Today is day 4 of The Community Cleanse. Is anyone else feeling a little more tired than usual? I went to bed last night at 10:30. This is unheard of for a night owl like me. I slept for eleven hours and even our dog, Gaston, couldn’t get me out of bed this morning. I have a sneaky suspicion my body is already beginning to detox. Having eliminated stimulants like caffeine, sugar and alcohol my body is feeling a little unsure of where to gather its energy from (I know alcohol is a nervous system depressant, but it sure feels like a stimulant when first ingested). There’s an old Irish Proverb that says, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” I agree and also say, “A good laugh and a good big break on The Community Cleanse will help restore my poor overworked liver.”
The liver has many important responsibilities. It regulates metabolism, purifies our blood and produces bile which helps to break down fats. The liver continuously filters the two liters of blood that pumps through it every minute. When working optimally, this powerful organ also helps relieve our bodies of inflammation, allergies and sensitivities to infection.
Stress, hydrogenated and rancid foods, junk food, preservatives and additives, a high “bad fat” diet, alcohol, nicotine, pesticides, herbicides, caffeine, and prescription drugs all help contribute to an overloaded liver. The heavier the toxic load, the harder it has to work and the higher the risk of it becoming overburdened and sluggish. Of course, it’s impossible to eliminate all these toxins. However, too many of these elements compounded can lead to the deterioration of health.
There are many symptoms to an overburdened liver including:
- Fatigue, headaches, depression and feeling dizzy
- Weight gain
- Mood swings and aggressive behavior
- Immune weakness
- Hormonal imbalances
- Acne, eczema, rashes and psoriasis
- Gallbladder issues
- Allergies and food sensitivities
- Sensitivities to smells
- Aching joints and muscles
- Bad breath
- Constipation and bloating
The liver is arguably the most important detoxification organ in the body and in today’s onslaught of toxins and stress, we need to pay attention and respect the liver. All hail the mighty liver! In addition to eating a diet high in lean proteins, whole grains and anti-oxidant filled fruits and vegetables, there are a few extra tricks you can incorporate during the cleanse to better help the liver along in its detoxification process. Tricks include the following:
- Juice of half a lemon or 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of room temperature water – this is great to do first thing upon rising as a liver cleanse.
- Juice carrots, beets, apples, and ginger. You will need a juicer or find a health food restaurant that makes fresh juice.
- Incorporate fiber like chia seeds, apple pectin, flax seeds or flax meal. You can add these to smoothies or oatmeal.
- Eat more beets, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, artichokes, dandelion greens, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, endive, arugula, blueberries, apples, garlic and ginger.
- Incorporate spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and licorice.
- Milk Thistle tea or herb complex
- Dandelion root tea or herb complex
- A good multi-vitamin
- Extra vitamin C with bioflavanoids
- Exercise – at least walk for 30 minutes every day
Thank God the liver has a tremendous ability to regenerate! There’s no way I’d be in good health today if this was not true. Having survived a diet – I seemed to have endured a lifetime ago – of diet coke, cigarettes, junk food and alcohol. There’s another quote I hold tightly in my mind today by Leon Eldred, “If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself”. My quote goes something like this, “I plan to live a long, long time and enjoy not only my life, but my good health as well”. Oh yes, I bow to the almighty detox organ and know that with this cleanse and continued moderation in my cleansing afterlife, it will be renewed.