1. On Your Mark, Get Set, Let’s GO! And grow, and know you can always embark on a healing journey. Start simply with an honest evaluation of your life and habits. How do you think each activity (or lack of it) contributes to your health (or might contribute in the future)? First look at your diet and the foods (and substances) you consume. You may not be able to change everything all at once. Look at your priorities and motivation and make the time to start. That’s a beginning. Gathering a base of knowledge of what to do will help. Focus not on what you have to avoid or give up, but on what you can do to see results on the way to the NEW YOU. Let’s start NOW.
2. Make a plan for one week, one month, or for the entire year to make key changes to your lifestyle and health. What will it take to achieve your goals? What habits undermine your health? What do you really want to change? What has control of you? It helps to read and make notes for your plan so that you can refer back to it often. Don’t be afraid to explore your own thoughts and feelings as you think about cleaning up your life. It is so important to health and healthy aging. Good choices in what we feed our brains and hearts are as necessary as good food. Reading the right stuff can provide you the know-how and give the inspiration and motivation needed to do this process in a way that works for you.
3. Let’s first look at the substances you use – the SNAACs, that is Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine, and Chemicals. What are your issues and questions? Identifying and releasing your habits is a primary step in your purification. Read about each of these common substances more completely in my book, The Detox Diet. It’s typically not as hard as we think to let go of our coffee or sugar habit, for example, to see how we really feel without these artificial stimulants. That’s the only way to truly assess how these substances affect us on a daily basis. Take a break. This does not mean that we should never drink coffee or eat sugar again; we just want to find the right and healthy relationship with each item we consume, or over-consume. Don’t we want a healthy relationship with everything and everyone in our life?
4. Follow The Detox Diet (see web article or book) to help you undo these habits. Following the diet of fruit and whole grain each morning, with steamed vegetables at lunch and dinner will help you feel and look lighter physically and emotionally, and be clearer mentally. Chew your food thoroughly and take time to nourish yourself. This will lay the groundwork for healthier eating habits. You will be taking a break from your substance habits, which most everyone has, and be getting away from processed and junky foods and chemicals. Your body will feel relief, as thousands of people have experienced. You will have the option after your cleansing process to add items back into your life, but once you realize their effects more clearly, you not want to have them back.
5. Many SUPPLEMENTS and HERBS help support the body in this healing process. During detoxification, it is helpful to use antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, the carotenes, selenium, and zinc. B-complex vitamins with extra vitamin C can help the body deal with the stress of change. Calcium/magnesium combinations are useful to calm the body, and at night, to sleep more soundly. Emergen-C packets are easy to carry and mix with water, which you should always have with you. I also use some fresh-water algae such as spirulina, chlorella, or blue-green for some extra amino acids and the physical and mental support I experience. Many herbs can help in the cleansing process. Keeping the bowels moving is crucial to healthy detoxification; herbs can help here. It’s important for the bowels to move two to three times daily to feel good during this process called life. There are many herbal detox programs and mild laxative products, as teas and tablets, available in the stores. Use them all cautiously and start slowly, as everyone’s experience is unique. If you pay attention, you will learn to apply the right products and processes to your body and life.
6. The second key level of the Purification Process is to look at your diet, in particular the foods you consume on a daily basis. Many people, especially those people who are overweight or don’t feel their best, have food reactions. The main culprits are what I call the Sensitive Seven?wheat, cow’s milk products, sugar, corn and corn syrup, eggs, soy, and peanuts. Any food item that we focus upon or are attached to could be a culprit; other possible concerns are chocolate, tomatoes, oranges, shellfish, yeast, oats, potatoes, and the additives MSG and aspartame. See my book, The False Fat Diet, for a full explanation and appropriate food plans to discover and remedy these common reactions. Taking a two week break from the Sensitive Seven foods to see how you feel is a good test. It takes a little effort, yet once you get organized, it’s not that difficult, and you may discover health secrets that could help you feel better for life.
7. SUPPLEMENTS that support this program are those that reduce food reactions and allergies as well as those that support better metabolism. These include vitamin C and Quercetin, MSM, Coenzyme Q10, Essential Fatty Acids, and Digestive support with HCl, Enzymes, and Probiotics (healthy bacteria). Supplements that may energize metabolism include the amino acids L-carnitine and L-tyrosine, Chromium, and DHEA. Exercise is still the best for metabolic enhancement. Herbs that reduce reactions and support metabolism include Ma-huang, Licorice root, Ginger root, Horseradish and Cayenne pepper, Garlic, and Nettle leaf. There are discussions and guidelines for all of these in my book, The False Fat Diet.
8. Regular EXERCISE is an essential part of the purification process. A balanced program is wise. Aerobic activity helps strengthen the heart and improve circulation and endurance. Weight training builds muscle, and the more muscle tissue you have, the better your metabolism. This fact is an important one for people trying to lose weight. Yoga stretching and deep breathing can help you center and energize. One of the great benefits of exercise is body purification?the cleansing of the blood and all the body tissues. Sweating helps to eliminate toxins; steams and saunas are also cleansing. Slow and steady is the way to go for consistent results.
9. The emotional issues around habits and foods are usually significant and must be handled to really correct problems. Emotional purification doesn1t always come the way we want. Dealing with our fears and anger, learning about forgiveness of self and others, and understanding our own needs and cycles will keep us on the new path we create, rather than be undermined by our deprived inner little boy or girl. Have an inner caucus and work out a new balance to clarify your needs and recreate what really satisfies your body most healthfully. This helps you to stop feeding your emotional extremes that may drag your energies into a bottomless pit, and boring yourself and your loved ones repeating challenges over and over rather than creating space for solutions.
10. Spiritual alignment and improved relationships to people, food, and self are a benefit of the purification process, as is the wide range of physical and mental improvements in energy, vitality, moods, and overall well being. What if you are in a limited work situation or relationship? Remember: There is nothing permanent except change and purification helps us create the change we are aiming for rather than allowing change to whelm us, by happening to us rather than through us. Most people in my groups make major and consistent changes that they are able to maintain long term. That’s one of the major goals of this process?to come out the other side with better habits, making the best choices for your overall being and optimal health.
Copyright Elson M. Haas, MD, 2002. All Rights Reserved.
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