Thrive in a Toxic World: Your Guide to Reducing Environmental Toxin Exposure

Fusion IFM certified Health Coach Cortney Goodstadt provides real-world guidance to minimize daily toxin exposure.

By Cortney Goodstadt, DPT, AFMHC

Take a moment and think about our food supply, the products you use to clean your home, the products and cosmetics you place on your skin, and the general environment and air that you breathe in your home and office.

If you’re like me, you might feel a little disgusted now. Furthermore, you may be struggling with health issues due to toxin exposure and not even realize the symptoms. It is essential to understand the specific toxins we commonly encounter and how to remedy the exposure to live longer, healthier and happier lives.

Humans create many environmental toxins, but others occur naturally in the environment–


Man-Made Toxins                   Naturally Occurring Toxins

Phthalates                                             Mercury

BPA                                                        Formaldehyde

Pesticides                                              Cadmium





These toxins have four distinct entry methods into the body:

  • Skin
  • Inhalation
  • Digestion
  • Injection

Once encountered, the body has various ways of handling or metabolizing the objectionable toxin. This reaction often varies, depending on how long you have been exposed to the noxious substance.

Brief or mild environmental toxin exposure

Being exposed to toxins for a short period of time can have somewhat negative, yet in the scheme of life, mild consequences. These may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cough and sneezing
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin irritation
  • Throat and nose irritation

Long-term toxic environment exposure

Long-term exposure to toxins is incredibly unhealthy. Many short-term effects of exposure begin to take hold and can present as complex and more serious physical conditions. As exposure continues, the damage it causes can result in chronic disease and have permanent physical effects.

Toxins can affect the body by disrupting the endocrine system and can become carcinogenic. Those toxins that disrupt the endocrine system interfere with the body’s ability to produce hormones and participate in cell signaling. This can negatively affect the reproductive, immune, and neurological systems.

Additionally, it may alter a person’s behavior and personality. In children, it can cause issues with development. Possible effects may include (but are not limited to) obesity, aggressive behavior, hormone-dependent cancers such as breast and prostate, infertility, early-onset puberty, low sperm and testosterone, increased risk of diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, lung cancer, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.

READ: “Five Reasons You Need a Functional Health Coach”

Actionable steps for environmental toxin protection

As a mom and health coach, I am shocked by this information and want to educate others on making simple yet actionable lifestyle changes to affect your health and save our planet. Here are some things that you can do to make a difference.

Here are simple and achievable action items to reduce everyday toxins and protect yourself and your loved ones:

1. Reduce exposure as much as possible to decrease your risk of adverse health effects.

2. Remove toxins from your home and your skin:

  • Use green cleaning products (be aware that some products that market themselves as “toxic-free” or “clean” are not! Read the labels.)
  • Replace candles and air fresheners with essential oils.
  • Add plants to your home to create cleaner air.
  • Use natural skincare and makeup.
  • Replace non-stick cookware.
  • Avoid using the microwave whenever possible.
  • Reduce the use of plastics.
  • Leave footwear outside or by the entrance to your home.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce mildew or mold.
  • Consider an air purifier.
  • Filter and remineralize drinking water.

3. Remove toxins from your diet:

  • Reduce refined seed and vegetable oils.
  • Eliminate foods stored in plastic as they may disrupt hormone function.
  • Eliminate foods with trans fats.
  • Eat organic foods whenever possible.
  • Avoid buying and consuming sugar-laden foods and beverages.
  • Eat certified organic and grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish.
  • Eliminate processed foods.

READ: “Harness the Healing Powers of Grounding”

Reducing environmental toxins: Committing to living safer and disease-free

While it is difficult and nearly impossible to live a full, toxic-free lifestyle — as the air we breathe is full of pollutants —choose to make small changes to minimize toxins you can control in daily life.

Unfortunately, in traditional health and wellness, environmental toxins are an overlooked piece of the wellness puzzle, but our Fusion IFM team is dedicated to helping our patients live as toxin-free as possible in today’s world.

Allow me to help lead the way as you build a healthier future for you and your family.

Let’s get started!


To learn more about improving and protecting your lifelong health, schedule a Free Discovery Session with Cortney or one of our certified functional medicine health coaches. Learn more about the conditions we treat here:

Patient Review: Fusion Functional Medicine Services

We are deeply appreciative when our patients take the time and effort to leave a review about our Functional Medicine services on Google and other patient satisfaction sites. Last week, we were delighted to receive this review from Jane, who has been with us since 2020.


Jessica Miller, MD

I have been working with Dr. Jessica Miller since 2020 and I fully believe in the value of functional medicine and having a dedicated practitioner who will spend a full hour following up with you – not something you will find with most primary care physicians practicing conventional medicine.

Functional medicine provides a different approach in that it looks for root causes of disease instead of treating symptoms. Instead of putting a band-aid over the problem, Dr. Miller will use her extensive knowledge to suggest the underlying mechanism for the symptoms and will then prescribe targeted therapies to address the imbalances that may be present.

If you’ve been through the conventional medical system and have seen numerous doctors and haven’t made any progress with your health, I would fully recommend seeking out an alternative approach and seeing if Dr. Miller and her team can help.

