A new community

Making SauerkrautWhat a great weekend of opportunity!
It started out Friday with a co-worker offering to give private lessons on learning single brushstroke painting. To my delight, slaDE decided that he wanted to take this private lesson together and learn a new cre8tive skill as well!

To follow, out of the blue, Tanya, a fellow member of freecycle, suggested that I might be interested in a ‘kraut’ party (being a raw food enthusiast now), Sunday night. That sounded like an incredible amount of fun, and very community oriented. I was most definitely game. Sunday evening came and I ended up meeting some fabulous new friends, making 4 large batches of sauerkraut (not your typical sauerkraut recipe, with such an endless possibility of enhancements — {organic everything} – carrots, seaweed, burdock root, juniper berries, ginger root, numerous spices & herbs, etc!

Growing up with traditional German Grandparents (who savoured such foods as blood sausage, head cheese, cow’s tongue and brain sandwiches), I was introduced to the joys of sauerkraut at a very young age. So upon discovering this party, I was stoked at the thought of participating. It was amazing and so much more than I could ever have expected. I found an extremely healthy, environmentally concerned, raw-oriented community. It was synergistic, as so many parts of my cleanse seem to be. Making SauerkrautTurns out, Laura (the partner of Malcolm, the raw chef and cre8tor of the superfood family) is a colon therapist. I was serious about finding such a specialist in Calgary, to further enhance my cleanse, but I wasn’t having much luck in finding one. Well Laura has taken me on as a new client, I am happy to say! It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, and most importantly, asking the right questions!

You may wonder what sauerkraut and a detox have in common? Well, part of my cleanse involves consuming pressed salads (high in digestive enzyme properties, and completely raw), and sauerkraut would be of the type. Although it won’t be ready for another 3 weeks, my digestive system will be forever thankful after my rigid schedule ‘winds’ down a bit. I don’t want to wait that long, but of course I will :).

Clarifying matters

kicking it alL!Okay, just to set the record straight, my reasoning behind a lengthy 4-6 week detoxification has NOTHING to do with what the bratty young stars (Spears, Lohan and Mel Gibson to name but a few) who have made fashionable the expensive detox ‘holidays’. Nor does it have anything to do with wanting to lose weight; it’s not a ‘diet’ per se, but rather a way of living and flourishing. This quote below explains it best:

The term detox is also used to refer to diets, herbs, and other methods of removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body for general health.

There are many different types of detox diets. Generally, a detox diet is a short-term diet that:

  • Minimizes the amount of chemicals ingested (e.g. by choosing organic food)
  • Emphasizes foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification
  • Contains foods that draw out and eliminate toxins by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and urination (such as high fiber foods and water)

For me, in addition to the above, embarking on this adventure means trying to rid myself of a lot of toxic mercury which has been creating some undesirable side effects in my life lately. Also, I’m hoping to ease the joint discomfort which leaves me in want of restful undisturbed sleep. Care to take the challenge and follow me in my footsteps? Come on, it’ll be GREAT for you :).

Body Pollution

Detox Menu

This menu is another really useful guide if you’re considering attempting a general detox.
My herbal plan similarly follows this in the pre-cleanse phase for the first 2 weeks (with additional doses of psyllium fibre ‘shots’ twice per day). The two weeks following this, my regime is quite more diligent and precisely monitored. I’m on Day 8 and well 1/2way through the pre-cleanse! In a few days i can start to add liquid clay to my twice daily shots. YuM!

A Detox Menu

Knowing what foods are good for you and which ones to avoid during your detox is all well and good, but if you don’t know how to put them together into a coherent meal plan for just one day, then you’re not going to have much chance of lasting throughout your whole detox programme. So at Videojug we’ve come up with a few ideas of how to construct a healthy 24 hour meal plan.

Step 1:
On Rising
The first thing you should do each morning upon waking is have an immune system boosting glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it. Not only is it packed with Vitamin C but it also is believed to lower cholesterol.

Step 2:
Wheat products are to be avoided during your detox, this will rule out regular cereals and toast as breakfast options. However, you can easily make your own Muesli with a combination of rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts and dried fruit. Remember to use Soya or Goats milk, as this is more easily digested and triggers less mucus production than Cows milk.

Step 3:
Salads make an excellent healthy lunch and can be taken to work easily. Try to use darker leaf salads as these are generally more nutritious, with Romaine and Watercress having 2-4 times more calcium and twice the amount of potassium than iceberg lettuce. Just remember to use organic ingredients wherever possible and to wash them all thoroughly.

