I first came across Deanna Duke on her blog, Crunchy Chicken. Her tagline is, “Putting the mental in environmental,” and I was hooked. Some time later, I joined the Green Moms Carnival, which she also belongs to, and I was even more hooked. Deanna is funny, frank and passionate. When she recently published her first book, The Non-Toxic Avenger, I requested a review copy, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The Non-Toxic Avenger chronicles Deanna’s quest to reduce the toxic load in her own body. She did blood and urine tests to determine the level of toxins she was carrying around, then did nearly everything she could to eliminate her exposure to toxins for about four months. Finally, at the end of it all she repeated the testing to see what effect, if any, she’d actually had.
You’d think a book about toxins and de-toxifying would be either dry, or terrifying, or both, but Deanna managed to avoid both fates. Don’t get me wrong – the number of toxins we’re exposed to in our daily lives really is alarming, and reading The Non-Toxic Avenger prompted me to go on a one-woman anti-PVC crusade in my own home. If you want a beach read, this isn’t it. But if you want an informative, readable, funny book that will help you to make some tangible changes of your own, I would absolutely recommend it. This is the first book I have actually finished in months, which tells you that I really enjoyed it.
I had the chance to catch up with Deanna for a chat. We talked about her attempts to remove toxins, and what did and didn’t work. I asked her about the testing she underwent to determine the toxin levels in her body, including what that cost and what challenges she faced in getting it done. I also asked what she’s continued now that the project was over, and what she hasn’t. And I asked my biggest question of all: how did everyone else (including her husband and children) react when she swore off all non-organic food and started examining every object in her home for potential toxicity.
It was great talking to Deanna, and you can really get a sense of her chatty, approachable style from our interview. Listen to it here:
Next week I’ll be sharing an interview I did with Leilani Johnson of Circle of Health International (COHI). COHI is a non-profit group that provides access to reproductive, maternal and newborn care in times of crisis. They’re currently raising money to send an American midwife to Haiti to do training sessions with Haitian midwives. Subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute!