Enjoying the Summer Bounty
Do you ever have times when you are not really paying attention to what is on T.V?. Then all of a sudden something is said that really catches your attention. That’s how it was when I heard Kathy Freston talking about her new book, Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21-Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Mind, Body and Spirit recently on the Ellen DeGeneres show. With typical Ellen humor she was confessing that she wouldn’t be able to give up everything that was advocated in the 21 day Detox Plan. Specifically alcohol. That is only one of the things that Freston suggests in her 21 day healing plan. Also, included is sugar, gluten and meat. Essentially everything. She advocates a cruelty free lifestyle and choosing food with integrity and consideration of how it arrives at our table.
Detox plans or fasting seem to be the newest craze. Opening a magazine, the headlines in Elle question What if you could reverse allergies, mood swings, stomach ailments-even some chronic diseases-with a periodic three-day cleanse? The medical community is embracing the ideology of Jeffrey Bland, the co-founder of the Institute of Functional Medicine in Washington State. In essence his theory is: the body is constantly dealing with foreign chemicals that it (ingests, breathes, absorbs) from the outside world in a two-step process. In phase I, liver enzymes break down the chemicals into compounds that are often more dangerous than the original stuff- in the process, creating free radicals that cause oxidative damage in the cells (or rust). In phase 2, the liver neutralizes these compounds with the help of other nutrients, including key amino acids made from the protein we eat, and the waste is excreted. The theoretical justification for fasting is that it removes the bad stuff from fat-cell storage. If the body doesn’t take in the necessary nutrients during a water fast, the liver doesn’t get the nutritional support it requires to neutralize (phase 2) all the free radicals produced in phase 1, which can wind up making you feel worse.
So what does all this mean? One of the themes that seems to hold for all the Detox Plans is that it is a healing mechanism which supports balance in our bodies and minds and offers an alternative to conventional Western medicine.
All I know is, that as I get older, I want to do what I can to feel better. While the jury is still out for me on whether detox programs are effective, I do believe that thoughtfully considering what we eat can only be a positive action. In the words of the Muppet Miss Piggy, Never eat more than you can lift.