Dr. Miller combines her passion for functional medicine with empathy and compassion for her patients, as she seeks to support the health of the whole individual. In between appointments with Dr. Miller, there is the option of meeting with a health coach in more frequent intervals to make sure you are staying on track with your health goals.

A health coach can be helpful to address any specific, smaller concerns such as questions about supplements or alternatives, questions about specific exercises, or even certain foods or diets. For me this has been a great experience.

Cortney Goodstadt, DPT, AFMHC

Health Coach Cortney Goodstadt has a calm and centered approach and a determination to bring unique solutions to each individual patient and meeting with her helps me feel on track with my health goals and makes me feel like I have a constant supporter in my corner who is rooting for me to take care of myself every day.

She will listen to your concerns and do research after your appointment to bring you suggestions on everything:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Supplements
  • Emotional/mental support
  • Gathering patient-specific resources

Cortney is invaluable to discussing what health strategies worked, so I can continue to feel better and get stronger.

READ: “Five Reasons Why You Should Work with a Functional Health Coach” By Cortney Goodstadt

The great thing about functional medicine is that it grows with you. It is directed by your health goals and what are your most bothersome symptoms. They will start from there and begin the work of suggesting possible ways to improve your health and your life. Supplements are just one part of functional medicine and they can be highly supportive in many cases. But they aren’t the only healing modality that will be suggested to you.

I also like that you can pause your appointments at any time. The functional medicine practitioners, doctors and health coaches will not do the work for you – it’s up to you to use the resources they suggest, work on your health every day.

This is a very different approach and it’s important for people to understand that taking care of yourself is a lot of work–and it’s ultimately up to you. Having Dr. Miller and health coaches like Cortney to support me in my health journey has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Jane Frank |  Fusion IFM Google Review  |  May 2024

Navigating GLP-1 Weight Loss Medication Treatment: Understanding Risks and Side Effects

By Brianna Manginelli, MS, CNS LDN, DSSFusion Functional Nutritionist

As we struggle to overcome the obesity epidemic in the US, the new FDA-approved weight loss medications are unquestionably front of mind. These medications offer promising results, but at what cost? Whether you are using GLP-1 medications or considering them, it is essential to be aware of the possible side effects and complications that go along with taking any medication.

Know the Risks!

GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic work by reducing hunger signals and delaying stomach emptying, ultimately leading to weight loss. The most common side effects reported to date have been malnourishment, due to a dramatic reduction in calorie intake, and significant gastrointestinal symptoms.

Several patients have also reported facial and body muscle mass loss. The term “Ozempic Face” refers to a hollowed appearance, changes in facial features or an increase in facial wrinkling as a result of rapid weight loss. Loss of muscle in the rest of the body can decrease balance, fracture risk and overall strength and coordination.

To overcome facial and body muscle loss, we recommend whole food nourishment with ample protein and incorporating light strength training a few times a week. Both can effectively preserve essential muscle mass, particularly in people over 40.

Today, the biggest unknown is the long-term health ramifications of using weight loss medications for the short-term and long-term. Nonetheless, the FDA has required pharmaceutical companies to add patient warning messages to the product packaging.

Potential Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy and Zepbound side effects

To date, researchers have reported these possible health complications GLP-1 medication users should watch for:

Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastroparesis, where the movement of food out of the stomach is slowed or stalled, has been identified by clinicians as a potential danger.

  • Bowel and bile duct blockage, both painful and dangerous conditions where the flow of food in the intestines is blocked, sometimes requiring emergency surgery.
  • More common short-term discomforts include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These side effects are usually mild and temporary; although they sometimes require discontinued use.

Gallstone Attacks (gallbladder attack)

The National Institute of Health reported this year that GLP-1 RAs may be associated with an increased risk of gallbladder or biliary diseases since GLP-1 inhibits gallbladder motility and delays gallbladder emptying by suppressing the secretion of the hormone cholecystokinin.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

GLP-1 medications help your body produce more insulin, which can lead to blood sugar levels dropping too low. This is more likely if you take GLP-1 medications with other diabetes medications like sulfonylureas or insulin. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include sweating, shakiness, and dizziness.

Increased Risk of Thyroid and Other Cancers

The FDA now requires a black box warning about this potential risk on these medications. People with a personal or family history of thyroid cancer (medullary thyroid carcinoma), in particular, are advised against using GLP-1 medications.


Although less common, some studies have shown an increased risk of pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, in patients using GLP-1 medications. This risk appears to be higher in people with a history of pancreatitis or risk factors for it, such as heavy alcohol use or gallstones.

In the event you experience discomfort or a negative change in health that lasts more than a few days, contact your healthcare provider for a prompt appointment to discuss your symptoms.

Consider alternative forms of weight management

It is important to consider low to no-risk alternatives such as nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Working with a trusted and knowledgeable integrative health practitioner can help you achieve your health and fitness goals with a personalized approach utilizing various tools, nutritional supplements and functional and/or genetic testing when appropriate.

In addition to achieving healthy weight loss while preventing potential serious side-effects associated with medications; opting for this approach can further enhance your immune system, reduce inflammation, improve energy, and help you feel your best!

