CLEANSE – REJUVENATE – REVITALISE
Four modalities for four seasons.
NUTRITION*HERBAL MEDICINE*NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS* LIFESTYLE
SPRING* SUMMER * AUTUMN * WINTER
Recently I completed a two week spring cleanse and I cannot believe just how vibrant I felt. I had boundless energy, my head was clear and focussed, I felt a sense of calm filtering through my body, I felt lighter and my skin was literally glowing. I am hooked! This is real health! I want more.
CLEANSING, or as more commonly referred to as DETOXIFYING, is imperative living in this modern world. Toxicity is ubiquitous. Frightening every year all of us are exposed to some of the residual burden of the 2000-3000 new chemicals that are invented and released into the environment. Unfortunately contamination of the air we breathe, food we eat, water we drink, plastic water bottles we drink out of, and furniture we sit on is simply unavoidable.
TOXICITY in its various forms, is emerging as a primary cause of chronic disease, manifesting as reproductive and fertility issues, immune/autoimmune disorders, cardio-metabolic disorders, neurological disturbances, endocrine disorders, mitochondrial/fatigue disorders, and abnormal cell regulation/cancer. Disturbingly researchers have even found that babies are being born pre-polluted with disturbing levels of chemicals tested in umbilical cord blood.
Let’s face it. We all have some sort of toxic burden no matter how hard we try to avoid it. We need to get the toxins out and lessen our load.
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE? I believe that committing to a regular two week cleanse during each season, that supports the body’s detoxification capacity and minimizes toxic burden, is perfect for reducing toxic load. Four short cleanses per year enables you to hit the reset button and undo any bad habits that have started to creep in AND set the stage for healthy living practices. Think of it like a seasonal reboot.
By combing the healing modalities of NATUROPATHY my comprehensive cleanse that supported all of the organs of elimination (liver, bowels, kidneys, lymph, skin) involved:
Nutrition is the foundation of cleansing. My intention was to eat only whole foods. Nothing in a packet. Only food as nature intended.
My nutritional intake for the two weeks composed of:
|Vegetables||At least five different varieties per day|
|Fruit||At least 2 servings per day|
|Animal and vegan sources of protein*meats slow cooked, and nuts and seeds soaked (at least 12 hours with lemon juice or whey) to improve digestibility||Eggs, fish, chicken, lamb, beef, nuts, seeds|
I included animal sources of protein because the compete amino acid profile of these foods is vital in the function of liver detoxification. N.B. animal sources of protein can be substituted for legumes and gluten free grains (quinoa, amaranth, rice) if vegan.
I wanted to keep it simple and take the load off from the gut, so that the additional energy expenditure usually spent on digestion could be utilised for healing and reviving my bodily systems.
It was time to get creative! Some days I experimented with new recipes from Google, and other days I kept it simple by following the easy portion formula of a handful of vegetables, palm sized protein, and thumb sized portion of good fats.
I consumed organic to reduce the toxic load on my body, and to benefit from the increased nutritional value of organic food. I found everything I needed to eat at my local organic farmers market. Success hinged on stocking my fridge with delicious fresh produce. Preparation was the key.
Incredibly I didn’t feel hungry. The abundant fibre in the masses of vegetables, and good protein and fats aided the stability of my blood sugar levels. Oh yes, and I drank lots of filtered water to flush from my kidneys, and avoided caffeine and alcohol.
My diet concentrated upon brightly coloured vegetables, with lots of leafy greens, and fruits to provide antioxidants to neutralise free radicals produced in the detoxification process. I included brassica vegetables (e.g. broccoli, kale, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage), onion and garlic which contain sulphur compounds to also assist liver detoxification. The bulk of vegetable fibre ensured bowel movements of at least once per day.
I added herbs and spices such as coriander, turmeric and cumin to my meals, which contain phytonutrients, and used Celtic sea salt in moderation, which has a great trace mineral profile.
All disease begins in the gut Hippocrates. The gut is the first layer of defence against toxicity.
I consumed fermented foods and drinks such as sauerkraut and kombucha to nourish my gastrointestinal microbiome. I also drank bone broth, which contains an array of minerals and cartilaginous compounds to support healing of the digestive tract. To ramp up my digestive enzymes I started the day a glass of warm water with lemon juice.
