Step 2 – Cleanse

Cleansing Your System

Congratulations, you have taken the previous step of adequate hydration.

Cleansing really begins with adequate hydration. Hydration provides an improved flow to deliver nutrients, oxygen and bioactive substances as well as remove wastes and toxins. Optimum pH balance provides an optimum environment to heal. This increased water flow is the first step to allow the body maximum potential to heal itself and eliminate toxic wastes or cleanse.

What is a “cleanse”?

A cleanse is not a quick weight-loss program, it is not a starvation program that will leave you starving, and it has nothing to do colonics in this discussion.

Most areas of your life are characterized by surges of activity and periods of rest. In work, school, exercise and play we experience periods of intense engagement or activity followed by some period of rest and recuperation. This is a very natural cycle of life that can be seen everywhere we look, the seasons of the year demonstrate this beautifully. Your daily waking and sleeping cycles are another obvious example. Everything seems to get a rest sometime except our digestive, detoxifying (liver and kidney), and cardiovascular systems.

Our mind and most of our body functions get a chance to rest each night when we sleep, but our stomach and intestinal tract are on double duty after eating dinner and forced to work throughout the night to process dinner and to add insult to this situation, we often eat our heaviest meal at dinner. Once this meal is processed, it is time to wake up and eat breakfast (I hope you do) and start processing all over again.

When you begin to think of the natural cycle of increased growth and activity

alternating with rest and recuperation in almost all natural cycles, you may start to see why a cleanse is so beneficial.

Cleansing is a two-part process

The first part of cleansing is to reduce or stop adding toxic substances to our body.

The second part is to remove accumulating toxins that are already in your body.

When we reduce or stop adding toxic substances to our body, we also give our digestive and detox systems (liver and kidney) a rest. Cleansing is a loose term open to interpretation and may be considered a fast of sorts, so best to discuss it a bit and go forward.

Cleansing: Part One

Part one is to take time out to stop ingesting food and drink that needs to be broken down. So a cleanse is really a time period of rest and recuperation for the intestinal tract, liver and kidneys, since these systems are usually working 24/7 without much time for rest.

Part two is the removal of toxins that have already accumulated in your body. A cleanse refers to a time period when there is limited food and drink intake along with plenty of rejuvenating water of course.

Obvious toxic substances such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, soft drinks, artificial sweeteners and nonessential medications are also stopped for a period of time that can last 1-7 days.

Depending on the length of your cleanse, your diet may be comprised of unlimited pure water or may have some simple substances added. These simple substances can be powdered greens added to the water (see below), vegetable soups (better if pureed), and vegetable or fruit juices. Hunger is not the aim, so don’t confuse cleansing with a strict fast. The benefits of this cleanse are time of rest, recuperation, and regeneration for those systems (intestinal, liver, and kidney) that process our food intake and deal with the toxic byproducts of digestion. An additional benefit of a cleanse, is that without ingesting additional foodstuffs, the body will get a chance to release accumulated toxins and wastes. The nature of the intestinal tract, liver, and kidneys is not really endearing to us like the heart or brain, but try living without them.

As organ systems go, the GI tract, liver, and kidney are the forgotten stepchildren of the body, but they are incredibly important for absorption and waste management. There are several recommended diets and preparations, such as the Master Cleanse, that are available to help this process, but there is little science to provide any evidence that they really do much. There are other supplement regimens, like Isagenix, that build cleansing into the weekly and daily routine.

In my opinion, the major benefits of a cleanse comes from giving your intestines, liver and kidneys a rest, while providing plenty of pure water to help mobilize toxins and impurities. Expect to see and feel some side effects during the cleanse such as nausea, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, difficulty concentrating and possibly some mood swings, all of which are 100 percent consistent with the side effects of caffeine withdrawal alone!

Cleansing: Part Two

The second part of cleansing is the active removal of accumulated toxins by a cleansing agent that is ingested. The first big challenge here is to selectively remove toxins and leave the essential minerals behind for your body to use. The next challenge is to remove toxins that are inside of a cell as opposed to the fluids that the cells travel in.

Many of you have heard of chelation drugs such as EDTA (ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid) that has difficulty selecting for toxins only. So what substances might be able to bind toxins inside and outside the cell without leaching essential minerals? The miracle spice from India is Turmeric that contains curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and binding agent for toxic metals of lead, mercury, aluminum and cadmium.

Green tea contains EGCC (epigallocatechin gallate) which performs a similar function as turmeric. Animal studies have shown that R+Lipoic acid may increase glutathione levels that can enter cells and form stable complexes with toxins. N-acetyl cysteine may also help raise glutathione levels. Vitamin C and E are proven antioxidants as well.

Another way to reduce toxicity and accumulated toxins is to practice the age-old tradition of ingesting bentonite clay. First recorded in the tradition of the Greeks. The clay provides a large surface area of microscopic silicate crystals that allow toxins to bind to the strong negative charge of the clay crystals, particularly pesticides and herbicides.

Use with plenty of water.

Action Steps

First Step

Make a Mental Commitment to Doing This

You will want to get yourself psyched up to do this, especially if you have not done it before.It can last a day or last five days (although could last seven if you really start to feel good). This is your time to start feeling better.

Second Step

Identify a 5 day block of time that you have good control of so you can schedule your cleanse.

This is a time period that you will commit to a cleanse, so this time should be free of social commitments or other obligations, so you can fully engage the correct eating patterns suggested. It is likely that you will feel Dzbaddz or out of sorts initially. This is normal early on and will pass! You will want to have time to rest at times, especially in the beginning. Your energy will probably pick up significantly after a few days.

