~ An introduction ~
What nobody is telling you about obtaining & sustaining
your optimum energy, health & beauty!
It seems everywhere I turn lately, I'm seeing info about detoxing - from the "Master Cleanse" to a variety of juice cleanses and menu programs of recipes, supplements, mixes, workouts, and products all supposedly dedicated to "cleansing." Yes, some of them are a step up from the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). However, I see a lot of commonly held myths being perpetuated and crucial information missing which would take the seemingly complex mystery out of why it's so easy for some of us to look/be our best, while others of us attempt to follow the aforementioned options and either:
A) Lose weight while unknowingly aging ourselves inside & out via the very process.
B) Never get very far due to cravings, relapses, time-constraints etc.
As a StyleNectar reader you've followed my progression from eating what is widely considered healthy, organic fare (advocating portion control for richer recipes) to investigating vegetarian, raw vegan and Nutritarian approaches and arriving, finally, at my current status of being Vegan (for me a combo of 80% raw, 20% cooked food). For the record I must clarify while I absolutely respect & DO recommend learning the science/research behind Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian lifestyle, (I eat 95% of the types of foods he endorses) I found two major shortfalls to his approach:
1) His recipes aren't very tasty. Sorry Dr. Furhrman:-( With the exception of his frozen banana ice-cream which, albeit yummy (and this leads me to point #2) ...
2) ... doesn't incorporate appropriate food combining. Improper food combining, (I'll be providing info on this soon), unbeknownst to many with the noblest of healthy lifestyle intentions, is actually THE very cause of diet sabotage and accelerated aging.
For those of us with exceptional standards, who aren't simply trying to wean ourselves off fast food and sodas, we'll be interested to understand the keys to appropriate food combining Dr. Fuhrman omits; huge secrets to anti-aging and optimizing one's health, longevity and beauty. Why doesn't he include them? My theory is he's targeting the large, average S.A.D. following audience who wouldn't be ready for this level of info. However, you're obviously ready to learn these powerful secrets I'm going to begin to introduce to you today :-)
Chalk it up to the fact I never watch TV (and I grew up without one) that perhaps I'm less conditioned and more apt to be open minded. My love of learning and obsession for figuring out how to optimize my short time on earth has the affect that I am always evolving and changing. As a result, many things have fallen away from my life which no longer serve me, providing a freedom I cherish, from the confines of habit and conditioning. Our lives are like pieces of art we refine for the duration. It all starts with acceptance of where we are, a desire to go beyond that which causes us to suffer, and a willingness to see the reality beneath the surface.
Anywho, back on track. You want the information, right?!
One of the biggest secrets to staying lean & aging beautifully pertains not just to WHAT we're eating but HOW we're eating it. It all comes down to digestion and enzymes. (1)
Enzymes are essential to life, perhaps more crucial than the air we breath as without them our biochemical processes would cease. Over 5000 different types of enzymes work together with vitamins and minerals acting as catalysts to accelerate chemical reactions. When our body has an abundance of enzymes, it can protect itself and repair the damage from almost all degenerative disease disorders. As we age our enzymes are depleted which causes us to age more quickly, get disease earlier in life, and acquire physical & mental impairments as our body degenerates. This explains why when we're young we can handle a diet of bread, pasta and cooked foods without much problem. However, this type of diet causes rapid aging and depletion of enzyme supplies.
Lack of enzymes in the body makes the blood dirty (10), the base of many diseases and the reason why we're causing virtually all of our own disorders and diseases every time we eat a cooked or processed food. (5, 6) These dead or denatured foods have no living enzymes with most the nutrients diminished significantly.
The harder a food is to digest, the more enzymes required. The S.A.D. diet (an inflammatory, acidic diet of excessive protein -yes, it's a huge myth perpetuated by the meat industry that we need such large amounts (1)- poorly combined meals, genetically modified, processed foods/chemicals/powders etc. all of which I'll talk about in a future post) requires so much work and enzymatic activity to digest that the body has none left over for cleansing and providing us energy! For most of us, all our energy is going just to digestion! The easier our food is to digest, the less enzymes required, the more energy for us and the less disease and aging we'll experience. Cooked and processed foods overwork and drain our body's energy.
An easily digested diet, based on fresh greens, vegetables & raw fruits, floods our bodies with enzymes, contributing to the body's ability to protect and repair, instead of continually and slowly draining the body's energy and enzyme reserves. The more enzymes we take in, the more quickly our body can restore and strengthen itself, freeing up energy from an otherwise taxing digestive process. Thus our body has a chance to detoxify and cleanse away aging, disease causing toxins trapped in our cells. Suddenly we have more energy than we've ever experienced before when all our energy was devoted to digestion alone! Excess fat melts away and our body becomes lean & toned with minimal effort.
Yes! You read that right.
