by Jeffrey Brams
Q. Why is January one of the most popular months for people to start a cleanse, and how can cleansing or "detoxing" help people achieve their weight loss resolution?
A. We all know detoxification (or cleansing) is a basic foundation of good health and natural healing. According to the U.S. Government Census Statistics, six of the top 10 New Year's Resolutions revolve around personal health goals. (See http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/ Topics/New-Years-Resolutions. shtml). But kicking bad habits such as smoking and excess alcohol consumption or starting good ones such as exercising more and weight management are difficult. It's human nature to keep putting these off because they require sacrifice. Around the new year, we are tired of complaining about being tired. We are sick of being sick. Being too heavy is weighing on us. So, we promise ourselves that things will change. Unfortunately, things rarely ever do change without... here it comes... sacrifice.
Q. You keep using the word sacrifice. That sounds painful. Just how hard is it to make the changes you suggest?
A. We've all heard "no pain, no gain" until the phrase has lost its meaning. So, I'm going to offer you a new mantra—"You're in charge." Let me ask you this: who bombards your body daily with toxins? Who chooses the fatty foods that clog your arteries? Who lifts the glass one too many times? Who sugars up just to come crashing down? Most importantly, who is in charge of your body? There's an old saying that I love: "What's eating you?" Most people use it to ask each other about what's wrong or what's bothering them. I put it to you this way: if you do not feel in charge of what you are putting into your own body, then your diet is eating you, not you eating your diet. For most of us, our diet is eating us to death. Don't you think it's time you finally take charge of your health, cleanse your body and make a fresh start?
Q. Okay. So, why will a detoxification (a.k.a. cleanse) help? How?
A. There's a reason why we say, "Out with the old..." before saying, "...and in with the new." A good detox program cleanses the body from the harmful chemicals we've accumulated in the intestinal tract, the urinary tract, the liver, the gallbladder, the blood and the lymphatic system. Talk about a clean sweep! Proper detoxification should also include a wholesome diet focused on alkaline-forming foods as well as moderate exercise and the consumption of lots of pure water.
Q. Can all of this cleansing be accomplished by the diet alone? Do I need supplements?
A. We all know Hippocrates' famous quote, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." What we don't know is how to forage for organic, wild-growing plants and herbs that contain the best properties to make our "medicinal foods" most effective. Those arts have been virtually lost to the proliferation of processing, shipping and commercialization of the food chain and industry. During detoxification, the liver, kidneys and intestinal tract—the primary organs of detoxification—play major roles. The liver filters the blood to remove large toxins; it synthesizes and secretes bile, which is full of cholesterol and fat-soluble toxins; and it has an enzyme system that disassembles unwanted chemicals. Some of the built-up toxins are neutralized and excreted in the urine and feces. But other toxins are stored in fat and bone tissues, and these need to be dealt with as well. Likewise, the skin and lungs participate— to some degree—in the elimination of toxins. I believe that a quality detox should contain organic and wild-crafted herbs and food supplements that are intelligently chosen to promote cleansing in the blood, intestinal tract, kidneys, liver and lymphatic system. These supplements, along with the diet, encourage the body to release waste materials and toxins that have accumulated in the body since the last cleanse. A full-body cleanse supports the body's natural systems for the healthy elimination of heavy metals, chemical toxins, microbial compounds and for protein metabolism.
Q. Why is the pH level in food so important during detoxification?
A. All foods can be classified as acid forming, neutral or alkaline forming. The typical modern diet is weighted heavily on the acidic side due to processed grains, conventional meats, sugars and unhealthy fats, but that leads to the body becoming more acidic. When the body is more acidic, it adversely affects our cells, bodily organs and more, leading to or exacerbating many health concerns. Our bodies prefer a more alkaline state. To help achieve that, a good detox program doesn't allow for any flour products, dairy products, tropical fruits, dried fruits, processed foods or preservatives.
Q. Should I eat protein during a detox?
A. You need healthy proteins every day for energy, metabolism, to support normal brain and organ function and to lose weight. The key to making your detoxification experience a success is to keep it as easy as possible for you to manage your eating. I love RAW Fit™ for these reasons. It provides a pH-balanced vegan protein your body requires, and because it is organic and formulated without added sugars, you are not reintroducing the harmful toxins that you are working to eliminate. Also, to help you fill out your daily detox diet, the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox kit comes with a complete meal plan, including all the dietary suggestions you will need during the 12-day program. Simply put, it doesn't get any easier than this.
Q. You referred to the "intelligence" behind a good detox. Can you elaborate?
A. Over the course of 20 years, I trained with the pioneers of Naturopathy—renowned herbalist Dr. John R. Christopher and Dr. Bernard Jensen. During that time, I developed a deep understanding of the human bowel and elimination processes. It may not sound sexy, but you can learn a lot about a person—how their body is working and where it is not—by becoming an expert in elimination.
Prior to, and throughout these years, I continued to catalog edible and medicinal plants, both in their natural (wild) settings as well as in the lab. I later took these studies and wrote multiple teaching texts on the identification and classification of edible and medicinal plants. Additionally, I've written several teaching texts on the use of these plants to stimulate and supplement our health. My texts on modern and advanced herbology, for example, are used worldwide. My life's passion has been the mastery of edible and medicinal plants, their identification and selection, and, most importantly, their usefulness to promote our health.
It took me 30 years of clinical use to perfect my Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox. That's a lifetime of dedication to quality and efficacy. The system consists of four herbal supplements—three delivered in capsules (for the intestinal tract, liver/gallbladder and blood/ lymphatic system)—and a liquid (for the urinary tract and lymphatic system). The detox kit is to be taken for 12 days and, once completed, you've successfully made that fresh start—and your body should feel it!
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