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How to do a cleanse

It seems ‘everybody’ talks about cleansing. So it came as a surprise when people asked me how to cleanse.

There are different ways of cleansing and not all are suited for everybody. To name just a few, there is juicing, smoothies, raw, 2-phase cleanses etc. etc.

My last cleanse was a juice cleanse. In the strictest way that means all you take in for 3-10 days is juice; freshly made juice from veggies and fruit. I do not own a juicer. I wouldn’t use it enough to justify the cost for a good one. We have a Vitamix  in the house and that suits us just fine for cleansing, even a juice cleanse, which then theoretically becomes a smoothie cleanse. Fine, all I can say is it works just as nicely and I like getting some bulk (fiber). Again if you want to be very strict, all you take in is smoothies.

I do my big 2-phase cleanse (21 days) in spring and live a pretty clean life throughout the year. Therefore, my fall cleanse is just a short one, usually 3-5 days. I found the hardest for me is not to eat/chew anything and to have only cold food. Therefore I do a combination cleanse. I have smoothies for breakfast and lunch, raw veggies as snacks and steamed veggies for dinner. This way all my needs are met.

I am in favor of finding what works for a person. We are all different and thus have different needs. I always test whether someone is suited for a cleanse at all because we need to have a certain level of health to make it work right. Another important point is to take in enough food. I am not a fan of being hungry when cleansing. The body should always get adequate amounts of nutrients to be satisfied and that means eating/drinking more often during cleansing.

A cleanse goes along way and is enhanced when combined with sauna, body brushing, exercise and breathing exercises to detoxify all body systems and on all levels. This often means that ‘emotional dirt’ comes up and is released. Not to worry, those are emotions and or thinking patterns that don’t serve us anymore and it is a good thing to let them go.

When finishing a cleanse it is important to do it gently. I like adding in soups, then light protein for a day or two while still drinking a smoothie a day. Slowly warm food takes over and the digestive system can easily adjust to the new demands. It is now ready for the heavier winter foods that keep us warm and cozy.

Why cleanse?

These days people ask me why I do cleanses; I seem to be so healthy…

Yes, I am healthy and I want to keep it this way. So I make good choices and bi-annually cleanses are in my tool box of good habits.

Our body is capable of removing many toxins every night, given we sleep well and long enough. However, our life has become quite dirty: fertilizer and pesticide residues in our food, 200+ chemicals in our water, air pollution, chemicals in our households and on our skin, etc. etc. Needless to say, our body appreciates a little help with the cleanup.

Here are three reasons why I cleanse at this time of year:

  1. To eliminate any potential illness that may be stored in the body by either flushing out excesses or by improving organ function. Grapes are good cleansers, harmonizers and tonics for the lungs and large intestines.
  2. To help the body adjust quicker to the change in season in order to remove excess heat. Excess heat will dry out the body and in return it will make more mucus which is a perfect breeding ground for cold and flu causing pathogens because the good microbes (immune boosting) dry out as well and can’t defend the body. Apples, water melon and pomegranate are natural cleansers for liver, blood and intestines.
  3. To boost energy. Green vegetables, sprouts and pears are great energy boosters.

It is not enough to put on or take off a sweater when the seasons turn. Our body requires more to change with the seasons if we want to keep it strong and healthy. In the summer we eat a lot of foods that are easy to digest and our body doesn’t have to work as hard on digestion as in the colder seasons when we need heavier foods to keep us warm and comfortable. A fall cleanse prepares the body to step up digestion for winter. Go ahead, give it a try!

Life without Bread

That is one scary thought, isn’t it?

Bread ranks very high on the list of comfort foods. It accompanies almost every meal in one form or another. People simply cannot imagine how they ever could do without and freak out at just the thought of having to give it up, even if it is temporary.

If they just knew how much their bodies would appreciate this change, getting a break and being able to at least somewhat control inflammation! If they just knew how much better they could feel without the overload of this chemical laden vacuum food! If they just knew that there is a gentle and simple way! If they just knew that, with proper guidance, it isn’t scary at all and actually quite easy! And your body deserves a break.

