You are exposed to toxins and noxious substances everywhere you turn. More than 80,000 man-made chemicals have been introduced since World War II, and most of those have never been tested for safety. Your body does not experience these toxins one at a time. No one knows the effects of the potentially harmful interactions of these chemicals that you encounter every second. No matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid toxic exposure. Toxins are so much more pervasive than you think. When you consider pollution, the earth’s atmosphere, soil, and water automatically come to mind. You accept that industrial waste and car emissions do a lot of damage, but you may not be aware that you live in a toxic stew in your own home. The fact is that the inside of your house is more toxic than outside. Almost all modern conveniences and items you use without a second thought contain harmful chemicals. What follows is a list of some of the products with highly toxic ingredients or components.
Synthetic fabrics are petroleum based and processed with many chemicals.
Residues from pesticides are found in conventionally grown vegetables and fruit.
Conventionally raised meat and poultry contain pesticides from feed, plus antibiotics and hormones.
Fish are contaminated with dangerous levels of mercury.
Processed food is loaded with additives, preservatives, and coloring.
Carpets and upholstered furniture outgas formaldehyde and other toxins.
Vinyl flooring is toxic.
Mattresses contain flame retardants by law; those chemicals are neurotoxins.
Wrinkle-resistant, stain-resistant, drip-dry fabrics all have toxic finishes.
Paint contains highly toxic solvents and volatile organic compounds.
Polyurethane finishes outgas toxic fumes.
Home cleaning products contain a host of toxic ingredients.
Grooming products and cosmetics are filled with chemicals that are absorbed through your skin or inhaled in a mist.
Nonstick pots and pans can be deadly.
Pressed or treated wood used to make furniture and cabinets outgases formaldehyde.
Dry cleaning fluid residues are powerful neurotoxins.
Food cans are lined with plastic that leaches chemicals into the contents.
Plastic food containers, food packaging, and wraps contain highly toxic phthalates and BPA.
Plastic toys can be toxic unless labeled “BPA-free.”
Cell phones, computers, televisions, and microwaves disrupt electromagnetic fields and outgas BPAs and other harmful chemicals.
These items and countless more are part of your everyday life. Toxins enter your body from the air you breathe, the water you drink, and what you eat, and are absorbed through your skin. Your body is not designed to process this avalanche of man-made chemicals. Relentless exposure to synthetic chemicals increases your toxic load to levels your body is not equipped to handle. The accumulation of toxins overwhelms your body, disrupting normal functions. Toxins are silent killers, and diseases are expressions of toxicity.
YOUR BODY IS A DETOX MACHINE
Your health depends on your body’s ability to eliminate toxins and waste from your cells, organs, and bloodstream. Healthy cells automatically detoxify themselves. Detoxification is a natural process that never stops in your body. Toxic materials and substances for which your body has no use are continually neutralized and eliminated. The process is so important that many interlocking and overlapping systems operate to accomplish this mission. Your body processes and expels chemicals and waste materials primarily through your skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, lymphatic system, and colon. These systems of elimination support and work together to keep you clean inside.
Some refer to a healthy body as a well-oiled, well-maintained machine that runs smoothly. Another way to look at the miracle of your body is to think of it as an orchestra. Each instrument has a distinct sound, and each musician an individual part to play. When all the players follow their music and play on key at the right tempo, the orchestra creates beautiful music. If members of the orchestra do not follow the music or the conductor, the piece falls apart and the sound is noise, not music. The same is true of your body. When the many systems work together in harmony and do what they are designed to do, you will feel great and enjoy excellent health. If the intricate balance of your body is overwhelmed by a toxic body burden, your health suffers. The good news is that you can restore the harmonious balance in your body by getting rid of the toxins that disrupt your bodily functions.
The Largest Organ of Elimination
Your skin is your largest organ of elimination. One way that toxins leave your body is through perspiration. It is a good idea to work up a sweat for twenty minutes three times a week after you have completed the detox. You have to make exercise part of your life during and after detoxing. Be sure to limit your exercise to no more than thirty minutes a day of gentle movement like walking or yoga during your detox month. Sauna, steam, and detox baths promote the excretion of heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium and harmful fat-soluble chemicals like PCBs, PBBs, and HCBs, which we cover in more detail later.
