Springtime is upon us! Open the windows, let the fresh air in. Its time for some spring cleaning so let’s look at how we can do a spring cleaning for our bodies.
Periodic spring cleaning can be a highly beneficial practice leading to enhanced energy, minimized or eradicated disease and longer life. Plus you know summer is just around the corner so it’s a great time to get into warm weather shape!
First of all, let me say that eating a raw food diet is in and of itself a cleansing and healing diet. So if you don’t normally eat a high percentage of raw, doing so is a form of fasting and will result in the above-mentioned benefits. Cooking and processing foods not only damage and destroy macro and micronutrients but also can result in chemical reactions that create substances that are toxic to our bodies such as acrylamide.
So it comes as no surprise that every time after a person eats cooked food, his/her blood responds immediately by increasing the number of white blood cells. This is a stress response by the body as if the body is reacting to something harmful, such as infection, trauma, or exposure to toxic chemicals. This well-known phenomenon is called “pathological leukocytosis”. Eating unaltered, raw food or food heated at low temperatures does not cause this reaction in the blood. If raw food has been consumed immediately before cooked food, there is also no rise in white blood cells.
If you do eat mostly raw your body is already cleansing. You can expedite and deepen this process by juice fasting. Especially green juice fasting is one of the best ways I know to detox and cleanse your body while still ensuring you are getting the full gamut of nutrients. In fact, juicing can increase the amount of nutrition your body is able to absorb from food because of one simple fact.
Normally your digestive system has to pull the nutrients out of the fiber in the food as it passes through your intestines. Because juicing removes the fiber from foods your body is able to get a much higher percentage of the nutrients from the same food with less effort. Green juices also contain lots of minerals that are necessary to help eliminate toxins released during the fast.
For many people who have been eating a less than optimum diet for years, their digestive system is compromised by build up and deposits throughout the intestines so that it is very hard for the food to even get through let alone be fully absorbed. Colon cleanses can be an important support to fasting as the channels of elimination need to be cleared.
Another major benefit of a cleansing juice fast is that after several days without digesting fiber from outside food sources, the human body automatically goes into a completely different metabolic cycle. Basically, the body assumes that there is a shortage of food and so it shifts its focus and starts to eat itself. The benefit is that it starts by digesting sick and dead cells. What an amazing program. All you need to do is give your digestive system a rest in order to start the self-cleaning cycle.
If one has any sort of serious illness or acute or chronic disease, it is highly recommended to do fasting in conjunction with a health practitioner who is well versed in the science of fasting.
Fighting Microbial Overgrowth During Spring Cleaning
Now let’s look at some more specific situations that require cleansing. Unfriendly bacteria, yeast, fungi, and mold are conditions largely caused by a body stressed by acidic foods, low oxygen, environmental toxins, heavy metals, and lack of exercise. What happens is that microzyma, the smallest living units in our body, much smaller than cells, change their form and function according to their environment.
Microforms are on this planet to do an important job- they decompose dead organic matter. However, if the body’s internal environment is low in oxygen and acidic, these microzymas evolve into bacteria, yeast, fungi, and mold.
The good news is that these microforms can de-evolve back to their original state. The key to prevent or reverse microbial conditions in our body is to bring plenty of oxygen into our body through good breathing, sleep, exercise, cleansing our body of toxins and changing our diet to one that supports a healthy internal environment.
To soften the detox-symptoms, especially when severe microbial overgrowth is present, one can alternate green juices with a delicious soup made by blending baby greens, sprouts, avocado or soaked nuts/ seeds, a piece of Granny Smith Apple in a base of water. It’s a great way to pleasantly gain the benefits of consuming raw green vegetables in a very digestible form.
The center of the raw vegan diet is green leafy vegetables and other chlorophyll-rich foods, such as seaweed. These foods have an unsurpassed ability to deliver oxygen and alkalize the body due to their high mineral content – they are optimal for building an internal environment where fungi, mold, and parasites are hard-pressed to survive.
Some of the most powerful healers are wild plants and homegrown baby leafy greens – like alfalfa, broccoli, buckwheat greens, cabbage, clover, fenugreek, garlic, green pea shoots, kale, lettuce, mizuna, mustard, onion, radish, spinach, sunflower greens, turnip, and watercress. Virtually anything you see as a mature green, you can grow as a high-energy 5-day-old baby green.
Sprouting is a very organic
Another benefit is that sprouting is a very organic and grounding practice- you are basically doing home farming. It’s lots of fun. Creating your own little kitchen garden is an amazing way to bring spring cleansing and immune building power into your house and into your body.
Note: Sprouts of legumes and beans might not be tolerated in a very compromised body at first and are best introduced later. Also, because fungi and mold are feeding especially on sugar, all sugars and sweeteners need to be eliminated. This includes sweet fruits and their juices as well.
Non-sweet fruits such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocados are beneficial in creating a healthy internal terrain. Lemons and limes might cause some distress for some candida sufferers and should be avoided at the beginning. Once a healthy internal terrain has been reestablished, some natural sugars need to be included again, such as red bell pepper, berries, and carrots.
A raw plant-based diet naturally does not include substances that typically favor microbial overgrowths such as dairy and refined foods, coffee, and sodas. It is also important to eliminate soy sauce, Nama Shoyu, nutritional yeast, and raw mushrooms.
Fermented raw foods such as sauerkraut can be difficult for people with a compromised system despite containing good bacteria. Supplementing with acidophilus or bifidus, also called probiotics, is a very good choice for restoring the normal balance of the digestive flora.
Essential Fatty Acids like black currant seed oil and flaxseed oil are essential in preventing microbial overgrowth and their released toxins from destroying healthy cells.
The recovery process can be dramatically facilitated by supplementing with the following angstrom-size minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, Silver, Zinc, Molybdenum, Germanium and Copper.
Necessary “friendly” bacteria
As an added note, mercury in the body inhibits the growth of the necessary “friendly” bacteria in the intestines. Chlorella, a single-cell algae plant coming from fresh water, is an amazing mercury remover. (More on getting rid of those nasty heavy metals in another column)
Finally, be aware that the use of antibiotics, steroids, immune-suppressing drugs or oral contraceptives creates an environment that favors microbial overgrowth.
By the way, go and have some fun in the sun! Yeasts and fungi are destroyed by direct sunlight! Don’t overdo it but sunlight is necessary for optimum health and only bad if overdone.
So, surprise surprise: a natural cleanse involves getting good exercise, taking in lots of good living foods and getting outside to enjoy nature. Sounds good to me. Have fun and remember, “Make food your friend”.