When we're eating a toxic diet of inflammatory, acidic foods, (more later on exactly what these are) our body goes into overdrive not only digesting but hiding those toxins as far away from the internal organs as possible in FAT CELLS (9) created solely for the purpose! Transitioning to a cleansing, enzyme rich diet signals to our body that it's safe to shed those toxin laden fat cells so they may be released from our body. This results in our bodies becoming lean and toned just through changing what we eat! I personally was floored to figure out that it's not necessary or even ideal to overdo it spending hours working out - a process in itself, if overdone, creates excessive aging inside and out (2, 3, 4) - partly because the protein intake required to support such activity is incredibly taxing on the digestive system (7) and for other reasons I'll go into in a future post. This is not to say it's not important to exercise and be active. I personally love walking and yoga in moderation.
We benefit far more from an attitude of compassionate self-acceptance than we do from one of tough love via themes like Just Do It! which wreak of the unconscious forcefulness frequently followed by "beatings" in our heads for not living up to some arbitrary goal designed to sell product. As we can see from just looking around, these overpopularized slogans don't seem to be serving the population's waist line very well.
Leading to my final point about the overpopularized trend of temporary cleanses and why they're not effective. Say we do a juice "detox" for 3 days or a "cleansing diet" for month... What could be harmful about that you ask?
First, the sudden influx of non-toxic, enzyme rich activity will signal our body to release a slew of toxins - flooding us with an overload of toxicity our immune system very well may not be able to handle, often resulting in an individual becoming quite ill.
Second, removing deeply embedded layers of toxicity acrued over a lifetime takes long term dedication and a careful transition into a permanent detoxifying lifestyle. Real cleansing, removing years of accumulated toxins, is a gradual process to be approached with a great deal of careful, concious awareness. It requires gradual changes of implementing an alkaline diet and long-term dedication. Otherwise, once the aforementioned temporary "detox" or "cleanse" is over, and we return to our previous, average diet, we're just reabsorbing all the toxicity we've stirred up into our systems, completely defeating the objective.
Below is a beautifying, satiating and enzyme rich green smoothie which would be a safe introduction for any person interested in transitioning into a detoxifying lifestyle. I personally switch it up with my Quadruple Berry Acai Smoothie (coming soon) each morning. Keeps me buzzing along until 3 PM! So not they way I used to be- I have to remind myself to eat these days 'cause I have so much energy. Oh- that's a point I forgot to mention- when we eat in this alkaline, enzyme-rich fashion, our bodies become so efficient at putting our nutrition to use- we don't actually NEED to eat as much! And that too, leads to decreased appetite as well as a lean, toned physique.
Daily Detox Green Smoothie
(Makes two, 32oz servings. Feel free to freeze or refrigerate leftovers.)
- 16 oz cold water
- 6 oz romaine (or green leaf lettuce)
- 6 oz spinach (or kale-bitter stems removed, collards-bitter stems removed or dandelion greens-stems removed) NOTE: If you're not used to green drinks start with a smaller amount of the bitter greens. As your body chemistry changes from incorporating more greens, so will your palette and you'll be able to enjoy larger quantities of the stronger greens. As always, be sure to rotate your greens so you're receiving a balanced intake of the various nutrients they provide)
- 1/3 of a fennel bulb (or substitute celery)(Switch them up like we do the greens)
- 1 fuji apple
- 1 pear
- handful fresh mint WITH delicate stems (not super woody ones tho)
- giant handful fresh cilantro WITH stems (VERY cleansing)
- 1/2 lime
- 8 oz frozen pineapple (or sub frozen peaches or banana)
- Stevia to taste, if desired
- Chunk the ingredients in order to fit into your heavy duty blender (The best investment we can make in detoxifying lifestyle is a Vitamix Blender)
- Add the water and romaine to the blender and incorporate on low.
- Add spinach, blending on low til incorporated.
- In same manner add the fennel, apple and pear, using high if necessary.
- Feed in the herbs, lime and pineapple and blend til incorporated.
- Add stevia to taste and blend once more. (By limiting the amount of blending on high, we keep the smoothie colder & incorporate less air.)
Recipe Inspired by Victoria Boutenko's, Green For Life
Enjoy the sustained energy rush & Glow your way through your day!
Coming soon: my Quadruple Berry Acai Smoothie which I alternate in the mornings with the Daily Detox Smoothie.
You may also enjoy:
1, 7. Dr. Campbell’s China Study, and Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live, http://www.healthbanquet.com/enzymes-for-health.html
10. http://voices.yahoo.com/why-take-digestive-enzyme-supplement-2603185.html, http://www.pyroenergen.com/articles/enzymes.htm
I am not a healthcare practitioner or provider. To the extent that any information is provided through this website, it is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute or substitute for medical advice or counseling, the practice of medicine including but not limited to psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy or the provision of health care diagnosis or treatment, the creation of a physician-patient or clinical relationship, or an endorsement, a recommendation or a sponsorship of any third party, product or service by me. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements available on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.