But until then, let me help with a delicious coconut coffee cake. It satisfies the “need” for bread but does not require any grain flour. The sugar content is minimal and the goodness of natural nutrient-dense ingredients qualifies it actually as healthy food! Like with everything, please enjoy in moderation:

Coconut Coffee Cake

1 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

8 lrg eggs

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup plain yogurt

5 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup raw dark brown sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut cream

Topping:

1 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup raw dark brown sugar

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Dash black pepper

Preheat oven to 325◦F and adjust rack to middle position. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with coconut oil and set aside. Combine all ingredients for the topping in a bowl and blend until the ingredients bind together. Set aside. Place all the batter ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour batter into the greased pan. Drop spoonfuls of topping mix over the batter. With a fork and a swirling motion, lightly work the topping into the top part of the batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes. Absolutely best the day it is prepared, but I promise you won’t deny it the next day either.

Variations: substitute butter for coconut oil and/or use pecan pieces for the topping.

What do you think now about Life without Bread? Feel free to share.

America: Overfed and Undernourished


Yes, we all know that obesity is now considered an epidemic in the US. And we know the culprits are sugar and fast food and lack of exercise or so they say…
Why does nobody explain what happens for real? Are they afraid that people could get it? That they could wake up and take action?
Of course there is a conspiracy rumor, but I do not want to toot that horn. I want to educate and to empower. I believe in the power of the people and the people need to know. Before I go into that, I have a favor to ask. I need your help. If you like what you read here, please share it, it will make a big difference and my appreciation is guaranteed.
Let’s look at the statement that many Americans are overfed yet undernourished. How can starvation manifest itself in obesity instead of emaciation?
Did I just say starvation? Yes, I did.
What we need to understand is that most people don’t eat food; they eat STUFF. And this stuff consists of chemical laden, low to no nutrient density, concoctions that may please our artistic side with all the exaggerated colors; chock full with sugar and salt to ensure that our clogged up taste buds get any sensation at all. But does it feed us? Does it nourish us in any way? Heck no!
Now, bodies are really smart. (Of course they are! They are nature made!) When we don’t provide nutrients the body will signal that it needs to be fed. So by putting stuff in our mouths we cannot easily reach a level of satiation and satisfaction, hence we overeat. It’s like riding on a street with potholes, trying to fill them by throwing a spoonful of dirt in the hole every time you pass by. It’s not going to work…
Would you agree that not giving our bodies what they need, which means food = nutrients day in, day out for years and years and years can be considered starvation? I certainly think so.
But why, if we starve ourselves, are we battling obesity? The answer lies in the miraculous work our bodies do. Eating stuff means over burdening our bodies with toxins. Here’s how the body performs: Chemicals like food dyes, preservatives and flavors (just to name a few) are considered foreign objects and therefore pose a threat to our health. The body reacts to threats to protect itself attempting the continuation of proper organ functioning. In case of toxins, the body will “lock them away” so that they can’t do harm; it will put them in fat cells! There are some other reasons, but this is the least known one.
BTW, that’s also a reason why people quickly regain the weight they lost on a diet. The body was forced into weight loss, but the toxins were not removed. This is an emergency and measures have to be taken: the body will go into furious protection mode as soon as the diet is over to store the toxins away.
Diets don’t work. Eating food, real food, does work! Is it more expensive? ? Birke Baehr doesn’t think so. I like what he said: “We can either pay the farmer or we can pay the hospital.”
Smart kid…all of us can make a difference. Sometimes we just need a little help: Real food does not have a bar code and it doesn’t come in a box.

 

What is Health?

The other day I saw a write-up about health in a chiropractor’s office and it occurred to me that many people have a big misconception about it.

Most people will say that health is the absence of symptoms. If they don’t feel sick, they must be healthy. It would be nice were it this easy. Our bodies are very resilient and put up with a lot before they let us know that something is wrong.

