(Part 1 of 4)
We decided to sit down and have a chat with our practice owner and MD, Dr. Philip Oubre, and functional nutritionist, Aubree Steen.
We’re diving into another 4 part series. We’re diving into part 1 here, following with:
1. What your toxin bucket is and how it effects your daily life (this video)
2. How to test for toxins in the body
3. Foods that assist in detoxification
4. Supplementation/lifestyle/nutrition support for adrenals
Feel free to watch the video, or read our transcript below.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (00:51):
Hey, everybody. This is Dr. Oubre and Aubree.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (00:56):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (00:57):
We’re going to be talking this month about toxins and how they affect our bodies and how we can change them. In today’s video, we’re mainly going to be talking about our toxin bucket and how that toxic bucket affects our daily lives. Aubree, we talk about toxin buckets all the time in the practice but explain to people what we mean when we talk about toxin buckets.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (01:17):
Yeah. I like to think of … that we all have this metaphorical bucket. Essentially, it’s what we put in that bucket determines who we are in a very vague sense. But let’s say if you have a bucket and your day-to-day life, let’s say if you eat non-organic foods, you’re starting to add that to toxin bucket. If you smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol daily, you’re adding to that toxin bucket. If you live near an industrialized plant or if you live in a … not live in a chemical plant but live near one-
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (01:45):
[inaudible 00:01:45][crosstalk 00:01:45]
Aubree Steen, FNTP (01:45):
-or work near one, you add these toxins to this metaphorical bucket. And the reason why we talk about a bucket is because a bucket can be empty, which, let’s be honest, we’re never going to be empty.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (01:56):
It’s pretty hard in an industrialized world to be empty.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (01:57):
Right. You can be either depleted or full or overflowing. What we talk about is we tell people about symptoms and how they relate to this toxin bucket and where they’re at. We look at different toxins in the practice, of course, which could be biological, which are pathogens like bacteria yeast, fungus mold; anything in that realm. We talk about environmental toxins, so your beauty care, your skin care, the glyphosate in Roundup you’re spraying in your yard, your hairspray, the candles in your house. That’s another toxin. Heavy metals and then mold toxins, themselves. And there’s a bunch of different toxins out there but when we try to tell patients why they’re feeling the way that they are, we try to break it down into that toxin bucket. We go, “Where are you? Are you contributing to your toxin bucket overflowing? Or are you helping it deplete a little bit?”
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (02:44):
I think too often in the functional medicine world and in online and marketing and all that, there’s tons of stuff that says, “Detox this. Detox that. Detox this.” One of the first things our patients are often surprised when they come to see us is we don’t really focus heavily on detoxification. The first thing we focus on is to stop the retoxification. Because you can take all the supplements in this world but if you’re drinking Roundup every day and drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, you’re retoxing faster than your body can ever detoxify.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (03:12):
Simply by getting toxins out of your life and reducing the toxic burden that you’re adding to your daily bucket is a more powerful detox than taking 10 days of supplements that are supposed to detoxify your body because the amount of toxins we can accumulate over a lifetime is a big deal and it takes months to years to get rid of. We can’t ever say all of those toxins because we always carry some of them around, as Aubree just said. And I wanted to add to that, too, is that … where she was talking about the drinking alcohol and cigarettes and everything else, but we like to tell our patients that your toxin bucket is everything you’ve been exposed to in your lifetime.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (03:50):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (03:50):
And potentially, what your parents and grandparents have been exposed to because they’ve proven that mothers detoxify into their babies. That’s kind of scary to say it that way, but it is true. You’re born of your mom and you’re part of her for nine months, so you’re sharing her toxic burden. And we’ve seen it before where … We actually just had a case this week where the mother had terrible heavy metals and so we tested her child, 20 year-old male adult, and he had heavy metals.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (04:18):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (04:18):
And as a 20 year-old, you should not have too many heavy metals. You just haven’t had enough time on this planet to have too many heavy metals. So, we’re wondering if she gave him some of her metals during both and breastfeeding and all that but also accumulated some during his lifetime.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (04:34):
It’s important to think of your toxin bucket as your lifetime exposure. No matter if you’re a hippie eating grass every day right now that’s totally organic, if you’ve lived a terrible toxic lifestyle in the past you will have to catch up and ultimately get rid of all that.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (04:49):
And our body is really smart. I think everyone forgets that. Our body knows which ones are fat soluble, which ones are water soluble, which ones can be stored in the brain, in your kidneys, your liver, your skin; you name it. And our body is very protective. It knows how to store the toxins without flooding them in our system.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:06):
If you think about … If we tried … We get these patients who come in here and they’re like, “We’re ready to detox.” It’s the last thing that we do.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:12):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:12):
Because your body, again, with it being so smart, has them in stores. And it’s going, “We can’t let these all out.” If you think about all the toxins that you’ve accumulated and your body just purging them out, you could get sick. Obviously, if you purge everything you could potentially die, right?
