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The truth about detoxing and cleansing – 4 biggest myths debunked

Thanks to much of what we hear in the media and from fear-mongers, the terms “Detox” and “Cleanse” have earned a reputation for being unhealthy and even unsafe. Many will hear the words “Detox” or “Cleanse” and immediately panic, thinking of all-liquid diets, expensive supplements, and starvation.

The truth is, a proper cleanse done in a healthy, supportive manner, can help you achieve lasting results in weight loss, energy gain, and full body health. Many people feel inspired to begin the New Year with a detox to help jump start other healthy habits. Others know the benefits of doing a cleanse and focusing on more simple and unprocessed foods after a season of overindulgence. (I’m thinking of you, Pumpkin Pie!)

The following are four myths you may have heard about detoxing and cleansing. Understandably, these myths may have caused some to be hesitant, scared, or outright scoff at the benefits of a whole-foods approach to health. Also, one must be particular when selecting a plan to follow. With so much conflicting health information available these days, as well as the outright promoting of “Extreme Weight Loss” programs and the “500 Calorie Day” challenge, it can be easy to fall victim to dangerous plans. And remember, always consult with your primary care physician before beginning any new diet plan.

Keep reading to find out the truth behind these myths and why a Healthy cleanse might be just what your body is craving.

Myth # 1: You won’t enjoy anything you’re eating while on a cleanse or detox.

”Please, sir, may I have some more please?”

While you might have to eliminate certain foods that you enjoy (buh-buy, Cheeze-it!) detoxing isn’t all about slurping a bowl of gruel, or dining on a sprig of lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil. There are many delicious recipes that can be prepared using healthy ingredients that not only taste amazing, but nourish the body.

The best part is, many detox recipes don’t involve any fancy ingredients and can be prepared even by a cooking novice. The clients I work with have the opportunity to discover new foods and recipes that they can feel good about incorporating into their diets long after the cleanse concludes. These are normal foods – foods that my family and I eat and enjoy every day. These are foods, that if you “shop the perimeter of the grocery store,” will not be strangers to you.

Myth #2: You’ll constantly be hungry while on a cleanse.

I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.


While you might (should!) end up consuming fewer calories than the average American while following a detox or cleanse, you shouldn’t feel deprived or starving. By the way, the Average American consumes a whopping 2880 – 3682 calories per day! So… yeah… there’s that! Also going on an extremely low-calorie diet can actually disrupt your metabolism, making your body less efficient in the long run. This is why starvation (extremely low-calorie diets) lead to binge-eating, eating disorders, rebound weight gain, and a host of other unhealthy habits.

Everyone’s caloric needs are different, depending upon lifestyle, other health issues, or for nursing moms, so a cleanse should never dictate how many calories you consume. By enjoying whole foods that provide you with the right nutrients, you help detox your body while feeling satisfied. By filling our plates and stomachs with unprocessed foods, our bodies have the chance to be nourished by wholesome, clean food – and not go hungry!

Myth #3: You need to do an all-liquid cleanse to remove toxins

I drink therefore I am.

Liquid-only detoxes and cleanses have had more than their fair share of popularity. These types of detoxes can backfire: not only do people often gain the weight back as soon as the detox ends, but such restrictive eating can be detrimental to your health. An effective cleanse will include a variety of whole foods to help nourish your body and produce long-term results. Unless you just had all your wisdom teeth pulled, or are recovering from the stomach flu, an all-liquid diet is not recommended.

Myth #4 Detoxes and cleanses are just a way for people to make money on expensive supplements.

If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way.

Supplements involved in a cleanse should be just that – a supplementary part of the program, not the primary source of your nutrition. While on a cleanse, you get most of your vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources.

Supplements may be recommended to help your body make the most of the nutrients it receives from these foods. For example, by including probiotics in your diet, you help your body process vitamins, absorb minerals, and remove toxins.

Aside from the benefits discussed above, a cleanse is an incredibly effective way to identify if you have any food sensitivities, and helps establish healthy habits for the long term. Other benefits include weight loss, increased energy, clear skin, and even a reduction of allergy symptoms.

Try to eat the rainbow everyday!
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Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle

When we become stuck in the cycle of always reacting and giving away all our energy, we are no longer present and participating in our own lives.  Sound like a pattern? Learn how a broken unicorn mug inspired me to not let anyone dull my sparkle!

I used to have a favorite mug – a rainbow unicorn with these words etched into the side: “Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle.” I say “used to” have a favorite mug because I broke it. I’m clumsy like that. No family heirlooms, good China, or fancy champagne flutes stand a chance in my hands. And if I am trusted to actually wash one of these items, the family will look on, faces grim and eyes clouded with apprehension as I brandish Great-Grandma’s rhinestone-studded goblet in my slippery, sudsy hands.