When we start noticing symptoms we are not at the beginning of a disease or imbalance but already quite down the road to degeneration. Something starts to go wrong a little it’s not a big deal. If we don’t correct it, it builds up and intensifies sometimes causing even other issues. Eventually we will feel something, i.e. pain that indicates we are not at our best stage of health.

So, if health is NOT the absence of symptoms then what is it?

Health is the presence of coordinated proper functioning of all parts of the body.

This means that there needs to be wholeness in structure: all parts need to be present. And there has to be wholeness in function: each part is coordinated with all other parts. The innate intelligence of the body uses communication between the brain and the nervous system to control and coordinate bodily functions and to keep us healthy.

In my practice, I often find that this communication is corrupted. The nervous system is confused and can’t get feedback about body conditions to the brain and therefore the brain cannot give proper instructions to keep things working smoothly. Restoring the communication system by finding the barriers and helping the body remove them means in most cases instant relief and improved health.

Many people have forgotten what it feels like to be healthy. As things start breaking down we adjust. We think it is temporary and feel OK with that state of being. With every step on the down-hill spiral we adjust again and again always “feeling OK”.

I am sometimes looked at as if I am from a foreign planet when I say that we should feel great all the time. If we don’t, it’s time to take some action and to find out why the body isn’t performing at its best. Believe me, you can feel absolutely fabulous all the time!

Some money and time spent now when we still feel OK makes much more sense than spending a lot of time and a lot of money when things are bad, when we have symptoms or worse when we have ignored them. In the long run it is much cheaper and quality of life will be much higher.

You’ve heard it before: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I encourage you to “take a look”: Do you really feel great or have you adjusted along the way? If you adjusted, ask yourself how much longer you want to continue feeling like that knowing it won’t go away.

I hope you’ll take care of your body. If not, where will you live?

How to Recognize Whole Food Supplements

In last week’s posting I advocated whole food supplements because they are the only ones that provide actual nutrients to fill in holes and to help the body repair itself.

But how do you know whether a product is synthetic or made from food?

It is pretty easy to see what kind you are dealing with by looking at the nutrition facts label. Hopefully you have developed the habit of reading or at least glancing at nutrition facts labels for most of the products you buy whether they are food or supplements. This is the place where you often can find out the truth about ingredients.

For supplements, there are three criteria that let you know what’s in the bottle. First you may read ‘Vitamin Cas Ascorbic Acid.’ This indicates chemically produced ascorbic acid. If you find ‘Vitamin C from and a food source, you have natural vitamin C. Second look for the dosage. If you find 1,000% DV (Daily Value) i.e., you know it’s a chemical. Nature does not produce anything over 100%! Lastly look for the foods listed. When a manufacturer claims their products are made from food they have to list the food sources they are made from.

You really don’t have to read the entire label. Just look out for the important things. For supplements one of the important things is to be made from food. It’s only three things to remember: from, (up to) 100% DV anda list of foods.

Easy as 1,2,3! Happy vitamin shopping!

Benefits of Whole Food Supplements

The other day a friend asked me why I am so adamant about recommending whole food supplements. Some of her questions were “Aren’t all supplements the same? Don’t they all serve the same purpose? Is the more expensive supplement better than the cheaper one? Do we really need supplements?”

I would like to answer them in reverse order. Yes, we do need supplements. Our food cannot provide all the nutrients our body needs to function properly.This is especially true the more processed food is eaten. I think the majority of people realize this and therefore go and buy most often a multivitamin.
Most supplements are made in laboratories. They are synthetic. And although there is a long list of brand names, most supplements come from one of less than ten manufacturers. The price often differs due to brand recognition.
All supplements are on the market to enhance our health, to make up for what’s missing in our diet. However, synthetic supplements are chemicals and the body recognizes them as foreign substances, not as food. That can create deficiencies which we are trying to prevent and/or eliminate in the first place.
Not all supplements are the same. The biggest difference is whole food vs. synthetic which brings me to today’s topic.

