Wendie Trubow is the author, with her husband and business partner Ed Levitan, of the new book Dirty Girl: Ditch the Toxins, Look Great, and Feel Freaking Amazing!. They are physicians, and they run the Five Journeys functional medicine and wellness company, based in Newton, Massachusetts.
Q: Why did the two of you decide to write Dirty Girl, and how did you collaborate on the book?
A: We do functional medicine, and do a wide range of testing on our members, including full toxins testing. I had been doing this testing on myself, and 18 months ago completed the full panel on myself, and saw that I had metals, mycotoxins (mold strains), environmental toxins and pesticides in my own body.
When I got these results, I looked at Ed, who is my business partner and husband, and said "I am SUCH a Dirty Girl!" And then I said: And THAT is the book we need to write. Because as a poster child for healthy living, if I have these toxins, what do most people have who aren't focusing on this?
To get the book written, we worked with Scribe Media, since we knew that we would need support at all the major steps. They were fantastic at helping us organize our thoughts, prioritize the information, and make sure that it was clear, impactful, inspiring, and actionable.
Q: Can you say more about how the book's title was chosen, and what it signifies for you?
A: The title directly came from what I spoke to Ed. I know that saying "Dirty Girl" has a connotation that is sexual, and that wasn't our intention. But it WAS our intention to have a title that was catchy, sexy and memorable, and that allowed toxins--which is typically a very heavy topic--to be accessible to the general population.
Q: What would you advise someone who wants to change their lifestyle and become healthier?
A: Congratulations, they're making a great choice! There are a lot of ways to make lifestyle change, and it's important to honor what works for them best. If someone does well with incremental changes, then I would recommend going slowly into it.
If it's food someone wants to level up on, then I would recommend they pick ONE meal and improve that. Once they feel like they've mastered that, then they should add in a second meal to improve. If they do well with what I call "fell swoop" where they clean the slate, then I'd recommend changing the diet all at once.
ANYTHING is better than nothing. The goal is to "level up," have a win, and then level up again.
I also recommend that people figure out whether they do better working independently or whether they need coaching support. Someone who functions well independently just needs a good plan, and someone who needs coaching support/accountability does better working with someone regularly. Honoring one's needs helps ensure that the person can be successful in making change.
Once someone has figured out what style of change works best, then I usually recommend starting with food, since it is the foundation of our health.
It's important to recognize that this is a journey, not an end point. Start where they are and work on "leveling up." If they eat processed carbs three times a day, then the goal would be to limit or eliminate those. Or if they eat sugar every day, then the goal would be to limit or eliminate that. The journey is about making consistent improvement over time.
Q: Overall, what do you hope readers take away from the book?
A: There are a lot of ways we're exposed to toxins and most of those toxins aren't in our favor. They're implicated in health issues that can be small (acne, rash, bloating, headaches, or any other issue someone struggles with) or big (cancer, dementia).
But there's hope!! The first goal is understanding how we're exposed, and then the next step is to work on limiting and mitigating our exposures. I hope readers are inspired and empowered to take control of their environment and health and feel better
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Probably too many things at once! We've launched our podcast "Five Journeys Podcast -- Live Like You Matter," and I'm also going on a podcast and summit blitz to get the word out about toxins.
We're simultaneously working on growing our practice so that we can make the maximum difference possible for people, and also working on programs that would allow people to work with us via online programs, too.
And we're gearing up to write our next book about gracefully navigating the transition through perimenopause into menopause (and yes, that's memoir-based, too!).
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: We reject the notion that you're meant to worsen every decade and become old, sick, and decrepit. We believe you are meant to be vital, vibrant, healthy, happy, alive, able to be and interested in intimacy until you are at least 100.
We bring data and tools to this endeavor so that each person can note significant and meaningful improvement in their daily experiences and vitality.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb