Toxicity and Detoxification (…and a giveaway)

Since I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia over 5 years ago, I made it my mission to learn more about my body and “fix” my immune system; all in an effort to avoid pharmaceuticals. You can only imagine how much information I have consumed over the years about natural healing methods (and how many things I have tried). Recently I have been learning more about toxicity in the body and different methods of detoxification. I have traded in a lot of old habits for new ones based on the things that I have learned.

One of my turning points in developing a set of new habits was when I met the people at Clean Program. The Clean Program is a 21-day cleanse based on the NY Times Bestseller “Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself “ by Dr. Alejandro Junger, one of their founders.

The book itself talks about Dr. Junger’s journey both in life and his medical practice. I immediately read the book cover to cover in 2 days. I found a lot of what Dr. Junger shared in the book about his experience and about toxicity and it’s effects on us relevant to me.

In the book, Dr. Junger shares some case studies with many of his own patients that were fascinating. Many of them mirrored symptoms of my own, both past and present. Although the Clean Program does sell a kit to accompany their 21-day cleanse outlined in the book, Clean is much more than this. In it’s essence, Clean is a “Mindfulness Movement”. It invites us to be mindful of what we put in our bodies, minds, and souls and through this mindfulness we experience amazing health benefits on the all planes: physical, mental, and spiritual. I am proud to say that I did the Clean Program and completed the full 21 days.  It has been the source of many changes in my life including eating habits and thought patterns.

The body is designed to detoxify itself. However, there are many studies showing that our bodies store toxic levels of chemicals and not one single study proves that our bodies efficiently eliminate all of these toxic chemicals. Where do toxins actually come from? External toxins come from air pollution, food additives, pesticides and other industrial toxins, cleaning products, personal care items, etc (you will see a partial list below).

Internal toxins include the by-products of the normal metabolism that your body undergoes on a regular basis. How are these toxins finding their way into the body? Well much of it is in the form of the foods that we choose to ingest along with environmental toxins. But there is one source of toxicity that we can’t deny: our thoughts.

Sometimes we don’t even realize how toxic our lives have become simply because we are just always on the go.  I invite you to spend some time really exploring your body and what you see and feel. Bring some mindfulness to it. If you notice any of the following on a regular basis, you will benefit greatly from some learning more about detoxification:

    • Puffiness: saggy skin, bloating around the body, white film on the back of the tongue in the morning, general feeling of “heaviness”
    • Constipation: the body naturally should eliminate after each meal, any longer would be considered constipation
    • Allergies: from sneezing to hives, if you have them, they could be coming from food as well as environmental toxins
    • Depression: depletion of serotonin

This accumulation of toxins in the body is known as “body burden”. Scientists estimate that everyone alive today carries within their body at least 700 contaminants. Chemicals can have different effects on people depending on the amount, timing, duration, and pattern of exposure as well as the properties of the specific chemical.  Chemicals can have toxic effects on the body in a variety of ways.

Sometimes a chemical attacks and damages or kills cells or tissues in the body or the genetic material in the nucleus of a cell, causing damage directly to the DNA. This may create an inheritable defect that is passed on to the next generation leading to gene mutations, which can set in motion a sequence of events leading to cancer, birth defects, developmental or reproductive disorders. Cancer causing chemicals are called carcinogens while birth defect causing ones are called teratogens.  Some chemicals, called endocrine disruptors, interfere with normal hormone function.

Toxic chemicals can cause a long list of health problems including direct damage to the lungs, liver, kidney, bones, blood, brain and other nerves, and the reproductive systems. Potential effects from prolonged toxin exposure can include include cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, ADHD, cognitive behavioral and learning dysfunctions and disabilities, Parkinson’s-like diseases, infertility, endometriosis, peripheral nerve damage, and dysfunctional immune systems. Fetal exposure to mercury, for example, causes attention, memory, and learning problems and has been linked to Autism.  Brain development is also impaired in fetuses and infants exposed to lead.

