Monday, November 28, 2011

Housekeeping! aka Detox

With Thanksgiving week over, I have to admit that I am much worse for wear.

I did decide to take part in Thanksgiving dinner and while I did not consume much, I did eat cooked carbs. That lead to more cooked food later in the week, again not too much but I am totally shocked by the way my body has responded. I have all sorts of very uncomfortable symptoms, ranging from systemic congestion to a full on and very painful gallbladder attack. It has made me aware of just how sensitive I am and there is no denying the level of toxicity or congestion that I have throughout my systems.

No doubt about it. It's time for a detox!

If you read my last post I said somewhere that I was not going to be doing a Grape Cure Diet anytime soon.  Well I am here to say that I'm going to eat those words along with some grapes.

I mentioned that I have been following Dr. Robert Morse and his videos on YouTube. Dr. Morse mentions putting people on the grape detox so I researched and came across the original Grape Cure written by Johanna Brandt. I purchased a book called The Detox Mono Diet: The Miracle Grape Cure and Other Cleansing Diets which not only covers the details of the diet and Brandt's own experience and explanation, but goes on to explain why these mono diets work at all and how to best prepare for them.

Why a Cleanse?

It makes a great deal of sense to me. I always understood that during a cleanse, by eating very simply as in a juice fast, a water fast or even mono meals- meals made up of one item only, you are allowing the body to rest from digestion so that that energy can be used by the body to clean house instead. What I didn't fully understand was exactly how that happened and what happens.

According to this book, the key is autolysis- the process of the body literally digesting itself. When calories are sufficiently reduced and the process of digestion is simplified, the body starts to look within itself for the nutrients that it needs to function. This happens on the cellular level and in the body's own genius way, it starts with the least necessary items first. The first to go is cellular debris, toxins, congestion, and fat cells. I visualize it as clearing up the hallways and then digging through the storage closets. If given the time and energy long enough, the body will even digest diseased tissue including cysts and tumors, the deep storage items. But just as importantly, it can not go on too long or the vital organs will eventually be affected.

The body really is remarkably designed to heal itself.

The All Important Prep

Since this is a major house cleaning, it's very important to have all the exits cleared and free of barriers before this process begins.  Just as you would't start sweeping up a storm inside a filthy house with all the windows and doors closed, you need to open up all the channels of elimination prior to the cleanse. You don't want all this junk just being moved from room to room. You want it out! I don't think we hear about the importance of the prep often enough.

The excretory organs include the intestines, the liver, the kidneys, the lungs and the skin. The best way to prepare for a cleanse or fast is to flush these organs so as to make sure the exit channels are open and ready to move the toxins out of the body. This is done with herbs, enemas, or colonics, and lots of water for the kidneys and even heat and dry brushing for the skin. The clearer the channels the more comfortable the cleanse will be.

The Healing Crisis

As the cleanse begins and all the toxins start circulating, most likely there will be some discomfort. This is often referred to as a "healing crisis." Many people are not prepared for this and think they are getting worse, often turning back. But just as you wouldn't start sweeping dirt under a rug or shoving things back in the closet when trying to clean out a house, you need to just keep going and push through to the cleaner side.

Another key to jump starting a good cleanse is a water fast for a couple of days. This is a way to let the body know it's time to get ready for autolysis as it's moving though the last bit of food and digestion left in the system.

Why Grapes?

The reason that I am doing a grape fast as opposed to just continuing a water fast, is that a mono diet is a little easier to sustain. Grapes are not only easy to eat and require little prep if any, they have many properties which make it a good food for the long haul. It also is not as drastic in its results as a water fast. You have to be in fairly good condition to do a water fast for any length of time or the "healing crisis" can be extreme. It's the difference between having 50 people cleaning your house all at once versus 10.

So that's what I've learned this week on cleanses. Today is day one of my water fast and prep.

I have to say that oddly enough writing this post has got me in the mood for some serious house cleaning as well. We'll just have to see how that goes.

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