detox

  • 10 Simple Tips for HEALTHY Detoxification

    • Follow a non-toxic lifestyle. Eat wholesome, natural foods, drink good water, exercise regularly, and avoid junk foods and additives—to minimize the need to detoxify.
    • If you feel toxic or congested from aches and pains, allergies and sinus congestion, sluggish digestion, or skin rashes. You might consider a detoxification program as outlined in The Detox Diet.
    • If you have habits to any SNACCs—Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine, or Chemicals—take a break occasionally to evaluate how you really feel. These short breaks can give you a new perspective. Is your habit an easy pleasure or is your body paying a price?
    • Detoxify your body and life in a way that feels right to you, through a combination of diet changes, juice cleansing, and supplements. Challenge yourself a little, but avoid the attitude, “No pain, no gain.” The idea is to take extra good care of yourself.
    • Create the time and space to detoxify successfully. You may want to do a weekend fast. You might also consider a 7–10 days Spring Cleanse. In either case, starting on Friday gives you the weekend to transition in and out of your program.
    • My favorite cleanses are:
      1. The Master Cleanser (a lemonade diet described in my books like Staying Healthy with the Seasons).
      2. Fresh Vegetable Juices, and broths, with added chlorella, spirulina or other algaes.
      3. The Detox Diet, a very smooth and easy way to take a needed cleansing break.
    • Plan to include regular exercise in your life and create a balanced schedule of activity and rest, work and play. Take the opportunity to be outside, as in walking in the trees, by the ocean or a river. In the city, watch the sky to stay connected to Nature. Do not forget to relate to flowers, birds, and other natural life forms.
    • Do saunas, sweats, showers, and skin brushing to help detoxify. Drink plenty of good quality spring water or filtered water (8–10 glasses a day).
    • Make sure you keep your digestive track cleansed. Have a bowel movement at least once or twice daily, using fibers, herbs, saltwater flushes, enemas, or colon hydrotherapy. These can all be helpful in experiencing healthy cleansing. This is a very personal issue but necessary for experiencing vibrant health.
    • Be positive and drop at least one old habit this month. Even a change as simple as giving up wheat or dairy products, sugar or caffeine, could make a big difference in your health.
  • Achieve Wellness And Age Without Looking or Feeling Old!

    So many readers keep asking me for a definition of Wholistic Rejuvenation™, which I teach, practice, and employ in guiding my clients to wellness. They want to know what it encompasses…you asked…here it is…

  • Detox Through the Seasons

    As I always say , detox isn't a seasonal event—it's a daily affair. A diet filled with satisfying and liver-loving foods like artichokes, avocados, olive oil, and dandelion root tea, daily intake of high-quality supplements, and regular lymph-moving exercise allows your body to flush toxins and recharge on a regular basis.

    However, there are specific detoxes I suggest adding to the mix that are tailored to be in harmony with the season. I love incorporating these rituals for the changing calendar because it provides variety and reminds me to re-evaluate my goals and progress. Here are my top picks for eliminating toxins each season this 2017.

    Winter Detox
    While many of us in the snow regions enjoy the beauty of a fresh blanket of sparkling snow, the body can begin to feel weary and long for warmth. This is why I love a dry heat sauna during this season. I recommend beginning with five minutes and working your way up to 20, two to three times per week.

    Sweat is much more than a body temperature regulator. It helps to detoxify the body of heavy metals and nasty fat-storage toxins. Your skin is your largest external organ and helps to relieve the toxin overload on the liver and kidneys. Most people lose up to a quart of water through plain sweating. But, if you are in a sauna, you'll release that quart of water in just fifteen minutes. This is why sauna therapy is the perfect way to lesson your body's toxic load.

    Sweating is not just a good detox; it's also good for your heart and your body. Blood flow is improved while your heart gets a very gentle workout. Besides cardiovascular benefits, sauna therapy can help musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, chronic fatigue, and depression.

    Home saunas can be spendy, but many local gyms and even hotels have saunas available for use. You'll gain access with a gym membership and they may even offer deals for sauna use only.

    Spring Detox
    After a busy day of deep cleaning, it's a great idea to relax and do a castor oil pack. I recommend these three days on and then three days off every week or every other week.

    The castor oil pack is used to stimulate the liver and gallbladder as well as to draw toxins out of the body. The use of a castor oil pack can result in a normalizing of liver enzymes, a decrease in elevated cholesterol levels, and a greater sense of well-being.

    Plus, they're simple to do! You will need: 100 percent pure, cold-pressed castor oil; wool (not cotton) flannel, and a heating pad.

    To do the treatment, follow these easy steps:

    1. Fold the wool flannel into three or four layers and soak it with castor oil.
    2. Place the soaked flannel in a baking dish and heat it slowly in the oven until it's hot to your touch.
    3. Lie down, gently rub three tablespoons of castor oil on your abdomen, then place the soaked flannel across your abdomen.
    4. Cover the soaked flannel with plastic wrap or a plastic garbage bag.
    5. Finally, cover the soaked flannel and plastic with the heating pad for one hour, and keep it comfortably hot (but not too hot).

    When you finish, wash the oil from your abdomen. You can keep the oil soaked flannel sealed in plastic wrap or place it in a plastic storage bag for further use, since castor oil does not become rancid as quickly as many other oils.

    Summer Detox
    This sunny time of year, filled with lighter, leg-bearing clothing is ideal for dry brushing. A cellulite blaster, it's one of my tried-andtrue favorites. This practice stimulates your lymph flow, increases your circulation, and stimulates your skin's oil-producing glands to give you a confident summer glow.

    How does it fight cellulite? Dry brushing can dramatically reduce its appearance because it stimulates the body to rebuild strong connective tissue, promoting toned skin that we love all year long—but especially during this season.

    It's best done early in the day prior to your morning shower. Do not brush the sensitive skin on your face and avoid any areas that are bruised or irritated. Follow these steps and make sure that with each stroke you are brushing toward the heart. I recommend working this into your schedule every other day.

    1. 1) Use a medium-firm vegetable brush with natural bristles (found in most health food stores) that is as large as your hand and has a long enough handle to reach your back.
    2. 2) Start by opening the primary lymph ducts (just below your collarbone and on the right and left groin areas) with a gentle finger massage. Next, begin to brush the soles of your feet vigorously in a circular motion. The amount of pressure depends on the condition of your skin. Using short upward strokes (toward your heart), slowly move up over your feet and legs. Continue up over your abdomen and over your buttocks to your waist.
    3. 3) Move to the palms of your hands using circular motions, then use short strokes up your hands and arms. Continue brushing down your neck—out to your shoulders and then down your chest and your back.
    4. 4) This can be followed with a coconut oil massage before your shower.

    Do note the importance of cleaning your brush with warm soapy water after each use and then laying it out to air dry.

    Fall Detox
    I am a huge advocate of baths for both detox and relaxation. They can be delightful in the fall as our bodies adjust to the cooling temperatures. Enjoy soaking in an aromatherapy bath this time of year three times per week for about 20 minutes each time.

    For the fall, I suggest:

    1. Cedarwood to fortify and strengthen the lungs and promote improved sleep.
    2. Eucalyptus to relieve sinus pressure caused by inflammation or infection and to clear histamines.
    3. Myrrh to reduce mucus in the intestinal tract and in the lungs.

    Yearly Detoxing
    As a bonus, I also suggest making oil-pulling part of your morning routine all year round. This time-honored Ayurvedic technique pulls toxins from the gums, supporting the health of your entire body and working wonders to remove bacteria and inflammation-causing plaque from the deep pockets of your gums. Plus, many swear by its ability to painlessly whiten teeth!

    Here's what to do:

    1. 1) Put about two teaspoons of oil (such as sesame oil or coconut oil) in your mouth.
    2. 2) Work the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes, sloshing it from side to side, sucking and pulling it through your teeth. You can spit it out intermittently but make sure you put more oil back in your mouth to continue the process.
    3. 3) Spit it all out (either in the sink or in a jar, if you have a septic tank) and rinse with a large glass of water to remove any oil residues.

    Each season brings exciting new changes and fresh techniques to rid your body of hazardous toxins.

  • Detoxification and the Detox Diet

    Detoxification and the Detox Diet Elson Haas

    An Important Health Process

    The simplest way to understand symptoms and disease integrates Western linear thinking, Chinese medicine and its philosophy of yin and yang, and the naturopathic approach to health and illness. In fact this integration I refer to as NEW Medicine with the N-E-W standing for Natural, Eastern, and Western healing approaches and applies to many health conditions; all of this is reviewed in my new book, Staying Healthy with NEW Medicine.

    Problems in the body (and mind) often arise from either deficiency, where we are not acquiring sufficient necessary nutrients to meet our needs and body functions; and the other side is congestion, where we are having excessive intake, both from reduced eliminative functions and the over-consumption of foods or non-food substances, such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, refined sugar and food chemicals.

    People who are deficient may experience such problems as fatigue, coldness, hair loss or dry skin, and they need to be nourished with wholesome foods to aid healing. Congestive problems, however, are more common in Western, industrialized civilizations. Many of our acute and chronic medical diseases and dilemmas result from the clogging of our tissues and tubes, and the suffocating of our cells and vital energy. Colds and flus to cancer and cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and allergies are all examples of congestive disorders.

    These medical problems may be prevented or treated at least in part and often dramatically by embarking on a process of cleansing and detoxification. The incorporation of dietary changes, including consumption of more fresh fruits, vegetables and water while reducing animal fats and proteins and eliminating any damaging substances, especially those overused or abused, helps begin the rejuvenation process for the human body. This was discovered long ago and is still true today even though medical science may make light of it in deference to the quick solution to major diseases.

    I consider the cleansing/fasting/detoxification process (they are different degrees of the same process of reduced toxin intake and enhanced toxin elimination) to be the missing link in Western nutrition and a key to the health and vitality of our civilization. In my forty years of medical practice in which I have utilized extensively various detox and healing/rejuvenation practices for both myself and literally thousands of patients, I can tell you that I truly believe that cleansing and detoxification is virtually one of the most powerful healing (real healing of ailments and not just suppression of symptoms) therapies I have seen.

    I have written extensively about detoxification, as can be seen in the last section of my 1100-page Staying Healthy With Nutrition book and which is the focus of my book, The Detox Diet: The Complete Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, & Detox Plans, wherein I discuss both the medical and health factors of the cleansing process. The basics of the Detox Diet follow here to give you the general ideas of what is involved. In truth, what I attempt to do in my writing and practice is to place your health and that of your family back into your hands, because so much of it is up to you. It really matters how you live—what you do and what you eat, and what you think and feel. Take hold and do what you can to be vital and healthy. It is really worth it!

