Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day of Detox

Last week I blogged about how last Saturday night I made one poor, toxic meal choice, fell off the organic wagon and my body really suffered. So last Sunday was my Day of Detox where I tried several treatments to get back on track. I needed to address it immediately and erase the damage before my body started craving more junk.

Detox Treatment # 1:
I started with a coffee enema - an immediate and powerful treatment. I know…you are starting to flinch. But TRUST ME…this is the best treatment I’ve ever encountered for flushing your body of toxin waste. Coffee enemas have been used for over 100 years and were in the Merck manual for years until they were removed due to space limitations. They are perfectly safe when done properly. (PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND THIS IS JUST WHAT I DO AND IT WORKS FOR ME.) Coffee enemas stimulate the liver and gallbladder to release stored toxins and wastes, and this enhances liver function. A healthy functioning liver helps your whole body feel better and respond more efficiently…exactly what I needed last Sunday.

My Coffee Enema Recipe:
1. Make coffee in a stainless steel coffee-maker
2. Prepare a quart of caffeinated organic coffee using 2 tablespoons of organic grounds pre quart of filtered water
3. Let the coffee get to room temperature
4. Pour the coffee into a hanging enema bag with a 28 inch French tube
5. Hang the bag from a hanger near the bathroom toilet
6. Place an old towel on the floor and a small bath pillow to support your head
7. Prepare to take the enema by laying on your left side and lubricating the anal area using KY Jelly
8. Insert the 28 inch French tube very slowly, go in about 12 inches and avoid any kinks in the tube
9. Release the stopper and let about a pint of coffee flow in slowly, then reclamp
10. Hold the enema for up to 10 minutes before expelling
It feels a bit odd at first but then you’ll find it relaxing and refreshing. If you feel jittery, then the coffee was too strong. When you expel the enema, you’ll be expelling much of the toxic waste your body has been storing. Again, I’m not a doctor and only a doctor can prescribe treatment. I tried a coffee enema once and like any true coffee addict, I was instantly hooked. And once again, it worked like a charm last Sunday.

Detox Treatment #2: Now that my liver was cleaned out, I needed to refuel my body with healthy, nutritious food. I decided to do a juice fast with organic carrots, celery, beets and apples. I made a 20 oz. batch with my fabulous, fast, easy to clean, Breville juicer and drank it throughout the day.

Detox Treatment #3: With a glass of juice in hand, I settled into warm bath with Masada dead sea mineral bath salts which draws toxics out of your body. Epsom salts are easily available at any drug store and have a similar effect but I like the Lavender and Peppermint/Tea tree varieties from Masada.

By the end of the day, I was feeling normal again and ready for my busy week. And I learned my lesson. So when my husband and I wanted to go out to dinner last night, he chose GustOrganics - a new NYC all-organic restaurant. In fact, GustOrganics is the first USDA Certified Organics restaurant in New York and the first restaurant in the nation using 100% certified organic food. The whole restaurant is set up to be green; for example they use only recycled paper products, rely on wind energy and solar lighting, recycle dinner wastes for composting – all right within the center of New York City. They are to be commended for their efforts, and deserve our strong support. And to make the whole experience a winner, the food is definitely gourmet. Our meal was delicious, the service was delightful and this morning, we didn’t need to detox. Once again, going Green proved to be the best choice. Those of you who live in New York, please go to GustOrganics - for those of you who visit NYC, stop in and have a meal, you won’t regret this choice.

Mary Beth Gonzalez

Sunday, October 19, 2008

One Night Off the Green Path

I regularly blog here about the health benefits of organic food and why it is important to eat clean foods, free of antibiotics or pesticides, and support local farmers who are struggling to provide us these pure foods. Well, last night I fell off the wagon and now I’m truly struggling today.

Best Friends and Bad Choices
One of my best friends came to visit, and we decided to celebrate at one of our favorite NYC restaurants. Now I’ve been eating in a lot recently to save money and with my recently heightened travel schedule I’ve just enjoyed cooking meals at home when I’ve had the chance. So my body has been treated to an unusually consistent and abundant supply of fresh, organic produce and natural grass-fed meat and organic fish. Plus, every dinner has included a large glass of organic juice (carrot, apple, celery & beet is a favorite). And as a result, I’m generally healthy, active, sleep soundly and have high energy throughout the day.

