Boost Your Metabolism and Eliminate Your Toxins
By Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS
A fast can be a terrific weight-loss method. During a fast, the primary source of fuel for the cells is fat. Of course, an improperly done fast can actually sabotage weight loss by disrupting your metabolism. The wrong kind of fasting can also threaten your health by stressing your liver, clogging your colon, and flooding your bloodstream with the oil soluble toxins that your body had been storing in its fat.
On the other hand, a fast done right—with your body prepared for fasting and properly supported during the regime—can flush the accumulated toxins from your cells, accelerate your weight loss, cleanse your body, and combat the effects of aging. Periodic fasting of this type can clear up skin conditions, boost your energy, and put a sparkle in your eyes. Moreover, a properly done fast offers you a chance to detoxify your body. A body overloaded with toxins and pollutants suffers from a weakened immune system, a stressed-out liver, and, in all probability, a malfunctioning colon. Such “toxic” bodies are far more vulnerable to disorders great and small, ranging from colds, flu, fatigue, and allergies—all the way up to autoimmune conditions, heart disease, and cancer. In other words, properly done fasting is the missing link to better health. And fasting and detox have one more benefit, perhaps the most dramatic and the least well-known of all. Fasting is the missing link to long-term weight loss. That’s because detox and weight loss go hand in hand. The more toxic your body becomes, the more difficulty you will have losing weight and keeping it off.
WEIGHT LOSS AND TOXICITY
More than 60 diseases have been linked to obesity. More than 60 percent of Americans are overweight, while at least 30 percent of US adults are obese—and close to 20 million children. Six out of ten Americans face a weight gain that might literally kill them by setting them up for diabetes, heart disease, and other deadly conditions. Now recall the almost daily warnings about the growing amount of pollutants, toxins, and synthetic chemicals found in our food, water, and air. The use of pesticides alone has doubled every 10 years since 1945. Every day, corporations, cars, and homes release 700,000 tons of pollution into our air. Farmers spray 72 different pesticides on our fruits and veggies. Cows are injected with estrogens to fatten them up and then stuffed with pesticide-laden grains to satisfy their artificial hunger. I’m here to tell you there’s a connection. Based on many years as a practicing nutritionist, I see a clear link between rising levels of obesity and the fact that most of us are becoming more toxic every year. Clearly, we are in need of both diet and detox—a safe, effective way to lose weight based on supporting our livers and colons.
FASTING FOR HEALTH AND WEIGHT LOSS
When we begin to detoxify, two simultaneous procedures begin. One takes place on the cellular level, as each of our body’s cells gets an opportunity to release any toxins it may hold. That’s why drinking lots of fluids is such an important part of any fast—it helps flush out these toxins as they are released into the bloodstream. At the same time, our organs have an extra chance to eliminate toxins stored inside the body, but outside the cells. We may find ourselves sweating, coughing, or experiencing other symptoms of our body’s new determination to unload the poisons it has stored for so long, including headaches, fatigue, irritability, and foggy thinking. The explanation is simple: as we burn up stored body fat for fuel, the oil-soluble toxins we’ve stored in our fat are also released, sometimes causing distress as they recirculate through the system. Although this so-called healing crisis can be uncomfortable for some people, a good detox makes us feel much better in the end. Sharpened senses, more restful sleep, fewer or less severe allergies, and improved mental clarity are only some of the benefits you may experience from an effective detox.
THE SEVEN-DAY PREQUEL
It’s essential to prepare for your one-day fast with a seven-day prequel. This involves fortifying your liver and stimulating your colon to eliminate waste properly; drinking lots of pure water; and avoiding alcohol, refined sugar, and other detox detractors. Prepare for your detox with this simple six-step program.
Green leafy vegetables and herbs (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw): parsley, kale, watercress, chard, cilantro, beet greens, escarole, dandelion greens, or mustard greens. Chlorophyll-rich greens are powerful blood purifiers.
Citrus (1 orange or juice of 1/2 fresh lemon or lime): oranges, lemons, and limes are full of vitamin C, perhaps the most liver-loving vitamin of them all. Vitamin C stimulates the production of glutathione, the liver’s premier antioxidant.
