Eliminating Environmental Toxins

What a week!!!

Thanks to everyone for your calls, emails, comments, and messages of congratulations.  I had no idea how many people there are out there cheering for me.  I hope you all realize there is NO WAY I could achieve such amazing results without your support and love.  I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

Tomorrow hubby, Miss M, and I are off to Mexico for our week long celebration.  Hooray!  But I thought I’d post one more piece of my healing puzzle before we go…

Today’s puzzle piece is about eliminating toxins.

Unfortunately, harmful chemicals and toxins are everywhere.  It is impossible to get rid of them all but we can get rid of many.

I firmly believe that the growing use of toxic chemicals plays a significant role in cancer.  There are specific chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors, hormonal imbalancers  and carcinogenic compounds that are in our every day products.  While one chemical alone may not produce cancer, together, the synergistic properties are definitely toxic.

For a complete list of what is in your products go to the Environmental Working Group‘s website.  It is amazing.  Check out the book What’s In This Stuff: The Hidden Toxins in Everyday Products & What You Can Do About Them.  As well as Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams.


  • parabens (personal care & baby products)
  • phthalates  (personal care products and plastics)
  • BPA  (plastics & tin can linings)
  • formaldehyde (cleaning products – can appear under a number of different names)
  • sodium laurel sulfates

**  Many chemicals are listed under different names.  For example, “fragrance” is often code-word for a combination of chemicals including phthalates.  So avoid things with fragrance.  **

Here is a rundown of the products I’ve changed & some great all natural ones I’ve found:

HAIR:   I stopped coloring my hair…  I switched my shampoo & conditioner as well as my hair styling products (most contain parabens).  I found a great pomade:  John Masters Organics.  It’s a bit pricey but I bought it almost 6 months ago and still have over half left.  A little goes a long way!

SKIN:  Look at the ingredients in your soap, cleansers, moisturizer, and antiperspirant.  I stopped wearing antiperspirant all together (because of the aluminium & fragrances).  I switched to all natural ingredient soap (ie. no ingredients i can’t pronounce) – Dr. Bonner’s is a great brand to try…  As well as all natural facial moisturizer – I adore Loving Naturals Anti-Aging Cream…   And I wash my face with Eminence Organic Coconut Milk Cleanser (which smells heavenly!)…  For sunscreens try to avoid commercial brands with oxybenzone, avobenzone, & octinoxate.  I just ordered some new natural ones to bring to Mexico if they turn out good I’ll let ya know!

MAKEUP:  I rarely wear makeup these days.  Right now I just use Physicians Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer.  Which you can get at any pharmacy or grocery store.   I also stopped getting manicures & pedicures :-(  But recently found some non-toxic water based nail polishes that I’m excited to try (Acquarella, Sante Nail Polish, Suncoat, & Piggy Paint for kids).

TEETH:  I’ve read that it’s best to avoid too much flouride so I switched to all natural, flouride free toothpaste (for both me & Miss M).  There’s already enough flouride in the water.  Also, many big name brand toothpastes contain sugar & sugar substitutes (xylitol, sorbitol, saccharin).  And one brand (I won’t name names but read your ingredient list) contains the toxic chemical triclosan.   Plus, I keep hearing mercury amalgam fillings are toxic.  So i need to get mine switched.  Anyone know of a good dentist who does that???

CLEANING:  Toxic chemicals are in our clothing detergents, dryer sheets, dish soaps and most household cleaning products.  I use Planet dishwashing liquid…  Seventh Generation dishwasher and clothing detergents…  I’m trying to wean myself off dryer sheets…  And I just started making my own household cleaning products that I SWEAR work even better than commercial ones.  (The recipe involves water, white distilled vinegar, tea tree oil, lemon, + peppermint oil or lavender oil for fragrance).

KITCHEN:   We switched to stainless steal pots & pans (no more Teflon!)…   Although we do have one Green Pan which is non-stick but less toxic at higher heats with less chemicals…  We got rid of our plastic Tupperware and switched to Pyrex glass…  Plastics are the big worry here.  Especially avoid putting plastic in the microwave or dishwasher or placing hot food in plastic containers as this leaches the harmful chemicals out & into your food.

FOOD:   Stop drinking bottled water (the chemicals leach out of the plastic into your water) – Plus, it’s just BAD for the environment!…  Watch out for pesticides (especially in fruits & veggies), and avoid food in cans.  Can linings are riddled with BPA.  Be especially careful with tomato products – the acid from the tomatoes leaches even more chemicals from the can lining.  The only brand of canned beans that does NOT have BPA in the lining is Eden Foods.  And if you’re gonna eat dairy please make it organic.  They pump cows full of hormones to keep them lactating after their babies are taken away and those hormones end up in the milk & then in us.  I partially blame hormonal dairy for the rise in early puberty in girls and estrogen positive breast cancers.

