Monday, November 14, 2011

Detox Sucks

Please forgive the crassness of my title - but really, could I have said anything more true?  I was going to title this "Detox = NO FUN" which is true too, but just plain sucks so why not get the truth, the whole true and nothin' but the truth right out there in the open? 

What is detox?  In my simplistic understanding of things, detox is getting the toxins (i.e. poisons) we've ingested into our bodies, out of our bodies.  We most commonly think of detox as being related to drugs.  We've probably seen it on TV shows with someone isolated in a white hospital room sweating and vomiting for 24 hrs, in total misery, trying to purge their bodies of the drugs.  That would be an extreme example.  What most people don't realize is that we ingest toxins and poisons everyday into our bodies simply by eating processed foods.  Our kidneys and liver do an incredible job of trying to clean up the mess we make, but they can only clean up so much.  Toxins get stored inside our cells, our organs...really, inside the entirety of our bodies.  Unless we do something to get rid of it, it just keeps building.  I believe (again, don't quote me) these stored toxins have a lot to do with the increase of cancer and other debilitating diseases (like diabetes) that are running rampant in our nation today.

When I first attended a class on eating raw foods, Living Raw by Grace's Haley Turney explained about detoxing and that no one should ever go raw overnight because the detox would be so intense you might not be able to endure it...and it would last up to 2 weeks.  I listened to her say that several different times but it basically went in one ear and out the other.  I'd been eating partially raw for a few months when my husband took a 2 week trip to Korea.  The day he left I got this brainchild AH~HA moment, thinking it was the perfect time to go 100% raw while he was gone...i.e. no one around to influence my eating in a negative way.  So I did.  3 days into eating raw and I literally thought I was going to die.  I was depressed, angry, snappy, impatient with the kids, horrible stomach pain, achy, lying in bed and wondering if I was going insane or dying or both. Oh - and we won't even mention the toilet.  We don't need that much truth!

That's when I suddenly remembered Haley saying "I don't recommend anyone going raw overnight."  UGH!  NOW I remember?  So immediately I contacted her on-line and told her what was going on.  She thought it was a rather extreme detox but said yes, that's probably what it was and as sugar was an addictive drug, I might want to add some back into my diet and go off it a little slower next time.  Lovely.  At least I knew the reason behind the horribleness, though.  I looked on-line and found this site called Natural Therapy and this is what it said (and I think I had all but 2):

Common Detox Symptoms

Detox can create a number of symptoms in your body as your body goes through the process of purifying itself and eliminating toxins.  Some common detox symptoms include:
  • headaches
  • lethargy
  • temporary muscle aches
  • mucus or other discharge
  • a coated, pasty tongue
  • flu-like symptoms
  • irritability
  • difficulty sleeping
  • weakness
  • cravings
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gas
You may even find that the detoxing process causes you to suffer the old symptoms that you have had that the body has suppressed.  You may think that you are becoming ill but it is important that you continue with the detox and don’t take any medications to help with the symptoms.  The aim to flush chemicals from the body, not introduce more!

Since that initial horrible introduction into detoxing, I've gone through it a dozen more times at least, but none to the same degree.  It's funny that, still, I don't attribute how I'm feeling to detox.  Just last week I started a new therapy called FSM (or Frequency Specific Microcurrent) to help with my inflammation on a cellular level.  It basically cleans out your cells, getting rid of the toxins that have attached themselves to the cells and allows for healing to happen.  Later the day I started FSM I thought I had the flu.  I felt so horrible I laid my head on the kitchen table and cried.  My little boy said, "Where's my mommy?  What happened to you??" I felt terrible for making him feel sad.  I told my sister that I didn't think the therapy was working because now I was sick with the flu.  And she said "You're Detoxing Dummy!"  (minus the "dummy" part but it WAS implied!  lol).

So, I write all this for anyone who is starting to eat clean, go Raw or do a Cleanse.  You WILL experience detox and you might not know what's going on or may easily become discouraged.  Hopefully this will help you not be discouraged.  Know that this too will pass and you'll be a lot healthier for it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Is it easy?