Here is a short list of some known heavy metal toxins and some of the ways we come in contact with them:

  • Aluminum: antacids, aluminum cookware, antiperspirants, drinking water, aluminum cans, nasal spray, toothpaste, pesticides, bleached flour, automotive exhausts, cigarette filters, color additives, dental amalgams, American cheese, milk and milk products (from equipment), vanilla powder, seasonings and pickled foods (check labels), rat poison
  • Cadmium: drinking water, soft drinks, cigarette smoke, silver polish, oysters, refined wheat flour, polyvinyl plastics, processed foods, canned evaporated milk, superphosphate fertilizers, paint pigments, ceramic glazes, rubber carpet backing, dental appliances, rust proofing materials, nickel cadmium batteries
  • Lead: automotive exhausted, leaded house paints, drinking water from lead plumbing, canned fruits and juices, canned evaporated milk, leaded caps on wine bottles, pottery, painted glassware, rainwater and snow, pencils, toothpaste, newsprint, putty, eating utensils,  car batteries, firing ranges
  • Mercury: dental amalgams, broken thermometers, grain seeds treated with  methyl mercury fungicide, predator fish, talc body powders, laxatives, cosmetics, latex and solvent-thinned paints, fabric softeners, floor waxes and polishes, hemorrhoid suppositories, air conditioner filters, wood preservatives, tattooing, skin lightening creams, psoriasis ointments
  • Arsenic: rat poison, insecticide residues on fruits and veggies, drinking water, well water, sea water, automobile exhaust, wine, household detergents, colored chalk, sewage disposal, wood preservatives, wallpaper dye and plaster

(One of my next blog posts will talk about heavy metal removal, or chelation, through clay baths.)

I urge you to do your own reading on toxicity and detoxification.  Take the Clean Audit here to see if you suffer from any symptoms of toxicity: Clean Audit.

And now for the giveaway, the folks at Clean were nice enough to send us some copies of the Clean book so we are giving away 5 copies. To enter to win, please leave a comment on this post below telling us how you think you would benefit from being “clean”. Contest is open to residents of all countries however those outside the US would be responsible for shipping & handling fees.

We will announce the 5 winners on our Facebook on Jan 24th. You can also purchase your own copy of Clean from Amazon:

Realize that detoxification is a process and one should take it slow and always remember to consult your doctor as needed. However if you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, you can benefit from a proper detox plan. Over time, you will find that you will naturally acquire new habits will help keep the levels of toxicity low in the body. The body is a beautiful thing, when treated well, it has the ability to heal itself. Sometimes we forget this and think that dis-ease is our natural state.

Today I enjoy a level of energy and health that I never thought imaginable. I have learned that I have been sitting on this box of treasure all this time… silly me. 😉

“You are sitting on a box, begging for pennies to survive, unaware that inside that box is a treasure that not only will fund you survival, but will also provide you wealth beyond your wildest dreams.” ~ Dr. Alejandro Junger M.D.

Here is a great post on detoxification by Dr. Frank Lipman that can give some more information on the topic: Detox Demystified. For those interested in learning more about Clean Program, you can visit them online at and watch this quick video:



Wishing you all good health,


  • I would love to read this book and share it’s wisdom with others!

  • I’d love this book! I have ovarian cysts and think that learning to be clean would really help!

  • OMGoodness…I am 36 years old, mom of 6, and feel like im 50 years old. I feel so drained and tired ALL the time. I need to do something, I need a change. A detox sounds just like the change that can help me.

    • Congratulations Katrina! You have won a copy of Clean. Please
      contact us using the tab on the left side of the page with your mailing
      address to receive your prize.

  • Lisa Pomar

    This book is a wonderful tool that I think would help with my wieght loss. I have been overwieght most of my life and did a huge overhaul this past year. I also feel that this would help with my children one that has asthma and my son with ADD. I take care of my mother who has MS and would be very helpful to use the tools in this book for her. I would love to have this book.