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:27):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:27):
But it’s a very intricate process.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:30):
Yeah. One of my favorite metaphors is use the closet metaphor of if you’re like me and have been in your home for several years, you start tucking things away in weird drawers and closets that you really don’t go in that often or the kid’s closets where they don’t really use it right now. And so, you start tucking junk away and it’s not until you go to move that you realize how much junk you have and how much you need to de-junk.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:53):
The idea of detoxification is if you have a functioning house, then it’s okay to do some spring cleaning, go in the closets and clean it out, meaning if your gut is intact, if your nutrition is on point, if your liver is functioning. If all parts are moving, then you can start the detoxification process. But if you take that metaphor of having your closets overloaded and you take the idea of a hoarder, a hoarder has so much stuff in their house that their kitchen’s not functional, their bathroom’s not functional and there’s junk and trash everywhere. If you go into a hoarders house, is the first place you’re going to start cleaning the closets? No.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (06:28):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (06:28):
The first thing you’re going to do is you’re going to make the house functional. You’ve got the clean up the kitchen. You’ve got to make sure they have some food to eat, that you’ve gotten rid of the mold and whatever else toxic stuff is making that home dysfunctional before you start cleaning out some storage of toxins. So yes, one of the things we frequently have patients come in with is saying, “Oh, I’m mercury overloaded. That’s my problem.” Or, “I’ve got these toxins that someone did a test and proved that I have this and that’s why I feel the way you feel.” That very well may be true, but you can’t access that stuff adequately. You won’t get it out very efficiently until the house is functional.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (07:03):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (07:04):
We always take the emphasis off of that toxin, whatever it may be, and put it back on the gut and say, “Well, first step is you got to clean the gut out before you go anywhere else.”
Aubree Steen, FNTP (07:12):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (07:12):
Because in the realm of retoxing, we talk about clean air, clean food, clean water and clean products. Aubree mentioned those, but those are the big categories. Clean air, clean food, clean water, clean products. Those are fairly easy to spend money on and clean those things up, but what you can’t necessarily stop is you can’t just spend money to magically fix your gut.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (07:34):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (07:34):
And there are bacteria and fungus in your bowels that make biological toxins. We focus on Roundup and all these terrible chemicals in our environment, but there are alive, living, growing organisms in your bowels that every time you feed them, even if you feed them good food, they will make biological toxins out of them. So yes, clean up your environment but until you clean up all of the retoxification that’s happening with the bacteria and fungus, there’s no point in starting a detox program.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:02):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (08:02):
That’s the number one reason why people fail, in my opinion.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:04):
They do. I think, especially where I could go on and on about nutrition in this, which we will later.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (08:11):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:11):
Yeah. But you think about people who come in and they’re like, “I’m ready for a juice cleanse.” I’m like, “No, you’re not. No, you’re not. You’re feeling better a little bit because you’re getting some fruits and vegetables in there,” I said, but that-
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (08:20):
And you’re not eating many calories.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:21):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (08:22):
Not feeding the beast.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:25):
Yeah. But at the end of the day when you are toxic and you make an initial big jump like that, you’re actually setting yourself up for failure and you’re actually making your body a little bit sicker in the long term. There’s a reason why we go very slow and it’s because the body doesn’t know how to keep up if we go very fast.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (08:44):
Yeah, that’s very true. We could talk for hours on toxins and your toxin bucket, but let’s talk about some of the main things that are contributing to your toxin bucket on an ongoing basis. We talked about clean air, food, water and products. Real quickly, clean food, we just want to remind people. We talk about these things all the time but just in case you don’t know, buy organic when possible. Organic does cost more so if you’re on a budget, of course, look up the dirty dozen list. It’s populated by the EWG.org, a non-biased organization. And basically what that says is those 12 foods that are on the dirty dozen you always want to buy organic. And then if it’s not on that dirty dozen and you’re trying to make every penny count, then buy everything else nonorganic.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (09:27):
Another way to remember is mostly, if you eat the skin of a fruit or vegetable, you most likely need to buy organic. Take for example an avocado has a really thick skin on it. No one I know eats the skin, so you can buy that nonorganic.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (09:41):
But you look at me.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (09:41):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (09:41):
“No one I know …”
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (09:41):
Because if anyone’s eaten them, it’s been Aubree. Intentionally or unintentionally. And the other thing I want to point out because my mother caught me recently and we were at-
Aubree Steen, FNTP (09:53):
No, what’d you do-
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (09:54):
Yes. I’m tattling on my mom right now. I taught her recently that when we went grocery shopping that if you’re going to eat the skin that you buy organic.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:02):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:02):
She learned this. I was very proud of her. She did really well. When I was home over the holidays with her, I saw her pealing the apple and not eating the skin of the apple.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:10):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:10):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:10):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:12):
And so I said, “Mother, why are you pealing the apple?” And she goes, “Well, you taught me to buy organic if I eat the skin and I didn’t buy organic so I won’t eat the skin.”