I just chose badly last night while wearing our rose-colored “let’s celebrate” glasses. I won’t name the restaurant because this isn’t about them – in fact they do offer some organic items on their menu. But I ventured off my typical diet and ate heavily seasoned and rich sauces, very few veggies, non-organic meat and horror, some complimentary sugary desserts.

My Aching Body
Today my body is not celebrating. I tossed and turned all night – feeling toxic and achy. I woke up with a puffy face, red eyes and a headache. I should mention that we weren’t drinking alcohol so I cannot attribute this feeling to being over-served.

Who would have guessed that one night could make such an impact? So if one night can do this, imagine what a lifetime of eating toxic, unclean, pesticide food can do? Think about all the people who eat this way every day and don’t even realize how they are making themselves sick. I wonder if these folks even realize that they don’t feel well or if they are just so used to feeling this way that it feels normal.

Getting Back On Track
So today is now Detox Day…not exactly how I planned to spend my Sunday, but I need to erase the damage before my body starts craving more junk. More on my special detoxification procedures and how/if they worked in next week’s blog. This little lethal lesson makes me appreciate even more how lucky we are to have healthy, organic food choices as it also amplifies the power of making just a few simple wrong choices which is good green learning for us all.

Mary Beth Gonzalez

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Getting Clean and Natural

We live in a pretty dirty world, and I’m not just talking about political mud slinging. Getting clean is a tricky subject. Many personal care products in the general marketplace use harsh chemicals that can harm you and strip your body of good bacteria.

Most of us take personal care products for granted, perhaps not giving them the same thought, in terms of green that we might give to our food. Soap is designed to keep us clean, right? Well, yes, the commercial cleansers we use (and our parents used) help remove the muck from our polluted environment that settles on our hair and skin. But we often don’t consider that many commercial personal care products may have a natural soap base, but contain synthetic and toxic chemicals used as emulsifiers, stabilizers, and perfumes. Many of these chemicals are fat soluble, meaning they are easily absorbed into the skin with systemic effects. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) for example, used routinely in soap products, has been linked to cancer. So now the very products we use to keep us clean may be making us, in some sense, dirty.

I sought out a wide range of natural personal care products to evaluate how well they could get the job done. My criteria: all organic, all natural, SLS and paraben free. Over 15 products were tested over several weeks in my personal bathroom laboratory. I also confirmed the product claims on Skin Deep where they rate environmental safety on a scale of 1-10 (1 = safest).

Here are my recommendations:
Body Wash:
Pangea Organics: Indian Lemongrass with Rosemary Shower Gel and Malagasy Ylang Ylang with Linden Flower. This wonderfully eco-friendly company makes a few highly concentrated, all organic shower gels smell divine and clean naturally. A little goes a very long way. $14 each for 8oz. Skin Deep score: 2 (They also make pure bar soaps in a wide variety of natural ingredients with healing properties.) Special October offer: 20% off online orders in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Checkout code: PINKRIBBON08

Pharmacopia: Rosemary and Citrus scents. This organic Body Wash is a gentle shower and bath cleanser (that doubles as a great shampoo). It contains organic herbal infusions, certified organic olive oil, vegetable glycerin and aromatherapy-grade essential oils. $15.50 each for 8oz. Skin Deep score: 3; Free shipping for online orders over $50

Dr. Hauschka Body Wash: Rose Floral Body Wash is mild for sensitive skin and feels silky on my skin. It combines a subtle, natural scent from essential oils of rose and jasmine. $16.95 for 5.2oz. Skin Deep score: not rated

EO: All Purpose Soap (made exclusively for Whole Foods): Organic Lavender with all organic ingredients that you can use on anything: your body, your kitchen for washing fruits and veggies, your dog and even your car. One product…so many uses…how much greener can you get? Using products with multiple uses drives down your consumption which limits waste and resources. 32oz. for $12.99. Skin Deep score: 2; October special: 20% off online orders

Hand Sanitizers:
I’m personally wary of the whole hand sanitizer concept and prefer a good hand washing with soap in warm water while singing a full verse of Happy Birthday, but I travel a lot and realize that there are occasions when water isn’t available. My hands waving in the air favorite is EO’s Hand Sanitizer in Lemon. $3.99 for 2oz. Skin Deep score: 2; October special: 20% off online orders

All this talk of trying to get clean is making me sweat. We can work ourselves into quite a lather about being clean. I try to remember that the more I enjoy using my natural cleaning products, the more I’ll use them and then the less I need to be concerned about being clean. How are you getting clean? Tell us what you use and love so we can all get smarter about the green clean.

Mary Beth Gonzalez