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The right herbs in the right doses are extremely effective at activating the cleansing process and herbal medicines should be thought of as the primary treatment with the cleansing diet as outlined below as the secondary support.
If is at all possible, get your herbs from a good and reputable practitioner and guidelines as to how you might find such a person are found here.
If that is just not possible then, rather than buying a 'herbal cleanse' in a store or online, which will likely consist of products that are over-hyped and under-powered, an accessible, economic and still highly potent program could be the Juniper & Celandine cleanse as written up in detail here.
If you are going to do an internal cleanse, then there is some further information you should read on this subject in an article called 'what is detoxification' found here.
Foods to avoid
- Avoid all sugar (including products with added sugar)
- Avoid all white flour (in white bread, biscuits, cakes, pasta & many other foods),
- Avoid all alcohol & cigarettes.
- Minimise coffee & Tea (max 1 cup coffee per day, max 3 cups of tea),
- Minimise bread (max 2 slices of wholegrain bread per day)
- Avoid all processed foods with chemical additives
- Avoid all red meat; including pork, ham, beef, lamb, sausage, salami etc.
- Avoid most dairy products (including milk, butter, cheese, cream, ice cream, milk powder, but you do not have to avoid yoghurt unless you have a dairy allergy).
Notes on the above list
Sugar (including the hidden sugar in white flour) are the top two on this list for a reason. Cakes and biscuits are obviously very sweet but the flour in bread, pasta etc. that makes up so many of our convenience foods in modern life is really just another form of sugar in a less obvious form.
Have a look at the picture here to see exactly what this means. Taking a break from refined carbohydrates and sugars will rapidly move your body into an alkaline state where the cleansing herbs will be able to work more rapidly and effectively.
For some people it can be a big challenge to have to stop alcohol for a length of time. Don't let this advice be a deal-breaker for you because you should not think that the occasional drink will sabotage the cleanse however you do need to know that people usually become much more sensitive to alcohol during this process and many patients have told me this increased sensitivity is no small thing so don't say I didn't warn you!
Stopping cigarettes is a huge deal in anyone's life. If you aren't ready to quit, then don't let that stop you doing a cleanse because you will most certainly will need to do it and I note that a surprisingly large number of people seem to spontaneously quit or at least hugely cut down once they get right into this process.
If you have a strong coffee habit, then you may be wise to reduce down to the amount recommended over a few days. If you do get a caffeine-withdrawal headache then don't tough it out but rather take a small amount of coffee, just enough to ease the headache, and be sure to keep well hydrated.
Keeping wholegrain bread down to a maximum of two slices a day and avoiding processed foods will tend to see a lot of people having to give some serious thoughts about what they are going to eat, especially for breakfast and lunch. See the diet recommendations below and keep strict on this as it will make a big difference to the strength of the cleanse and how quickly you get through the whole process.
Dairy & Meat
Dairy products and red meat are not bad for you. We are avoiding them during the cleansing process because their digestion takes up a lot of energy and they will reduce your ability to move into an alkaline metabolic state. This said, if you are suffer from anaemia or you are already a thin person who can easily lose weight, then you should continue to eat dairy products and red meat in moderation whilst following the rest of the program.
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Foods to Enjoy
People commonly lose weight when they do this diet but you should not let yourself get overly hungry because it is important that you keep your strength up for the energy-intense process of cleansing.
The principal foods that make up the cleansing diet are fruit and vegetables and you should eat these foods as freely and frequently as you like.
Fruit and vegetables can be raw or cooked, dried or fresh. If you are warm enough at the time of year you are doing this diet then certainly eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetable salads but at cold times of years, or if you know you have difficulty digesting raw food, then do not hesitate to cook your fruit and vegetables as this will not in any way slow down the cleansing process.
Other foods you should eat as freely as you like on the cleansing diet are: nuts and seeds, sprouts, honey, yoghurt and any herbs or spices. You can also eat plenty of fish, chicken, eggs, rice, oats, beans and lentils on the cleansing diet however keep these foods in smaller amounts compared to the fruit and vegetables.
It is essential that you drink plenty of water on the cleansing diet. For most people that will mean at least 6 and even up to 8 large glasses of fluid each day.
This can be simple ordinary water or herbal teas. If you are going to the toilet more than once an hour you need to ease back on the fluids but if you can easily go 2 hours without needing a toilet stop, then you are not drinking enough and that could lead to you feeling pretty bad whilst you are doing a cleanse!
Remembering to drink water can quickly defeat the best intentions. One approach that works is to have the water within plain sight as a visual reminder. For example, you can put out a glass jug of water in the morning, maybe with a slice of lemon and/or a mint leaf, then you have both a reminder and a challenge to get it drunk. A large water-bottle can achieve the same visual reminder if you are more on the move.
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The following sample menu gives some examples of the kinds of foods you could eat on this diet
- Bowl of chopped fresh fruit
- Bowl of chopped fresh fruit mixed with some dried fruit and yoghurt
- Bowl of chopped fresh fruit mixed with dried fruit, nuts &/or seeds &/or yoghurt
A fresh fruit breakfast is the ideal choice on this diet but if you know that this will not be enough for you to sustain your energy for work or study then you might need to have a more substantial breakfast such as
- Whole grain bread or toast with nut butters, hummus or eggs.
- High quality natural or homemade muesli with ingredients like: oats, rolled barley, rice flakes, rice bran, seeds, coconut, crushed almonds or cashews. Add some fresh fruit to keep the alkaline ratio up. You can add goat's milk, soy milk or yoghurt if desired.
- Cooked cereal e.g. oats, rice or buckwheat, again with fresh or dried fruit, nuts, seeds and soy or goat's milk. Note that goat's milk is close to human milk in composition and much easier to digest... in three days you probably won't even notice a difference from cow's milk.
- Mixed seeds, nuts and dried fruit.
- Any kind of fruit
- Small bowl of yoghurt and chopped fruit.
- Whole grain crackers with nut butters or hummus.
- Mixed vegetable salad
- Salad sandwich
- Vegetable soup with any combination of lentils, beans or grains.
- Any of the dinner choices
- Bean and grain dish: e.g. stir-fried vegetables with rice and tofu, dhal with vegetables and rice, tortilla and beans, buckwheat noodles with vegetables & tempeh, vegetable soup with barley and kidney beans.
- Grain and nut meal: e.g. steamed vegetables with rice and peanut sauce, stir-fried vegetables with rice and cashew nuts
- Chicken or fish with plenty of vegetables (there are hundreds of ways you can make this great)
Juniperus communis (Juniper)
Please understand that I cannot personally advise you without seeing you in my clinic.
This living 'book' is my labour of love so, wherever you are, I wish you peace & good health!
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