    What are your SNACC Habits?

    I use the detox process to help people break habits, and I love the acronym SNACCs to stand for Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals. Most people in our modern societies are not living as naturally as they might for best health. From what I see at speaking events, about 90 percent of people are using substances to either stimulate their energy or sedate them to rest and relax. We use caffeine daily and sugar to push us on, and then alcohol, cannabis, other drugs, or big meals to calm us down. When this is not done in balance or we don’t sleep well or are sick, we may even need more SNACCs, and then we run our body down. I often see this and the common results of Fatigue and Insomnia, Depression and Anxiety.

    The idea that I embrace is that we should have a proper relationship to any substances, and even foods, that we ingest regularly, especially the ones that can be affecting our health in not all positive ways. Of course, everything, be it coffee, wine, sugar, or even a cigarette, have some positive effects; otherwise, we wouldn’t use them. Yet, when we become dependent and need them to make it through our day, it’s wise to schedule a break. Typically, it takes two to three weeks to shift habits, and then you can see how you feel without your usual. It’s like any bad relationship; we can’t always see it or appreciate how it affected us until we are away from it. The detox process allows us to have this experience. One of the ways to calm the body down and support it is with a detoxifying diet.

    Here’s The Detox Diet Menu from my The Detox Diet book.

    SPECIAL GUIDELINES for THE DETOX DIET:

    1. Chew your food very well and take enough time when you eat.
    2. Relax a few minutes before and after your meal.
    3. Eat in a comfortable sitting position.
    4. Eat primarily steamed fresh vegetables and some fresh greens.
    5. Take only herbal teas after dinner.

    THE DETOX DIET MENU PLAN

    Morning (upon arising): Two glasses of water (filtered, spring, or reverse osmosis), one glass with half a lemon squeezed into it.

    Breakfast: One piece of fresh fruit (at room temp), such as apple, pear, banana, grapes, or citrus. Chew well, mixing each bite with saliva.

    15–30 minutes later: One bowl of cooked whole grains–specifically millet, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, raw buckwheat, or buckwheat.

    Flavoring can be two tablespoons of fruit juice for a sweeter breakfast taste, or use the “better butter” mixture mentioned below with a little salt or tamari for a deeper flavor.

    Lunch (Noon–1 PM) One–two medium bowls of steamed vegetables; use a variety, including roots, stems, and greens–e.g., potatoes and yams, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, asparagus, kale, chard, and cabbage. CHEW WELL!

    Dinner (5–6 PM) Same as lunch

    Seasoning—Butter/olive oil mix or flaxseed oil. Make this “better butter” by mixing a half-cup of cold-pressed canola oil (or olive or flaxseed oils) into a soft (room temperature) half-pound of butter; then place in dish and refrigerate. Use about one teaspoon per meal or a maximum of three teaspoons daily.

    11 AM and 3 PM—One–two cups veggie water, saved from steamed vegetables. Add a little sea salt or kelp and drink slowly, mixing each mouthful with saliva.

    Evening: Herbal teas only— e.g., peppermint, chamomile, pau d’arco, or blends.

    This works best doing this diet for 2–3 weeks. It helps calm down inflammation and alkalinize the body. Many symptoms lessen or disappear.

    NOTE on protein intake: You may feel a little weak or have a few symptoms the first couple of days; this will pass. Clarity and feeling good should appear by day three or four, if not before. If during this diet, you start to feel weak or hungry, assess your water intake and elimination; if needed, you can eat a small portion of protein food (3–4 ounces) in the mid-afternoon. This could be fish; free-range, organic chicken; or some beans, such as lentil, garbanzo, mung, or black beans.
  • Detoxification Made Simple

    The Purification Process: Healing for Modern Times

    This is an article about thinking simply, in a new way, and using commonsense in your choices about your health. A choice I often recommend is cleaning up your act, your relationships, your home and planet, and supporting you to lighten up and heal. I encourage all of you to think about health and health care from the philosophy of Integrated Medicine.

    As a doctor, I view any problem from the deeper true causes, which most often have to do with our lifestyle choices—the way we live. This involves what we eat, our level of physical activity and how much we require during our in-body experience to keep our energy moving, getting the sleep we need to recharge our core systems, and how we create and manage our daily stress— all to see how things add up for or against our health.

    A basic philosophy of Integrated (Multidisciplinary) Medicine in regards to healing is: Lifestyle first, Natural Therapies next, and Drugs last. This article is much about Lifestyle.

    When our overall attitude is one of positive life enhancement, we will nurture this treasure of our life force – our vitality. Clearly, a balanced mind has a beneficial influence on our body and allows our heart and spirit to join in life’s uplifting, full-of-potential moments. Health issues challenge us to grow and change for the better if we can claim our truth within our inner being.

    I discuss here what I call “preventive challenges,” making changes in advance, before you fall apart, and for the purpose of improving health and preventing disease. Ease can be the outcome of these healthful choices and dis-ease is the crisis created from years of bad habits, poor choices, and a lack of understanding of your personal needs within Nature’s cycles.

    Won’t you join me in this Quest for Health—keeping your body clean, available to your life, nourished and thankful for the changes you are able to make either through crisis or wiser prevention? For many though, health is a great lifetime challenge.

    In most areas of the country now, we have farmer’s markets, natural food stores, and our deck and yard gardens to produce plentiful produce during much of the year. Keeping clean shouldn’t mean keeping you too far from dirt, the Earth— play in it, get in touch with where things come from and where they go. Be a human being, not just a human doing! Garden, shop, and prepare your meals with and for those you care about. If you need further tips on health and chemical —free shopping and eating, check out my book, Staying Healthy with Nutrition (Celestial Arts, 2006).

    Overview of Detoxification
    The simplest way to understand symptoms and disease integrates Western linear (commonsense) thinking, Chinese medicine and its philosophy of yin and yang, and the naturopathic approach to health and illness. Problems in the body (and mind) often arise from (the duality of) either deficiency, where we are not acquiring sufficient necessary nutrients to meet our needs and body functions, or from congestion, where we are having excessive intake, both from reduced eliminative functions and the repetitive over-consumption of food or nonfood substances, such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, refined sugar and food chemicals, as well as driving more than walking, and talking more than listening.

    With yin and yang imbalances, it is not merely one or the other, but a mixture, meaning that most people have some deficiency along with their toxicity. Clearly, in these modern times of processed and treated foods, and the chemicals used in our environment, we all have exposures to these substances. This stresses our body. Along with that, food nutrient levels are lower from lack of soil minerals. With the typically poor choices of eating by most people and the many temptations of modern markets (even sweetened and processed foods in the best natural food stores), we just don’t obtain all the necessary nutrients our bodies need to function optimally—vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and the many phytonutrients found in fresh, healthy and colorful foods. Nutritional supplements can help here in obtaining all of these vital nutrients.

    Naturopathically, deficiency and toxicity are the continuum of nutritional balance, or lack of balance. People who are deficient may experience such problems as fatigue, coldness, hair loss or dry skin, and the healing choice is to be nourished with wholesome foods to stimulate and support healing. However, congestive problems are more common in Western, industrialized civilizations, starting from acute colds and sinus or allergic problems to skin rashes and digestive disturbances. Likewise, many chronic diseases, such as arthritis and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and cancer, most often come from long-term health-destroying habits.

    Of course, these many health problems are not only from poor food choices. We are constantly dabbing, spraying, and imbibing/inhaling more chemicals from the air, water, foods, and from our vehicles and medications than ever before. Many of our acute and chronic diseases and dilemmas result from the clogging of our tissues and tubes and the suffocating of our cells and vital energy to support our ability to make healthful choices. These medical problems may be prevented or treated at least in part and often dramatically by embarking on a process of cleansing and detoxification. The detoxification process is the ‘natural’ way to heal!

    The incorporation of dietary changes, including consumption of more fresh fruits, vegetables and water while reducing animal fats and proteins and eliminating any damaging substance abuses—is the beginning of the rejuvenation process for the human body. This was discovered long ago and is still true today even though medical science may make light of it in deference to the quick solution to major diseases. Western doctors are trained primarily to name the disease and then prescribe a bill, a pill, and a refill, which is often not even related to the needs of the body’s healing process—the true solution for disease. Of course, as a physician, I do this too when it seems like it will work or the patient requests this approach.

    However, ultimately I believe in and consider the cleansing/fasting/ detoxification process (they are different degrees of the same process of reduced toxin intake and enhanced toxin elimination) to be the missing link in Western nutrition and a key to the health and vitality of our civilization. In more than 35 years of medical practice, I have utilized extensively various detox and healing/rejuvenation practices for both myself and literally thousands of patients. I offer cleansing group support in the autumn and spring (and the new year) at my office. I truly believe that cleansing and detoxification—the Purification Process— is virtually one of the most powerful healing (real healing of ailments and not just suppression of symptoms) therapies I have witnessed as well as participated in for as long as I have practiced medicine. Its effects offer rebalance for the body/ mind and are preventive for many health problems.

    I have written extensively about detoxification, as can be seen in the last section of my 1,000 page Staying Healthy With Nutrition book and which is the focus of my new book, The Detox Diet: The Complete Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, & Detox Plans (new 2012 edition), wherein I discuss both the medical and health factors of the cleansing process. The Detox Diet basics follow here to give you a clear idea of what is involved.

    Two Key Levels to the Purification Process.
    The first is mentioned above as the clearing from any substance habits or abuses, even addictions for some, which are a serious type of imbalanced relationship to one’s true nurturing needs. This program encourages you to take a break, which may be temporary or lifelong, to such common habits as the daily intake of what I call the SNACCs—Sugar (as refined sugar and corn syrups—they put them in everything, it seems), Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals in foods and our environment. Especially watch the regular use of aspartame, and as able, minimize your use of over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals and chemically-loaded beauty products, foods, and household cleansers. To me, this is very often the first step in health liberation, freeing ourselves from the emotional connection and dependence on certain items to give us energy or sedate us. All of these substances can alter our moods and vitality, both immediately and over time.

    Of course, many of us may eat a healthy diet of wholesome foods and don’t have too many bad habits. I also see people often who exercise and eat well, and are still not well.

