Category Archives: Quick Tips

After the Cleanse is Done

 

For those who are now squeaky and new inside, insure that your work was not done in vain with the following post cleansing care package.

During and Immediately After

Replenish with probiotics. These protective tiny living organisms like bacteria, viruses and yeast are similar to those residing in our gastrointestinal tracts. They are the “good bacteria” that have been known to help protect from infection and illness, and they are often stripped from the intestines by colon cleansers.  Yogurt, soy, kefir and miso are among the many foods that naturally contain live probiotics. But rest assure, if those foods don’t appeal to your tastes, probiotic supplements have been the buzz for quite some time and are available in liquid, powder, pill and chew forms (these usually contain freeze-dried bacteria).

The strongest I’ve seen available over-the-counter is 150 billion CFU’s. These, and counts above 10 billion are typically recommended by health care professionals for use after a cycle of antibiotics or to help manage certain GI issues.  4-10 billion CFU’s are appropriate for maintaining overall health and wellness and can safely be taken as directed by the product guidelines. Some of the terms you’ll come across on the packaging labels include:

  • CFU or Colony Forming Unit- indicating how many units are able to divide and form colonies. One unit equals a single bacterium.
  • Flora – often used interchangeably with bacteria, referring to the microscopic organisms that line the intestinal tract and are necessary to its normal functioning.
  •  “Live and Active Cultures”- this seal is placed on yogurt and other fermented foods or beverages that contained at least 10 million living and active bacteria per gram of the substance when it was manufactured. The “Active Cultures” statement is commonly listed on freeze-dried probiotic supplements.
  • Strains- there are many different strains of bacteria with histories of benefitting many different conditions. They can be supplemented individually or in groups, both large and small. Two commonly used strains are the lactobacillus acidophilus, known for its beneficial effect on gastrointestinal health, and bacillus, often used to relieve symptoms associated with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).Other commonly used strains include bifidobacterium, saccharomyces, streptococcus, and enterococcus.

Probiotics should not be supplemented when we are ill or functioning with a compromised immune system. If you are not certain whether supplementation is necessary or safe for your particular condition, researching the benefits associated with that condition and the use of probiotics will provide some clarity. But you should refer to your doctor for the strain and potency most suitable to your needs.

Immediately After and Ongoing

Restore with prebiotics. These non-digestible nutrients sustain and promote the growth of the healthy bacteria living in the intestines. Many foods contain prebiotics including dairy products, oatmeal, honey, berries, garlic, onions, asparagus, and kale. Consuming prebiotic containing foods helps maintain healthy levels of the beneficial bacteria and therefore, general gastrointestinal health.

Aid digestion with enzymes. Found naturally in saliva and secreted by the cells lining the stomach, pancreas, and small intestines,  enzymes help the body break down foods for fuller absorption and utilization of their nutrients.  More fully digested food also means less build-up within the gastrointestinal tract. Remember that one of the main purposes for cleansing the system is to remove undigested matter from the body.

Enzymes are also naturally occurring in certain foods, and when supplemented, they are taken during or immediately after a meal. Tropical fruits supply most supplemental enzymes:

  • Papain, found in papayas, helps with protein digestion.
  • Bromelain, from pineapple, also aids the breakdown of proteins. It is an anti-inflammatory helpful in remedying tissue irritations such as those experienced after surgeries and injuries.

Some enzymes like lactase, found in the small intestines and responsible for breaking down the milk sugar lactose, are supplemented to offset a deficiency. Supplemental enzymes are often measured in milligrams and come in varied dosages.

In the case of lactase deficiency/ lactose intolerance, it is important not to self diagnose and treat this condition. Instead, consult a physician or GI specialist for accurate assessment and appropriate recommendations.

Long Term Maintenance

Cleansing should not be a once in a lifetime occurrence. Ideally we should aim to do this 2-4 times per year, provided our immune systems are not compromised. So, there is no need to stress the occasional indulgence or period of laxity with our diets; however, a few consistent points of focus can keep us functioning at optimum levels between cleanses:

  • 8-10 eight ounce glasses of pure, clean water per day to help the body remove toxins
  • 25-35 grams of dietary fiber per day to help maintain intestinal health
  • fruit and vegetable washes to remove pesticide and/or herbicide residues
  • super food blends such as my favorite Green Vibrance from Vibrant Health to help fill any nutritional gaps left by our food choices, time constraints and occasional splurges

Last but not least, let your original goals for cleansing dictate your food and beverage choices. There’s nothing better than starting fresh with a clean slate! Respect the investment you’ve made.

Take Care and BeWell 

 

 

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Keeping it Clean

First and foremost, thank you for visiting and supporting BeWellWarrior. Your comments and questions are much appreciated and I’m thrilled to have offered useful info for some and simply shared a similar experience with others.  On that note, let’s jump right into last week’s most frequently posed question.

Cleansing…

It’s perfectly logical with the onset of summer. A change in season often signals us to take special care in tidying and cleaning our homes, and feeling inspired to do the same for the body is a natural extension of this instinct. Cleansing gives the body the opportunity to rid itself of accumulated waste from undigested foods, preservatives, additives and other substances absorbed from the environment like exhaust, fumes, and even chemicals from water, detergents and cosmetics.

