Dang it! We missed “Name Your Poison Day,” by a little over a week! Whaaaattt?? You haven’t heard of it either? Well here’s the scoop…

June 8th is “Name Your Poison Day!”
The origins of Name Your Poison Day are currently unknown. The phrase “name your poison” typically refers to what a bartender would tell you when you are ordering an adult beverage. Alternatively, some people say the phrase when asking another person to choose between a series of options. In the phrase “name your poison,” a poison could refer to a variety of different things that people use on a regular basis. For example, alcohol, drugs, coffee, and unhealthy foods could all be different poisons that a person could name as “their” poison.

You could celebrate this weird holiday by listening to some music by the band Poison. Or indulge yourself in your unhealthy addiction, in honor of Name Your Poison Day. Wish your friends and family a “Happy Name Your Poison Day!” Buy some rat poison and take care of the rat problem you may have under your house. Regardless of how you spend your special day, I’m sure you’ll come up with something creative and perhaps even original.

However, it’s still June, so I think a good poison joke is appropriate, don’t you? I figured you’d agree, so here you go:

Joe was dying. His wife, Jane, sat at the bedside. Joe looked up and said in a weak voice, “I have something I must confess to you.” His wife replied, “You don’t need to.” Joe insisted, “No, I want to rest in peace. I need to tell you that I slept with your sister, your best friend, her best friend, your boss, her assistant, your accountant, and your mother.” Jane replied, “I know dear, I know. Now just close your eyes and let the poison work.”

While most of us know the phrase “What’s Your Poison” as an old bartender greeting/beverage query, the idea that many of us are a little ignorant of how common poisoning can be a little startling. Here’s a few interesting Name Your Poison Day Facts:

  • The Golden Poison Dart Frog is the most toxic poison dart frog. One gram of its secretions can kill 1,000 adult humans.
  • There is no such thing as a poisonous spider, but all spiders are venomous.
  • The majority of poisonings in the United States are caused by overdosing on drugs.
  • Approximately 90% of poisonings occur at home.
  • The most common time for childhood poisonings to occur is around dinnertime. In fact, it is so common that poison control centers have nicknamed this time of day “the arsenic hour.”
  • Children 6-years-old and younger are the most vulnerable to becoming poisoned.
  • It is possible to become poisoned through ingestion, inhalation, through the eyes, through the skin, or through stings or bites.
  • The most common substances that are reported to poison children under 6-years-old are cosmetics/personal care products.
  • Pain relievers are the most common substance that poisons adults 20-years-old and above.
  • The least common age range to become poisoned is between 6-years-old and 12-years-old.

Now you’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with health and wellness. Quite a bit actually! For at least the last nine years, I’ve tried to rationalize why people keep dying from cancer or other terrible diseases and conditions. I’ve tried to understand why medical experts are now telling us that one of of every three women, and one out of every two men are going to get cancer. Could it be the food we are eating? Maybe it’s the growth hormones and the steroids in the chicken we’re eating. Is it because we are not getting sufficient nutrition? Or is it perhaps the polluted air we are breathing? What about the chemicals in our water, our environments, or even our homes?

Recently, I came across a documentary on YouTube called “Toxic Brew: a Documentary by Marketplace on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Network.” Here’s the descriptive blurb from the video:

We seem to be a society obsessed with cleanliness. We want our whites whiter and our bathrooms and kitchens hospital-grade disinfected. Industry has answered: today’s cleaning products promise faster, easier, and better results with no scrubbing. But is our clean-freak streak harming our kids? In this video, we ask several experts, including a toxicologist, a senior researcher, a prominent pediatrician, an indoor air quality specialist, and an expert on chemical hazardous information. You’ll be shocked at what they tell us.

Many childhood illnesses are rising at a very worrisome rate. Respiratory illness is now the leading cause of admission to hospitals for children. Childhood asthma has jumped by 400 percent over the last 20 years. Learning problems like ADD are on the rise. After injuries, cancer is now the leading cause of death in children between the ages of 5 and 9. Incredibly, most of the 80,000 chemicals in common use today have never been checked for harmful effects to our children’s immature brains and immune systems.

My younger sister Kathy has been teaching second grade in Orlando for many years. She told me that when she started teaching 25 years ago there might have been one kid in her classes with an inhaler. Now, she tells me sometimes it’s over a third of her class. Say what?

After I watched the 18 minute video a couple of times, I concluded the following:

  • There’s Toxins in Our Water:
    Our water supplies have been polluted for decades, causing harm to the eco-system and all species of life. Even with strong regulations and active clean-up processes, it may be impossible to undo all the damage that’s been done.
  • There’s Toxins in Our Air:
    Industrial progress comes with big by-products, including millions of pounds of poisons in the air we breathe. Some cities on our planet are so polluted that people must wear masks just to go for a walk outside!
  • There’s Toxins in our Homes:
    Who would knowingly bring home store-bought products for cleaning or consumption that contain poisons and cancer-causing chemicals? We’ve depended on the government to keep us safe from industrial recklessness. But have they?
  • There’s Toxins in Our Bodies:
    Have you ever thought about the connection between the increase of disease and illness in our populations around the world, and the amount of toxic products we use to clean and beautify our bodies? Maybe it’s time you did.

You probably don’t know that it only takes 26 seconds for the chemicals in the products you buy for your home and your personal care to enter your blood stream, right? I was thinking more like FIVE minutes maybe. And you likely can’t pronounce some (or most) of the words on the ingredients label of the cleaning and person grooming items in your home, can you? About a year ago when I was at my friend Ken’s house I saw some heavy-duty industrial grade vinyl gloves near his kitchen sink, and knowing Ken, I figured he was doing some kind of dangerous chemistry experiment, or at the very least, cleaning a car battery. Yea, guys do that. But then he proceeded to tell me he had accidentally dripped a tiny amount of dish soap (as in the stuff for washing dishes) onto his wood surface kitchen table, where it proceeded to eat the finish right off the wood! So he bought the gloves to protect his hands while doing dishes. I’d really like to say Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, but I won’t – oh shoot, too late! If you’re a little upset right now, that might be a good thing! Sometimes it takes a gentle push to get us thinking about something other than what we might be doing this weekend. Of course if you want to get really irritated, find a copy of “Trade Secrets, a Bill Moyers Report.” Within the first 30 seconds of the documentary a doctor says, “We’re conducting a vast toxicological experiment, and we’re using our children as the experimental animals.” And a few seconds after that, “Not a single child today is born free of synthetic chemicals.” Man, I really hope some of what I’ve heard and read lately is flat out wrong.

My sweetheart Antoinette and I have worked hard to remove toxic products from our home and our lives. For the past six months we’ve been eating very different than we ever did before. We both plan to join the “Blue Zone” people – you know, those who live to at least 100 or more. And why not? I worked my posterior off for years to get to this point; and either you did too or you will! But in order to get there, we’re going to have to pay very close attention to what we are eating, breathing, washing with, cleaning with, and rubbing on our bodies. My goal is to help as many people as I can to live longer, and live healthier. If you don’t know how to begin or where to find better, safer and chemical free products for your life, get in touch with me or Antoinette.

By the way, our new website is up and running; check it out: www.readytobehealthier.com. While you’re there, check out the new inspiration page! And please let me know what you think!

May we all live healthy, happy and wonderful lives, and may we all milk the system for the next 40 or more years,

Dr. Hank

PS: Just kidding about the milk (sort of). And by the way, you do know what’s on the label of your sunscreen, right?