    The next level then is to look at food reactions. This typically occurs from the most common foods we eat and the most common food available in society, that is what I call The Sensitive Seven—Wheat, Cow’s milk, and Sugar as The Big Three, followed by Eggs, Corn, Soy, and Peanuts. My book about this topic, called The False Fat Diet, is all about the many ways we react to foods and the great variety of health conditions caused by these reactions. Following the healing dietary and supplement programs of avoidance and challenge will help discover the individual reactions and needs of each person.

    The Sensitive Seven* • Wheat • Sugar • Cow’s Milk • Eggs • Corn • Soy • Peanuts
    *Seven most common food reactions, mainly due to the persistent intake of these foods in the diet and as the base of most processed foods.

    Food reactions are quite common and often result from digestive dysfunction as well as inherent allergy and over-consumption of the particular foods. There are many factors that cause the breakdown in optimal function of the gastrointestinal tract. Overeating, too many foods combined at once, incomplete chewing, drinking too much while eating which dilutes the digestive juices, and chronic stress all weaken our ability to digest foods thoroughly. Furthermore, many people have an imbalance of intestinal flora, where they have killed off their healthy bacteria from overuse of antibiotics, which is common in modern medicine. Other irritating bacteria may flourish, or fermenting types of yeast organisms or parasites will take up residence within our intestines. These cause an irritation of the membranes, and this affects our proper absorption of nutrients, causing abnormal absorption of larger molecules, often referred to as “leaky gut” syndrome. Allowing ‘toxins’ to enter the blood stream can affect our brain function, mood, and energy level, and cause secondary immune and biochemical reactions to these toxins. Our digestive tract has the highest amount of immune activity of any area in the human body.

    Food reactions are generated through multiple systems in our body—digestive, immune, biochemical, and hormonal— causing bloating and swelling in the body and gut, plus many other possible problems. These reactions caused by an allergic or depleted system make us more sensitive to environmental toxins. Allowing these reactions to quiet and clear can help those suffering from them to feel much better rather quickly. Following an elimination diet, avoiding our habit foods or commonly eaten foods as well as the most reactive foods, is part of this Purification Process.

    After a week or two or four of this avoidance (once you get started and get through the fear, you’ll be clear), then you can challenge yourself by eating one of these foods, giving it awhile to check your experience of any untoward effects. Usually I have my patients watch three different time periods for these food reactions, since many responses can be ‘delayed.’ First, watch immediately and over the first hour after eating the food. Also pay attention to later in the day, several hours up to six hours later. Then, observe how you are when you wake up the next morning. Do you feel a little foggy or have a hangover? If you had any reaction to the food or substance, if you feel worse (fatigue, irritability, itchy skin, digestive upset, and mood or energy changes are some possible reactions) or have any of the symptoms you had previously experienced, you are likely reactive to that food.

    How do you Begin this Purification Process?
    First, take an honest self-assessment. What are you hooked into? What are your habits/abuses? What do you mostly not want to give up? (That’s often the culprit in not feeling optimal.) How ready are you to take a break from them? Then, set up a plan, in writing, stating what you will do, for how long, and what you wish to achieve. Use a program you know or can read about clearly, such as my Detox Diet or a juice cleanse. You can find these and other references on my website. It helps if someone you know and trust has done it. It’s also great if you can find a friend or family member to do it with you, to help each other get through any hard times, and to have someone with whom you can share your success.

    Benefits of Detoxification are often an improvement in mental clarity, physical wellbeing, and spiritual energy, as well as the lessening of many symptoms. And if any of these following problems are relevant, you can lower your body weight, your blood pressure, your cholesterol level, and likely use less medication. Many people claim they feel “better than they have in years.”

    In truth, what I attempt to do in my writing and practice is to place your health and that of your family back into your own hands, because so much of it is up to you. Be your own best doctor. It really matters how you live—what you do and what you eat, and what you think and feel. Take hold of yourself and your habits, and do what you can to be vital and healthy. Use the latest rage and the oldest sage—the Purification Process—to improve your health. It is really worth it! Time to Get Healthy and then STAY HEALTHY.

  • Dr. Gloria’s Gluten-Free Peruvian Quinoa Pilaf

    Dr. Gloria’s Gluten-Free Peruvian Quinoa Pilaf detox recipe TotalHealth magazine

    Yes, making a green drink is certainly the first choice for a detox and rejuvenation protocol. However, we also need options for a meal that includes not only tasting satisfying ingredients but also those that will contribute to our overall reduction of toxic burden while providing quality protein that converts to energy.

    This new series provides not only healthy recipes but also the health benefits of each ingredient.

    Ingredients
    • 1 cup red quinoa (washed and rinsed in a very fine sieve)
    • 1 cup original quinoa (washed and rinsed in a very fine sieve)

    NOTE: If you don't rinse quinoa VERY well, it will be bitter. I soak mine 2–4 hours and then place in sieve and use the faucet sprayer and rinse the heck out of it with cold water several times…that does the trick. Occasionally I can find a sprouted quinoa-wild rice-brown rice organic mix, that does not need rinsing or soaking and obviously has more health and digestion benefits because it's sprouted.

    • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (make sure it's all natural with no aliases for MSG)
    • 1 bunch kale (cut into small strips)
    • 2–3 TB coconut oil
    • 6 cloves finely minced garlic
    • 4–5 scallions (white and green parts) very thinly sliced
    • 2 cups fresh organic small asparagus cut into small 1" pieces (you can substitute any vegetable you like)
    • 1–2 ripe avocados (cut into small cubes)
    • 2–3 TB lime juice or to taste (This really gives it a South American flavor)
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • tsp dried rosemary (1 tsp if fresh and finely chopped)
    • Salt & pepper to taste
    Method:
    1. Combine quinoa with broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer. Cover and lower heat to a slow simmer until all the broth is absorbed (about 20 minutes). If quinoa is not soft, add an additional 1/2 cup broth and continue to cook until absorbed. NOTE: Do NOT keep opening the lid to check it as it will take longer to cook and for quinoa to soften.
    2. Strip the kale leaves from their stems and discard stems. Cut kale leaves into very narrow short strips about the size of a green bean. Rinse well and set aside.
    3. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a large skillet, wok or stir-fry pan. Once oil is hot, add garlic and sauté over low heat until golden but not dark brown or it will get bitter.
    4. To the garlic, now add the kale and scallions and cook until kale is just soft. Next add the small pieces of asparagus and cook until asparagus are soft but NOT overcooked or you lose a lot of nutrition. Now add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently as you would for a stir-fry.
    5. At the very end, add the cooked quinoa just enough to blend flavors and heat.
    Variations:

    A. You can add chicken or beef sliced very thin and sautéed when you add the garlic. I also like to add ground natural bison; it's delicious and NO fat.

    B. You can add any green veggie like spinach, chard, broccoli, etc.

    C. I've also cut white onions in small pieces and sautéed along with the scallions and it gives it a bit more robust flavor.

    D. If you like those Asian stir-fry dishes with egg, try scrambling a couple eggs and adding at the end when you add the cooked quinoa.

    E. If you don't have on hand, or choose not to add both kinds of quinoa, you can use whatever you have. Blending the two kinds really gives this dish its unique flavor and I've even mixed in black or wild rice for a mouth-watering change.

    F. I like adding white or orange sweet potato not only for the awesome flavor but also it's great comfort food that's low in glycemic and high in nutrition and fiber.

    The Health Benefits of Each Ingredient…

    Quinoa: Considered a "superfood," it's one of the most protein-rich foods AND is Gluten-FREE. It contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains as well as iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin (B2) and a high content of manganese. Contains powerful bioactive substances like quercetin and kaempferol—important molecules shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects.

    Scallions: If you harvest onions before their bulbs form, you get scallions. Just like their full-grown relative, scallions are packed with vitamins and minerals.

    The following are the most nutritional benefits of scallions (aka spring onions):

    • They're very low in calories, usually about 31 calories in 100 grams of fresh scallions.
    • They're rich in antioxidants that actually help the body repel toxins that enter your body. Antioxidants are necessary to help lower your risk of acquiring viruses, bacteria, etc., including those nasty infections considered fatal.
    • They contain high levels of dietary fiber. Actually, they contain more fiber than shallots and ripe onions. To compare, 100 grams of scallions provides about 2.6 grams of fiber—equivalent to about 7 percent of the daily recommended amount.
    • Contain thiosulfinates, although in smaller amounts than garlic but still important. In addition, they contain diallyl disulfide, propyl disulfide, and allyl disulfide—which, along with other thiosulfinates convert into allicin through their enzymatic reaction. When this occurs, cholesterol production is significantly reduced, especially within the liver cells. Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by releasing nitric oxide in the blood to lower your blood pressure. Allicin also helps in blocking platelet clotting—cutting your risk of having coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular diseases.
    • Contain compounds known to prevent certain cancers. They contain vitamin A, C and K. Researchers believe scallions are among the richest in vitamin K content—172 percent of RDA in 100 grams. Vitamin K is essential to bone health as it promotes bone strength, repair and formation. Adequate vitamin K shows promise in helping to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

    NOTE:Scallions are not only healthy and delicious; each part is almost entirely edible except the roots.

    Kale: This is considered to be the "king" of vegetables with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory. It is high in beta-carotene, vitamins K, C, lutein, zeaxanthin and rich in calcium.

    Lime: This fruit deserves to be more in the limelight than lemon, in my opinion. The potential uses of lime go far beyond cocktails and fish dishes. The following are the top health benefits:

    • As natural health approaches become more and more popular in today's culture, lime will likely play an increasing role in the treatment that doctors recommend—scientists are researching ways to incorporate lime into medicines and herbal formulas because of their extraordinary health benefits.
    • Sickle cell anemia is a condition that causes the bone marrow to produce misshapen, sickle-shaped red blood cells. It can cause chronic fatigue as well as painful episodes, called crises. Crises cause severe pain in areas such as the chest, joints, or lower back. A study found that consuming lime juice reduced the severity of crises in children with sickle cell anemia.
    • Antioxidants keep your arteries healthy, and healthy arteries are essential for carrying blood from your heart to the organs of your body. A new study conducted on rabbits reveals some interesting results and human studies are scheduled to begin soon.
    • Lime peel and lime juice contain antioxidants that slow down the process of atherogenesis, the buildup of plaque on artery walls. Try getting more lime juice in your diet. When juicing, leave the peel on so you don't discard some of most beneficial part of the lime.
    • A recent study found that the kaffir lime, a bumpy-skinned lime grown in India and other regions of Southeast Asia, fights bacteria. One specific type of well-known bacteria this lime fights is E. coli, which causes food poisoning.
    • The antibacterial properties of kaffir lime extend to the skin, too. In a 2014 study, researchers found that essential oil from the kaffir lime could stop acne-causing bacteria. The oil also reduced scarring from acne and assisted in healing acne blemishes. This natural remedy is an option worth trying to improve your skin.
    • Lime's bacteria-fighting abilities also enable the fruit to fight cholera, according to one study. Bacteria that cause cholera often travel in food. In West Africa, where cholera outbreaks have happened in recent history, researchers found that feeding affected people lime juice with rice killed the dangerous bacteria.
    • The peel left behind after a few good squeezes can be used to create a powerful, pure oil. This oil is used in a number of ways, most popularly in flavoring food and adding a fresh fragrance to a variety of products. Try this recipe for an amazing lime-filled twist on hummus by placing the already squeezed lime peel into the hummus or even your guacamole.
    • Similar to other citrus fruits, lime offers a plethora of vitamins and minerals, including potassium. Potassium is important for maintaining nerve function and healthy blood pressure levels. The fruit is also linked to antioxidants and bioflavonoids that researchers believe could lower the likelihood of cancer.
    • The simplest way to use lime is to add it to your cooking.

