Many years ago Dr. John R. Christopher, M.H., wrote a small booklet entitled Dr. Christopher's Three Day Cleansing Program and Mucousless Diet. I tried the diet, and it worked. But trying to detoxify in three days puts a terrible strain on the body. Detoxification is like a jet that reverses its engines at full thrust: a lot of turbulence and backwash is created. But with detoxification the backwash occurs in the body, and toxins are violently stirred up, moving back into the bloodstream to be eliminated from the body. Since Dr. Christopher's method is so demanding on the body, I have substantially modified his program to make it easier on weakened individuals.
A person should begin this detoxification diet only if he or she is in relatively good health. And the diet should be initiated on a Friday, giving an individual a weekend to simply rest and sleep. When one detoxifies rapidly, the body is fighting an internal war and needs to slow down and rest a great deal so that it can do its duties. It's not uncommon to sleep several hours during the day plus all night with this diet.
The first step in my modified detoxification program is to have a person cut back on mucous-producing foods, which are a constant threat to the body. Mucus clogs everything: people who drink more than one cup of milk daily very often have either clogged sinuses or a continual sinus drip. Besides milk, cheese is the biggest problem for an adult. Over a month's time an individual must gradually cut back on the consumption of milk and cheese as well as white sugar, salt, starch foods and white flour products.
At the same time the person probably needs to cut down on the amounts of meat he or she eats, I'm an advocate of meat eating for some people: certain individuals don't fare well without it, whereas others do better without it or with a limited intake. But most Americans eat too much meat. Meat should be eaten sparingly. For instance, if a person is used to having meat every night, he or she should think about having two meatless meals a week. And heavy meats, such as beef and pork, should be avoided; for heavy meats to be truly digested, the gastric secretions of the stomach must be at optimum strength, and I have rarely encountered a healthy gastric system in any person today because our eating habits have deteriorated gastric secretions. If an individual is a heavy meat eater, he or she should limit the intake of such meat to one steak (six to eight ounces) every other week. Instead, he or she should eat chicken, Cornish game hens, turkey, fish and shell fish. The person should also eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, perhaps steaming the vegetables lightly so that they are semicooked.
As part of this detoxification diet, an individual should drink eight to sixteen ounces of a natural fruit juice three times a day, including the morning. Such drinks are good sources of vitamins and minerals. They also help the kidneys cleanse themselves. Natural means that the juice has not been strained, boiled or pasteurized: hand-squeezed juice is best, A natural fruit juice will be very murky or cloudy because of the unstrained or semistrained contents still left in the juice. Lime, lemon or orange juice may be used, providing the stomach can tolerate the citrus: some people's stomachs cannot take such diuretic juices because of a lack of gastric secretions.
Another important ingredient of this detoxifica tion diet is apple cider vinegar. But not everyone can tolerate apple cider vinegar. Many people do not have enough gastric secretions to digest the vinegar readily. Some people (about 20 per cent) suffer from nausea, bloating, a burning sensation or other uncomfortable side effects from the consumption of vinegar.
But for those who can consume it apple cider vinegar is a marvelous food. When it has not been boiled, strained or pasteurized, it contains large amounts of malic acid and potassium. Upon hitting the stomach, malic acid turns alkaline. Thus for people with acidosis, vinegar can reestablish the acid-alkaline balance. In addition, the potassium value is extraordinary for people with a deficiency in that mineral. Potassium starved individuals usually have edema: many women with water weight problems are deficient in potassium. Drinking the vinegar will correct the metabolism between potassium and sodium.
The vinegar will also act as a diuretic, causing people to lose water weight. It's nature's diet pill. When beginning on the vinegar, some people will lose from Vi to Vi pound a day, especially those with potassium-sodium imbalances. I've known some people to lose up to three pounds of water a day on vinegar alone. In one case a woman who weighed 300 pounds lost 150 pounds in six months just drinking vinegar.
Many people will have to gradually get used to vinegar, acquiring a taste for it as they would for beer or champagne. If people can tolerate it, vinegar is best plain in water—two tablespoons in an eight-ounce glass of warm or cold water. But for people who don't like the taste of vinegar, one tablespoon of honey may be added as sweetener.
Before beginning to drink vinegar a person should make sure that his or her kidneys are in good shape and then slowly move into the program. For the first week, to begin getting used to the vinegar, an individual should simply sip one eight-ounce glass throughout the day. This method usually gets that 20 per cent of people who have initial adverse reactions to vinegar over their aversions to the substance. After the body gets used to this valuable food, a person who is no more than 20 pounds overweight can drink up to three glasses daily for the first month.
After the kidneys are prepped an individual should drink one glass of vinegar daily for one to three months, depending upon the severity of edema and the doctor's discretion. Then for general maintenance he or she should probably consume only a glass every other day for another six months. As the body is cleansed, a person needs less and less of everything so that by the end of the year he or she may only be taking one glass of vinegar per week, depending on each individual's needs and the doctor's suggestions. Drinking too much vinegar can render a body more alkaline than acidic, eventually causing just as many health problems as before.