The skin is also an organ of absorption. Putting something on your skin is like eating it. Think about the chemicals in soaps and lotions and permanent press clothing. What enters your body through your skin travels through your bloodstream and can damage cells before the chemicals reach your liver to be filtered out.
Polluted air causes asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer. Studies have shown that parents who smoke increase the risk of their children developing asthma from their exposure to secondhand smoke. Even more disturbing, pollution is able to affect your DNA to produce genetic respiratory conditions in future generations. The contaminated air you breathe also affects your pH balance and can make your body acidic.
Your lungs filter the air, and your breath expels many contaminants when you exhale. The blood carries used and toxic gases to your lungs to be eliminated with each exhalation. When you sneeze or cough, you expel those toxins with force. If pollutants get stuck in your lungs, they enter your bloodstream and travel through your body causing damage, and can overwork other filtering systems.
Even taking a shower can be risky. The Environmental Protection Agency stated that a long, hot shower of ten minutes or more can be dangerous, because the chlorine in our water supply can evaporate into the air, forming a toxic gas that you inhale. Breathing that gas can increase your risk of bladder, kidney, and colon cancer. To remedy this, you can buy a showerhead that filters the water or have a filtration system on your main water line to avoid this health threat.
Breathing properly is an important part of detoxifying your body. You have to breathe deeply and fully to oxygenate your body and brain. Be aware when you are breathing only from the top portion of your lungs, and correct it. Poor posture compresses your lungs and restricts your breathing capacity, your oxygen uptake, and the elimination of toxic gases. Proper breathing helps keep lymphatic circulation moving to produce and deliver antibodies to fight off disease and to remove cellular waste.
Keep It Moving
Your body has two circulatory systems: the bloodstream and the lymphatic system. The pumping heart fuels the bloodstream, which moves cellular waste to the liver, kidneys, bladder, bowel, skin, and lungs for expulsion. Your bloodstream also delivers oxygen, nutrition, and hormones to the cells.
The lymphatic system, the other circulatory system, is a major component of the immune system. It helps the immune system by removing and destroying waste, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, toxins, and cancer cells. It absorbs fat and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system and delivers these nutrients to the body’s cells. The lymphatic system removes excess fluid and waste products from the spaces between the cells.
The lymphatic system does not have a heart to pump it. Its movement depends on the motions of the muscle and joints. As the lymph fluid moves upward toward the neck, it passes through the lymph nodes, which filter it to remove waste and pathogens. That is why lymphatic massage is helpful in removing toxins from your body.
The Major Processing Plant
The liver is a factory with more than 600 functions. It is a vital organ that responds to the demands of the body by shifting blood to specific areas. The liver stores blood sugar, which is called glycogen, and releases it into the bloodstream when it is needed. The liver signals the adrenal glands to regulate blood sugar. Insulin is one of the hormones regulated by the liver. Produced by the pancreas, insulin is required for your cells to absorb blood sugar to produce energy. The liver also controls fat metabolism and makes cholesterol.
The liver is a detox plant. It filters poisons in the bloodstream, neutralizes them, and sends them on to the elimination organs. When other organs are not functioning optimally, the liver becomes overloaded. The toxins pass through the liver a few times, damaging cells until the liver can neutralize the contaminants. This extra strain reduces the liver’s ability to do other jobs. The results are high cholesterol, imbalanced hormones, unregulated blood sugar, and raised blood pressure. When the liver is overloaded, inflammation can result. If the liver is overwhelmed by excess toxins, they can be redeposited in the joints or as plaque on the walls of blood vessels and the intestines, held in cysts, or lodged in fatty areas of the brain, the breast, or the prostate.
I lost thirty pounds right away and kept it off. I can’t live without juicing and eating healthy every day now. It changed my life. Back in 2007, I was diagnosed with nonalcohol-related fatty liver disease. Since I did the diet detox last year, all my liver functions have returned to normal, along with a few other health issues I had. I owe my healthy living to this way of life now. I’m no doctor, but this detox diet has totally changed my life.
