Q: What is all this hype with cleansing?
A: You are right! There is a lot of cleanses on the market…colon cleanses, juice fasts, water fasts and the latest and greatest supplement cleanse.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, cleansing is a great way to get your health back on the right path.
While all cleanses are great, many of them miss the essential fact that we need to cleanse our bodies off sugars and processed flours that are creating our food addictions, brain fogs and metabolic disturbances. Most of us are addicted to foods, and the more we eat the more we want sending our bodies into a cyclic pattern of eat/crave which is hard to break.
Sugar are Carbohydrates are at the root of most of the chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and finally neurodegenerative diseases. More simply stated these foods are making us overweight, tired and depressed.
This is why Vibrant Living is focusing on the most powerful form of detox which is available to anyone, anytime….eating whole, fresh food.
Q: I don’t have any of these symptoms do I need to cleanse?
A: I had the privilege this year of taking an environmental medicine certification from one of the leading experts in this field, Dr. Walter Crinnion. Environmental medicine is the study of how environmental factors and pollutants effect our health. This can be anything from the pesticides on food, to the BPA that is still found on cashier receipts, to the mercury and PCBs in fish. After taking this course, it is my firm belief that toxicity is at least partially to blame for every chronic health condition. I also believe that regardless of whether or not this field is completely recognized by mainstream medicine that detox should be part of every single person’s health regime.
Q: Is this cleanse safe? I heard I will feel terrible when I cleanse?
A: Absolutely safe! During the cleanse you will simply be eating proteins, vegetables, fruits and nuts and seeds. In fact, it is safer for you to cleanse than eat the standard North American diet full of processed foods and sugars.
Throughout history, detox has gotten a bad rap. You hear the horror stories of people that never get off of the toilet, or spend thousands of dollars to see no benefit, or drink only lemonade for 14 days. These are examples of detoxes gone wrong! Detoxes, for the most part are an easy and inexpensive to do. I am not saying that fasts aren’t beneficial, or that you will not have any side effects but most people need to start with a mild and gentle cleanse as it is not good to move toxins quickly. When people say they felt terrible from a cleanse, it is because their toxins were being mobilized faster from the fatty tissues than the body could clear them. Many times this causes the toxins to recirculate in your system and you are no farther ahead than before you started your cleanse. Cleansing is meant be done slowly and with the proper support to actually create a beneficial effect in your body.
Q: I have done a cleanse in the past and don’t feel any difference
A: Many people will say that they feel so much better after a cleanse, and then there will be some that don’t notice a huge difference. I always applaud the ones that don’t feel a huge difference as it means that they are doing enough on a continual basis to cleanse their system and therefore not creating a stock pile of toxins in their fat. When you start to delve into the world of environmental medicine you soon realize that no matter how “clean” you live you are inevitably going to be exposed to toxicity. You realize the magnitude of toxicity, and also how exposed we are when there are studies done that find over 200 toxic chemicals in the umbilical cords of newborn babies. No matter how clean we live, the reality is that every single one of, us if analyzed properly, will test positive for toxic chemicals like PCB, DDT, DDE, phlatates, parabens and volatile organic compounds. It can become overwhelming when you are conscious about the toxic load on your system, and you are still bombarded with toxins on a daily basis. This is why we need to develop a positive focus for toxicity. Instead of focusing on many of the things that you don’t have control over, it is important to focus on the ways that you can help to keep your body functioning properly. Cleansing is one of those positive ways that is inside your circle of influence.
Q: Where in the body do the toxins have the most negative effect?
A: Toxins have been shown to primarily target three systems. Your neurological system, your endocrine system and your immune system. In fact the three most common symptoms of toxicity are low energy, depression and anxiety. The neurological system is the most common system to be affected by toxins, since the brain is primarily a fatty organ and toxins get stored in fatty tissues. Toxicity has now been documented to have a role in all autoimmune conditions, diabetes, obesity, cancer and infertility to name a few. Considering that all of these conditions are on the rise, one has to question if there could be a contributing common denominator since most of the man-made toxins have appeared in the last 100 years.
Q: Will this cleanse fix all of my ailments?
A: Cleansing is also not the be all and end all. Doing a 2 week cleanse once a year and then not doing anything the rest of the time is not going to move your health forward. We are exposed to toxins on a continual basis, so it is important to make sure that you are doing things every day to help reduce your load. Many people will ask me after I put them on a program if I eat like this. I can honestly and proudly say that I do practice what I preach. The next question I usually get is, “do you ever eat anything that is bad for you”? The answer is, of course. However, the nice part about living this lifestyle and supporting your daily detox processes is that overtime you don’t crave “bad” foods and this makes your choice to eat well much easier. The more you live this lifestyle, you will also find that when you do stray off the plan that you don’t feel well which again makes it much easier to stay on plan. You end up becoming addicted to feeling great, instead of addicted to the sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. As part of this cleanse, we will be giving you tips on how you can change your body’s terrain so that you continue to live the cleansing lifestyle all year long.
Q: Tell me more about this year’s Vibrant Brain Cleanse
A: This year we are going to take a more focused approach to our annual cleanse and target improving our brain health. While any detox program will improve your general health, this one is going to specifically target increasing energy and focus but also will teach you long term strategies to maintain the health of this vital organ.
Despite what people come in to see Naturopathic Doctors for, when we review their list of desires or health aspirations almost everyone has increased energy and increased focus on their form. This is not surprising considering the increased rate of neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Many people also believe that the brain should slow down and memory should significantly decrease as they get older. While this may be slightly true, the vast majority of decline in brain function can be reduced by changing the environmental factors that are negatively affecting it.
So get ready, on April 14 it is time to transform your BRAIN into an energized and clear focused machine!
Stay tuned to next month’s newsletter when I discuss some of the facts and myths surrounding the lifestyle factors that affect your brain function.