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:20):
She’s so sweet. But it’s the truth. People do that. I’m not going to name names but we’ve even had-
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:26):
Mom. I will.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:27):
No, we’ll not.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:28):
I’m calling you out.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:28):
Hi, Alice. We love you.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:31):
It is better to eat a … Before you answer that, it is better to eat a conventional apple than eat a Pop-Tart. We just want to say-
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:38):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:38):
-buy organic when possible, but fruits and vegetables are always healthier than any processed food, even if it’s not organic.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:44):
Yeah. There’s no amount of soaking and cleaning the fruit that you can get to get out the pesticides. They’re embedded in every fiber. They’re embedded in the entire fruit.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:54):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:54):
So, just a heads up on that one.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (10:55):
So, eat the skin, even if it’s not organic.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:57):
Yeah. Just eat it. That’s fine. And then another way … Clean 15, dirty dozen. Right?
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (11:02):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:02):
Clean 15’s the one that you can always do that. Again, any leafy green, any open porous vegetable. You’re thinking broccoli, cruciferous. You’re going to want those to be organic. Think-
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (11:10):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:11):
Yeah. Organic when possible. When you think of things that grow in the air, too, like bananas, coconuts, things like that, those don’t really have pesticides or herbicides used on them, too.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:20):
The biggest thing, though, is I don’t care what diet you’re doing, if you’re paleo, AIP, Keto. I don’t care. Processed food is toxic. It is. And I really don’t care if it’s the raw, organic sprouted one. That’s the best you can get, obviously. But any time you’re denaturing a food and you’re packaging it, it’s not good for your body.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (11:41):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:42):
It is what it is. Any time you change the molecular structure, you’re affecting the way that it is, you affect how you digest it and how you absorb it and you break it down.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (11:49):
Eating a whole almond is not the same as eating a powdered almond called almond flour.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:54):
Right. Yeah. Exactly.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (11:56):
And then you also … In that flouring process or the processing process … Processing process?
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:59):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (12:01):
That makes total sense. You don’t know what they’ve extracted.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:04):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (12:05):
They might have almond flour but they might have taken the pectines or they might have taken some of the fiber out in order to make it more powdery. So, anytime you have a processed food you’re looking at the ingredients like, “Almond flour? Oh, that sounds healthy.” Well, if you take the unhealthy stuff … or if you take the healthy stuff out and leave some of the unhealthy stuff … Basically, if you just refine it down to a sugar, then almond is technically unhealthy because you took the fiber and fat out.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (12:25):
We’ve talked for hours on food, so of course, eat fruits and vegetables.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:30):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (12:30):
Organic when possible. Number two is clean air. I think too often people go to say, “Oh, I’ve got to buy an expensive air filter,” and all that. I’d like you to keep it a lot simpler than that. If you make sure your home is at least reduced of toxic substances as much as possible, then your air should be clean enough. Toxic substances, Aubree already mentioned candles. The modern candles now have phthalates and all kinds of stuff. If it smells great, it’s probably not that healthy for you. There are …
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:57):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (12:58):
… good candles. Suggestions?
