by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
What the heck is that, right?!
The toxic barrel is an analogy that I use with my clients with regularity. We don’t actually have a barrel in our body to hold toxins but this provides the picture in your mind to understand the description here.
First understand that every food has some level of toxicity to it. According to Health Canada “Natural toxins are chemicals that are naturally produced by living organisms. These toxins are not harmful to the organisms themselves but they may be toxic to other creatures, including humans, when eaten.” Read more from this article here if desired.
So not all toxins are man made, they are also produced naturally in living organisms.
This is where the toxic barrel comes in.
Imagine that you have a barrel in your body whose sole purpose is to hold toxins from your food. Understanding that each of us may have varied size barrels depending on genetics, current health status and functional health.
So one person may have a barrel that is the size of a gallon, another the size of a quart and maybe another only a pint.
Now that you have the toxic barrel in your mind, let’s look at this from a food consumption perspective.
Let’s use a carrot as our food example.
Based on what is shared above, you now know that any food has some level of toxicity to it. So when you eat this carrot the toxin within simply moves to your toxic barrel, thus protecting your body. As you eat more and more carrots, the toxic barrel fills higher and higher.
So if you eat carrots once or twice per week, there’s no issue with over-filling your toxic barrel. Yet if you ate carrots at most meals every day, the level of toxicity from the carrot consumption would potentially over flow your toxic barrel.
When your toxic barrel over flows, this would also lead to the potential of food and multiple chemical sensitivities.
So what is the answer to this potential problem for you?
The answer is to eat a variety of foods and not eat the same food or combinations of food every day. Especially for those that are already health challenged or suspect some genetic deficiencies.
And remember that if you are health challenged and/or living with some genetic challenges, your toxic barrel may be very small, thus making it easier to over flow and create other food and chemical sensitivities.
And if you do eat ANY food with regularity, please be sure to take a two day hiatus from this food.
As example, if you eat eggs every day Monday thru Friday, don’t eat eggs on Saturday and Sunday, and that goes for any other food in your daily meal plan.
One of our followers asked a question in this regard “Can I have lacinato kale for one week and then purple kale?”
Different types of the same type of vegetable will most likely create different toxins, thus these would be considered different from a consumption perspective.
Somebody else asked me if their toxic barrel is the same size for life and I have a two part answer to this.
First off, we all have a genetic expression of this size of our imaginary toxic barrel. While we do understand with epigenetics, you do have the power to shift your genes and change this. Also, as you continue to improve your overall health and balance, your toxic barrel will grow in size to help you expand your capacity to hold these natural toxins in a healthy way.
Another question I received was “Do the toxins in the toxic barrel every go away?”
That answer is yes.
Your body will naturally detoxify and drain toxins from your toxic barrel but remember, this varies from person to person based on genetics, current health, functional balance and the size of your personal toxic barrel.
So in the end, make it a point to create variety in your diet which is much easier than you may think.
As an example the other night, I made some pan fried veggies including shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, sliced egg plant, fennel and kale. We had this with a turkey burger (no bun of course) and some goat cheese.
Variety is not only the spice of life, it makes life easier for your toxic barrel.
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