Thursday, March 25, 2010

lets be healthy!!

This week, the love of my life and I embarked on an intense journey; a cleansing diet. I have done a few cleansing diets, the one I think is most effective is the "lemon juice detox." It's a juice made up of lemon juice, organic maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, that is meant to cleanse your digestive tract. You can google the diet and lots of blogs and websites will come up, all with basically the same idea. A book entitled the Master Cleanse was written in the 70's by Stanley Burroughs, a health philosopher, was the first with the idea; since, several, if not hundreds have renamed and redesigned it, but it is basically still the same thing.

The purpose of the Master Cleanse:

•To dissolve and remove toxins and mucous from the body.
•To clean the kidneys and digestive system.
•To cleanse the glands and cells of the body.
•To remove waste and hardened matter in the joints and muscles.
•To relieve pressure and irritation in the nerves, arteries and blood vessels.
•To create a healthy blood stream.
•To return youthfulness to everybody, even the elderly.

After completing a cleansing diet (which I do anywhere from 3-5 days) I feel refreshed, energized, my fatigue and constant feeling of being tired is alleviated, and it's like starting new. Your liver controls your metabolism and it works to detoxify your body, but because we live in a country where unhealthy and unnatural foods are a part of our every day diet, it becomes over worked and unable to do it's job to it's fullest. When I have stayed on the cleanse for 4-5 days (which is really key) I not only lose about 5 pounds from my midsection (stomach size decreases, intestines clear up, and any swelling or inflammation disappears) but I also notice my skin is clearer and has more elasticity, and cellulite diminishes!! That's what really sold me on this diet the first time around. Cellulite is created from toxins that were unable to be processed by your organs and so it settles in the layer of fat just below skin level, which then creates a dimple or pinch, and doesn't allow the fat to lay smooth. Now unfortunately some damage done by cellulite is irreversible, but not all of it. I only stayed on the cleanse for 3 days, and because of that I didn't notice as much of a change as I have in the past, but it is possible.

Because this diet does slow you down for the first few days I'll admit that it doesn't fit in everyone's schedule. Martin and I chose Monday to Wednesday, because he doesn't work and we don't have any huge responsibilities on those days. But, I have good news, there are less dramatic ways of reaching the same results; but it's a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

A few years ago (well more like 5) I stumbled upon the studies of Dr. Perricone, a dermatologist that studies anti-aging. Actually, my dad first introduced me to him because he used to frequent our public television station with lectures and information about his books; Ageless Face, Ageless Mind, 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health and Longevity, and The Perricone Promise. His concept of dieting and lifestyle are all about removing inflammation (which is what causes cells to be damaged and then regenerated, which increases the aging process, in your skin and internal body). He encourages you to take daily vitamins, eat lots of fish (especially salmon) and lean meats, nuts and legumes, and incorporate fruit and vegetables in every meal. Sounds pretty logical right?? Well, you have to be careful with what fruits and vegetables you eat, they need to be low on the glycemic index and therefore low in starch. A quick way to figure that out is, eat lots of berries, and green veges. Berries have very high amounts of antioxidants (which are very good for you) and green vegetables are usually full of fiber and vitamins (of course there are good vegetables of other colors though).

After my excitement in finding this amazing doctor, I found out he had a book specifically written about acne!! At the time, I was struggling with acne, and had been taken medications for years, that would all eventually stop working, and I was trying to stray from daily medications anyways. I went on amazon, bought the book, followed his 28-day guide, and within a week, I noticed a dramatic improvement. The acne diet, unlike the others he has written about, has a high intake of fats, good fats though. Who would've thought, that eating more fat would improve your skin. For years in my dieting I would try to cut out all fats, well that will never happen again. Not only did my acne go away, and after a few months of following the diet relatively closely, I noticed it was gone for good, not just short term. I can go days without taking care of my face, or eating healthy, and it doesn't make a difference, that never used to be the case. So my acne cleared up, my energy levels were amazing, I had lost some unhealthy weight and couldn't believe all I had to do was change my eating habits; no drugs, no face washes, or creams, it was amazing!!

I've said a lot, I know, but it's because health has always been a passion of mine, and I've been wanting to share this with you for a while, and I finally had my excuse!! This is my first day off of the cleansing diet, and I intend to eat according to Dr. Perricone's diet. It's almost completely gluten free also, so I don't have to worry about altering it to fit my current health needs.

Being healthy should be a lifestyle, not a fad, and I truly believe that. It seems as though everyone wants a quick fix or someone to tell them that you can cheat and still lose weight or still be healthy and that shouldn't be the answer your looking for. If you want to change your health you need to think about what you eat and what you're putting into your body. We weren't created to eat the food that we have available right now, that's the truth. Any doctor, nutritionist or health specialist will tell you, you can eat bad food, and no you won't die, but you're slowly doing damage to yourself, and taking away from how good you can feel.
I wish you all good health, and maybe just start with some small changes. Eat fruit in the morning instead of carbs and dairy. Eat one less sweet a day. Try a salad at lunch or dinner, instead of pasta.
with love,
Kristin :)

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