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Detox and the Importance of Digestive Health

Digestive health plays an important part in the process of detox. Lori Lewis shares her experience of juice fasting and encourages colonics as part of everyone's cleansing regime.

You are not just what you eat. You are what you digest and absorb, as digestive health is the pinnacle of overall health. Going through life with clogged up digestive tracts is common in the western world. The problem is that the undigested food in the colon feeds the intestinal bacteria. You may already be symptomatic which could signify a myriad of serious, sometimes irreparable, health problems. No need to despair, there is plenty you can do to reverse this problem.

heart hands on bellyI have personally experienced the repercussions of a Standard British Diet causing me to suffer with food intolerances, allergies, severe bloating, diarrhoea, slow weight loss and nausea. What better way to naturally evacuate clogged up colons than with juice feasting? Juice feasting is essential to improving digestive health. Did you know that the average person holds 5-10lbs of old toxic matter in their intestines? For every day of juice feasting you would reverse 120 days of compacted toxins, so you can imagine how many days, months, years are reversed when you embark on a 30, 60 or even 92 day juice feast. This would take you into levels of deep cleansing that are not reached in shorter fasts. The majority of us have been ingesting toxic foods for so long that it would take quite a while to heal.

Doing a juice feast is an intense personal challenge. I embarked on a 30 day juice feast and lost 20lbs, regained a flat stomach and dropped a dress size. Throughout the 30 days I feasted on unlimited quantities of juiced fruit and vegetables daily, some days totalling 4-6 litres. It is important to consume as much pure GREEN juice as possible. The basis of my juices were celery, cucumber and carrot, with the addition of other vegetables or fruit (apple, fresh herbs, beetroot, dark leafy greens, sweet potato). Green juices are stuffed full of essential vitamins and minerals, without the fibre, so they are readily absorbed straight into the body. These juices provide great alkalisation for the body, the best state to support the internal pH level and aid healing from the inside out. As well as the juices I also had MSM powder (for healing scar tissue), bee pollen, kelp granules (for iodine, potassium and iron), virgin coconut oil (antibacterial), flax oil (omega 3), spirulina powder and probiotics, these are recommended to support you during an extended feast.

During the 30 day juice feast I had my first professional colonic which was a better experience than I had envisaged. Years of clogged up debris were evacuated as I quite comfortably lay there having a nice chat with the colonic hydrotherapist. How did I feel after the colonic? Lighter, happier and clear-minded. I usually I do weekly enemas myself at home using an enema kit, bought for a small price. To filtered water I added different superfood/herbal powders such as maca (hormone balancing), camu camu (vitamin C), muira puama (aphrodisiac), himalayan crystal salt, and coffee - individually of course. The assimilation of superfood powders is excellent through the colonic walls.

Not ready for a colonic? There are many other options you can choose to improve your digestive health. Chewing your food thoroughly will advance the breakdown process in the mouth as the carbohydrate enzyme amylase is present in saliva. Increasing your intake of digestive enzymes will help to improve not only digestion but the absorption of nutrients. Digestive enzymes are naturally present in pineapple (bromelain) and papaya (papain) which intensify the breakdown of fats and proteins respectively. Naturally occurring enzymes are abundant in raw foods, especially amylase and the protein enzyme protease. Slowly increasing your raw percentage is a great way to increase your fibre, expel toxins and help you feel better. If you are not ready to go raw yet you could try a few things.

  • Conscious food combining can help your digestion, such as eating fruits alone or 30 minutes before other food.
  • Start your day with a smoothie, drink plenty of filtered water and pure fruit juices.
  • Some herbal teas (nettle, dandelion, fenugreek) contain magnesium that is essential for regular bowel movements and liver function.
  • Moderate exercise is a brilliant way to get your bowel moving as it stimulates peristalsis.

If you would like to ease yourself into colonics, doing enemas at home is easy with a home enema kit. I feel much relief when the gush of fluid filling my colon is expelled with unclogged debris. Bye-bye toxins!

As I am now exclusively breastfeeding, I am avoiding juice feasting as my toxins would leach into the breast milk. I confess that I miss the complete freedom from digestive imbalance that comes with juice feasting. Instead I stay raw vegan and drink GREEN smoothies daily, which are essentially frozen fruits, a few large handfuls of kale, spinach or spring greens with a few tablespoons of spirulina. From this I get a great amount of vitamins and minerals essential for breastfeeding mothers. YUM!

If you are constipated have a colonic or embark on an extended juice feast it may just change your life!

Lori Lewis (BSc, MSc) had a natural progression into naturopathic nutrition following 7 years as a scientist in biomedicine, microbiology and advanced biochemistry. She is currently studying for a Diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition and developing a nutritional therapy business called Health Conscious UK