    Rosemary: Credited for its ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect immune functions, stimulate circulation, detoxify, protect from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.

    Coconut Oil: Its health benefits too numerous to list but here are the ones helpful in detoxification:

    Improves blood cholesterol, loaded with saturated fats (raises HDL–good—cholesterol), increases energy, helps lower blood sugar, contains lauric acid known to kill bacteria-viruses- fungi, is a natural appetite suppressant, its fatty acids can boost brain function especially in those with dementia and Alzheimer's by providing the needed ketones (energy source for malfunctioning cells).

    Natural Sea Salt: Salt is essential for life and an important component in the human diet. Sodium is a nutrient that the body cannot manufacture but which is required for life itself. Sodium is easily absorbed and is active in the absorption of other nutrients in the small intestine. It helps regulate water balance, pH, and is important in nerve conduction.

    Black Pepper: Black pepper stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. When the body's production of hydrochloric acid is insufficient, food may sit in the stomach for an extended period of time, leading to heartburn, indigestion and a slow bowel transit time. Black pepper has demonstrated impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects–yet another way in which this wonderful seasoning promotes the health of the digestive tract. And not only does black pepper help you derive the most benefit from your food, the outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.

    Garlic: The allicin in raw, crushed garlic has been shown to kill 23 types of bacteria, including salmonella and staphylococcus. Heated garlic gives off another compound, diallyldisulphideoxide, which has been shown to lower serum cholesterol by preventing clotting in the arteries. Vitamins in garlic, such as A, B, and C, stimulate the body to fight carcinogens and get rid of toxins, and may even aid in preventing certain types of cancer, such as stomach cancer. Garlic's sulfur compounds can regulate blood sugar metabolism, stimulate and detoxify the liver, and stimulate the blood circulation and the nervous system.

    Cumin: Cumin, a spice that originated in Egypt, has been a part of the cuisines of the Middle East and India for thousands of years. This little seed, a standard flavor in curries, is touted for its many medicinal properties, including:

    • Controls Diabetes—A study by researchers at Mysore University in India explored the potential anti-diabetic properties of cumin. In this study, published in 1998 in the journal Nutrition Research, the research team fed diabetes-induced rats a diet of 1.25 percent ground cumin for eight weeks with positive results. The rats experienced a reduction in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar—a condition common in diabetics—and glucosuria or glycosuria, in which the urine contains too much glucose. A review of scientific studies published in 2005 in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition confirmed that a number of spices, including cumin, might aid hypoglycemia. Consider using cumin for blood sugar control, I do.
    • Aids Digestion—although this flavorful spice has a long history as a treatment for indigestion in Indian households, medical research has just begun to suggest the benefits of cumin to the digestive system. A study on rats by researchers at Mysore University, published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research in 2004, found cumin useful for both dyspepsia and diarrhea. The spice appears to stimulate the liver to secrete more bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats and the absorption of nutrients, leading to healthier digestion. In the study, cumin increased bile secretion in the rats by 71 percent.
    • Contains Essential Minerals—cumin seed is a source of the essential mineral magnesium, which the body cannot produce, and therefore must get through diet. A tablespoon of cumin will give you six percent of the recommended daily value of magnesium for adults. Magnesium serves a host of functions, including promoting heart health, controlling blood pressure and aiding the absorption of calcium. Cumin is also an excellent source of the essential mineral iron, with just one tablespoon supplying 20 percent of the daily value. Your body needs iron to carry oxygen to all its cells.

    NOTE: I prefer, and suggest, you purchase organic cumin, as most spices are irradiated (treated with radioactive materials to extend shelf life). I also suggest purchasing cumin seeds instead of buying this spice already ground, since ground cumin loses its flavor more quickly than do whole seeds. Store your ground or whole-seed cumin in a cool, dry place to help it retain its nutrients. I grind my cumin and it stays fresh for about six months, while cumin seeds last about a year. Before you grind your cumin seeds, lightly roast them for a few minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit or in a hot skillet to release their aromatic oils.

    Carrots: Carrots are actually considered a vessel for Vitamin A— they contain a large amount of Vitamin A. Additionally, they're rich with Vitamin C, E, B6, K and many more.

    Asparagus: Its javelin-shape says a lot! I view this green as symbolism for your nutritional "weapon" for its age- and disease-fighting abilities. It's packed with health benefits including loaded with nutrients. It's a great source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as a good dose of chromium—a trace mineral known to enhance the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. Some of the most nutrient-rich benefits include:

    • This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free-radicals. Eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
    • Asparagus, packed with antioxidants, ranks among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, shows promise in its ability to slow the aging processes.

    NOTE: The most common type of asparagus is green, but you might see two others in supermarkets and restaurants: white, which is more delicate and difficult to harvest, and purple, which is smaller and fruitier in flavor. No matter the type you choose, asparagus is a tasty, versatile vegetable that can be cooked in myriad ways or enjoyed raw in salads.

  • Dr. Gloria’s Nightshade-Free Detox Soup

    Nightshade-Free Detox Soup Gloria Gilbere From Dr. Gloria’s Kitchen

    We are now almost at the end of the first quarter of the year and many of you have completed your New Year – New You Wholistic Rejuvenation protocols, some of you have not. Whether you have or not, making a homemade detox soup while the weather is still in the winter mode helps your body release pent-up toxins to allow yourself to prepare for the spring and beyond.

    So exactly what makes a recipe a detox one? It contains the healthiest ingredients all in one recipe while focusing on taste yet providing a detox dose of vitamins, minerals, herbs, vegetables, and high-protein vegetable sources to allow for extra energy conversion while detoxifying.

    In this new column, I’ll be sharing 3 detox soup recipes while the weather is still crisp, and then 3 vegetarian dishes that are tasty, satisfying and detoxifying. Remember to buy organic otherwise you’re just adding to your toxic load instead of reducing it. By having a bowl of a detox soup at least three times weekly, you’re helping reduce your body’s overall toxic burden.

    This new series provides not only healthy recipes but also the health benefits of each ingredient.

    Dr. Gloria’s Nightshade-FREE Detox Soup


    (One-dish meal)

    Ingredients

    • 2 medium leeks, cut in half, cleaned well, and cut into small pieces
    • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed into a paste
    • 4 carrots, scrubbed clean, skins on, cut into rough chunks
    • 4 celery stalks, cut into rough chunks
    • 3 small parsnips, peeled and cut into medium cubes or thin slices
    • 3 small zucchini, diced
    • 4 cups water
    • 4–6 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
    • 2 cups pinto or white beans, I use dried ones that I soak overnight and cook beforehand. Use cooking water as part of the water in this recipe
    • 1 cup cooked quinoa (make sure to rinse well, otherwise it will be bitter)
    • 2 large bunches of kale, thinly sliced
    • Juice of 3 lemons (you can use lime juice)
    • TB each of rosemary, thyme, marjoram finely crushed or chopped
    • 2 TB coconut oil
    • Salt & Pepper, to taste (use Pink Himalayan salt when possible)

    Method

    1. Place coconut oil to heat in a large soup pot over medium/high heat;
    2. Add leek and garlic;
    3. Sauté over low heat, approx. 5 minutes, stirring often until slightly brown;
    4. Add carrots, celery and parsnips. Cook 5–7 minutes until tender;
    5. Add the herbs, water and broth, cooked quinoa and pinto beans, lemon juice and simmer over low heat for at least 45 minutes. I like making it the night before as it allows flavors to blend and become robust.
    6. About 7–10 minutes before serving stir in the kale and zucchini

    Health Benefits of Ingredients

    Leeks: Supply plenty of potassium, some folic acid, betacarotene (in the green stems) and vitamin C. Although less beneficial than onions, leeks may help to reduce cholesterol levels and may offer some protection against cancer. Leeks also assist the body to dispose of uric acid and so are beneficial to those who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia or gout.

    Garlic: The allicin in raw, crushed garlic has been shown to kill 23 types of bacteria, including salmonella and staphylococcus. Heated garlic gives off another compound, diallyldisulphideoxide, which has been shown to lower serum cholesterol by preventing clotting in the arteries. Vitamins in garlic, such as A, B, and C, stimulate the body to fight carcinogens and get rid of toxins, and may even aid in preventing certain types of cancer, such as stomach cancer. Garlic’s sulfur compounds can regulate blood sugar metabolism, stimulate and detoxify the liver, and stimulate the blood circulation and the nervous system.

    Carrots: Carrots are actually considered a vessel for vitamin A— they contain a large amount of vitamin A. Additionally, they’re rich with vitamin C, E, B6, K and many more.

    Celery: This veggie provides an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. It is a very good source of folic acid, potassium, and vitamins B1 and B6. Celery also offers a good source of vitamin B2 and calcium. Even though celery contains more sodium than most other vegetables, the sodium is offset by its high levels of potassium. Celery contains phytochemical compounds known as coumarins—studies show they are effective in cancer prevention and capable of enhancing the activity of certain white blood cells. Coumarin compounds also lower blood pressure, tone the vascular system, and are credited as effective when used in cases of migraines. Due to the high levels of potassium and sodium, when celery-based juices are consumed after a workout they serve as great electrolyte replacement drinks.

    Studies show celery may help to lower cholesterol and prevent cancer by improving detoxification.