Third Step

Prepare to Start Feeling Better

Look at the schedule below and head to the grocery store or health food store to stock up for your cleanse. Your list might look something like this:

– Water source; at least 1 gallon pure water a day Water container with shaker ball (available at GNC) Blender or Smart Stick Hand blender(Cuisinart) .

Amazing Grass powdered greens or (something similar) to add to water (see discussion below)**.

– Lemons/limes: fresh or concentrate, to add to water or Stevia flavored drops.

– Soups: these can be freshly made, bought fresh at the store, or in a can. They should be made without meat. They are best if liquid (tomato or split pea) or pureed in a blender (vegetable, minestrone, bean).

– Vegetable juices that are fresh are the best, whether you make them or purchase them at your health/grocery store.

– Soy or coconut milk to replace dairy products

– Fresh berries: whatever is in season or frozen

– Multivitamins: Note that these should be multivitamins that don’t cause nausea. Nausea is often caused from the vitamin C component of ascorbic acid versus calcium ascorbate or addition of iron.

**Amazing Grass powdered greens or something similar like Innerlight SuperGreens. These are powdered blends of organically-grown grasses, sprouted grains, green vegetables and leaves that also contain vitamins, minerals and amino acids. These powdered greens, which come in different flavors, are mixed with the water and pH drops in the container with the shaker ball.

These grasses will settle to the bottom of the container so a shaker ball keeps them floating around. There may be a time to get used to the taste of the greens, so I would start with a ¼ teaspoon in 16-20 oz. of water and add more grass from there up to 1 teaspoon. In addition to the nutritional value and alkalinity they contribute, they will significantly reduce any hunger issues and help to maintain a stable blood sugar. In the beginning, I recommend much less than the amount suggested on the product label and add more as you develop a taste for it. The reason for the water container with a shaker-ball is to mix up these powders (Greens Superfood, Stevia) in the water container.

Drink the recommended amount of water discussed in the Hydration section.

Step 4

Consider using this sample menu:

Day 1

Upon Awakening – Check urine pH and Drink a quart/liter of water mixed with some powdered greens (add lemon as desired). Weigh yourself and record.

Breakfast – Fruit shake in blender, with fresh berries, ice and soy milk. Follow with a liter of water.

Lunch – Large bowl of tomato soup (herbs like basil are fine), and follow with a liter of water

Dinner – Large bowl of pureed broccoli soup, and follow with a liter or water

Portions /Calories/ Getting Very Hungry

I love the Cuisinart mixing cup and Smart Stick hand blender (cost around $30 from Amazon) because you can make a 16 ounce shake with 4-6 ounces of berries and 12 ounces of soy milk (Look for vanilla). This makes for a delicious 16 ounce fruit smoothie (Calories about 300).

A large bowl of soup can be pureed in the pan with the Smart Stick hand blender noted above and is about 20 ounces (About 240 calories) The greens added to the water are about 30 calories per teaspoon. Many people would consider this much less than their normal caloric intake, so if you feel very light headed, get headaches or feel very hungry, go ahead and have another soup or shake to supplement.

These feelings won’t last more than a day or so, but might be aggravated by feelings of withdrawal from your coffee, sodas or even alcohol. Stay with It !

Day 2

Upon Awakening – Check urine pH and Drink a quart/liter of water mixed with some powdered greens (add lemon as desired)

Breakfast – Fruit shake in blender, with fresh berries, ice and soy milk. Follow with a liter of water.

Lunch – Large bowl of pureed vegetable soup and follow with a liter of water

Dinner – Large bowl of pureed cauliflower soup, and follow with a liter or water

Day 3

Upon Awakening – Check urine pH and Drink a quart/liter of water mixed with some powdered greens (add lemon as desired)

Breakfast – Fruit shake in blender, with fresh berries, ice and soy milk. Follow with a liter of water.

Lunch – Large bowl of pureed navy bean soup and follow with a liter of water.

Dinner – Large bowl of green pea soup (skip the croutons), and follow with a liter or water.

Day 4

Upon Awakening – Check urine pH and Drink a quart/liter of water mixed with some powdered greens (add lemon as desired)

Breakfast – Fruit shake in blender, with fresh berries or fresh fruit, ice and soy milk. Follow with a liter of water.

Lunch – Large bowl of cream of asparagus soup and follow with a liter of water.

Dinner – Large bowl of pureed squash soup, and follow with a liter or water .

Day 5

Upon Awakening – Check urine pH and Drink a quart/liter of water mixed with some powdered greens (add lemon as desired). Weigh yourself and record.

Breakfast – Fruit shake in blender, with fresh berries or fresh fruit, ice and soy milk. Follow with a liter of water.

Lunch – Large bowl of French onion soup and follow with a liter of water.

Dinner – Large bowl of pureed lentil soup, and follow with a liter or water.

Step 5

At the end of your cleanse, you should be feeling a lot lighter in spirits, somewhat lighter in weight with some shrinking of your stomach and have an elevated energy with less neck and back pain.

Slowly start to return to your regular diet gradually at first, by emphasizing leafy greens in salads and other cooked or raw vegetables. You may find that part of the cleanse is worth implementing on a regular basis. Return to eating some chicken and fish before diving into a steak. And think about your portions, now that your stomach has shrunk a little bit; see if smaller portions satisfy you. Eat slower and eat on smaller plates. It has been shown in experiments that people will eat less quantity of food if served on a smaller plate.

Congratulations on finishing Step 2: Cleansing to reduce chronic neck and back pain! In the next session we will talk about the use of vitamin supplements.