If you prefer to pursue a drug-free route to weight loss or weight management, contact us at Fusion Integrative & Functional Medicine to set up a prompt appointment to discuss your goals.

About Functional Nutritionist Brianna Manginelli

Brianna is a certified functional nutritionist at Fusion Integrative & Functional Medicine in Marlboro, NJ. She specializes in working with people managing medical conditions or seeking to optimize their health using whole foods, nutraceuticals and other integrative modalities. To learn more or speak with Brianna, call 732-631-4410 or email her directly at

5 Reasons Why You Need a Functional Medicine Health Coach

By Cortney Goodstadt, DPT, AFMHC

If you’ve been on a journey to reclaim your health, you’ve likely encountered various approaches and professionals. From conventional doctors to alternative practitioners, the options can be overwhelming. Working with a Functional Medicine Health Coach can offer a unique and comprehensive list of integrative health benefits. Below, I’ve outlined five essential reasons why health coaching, particularly with someone specially trained in functional medicine, could be the missing piece in your holistic health puzzle.

1. Personalized Guidance Tailored to You

Imagine having a knowledgeable ally by your side, guiding you through the intricate maze of health optimization. With a health coach, specifically one trained in functional medicine, you gain 1:1 personalized health optimization guidance and recommendations tailored to your bio-individual body’s needs. This personalized approach ensures that you receive targeted guidance, maximizing the effectiveness of your health journey.

2. Cost-Effective Prevention

In today’s healthcare landscape, prevention is not just preferable, it’s often more cost-effective than treating illness once it arises. By addressing the root causes and underlying factors at play for symptoms or disease, you can avoid costly medical interventions in the future.

3. Enhanced Quality of Life

For people grappling with chronic conditions, like gut health issues or autoimmune disorders, improving quality of life is paramount. Functional Medicine Health Coaches possess a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of the body, allowing them to address all facets of your health history. By piecing together the intricate puzzle of your health, we empower you to make targeted lifestyle changes that positively impact your well-being for the short- and long-term.

4. Sustainable Results

Unlike quick-fix band-aid solutions that provide temporary relief, a health coach equips you with the knowledge and tools for lasting change to protect your health against future disease risks. By elucidating the “why” behind your health struggles and crafting a sustainable plan, we empower you to take ownership and control of your health journey, rather than leaving it in the hands of traditional medicine.

5. Holistic Well-Being Optimization

Finally, a Functional Medicine Health Coach goes beyond symptom management to strengthen overall well-being. We promote vitality and resilience by focusing on controllable lifestyle factors that support healing rather than merely masking symptoms. With increased energy, reduced inflammation, and enhanced vitality, you’ll experience a newfound appreciation for the gift of good health. From personalized guidance to sustainable results, our goal is to provide you with the ammunition to defend your health for life! 

Why We Could All Use a Health Coach (Jane Brody – NYT)

Call 732-631-4410 or email to schedule a free discovery session with certified health coach Cortney Goodstadt.

Health Benefits of Grounding

By Brianna Manginelli, MS, CNS, LDN, DSS

Connect with the Earth to Harness Its Proven Healing Power!

Grounding, or earthing is the practice of connecting with the Earth’s electrical energy by placing your feet directly on the ground outdoors (barefoot), sitting or lying on the ground, and [with modern technology] accessing the benefits through indoor grounding devices.

Today, we are exposed to unnatural amounts of EMF/radiation which can disrupt cell health and function by increasing the production of free radicals. These can damage cells and DNA, as well as alter the permeability of cell membranes.

The Earth’s surface has a negative electrical potential. Making direct contact with the Earth through your bare feet or body can help you absorb electrical energy to mitigate some of the negative exposures. Furthermore, the time spent inside and the barrier produced between our body and the Earth by wearing shoes leaves us more deficient in this natural source of healing energy than our ancestors.

Backed by Research

Recent research suggests that connecting with the Earth’s surface electrons may have positive effects on inflammation, immune response, wound healing, and the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases (Oschman et al., 2015). It has also been associated with decreased RBC aggregation, thereby reducing blood viscosity, which is a major factor in cardiovascular disease (Chevalier et al., 2012).

Additionally, it may enhance muscle recovery after intense exercise. One study found that grounding after moderate eccentric contractions reduced muscle damage (Brown et al., 2015).

Other benefits include the potential for improved sleep, reduced pain, and reduced stress levels. A pilot study on grounding during sleep showed changes in cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep quality, pain, and stress. Reduced night-time levels of cortisol and resynchronization of cortisol hormone secretion in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile were observed (Ghaly & Teplitz, 2004).

Although more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of grounding, these findings highlight its potential as a simple, FREE, and non-invasive way to promote overall health and well-being.

Now go out and connect with the Earth!

If you want to learn more, here is an additional education suggestion:

“Feel Good in Four” Metabolic Reboot Series Starts June 3

Learn Essential Functional Medicine Health Guidance During 4 One-Hour Weekly Sessions


Fusion IFM Instructors

“Feel Good in Four” Series Benefits

We look forward to meeting with you and helping to boost your health in 2024!


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