    Parsnips: Contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and an excellent source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. Adequate fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, obesity and constipation or sluggish elimination. They also contain many polyacetylene anti-oxidants—research found these compounds possess antiinflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer functions and offer protection from colon cancer.

    Zucchini: This summer squash is rich in vitamin A and C, as well as potassium. It helps promote a healthy heart, lungs and eyes. It is also said to help your respiratory system.

    Pinto Beans: These beans are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. One cup of pinto beans provides one quarter of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of protein for adults.

    Supplementing the protein of pinto beans with quinoa provides all the essential amino acids. Because beans contain soluble fiber, they can lower blood cholesterol and are a good source of energy and the B vitamins-thiamin, riboflavin and niacin-which are necessary for growth and tissue building. Minerals found in pinto beans include calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron, all essential to good health.

    Quinoa: Considered a “superfood”, it’s one of the most proteinrich foods AND is Gluten-FREE. It contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains as well as iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin (B2) and a high content of manganese. Contains powerful bioactive substances like quercetin and kaempferol— important molecules shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects.

    Kale: This is considered to be the “king” of vegetables with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory. It is high in beta carotene, vitamins K, C, lutein, zeaxanthin and rich in calcium.

    Lemon: Known for its therapeutic properties for generations, lemon helps strengthen immune functions, cleanse the stomach and is considered a blood purifier. In addition, it is credited as a remedy for kidney stones, reducing strokes and lowering body temperature. It contains vitamins C, B6, A, E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and protein. Lemon has an alkalizing effect and, therefore, helps ward off abnormal cell growth because viruses, fungus, and bacteria they can’t survive/thrive in an alkaline environment.

    Herbs:

    Rosemary—Credited for its ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect immune functions, stimulate circulation, detoxify, protect from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions. Thyme—Packed with health-enhancing phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins essential for overall wellness. It contains thymol, scientifically found to have antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It is the herb with the highest antioxidant levels among herbs. It is a rich source of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium, B-complex vitamins, beta carotene, vitamin A, K, E, C and folic acid.

    Marjoram—An aromatic herb, relative to the mint family. Packed with antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, Iron and Calcium. Its credited for enhancing digestion by increasing digestive enzymes and saliva.

    Additional Nutrients

    Coconut Oil: It’s health benefits too numerous to list but here are the ones helpful in detoxification: Improves blood cholesterol, loaded with saturated fats (raises HDL—good—cholesterol), increases energy, helps lower blood sugar, contains lauric acid known to kill bacteria-viruses-fungi, is a natural appetite suppressant, its fatty acids can boost brain function especially in those with dementia and Alzheimer’s by providing the needed ketones (energy source for malfunctioning cells).

    Natural Sea Salt: Salt is essential for life and an important component in the human diet. Sodium is a nutrient that the body cannot manufacture but which is required for life itself. Sodium is easily absorbed and is active in the absorption of other nutrients in the small intestine. It helps regulate water balance, pH, and is important in nerve conduction.

    Black Pepper: Black pepper stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. When the body’s production of hydrochloric acid is insufficient, food may sit in the stomach for an extended period of time, leading to heartburn, indigestion and a slow bowel transit time. Black pepper has demonstrated impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects–yet another way in which this wonderful seasoning promotes the health of the digestive tract. And not only does black pepper help you derive the most benefit from your food, the outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.

    Enjoy not only the taste but also in reaping the health benefits.

  • Herbal Teas for Detoxification

    In her 1962 groundbreaking book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson wrote: “For the first time in the history of the world every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.” Of course humans have always been exposed to potentially harmful chemicals from plants and other sources, but Rachel Carson’s point is well taken. Modern living exposes all of us to an unprecedented number of chemicals on a daily basis. This includes environmental toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, industrial compounds and chemical byproducts, medications, cosmetic additives, inorganic chemicals, etc. These chemical substances, which are foreign to the biological system, are referred to as “xenobiotics.” The good news is that the body was designed to detoxify and excrete xenobiotics. The bad news is our bodies may not always be equipped to handle the volume of modern environmental pollutants and toxic substances. This problem may be exacerbated by the fact that the refining of many of our foodstuffs has caused them to provide considerably less of the nutrients that are essential to the detoxification process.1,2

    Ramifications of toxic overload
    The ramifications of toxic overload can vary from one individual to another. One possible ramification is multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). MCS is a condition in which a person experiences various symptoms in response to being exposed to certain types of chemicals, primarily (but not limited to) those of petroleum and coal-tar derivation. The possible symptoms are many and may include headaches, fatigue, depression and an overall feeling of malaise and being sick. MCS seems to develop after consistent, long-term exposure to certain chemicals at home or in the workplace. Eventually, the person develops intolerance to these chemicals, and starts suffering from MCS. For many MCS people, a sensitivity reaction will occur when exposed to even minute amounts of the offending chemicals, which in turn, can lead to severe symptoms characteristic of the MCS condition.3

    Of course, an individual may suffer from toxic overload without having full-blown MCS. In fact, the most common symptom of toxic overload is probably fatigue. Other common symptoms include headache, muscle and joint pain, irritability, depression, mental confusion, gastrointestinal and/or cardiovascular irregularities, flu-like symptoms or allergic reactions including hives, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and coughing.4,5

    Furthermore, some researchers have suggested that toxic overload may contribute to autoimmune diseases including inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis,6,7 and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.8

    How to deal with toxic overload
    The question of how to deal with toxic overload has a multi-part answer, which includes adapting to a healthier diet and reducing exposure to xenobiotics. The books Multiple Chemical Sensitivity by Gibson (2000, New Harbinger Publications, Inc.) and Staying Well in a Toxic World by Lawson (1993, The Nobel Press) provide good direction on how to do this. In addition there are four herbal teas, which if used correctly, may do much to help support and promote the body’s natural detoxification process. These teas include ginger root (rhizome), green tea, dandelion root and senna. Following is a discussion about the role that each of these herbal teas can play, including a subsequent explanation of how to use them as part of a detox program.

    Circulation and ginger
    Healthy circulation is of vital importance to an effective detoxification process.9 The fundamental reason for this is that toxins and metabolic wastes are flushed out of tissues and into circulation so they can be detoxified.10 If circulation is sluggish and toxins move more slowly through it, however, this may result in undesirable symptoms such as headache and fatigue.11

    The root or rhizome (enlarged underground stem) of ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an herbal medicine that is valuable for the treatment of multiple problems, especially nausea. In fact, ginger has been reported to be effective in treating the nausea of seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy-induced nausea.12 Ginger is also a traditional carminative (gas relieving) herb,13 and has anti-inflammatory properties.14

    For the purposes of detoxification, ginger is valuable since it promotes circulation, and has long been used for this purpose in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In fact, the most famous traditional medicinal practice of ginger is to promote the blood circulation for removing blood stasis and the mechanism is related to anti-platelet aggregation activity. In addition, ginger has a stimulatory action on heart muscle promoting circulation throughout the body. That increased circulation is thought to stimulate cellular metabolic activity.15,16

    Liver detoxification pathways and green tea
    Water-soluble toxins can pass through our bodies unchanged and be eliminated in the stool, sweat or urine. Fat-soluble toxins, however, cannot be excreted without undergoing metabolic transformation (detoxification) in the liver so that they can become water-soluble. Liver cells have sophisticated mechanisms to break down toxic substances. These include both endogenous (produced by the body) and exogenous (obtained from the environment; i.e., xenobiotics) substances. Every drug, chemical, pesticide and hormone, is broken down or metabolized via detoxification pathways in the liver called “phase 1” and “phase 2.” 17,18,19 During phase 1, a “functional group” is removed from the toxic molecule,20,21 and during phase 2 a water-soluble substance is coupled (attaching) or conjugated to the toxin. This makes the toxic molecule more water-soluble and therefore less toxic. If the molecule is large, it is then excreted via the bile. Otherwise, it is excreted in the urine.22,23

    Green, Oolong and black tea are all made from the leaves of the same plant species, Camellia sinensis. Green tea, the world’s second most popular beverage after water, is perhaps best known for its antioxidant and thermogenic properties. It is the polyphenols in green tea, specifically the catechin polyphenols, which gives it biological and medicinal qualities.24

    In fact, green tea polyphenols increase both phase 1 and phase 2 activities.25 Research shows that green tea may have liver protective properties.26,27,28,29 In addition, Green tea has been shown to block chromosomal (DNA) damage from chemicals in cigarette smoke.30 Perhaps not surprisingly, green tea polyphenols are associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers in humans.31 Other research has also shown an anticancer effect from these polyphenols,32 including an inhibition of metastasis in skin cancer cells.33 In short, the use of green tea helps improve phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification pathways.

    Bile flow and dandelion root
    Bile is a digestive aid for fats, produced by the liver and transported to the gallbladder where it is concentrated. It then passes through the common bile duct into the intestines where it helps digest fat.34 From the standpoint of detoxification, bile also has a function as previously stated: it serves as a vehicle for disposing of toxic molecules that are too large for disposal via urine.35,36 Essentially, those toxins just hitch a ride until they reach the intestines where they can ultimately be excreted.

    Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) is a traditionally used liver herb that has been shown to help stimulate bile production and promote its flow.37,38 This supports the aforementioned detoxification process via the bile duct, promoting the elimination of wastes.39 In fact, Germany and other official European health agencies have approved the use of Dandelion root for disturbances in bile flow, and restoration of hepatic and biliary function.40

    Intestinal waste elimination and senna
    It is well understood that waste is excreted from the intestines or, more specifically, the colon. During this process, bile that was secreted into the intestines is also excreted. Since that bile also contains some toxins that hitched a ride, it makes sense to make sure that it does not linger for too long in the gut, otherwise some of the toxins may be re-absorbed (clearly not a good thing). Constipation is the most obvious cause of waste lingering too long in the gut.

    Senna leaf (Senna alexandrina) is used extensively as a natural laxative, and has been shown in research to be effective for this purpose and for reducing constipation.41,42,43,44 Furthermore, when used appropriately on a short-term basis, senna has been shown to have a good safety profile.45,46 Sennosides, the active compounds in senna, are not absorbed, but instead are activated by bacterial enzymes in the colon.47 The result is that senna exerts its laxative effect by inducing fluid secretion, which increases colonic motility and colonic transit.48 In some instances, senna can cause abdominal pain and discomfort, cramps, and diarrhea;49,50 so it is important not to exceed recommended doses.

