By Christopher Peake
Green Right Now
How’s this for a Sunday morning breakfast: 6 ounces of a dark red drink of kale, beet, carrot, apple and ginger? Actually, it wasn’t as awful as it sounds; in fact I could taste the clean ginger. (Curious about the taste? The dominant flavor was beet and the taste reminded me of the smell of a root cellar, with stone walls and dirt floor: chilly, earthy, and clean).
I know you know you’re not as healthy as you’d like to be. Maybe you have colon troubles, depression, high blood pressure, fatigue or an unhealthy level of obesity. You don’t sleep well, your libido isn’t what it used to be and your hormones, well, they’re not doing so well, either.
Almost all of these ailments are caused by what we inhale or consume every day: paint fumes, cigarette smoke, overall air pollution, household cleaning products (maybe the worst of them all) and even prescription drugs. We eat way too much white sugar, white flour, fast foods; and drink too much caffeine and alcohol. We do love our processed foods. All these and more leave toxics throughout your body and too many toxics will kill you.
None of this is news to you but I’m here to tell you that you can do something to cleanse your body of many of the toxic substances you’ve been storing for your whole life. The process is called “cleansing” or “detoxing”; I did it for three days and if I can do it so can you. And while this process can help you lose weight, I did it to flush out those toxics, and spring seemed like a good time to do it.
I consulted a holistic health counselor, Tracey Miller, who suggested either a three-day or a seven-day cleansing; three days seemed about right. Three days of fruit and vegetables? No prob.
Tracey: “Our bodies get overloaded with toxins from our food, air and even our homes. It’s great to do a spring cleaning and help eliminate the toxins to give our bodies a break. Eliminating wheat, dairy, caffeine, sugar and alcohol also provides a good opportunity to reduce our cravings and become more aware of how addicted we are on highly processed foods and stimulants.”
She said everyone should first consult their doctor, and here we have a missing link in our medical system: many (most?) of our primary care physicians have had little nutritional training, so how can they be expected to answer your nutritional questions?
A moment for personal disclosure: I eat my share of grains and yogurt with wheat germ and salads and fresh fruit whenever I can find it and since college my alcohol intake has been almost nothing, but I have been known to scarf down a couple of Whoppers with cheese and then find some coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup. Makes no sense at all but it’s typical of the way many of us eat these days.
Let’s look at some numbers: there are as many fasting and cleansing diets as there are people who should be fasting and cleansing: liquid diet, papaya diet, colon cleansing, grapefruit diet, fasting from sunrise to sunset, Weight Watchers, South Beach diet … type “diet’ into your computer and there are more than 3,370,000 sites. That’s three million, three hundred seventy thousand! Type in “nutrition” and there are more than 24 million results.
Dr. Odysseas Kostas in Greenwich, Conn., has experience as both a general practitioner and ER physician; he stresses staying away from commercial diets such as those advertised on TV and in print and consulting a professional.