  • I have found that when I stay ‘clean’, I no longer suffer from daily headaches and several monthly migraines!!! No headaches = no meds!!! Yay!!!

    • Congratulations Christina! You have won a copy of Clean. Please contact us using the tab on the left side of the page with your mailing address to receive your prize.

  • Aiko Takemura

    Thanks for this post! I was diagnosed with RA in 2008. Since then, like you, I have been exploring all natural treatment. I am free of medications, completely managing my symptoms with diet and supplement. Yes, it is a commitment. And it has not been easy, adhering to everything I need to do to stay healthy because the world we live in is not conducive to the life style I choose. I can’t wait to read this book to learn more about detoxifying. I have started to juice and stay away from all environmental toxin so I don’t need to detoxify as much. None the less, thanks for the valuable information!

    • Congratulations Aiko! You have won a copy of Clean. Please
      contact us using the tab on the left side of the page with your mailing
      address to receive your prize.

  • jessijane

    I answered to WAY more than 2 yes’s!! I need to get CLEAN!!! I have headaches constantly, and I am always snapping at my kids for no reason…. well, there are reasons, but the edginess and moods, and forgetfulness!!! Oh help me get CLEAN!!! Please…. thank you!!

  • I am so excited to learn about this!!! Pick me 🙂 I have ADHD, I too suffer from ovarian cysts that are incredibly painful. I had a triple fusion in my L3-S1 vertebrae and I am obese. I have been searching for something but my ego points me in the directions of quick fixes and fad diets. My higher self knows better! I feel like I was guided to this book and your blog. THANK YOU!!! I know there are ways to live a whole, healthy, happy, loving, connected life and this sounds like an answer we have all been looking for! Imagine – a life without aches, excessive tiredness, depression, for me – ADHD!?!?! We could do so many more wonderful things!!! Just imagine 🙂

  • Tcapo

    In 2012 I had 2 surgeries back to back which incapacitated me to the point that I gained 35 pounds and became so tired just putting dishes in my dish washer. I spent many months on the sofa watching tv and eating fast food because I couldn’t use my arm to cook. Now that I am all healed, I still have no energy, and my allergies have kept me from living life. I feel like a prisoner in my home. I feel that being clean would change my life. I am 55 years old and I feel like I am 70. I need to get my life back on track.

  • After having spent most of the last 25yrs in chronic pain, I am beginning to find my way back to health. If I think about it too hard, it’s scary just what I may have done to myself just trying to find a way to function.

  • AlwaysHealing

    Thank you !

  • Emina

    I would love to learn more about this as i started having more and more problems as I’m getting older and lately I feel depressed as well

  • Connie

    I have headaches often. I know it is triggered by some foods i eat. I am over weight and just am tired and draggy alot. i often feel nauseated now when i eat certain foods. I could so use this book. It would be the greatest gift for me to get.

  • Louisejane

    I struggle with PTSD and Dis associative Disorder. I feel reading this could help me invest in knowledge that would help in the weight problems and side effects of the drugs I take. I have heard the book and the knowledge contained is so helpful for so many areas of lifes journey. I would really love to have this book ‘Clean’ I use lliquid Magnesium as a rub down when I have the twitches. It helps enormously. thank you

  • laura hoinowski

    I love taking herbal pills like green coffee beans, green mango, and others for maintaining healthy body weight along with daily yoga and tea drinking. I do drink wine to unwind after a stressful night of waiting on tables, and feel concerned about arsenic in wine! I take no meds and only use herbs so this book would probaly be very enlightening for me. Namaste.

  • As a fibromyalgia sufferer for over 10+ years i am always looking for holistic ways to help my body help itself. I would love to receive this prize and finally start to feel well again. Thanks!