    Directions on how to use the teas
    Following are directions on how to use the herbal teas discussed in this article. First, make sure to use only organic teas since there is no point in adding additional toxins to the body in the form of pesticides that may have otherwise been sprayed on non-organic herbs. Second, assume that all of the teas should be made by adding one tea bag in a cup and adding eight ounces of boiling water. The steep time and number of servings will differ depending upon the herb (as indicated below):

    As long as you steep the teas according to the times indicated, it is acceptable to consume them hot or cold (as iced tea). If you like, you can even mix the brewed ginger root, Green tea and dandelion root (but not the senna) into a single beverage to make it easier to drink. In either case, it will probably be more convenient for you to brew all of the tea for the day in the morning, rather than having to brew it at three different times during the day (unless you’d like to do it that way). In the case of senna, it would be best to brew and consume the single serving in the evening before bedtime.

    These herbal teas can be used to support detoxification for as little as two weeks or for up to one month. A twice annual “Spring and Fall cleaning” is recommended.

    Other considerations
    The herbal teas discussed in this article are certainly not the only natural products capable of supporting and facilitating the detoxification process. Compounds from citrus fruit and the Brassica or cruciferous group of vegetables (e.g., cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc.), as well as the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid are some examples of other effective detoxifying agents.51 Nevertheless, the teas discussed in this article can be effective adjuncts to a program for detoxification.

    In addition, it would make good sense to eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables, drink plenty of liquids and get at least 25 grams of fiber per day to support overall detoxification. Finally, it should be noted that the use of these teas as part of a detoxification program are meant to be used for general health and wellness purposes. If you have a serious health condition, you should seek the help of a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable about the process before starting a detoxification program.

    References:

    1. Rogers SA. Chemical Sensitivity: Breaking the Paralyzing Paradigm. Internal Medicine World Report1992; February 1-14:15-16.
    2. Rogers SA. Chemical Sensitivity: Breaking the Paralyzing Paradigm. Internal Medicine World Report1992; March 15-31: 8-31.
    3. Lawson L. Staying Well in a Toxic World. Chicago: The Nobel Press, Inc.; 1993.
    4. Lawson L. Staying Well in a Toxic World. Chicago: The Nobel Press, Inc.; 1993.
    5. Gibson PR. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Oakland, California: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.; 2000.
    6. Rooney PJ, Jenkins RT, Buchanan WW. A short review of the relationship between intestinal permeability and inflammatory joint disease. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 1990; 8(1):75–83.
    7. Smith MD, Gibson RA, Brooks PM. Abnormal bowel permeability in ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Rheumatology 1985; 12(2):299–305.
    8. Steventon, GB, Heafield MT, Sturman S, Waring RH, Williams AC. Xenobiotic metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology, 1990;40(7):1095–8.
    9. Hyman M. Systems Biology, Toxins, Obesity, and Functional Medicine. Proceedings from the 13th International Symposium of The Institute for Functional Medicine. 2006:S134–9.
    10. Posadzki P, Smith TO, Lizis P. Lomi Lomi as a massage with movements: A conceptual synthesis? Altern Ther. 2009;15(6):44–9.
    11. Roundtree R. A functional approach to environmental toxins. Alternat Complement Ther. 2009;15(5):216–20.
    12. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. British Journal of Anaesthesia 2000; 84(3):367–71.
    13. Blumenthal M, et al, (eds), The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications;1998:425–26.
    14. Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Med Hypotheses. 1992;39(4):342–8.
    15. Ghosh AK. Zingiber officinale: a natural gold. IJPBS. 2011;2(1):283–94.
    16. Zadeh JB, Kor NM. Physiological and pharmaceutical effects of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) as a valuable medicinal plant. Eur J Exp Biol. 2014;4(1):87–90.
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    18. Lüllmann H. Mohr K, Ziegler A, Bieger D. Color Atlas of Pharmacology, 2nd ed. Stuttgart: Thieme; 2000:32–9.
    19. Roundtree R. The Use of Phytochemicals in the Biotransformation and Elimination of Environmental Toxins. IN Medicines from the Earth 2003: Official Proceedings. Brevard, North Carolina: Gaia Herbal Research Institute;2003:115–128.
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  • Seasonal Support for Summer Health

    Seasonal Support for Summer Health Ann Louise Gittleman

    Flowers are blooming, farmer's markets are packed with seasonal produce, and the sun is shining. Thanks to Mother Nature at this time of year, you're also able to pack more activity into your days with ease due to extended sunlight hours. This is the perfect time of year for us to unwind and destress from a long hard winter and shortened spring!

    The fiery element that powers this bright time of year sets a tone of energy, vitality and growth. Summer simply is time to thrive—and this active season also lends itself well to detox both physically and emotionally. To bolster the most benefits, you must focus your attention on your heart and your small intestine, two organs that really shine during the summer months.

    The Heart's Connection To Detox
    You may not think of your heart as a detox organ, but it actually plays a very signification role in this process. Your heart works in tandem with your liver, pumping vital nutrients throughout your entire body. With each beat, it completes the critical job of regulating your circulation, allowing the detoxification process to receive these necessary nutrients. Highly active in the summer, this four-chambered muscle—the strongest muscle in your body—provides the energy and messages needed to coordinate your organs to work in harmony.

    To dive deeper into the process, about 3,000 gallons of blood is pumped to your lungs each day where the blood then absorbs oxygen. After returning to the heart, it's pumped throughout the body, allowing it to disperse oxygen and vital nutrients. Incredibly, your heart can keep going seemingly endlessly so long as it has the oxygen it needs. However, if your lungs are impaired and/or your liver is overly stressed, problems with this system surface. In fact, if your liver isn't functioning properly, the blood supply—up to 70 percent of it—can become blocked and thwart the circulation and oxygen fueling process.

    I'd guess it comes as no surprise that smoking and an artery-clogging, cholesterol-raising diet are both quite detrimental to the heart. Another negative factor that's all too common these days is stress. Every time you become tense, the rate and rhythm of your heart are affected, which disturbs the blood and oxygen flow, causing the blood vessels in your wrists and ankles to become constricted. One way you might be able to identify that this is occurring is that your hands and feet feel unnecessarily cold. In time, a lowered supply of oxygen to your heart can produce secondary symptoms that include angina, heart palpitations, irregular beats—and even potentially a heart attack.

    The Breakdown On Homocysteine
    Escalated levels of the potentially toxic amino acid called homocysteine can also make you a likely candidate for cardiovascular disease by damaging blood vessels and contributing to plaque buildup. Having a higher-than-normal amount of homocysteine in your body can actually become so dangerous that studies have found it can equal the danger to your heart that smoking and high cholesterol causes.

    Homocysteine is the metabolic byproduct of a methionine breakdown, an amino acid found in animal protein. In ideal functioning, homocysteine passes through a detoxification process known as methylation, where it is converted to the nontoxic amino acid cysteine. But this process can only operate properly if vitamins B12, B6, and folic acid are readily available. Having low amounts of these critical B vitamins (particularly B12, which is mandatory for the conversion process and the production of folic acid), consuming an overabundance of animal protein (meat, dairy, eggs), and drinking a lot of coffee all can aggravate normal functions and cause homocysteine levels to climb. The result may be frustrating forgetfulness, cloudy thinking, and other Alzheimer's-like symptoms frequently associated with the aging process—regardless of your age. For those with the MTHFR genetic variation, do make sure your B12 and folate are methylated.

    According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when the "fire" of your heart becomes out of balance due to impaired kidneys— which are a water element—being unable to keep the heart cool, it produces hot flashes, night sweats, and palpitations. You also begin to experience emotions such as feeling uneasy, irritable and restless, and may also experience insomnia and even upsetting nightmares. You might notice that your cheeks are flushed, the tip of your nose is noticeably red and/or any other areas of your skin seem to have a redder pigmentation than usual. Your tongue can also be a gateway into the health of your heart. Analyze the color and texture, keeping in mind that a pink, moist tongue is ideal. Paleness could indicate anemia and if your tongue appears to be coated, that might be a red flag for digestive issues.

    Digestion And Detox
    The vital nutrients that the detoxification process so heavily depend on are made readily available to your body through your 23-foot long small intestine, which links your stomach to your large intestine. With help from enzymes in the pancreas and bile from the liver and gallbladder, the small intestine pulls useful elements—such as glucose, fatty acids, and the muchneed amino acids—from the food you eat. It then digests and absorbs nutrients and ships them off to the bloodstream, where they are carried to the liver. They're then either used or stored in the form of glycogen, which reverts to the original substances (glucose, fatty acids, or amino acids) as needed to nourish the whole system.

    Keeping the small intestine clear is vital for the overall health of the body. If your intestinal lining becomes coated with mucus, nutrient absorption is greatly diminished, and your immune system suffers, resulting in increased likelihood of food allergies and illnesses, as well as fatigue from the rise of white blood cell production. Having an impaired digestive tract causes the loss of essential building blocks, resulting in dull, brittle hair, skin and nails, indigestion, uncomfortable bloating, excess gas, stomach pain, and constipation.

    In fact, your small intestines are the critical stop for digestion and overall good health. To function optimally, your digestive system needs pancreatic enzymes, the enzyme ptyalin—found in saliva—and hydrochloric acid (HCL)—produced in the stomach. HCL plays a critical role in the process and could even be considered one of the most important chemicals in the body. When it's missing, protein can't be broken down properly into amino acids, hindering the maintenance and building of muscles. These non-metabolized proteins begin to decay and enter the bloodstream, resulting in toxic waste making its way through your system, and stress being placed on your lungs, kidneys, skin and bowels. Also, when HCL production is low, the opening to your small intestine doesn't function normally, causing lowered levels of bile and your bowel to slow, resulting in constipation. From there, a domino effect occurs, causing harm to the optimum operation of your pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.

    Keep Your Levels Up
    So, what causes HCL levels to plummet? The two most likely contenders are stress and a poor diet which lead to deficits of iodine, salt, and zinc—the mineral precursors of HCL. Plus, if you're upset, highly stressed or continually on the go, or you tend to drink liquids with your meals, frequently drink carbonated beverages (including mineral waters) and eat your meals in a rush, you may be causing reduced levels of HCL in your body.

    As you can see, these two summer-loving organs are directly connected to the detoxification process and overall functioning of your body. To love these organs, take time to slow down and enjoy the season, being conscious to mindfully reduce your stress levels and not over-schedule yourself. And, as always, nourish yourself with a diet that's full of grass-fed, lean protein or clean vegan protein, organic fruits and veggies, heart-smart fats like olive oil and macadamia nuts, and say "no" to processed and/or fried foods.

