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Monday, February 14, 2011

"Doing a detox" the Angel Way...should you or shouldn't you?

The light's more golden, the air is a balmy 52 degrees and the days are perceptibly longer.  Even though several feet of snow still blanket the New England ground, I can feel spring coming.  This is the time of year many people start to think about "doing a detox." 

As I'm sure all the readers of this blog know, a"detox" diet or cleanse is a food or supplement regimen designed to help your body release toxins or accumlulated wastes that may have built up in the tissues or organs.  However, according to the Angels, for most adults who are otherwise healthy, a detox may be unnecessary, and even potentially harmful.  

It can be very easy to overdo a detox, to the point of depleting the body's own reserves.  Beneficial bacteria can be wiped out, or imbalances created which can leave you feeling weak.   Commerical detox regimens can be expensive.   So here it is... spring is coming...what can you do to bolster your energy in the next few months and help yourself feel as vibrant as a spring sunbeam? 

According to the Angels, if you give your body the nutrients and water it needs to perform its many functions, and limit the amount of man-made chemical substances you ingest, your system is perfectly capable of detoxifying itself.  The liver and kidneys are miraculous organs that science can only attempt to replicate...consider how clumsy the dialysis process is.   A healthy detoxification won't occur overnight, and the differences at first may seem subtle.

The Angels urge you to allow four to six weeks and to follow these gentle suggestions:

- Increase your water intake to 6-8 ounces at every meal or snack.  Herbal teas and coffee without sweetener counts.
- Eliminate to the extent possible all manmade chemical addivities or presevatives.  Choose processed foods made only of natural ingredients.
- Consider adding herbs such as astragulus root, dandelion, chickweed, dulse or ginseng to your diet.  Investigate ayurvedic, Chinese or American herbal systems and see what resonates for you.  Consult an herbalist or ayurvedic nutritionist if you feel you need more direction.
- Eat a serving of fresh leafy greens at least three times a day.  Watercress, parsley and "spring mixes" in the grocery store are all great choices.  Dress lightly with olive oil and lemon, or other fresh herbs.
- Salt only to taste and avoid adding salt during cooking (unless it's to water to make it boil faster.)
- Make the organic, free-range, cage-free, no hormone added choice as often as possible.  This is especially important when considering dairy products or meats.
- Consider drinking a cup of warm water with the juice of half a fresh lemon every morning. 
- Add fresh papaya or papaya enzymes to your diet.  The enzymes in papaya can be as effective as prescription drugs at minimizing heartburn or "acid reflux." 
- Try to eat at least one full rainbow every day, or one serving each of a fruit or vegetable in all five colors: red, orange, yellow, green and blue/purple.
- Move your body.  Dance.  Do yogo.  Run up and down steps.  Walk.  Go the gym.  Whatever it is you love to do, do it.  For at least twenty or thirty minutes a day.  You deserve it and your body craves it. 
- Follow the Guidelines - especially Four, Five and Six - at least two days out of every three.     
- Practice deep breathing with awareness for three to five minutes a day.  Simply sit wherever you happen to be.  Take several deep breaths all the way into your belly, hold for three or four counts, and then fully expell it.  Allow yourself to connect fully with your breathing.    

As with any behavior changes, go slowly.  Perhaps incorporate one change at a time, or make a committment to allow yourself to skip one of the tips every day.  Moderate your behavior by giving yourself breaks - try to be consistent two or three days in a row and then give yourself a day or at least a meal "off."    The Angels urge you to be aware of your body as the miraculous creation that it is - a living manifestation of the Divine and to trust that it is capable of bringing itself into holistic balance.  
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