  • Chas Barber

    This book and program sound amazing! I did the quiz and answered yes to over half of the questions…I have done one cleanse previously in my life, but it was nothing like this one seems to be! I hope that I can get this book!! Thank you for this wonderful and thoughtful article. ~Namaste~

  • Lyn McKay

    Thank you for your comments about Cleanse. I’ve been on a healing journey for a long time aware of thinking, eating healthy, resting, drinking plenty of water and exercise. I’m stuck right now with Tramatic Brain INjury symptoms which constantly stresses my system. I’m unable to work right now because of it and would like to cleanse to help myself get back to work. I’m doing everything I know of already and need to try something I haven’t yet tried. I’ve had all the metal removed from the fillings in my mouth, meditate morning and night and try to focus on being positive. I’m glad to find your site.
    Lyn in Seattle

    • Congratulations Lyn! You have won a copy of Clean. Please
      contact us using the tab on the left side of the page with your mailing
      address to receive your prize.

  • I would love to try this program to see if it helps my depression symptoms, i would love to get off my SSRI meds for good !! Also, I need to get back in good health after having gone through a trying pregnancy healthwise, I’d like to be a good example for my daughter 🙂 Thank you !!!!!

  • Mary C Malnor

    as a personal chef i try to teach folks to eat clean and what a difference it will make in their lives. I would love to incorporate this book in the classes i am now teaching and help others to understand, We only get one body and it is up to us to take car of it and nourish it with all things good..
    Mary C Malnor

  • I am happy to say that I am on the path to eating clean, meditating and practicing yoga, and getting out in nature breathing in good clean mountain air! I answered yes to a number of the question in the clean audit. I do still suffer from seasonal alergies, tiredness and occasional headaches, if I can find a way to get on top of this I would be most happy.

  • I have fibromyalgia, chronic migraines and was recently diagnosed with asthma. I have managed to get off of the fibro meds but I would LOVE to be able to eliminate meds I have taken for migraines since I was 16. Thank you.

  • Delana

    I quit smoking about 7 years ago. I have to be careful with my iron level, as I have anemic tendencies. I feel that the “Clean” book would be wonderful to detoxify my body and renew my health!

  • I find my aches and pains go away, I sleep better, and of course, slim down when I detoxify and eat cleanly. It’s a challenge sometimes, but it’s worth it. Now I’m trying to get my 30 year old daughter, who has fibromyalgia, to do this. I’m getting closer..she’s starting to ask questions! Woo hoo!

  • I Would have a better quality of Life physically,mentally&spiritually if I was free of toxins!!! Peace&Love Skip

  • Laurie

    I am trying to earn more about the detoxing in a healthy way since I have an eating disorder and would love to read your book. Thank you.

  • Kennymre

    I’ve recently been informed that I need to make a drastic diet change (no more gluten, corn, or dairy). I think this would really help me better understand the toxic reaction my body is having to these things, as well as other environmental and ingested toxins.

  • Kennymre

    Eeek…not to mention I said “yes” to over 25 of the Clean Audit questions. 🙁

  • Lida DeNardo

    I have decided to make a commitment to myself for a change. Taking the step towards achieving health by way of diet and exercise. I just don’t know where to begin sometimes, so much information out there! This book could be my “manual” if you will, in this transition to health and wellness.

  • sharon

    I know without a doubt I need a detox/cleanse, especially when it comes to body/mind/spirit. To think how ‘clean’ I am about anything and everything else in my life… it is truly ironic for me not to also apply this devotion towards my actual body and self. I’d appreciate learning more about this process.

    • Congratulations Sharon! You have won a copy of Clean. Please
      contact us using the tab on the left side of the page with your mailing
      address to receive your prize.

  • carol b

    just learning … sounds like a plan for non planners feeling like a winner alreay

  • Barb

    I have many health issues and am not going to take the dr. meds prescribed to me and know that the body is designed to heal itself….and i will do just that and show the dr. that i am not just a blind idiot that will follow their orders…..nope not me…I will be healthy and clean……once again!! thanks for sharing such great information…it will help me lots i am sure!

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  • I am 50 years old, on disability from the military, taking antidepressant, blood pressure meds and I keep gaining weight…Help me!!

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  • Really enjoyed looking through your blog ..Thanks a lot for sharing

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