    Happy, healthy summer!

  • Staying Healthy in a Polluted World

    Toxins are stuff that your body can't use and that can cause health problems if they hang around and gunk up cells. They include formerly good stuff (such as hormones) that have done their job and been broken down for disposal. They also include bad stuff (such as pollutants and pesticides) that in an ideal world wouldn't have ended up in your body in the first place.

    Normally, your body knows how to avoid excess toxins—you take in what you need, and you get rid of what you don't.

    Your liver detoxifies, using what are called phase I and phase II detoxification pathways. Your kidneys detoxify, filtering blood, removing toxins and dumping them into the urine for disposal. Your skin detoxifies, using millions of sweat glands. You even detoxify with every breath, inhaling life-giving oxygen and exhaling toxic gases.

    Breathing demonstrates a basic fact about detoxification: the body does it automatically. No worries!

    But in our toxic environment—where there are more than 85,000 synthetic compounds that can mess with your body— it sometimes helps to improve detoxification by giving your body a helping hand. This article shows you six simple ways to do just that.

    SIX SIMPLE METHODS OF DETOXIFICATION

    1) If you can't read it, don't eat it.
    I used to give a yearly lecture on nutrition to third-graders in our local school. Here is one of my recommendations to those kids which, is relevant for everybody: If you can't read it, don't eat it.

    You know what I'm talking about: ingredients on food labels that are virtually unreadable, like acetaldehyde phenethyl propyl acetal (a "fruit" flavoring found in ice cream, candy, ) I don't think I need to do much convincing on this point, because not eating a lot of food with ingredients you can't read is common sense. Why barrage your body with toxic chemicals if you don't have to?

    2) Take supplements that support detoxification.
    Various stages of phase II liver detoxification require specific nutritional compounds to do their work. How can you make sure you're getting those nutrients?

    The Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder supplies all the amino acids, vitamin C and many other nutrients that support glutathione production and detoxification. It's one of the easiest ways to purify!

    3) Drink up!
    Water plays a key role in daily detoxification. In fact, drinking enough water is probably the best action you can take to support your kidneys as they clean up your blood.

    How much water should you drink every day? Just check your lips and mouth. If they're dry, you need to drink more water. Another simple method: take a look at the color of your urine. If it's a dull yellow color, there's not enough water diluting it, so you should drink more.

    But you want to be washing out toxins, not getting more in the water you drink. For clean tap water, I recommend installing a good filter.

    4) Speed up transit time.
    "Transit time" is the term for the hours and days it takes for a meal to move from mouth to going out the rectum—the transit from one end of your digestive tract to the other.

    A healthy transit time is about a day, although conventional doctors assert that three days is fine. Faster than 12 hours, and your body doesn't have enough time to pull all the nutrients out of the food. Slower than 24 hours, and the digesting food starts to turn toxic—and those loitering toxins are reabsorbed into your system, causing and contributing to poor health.

    To speed up transit time:

    • Eat more fiber, the easiest way to speed up transit time. A simple way to put more fiber in your diet is to eat whole grain cereal for breakfast every morning, like low-sugar Cheerios or Life cereal. Add a slice or two of whole grain toast for the transit time of your life!
    • Take magnesium, a must for healthy muscles and nerves, including those responsible for peristalsis, the rhythmic muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract.
    • Drink more water. Without it, your stools tend to be small and hard, slowing transit time.
    • Take vitamin C, which attracts water into the colon, softening stool and speeding transit time. Between 500 and 1,000 mg is a good level for most people.
    • Exercise regularly, which provides a kind of intestinal massage that can speed transit time.
    • Optimize thyroid function, because an underactive thyroid slows down everything in the body, including transit time.

    5) Take a probiotic supplement.
    Probiotics provide the same friendly, health-giving bacteria that typically inhabit your gut (like Lactobacillus acidophilus). These good-guy bacteria combat bad bacteria and fungi, which if allowed to multiply, can make you toxic.

    All probiotic supplements are not created equal, however. Many don't contain the number of bacteria advertised on the label. Or the bacteria in the supplements are dead. Or they die in the acid environment of the stomach. Any of these mean the probiotic isn't doing you much good.

    6) Sweat it out in a sauna.
    Sweating for health is a worldwide tradition, from Native American sweat lodges to the Finnish sauna, and I think, "sweat therapy" is a great way to aid detoxification. I recommend (and use myself) a type of sauna called the "far infrared sauna." A few suggestions for safe and effective saunas:

    • Don't overdo it. Start with a few minutes, at a lower temperature, and gradually work your way up to longer durations and higher temperatures, as you feel comfortable.
    • Listen to your body. If you're feeling light-headed or otherwise uncomfortable in a sauna, it's time to come out.
    • Prevent dehydration. Take drinking water into the sauna and sip throughout.
    • Rinse off afterward. It prevents toxins from being reabsorbed.

  • Staying On Track While Dining Out

    The New Fat Flush Plan Dining Out Ann Louise Gittleman

    The official start of summer is just around the corner. Many people might find themselves entrenched in diet and detox programs to shed those extra pounds for tank top confidence. My tried-and-true Fat Flush Plan offers daily detox, healing foods, metabolism-revving spices, calming rituals, and more that has helped thousands around the world find lasting success. When you're at home, sticking to your healthy eating plan is easy, with the right weekly preparation. But, what about when you're traveling or enjoying a dinner out? I have found that times like these can be the most challenging for folks and are a venerable time to "fall off the wagon." In this preview from my book, The NEW Fat Flush Plan—a full update of The New York Times Best Seller—I share my tips to make three popular genres Fat Flush-friendly while dining out.

    ITALIAN FOOD

    This is the cuisine where, at least in the type of Americanized Italian food in the United States, you have to watch to not overdo carbs such as pasta, beans, and that delicious garlic bread. Thus you might want to have the server take the bread basket away as soon as you sit down. If you are really hungry, then order an appetizer right away. Grilled Portobello mushrooms or an artichoke (hold the breading) is a tasty starter. You may want to indulge in a Caesar salad, which is perfectly Fat Flush legal. Just ask for it without croutons and get the dressing on the side. And if you have a taste for anchovies in the Caesar dressing, go for it! They are high in the omega-3s, although a bit on the salty side. The best news at an Italian restaurant is that you usually can get a wide variety of delicious, colorful veggies that are not as easily available elsewhere, such as zucchini, peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, and spaghetti squash. In addition, you can typically get a leafy green, such as spinach or escarole, here as well. Sautéed with onions, fresh garlic, and a little lemon in olive oil or chicken broth, these vegetables are out of this world and very Fat Flush friendly.

    And oh yes, there's that cheese—the mozzarella, ricotta, and provolone. For those of you on the Lifestyle Fat Flush eating plan, keep them to a tasty minimum and use them as a condiment, please. You can even have your pesto (that sensational combination of olive oil, garlic, basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese) and eat it too. Ask for it on the side so that you can enjoy a couple of tablespoons slowly and deliberately. Do not overlook the veal dishes (the Marsala, piccata, or scaloppini), which are usually quite outstanding in the finer Italian restaurants. Watch to make sure you are adhering to high-quality oils like olive oil, and learn to lemonize by ordering several lemon wedges that can help emulsify excess oil.

    CHINESE FOOD

    Things are really simple when you go to Chinese restaurants. Just find out which dishes can be made to order and request no MSG, sugar, salt, or soy sauce. If you must, you can always add your own soy sauce at the table. If the oil is anything other than sesame or peanut oil (and there's no allergy to peanuts), then order your food steamed. I always request a stir-fry that uses chicken broth and is made from such combinations as beef, chicken, seafood, or tofu with snow peas, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, broccoli, scallions, bamboo shoots, and bok choy (Chinese cabbage).

    If you are in the Lifestyle phase and want a good vegetarian meal, try Buddha's Delight, a mix of vegetables and rice cellophane noodles that can be stir-sautéed in vegetable broth. Buddha's Delight can be modified for any Fat Flush phase by omitting the noodles. You can have tofu added to the dish with a side of steamed veggies topped off with scallions, garlic, and a bit of Chinese fivespice powder, a delightful mixture of unique spices related to cinnamon. Most of the soups offered in a Chinese restaurant are made with lots of cornstarch—including egg drop soup—so it is best to skip the soup course. On the Lifestyle Fat Flush, lo mein dishes—cellophane or mung bean noodles with some chicken, beef, shrimp, or other kinds of seafood—also might be appealing. Just remember that those oyster and black bean sauces are loaded with salt, which can result in boggy, watery tissues. Try a bit of the hot mustard, minced garlic, scallions, and even some Chinese five-spice powder instead. As for the fortune cookie—by all means have fun and open it. Read your fortune, and then leave the cookie behind. Also, try eating with chopsticks. It may help to slow you down and enhance your digestion as a result.

    MEXICAN FOOD

    You may want to select such entrées as chicken, shrimp, or beef and eat them without the tortilla unless you are on the Lifestyle Fat Flush. Look for main dishes with fish, chicken, or beef that can be prepared with onions, tomatoes, and peppers (such as Veracruz snapper), or look for dishes that can be sautéed in olive oil with a touch of garlic. If you are on the Lifestyle Fat Flush, a tasty Mexican soup (such as black bean soup) would be a great way to start your meal. If not, then how about some guacamole (loaded with the healthy monounsaturated fats) with lots of fresh lemon or lime juice? Salsa is probably your best all-over topping. Use the sour cream and cheese as condiments, with just a dollop or a few sprinkles here and there for flavor. If you are fortunate enough to locate an authentic Mexican restaurant, such foods as squash blossoms, jícama, and chayote cactus are treats for the palate. If you happen upon a restaurant on the other end of the American-Mexican food spectrum, like Tex-Mex, you can order a beef, chicken, or seafood fajita with extra vegetables, and if you are not yet in the Lifestyle Phase, eat your fajita without the corn tortilla. Be sure, as always, to watch the kind of oil that the restaurant uses to cook the fajita meat and veggies, and ask them to use as little oil as possible.

    To take back your health and reach your goals, at home or away, pick up your copy of The New Fat Flush Plan.

     

  • The Health Benefits of Seasonal Detox

    The Health Benefits of Seasonal Detox Elson Haas MD

    During the last three weeks of January 2018 I will be leading the annual New Year's Detox program at my clinic—Preventive Medical Center of Marin, an integrative health center in San Rafael, California. This will mark 31 consecutive years that I have offered this 21-day course based on my book The Detox Diet. I don't just teach the class, I also participate in it myself because this is not just a concept for me but an intrinsic part of my own yearly health program. It's a core lifestyle component.