Step 4:
Evening Meal
There are lots of options when it comes to what you can have for an evening meal. Risotto’s made with wholegrain rice; vegetable and bean casserole’s; and Lentil curries are all delicious options that take very little preparation. Using fresh spices and seasoning will also help the detoxification process, with things like basil and ginger aiding the digestive process, whilst garlic helps to lower blood cholesterol. Fish meals can also be incredibly nutritious and a superb source of protein with Sole, Salmon and Tuna all lending themselves to a variety of dishes.

Step 5:
All sorts of nutritious produce can be eaten as snacks throughout the day. Celery and carrot sticks can be combined with a homemade hummus or guacamole dip, nuts and dried fruits are full of fibre, protein and vitamins, and fresh fruit is both filling and nutritious!

Detox – dos and don’ts

I found this article extremely useful in addition to the herbal detox plan I am following. I’m also reading a ton of books on raw food and such, and am getting confused by all the options. Good to stick back to the ‘basics’.

Detox – What To Eat
Detox, short for detoxification, is the removal of potentially toxic substances from the body, including alcohol, caffeine and other chemicals found in foods. A detox diet is a good way of limiting the toxins you allow to enter the body, whilst enhancing the organs’ ability to remove them from your system. Here’s how to do it properly.

Step 1:
Organic Food
Try to buy organic food whilst you are detoxing, as non-organic farming methods use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If your budget can’t stretch to organic products, or if they’re simply not available, then ensure that you wash all fruit and veggies thoroughly to remove unwanted toxins.

Step 2:
Fruit and Vegetables
Stock up on plenty of fruit and vegetables as these will be making up the bulk of your diet. Try to eat at least five portions each day. Apples, bananas, kiwi fruit, all types of berries, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower will all help to decrease your risk of cancer, boost your immune system and prevent heart disease.

Step 3:
Grains and Pulses
During your detox, try to avoid wheat products such as breads, pasta and cereals. Gluten, the protein found in wheat, is difficult to digest for a growing number of people, resulting in constipation and bloating. Instead, try to substitute these for one wholegrain product per day such as brown rice, millet and Quinoa.

Eat plenty of pulses such as beans, peas and lentils which are all superb sources of protein and fibre.

Step 4:
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds help to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease as well as being good sources of fatty acids, so try to eat a couple of tablespoons worth per day. Make sure you eat them raw and unsalted as roasting them destroys the Vitamin E they contain.

Step 5:
Meat and Fish
Avoid eating meat and meat products during your detox as humans find it difficult to digest quickly, meaning unwanted toxins can be released into the body through the intestines. Instead try to eat 3-5 portions of fish a week as it is a good source of protein and essential fatty acids. Wherever possible try to eat fresh fish that has not been farmed as these can contain chemicals used to ward off parasites.

Step 6:
Non-Dairy foods
Avoid all Cow’s milk products during your Detox as they increase the body’s production of mucus, which can clog up sinuses and the respiratory system. As an alternative you could try goats milk or soy milk products as these are digested much more easily by the body.

Step 7:
All coffee and tea should be avoided due to their caffeine content, and even decaffeinated versions can contain lots of chemicals used in the removal of the caffeine. Alcohol consumption is also not permitted as it can have detrimental effects on the nutrients you are consuming. Instead, drink plenty of water, about 1.5 – 2 litres per day, as being correctly hydrated will decrease tiredness, headaches and improve concentration. Herbal teas and fresh fruit juices are also acceptable drinks whilst on a detox as they are a great source of further vitamins and minerals.

Step 8:
Before you plan to follow any detox programme you should seek medical advice if you are:
** pregnant
** breast-feeding
** taking prescription medications
** currently undergoing any medical treatment
** or recovering from a serious illness or major surgery

Detox – Day 5

GratitudeOk, ok, I’m running behind in my journalling, as per usual as of late. But this herbal detox is taking so much energy to prepare for and stick with. I’m actually starting to enjoy the clean fresh empty feeling of my cleanse … my sense of smell and taste has kicked into overdrive, and my energy levels have boosted somewhat from the norm in my life. All the juicing and fresh organic raw vegetables make such a difference! I’m truly enjoying the energized buzz that I get with my morning liver flush + dry brushing skin routine + shower. What a way to wake uP!!

5 more days of the pre-cleanse and then I kick into the heavy duty herbal supplement with clay detoxification program for at least 2 weeks. I’m really hoping that I can rid myself of lot of the accumulated mercury and other heavy metals in my system that are wearing me down and wreaking havoc on my joints. I’m still not sleeping due to the pain in my shoulders, but one day at a time. 🙂 I’m so proud of my determination to ignore all the Halloween treats that bombarded my every move the last few days. What a way to test ones willpower. I’ve passed the major hurdle and I’m grateful for the strong determination to make a difference in my life. Thank you to all for your strength and support. My honey has been so amazing as well!