Sulfur-rich foods: garlic (at least one clove, minced, preferably raw), onions (1.2 cup cooked), eggs (2), or daikon radish (1/4 cup sliced, either raw or cooked). These foods make toxins easier to eliminate.
Liver healers: artichoke (1 small whole or 4 cooked hearts), asparagus (1/2 cup cooked), beets (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw), celery (2 medium stalks), dandelion tea (1 to 2 cups), whey (1 to 2 scoops), or nutritional yeast flakes (1 to 2 teaspoons).
2. Each day, choose at least two of the following colon-caring foods:
Powdered psyllium husks (1 to 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water),milled or ground flaxseeds (2 to 3 tablespoons), carrot (1 small raw), apple (1 small raw with skin), pear (1 small raw with skin), or berries (1 cup).
3. Each day, drink half your body weight in ounces of filtered or purified water.Water helps detoxify your system by carrying away waste products more efficiently and helping your liver, colon, and digestive system do their jobs. Our cells, too, need water to carry away their metabolic waste products.
4. Each day, make sure you have at least two servings (the size of the palm of your hand) of protein: lean beef, veal, lamb, skinless chicken, turkey, or fish. If you’re a vegetarian, have at least two tablespoons a day of high-quality blue-green algae or spirulina source. Protein activates the production of the enzymes that your detox system needs to break down toxins into water-soluble substances so they can be eliminated from the body.
5. Each day, make sure you have 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil.
Olive oil and flaxseed oil will lubricate your intestines, helping your colon to more easily pass all waste products—and the toxins they carry—out of your body.
6. Avoid the following detox detractors:Excess fat, especially trans fat from processed and fried foods; sugar and all its relatives; artificial sweeteners; refined carbohydrates (including white rice and products made from white flour); gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut, and all their products);soy protein isolates; alcohol and caffeine; mold (found in overly ripe fruits, especially melons); and milk and cheese.
Healthy fasting—the kind supported by adequate nutritional preparation for the liver and sufficient fiber for the colon—is probably the best-kept secret I know to good health, long-term weight loss, and an overall feeling of well-being. To conduct your one-day fast, follow these four simple steps.
2 quarts cranberry water (add 8 ounces unsweetened cranberry juice to 56 ounces filtered water, or 3 tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate to 60 ounces of filtered water) 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice Stevia Plus to taste (2 packets seems ideal)
2. Alternate drinking-1 cup (8 ounces) of filtered water and 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of Miracle Juice during the day. Drink at least 72 ounces of filtered water throughout the day, in addition to the Miracle Juice. Make sure you drink at least 1 cup of liquid—either water or the juice—every hour. Begin the protocol when you wake up in the morning.
3. Upon rising and at the end of the day, take 1 serving of a colon caring supplement, such as powdered psyllium husks (1 to 2 teaspoons mixed in 8 ounces of water or Miracle Juice) or ground or milled flaxseeds (2 to 3 tablespoons mixed in 10 to 12 ounces of water or 8 ounces Miracle Juice).
4. Engage in light exercise, either a 20-minute walk or 10 minutes on the rebounder, a light form of exercise that involves jumping on a mini trampoline.
A variety of supplements can help you maintain your health after your fast. Start with a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement. Antioxidants are crucial for liver detox and maintaining your health in general. Vitamins C and E are particularly important, as are glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, L-cysteine, and vitamin B2. Continue to take an HCl and pepsin supplement with meals. Also incorporate omega-3s in the form of fish oil liquid or soft gels. Omega-3 fatty acids enhance glucose regulation and help reverse insulin resistance, both of which actions ultimately support weight control. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid) are essential fatty acids that are also anti-inflammatory agents.
Once you’ve completed your detox, I hope you’ve both lost some weight and gained a new attitude. I don’t want you to try to detox for just the 11 days it takes to complete this program—I hope you become so hooked on detox that you’ll start to eat healthy, clean, organic foods; cleanse your system regularly; and discover that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to protect our health, your body, and our planet.
This article is adapted from The Fast Track Detox Diet with permission from the author. More info at www.fatflush.com.
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