Signs that it may be time to cleanse:

  • Feelings of lethargy and/or irritability
  • Indigestion, constipation or irregular bowel movements
  • Fluid retention and bloating
  • Skin eruptions such as acne and/or rashes
  • Dullness or discoloration in the whites of the eyes
  • Phlegm and lung congestion
  • Dizziness, migraines or headaches
  • Nausea, gas and weight loss

The types of symptoms you are experiencing will help determine which organs and systems are affected, what types of cleansers are appropriate, and which nutrients may be helpful.

lethargy , irritability Liver  dandelion, milk thistle
indigestion , constipation Colon/Intestinal Tract plantain herb, cascara sagrada, psyllium
fluid retention Kidneys and Urinary Tract cranberry, uva ursi
skin eruptions Blood red clover leaf, echinacea*
lung congestion Respiratory System mullein
dizziness, migraines Heavy Metal Toxicity** glutathione, NAC ( n-acetyl-cysteine )
nausea , weight loss Parasite Infection** goldenseal, wormwood

*Speak with your physician first if you are taking cholesterol lowering medications.

**Consult with your physician for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

When we experience more than one of these symptoms simultaneously,  are planning to change our diet (i.e. switching to vegetarianism, starting a weight loss program), or its been more than six months since our last cleanse, a total body detox may be warranted.

Renew Life’s line includes a first timers’ total body cleansing system that is both gentle and effective. The line also carries heavy metal and parasite removal systems. Nature’s Secret makes colon and total body cleansers including, my system of choice, the Ultimate Cleanse. This is a strong system that works through all of the body’s elimination channels. It also contains laxative herbs that can make using it during a busy week less than ideal. I’d suggest taking a probiotic complex afterward to replace the protective bacteria stripped by the process, especially if you are planning to travel out of your home country or spend time in any environment that might stress the immune system.

How should I prepare for a cleanse?

Because cleansing can weaken the body’s defenses, doing so while you are fighting or recuperating from an illness is not advised. Strengthen the body with vegetables, whole grains and highly nutritious foods. Take your multi-vitamin for a nutritional boost before the cleanse.

How long should the cleanse last?

Depending on your individual constitution and type of cleanser used, detoxification can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months. The length of time you choose to cleanse should be determined by the demands of your lifestyle, your current state of health, and your goals for cleansing. If your current daily life involves a lot of multi-tasking and errand running, you may want to wait until you have a period of downtime as the process can be draining. If you are cleansing to prepare for a dramatic change in your diet or lifestyle, then you may benefit from the discipline required to complete a month-long program.

Do I have to fast while cleansing?

Though fasting is used as a cleansing method, it is neither necessary for thorough cleansing nor appropriate for everyone’s lifestyle. Eating light, simple and wholesome meals is fine, and choosing organic and fresh or minimally processed foods over fast and frozen is even better. Fruit naturally detoxifies and helps the process along. If you can eliminate complex seasonings and complicated food combinations, this will help reduce the body’s workload and give it more energy to cleanse and repair itself. Drinking 8-10 glasses of filtered water is also important as it helps flush accumulated toxins from the body.

Most importantly, have patience with the cleansing process and respond to your body’s needs. The subsequent after glow and light energetic feelings are worth it. 

As Always, BeWell!

Keep Cool Kit

Welcome  to BeWellWarrior!

Those who know me personally know that I am  very, very sensitive to heat and humidity. I often joke that a deep thought can cause my forehead to bead up with moisture. And because breaking a sweat for no good reason at all (like merely blinking or changing my facial expression) puts me in a really bad mood, I’ve gathered a few tips and created a brief Keep Cool Kit.

Enjoy and Be Well!

  • Start your day with a cooling shower courtesy of Dr. Bonner’s 18:1  Hemp Peppermint Castile Soap. An organic blend of coconut, olive, hemp, jojoba and peppermint oils allows even the hottest showers to finish with a refreshing sensation. It rinses clean. So, fragrances can been worn without any interference. It is also made in both liquid and bar forms. Those with more sensitive skin can easily dilute the liquid , which incidentally works great in a cold compress for the face.
  • Adding Watermelon to your diet is a great way to stay hydrated and nourished. Containing Vitamins A, C and B6,  it is praised for its antioxidant value, immunity boosting power and energizing capability. It also has the highest levels of lycopene-great benefit to men, and the rind contains the amino acid citrulline which helps our muscles resist fatigue.
  • Treating yourself to an iced Hibiscus tea provides a wonderful pick-me-up as well as helps to reduce heat induced swelling. Sorrel, as it is known in Jamaica, is an  antihypertensive. So if the morning workload was unusually stressful, Hibiscus tea can help bring the blood pressure back down.
  • End your day with the healing touch of Aloe Vera. The gel of this plant can be used topically to repair sun and environmental damage  and internally as a mild laxative. Those looking to ingest the gel or juice may want to opt for the pre-prepared versions. Lily of the Desert makes both the gel and the juice. Go organic to avoid allergic reactions to pesticides and herbicides.

As always, please speak with your doctor if you are taking medications you think may be complicated by any of the suggestions provided.