The 3 Easiest Ways to Reduce Toxic Impacts from the Environment


I’m still processing and sharing what I learned on the recent Seabourn Wellness Cruise to Alaska, with Andy Weil and his Magical Posse of Integrative Medicine Mavins. There was a treasure trove of great, actionable information.

The priceless advice of Dr. Victoria Maizes1 is arguably what’s stayed with me the most. One of her many areas of expertise is on practical ways of reducing environmental hazards in everyday life.

Here are 3 simple, easy, inexpensive ways to keep toxins away. Check ‘em out:

  • Filter water. Get a filter on your fridge or sink, and use it for all drinking and cooking water.
  • Discard your plastic food and water containers, and replace them with glass, stainless steel or ceramics.
  • When asked ‘do you want a receipt?’, say no to the thermal ones. They’re a source of BPA (bisphenol A) and it’s absorbed through your skin.

And here are four that aren’t as easy but of critical importance. Please read on.

  • Organic food really does significantly reduce exposure to pesticides, and, in the case of meat and dairy, hormones. (This is especially important for children and pregnant women.)
  • Avoid canned food – the liners usually contain BPA. You can find the companies that use bpa-free linings here
  • Use non-toxic cleaners. These are now widely available, and good brands include Seventh Generation, Nature Clean, Ecover, Shaklee, Melaleuca, Deidre Imus, Soap Factory AA5 Concentrate, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, and ECOgent.
  • What you put on your skin matters, too: Cosmetics and personal products can expose you to parabens, phthalates, synthetic musks, and other potentially carcinogenic products. The Healthy Living app can help you assess what’s what. 

If you want more of Victoria’s in-depth understanding and guidance on this topic, read her book, Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child (which is not just about fertility but general health, and for men as well as women).

And if you prefer to get some of this terrific info first-hand, the next Seabourn Wellness cruise with Andy is to the Greek islands in October. 

Take care and be well,


Victoria is also executive director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, chief of the UA Division of Integrative Medicine and a professor of medicine, family medicine and public health.