Yikes!

Every day we make choices as to who or what is getting our energy. Are we being conscious about it? Think of all the energy drains that we let into our lives – the things we let in that destroy our serenity:

  • Stressing about the things we can’t change.
  • Managing everyone else’s lives but our own.
  • Deliberately putting ourselves in toxic situations 
  • Getting stuck in damaging patterns.
  • Maintaining harmful relationships.

With each new sunrise, we have the choice as to whom or what we give our energy. It is up to us.

To whom or what are you giving your energy?

Now, the point here isn’t to say that we all need to stay in our own personal bubble and avoid people, places, traffic, long lines, telemarketers, and a co-workers boring story about the dream they had last night.  And while is is impossible and unrealistic to create a completely stress and annoyance free existence free life… “and then what did the hippopotamus in your dream say, Martha?”  … we do have the opportunity to choose how we react and to what we react.. 

We can choose not to:

  • Argue
  • Have the last word
  • Always be right
  • Be perfect
  • Micro-manage

Is it easy? Ha! No way. We all have days when we wake up, feeling like we hit the “reset” button and completely unlearned everything we thought we had figured out the day before. And we know it’s only a matter of time before Crazy Aunt Mable suspects that we are deliberately not answering her calls. But when we finally do pick up, it is ultimately our choice if we let it ruin the rest of our day. 

The same goes for current events. When we watch/read the news, there comes a point when we reach saturation; nothing new is being said and we have all the information we require – the rest is just chatter and rehash. Why do we keep listening? Arguing back at the TV or shaking our fists at the car radio? Are we scrolling through the comments on social media and composing the perfect argument retort in the shower?  Are we having the “last word” in conversations in our heads with people we haven’t even seen in 20 years?

Why? Why are we doing this to ourselves? 

But it’s not just about shielding ourselves from energy drains, but also finding ways to replenish. So, what makes you sparkle? Is it going for a hike? Taking your dog to the dog park? Playing in the yard with your kids? Watching the sun rise? Recharging with a bubble bath, complete with candles, chocolate, and a good book? When is the last time you did something to help shine your sparkle? It is an important part of our daily self-care to do things that allow us to recharge and rejuvenate.

You can bet that Mr. Flop isn’t rehashing old arguments in his head. Pets don’t ruminate – and neither should we!

If we keep ourselves worked up into a constant state of anger, stress, fight or flight – it has a terrible impact on our body and our mind. Physically, we suffer from poor sleep, high blood pressure, indigestion, and stress eating (to name a few). Mentally and emotionally, we become caught up in a cycle of despair and anger. We fail to notice the joy and good things around us.  When we are stuck in this cycle of always reacting and giving away all our energy, we are no longer present and participating in our own lives. Everyday we have choices. We may not always make the best choice, but we can try to bring awareness to who or what we are giving our attention.  

Today, my broken unicorn mug has been glued and re-glued.  It is no longer capable of holding liquid and it graces my desk these days as a pencil holder. However, the sentiment remains – when I see this mug I am reminded that I have choices, and ultimately, it is up to me to not let anyone dull my sparkle.  

Today, ask yourself, who or what are you allowing to dull your sparkle?

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Apothecary Pop-Up!

TheoFEST Mind Body Spirit Festival – come visit the Bumblebee Cottage Apothecary. We will have many new products and special blends just in time for autumn.

Saturday, September 7th, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Theosophical Society Grounds, Wheaton, IL

Wheaton’s premier mind-body-spirit festival features tasty vegetarian food, holistic vendors, a festive Kids’ Korner and hands-on demonstrations in tai chi, yoga and other practices. Participants at this family-friendly event can also enjoy talks on meditation, Buddhism, holistic healing, shamanism, spirituality and more.

one of the newest products for fall

The annual festival takes place on the Theosophical Society’s 40 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, including a world-class library, the Quest Book Shop, an outdoor labyrinth and the Buddha Meditation Garden.

TheosoFest is free and open to the public. Parking on the grounds is $5 per vehicle, and hybrid cars and bicycle riders can park for free. A complete schedule of evenbts at www.theosophical.org/theosofest.

The Theosophical Society is located at 1926 N. Main Street in Wheaton.

Upcoming Shows:

Saturday, September 21, 8 a.m. – Noon at the Batavia Farmer’s Market

Saturday, October 19th, 8 a.m. – Noon at the Batavia Farmer’s Market

Saturday, November 9, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday, November 10, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Heritage Prairie Farm Artisan Craft & Food Fair.

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Special Event! Pop-Up Apothecary!