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:58):
There’s a trend. One of my favorite bands is phlur. P-H-L-U-R. They actually make not … You can find them on Credo Beauty but they don’t sell the candles on Credo Beauty. But they sell nontoxic candles. There’s a whole different list of candles and I can always find it and add it to this and put it in the YouTube comments if you like.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (13:17):
But the Glade plug-ins, no go.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (13:19):
No, no, no.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (13:20):
Defuse essential oils.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (13:22):
Right. Meyers is not okay. It is a toxic brand. That’s where we’re going to talk about green washing as well. Green washing is a marketing term where they make you think that you are having a nontoxic component but you really are actually smelling and inhaling and ingesting these chemicals. Yeah, I’ll put a little list on there.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (13:38):
K. And our favorite air filter is the Air Doctor.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (13:44):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (13:44):
We don’t have any money tied to these products.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (13:45):
No. We should.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (13:47):
We’re here. No. Number three … We said clean air, clean food, clean water.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (13:50):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (13:51):
Got to have filtered water. The fridge does not count as a filter. That’s just fancy tap water.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (13:56):
Cold tap water.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (13:57):
Cold tap water. Yeah. All you people using the fridge, upgrade your water filter. Such a small expense for such a large outcome. Do not trust your city water. Do not trust your municipal water.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:10):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (14:10):
Just because Flint, Michigan had all the lead in it doesn’t mean it stopped in Flint. It’s all over.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:15):
The biggest exposure we see to patients is water.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (14:18):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:18):
Without a doubt. Because you have chemical plants, you have dumping, you have … Anything you can think of goes into the soil goes into our water. Hormones. Any type of even pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (14:29):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:29):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (14:30):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:30):
It’s all in our water and you are drinking it. And yeah, you’re not dying the second you drink it but they haven’t done long-term studies.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (14:36):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:37):
Yeah, you’re slowly … to be honest, slowly dying if you drink tap water because they haven’t done the studies on three decades of what you’re drinking at this very moment. They don’t have that.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (14:46):
Get a Berkey filter. Get a Brita. Get anything that’s charcoal-based. Filter your water somehow. Our favorite is do a reverse osmosis on the sink, possibly a water softener on the whole home. But we could talk for hours on that.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:59):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (15:00):
And then number four …
Aubree Steen, FNTP (15:00):
Yeah. Make a little step.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (15:02):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (15:02):
Go from tap to Brita and then don’t use Brita anymore and use Berkey.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (15:06):
And don’t trust bottled water. Bottled water is cleaner than tap water, but you don’t know that they didn’t just run the tap in Michigan and then bottle it and say it’s clean. Just don’t trust bottled water companies, either.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (15:19):
And number four is clean products. We just want to remind you, whatever you put on your skin, it can be absorbed. It doesn’t matter if it’s a shampoo, a makeup, a lipstick, a fingernail polish. Anything you put on your skin as far as products go … You get to choose. You want to spend money on supplements to detoxify that? Or do you want to spend a little bit money on cleaner products so that, A, it never enters your body and then you don’t have to pay on the backend to get it out of your body.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (15:44):
Right. Clean beauty I’m a little obsessed with. If you’re a patient, I can give any resource. Just email me. If you’re not a patient you can still go to Credo Beauty.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (15:52):
And we’re putting together our courses so you can go online to our courses.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (15:56):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (15:56):
We’ve got a whole toxin and detoxification course where we have all those resources listed there as well.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (16:04):
Yeah. Yeah, because I could ramble on.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (16:04):
We all could ramble on.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (16:05):
I know. Okay.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (16:05):
Okay. We’re trying to make this video more concise. That’s it for our toxin bucket and how-
Aubree Steen, FNTP (16:11):
And what it is.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (16:11):
-it affects you on a daily basis, although we really didn’t talk about symptoms. I guess we’ll close with any toxin can cause any symptom in any human being. We’re all bio individuals and it’s not just … You usually don’t just have one toxin. That’s why we talk about it as a toxin bucket. It’s a little bit of mold, little bit of chemicals, little bit of metals, little bit of biological toxins. Which ones are affecting you and how do they affect you? It doesn’t matter whether it’s insomnia, brain fog, fatigue, rashes-
Aubree Steen, FNTP (16:36):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (16:37):
Whatever it may be. Anxiety. Your toxin bucket could be affecting you.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (16:41):
And I do want to preface one thing. Let’s say if you make one change and you go, “I changed my water,” or, “I changed my beauty products,” and you don’t feel better, you have to think of the entire toxin bucket that you are. If you get rid of a little bit of clean beauty or you add clean beauty and get rid of dirty water, you still have this much you have to take care of. I love your metaphor of if you’re sitting on 10 tacks and remove two, does it feel like you removed two? No, it doesn’t.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (17:04):
No, you’re still sitting on eight.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (17:06):
It looks like you’re sitting on … Yeah, it’s sitting on eight tacks. Just know that these little things are helping you and you’re reducing your burden and over time you will feel better, absolutely.
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (17:14):
All right, guys.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (17:15):
Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (17:16):
Check out our YouTube, subscribe, hit the little bell so that you get notifications of our videos, and of course go online and buy our courses or anything to learn more about toxins and detoxification. We’ll see you in our next video.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (17:26):