Phhewww….   That’s a lot.  And I’m sure I missed out on a whole bunch of other stuff as well.

One thing I’ve learned on this journey is that you must take baby steps or else it is totally overwhelming.  So don’t try to tackle this whole list.  Just pick a few things & start there.

Every little thing makes a difference!

See ya’ll in a week!  Hugs,  – T

10 Responses

  1. Solid information, Terri. You’ve always been a good researcher. You definitely alerted me to some toxins I didn’t know about. Thanks!

  2. Get rid of my Tupperware? I know I should, but that’s probably gonna be hard…..like you said, one thing at a time.

  3. I agree about the necessity for making small changes in one’s life and routines rather than trying to do everything at once — one is frequently overwhelmed by the mass of often conflicting information Out There ™, and by the tendency for a recommendation in one decade to be replaced by its opposite in another…

    I am so happy you will have a little time in Mexico! May it bring you rest, peace, renewed energy, and plenty of sunshine — something sadly absent in Halifax the past couple days.

    Much love to you and your whole family,


  4. Don’t forget to read labels! Many organic and natural foods have MORE added sugars or fats than the “regular” kind. Learn how to read the little stickers on fruits and veggies and educate yourself for your trips to the grocery store. You would be amazed how many brands sneak in sugar twice that are widely considered healthy. Companies are, unfortunately, often out to trick us to build more profits.


  5. I’m so happy you and your family get to take a trip in celebration of kicking cancer’s butt. I don’t know you except through your writings here, but I hope that all of the positive energy continues to flow from your readers for a long, long time. Blessings

  6. We have switched most if not all of the things you have listed – we make all our own household cleaners, dishwashing liquids and washing machine soap; all of our own bodily cleaners including soaps, shampoos and deodorants; we use stainless steel cookware and only glass or pottery plates and bowls; got rid of the microwave…it was a tough go for a while, but now we wouldn’t have it any differently…I gasp when I see others putting hot foods in plastics or when I see the bottles of beauty products in their bathrooms. I wonder when we became so brainwashed that smelling good is better than feeling good…the solutions are there if you look for them and the time invested in making your own products is nothing compared to the benefits. I’m not sure if we’ll live longer or healthier than our neighbours…I’m not sure if there isn’t more cancer in our future (my husband has Stage 4 lung cancer)…but I will know at the end of the day that I tried my best. It seems like an uphill battle and we have even stopped travelling by air because of the radiation at the airport and on the planes…but you can’t stop living, right? The same 80/20 rule that applies to healthy eating, applies to most things in life. I feel more relaxed now that I know we are ‘mostly’ doing well and I applaud your efforts as a wife and Mom in doing what you do.

    I had a hard time giving up dryer sheets also until…I stumbled upon a method of making your own dryer balls out of pure felted wool…it works really well. And of course, being in the country we always dry clothes outdoors in the summer, can’t beat the smell of fresh air!

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the checklist of things to avoid, it’s always good to review to stay on the right track!

    • Wow Annette! You guys are amazing! You inspire me to try to take my natural habits to the next level… One step at a time… But there’s no way I’m giving up on traveling :-) I’m gonna look into the felted wool dryer balls though. Thanks. I think of you and your husband often and hope he’s doing ok. Sending strength and good energy your way… – T

  7. I have just recently been diagnosed with mets, breast cancer, original dx was almost 2 years ago. The first time around I was pregnant and didn’t really focus on the cancer aspect all that much. This time is different. I’ve been working on changing my diet and my habits. I love this post, and aspire to bring more of these changes into my life. I had already stopped using plastic storage containers in the microwave, but didn’t know about the dishwasher. After reading your post, I headed over to the sink to do some dishes (already planned). As I was washing this plastic splatter cover that we use almost every time we microwave, it hit me that I was using PLASTIC in the microwave even tho I’d stopped using the containers. Crazy how I didn’t even consider it as plastic until reading your post. I guess I’m going to have to clean my microwave much more often now. I love my splatter cover!! :(

    • Hey Jenn,
      Sorry to hear about the recent mets diagnosis… But happy to hear you’re making positive changes and it sounds like you’ve got a great attitude and focus going on. A lot of people use those plastic splatter covers (including my dad). The only solution I’ve found thus far is to use a paper towel instead. But I know paper towels are bleached with chlorine to make them white so I imagine the paper towel is adding chemicals to my food as well… Instead, I’m trying to just use the microwave as little as possible. Was even considering getting rid of it all together – but i’m not quite ready for that yet.
      Stay strong sista! And keep me posted on your journey. hugs, – terri

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