Spring Clean Your Body, Jump Start Your Life
While most people welcome warmer weather, for others a taste of Spring brings reminders of coming allergies and a late flu season. As the world around us blooms, ill and healthy folks alike catch a little spring fever- feeling the energy of longer, sunnier days, and wanting to enjoy them to the fullest. In preparation for pollen and hopes for a new burst of vitality, this time of year offers a perfect time to cleanse your body.
by Laura Bruno
"Detoxification" or "cleansing" is the process by which we can release environmental toxins, disease, and old metabolic waste from our bodies, and allow them to function at a much higher level. We "spring clean" our homes, and we can give our bodies that same fresh start.
We do not need to have serious health concerns in order to benefit from cleansing. Even "healthy" people breathe pollution, store toxins in their fat tissue, and absorb chlorine and fluoride from unfiltered showers and tap water. Since our bodies have not evolved as quickly as our lifestyles, they do not know how to process things like pesticides, industrial chemicals, leaching plastics, or synthetic foods.
Article continues below
Women in so-called "primitive societies" experience neither PMS nor menopausal symptoms, both of which we consider normal. Scientists are finally beginning to recognize connections among pesticides, livestock hormones and Candida-all of which wreak havoc on our endocrine systems.
One of the biggest stressors on the body is actually ... STRESS. In a society that runs on deadlines and shuns rest, most people feel less energetic than they'd like. When we get sluggish, so does our digestion. A less than optimal small intestine begins to allow partially digested foods to ferment or leak into the bloodstream, resulting in food allergies and a host of other symptoms from migraines to chronic pain. As a society, we have come to accept less than optimal health, assuming that "cancer-free" means "healthy." Cleansing and detoxification encourage us to aim higher. Many companies offer wellness programs that promote healthy living, reduce stress and aide in the cleansing process while at work.
Chele A. Eades is a healthy lifestyle coach and raw foods chef who has been teaching others the benefits of juicing for over 20 years. She works with a number of local naturopaths to support their clients in healing and detoxification. One recent development on the cleansing front is something called "Juice Feasting." This phenomenon has sparked many a blog and online community, and March 1, 2008 marks the start-date of a worldwide community Juice Feast.
Chele explains the difference between fasting and feasting: "Juice Feasting means consuming fresh raw vegetable and fruit juices for 92 days, to cleanse the body of old toxins. This is termed a 'Feast' rather than 'Fast' because one gets ALL the calories one would normally get in a day (i.e. 1500 for an average woman) - from at least 4 litres/1 gallon of fresh juice, daily (green vegetable juices, fruit juices and coconut water all included).
There are 92 elements the body needs to function optimally (that are known), therefore the program timing is based on that concept. By consuming only liquids, which are absorbed directly into our system, we give the body a huge energy break from digesting foods. It can then use that saved energy to clean out old matter, especially from the small intestine. The average person holds 5-10lbs of toxic old matter in their intestines, and Feasting is an ideal way to release it, giving the body a phenomenal chance to rejuvenate and restore. Often when people fast they take in very small amounts of liquid/calories, the metabolism slows, their energy slumps, and they may feel quite 'dysfunctional.' Juice Feasting works differently, supporting the feaster to be very functional in daily life and meeting all calorie needs, while experiencing massive cleansing on a cellular level. The aims of Juice Feasting are to: "Cleanse, Rebuild, Rehydrate and Alkalinize." You can contact Chele about Juice Feasting or other wellness support at 928.203.0149 or at RawFoodChef@msn.com.
For those who don't want to commit to 92-days without food, Sedona resident Kali Acoba has designed a 28-day cleansing program in conjunction with D'Lish restaurant. Kali provides the Ejuva herbal cleanse and her expertise and D'Lish provides 28 days of raw food to synergize the detoxification process. In Kali's words, "The Ejuva cleanse kit is a 28-day herbal cleanse program that not only thoroughly cleans and rebuilds the intestinal tract but it also cleanses the lymph system and the blood. It is a kit that addresses the bodily system holistically, which I really like for that is the core of my teachings. While its main focus is on the cleansing of the colon it also focuses on the kidneys and the liver, ...What I like about this particular cleanse is that it has the powerful ability to effectively clean out the toxins, yet it is gentle enough in which one can still continue with their typical routines. For example, in the last year alone I have led several hundred participants through my cleanse protocol in which I use the Ejuva cleanse kit along with my cleanse program and a majority of my participants worked full-time throughout the entire 28 days."
Kali previously provided the Ejuva cleanse through one of Chicago's raw food hotspots, Cousin's Incredible Vitality. She raves about her similar program in Sedona: "With D'Lish and I working together I can provide all of my students of the class with specially prepared meals throughout the entire 28-day cleanse program. It makes for a convenient arrangement. The students come into to D'Lish once a week, for four weeks to partake in my two-hour classes, upon which they also pick up their meals. In addition, they stop by D'Lish two more times during the week to pick up the rest of their specially prepared cleanse meals. ... This relationship with D'Lish has been so successful that today the owners and I are in the beginning stages of developing a food-delivering program. The service is called Awaken, Organic Living Cuisine and we will be delivering all organic, vegan and raw food meals. We will also offer the special meals that go along with my Conscious Cleansing For Transformation special cleanse program. We are very excited about this; in that, all three of us are deeply passionate about both cleansing and the intake of organic, healthy, life-giving meals. See www.cleansingwithKali.com for more details." Kali's next class begins Sunday, February 17, 2008.
This cleanse program and many others emphasize organic, raw foods, which contain all the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. To quote Kali again, "Enzymes play a crucial role in not only working to assimilate vitamins and minerals but also in the breaking down of waste materials in the body. Raw foods provide abundant enzymes and the enzymes are crucial for cleansing to occur." Cooking food kills enzymes, which means the body needs to produce its own enzymes to digest the food. Along with enzyme depletion, foods cooked above 105-118 degrees lose many of their valuable nutrients and antioxidants. Scientists have observed leukocytosis (an elevation of white blood cell count above normal range) immediately following the consumption of cooked foods. For people trying to lose weight or overcome illnesses like cancer or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, this combination of low enzymes and nutrients, plus leukocytosis, makes cooked food a less than optimal choice for supporting radiant health. By contrast, raw food offers nature's most beautiful and bountiful gifts--full of vitality and packed with peak nutrients and enzymes.
But not everyone feels ready or wants to commit to a juice fast, juice feast, or a diet of completely raw foods. I (Laura Bruno) teach Conscious Eating 101 classes, designed to demystify all those alternative healing diets like Macrobiotics, Ayurveda, raw foodism, and why so many spiritual paths pay attention to what we eat. My one-day workshop also offers Medical Intuitive insights into weight gain/loss and how we use food to "ground ourselves" or to dull down or awaken Awareness. With more information, many people feel more confident choosing the cleansing or dietary paths that most support their health, lifestyle, and growth.
For those who just want to "dip their toes in cleansing waters," Sedona provides lots of options. Both D'Lish (3190 W HWY 89A) and New Frontiers (1420 W HWY 89A) have juice bars, where curious folks can try "green juices." The regular menu at D'Lish offers both cooked vegan and all raw dishes. And Café Raw Bliss (1595 W HWY 89A) is Northern Arizona's only completely raw vegan café! For a sweet yet healthy treat, try their homemade chocolates, which contain seven times the antioxidants of the cooked version, plus superfoods to supercharge your energy. Raw cacao (pronounced kuh-KOW) and a raw vegan enchilada just might transform your life!