About ten months ago when I found out I had adrenal fatigue, I began healing on a much deeper level than I ever had before. What started as what I call my “third healing crisis” ultimately led to my next level of education: detoxification. (Click here to read about my third healing crisis.)
To some, detoxification can sound like a scary, overwhelming topic. However, I can assure you that detoxification is simple, and is the key to true health and longevity. Not only have I come a long way in my own healing as a result of almost ten months of detoxification, I just recently submitted my Detoxification Certification Exam. I will soon be a Certified Detoxification Specialist and be able to help others on an even deeper level in my practice.
One of the symptoms I have been experiencing on my own health journey is extreme thinness. Although this is one of many symptoms, it is an important one because it is linked to nutrient deficiency.
I was always taught that (and most of us are) if we are ingesting enough nutrition from food, we are automatically getting enough. But this is only partially true. Nutrient deficiency is most often the result of lack of nutrient absorption in the intestines.
Let’s use myself as an example. When I actively began my healing journey at the age of 21, I began eating more nutritiously dense foods. I was sure to increase my fruit and vegetable intake, I took a multi-vitamin, and ate the whole grains that were supposed to be healthy for me. Instead of white bread, I chose wheat bread at the deli. Instead of fried foods, I chose baked. Instead of a grilled cheese and soup for dinner, I chose salad. You get the idea.
Although my health began to improve from where it was previously, I still was not well and was not able to fully start getting well until about ten months ago once I started my own detoxification. For years I suffered with high anxiety and depression, digestive issues, extreme PMS (sometimes even a few months’ stretch of skipping periods), frequent sinusitis and bronchitis, asthma, and even a thyroid disorder. (There is more on that list but it is too extensive to list here. Refer to this article to read about my most healing crisis and its array of symptoms.)
For most of my time from the age of 21 until most recently, I had been trying to treat symptoms using food…and it just wasn’t working. When I felt depleted I would drink smoothies and juices, and up my raw fruit and veggie intake. This was great progress, but it just wasn’t enough. I wondered why I wasn’t getting better, and knew there had to be an answer…there had to be something more to it that I wasn’t seeing. As it turns out, there was.
When we talk about nutrient absorption, we are referring to the absorption of nutrients that takes place mostly in the small intestines. (A small portion takes place in the large intestine as well.) Along the mucous membranes of the intestines, there are small, finger-like projections called villi, as well as small pores. This is where absorption of nutrients takes place.
Most of us have had years and even decades of exposure to dairy, processed foods, gluten, starch, animal flesh, and refined sugars. The human body is not equipped to digest these foods as they are acidic and inflammatory, lack fiber, are void of nutrition and create a sticky “glue-like” substance in the intestines called mucoid plaque. This mucoid plaque is a result of these foreign substances binding together. Not only does this cause an array of digestive issues, it is also much of the reason for malabsorption. Mucoid plaque prevents nutrients from being absorbed by the body as it becomes impacted in and around the pores and villi of the intestines, where absorption takes place.
Going back to the example of my 21-year-old self, yes I was starting to feel better, but only in certain aspects. I still had an array of symptoms that would not go away. The reason for this is, I was still eating those offending foods. Yogurt, whole wheat bread, grains, meats and the occasional sweet treat were still regular parts of my diet at the time. No amount of fruits and veggies could make up for that fact. There is no way to “counteract” inflammatory foods with fruits and veggies; the only way to truly heal is to stop eating those offending foods in the first place. Then the body will have a clear path for healing. Just like a house that has been burned to the ground, we must remove the rubble before we can rebuild it. This is called detoxification. This is true healing.
So now the question is, how do we get our body to start absorbing nutrients again? The key is in the types of foods we eat and the types of foods we eliminate or minimize in our diet. Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables are the foods the human body was meant to consume. Some nuts and seeds are also beneficial. Eat what nature intended, and you will see great changes in your body, mind and spirit. Dairy, animal flesh, processed foods, grains and starches, and refined sugar should be eliminated or minimized greatly. These only contribute to symptoms of dis-ease and malabsorption.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is real life and there is no such thing as perfection. There are holidays, social events, emotional triggers, peer pressure, lack of accessibility, etc. There are inevitably going to be times when we can only do the best we can do in certain situations, and that’s ok. Treat yourself once in a while, and don’t sweat it. But in the grand scheme of things, eating the right foods the majority of the time will bring you good health and a long life.
Finally, medicinal herbs can help support the body in the detoxification and healing process. Herbs help heal and strengthen tissues, and support body systems in functioning properly. Herbs are safe and beneficial, but should be used under the care of a qualified professional. Please use herbs with care and caution, and work with a holistic practitioner to find out which herbal combinations are best for you.
Above all, YOU make the ultimate decision: health or dis-ease? Begin to educate yourself, and consult with a holistic practitioner for support. Change your diet and empower yourself…the choice is yours!
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