It’s interesting when you have people asking you about the same topic at the same time. So I thought I’d write short article on my experience personally, with patients, family and friends and tap into how people are feeling. To start with if you aren’t aware I’m a vegetarian, I have been my whole life and raised in a less than conventional family. My mother and father were / are very much into natural living and diet is a big part of that. Being brought up a vegetarian and the knowledge on natural medicine which was ingrained at such an early age has been one of my greatest gifts from my parents. It wasn’t without challenges but all in all it lead me to become a Naturopath and a very happy place personally and professionally.
As a child I never visited the doctor, the first time I went was when I was well into my teens when I had a boil under my arm that needed to be lanced. Whenever we came down with a minor illness (which was rare) my parents supported me through a fast. This meant no school (yay!), lying in bed with water only and no food for about 24 hours. Generally over this time I was resting, sleeping, reading and not doing much. Sometimes I had a temperature other times it was something else, like a cold etc. Generally I felt pretty miserable but that was because I was having a “healing crisis”, that’s when your body says enough is enough and starts to throw out toxins through its elimination pathways. The main elimination pathways are through the skin, lungs, bowels and kidneys. I’ll go into this a bit more later. When I started to feel a bit better and my vitality was improving I was able to move onto fresh fruit juices for maybe another day and then to fruit only and then back to a normal diet. This entire process lasted varying times depending on what was going on with me and how I was feeling. It might have been only a day or it could have been longer, say 3 days. As a child I didn’t really know what I was doing, just being directed by dad and having mum monitor me closely. Mum & dad both have a long history with Natural Healing, dad is a holistic chiropractor and mum had been trained in Nutrition. Dad has also followed a strict raw food diet for about 35 years and is very well informed when it comes to food. Although I don’t follow the same strict diet for various reasons I have a lot of respect for his dedication and conviction to his way of life.
After studying Naturopathy and Nutrition I developed a detoxification program / cleanse for patients. This was really based on my experience with fasting as child, observation of the benefits of raw foods and education through my degree in health. I had such wonderful feedback after the duration of 2 weeks I decided to try it with my husband, who really is the hardest to convince when it comes to changing his diet, but at the time we both felt like we’d get a lot of benefit from it. We went on a raw food detox together for 2 weeks. The way we started it was with a fast for 24 hours.
day 1 no food only water & herbal tea. We started on a Saturday as the weekend really allowed us the downtime we needed for the first day of fasting, we generally just rested and took it easy at home.
day 2 no food fruit juices in the morning and vegetable juices after 12 noon. We felt better after the juice and not so low due to low blood sugar levels, we went for a 45 minute walk but generally took it pretty easy.
day 3 raw fruit only and we were back to work and normal activity levels from here on in.
day 4-14 raw food diet no cooked foods or anything processed, basically just fruit, vegetables & salad, nuts & seeds
At the end we were both feeling amazing! In conjunction to the diet I also made up some herbs for detoxification and we took a greens fibre supplement powder called Body Boost which I love and recommend often to patients for digestive support. The herbs stimulated the organs for detoxification like the liver & kidneys. Also fasting tends to draw out stored toxins from the body tissue. Often a lot of stored toxins are found in adipose tissue (fat), when you change your diet to raw foods, fast and juice you are restricting calories and thereby breaking down the fat and releasing the toxins into the bloodstream. The detoxification organs then need to process these out of your body, thereby supporting your detoxification pathways is important.
Skin – dry skin brushing is great whilst doing a cleanse and also stimulates your lymphatic circulation further helping to support your immune system and decrease inflammation
Lungs – plenty of fresh air and activity, beach walking, swimming, jogging, yoga anything which helps bring up any phlegm or congestion
Kidneys – ensuring that your drinking LOTS of water aiming for a minimum of 2L / day on top of any fresh juices
Bowels – this is the main elimination pathway for the liver to dump toxins when filtering the blood, if you don’t have enough soluble & insoluble fibre to soak up these toxins, neutralize them and carry them out of the body. You may get an irritated bowel causing inflammation and a second pass meaning a reabsorption of toxins into the bloodstream, recirculation of toxins means extra stress is being placed on the liver. This can also lead to heightened detoxification symptoms like headaches, fatigue and nausea.
If you are experiencing acute or chronic health problems then a cleanse/detox could be the answer for you. Your body may be asking to heal by having a “healing crisis” but if your not listening you may be suppressing it. It’s always a good idea to have someone support you through this process, this may be your partner, a friend or a professional. This may be a Naturopath (like me), an open minded Doctor or someone who has experience in fasting, juicing and clean eating with raw foods. You’ll be more successful if you can have someone to call on to ask questions and monitor your symptoms. Its also good to check in with someone before you start to ensure that you are ready as its a program that’s not suitable for everyone.
If you’d like more specific information related to yourself, situation or a health issue please don’t hesitate to get in touch.