1 tsp spirulina or chlorella
  • 1 tsp Maca or Tulsi
  • 1 tsp bee pollen 🐝 
  • 1-2 cups spring or coconut water 💧
  • 1 tbsp coconut or MCT oil (occasionally)

No dairy… no store-bought dairy alternatives… no protein powders… just simple, mostly unprocessed foods!

What’s in your smoothie?

M.

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My side hustle story

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I started this side hustle about a year ago, stemming from my passion for health. At the time, I had NO IDEA how important it would become.

See, I would consider myself quite good with money. My father bought me the book “The Wealthy Barber” when I was about 16 years old and I’ve pretty much followed that advice since then. But the one thing I was NOT GOOD at was building an emergency fund…

It seemed that, as soon as I would put money aside for this purpose, something would break down or a big unexpected expense would come up. And there went the fund…

So when I got laid off from my corporate job, it should have been a huge financial shock. Don’t get me wrong – it was still a kick in the shin. But I had been building myself an income-generating safety net on the side.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it, though. I finished my 9 – 5 job and worked late evenings and weekends on this (amazing) gig. But I’m eternally grateful to have pushed through it.

As I get back up onto my feet, I’m proud to know that I’ve got my own back and I promise never to complain about the extra work ever again!!

(PS – I also got to live a dream… you know those annoying people who seem to be able to work from the beach? I got to do this while I was in Mexico! The magic of an online business…)

M.


My natural health story

Plant, almonds and a buddha

In my early twenties, I suffered from really bad anxiety. I’m talking debilitating panic attacks. Tightness in chest, couldn’t breathe, heart palpitations, racing heart.

I tried to manage it as best I could, but it only got progressively worse to the point where I had to take time off work. I could not drive on a highway and eventually I could not even be alone for a few minutes. At the time, I was living on my own and my parents were in a different city.

At my lowest point, my parents came to town and rented a hotel room to take care of me. I couldn’t handle being in my own apartment anymore but I couldn’t handle being in public either. I stayed locked up in that hotel room with my parents by my side until I could get it together again. I was literally like Marge in that episode of the Simpsons where she gets mugged and develops agoraphobia.

I sought conventional treatments and made progress but it was always a struggle. I also started researching alternative therapies and became very interested in holistic health. I started supplementing, ate more whole foods, started doing yoga, etc.

However, the game-changer for me was when I got an IgG food sensitivity test done and found out I had an “extremely high” sensitivity to almonds. This was eye-opening to me as I was regularly consuming almonds: almond butter, almond milk, massive bags of tamari almonds from Costco… oops.

I quit the almonds right away and, no joke, the anxiety improved exponentially. That’s when I discovered the real power of food.

Since then, I listen more closely to my body and pay better attention to what I feed it. I’ve noticed it often tells me what it needs or doesn’t need. The challenge is sometimes figuring out what that is 🙂

Hope this helps!

M.

PS – By no means am I suggesting that we should all stop eating almonds and anxiety will be eradicated from this earth – or that managing anxiety is this simplistic. What I learned and want to share is that the food we eat is an integral part of our health and it should never be overlooked as a possible trigger.