Is (eating clean) easy?  I get asked this question a lot.  I actually don't understand why I get asked this question a lot.  If you're reading this, and you know me, you've probably asked it...come on, fess up!  The simple answer is NO!  Is it easy for a smoker to quit smoking?  Is it easy for drug addicts to walk away from their drug of choice?  No, it's not.  It's the same for a food addict...or more specifically, for a sugar addict.

I truly believe that sugar is a drug and that it's the most addictive and costly drug in America.  It's in most of our food supply.  Take a look at your Lawry's Garlic Salt...sugar.  Your spaghetti sauce. Your cereal.  Your whole wheat pita bread (which I was going to buy today until I read it...SUGAR!)  Your muffins.  Actually, muffins are the devil behind this moody post today.  My husband is not on board with Clean Eating.  He doesn't want to be limited by me and my "wierd" cooking habits.  He usually goes to Fry's and stocks up on bags of carbs and sugar for the week.  Honestly, none of that stuff tempts me because I think Fry's has the worst bakery known to man.  So it's easy to stay away from it.  But this week he wanted Costco muffins.  Have you ever had Costco muffins?  They're HUGE and moist and come in amazing flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Apple Cinnamon Crumble.  I bought him the muffins thinking no problem...until I opened the package for a "quicky" breakfast for the kids (knowing I shouldn't but that whole "time" issue was at play...) and that sweet smell wafted out to tickle my nose.  (Ok, I'm getting a little corny...I'm no novelist...).  I just had to have a tiny taste of a crumb ~  That's ALL (I told myself)...until suddenly the entire giant muffin had disappeared.  Do you know how good those taste?  THEN I picked up the packaging.  It was healthy, I told myself.  It's a PUMPKIN muffin.  Pumpkin is soooo healthy.  But pumpkin wasn't the #1 ingredient.  White processed flour wasn't even the main ingredient.  No...SUGAR was the main ingredient.  No wonder it tasted so good.  No wonder I wanted to eat more.

One irony about all these lifestyle changes I'm making is that people don't believe I'm a sugar addict!  I'll tell someone I've just met (i.e. yesterday) about how I eat and they'll say "Oh, that's great.  I could never do it.  I have too big of a sweet tooth."  Like I don't?  I'm here to say I still struggle with this - every single day!

One episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition really impacted me earlier this year when it was shown.  A largely obese woman was talking about her food addiction and how hard it was going to be to change her eating.  She said that for drug abusers, they can "just" stay away from drugs.  Smokers can stay away from cigarettes (not to say it isn't a battle daily for them - BUT it is possible for them to avoid the source).  But for a food addict, you can never stay away from the source.  All people must eat daily.  We have to have food, it's just not an option to not eat.  Making the choice to eat the right foods IS. VERY. HARD.  We can't drive down a main street in America without passing every sort of food temptation known to man.

I've read a lot of statistics over the past months and I'm terrible at remembering numbers, so I won't even attempt it.  But I will give a broad summarization of them.  Sugar addiction is the most costly and hardest-to-beat addiction in America.  I believe it's also the leading cause of death.  Whether it be death by diabetes or obesity or 1000 other health/weight related illnesses, including cancer.  Sugar (also known as glucose or fructose) is a cancer cells main foodsource.  Sugar is extremely costly.  People spend more on medications to fight sugar-related illnesses than is spent on the entire drug war.  And more people are dying of pharmaceutical drug overdose now than illegal drug overdose.  This is a sad state of affairs we Americans find ourselves in.  (please don't quote me - I am not a scientist or dr) 

Statistics alone won't help a person make a lifestyle change.  Watching one or two of the awesome videos out there (Food, Inc for one) isn't enough to make a lifestyle change stick.  It's a great motivating start for a lifestyle change but in the end, it's not enough.  There has to be a deeper reason to change a habit that has been built over decades.  There has to be something or Someone greater that will help us to make right decisions when faced with 1000 temptations.  And there has to be a whole lot of God's grace and help through the process.  Because enthusiasm dies.  And it's hard to press on despite the temptations.  I encourage you to dig deeper.  What's your reason?  Who are you doing it for and why?  Write it down - put it where you can see and remember.  I WILL eat clean because...

