The Holiday Colon Cleanse
Hey, call me a hopeless romantic, but as soon as the holiday season rolls around, I start thinking detox. We are starting to mentally prepare for our annual liver detox in January. So I figured, why not talk a little about the detoxes in this newsletter?
Why Cleanse During the Holidays
For many of us, thanks to holiday parties and pressure from family and friends, the next two months are the worst time of the year when it comes to eating. We end up eating more than we should. And we end up eating worse than we should. So while it's true that no one actually eats the fruitcake that they are given each year as a gift, there are turkey dinners, roasts, hams, stuffings, casseroles, egg nogs, plum puddings, and desserts galore to be had by all. Yes, I could say, "Eat healthy." But that's just downright unrealistic. We know that for most of us, no matter how much we try and avoid it, there's just too much tasty food set before us and too much eating going on over the next two months not to get caught up in it to some extent.
Which brings me to the point at hand, if done properly, detoxes can fit smoothly into your holiday routine, allowing you to:
- Still indulge (within reason)
- Minimize the damage during the holidays
- Repair the damage (and then some) immediately after the holidays
- Lose the excess weight you put on in one fell swoop
- And most important of all: break the bad habits you've developed over the holidays
That last point is so important it's probably worth talking about for a moment.
How many of us start the new year with a resolution to lose that extra weight we've put on and improve our eating habits? And yet, how many of us succeed in that resolution? Why do so many of us fail? Why is it so hard to "get our act" together come the New Year?
Quite simply, the six weeks of the holiday season are more than enough time to turn our bad eating into a full-blown bad habit -- a habit with a great deal of momentum. And so, once we pass our 30's (at the point your body is no longer quite as forgiving) we add 4-5 lbs during the holiday season and despite the best of intentions are unable to get rid of it come the new year. And so, each year, we repeat the process, steadily getting a little bigger, a little fatter, a little more unhealthy -- year after year.
So what's the answer?
I recommend incorporating a low intensity 30 day colon/intestinal detox during the months of November and December. Then at the beginning of the New Year, after the holidays are over, do a 5-day liver/gallbladder flush to repair the damage, lose the excess weight, and break the momentum of the bad habits you've acquired. Ultimately, the liver detox may be the single most important thing you can do to improve your health.
The Colon Detox
If you've never done a liver detox before, a colon detox is pretty much a mandatory preparation. When you do the liver detox, it will squeeze bile and toxins out of your liver and gallbladder and out through your intestinal tract. But if the intestinal tract is clogged, many of the toxins in your liver will instead back up into your bloodstream, making you feel very unwell. Thus the need for a preparatory colon cleanse -- within 6 months of the liver detox.
It Begins with the Colon
The foundation of any health or healing program must begin with the intestinal tract. This is not necessarily because it is inherently more important than any other system or organ in the body, but because it's the area of the body upon which we focus our greatest abuse, and because it impacts virtually every other system in the body.
The colon is the main elimination channel of the body. It is the means by which we eliminate the toxic waste of the digestive process, including massive amounts of E. coli bacteria and parasite larvae. If that waste hangs around longer than necessary, its impact on the body is profound.
Our modern lifestyle has taken its toll on our digestive/elimination organs. Refined, processed, low fiber foods, animal fats, a lack of exercise, and an ever increasing level of stress all contribute to our current gastro-intestinal health crisis.
Any program designed to clean, detoxify, and rebuild the colon needs to address several key areas. The program must:
- Help bring the colon back to life by stimulating the muscle movement of the colon.
- Encourage matter to move forward through the system.
- Halt putrefaction.
- Draw old fecal matter off the walls of the colon and out of any bowel pockets.
- Draw out poisons and toxins.
- Help leach out heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
- Remove chemicals and drug residues.
- Even remove radioactive material such as Strontium 90.
- Soothe and promote the healing of the mucous membrane lining of the entire digestive tract.
- Help stimulate the body to begin the healing and repair of herniated areas.
- Increase the flow of bile to help clean the gall bladder, bile ducts, and liver.
- Promote healthy intestinal flora.
- Destroy and expel parasites.
- Destroy Candida albicans overgrowth.
- Maintain regularity.
- Decrease straining.
- Speed up the transit time of feces through the large intestine.
- Promote the growth of beneficial bacteria colonies in the intestinal tract.
For years, I used to believe that the best way to detoxify the colon was an intense, accelerated 1 week detox that used up to 5 scoops of detoxifying powder a day. But over time, I've become convinced that the slower gentler, one scoop a day program for approximately 30 days is more effective (since it quadruples the healing time of the detoxifier's action). And it certainly is easier to do, and far less disruptive. For most people, this program will work better -- and not interfere with your holiday celebrations in the slightest. There are many good colon cleansing products. Baseline Nutritionals® sells a Colon Detoxifier formula that I designed that I'm certainly partial to. (It does, however, contain psyllium, which some people are allergic to). You will probably also want to use a Colon Corrective formula with your detoxifier to make sure you don't bind up, which can happen since most detoxifiers contain clay. Again, for convenience, Baseline Nutritionals® carries a Colon Corrective formula.
