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Equinox Cleanse

It is finally fall in Seattle.  We had a very nice September and early October – in fact it was more like summer than July!  But now we are wearing close toed shoes, wool pants and sweaters.

Along with fall comes hearty food and shorter days.  It’s also a good time to take inventory on your eating habits to see if they need a boost.

In my personal effort to take a healthy inventory, I attended a class at PCC Cooks. It was fantastic!   The class was all about doing an “equinox cleanse” and I am about to embark upon it.  The class was led by a chef and nutritionist who had taught the class 60 times.  I certainly felt I was in good hands.  We were able to taste all of the recipes they shared while at the same time we learned about cleansing.

So, I am inviting you to join me on this cleanse.  My plan is to begin this weekend as my Full Circle Farm Share begins arriving Thursday.  I want a couple of days to cook, then I am underway.  I did a spring cleanse last March and learned  about allergies I didn’t even know I had.

In the equinox cleanse I will be doing includes eliminating all dairy and gluten.  Last spring I only eliminated gluten.  They also want you to leave coffee behind, but I just don’t think I can do that….What I can do is only have organic coffee, and I can cut back.

The cleanse is very flexible, but you do need to cook.  Here is the first installation in my equinox cleanse segment.  I will be blogging on the cleanse for this week – in my continued effort to get you to join me.

Why Detoxify?

Toxins damage the structure or function of body cells and tissues.They are found in the foods we eat, the liquids we drink, and the air we breathe.  Some come from external sources, such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, pesticides, heavy metals, processed foods, preservatives, additives, and airborne allergens.  Others are created internally, such as free radicals and metabolic waste.

When healthy, your body works like a well-organized sanitation system to clean out accumulated toxins.  The liver acts as the body’s dump truck, filtering blood of impurities and producing bile, which carries pollutants out of the body.  This hardworking organ also produces essential enzymes that help break down toxins, rendering them harmless.

Although industry and technology have helped us to live more comfortably and have generally enhanced our way of life, we are paying a heavy price,  Much of our water, air and food are contaminated with toxins.  Since the advent of the chemical industry in the 1940′s, there has been an explosion of synthetic products.  We are the first generation of humans to be exposed to so many synthetic chemicals.

In the past 50 or 60 years, these processes have been significantly altered:

  • how food (including beef; poultry and fish) is grown and packaged
  • how homes are built, furnished and cleaned
  • how lawns and gardens are maintained
  • what cosmetic products we use

For example, there are approximately 80,000 chemicals now in common use.  Of these, less than 3 percent have been tested for carcinogenicity, and no safety studies have been done on more than half of them.  In our daily life, we now use more than 50,000 chemicals, more than 3000 chemicals are deliberately added to our food, and the average home contains more than 1000 chemicals.  The EPA has reported nearly 30 cancer-causing chemicals in the fatty tissue (where toxins are usually stored) in most Americans today.  All of these toxins burden our system, increasing the need for detoxification.

When the body experiences an overload of toxic substances, the consequences can manifest in a number of ways:

  • headaches, fatigue, weakness, muscle and/or join aches and brain fog, poor concentration, irritability, depression, mood swings
  • allergies, stuffy nose, coughing
  • rashes, itching, hives
  • digestive symptoms/IBS/GI upset
  • sensitivities to chemicals, foods, drugs

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