My Favorite Fixer Upper
For the past 5 months I’ve been living in a real life episode of Fixer Upper as we’ve been remodeling our home. As seen on TV, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs, unexpected costs and great opportunities to make our home beautiful.
This remodel has given me the chance to create my dream home. And I have been particularly excited to also create a cleaner, more environmentally safe and health supporting household.
During the demo phase, my mind and body were put at ease when no additional water damage or mold were found, and knowing the majority of the materials (wood flooring, carpet, paint etc.) in our home which had been exposed to toxic mold were being replaced.
I have absolutely fallen in love with every decor detail from the paint colors, glass tiled fireplace and waterfall backsplash and our huge pocket sliding door to give our home an indoor/outdoor living space.
My favorite remodel upgrade is my new whole house water filtration system!
I can now drink water safely from any faucet in my home, and shower without worrying about toxins disrupting my hormone balance.
Water is the most essential element for our survival. On average 60% of the body is made of water. We drink water, cook with water and bath with water. Water is vital in every aspect of our life.
Yet water is the number one place where harmful toxins are lurking.
We have been told our tap water is safe, but what does safe really mean? As we’ve seen with the Flint, Michigan water crisis tap water isn’t always as safe or clean as we would like to think.
The general rule of thumb for health is to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, or half of your body weight in ounces. If you’re abiding by those rules, or aiming to, and drinking tap or bottled water you could actually be causing your body more harm than good.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently did a study and compiled a tap water database using 28 million water records collected from 50,000 water utility companies that serve all 50 states in the U.S. and this is what they found:
- 40,000 or 81% of water systems had contaminants linked to cancer
- 250 million or 77% of water sources contained hexavalent chromium (the “Erin Brockovich” chemical)
- 7 million contained nitrate, a fertilizer
- 19,000 contained lead levels harmful for children
- A total of 250 chemicals overall (and counting) were identified
- 160 contaminants that the Federal Government has yet to set limits on
These statistics are staggering and down right scary. And those Brita Filters you have don’t even begin to put a dent in filtering out these types of chemicals.
Drinking or cooking with toxic water isn’t your only concern either.
We tend to overlook the health concerns associated with bathing in contaminated water. You also absorb toxins through your skin. Plus if you’re like me and love a hot shower, all of those toxins become airborne in the steam and you run the risk of inhaling them.
Cleaning up my water sources is one of the ways I started to restore balance to my hormones, reverse hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.
In this week’s video and blog I dive into more detail about what’s lurking in your water that’s harmful to your health and how you can protect yourself.
The majority of the toxins lurking in your water can be classified into 3 different health harming categories:
- Obesogens – these toxins turns cells meant to be other tissue such as bone into fat cells
- Endocrine Disruptors – these toxins disrupt estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid and all of the other hormones and gland parts of the endocrine system
- Xenoestrogens – these toxins mimic estrogen in the body, raising estrogen levels or overloading the estrogen pathways
For anyone who is struggling with weight loss or weight gain, and having hormonal issues, the toxins in your water could be a huge piece to your healing puzzle. And for those who aren’t currently struggle with these health issues, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. These toxins could be contributing to health issues you’ll be faced with down the road.
The 3 most toxic chemicals when it comes to thyroid health, for example, are found in our water sources:
These 3 little chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors and they can wreak a lot of havoc, particularly on your thyroid function. These toxins can bind to thyroid hormone making it inactive or block the receptor sites used to receive thyroid hormone so it can’t be put it to use for vital functions in the body.
If your thyroid becomes sluggish, it starts a chain reaction taking down your other hormones.
Your thyroid plays a huge role keeping your weight balanced, regulating body temperature, energy, mood and keeping your other hormones in check too.
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, a thyroid autoimmune disorder, I was regularly showering in chlorine contaminated water and I wasn’t very diligent about always cooking with or drinking filtered water. This wasn’t the cause of my thyroid condition, but it certainly was a contributing factor keeping me from having good thyroid health.
Chlorine, fluoride and bromine were originally introduced as a way to kill bacteria and improve dental health, but as new research emerges we are now beginning to understand their negative impact on our bodies.
As I mentioned earlier, simply buying a drinking water filter just isn’t enough. Most of the popular water filter brands don’t even begin to scrape the surface when it comes to filtering out all the toxins in our water.
Buying bottled water doesn’t really do the trick either. Bottled water has its own risk of toxins such as BPA plastic, the number one xenoestrogen toxin out in the market place.
And if you’re showing in water laden with toxic chemicals, it can have just as much of a negative impact. In fact, the most common way these endocrine disrupting chemicals get into our body is in the shower. We inhale them from the steam and they go straight into our bloodstream.
Aside from these toxins turning your hormonal balance upside down, they also greatly burden the liver. The liver is responsible for eliminating all toxins that we consume, absorb through our skin or inhale. The liver also plays a part in keeping our hormones in balance and supporting weight maintenance; it helps to convert thyroid hormone, regulates insulin and blood sugar levels, and filters out excess estrogen.
I get it though, it’s impossible to control your water sources all of the time. I love to travel and I certainly have less control over water when I’m on the road.
However, by controlling your water sources at home you can create a cleaner, safer and more health supporting environment for yourself and your family. And there are even ways to have more control when you’re on the road.
Aquasana is one of my favorite safe water supporting companies. They have many wonderful water filtration options, are very knowledgeable about water filter needs based on where you live and have great customer service in my experience.
Here’s how you can take back control of your health by implementing some safe water sources:
- Get a water bottle with a filter that you can take with you everywhere
- Upgrade your home with a whole house water filtration system
- At a minimum install a shower filter and get a good quality countertop or kitchen sink filter
- If bottled water is the option, opt for brands that come in glass bottles such as Pellegrino or Perrier and BPA free plastic such as Fiji
To check the specific toxic element details about your local water check out the EWG’s Water Database.
And if you’re interested in doing your own home water test check out microtraceminerals.com
Cleaning up your water may seem like a small drop in the bucket in relation to your overall health BUT small shifts can result in large changes. We tend to think we have to be exposed to large amounts of chemicals for them to be dangerous and that just isn’t the case.
As Chris Kresser pointed out during his toxins presentation at Paleo F(x) this past Spring, even the smallest amounts of toxins (1 teaspoon in comparison to an olympic swimming pool) have the same negative impact on our health as large amounts do.
Do your body favor, and drink or use water safely.
If you want to uncover more hidden health stressors that are negatively impacting your body like toxic water and figure out the missing pieces to your health story, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here.