My dearest SLUG readers, I fear this could be my last column, as I am writing from my deathbed. I feel like I’m dying from slowly being poisoned by our past two months of The Inversion. March has finally arrived and with it comes a cleaner, clearer city, but the pollution still lingers in my body––I can feel it! I don’t know about you, but I seem to always forget about it during the 10-month period we’re Inversion-free. I have no doubt the effects linger long after.
We’re all told what to do (and not do) during the bad patch, which comes down to the brilliant conclusion to stay out of it––no duh! I leave town for a good portion of the winter, but the fact remains: I still find myself in our not-so-fair city, having to live life. I’m proud to say that when it comes to my carbon footprint, I contribute very little to the problem, which is both good and bad. I haven’t driven a car in over 12 years—bully for me—but that means my only options for getting around are my bike or hoofing it through the nasty condition, thus concentrating its damage to my person.
This year, there was a lot of focus on declaring it an emergency, with doctors telling us how we need to take drastic measures to ease up on breathing it in. What am I supposed to do? Wear a gas mask to go about my daily life? As glamorous and futuristic as it might seem, I can’t, so if I don’t want to suffer the long-term effects of this pollutant buildup in my sluggish body––dull skin and compromised lungs––then I need to take measures to fix it myself, after the fact. I’ve searched out a team of experts to help clear the lasting destruction from my royal system, restoring my body back to the sacred temple my mother tells me it is. Remember, I am not a doctor—just looks-obsessed—and it’s my vanity that will save me.
Diet is a good place to start in order to rid the body of the nasty free radicals building up in my system. I start with a hardcore detox from the inside. My nutritionist, Terry, who is simply known as the “Smoothie Guru,” puts me on a detox juice fast. The cleanse is high in greens such as spinach, green apples, avocados and parsley because they help pull out the heavy metals and other particles sitting in my body from the smog. It also includes lots of lemons and cranberries, which are key to flushing the liver, the key organ in cleansing the body. For a detailed list of recipes and cleanses, visit her website: consciouswellnessnow.com.
I’m an avid exercise enthusiast, and I find it hard to take part in any form of exercise during the inversion because the soot particles travel indoors. So, immediately after the inversion, I concentrate on cleaning out my lungs. For this, I choose Bikram Yoga (bikramyogaslc.com). I’m sure you have all heard of it: power cardio yoga that is done in a 100-degree room. This controversial form is rumored to have some extremely detoxifying qualities. Instructor Mark Linton tells me how it works: “Your body is heated to this extreme temperature, allowing not only your body exterior to stretch, but essentially loosening and expanding your major organs such as your lungs, liver and kidneys,” he says. “Within the expansion, they release the toxins and waste deep within the tissue, flushing [them] out of your system through the extreme sweat you produce, deep cleansing you inside and expelling through the pores. You can’t help leaving the class feeling cleaner.”
Speaking of pores, the free radical effect of the smog on your skin is the equivalent of sitting in a small, unventilated room with a smoker blowing two packs of cigarettes onto your face. Essentially, it is suffocating your skin. My friend, Ashley Christine Yahh, who attends Skinworks School of Advanced Skincare, says you must wash your face every night and apply sunscreen every day because it helps block the radicals, but this time of year is the most important to come to a professional to deep clean it out. Yahh and her team of instructors suggested I start with a European facial that deep cleanses the skin, followed by a micro-current or galvanic facial, which uses negative and positive ions (mild electricity) to remove the deep pollutants from the skin and deposit oxygen to revive and refresh. Lastly, you finish with a mild peptide peel that removes all the dead skin that continues to choke your dermis. The nice part of doing this at someplace like Skinworks (skin-works.com) is the students are training to solve these specific problems, and you will spend half the money for the full result.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that there is no solution for The Inversion. Do your part in aiding the cause, but more importantly, take the necessary steps to reduce and repair the damage it does to you.