    In fact, my own experience with the healing potential of fasting and detoxifying programs dates back even further— to 1976 when I did my first juice cleanse. As a young doctor trained in the Western medical system this experience was a revelation for me, not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally and even spiritually—it was a real transformation on many levels.

    Since that time I have utilized various detox and healing/ rejuvenation practices extensively both for myself and literally thousands of patients, and I truly believe that these therapeutic approaches are among the most powerful healing resources I have seen and used—and I mean towards real healing of ailments and not just suppression of symptoms. I have also written extensively about detoxification, specifically in The Detox Diet wherein I discuss both the medical and health factors of the cleansing process.

    Many common and chronic medical problems may be prevented or treated, at least in part and often dramatically, by utilizing a variety of detox diets as outlined in the book. I actually consider cleansing/fasting/detoxification (different degrees of the same process of reduced toxin intake and enhanced toxin elimination) to be the missing link in Western nutrition and a key to the health and vitality of our civilization.

    Seasonal Detox Elson Haas MD

    This was discovered long ago and is still true today even though modern medical science may make light of it in deference to the many quick and profitable (often pill based) solutions to symptoms and diseases. So I am always interested when I hear about research like the study recently completed by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This study published online on October 26 in Cell Metabolism, sheds new light on the basic biology of the declining ability of cells to process energy over time, which leads to aging and age-related disease.1 It also explores how interventions such as periods of fasting might promote healthy aging. It is exciting to see cutting edge research support ancient and traditional healing modalities.

    The Seasonal Approach
    In addition to offering my community and patients this education and group support for guided detox and cleansing experiences at my clinic each January, I do similar programs in the Spring (a 10-day juice cleanse) and the Autumn (3- week detox program to prep for the holidays). This seasonal aspect is important because I have found that different approaches are more effective at different times of the year. For example, the 21-day plan I offer in January is ideal for cooler weather as it uses a foundation of cooked (warm) food, whereas fruit, juice and liquids are more appropriate for the warmer times. Smoothies, which mix the benefits of a liquid or juice cleanse with more blended foods and added nutrients, are great for the transition periods. You can mix and match these options to suit your local climate and use these guidelines to make a seasonal plan that works with your own schedule and needs.

    As a guide for this approach I use the model of the year's cycles and elements found in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which I explored in my first book Staying Healthy with the Seasons. A key idea here is the significance of the transition times between the seasons/elements called the Doyo. The Doyo begins ten days before and extends ten days after each equinox and solstice so the actual dates vary from year to year—those given in the chart are approximate. These are also good times to detoxify the body and adjust to the new season. Of course, I usually pass on any detox around the Winter Solstice transition (Dec 10–Jan 1) because of all the Christmas and New Year celebrations. All the more reason to pick things up in January!

    Some general and specific Benefits of Detoxification includes: an improvement in physical wellbeing, mental clarity, and spiritual energy (openness to the subtle), as well as the lessening of many symptoms like allergies, headaches or digestion upset. And you can also lower your body weight, your blood pressure, your cholesterol level, and likely use less medication for these conditions, if any of them are relevant to your situation. Many people claim they feel better than they have in years once they've completed these programs.

    There are two other significant benefits of this process: detox programs can help lay the foundation for lifelong healthy habit changes, which are central to the lifestyle medicine approach that I advocate and teach. The second is addressing food reactions through specific elimination diets, such as avoiding more commonly reactive foods like wheat/gluten, cow's milk, soy, eggs, corn or peanuts. I discuss this approach fully in my book, The False Fat Diet. With this natural, seasonal dietary approach, you are also aligning yourself with the energy of Nature, which is after all the source of all health and healing.

    In truth, what I attempt to do in my writing and practice is to place your health and that of your family back into your own hands, because so much of it is up to you. I want to help you to become your own best doctor. It really matters how you live—what you do, what you eat, and what you think and feel. Take hold of yourself and your habits as the New Year begins, and do what you can to be vital and healthy! Make the New Year the New YOU!

    NEW YEAR'S DETOX 2018

    DAILY MENU PLAN

    Morning (upon arising): Two 8–oz glasses of water (filtered, spring, or reverse osmosis), one or both glasses with half a lemon squeezed into it.

    Breakfast: Begin with one or two pieces of fresh fruit (at room temp), such as apple, pear, banana, grapes, or citrus. Chew well, mixing each bite with saliva.

    15–30 minutes later: One medium bowl of cooked whole grains (non-gluten)—such as millet, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat (raw or cooked). Flavoring: For a sweeter breakfast taste, use two tablespoons of fruit juice, or for a deeper savory flavor use the “better butter” mixture mentioned below with a little salt, or soy sauce.

    Mid Morning (11 AM): One–two cups (6–12 oz) veggie water, saved from steamed vegetables. Add a little sea salt or kelp and drink slowly, mixing each mouthful with saliva. You can also add some green nutrient-rich powder or a vitamin C powder product (C combined with alkaline minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium).

    Lunch (Noon-1 PM): One-two medium-sized bowls of steamed vegetables; use a variety: such as potatoes and yams, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, asparagus, kale, chard, and cabbage and include some roots, stems, and greens. CHEW WELL!

    Mid Afternoon (3 PM): same as 11 AM—One–two cups veggie broth saved from steamed veg.

    Dinner (5–6 PM): Same as Lunch—vary ingredients.

    Evening: Herbal teas only, e.g. peppermint, chamomile, rooibos, or blends.

    Seasonings: “Better Butter” Butter/canola or flaxseed oil mixture: mix half a cup of cold-pressed canola oil (or olive or flaxseed oils) into a soft (room temperature) half-pound of butter; then place in dish and refrigerate. Use about one teaspoon per meal or a maximum of three teaspoons daily. Other seasonings can include herbal salts like garlic.

    NOTE:You may feel a little weak or have a few symptoms, such as headaches, during the first couple of days; this will pass. Clarity and feeling good should appear by day three or four, if not before. If you start to feel weak or hungry during this diet, assess your water intake and elimination; if needed, you can eat a small portion of protein (3–4 ounces) in the mid-afternoon or with lunch. This could be fish; free-range, organic chicken; or some beans, such as lentil, garbanzo, mung, or black beans.

    KEY GUIDELINES

    1. Chew your food very well and take enough time when you eat.
    2. Relax for a few minutes before and after your meal.
    3. Eat in a comfortable sitting position.
    4. Enjoy what you do eat and focus on nourishing yourself.

    References:

    1. Heather J. Weir, Pallas Yao, Frank K. Huynh, Caroline C. Escoubas, Renata L. Goncalves, Kristopher Burkewitz, Raymond Laboy, Matthew D. Hirschey, William B. Mair. Dietary Restriction and AMPK Increase Lifespan via Mitochondrial Network and Peroxisome Remodeling. Cell Metabolism 2017;6;884–896
  • Why We Cleanse

    Why we cleanse Jonathan Glass

    The body naturally builds up toxins. Even within Total Life Cleanse Jonathan Glass a relatively clean environment and with a healthy diet, we benefit from regular seasonal cleansing. Cleansing has always been the foundation of natural health systems, including Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. These systems honor the body's innate intelligence to heal itself.

    Our modern condition, stressed, starved and poisoned, contributes significant amounts of toxins and stressors to our daily existence. Even though cleansing has always been essential, the need for regular cleansing is greater than ever. Cancer, heart disease and diabetes—the diseases of modern toxicity—are off the chart and on the rise.1

    Deeper reasons to cleanse
    Cleansing helps us remove toxins, maintain healthy immune systems and increase elimination—but it also helps us feel mentally clearer and more spiritually connected. It benefits us on a profound level because when we remove obstacles to our well-being, we are better able to connect to ourselves. According to Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine from the East, the cause of all disease is the ignoring of our own innate intelligence and experience. Cleansing also helps to clear the slate of our minds, so that we better connect to our innate wisdom, enabling us to move forward so that we are more intimately in touch with ourselves.

    Every organ is related to emotion. Therefore, when you make positive changes on a physical level, you will also see emotional benefits. When we understand the power of our daily dietary and lifestyle habits on a deeper level, we start to wake up to a life with more joy, clarity and intention.

    What does a cleansing diet look like?

    No refined sugar
    Healthy diets call for low to no refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, two of the most addictive and disease-causing substances on the planet.

    No refined carbohydrates
    Eliminate refined carbs in the form of grains that have been stripped of nutrients, leaving just the flour. Include whole grains and starches, such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and ancient forms of wheat. Most successful diets minimize or completely eliminate modern inorganic wheat and corn products.

    No processed vegetable oils
    Processed vegetable oils that have been highly refined and highly heated are often oxidized and stripped of nutritional value, and they were never part of the food chain until the past one hundred years.

    Most processed oils are high in omega-6 essential fatty acids and low in omega-3s, an imbalance that contributes to inflammatory conditions. Additionally, unless they are organic, corn, soy, canola and cottonseed oils are all genetically modified.

    No dairy
    Most healthy diets eliminate dairy products except for ghee and fresh, organic cultured products like kefir and yogurt. Dairy builds mucus in the body, is hard to digest, and burdens the immune system.

    Copious amounts of produce
    Multicolored vegetables and fruits support immunity and good elimination, regulate body weight, and feed the friendly bacteria in the gut.

    Whole foods
    Healthy diets focus on eating an abundance of whole foods instead of counting calories or obsessing about ideal macro-nutrient ratios. They don¡¦t include processed or manufactured foods.

    Outside of the cleanse diet, you might want to incorporate a few simple home practices for regular detox throughout the year.

    How do you go beyond diet when cleansing?
    There are some simple home practices that you can incorporate for regular detox throughout the year, or ramp up while focusing on a dietary detox:

    Sweating for Skin and Lymph Detoxification
    The body releases hundreds of chemicals and toxins through the skin in our sweat. In this way, sweating benefits the lymphatic system, kidneys, lungs, skin, liver and blood. Sweating can be achieved through exercise, sauna or bathing.

    Dry Brushing and External Oleation
    Using a dry brush, which can be purchased at most health food stores, removes dead skin cells from the surface. After dry brushing, lightly massaging the entire body from head to toe with sesame or coconut oil is extremely nourishing for the tissues, assists the body with drawing out fat-soluble toxins, and rejuvenates and moisturizes the skin.