In fact, an individual who is 30 to 150 pounds overweight should drink no more than one to one and a half glasses of vinegar daily, because more than that amount will put extreme demand and stress on the kidneys to get rid of the excess water. I will frequently ask the doctor monitoring the situation to place such a person on tincture of hydrangea for one month before the patient goes on the vinegar: since hydrangea is a poisonous herb, it must be dispensed with the recommendation of a doctor. Most herbalists normally recommend one to two teaspoons of hydrangea in some kind of juice once a day. This drink literally opens up partially clogged or plugged kidney tubules, preparing them for the excessive water that vinegar chases from the body. But, I repeat, any use of vinegar or hydrangea by an overweight person should be monitored by a doctor: if a person loses too much water weight too fast, it is dangerous to the heart and other organs of the body.
For those who have thyroid conditions taking kelp tablets during the detoxification diet is beneficial. Kelp is extremely high in iodine and other minerals. Dr. Christopher recommends 12 to 15 tablets of kelp daily, but I believe in underdosing instead of overdosing: I've not had a client have a bad reaction to taking that much kelp, but the dosage should be left to the discretion of the nutritionist or doctor involved. For those who don't like to take pills I suggest using kelp that has been ground up, sprinkling it on salads and other vegetables or meat as a seasoning and nutritional supplement.
Another important ingredient of the detoxification diet is blackstrap or sorghum molasses, suggested because of its high iron content. It is also somewhat of a substitute for sugar, although some people have problems taking it for that very reason. Hypoglycemic individuals should test it before taking one tablespoon three times daily: some of them have felt drained after ingesting it.
Not only are the kinds and amounts of foods a person eats important in my modified detoxification diet. It is also good to develop certain eating habits. If possible, an individual should fast until noon everyday. (Infants and children and people who work in physical occupations should not try this aspect of the diet. Nor should people who have diabetes or hypoglycemia: since for such people small, frequent meals are best, about every three hours they may nibble on some dried or fresh fruit until noon arrives.) The theory behind fasting until noon is that the digestive tract gets to rest approximately 18 hours, from 6 p.m. until 12 noon everyday. In the morning hours an individual may drink juices if desired. And vinegar will halt hunger pangs very nicely.
Lunch should ideally be the largest meal of the day: in this way a person will burn off what he or she has consumed during the rest of the working day. At this meal an individual may choose a salad, meat or fruit. Efforts should be made to insure that vegetables and fruit are raw or semisteamed for best absorption of nutrients. If a person gets the "nibbles" between lunch and dinner, he or she can eat a handful of sunflower seeds, dried fruit or nuts.
Dinner, on the other hand, should be a fairly light meal, perhaps soup broth, a salad and one course of a vegetable or fruit. It's important that a person does not consume coffee, tea, water or any other beverage with the meal. Adding extra liquid to the stomach dilutes the gastric juices, decreasing their ability to break the foods down properly. Liquids can be consumed 45 minutes to an hour after a meal or one hour before a meal.
After a person gets into the swing of this program he or she may expect certain reactions. When the body is given good, nutritious food, it is thrown into a tailspin for a day or two, maybe even weeks. Some very common symptoms are headaches, lethargy, sleepiness, mucus coming out of every orifice of the body (including the ears and eyes), irritability and tenseness. Approximately three to seven days after starting the program there will be days when a person will feel extremely clearheaded, energetic and positive; but the next day he or she may feel "down in the dumps." There is a reason for these up and down days. The body is urging toxins into the bloodstream. As the body is fed nutritious food, it sets up a cyclic disposal of the toxins on its own schedule; hence, about every seventh day a person will experience a down day.
A comment I've heard frequently from people just starting on this program is: "I felt better when I was eating junk food than I do now!" Yes, that's true—at first. But in time there will be more up days than down days. It is important to keep at the program for at least three months. And it normally takes one year to detoxify properly. But once a person is on a moderate, disciplined schedule, he or she will have more energy, a more positive outlook, need less sleep and generally feel better. And, most important, there will be fewer colds, flus and other aggravating illnesses.
An important adjunct to this detoxification diet is exercise. An individual should take a walk, go swimming, visit a spa, work in the garden, ride a horse, etc., for at least an hour a day. Sunshine and fresh air are also vital for health.
In addition, a person on this detoxification diet should cut back on the amount of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements he or she takes. A heavy dosage of supplementary vitamins, minerals or herbs will slow the detoxification process down. With vitamins, minerals and herbs the body is getting solid nutrition so that it won't work hard to get rid of toxins. One usually must cut the intake of such supplements by V% to effect a continuous detoxification. After about the sixth month an individual will need fewer supplements anyway, if he or she is eating raw, natural foods.
A person does not have to be absolutely strict with this detoxification diet. One should pay attention to the body's needs. If there is a time when a person craves a certain type of food, he or she should go ahead and eat it. Of course, I don't mean such substances as hot fudge sundaes but, rather, foods that satisfy a certain deficiency. For instance, I've known many people who become addicted to vinegar for a week or two after first trying it, thus satisfying certain nutritional needs within the body. After that time the craving goes away, and they return to then-normal intake of vinegar.
A final note of caution about the detoxification diet: anyone who is presently ill or has a health condition should consult his or her physician first before attempting this program. A sick person usually should not detoxify: the diet drains the body too much and may make the individual more ill than before. If the body has to fight on two fronts (against the disease and the toxins stirred up from the diet), it is doing too much and eventually will break down. A person with cardiovascular problems or a heart condition must especially work with a doctor when getting on this program: when toxins are agitated in the body, the entire circulatory system and heart have to work almost twice as hard. Similarly, an individual with a kidney ailment must approach the diet very carefully, because further injury may occur to the renal system if detoxification is haphazardly approached without assistance from a physician.
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