Give Your Gut the Day Off

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

December 9, 2011

In This Issue:

  • Even God took a day off, why not your gut?
  • Simple guidelines that make a day of juicing a piece of cake
  • And the real ‘manna’ from heaven is…

Give Your Gut The Day Off

Just about every major religion has a Sabbath day – a day of rest and reflection – built into the week. Before agriculture became agri-business, it was customary to let a field occasionally go fallow so the nutrients in the soil had time to become renewed and fortified again. And even today, most farmers understand the wisdom of crop rotation.

And yet, we keep our digestive system on the clock day-in, day-out, year-round…without a break. Or worse, we torture our gut with yo-yo diets, processed foods, and especially in a holiday season like now, bigger meals, rich desserts, and a reduced amount of exercise.

Give your gut a break, already! Here’s how…

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Take one day a week off from solid food, and get your calories and nutrition by juicing fresh, preferably organic, fruits and vegetables instead.

Unlike juice fasts that last anywhere from 3 to 30 days or more, this one-day a week sabbatical is more about giving your digestive system a rest than about losing weight, cleansing or detox. Juicing allows you to get all the nutrients and vitamins you need, without expending the considerable energy it takes to digest solid food.

Tips on How to Juice:

Unless you live in an area that offers easy access to fresh-made juices, you’ll want to prepare them yourself. Most juices you find in the grocery store are pasteurized, which deteriorates the nutritional value significantly.

Invest in a set of airtight, glass containers, such as those used for canning foods. These are preferred over plastic, and will allow you to do your day’s juicing all at once and store them in individual containers for later.

You’ll want to drink 8-12oz of juice, 4-6 times a day. Rather than sip on a juice, drink it down all at once so you feel full, the way you would after a meal. In between juices, be sure to drink plenty of water. You can also sip on herbal tea throughout the day.

This is the day to take a supplement holiday also. Remember that except for certain amino acids blends that can be taken on an empty stomach, supplements should be taken with food…hence combining a break from both works best.

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If you need to add in something solid, stick with raw foods that are easily digested, such as an avocado or an apple.

Time your day off so you can eat light the day before and the day after. If your holiday plans include a weekend of big meals, use Wednesdays as your juice fast day. If weekends are a gastronomically quieter time for you, try Sunday.

Tips on What to Juice:

Apple, carrot and beet juices provide an excellent base. Then, you can add in parsley, spinach, cucumber, zucchini, celery – or a unique combination as suits your taste. Choosing a combination of several fruits and vegetables in every 8-12 oz of juice you consume during the day will ensure you are getting adequate nutrition and an optimal mix of vitamins and minerals throughout the day.

You might also want to:

  • Experiment with darker, leafy greens such as kale, collard, dandelion or mustard greens…but use sparingly as they can be bitter.
  • Use lemons and limes to add some zip, as well as a natural preservative if you juice in the morning for the entire day.
  • Throw in a handful of cranberries to add a big antioxidant boost to any blend, though they can be tart so be sure to blend with a sweet enough base to not have to add sugar. If you do need to sweeten a concoction a tad, use agave instead of sugar.
  • Toss in fresh ginger, or even a dash of cayenne, for flavor as well as a healthy digestive stimulant for your gut.
  • Add in a shot of spirulina to the juices that will act as your “main meals” for the day, especially if you are hypoglycemic. It is a complete protein, and considerably more easily digested than animal protein.

Do be prepared to go to the bathroom more often on a juice fast day! During a one-day digestive siesta, you are unlikely to experience a significant increase in bowel activity, but you will eliminate toxins through urination. If you are concerned with regularity, you can add some psyllium in with water once, preferably in the morning, or add two tablespoonsful of ground flax seed to one of your juice combos.

Odds are, you will experience slightly more energy on the day of your juice fast, since you will be spared from digesting three meals. And you might even the extra time when you would have been sitting down to a meal to focus on other priorities in your life.

The Real Manna From Heaven

While spirulina, along with a host of other green “superfoods,” is being touted as new…the odds are good that this high-protein, single-cell, easily digested food has been around for thousands of years.

Some even believe that what was referred to in the Bible as “manna from heaven” may actually have been spirulina, found dried and wafer-like on the rocky ground by the ancient Hebrews in the desert.

More recently, spirulina was used as protection against radiation – for victims of the Chernobyl disaster, in patients receiving chemotherapy, and after the post-tsunami nuclear activity in Japan.

One of the most notable aspects of spirulina is that is it straddles the cusp between plant and animal. Unlike the average houseplant, spirulina does not have hard cellulose membranes , or a well-defined nucleus – making it more animal.

However, it uses photosynthesis, producing food energy by utilizing sunlight and chlorophyll – like a plant.

Perhaps it is this unique position, straddling the evolutionary fork where plant and animal kingdoms diverged, that makes it such a perfect, compact and simple food. When you need protein, but could do without the strain on your digestive system, make spirulina the first food on your list.

References:

Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2001 Dec;22(12):1121-4. Chemo- and radio-protective effects of polysaccharide of Spirulina platensis on hemopoietic system of mice and dogs. Zhang HQ, Lin AP, Sun Y, Deng YM.

Lik Sprava. 2000 Apr-Jun;(3-4):18-21. [The adaptive potentials of those who worked in the cleanup of the aftermath of the accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Electric Power Station under the influence of different treatment methods]. Zozulia IS, Iurchenko AV.

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