So - is it easy?  Is it easy for someone with a 30+ year addiction and 30+ years of bad habits to do a complete 180?  No, it's not easy.  But it IS worth it!  It's worth it to see the weight fall off.  It's worth it not to have trouble breathing. It's worth it to be able to bend over and pick up toys and trash off the living room floor without having to catch your breath in between bits and pieces.   It's worth it to be off of all prescription medications.  It's worth it to know (short of an accident of some sort) that I'm giving myself more time on the earth and for my kids.  It's worth knowing what healthy is so I can teach it to my children.  What an amazing legacy to pass on!  Attaining Optimal Health is definitely worth it. 

(Here are 3 of my Why's...isn't that photo hilarious?  My fighters with their homemade pirates patches...they're definitely worth fighting for!)

It's not easy but YES it's worth it!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days

Many times in my blogs and on my resources page I've mentioned Haley Turney of Living Raw by Grace.  I've done some classes with her and have all of her cookbooks, regularly preparing, sharing and enjoying many of her recipes.  Last night she had a graduates potluck that I was very eager to attend.  I couldn't wait to see what other recipes people had come up with while eating some amazing and healthy food.  I also needed to go to "re-set" my brain and be reminded of why I've choosing to eat Clean and Raw.

Sometimes despite the knowledge gathered and the best of intentions, old habits are just too hard to slip back into.  A bite of this here, a piece of that there and then suddenly I can't claim to be eating Clean or Raw at all.  So attending last night was a great refresher of the health benefits to eating well (and I'll actually go here and say - eating right!).

We watched an incredible video called "Simply Raw - Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days" .  If you have a family history of diabetes or have diabetes yourself, I highly recommend getting ahold of this video and taking an hour to watch.  The movie follows 6 people beginning with their lives at home, showing the types of food they eat and describes how bad their diabetes is.  It's so tragic to watch the hopelessness they live with on a daily basis.  Each of them replied to a Craig's List ad to reverse their diabetes in 30 days.  It was their last hope if they wanted to live...not just live a fantastic life...but to live!  They came to a farm in Patagonia, Arizona (I'm from here and had never heard of Patagonia before!) for 30 days of isolation, training, and medical care but most importantly - of eating raw food.  30 days later they had ALL lost a minimum of 25 lbs and were off of all medications and insulin.  They looked so healthy and happy - and hopeful.

It just amazes me that when we go back to the way God created the earth, with the foods He designed to be perfect for our bodies, the wonderful health benefits that are reaped.  This whole journey of food, with all of it's trials and errors, has left me profoundly amazed with the Creation story and the perfection of The Garden of Eden.  Prior to this year, I could never understand how Adam and Eve were supposed to survive in the garden with "just" whole fresh fruits and veggies to eat.  How boring!  But now unboring it truly was.  Leave it to a sinful people to see perfection as boring.  And now, with all of the master chefs in the world preparing incredible foods from whole, raw ingredients, we have no excuses not to be enjoying God's complete food gifts to their fullest extent.  (I write to myself - the Queen of Excuses!)

It's my hope that someday someone with diabetes will read this and that their life will be saved.  Truly this information is life-saving and it's not info that a doctor will ever give them (you).  Part of my journey to optimal health was to avoid diabetes.  Given how I was eating and my sugar addiction, I was on a path of intersection with the disease, especially since I have a family history of it.  "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food" has become my motto and according to the doctors, I'm doing it successfully!  I hope you will as well.  Here's the link to the Simply Raw site.  If you sign up for their newsletter you'll get some freebies to help kick-start your journey.  Good luck...and I wish you a future full of Hope.