Last week I talked about what I consider to be the first step in cleansing our bodies; the environment and stress removal. You can read it here. Today I will talk about what I see as the second step in cleansing. Assuming you have made your lifestyle calm and peaceful, the next step will not be so difficult to implement.
The second step in cleansing is cleaning up what you already have in your home. This consists of getting rid of the toxins in products and food you consume on a regular basis. This is where the illness and poor over-all health in our bodies begins, and if it is not cleaned up then internal cleanses will not do much for you, at least not long-term. This may seem like far too large a task, but in actuality it is simple and pretty cost effective.
First, take a look in your cleaning cupboard. I imagine there are products for cleaning the kitchen, ones for your toilet, one or two for your various floors, window cleaners, etc. Just because it says it’s “Green” doesn’t mean it’s good for your health to be using it, not to mention all these cleaners are pretty expensive. You have 2 options at this point; get rid of it all, or use it until it’s gone. Next, get a bunch of white vinegar and a big bag of baking soda. That is all you need for cleaning your home. The baking soda acts as a scrub, and the combination of it with vinegar lifts grime, soap scum and stains as easily as the chemical cleaners. You can add essential oils like lemon, tea tree, lime, orange, etc. for scents if you like. It does take a little getting used to that these products really work, but they do. For air fresheners, make up a blend of essential oils in a carrier oil and set up a jar with diffuser sticks and you can have fresh air all through your house that actually acts to clean the air and kill germs. Thieves oil blends are great for this.
Next, look at your personal hygiene. Most shampoos and soaps contain, at the very least, fragrance and dyes that are absorbed by your largest organ; your skin. Deodorant is exceptionally dangerous as it clogs your main source of toxin eradication. You can solve most all of this with something called soap nuts. They are a great cleanser and somewhat astringent. They can be bought in bulk and last a long time. 1/4 cup soap nut liquid mixed with water cleanses my hair and body. Pour it on your underarms after shaving or cleaning with a natural soap to clean off any residue and bacteria. This starts you out with clean skin, so if you perspire it won’t smell foul. Comb your hair and dab on a blend of essential oils as a deodorant (such as olive or sweet almond oil as carriers mixed with tea tree, rosemary, lavender, sage, mint, or cedarwood essential oils to your pleasure), or buy a natural deodorant that will allow you to sweat. In cleansing it is very important to allow the toxins to escape your body and shower often to remove the bad stuff. Once your body is healthy it won’t tend to smell foul when you perspire.
Now, for the hardest part for most people; your kitchen. There are some basics to remember in healing your body. First, basics are best. If it’s cooked, packaged, frozen meals it’s to be avoided at all cost. Cereal, lasagna, baked beans, t.v. dinners, chicken nuggets, french fries, hamburgers…. the list is endless! When you go to the store the ingredients in your cart should look a bit like this;
- fresh or frozen fruit (no sugar on the frozen)
- fresh or frozen veggies
- whole, grass-fed meat if available
- cheese in blocks, not grated or in plastic baggies or boxed or canned
- yogurt, plain, kefir, cream, sour cream
- oils for cooking and eating like olive, coconut, palm oil and butter. NO corn, vegetable, canola, etc.
- peanut butter or other nut or seed butter, no sugar or added oils
- oats, rolled or cut, quinoa, etc.
- Nuts and dried fruit in moderation
That’s it. No condiments, jams, canned products, or bread products. No pasta, cookies, breads. If you want those things you should expect to make them at home and eat them in very small amounts. In cleansing it is better not to have any of them. Instead, beans and rice will be your main carbohydrates and provide filling fiber so you don’t need all these things.
Add in some fermented drinks if you can, such as kefir (preferably from raw milk, but at the very least non-homogenized) and kombucha. These will begin cleansing your system and provide beneficial gut flora so you can get the most out of the food you eat. The best investment you can make is in a cookbook that will teach you to cook foods in a way that unlocks the most nutrients. A great one happens to be Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation. It has a ton of information on foods and nutrients in the side sections and the most basic of recipes for good, whole foods. I do not happen to agree with most of the “diets” out there for cleansing, preferring to eat whole foods and a mix of cooked and raw, with a lot of fermented foods and drinks included. However, if you do not have access to raw, or non-homogenized, dairy, and pastured eggs and meat, I would recommend the mucous-less diet. You will see that the shopping guidelines I give above match it pretty well if you get rid of the animal products, but don’t do that diet more than a few months or you will become very weak and lose muscle mass.
Now, this is a lot of information, so over the next few weeks I will post some recipes for self care, home, and food preparation to help you go step by step in implementing these changes. Keep in mind that we have to accept that we will not be able to do everything all at once. It has taken me 6 years to implement many of these things in my families life, and I still don’t do them all the time or completely. However, I see the benefits when we do it “right” and try my best to stick to the program. Once we have made some improvements in our food and home we will start exploring some basic cleanses. I will try to break them down and explain the benefits and hazards of each to help you choose the right one for you and your situation. A good, holistic doctor can really help you with this, and if you take medication it is very important to seek a professional out since all the cleanses will impact medicines and health conditions. Now, lets go look in those cupboards!