Heavy Metal Cleansing
At the same time you do a colon detox, I recommend that you do a heavy metal detox since the two cleanses complement each other. There are many oral chelation products on the market, but the only one I know backed by clinical studies is Metal Magic™ from Baseline Nutritionals®. I previously used to recommend doing 12 droppers a day for two weeks on the Metal Magic™. But since we learned during the clinicals that 6 weeks on the program removed around 90%+ of most heavy metals in the body, I am now recommending a 6 week detox twice a year. You will need approximately a bottle a week while on the program.
The Liver Detox
The liver detox, of course, is the centerpiece of our annual event. But it is also the most laborious part, hence the need for group support. The results are well worth the effort, though. Of all the things you can do in alternative health, the liver detox is probably one of the most important in terms of achieving maximum health in today's environment. Let me explain.
Next to the skin, the liver is the largest organ in the body. In many ways, it is the most important organ in the body, and the last to be considered when it comes to health. In addition to being large, the liver is also a complicated organ involved in at least 200 separate functions. Generally speaking, the liver performs a vital role in regulating, synthesizing, storing, secreting, transforming, and breaking down many different substances in the body. Specifically, some of these include:
- Regulation of fat stores
- Neutralizing and destroying poisons
- Protein metabolism, including manufacturing of new body proteins
- Metabolizing alcohol
- Managing chemicals and drugs in the blood
- Aiding the digestive process by the production of bile
- Helping the body resist infections by producing immune factors and by removing bacteria from the blood stream
- Storing vitamins, minerals, and sugars
- Production of quick energy when needed
- Controlling the production and excretion of cholesterol
- Maintaining hormone balance
- Regenerating its own damaged tissue
- Cleansing the blood and discharging waste products
In fact, in regard to the last point, the liver is the main detoxifying organ of the body. It filters out dangerous drug residues and poisons from the blood and passes them out of the body -- through the colon via the bile duct. Plug the colon and it's like flushing a toilet plugged with toilet paper; everything backs up. The net result is sickness and disease. The important point to remember here is that you shouldn't even begin to cleanse and repair the other systems in the body, such as the liver, until you clean out the colon so that the toxic material will have a clean path out of the body. Again, this is why I recommend doing the colon detox before doing the liver detox.
In essence, our liver is the primary filter of our body. Good health is impossible without proper function of the liver. Unfortunately, over time, we so abuse it and so overtax it that illness is the inevitable result. As part of a program to rebuild and repair the liver, we must:
- Remove all the excess fat from the liver
- Get bile flowing freely again
- Eliminate toxic waste that our livers have filtered out
- Dissolve and pass out the accumulated gall stones that are stored in our livers
- Regenerate the damaged and destroyed cells of the liver
The liver is so important to our well-being that many healers maintain that most diseases cannot develop in the body (that, in fact, no form of cell degeneration can occur) if the liver is functioning in an efficient, healthy manner. Conversely, an unhealthy liver is very likely at the root of most serious health problems.
So What Harms the Liver?
- Too much protein in the diet. Protein metabolism is especially taxing on the liver since it is the liver which must metabolize complex proteins into simple compounds. The greater the consumption of protein, the greater the stress on the liver.
- Too many simple carbohydrates in the diet. The body converts excess simple carbohydrates into triglycerides, which are then stored in the liver as fat. The more fat stored in the liver, the harder it is for the liver to perform its full range of normal functions.
- Overeating. Too much enzyme deficient food stresses the liver.
- Drug residues. Virtually all of the drugs that we take (medicinal, recreational, chemotherapy, whatever) are processed, purified, and refined in the liver -- in preparation for elimination from the body.
- Alcohol causes inflammation of the liver's tissue. Once the liver is inflamed, it can no longer filter, which causes it to plug up with fat and become even more inflamed. If we consume enough alcohol, we overwhelm the liver's ability to regenerate itself, and the net result is cirrhosis (or hardening) of the liver.
- Toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides. Everything we breathe, eat, and absorb through our skin is purified and refined in the liver.
- Lack of exercise forces the liver to do the elimination work that should be done by the lungs and the skin.
- And of course, there's always liver disease such as chronic Hepatitis C.
Fortunately, your liver has an astounding ability to regenerate itself -- if you give it a chance. Giving it a chance means two things:
- Proper diet. You need to eliminate (or at least cut back) the liver stressors in your diet. The sicker you are, the more cleaned up your diet needs to be. If you're suffering from serious liver problems, a raw juice diet may be required to give your liver time to regenerate.
- Several times a year, you need to do an herbal detox/flush of your liver.
Voila! And to help with this (and of course tying everything neatly together), we have our 4th annual international liver detox.