Who knew that a simple water bottle could be dangerous?

As the Detox Detective, I’m about to deputize you into the exciting world of detoxification. This new focus on healthy, clean living won’t hurt or cost you money. It’s all about choices, and celebrating the benefits that detoxing will introduce to you and your loved ones.

First on the list in getting you to live healthier is that water bottle that you have sitting next to you.

When it gets hotter, the first survival ingredient we carry is water. Plastic bottled water, right? I am starting to see shopping carts with the bottoms full of packs of plastic water bottles, all neatly bagged in plastic and ready for sipping.

It’s all I can do to not run to those nice people, grab the cart and run it right back into the store for a refund. Of all the products we’ll discuss and analyze, plastic water bottles are on the top of the warning charts.

Detoxing simply means keeping poisonous or harmful substances out of our bodies. Or, conversely, ridding our bodies of toxins already at home in our cells. Make sense? Sound simple? Well, it can be challenging. So let’s take one step each week and build a solid foundation of wellness workshops. I promise there will be no “E” word—exercise!

Let’s think of each body as a fish bowl. Without daily care, the poor goldfish ends up in murky, cloudy water with food floating along the bottom and eventually, the fish floating on the top. Not a happy place.

When we allow toxins from our environment into our bodies, our watery cells suffer from an overload of harmful substances, similar to our goldfish bowl analogy. People can and do live long lives with bodies tolerating this process and pollution. Our bodies can tolerate incredible hardship and stress. But our bodies and cells can also literally celebrate, known as “feeling good,” when the toxic loads are minimized.

Why this column is so important to you, whether you are young or older, is due to the dangerous, toxic changes in our retail and biological environment over the past decades that can affect your “feel good” potential. You have a right to feel great!

My job, as The Detox Detective, is to deputize you with knowledge and common sense, to alert you to our most damaging and health-defying health villains.

And my first recommendation is right in line with the spring temperatures blasting into summer heat.

Those harmless-looking plastic bottles are created with incredibly potent and dangerous chemical compounds. These chemicals have innocent sounding names—BHA, PET, PVC, DEHA. Heck, for all we know, they could be government agencies. But they’re not. They are chemicals which disrupt and damage healthy body and cell functions.

The plastic bottling process uses vast amounts of petroleum, oil, and solvents. The research indicates that these horrific compounds leach, or dissolve over time into the actual water you drink from them. Heat from summer exposure in your car will increase the leaching process. And who knows how long those containers have been sitting in a warehouse?

It’s not one bottle here or there on a hot summer day that is problematic. It’s the accumulation over time—even short periods of time— of those chemicals into your body. Studies show even pregnant mothers can and do pass on the chemicals into their newborns.

Yes, buying bottled water is convenient. Many people don’t like their well water, or feel the city water running from their faucets is fraught with contaminants. Of course, despite labels to the contrary, most bottled water is tap water from another city or country.

Alternatives to bottled water are limited but well worth the effort. Purchase glass or stainless steel containers. Fill them as needed, and avoid costly bottled water at a mark-up of often over 1,000 percent.

If you can buy a water filter for your home, then you are ahead of the game. Even a drop-in filter on a canister can boost your health quotient, like a Brita found in almost every store.

You might well ask, “If those plastic bottles are so harmful, why do they sell in the millions all over the world?” One answer is, “follow the money trail…” Throughout our series, you will become aware how our health can be compromised by retail choices from government and manufacturers. Our job as Detox Detectives is to decide for ourselves what is an acceptable risk, and what strategies we select for optimum health.

Plastic water bottles made of heavier, thicker plastics have numbers on the bottom in the now-familiar triangle of recycling identification. If you absolutely must choose plastic containers for hiking, trips, or sipping at home, please choose only containers with the numbers #2, #4 or #5 on the bottom, or that carry the label “BPA Free.”

Also available are a multitude of glass or steel bottles with built-in filters. This way, if you are traveling, you can “fill up” with less concern and worry over water quality. As you become Detox Deputized, you will begin to find ways to protect yourself without compromising “real life.”

Remember, the goal is to eliminate poisonous and harmful substances from entering our incredibly intricate and wonderful bodies, and/or removing those that are already embedded within us, “gumming up the works.” I will so enjoy sharing my long journey of inner health, and as your Detox Detective, welcome your questions for this column.

Patty Vinikow, The Detox Detective is a native of the Pacific Northwest, now enjoying our Pahrump desert climes. After a 40-year career as a professional musician and educator nearly ended from severe chronic fatigue syndrome, sharing “what worked” has become an exciting new life adventure. giddyap123@gmail.com

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