Example of diet:
|Upon rising||Glass of warm water with lemon juice|
|Breakfast||2 boiled eggs, tomato, avocado, spinach, sauerkraut, olive oil, sprinkle of cumin, turmeric, pepper, sea salt|
|Mid-morning||Smoothie coconut water, coconut flesh, kale, lemon, orange, ginger, chia seeds; dandelion root tea|
|Lunch||Tuna salad consisting of rocket, carrot, beetroot, mushroom, avocado, purple onion, with a dressing (olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, celery seed); herbal tea (licorice, fennel, aniseed)|
|Afternoon snack||Cup of bone broth; handful of mixed nuts and seeds (brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds); kiwi fruit|
|Dinner||Salmon fillet, steamed cauliflower, roasted sweet potato (with coconut oil), blanched broccolini, with dressing of flaxseed oil, garlic, lemon juice; herbal tea (chamomile, peppermint)|
If I was extra hungry on a particular day or had a larger load of exercise I added some additional nuts to my smoothie, or included starchy carbohydrates such as sweet potato or potato into my diet.
By week two I felt like a needed a bit more variety so I made energy protein balls for a snack. Recipe to be uploaded on this website.
Herbal medicine is perfect in a cleanse because certain herbs have the ability to improve the detoxification capacity of the body.
Herbs in my mix:
|St. Mary’s Thistle||Liver detoxifier, liver regenerative|
|Rosemary||Liver detoxifier, antioxidant|
The beauty of herbal medicine is that it can be modified to fit the unique needs of the individual. I felt like I needed additional adrenal and adaptogen herbs for stress support, whereas someone else may require sugar cravings support, metabolic stimulation, or pain relief.
Detoxification is commonly accompanied with headaches and fatigue due to the body’s effort to remove impurities and deal with caffeine withdrawal. However I found the unique combination of herbs in my mix, which had my liver on super-drive, aided relief of these symptoms.
|Probiotic||A healthy diet will have immediate positive effects on the gut microbiome. And a probiotic is a perfect way to fast track good gut colonisation.|
|Amino acids||The liver is the powerhouse of detoxification and relies heavily upon amino acids as cofactors for detox reactions.|
|5-MTHF (active form of folate) *||I have a genetic polymorphism (MTHFR) affecting the methylation of folate into its active form. Therefore even a minor folate deficiency may preclude my body from performing many vital functions such as detoxification and neurotransmitter production.|
*As much as 40% of the population has this polymorphism which can be tested by a simple blood test. I decided to supplement with the active form of folate (5-MTHF) as well as include loads of green leafy vegetables in my diet each day, which naturally contain active folate.
Health conditions associated with unmanaged MTHFR polymorphism include increased levels of homocysteine, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, thrombosis and stroke, neuropathies, adverse pregnancy outcomes (neural tube defects, still birth, recurrent miscarriage, reduced birth weight hypertension and pre-eclampsia), and neurological disorders.
I think we like to complicate things when it is really quite simple; find what is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and make them a huge part of your lifeLorna Jane
The most important implementation I made was to be thoroughly kind and gentle to myself. And with this intention each day, happiness came naturally.
What I mean by this is that I irrefutably accepted exactly how I was feeling without question or judgement. If I left like being alone, I cancelled on a catch-up if I felt tired, I slept in 30 minutes longer if I didn’t feel like exercising, I counted my walk to and from the train station as my 20 minutes of movement if I felt icky, I just sat with the emotions and allowed them to swirl through me and pass.
I discovered an emotion freedom technique called tapping, which allowed me to clear my head each morning, followed by 20 minutes meditation, which allowed me to set my intention for the day.
I made a huge effort to treat myself with something that I love to do each day such as a luxurious soak in the bath (with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil), or a dip/float in the ocean. Time in solitude allowed me to reconnect to my soul my inner world my bliss.
I moved my body for at least 20-30 minutes every day and soaked up all of the exercise induced endorphins.
I switched my phone off more often and used less social media than usual. And made a huge effort to be in bed by 9:30pm to maximise the restorative hours of sleep pre-midnight.
I used a natural fibre brush to body brush to speed up the process of eliminating waste via lymph stimulation and remove the build-up of dead skin. I cleaned out my toiletries and used organic natural personal care products because 80% of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our body.
I kept accountable by recording my daily efforts. Not for judgement sake but to celebrate my achievements.
|WEEK 1: Exercise||60mins power yoga|
|Stress relief||20 minutes guided meditation|
A cleanse should not be considered a fancy form dieting even though weight loss is pretty much guaranteed. Think in terms of permanent positive changes to your health. Think in terms of NOURISHING your body, mind and spirit. A transition into lifelong good health practices that come naturally to you. Health is your birth right. Your natural state of being.
I feel a spring in my step and ready to head into the party season. I am already counting down the days until my next cleanse for summer in January 2015! A perfect opportunity to start the new year with renewed enthusiasm post over-indulgence during the festive season.
NUTRITION * HERBAL MEDICINE * NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS * LIFESTYLE
SPRING * SUMMER * AUTUMN * WINTER
Four modalities for four seasons.