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On Health, Mötley Crüe And My Chemical Stew

Splashing down in an apple-a-day world. Credit: iStockphoto / dmitryphotos

Splashing down in an apple-a-day world. Credit: iStockphoto / dmitryphotos

I hope you don’t think it’s rude, but I’m restoring my gut flora as I type. Ever since I discovered that 90% of my health lives in my gut, I decided to take action. At this very moment, I’ve got 10 probiotic strains and 100 billion live cultures on my stomach’s stage. I’m trying to revive my good bacteria because the warmup act was some heavy-metal thrashers.

I got tested for heavy metals, at my doctor’s behest, to see what was causing my liver congestion and inflammation. Turns out I have too much Alice Cooper. Sure, I have Freddie Mercury, Led Zeppelin and Metallica too, but my high volume of Alice, or aluminum, concerns me the most since my dad had Alzheimer’s. I’d like to detox, but not with one of those generic, kale-me-now juice cleanses. I want a chelation plan that’s tailored to my individual chemical body burden, or as I call it, Toxic Life Overload (TLO).

We all have TLO. I’m not special. The only difference is that I peed in some plastic jugs for two days, and now I’m acquainted with the whole Mötley Crüe. The fact is, we live in a chemical stew of toxic food, water, air and products that we clean with, sleep with and slather on our skin.

Industrial chemical pollution begins in the womb. Lead, mercury, pesticides, BPA and up to 232 industrial chemicals have been found in umbilical cord blood of newborns. The Environmental Working Group tested more than 200 people for 540 industrial chemicals and found 482 of them in their bodies. In 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel declared that the number of cancers caused by toxic chemicals is “grossly underestimated” and warned that Americans face “grievous harm” from largely unregulated chemicals that contaminate air, water and food.

The autoimmune effect

Is it a coincidence that over the last 30 years, the autoimmune epidemic has nearly tripled to more than 100 diseases? About 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease — 75% of them women — including multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn’s, Celiac, chronic fatigue, thyroiditus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

But I’m starting to think that knowing my TLO is TMI. I thought knowledge would lead to prevention, but I’m too busy worrying about Quiet Riot sneaking up on me to prevent anything but a good night’s sleep. From every BPA plastic container to each GMO corn kernel, I hear those Black Flag, Anthrax and Megadeth songs screaming in my head.

The new mind-body connection

Most diseases arise from the interaction between a person’s genetic makeup and the environmental agents to which he or she is exposed. Yet I’ve been reading up on the new science of epigenetics, which is the theory that your thoughts and beliefs can alter your gene expression. I’m talking major shifts in cellular activity leading to physiological changes. Optimism, altruism, visualization, healing energy, meditation and prayer are all said to have epigenetic effects.

Scientifically proven or not, many prominent doctors, scientists and health practitioners are touting this line of thinking. Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of  “The Biology of Belief” asserts that genes and DNA don’t control our biology — that DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our thoughts. Deepak Chopra claims there’s more and more evidence of the mind-body connection, and that we can transform our own biology by responding to all that we experience, including thoughts, feelings, words and actions. He says that regardless of the genes we inherit, change at this level allows us almost unlimited influence on our fate.

Does that mean if I change the way I think, my dad’s Alzheimer’s won’t necessarily be mine? But what about Alice Cooper? He’s not in my genetic makeup, but he’s still in my blood. Thank God he’s not in my makeup. Who needs all that black and white shmutz on their face? Hey, was that gratitude? Maybe it really works!

OK … here I go. I’m changing my tune. From now on, this Twisted Sister is gonna be more Pharrell Williams. Sure, his songs are lightweight, but at least they’re not heavy metal. If I could just turn down the volume, it might be music to my gut.

Because I’m happy … clap along … sing this song and turn off that Mötley Crüe … Happy … clap along, sing this song and stop stressin’ ’bout the stew …

Main photo: Splashing down in an apple-a-day world. Credit: iStockphoto / dmitryphotos

Zester Daily contributor Adair Seldon is an award-winning advertising copywriter, humorist and fair-food advocate who has parlayed two of her greatest pastimes -- overthinking and overeating -- into the blog Lentil Breakdown. Whether praising a pea or appraising the planet, this wry culinary inquisitor brings it all to the table.

  • Erika Kerekes {Not Ketchup} 9·16·14

    Adair, you crack me up. You’re right, there are so many things to worry about…personally I need to pick my battles.

  • Judy at Two Broads Travel 9·16·14

    Great fun reading this article. Back in the day the thought was stress is part of life, it’s distress that will kill you. Love your play…on words. Thanks for a great trip.

  • Michael B. 9·16·14

    Your insights have caused me deep distress but at least you entertained me! Maybe it will balance out. Maybe the witty ones have nothing to fear.

  • Lana 9·16·14

    Adair, your writing is always worth lingering (is that the word we used at Erika’s?) You brightened my morning, as usual:)

  • Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious 9·16·14

    Funny, as always! Ordinarily, I would not read an article like this (in deep denial), but your wittiness was the spoonful of sugar that made the medicine go down. Thank you!

  • Christina 9·16·14

    Unfortunately, I’m not like Dorothy, and I DO usually read articles like this. 🙁 I just read something a few minutes ago that ranked the US 17th out of 17 countries according to health. What else do we need for a wake up call? To tell you the truth, I’m surprised Americans live as long as we do!

    A great piece of writing, Adair, and so incredibly important for people hear. Hopefully you will continue to open people’s eyes and ears. Good luck with getting rid of Alice (btw, my husband golfed with him once)!

  • Cathy Arkle 9·17·14

    Anyone who can make us laugh while we are learning disturbing information is worthy of reading every last word. Thank you for the information presented in a way that I no longer can dismiss it.

  • David Latt 9·17·14

    A really great article. Thanks!

  • sippity sup 9·18·14

    There must be a connection between health and happiness. This hilarious read made me feel better. GREG