Imagine waking up without an ache or pain, cruising through your day with energy and ending it by enjoying a refreshing night’s sleep. Then, imagine waking up to do it all over again. Think it’s impossible? Think again. The key is eliminating toxins from your body and your life. Toxins can leave you feeling sluggish, achy, heavy and out-of-shape. They can also be a factor in the development of chronic diseases like cancer, arthritis, allergies, and many other serious conditions.

Here’s where to start:

1. Eat an organic diet as much as possible. Most foods contain harmful pesticides and genetically modified organisms.

2. Try to make a large component of your diet raw vegetables and juices. It’s easy when you eat a large salad daily and drink freshly made juice.

3. Engage in periodic cleanses or detox programs: one day a week, a weekend every month, or a longer detox in the spring and fall.

4. Sauna to help eliminate toxins through the skin in sweat. Of course, consult your physician prior to starting a sauna regime.

5. Stretch daily: yoga, tai chi and qigong are excellent.

6. Avoid chemical cleaning products in favor of natural cleaning ones. Baking soda, vinegar or orange oil can replace almost any chemical cleaner.

7. Avoid chemical pesticides at home. Use baking soda with sugar or peppermint oil.

8. Read labels on food products and avoid those that you are unfamiliar with.

9. Avoid synthetic chemicals in personal care products and cosmetics. Read labels and avoid those ingredients with which you’re unfamiliar. No label? Avoid the product. Definitely avoid any that contain parabens, diethanolamine (DEA) or phthalates.

10. Drink an ounce of wheatgrass juice daily to supplement your diet. Wheatgrass juice is nutritionally equivalent to many vegetables.

11. Take chlorella or spirulina tablets daily to supplement your diet.

12. Exercise for 45 minutes daily. Brisk walking, rebounding, running, cycling and cross-country skiing are excellent choices. Be sure to consult a physician prior to beginning.

13. Eat at least three of the best detoxifying foods daily. Some of the best detoxifiers include broccoli, garlic, spinach, cabbage, sprouts, blueberries, ginger and turmeric.

14. Exchange massages with a partner. Massage improves circulation and helps stimulate the lymph nodes. (The lymph picks up toxins throughout the body so it can be eliminated.)

15. Kick the habit. If you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke, quit.

16. Cut back on alcohol consumption. Alcohol must be filtered by the liver, which has more than 500 other functions. Even moderate drinking increases the risk of conditions like breast cancer.

17. Toss out the toxins at home and in the garage. Of course, dispose of them properly based on your community’s guidelines.

18. Add a water filter to your tap water. Even a Brita will help remove some of the impurities in your water.

19. Toss the non-stick pans. Teflon, Silverstone and other coatings emit harmful perflourochemicals (PFCs). The EPA classifies them as carcinogens.

20. Choose no-VOC paints for your home. VOCs are volatile organic compounds, many of which are linked to cancer.

21. Stop microwaving your food. Microwaving changes the protein structure of food making it potentially harmful to your body. Microwaves also emit radiation that can be damaging to people standing near them.

22. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you heat your home with gas, oil, or other type of fuel. Carbon monoxide is odorless but can cause health problems like headaches, fatigue and even death.

23. Eliminate mold. A few drops of tea tree oil can be used on a cloth to wipe down walls, floors and other surfaces to help kill mold.

24. Switch from sponges to natural cloths for cleaning. Most sponges have been treated with a chemical called triclosan, which is toxic to the skin and immune system.

25. Turn the heat down on your stove. When your cooking oil starts to smoke, it has become toxic to your body. Choose only cold-pressed oils for cooking since most oils have been heated to high temperatures during processing and are already toxic to the body.

26. Stop eating baked goods with artificial colors. They may look pretty, but research links food colors and artificial dyes to toxic effects on the brain and nervous system, particularly among children.

27. Stop using fragrances. Most perfumes and colognes, scented candles, plug-in air “fresheners,” pot pourri, laundry soap, fabric softeners and dryer sheets are loaded with toxic ingredients that have been linked to hormonal imbalances, mood swings, fatigue, brain damage and many other symptoms.

28. Don’t heat food or store it in plastic. Most plastic contains bisphenol-A (BPA) that migrates into the food stored in these containers. BPA has been linked to thyroid and other hormonal problems.

29. Don’t use mothballs. Mothballs contain paradichlorobenzene which is seriously toxic. Instead choose sachets made with natural herbs and essential oils like rosemary, lavender, thyme and mint, which are natural moth repellants.

30. Reduce the amount of meat in your diet.

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This story was written by Michelle Schoffro Cook. It originally appeared on and is used here with permission. Visit to discover more than 5,000 ways to enhance your life — from holistic health and wellness to pets and family life, the experts at share great tips for living a healthier, happier and more sustainable lifestyle.