We need supplementation because we are building a new body daily. We grow completely new skin in 8 days, new organs in 28 days, new ligaments and joints in a year and new bones in 7 years. The problem is that we are breaking down faster than we can rebuild, the body doesn’t have the right replacement parts. This is called degeneration. That’s where supplements come in.

Let’s take a look at Vitamin C. What is sold as Vitamin C in the US is ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is just the protective shell around six other components including copper, P, K and J factors that make up the complete Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid by itself doesn’t do anything but acidify the body. When we take ascorbic acid the body recognizes it as a part of Vitamin C and waits for the other parts to come so that it can complete all the processes that involve Vitamin C. But they are not being provided from the outside. Since they are absolutely needed the body will take what it needs from the stores in our body thus creating a Vitamin C deficiency with prolonged use of ascorbic acid. I think you see how anything like this cannot fill in the many holes we have created in replacing 24 billion cells every day.

In order to build healthy cells and a healthy body we need raw materials like vitamins and minerals, not chemicals, not supplements made from coal tar or by-products from oil or aluminum manufacturing processes. The average store bought multivitamin has about 30 ingredients (synthetic = chemical). A carrot has over 200 known nutrients, an apple over 400. What do you think is more beneficial to our health?
Of course, just an apple or a carrot cannot rebuild an entire body. Potency is determined by function, not by quantity. That’s why I use a multivitamin that contains about 2,500 nutrients all derived from food and mostly raw. The nutrients in food work synergistically and are able to restore and maintain good body functions. Raw, whole food supplements nourish the body and provide the building blocks to restore tissue and function.

Isn’t that what we want, slowing or reversing degeneration instead of masking a symptom?

Only real food can create real, good health! Choose your supplements carefully!

When you can’t afford it, but you can’...

A friend of mine bought a bagel shop a couple months ago. He realizes that there is a lot to be done to turn it around and make it the shop he envisions. Here is the conundrum: the profit margin is so small that there is no wiggle room for major improvements. However, he cannot afford to not make changes, if he wants to improve the establishment and increase his income.

I worked in food service for 15 plus years and know the front and back end of operations very well. So I went and over there and assessed the situation. And yes, the list of needed changes/improvements seemed endless. This could easily be perceived as overwhelming, but doesn’t have to be. My friend just needs to start somewhere, take the first step and change one little thing. This will create the necessary momentum. And soon he will be able to make more changes and to turn the shop around.

Nothing happens until something moves. Change cannot happen without action.

What does that have to do with your health? Often it is the same situation. You realize your health isn’t in the condition you would like it to be and if you keep neglecting it, your body and well-being will go down hill fast. The result won’t be pretty. You need to do something different in order to keep or regain your good health, but you think you cannot afford to spend money on it.

It’s the same situation as with the bagel shop.

Just start somewhere, one little step in the right direction will make a huge difference! Our bodies are amazing and they are extremely appreciative for every tiny, positive change. The body can heal itself. It just needs a little help from you. And guess what?  Many changes you can make don’t cost anything. On the contrary, they will save you money and possibly your good quality life in the long run! And as your health improves, your life improves, you will be happier and more good things come to you. You will have more assets to spend on your most precious asset: your health!

You already know many steps you could take. Let me remind you:

  • Reduce your intake of sugar and flour products
  • Eliminate chemicals from your food (read labels and if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!)
  • Eat more vegetables and fruit
  • Increase home cooking (you don’t need to cook a three course meal!)
  • Introduce beans and cut back on animal protein
  • Switch from coffee to tea
  • Substitute energy drinks for coconut water (it contains a similar level of electrolytes found in human blood)

There are many other options and only you know what you can do at this time. I want to encourage you to pick just one thing, one habit you want to change and to take a tiny step in that direction. Stick with it for one week and observe what happens, how you feel.

Change has to occur gradually, you have to grow into it. It’s the only way of creating lasting change. Make peace with where you are, focus on where you want to be and start moving in that direction, one step at a time. Change cannot happen without action. Take action today.

You cannot afford not to do it!