Tag Archives: liver

Detox Dilemmas – the skinny on cleansing

It’s the beginning of the calendar year. The perfect time for a cleanse. I’m ready to start over fresh and I think it would go a long way if my body were ready too. After all I probably drank more wine than water at the last supper around Christmas and maybe even broke some glutinous bread along with it. I’m starting to feel as toxic as the Grinch. Juicing, fasting, dry brushing, supplements…where to start?
What if I pick one and I can’t see it through? What if I can’t give up my vices…even for just a week? These kinds of thoughts used to keep me from trying anything at all. Afraid I was wasting my money on juices (who knew lemon juice was so costly?) and pills because I had the self-control of a flea and couldn’t trust myself to knock off the evening cookies or wine. What good would a cleanse do if I was secretly sabotaging it with morsels of malicious treats I wondered? So, I continued my gluttony in the name of all things moderate. After all my family history is pretty strong. Didn’t great-grandma Frank live into her 90’s? Maybe I have her genes and I don’t need to stop my errant ways, I pontificated. But then I remembered that when great-grandma grew up cancer was rare. By the time her grandchildren were born only one of every 5 people would get cancer in their lifetime. For my children it’s already one out of every 2. Something has radically changed in just a few short generations. Relying solely on genetics to save me from my daily dose of modern day toxins isn’t so smart. Maybe, I decided, I need to be cleansing just like everybody else.
I asked my colleagues and mentors at national conferences; What’s the best way to detoxify and cleanse? Quickly I became overwhelmed with conflicting information and passionate beliefs. “Don’t eat anything toxic or expose yourself to anything polluted” was one gem. Really? huh. Hadn’t thought of that! So no breathing or eating corn, wheat or soy at a conventional restaurant ever again? I’d already given up deodorant. This was just unrealistic. “Fast for 7 days” was a pretty popular suggestion not without it’s historical merits. There’s a lot of science supporting the similar idea of caloric restriction to increase longevity, but would that be enough to give me a cellular 180 degrees after the (ahem) moderate imbibing I’d done over the holidays? If I was honest with myself then by “holidays” I meant starting with Halloween and by “modest” I meant something more akin to stripper clothing than business casual. I thought I’d need more. Plus saying “no” to things wasn’t exactly a forte of mine. If it was I wouldn’t need to detox in the first place. No, I figured I needed something with a wee bit more punch than saying “no thank you” to everything for a week.
Juicing sounded fun if a trifle inconvenient and pricey. And the plastic bottles are so colorful in the bleak days of winter. I was fairly gung-ho having read quite a bit about raw food diets and the benefits of getting all those live enzymes on board to clean up all the gunk lying around my innards. Then I met not just a few people who told me they bought the whole package only to succumb to the travails of picking up all those plastic bottles and keeping them refrigerated and at the ready when all their friends were digging into plates of fragrant food. For the few who did complete the cleanse they reported battling serious hunger pangs and -what’s the polite term for this? – “rapid gut transit” after drinking the first few as well as headaches resulting from the high potassium and sugar content of the juices. Hmpf. Not wanting to add to my misery and suspecting that 5 days of hustling around town to drink my weight in beets and spinach might not work it’s magic, I kept researching.
I found an article claiming that one can regrow their intestinal lining (where all the microbes work their digestive magic) in only 3 weeks. In 3 short weeks of eating only organic, non-toxic foods I could essentially replace my gunky, frazzled intestinal lining with a sparkly pink brand new one. That would be something. All I had to do was strictly avoid wheat, meat,dairy, soy, corn, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and grains. Wait! What? Like everyone else I’ve ever told this to, I said, “What the hell is left to eat?” Vegetables my friend. Tons and tons of vegetables. Some raw, some cooked. Dirt candy galore. Imagine what your freshly birthed intestines would look like if they were bathed in only the best stuff? I’m a bit of a sadist so this kind of challenge to eat purely really appeals to my “little house on the prairie” mentality – get the crock out and let’s ferment some cabbage I say! Alas I was able to convince very few other people to live the same way – like a capuchin monk – soaking and fermenting my beans and grains. But for those who did -Eureka! It worked like magic. Long-standing illnesses disappeared, skin issues cleared up and the dreaded brain fog evaporated. But there had to be a more practical way to meet people the way they live and help them achieve those healing goals. Didn’t there?
Queue the twinkly lights and saintly music. A trusted colleague leaned over during a conference and whispered magical words to me. “Since I started this Biotics 10-day cleanse I’ve been pooping like a bear after hibernation.” To any health junkie worth their beets tales of life changing poops have mythical qualities. We know that any intervention that yields regular, 3 x day, robust bowel- movements is doing something desirable to your colon and your cells. Sign me up, I thought.
My 10-day bio-detox kit with whey protein arrived shortly thereafter by the delivery gods. After perusing the enclosed booklet and CD I mixed my first shake and swallowed my first of three fistfuls of pills for the day. It took me two tries to get all the pills down. There were twelve – zoinks! By the end of the program I was swallowing the whole pack in one gulp with pride. The kit instructs you to eat three “clean” meals a day (recipes and specifics included) and drink two shakes whilst taking the aforementioned pill packs. By day 2 my cravings had vanished. Wine? What wine? I had zero interest in my evening goblet of red. Sweets? “No thanks” I found myself saying. “I’m already sweet enough”. I was amazed. By day 4 the whites looked whiter and the brights brighter. A person could get hooked on feeling this good. By day 10 I was sad to see it coming to an end. What would happen to my sparkly new feelings when left to my own devices again? Would I systematically slip back to my less vigilant ways?
Surprisingly, not really. The truth is the effect of the cleanse stayed with me for weeks after it ended. It brought me to a new higher plateau of both dietary and lifestyle practices. The axiom that you change the way you think when you change the way you eat was profoundly true for me. Cleansing in this way gave me enough bandwidth and energy to motivate me to make other changes which in turn led to yet more positive changes. Over time I did forget that sparkly feeling enough to make some dietary missteps. But here’s the thing…being so clean changed my tolerance for feeling “food dirty”. Even the smallest departure from my new and improved diet left me feeling waxy and bloated and well…dirty. And not in the fun way! I wound up not getting very far afield from my good practices because I had a new “cell memory”. My body had reset at a better place.
Now I look forward to using the 10-day kit with each season as a gift to myself. While others “treat” themselves to carbs and sugar and fried foods, I know the real treat is feeling this connected and happy with my body. No amount of cookies or wine can do that (believe me I’ve tried!) and I didn’t have to give up food or what little sanity I have left to get there. Oops! Excuse me…my kit arrived for my new year cleanse and I’m jones-ing for that clean buzz! Email me at Jennifer@boydwellness.com if you want to get going too! 61S3WkJXdfL._SL1280_