The liver can become a fat-storing organ if you do not eat well. A fatty liver results from a diet high in refined and fatty foods, sugar, high glycemic carbohydrates, some prescription medications, vitamin deficiencies, and alcohol consumption. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity also tax this important organ.
The liver is a crucial target of the detox. A healthy liver will keep you clean inside. It is important to cleanse the liver before weight loss, because it will have to work overtime to filter the released toxins that have been stored in your fat cells. The next chapter explains how the storage of toxins in your fat cells makes you gain hard-to-lose weight.
The Kidneys and the Importance of Hydration
The kidneys filter and recirculate blood to flush out waste. They need plenty of water to do the job. The color of urine is the first sign of dehydration. A well-hydrated body produces urine that is mostly clear with only a slight tinge of yellow. If your urine has a strong odor or is dark in color, you are not drinking enough water.
More than 60 percent of your body is composed of water. Your brain is 70 percent water. The body needs pure water to operate healthfully. Water lubricates every process. Without enough of it, your cells cannot use nutrients for fuel, burn oxygen to give you energy, or generate the impulses in your nerves that make you move. Besides, being dehydrated ages you. You will not last more than three days without water. Your cells cannot function without it.
Dehydration can make you eat more. Aside from having a dry mouth, you can become hungry when your body needs water. You feel hunger because your body will get water from food. If your diet does not contain enough fruits and vegetables, which have high water content, you might develop salt cravings so that your body can retain water to operate smoothly. Then a sweet craving can kick in to compensate for the low energy that comes with dehydration.
When you hydrate, you do not want to consume water filled with toxic chemicals. Water is a vehicle for detoxing. What you drink should not contribute to your toxic load. For the detox, you will drink naturally distilled water.
Colon or Large Intestine
The colon receives solid waste from the rest of the body. Your large intestine, like your kidneys, needs to be properly hydrated and cleaned to work efficiently. When the colon is not doing its job, waste backs up into the bloodstream. To make up for the colon’s inability to expel the toxins, the liver, skin, kidneys, and lungs have to work harder.
Solid waste accumulating in the colon suffocates cells by preventing nutrient absorption. The spaces around cells fill up with waste, which disrupts their normal function. Blood is not able to carry nutrients into the cells, and your body has difficulty building new cells. If the situation continues, cells and tissues will die. One way that affected cells struggle to survive is to expend a lot of energy in a last-ditch effort, reproducing very quickly. That uncontrolled production of new cells is called cancer.
When dead materials back up in the colon, high levels of bacteria, viruses, molds, and parasites feed on the waste matter, which they break down. The immune system moves in to help with elimination. Histamine is released to expel the waste, producing coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, and diarrhea. Your body becomes inflamed to kill off and remove the germs. That is your immune system at work. When your immune system is overwhelmed, disease sets in.
Poorly digested food limits the amount of nutrients available to be absorbed and increases your toxic burden. Carbohydrates ferment, protein putrefies, and fat becomes rancid, producing gases and toxic by-products that are reabsorbed and put stress on the body’s elimination systems.
Keeping your colon clean and clear is a crucial element of good health. Along with drinking enough water, eating vegetables and fruit is crucial to bowel health. Fresh produce is a great source of fiber, which acts like a sponge for toxins. Fiber is not digested and passes through your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine and is eliminated intact. This bulk cleans out your colon as it moves through.
TOXIC LOAD AND THE “SOUP POT” THEORY
The unprecedented high level of toxins found in our environment has overwhelmed the body’s ability to process and eliminate these poisons. Your body is not designed to process so many man-made chemicals, which build up. When those toxins accumulate, they damage your cells, interfere with your bodily functions, and compromise your well-being.