Come visit us at the Batavia Farmer’s Market on Saturday, August 17th from 8 a.m. until noon.

for the crazy cat lady in all of us…

We will be featuring many new products including:

  • Five tea blends – including one that will help you hang on to summer a little longer
  • 12 flavors of lip balm for people plus one for cats
  • Seven moisturizing sugar scrubs – including one you can actually put on toast
  • Three things to help deal with stress
  • Almost two dozen herbal remedies, ointments, and salves
  • Four fragrances
  • Nine skin care creams and toners to deal with acne, wrinkles, and everything in between
  • Three hair treatments
  • Two kinds of gift sets
  • One new skin care starter kit
  • And 17 things you didn’t know you needed

We will also be taking reservations and deposits for this year’s Elderberry Syrup – this syrup is very concentrated and not diluted with fruit juices (like many store brands). Elderberry Syrup is available in very limited quantities so be sure to secure your order soon. Stop by or email for more info. Local only.

cheers!

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Four Ways to Love Your Gut

What has been considered a “controversial” and New-Agey topic has hit the mainstream and now has scientific studies to back what supporters of holistic wellness have long suspected; a healthy gut is the foundation for physical and mental health. Referred to as “the second brain,” the GI tract is literally home to trillions of bacteria that play an important roll in our quality of life.

A recent study has found a strong link between depression and the absence of two intestinal bacteria: Coprococcus and Dialister. Scientists discovered that people with depression lack these particular bacteria. So that “gut feeling” or that “nervous stomach” – there’s literally more to it that we previously suspected! Researchers are learning more every day about the benefits of a healthy gut as well as the mental health implications. We are also beginning to realize that the balance (or lack of ) intestinal bacteria can directly influence conditions relating to inflammation, mood, disease resistance, metabolism, weight, and so much more.

Unfortunately, for the average person, typical lifestyle habits do much more to compromise rather than nurture this healthy gut balance. Behaviors like eating a limited variety of food, being too dependent on processed foods, overusing antibiotics, and consuming artificial sweeteners all take a toll on our health.

So what are some things we can do to restore and maintain a healthy gut biome?

  1. Beware of artificial sweeteners and processed foods. As much as possible, eat food that is an ingredient, not food that has a list of ingredients. Artificial sweeteners and food additives disrupt the metabolism and greatly reduce gut diversity. Eating whole foods in as close to their natural state as possible is your best bet.
Eating a wide variety of veggies helps maintain a healthy gut.

2. Eat your veggies. Most people say they eat their veggies, but studies show that only 1 in 10 Americans are actually eating the recommended servings of veggies per day. On top of that, most of us don’t eat enough variety. The top three vegetables consumed by people in the United States are potatoes, corn, and carrots. Additionally, most of the potatoes consumed are in the form of French fries and starches added to processed snack foods. Modern, big-scale agriculture has degraded food quality with chemical farming and has contaminated our bodies with Glycophosphates and other hidden poisons. Over time, these assaults on our intestinal biome create heightened allergic responses, which further degrade the intestinal lining. By incorporating more diversity into our diets, we are able to increase our healthy gut biome because each vegetable contains a different microbial species. Even better are the veg and greens that you grow or forage yourself. Eating seasonally and locally are also beneficial in maintaining a healthy gut balance and helping to restore one that has been depleted.

3. Incorporate more fermented foods into your diet. Think beyond yogurt. Foods that contain probiotics, like kefir, raw milk cheeses, sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi are all your friends. Be sure to vary the types of fermented foods, too – incorporate soil-based and milk-based products and foods into your diet. Take it slow though – let your body get used to these good things. For example, if trying kimchi for the first time, start out with just a tablespoon with lunch and slowly build up to a tablespoon with meals throughout the day.

A delightful bowl of goat kefir, sprinkled with berries, hemp seeds, and honey.

4. Play with your pets! Yay! (Another excuse for me to get more pets!) Our cultural germ phobia and anti-bacterial everything has done more harm than good when it comes to a healthy gut. Unless you are literally working with the Ebola virus on a daily basis, there is no need to completely sanitize ourselves, our children, or our homes. This chronic over-sterilization has caused a lack of bacterial diversity in our lives. We all need exposure to dirt, animals, and a variety of microbes. We need these small, frequent exposures to bacteria to keep our immune systems functioning – our immune system needs this “education” in order to keep us healthy. A sterile environment impairs the immune system and has even been linked to the tremendous rise in auto-immune disorders. So dig in the dirt, go camping, eat that pistachio that fell on the floor, and play with your dog.

Don’t mind if I do!

What ever your level of health may be, everyone can benefit from adding a variety of foods and whole foods to our diet.

Know that you need to eat more variety, but at a loss on how to put it into action for the dinner table? Sign up for a Grocery Store Field Trip and be inspired!