The term “toxic load” refers to all the contaminants in air, water, and food to which you have been exposed. Your emotions and stress also affect the mix. The accumulation of chemicals, toxins, and other substances that enter your body is called your body burden. Think of a pot of soup on the back burner of your stove. It will boil over if you add too many ingredients and cook it over too high a flame. Your body is like that pot. If it is loaded with toxins with the heat of too much stress, your body is not able to contain the toxic burden and will boil over. You might experience vague symptoms like headaches or dull hair. You might develop sensitivities and have allergic reactions. If you do not lower your body burden, you will get sick. Chronic health concerns are often the result of low-grade poisoning of your metabolism. A polluted environment, damaging lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, eating processed food and conventionally grown produce, medications, and stress all contribute to your body burden.
There are many signs of toxic overload, including
Dull, brittle hair
Lack of stamina
Autoimmune diseases like arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease
When toxins are stored in your body, they interrupt or completely block your metabolic functions. Your body’s ability to move nutrients into cells, produce energy, make repairs, generate new cells, and process and eliminate waste is compromised. Your body becomes inflamed and acidic. Your immune system goes into overdrive, reacting constantly to the presence of toxins by trying to expel the foreign substances. This causes extreme stress to a system trying to protect you. Your body produces extra blood vessels to feed the growing toxic fat cells, which strains your heart. In an effort to dilute the circulating toxins, your body retains fluids. The systems described earlier in this chapter cannot accomplish what they have to do to keep you healthy. That is when nagging symptoms develop into full-fledged disease.
The good news is that you can stop this disintegration. You can enhance your body’s natural ability to detox and begin to reverse the damage that has already been done by spending a month on the 1 Pound a Day Diet Detox. You can take action and accomplish a toxic reversal that lowers your body burden. We have seen it happen time and again. People come to the retreat in terrible shape and get their lives back. We have so many testimonials from people who have followed the simple program at home. Your body wants to heal itself. Why not do all you can to help? Every organ and system in your body will benefit from doing the detox presented in this book.
Two of the signs of impaired metabolism are weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Recently, scientists have begun to speculate about the link between the dramatically increased exposure to environmental toxins during the last few decades and the obesity epidemic. The next chapter examines how toxins can make you gain weight and explains why detoxing helps you take it off.
Detox Success Story
CHANGING MY BODY FROM THE INSIDE OUT
I was overweight and had an ongoing battle with my weight over the course of several years. I heard Dr. Roni DeLuz talking about the Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox. It sounded like exactly what I needed, so I bought her book and read it cover to cover. I did the program and had great success. I learned a lot about my body and how my habits and even my thought processes can cause serious health problems.
In November 2011, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Four months later I had a radical hysterectomy. I needed to develop a plan and put it in motion. I knew that if I was going to live a long time and live healthy, I would have to turn my life 180 degrees. I decided to do the detox again. This time I wanted more than a quick weight-loss plan. I needed to change my body from the inside out if I wanted to be truly healthy and to remain cancer-free.
A friend recommended the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Watching that movie was eye-opening. After learning about the damage that toxins in processed foods, chemicals, and environmental sources can do to the body and the illnesses they can cause, I was determined to do a diet detox to rid my body of these toxins and loosen up some of the fat cells that stored them. A detox works with the body to do the job it can’t do itself—get rid of the toxins and flush out fat cells.
In July 2012, I started a sixty-day detox to rid my body of built-up toxins. I went from a size 18 to a size 10 in pants. I feel better than I ever have. My husband did the detox as well. He is an over-the-road trucker who lives on the road for months at a time. He managed to stick with it all sixty days. Juicing will always be part of a healthy diet for me. Knowing that I could be dealing with a life-threatening illness keeps me focused on my health, and I will do whatever I can to keep my body healthy and toxin-free.
The program really works. I attribute my cancer not spreading to Dr. Roni’s detox.
The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox and Plan for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating
1 Pound a Day
The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox and Plan for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating
Following the runaway success of their New York Times bestseller 21 Pounds in 21 Days, DR. RONI DELUZ and JAMES HESTER received invaluable insights, feedback, and questions from thousands of detox converts from around the world. 1 Pound a Day is the result—a simplified, expanded version of their transformative and rejuvenating program that is more effective than ever. 1 Pound a Day offers a powerful detox that will change your life. You’ll get advice on how to customize the program, plus practical tips and support that will make the detox a snap and guide you through a transition to healthy eating and a lifetime of wellness!