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Juice Fasting Guide Part 1 – Understanding the Digestive System

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Have you ever done a juice fast? If not, you may want to consider it. We’ve learned that “fasting for three days can regenerate your entire immune system because it triggers the body to start producing new white blood cells.” Dr. Longo explains further: “When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.”

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From this 4-part series, you will learn to understand the digestive process and some of the most important benefits of juice fasting. I will share with you what vegetables and fruits are the most beneficial, as well as some of the tips and tricks that help me to stick to the regimen without giving in to the temptations that come along your juice fast. Let’s dive right in:

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First of all, you ask, why would I want to deprive myself of food for three days or more?

That’s a good question!

Yet technically, you’re not depriving yourself of food. You ARE having food, just in liquid form, which is a welcomed break for your body. The digestive process is really exhaustive. I have prepared a quick summary of all the parts involved in digesting the food you consume. It will help you visualize the process and understand why juice fasting is necessary for optimal health and since most of us don’t actually do anything unless we truly believe in its benefits, I believe this is an imperative step to committing to a juice fast. 

STEP 1: YOUR MOUTH

Mouth

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When we hear digestion, we think the magic happens in our stomach for the most part. So you may be surprised that the mouth plays an important role in commencing the digestive process. Your teeth chop food into small pieces which become moistened by saliva
this is produced by an accessory organ called salivary glands. Pretty straight forward. Saliva doesn’t just moisten the food, though, it also begins the digestion of carbohydrates. The tongue helps to push food toward the posterior part of the mouth in preparation for swallowing.

 

STEP 2: YOUR THROAT

Throat
Now you’ve likely swallowed food accidentally that wasn’t chewed properly, and you know it hurts so badly! That’s because your throat is a tight funnel-shaped tube that has two functions: 1) send your chewed food on its way to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and 2) channel air from the nasal cavity to the lungs. Because your throat is duo-functional, you can think of it as a railway station that uses a flap of tissue to switch tracks depending on if the train coming through is air that must be sent to the lungs, or if it’s food and needs to go to the esophagus.

 

STEP 3: YOUR ESOPHAGUS

Esophagus
Esophagus what? Now don’t get bogged down by technical terms that sound like latin gibberish. The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Food is forced into the stomach by powerful waves of muscle contractions passing through the walls of the esophagus. So you can imagine it as a water slide! Kind of looks like one too…Now at the end of the esophagus is a muscular ring, also known as the cardiac sphincter. The purpose of this sphincter is to close off the end of the esophagus and trap food in the stomach. Sounds scary, but it’s actually quite useful in preventing food from coming back up, which is super uncomfortable and just down right gross.

STEP 4: YOUR STOMACH

Stomach
Your stomach is a major organ that acts as a storage tank for food so that your body has enough time to digest large meals properly. The stomach also contains hydrochloric acid (the stuff that makes your vomit burn your throat) and digestive enzymes which continue the digestion of food. Cool little fact to nerd out over: the average person’s stomach is about the size of their two fists placed next to each other. Go ahead…I know you want to press your two fists together…Alright now that we have that covered, let’s talk about your small intestine.

 

STEP 5.1: YOUR SMALL INTESTINE

Small Intestine
The small intestine is attached to your stomach. It’s a long, thin tube about 1 inch in diameter and about 10 feet long, that’s about 3 meters. Crazy right? That’s your small intestine and it plays a major role in the digestion of your food and even more so, the absorption of nutrients. By the time food leaves the small intestine, around 90% of all nutrients have been extracted from the food. This thing is a sponge machine!

 

 

STEP 5.2: YOUR LIVER & GALLBLADDER

LiverSimultaneously, the second largest organ in your body, your liver, has many different functions in the body. When it comes to digestion, its main purpose is to produce bile and secrete it into the small intestine. Bile is incredibly important here because it an essential “de-greaser” and “emulsifier” of dietary fats, but it’s just as imperative for the utilization of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Now while the liver produces bile, your gallbladder stores and recycles excess bile from the small intestine so that it can be reused for the digestion of subsequent meals. A lot of problems arise when the liver and gallbladder are not working properly, which I will discuss in a later post (and of course, how you can repair your liverHINT: you’re on the right track; juicing is a great start!)

STEP 5.3: THE PANCREAS

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 4.04.43 PM
The pancreas is unique in that it is both an organ and an endocrine gland. For the digestive process, it is integral to producing pancreatic enzymes which are essential to break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates properly. You may have heard of these enzymes: lipase for fats, protease for protein and amylase for carbohydrates. Sufficient production of enzymes is an energy expensive process, which is just another reason to eat more raw vegetables because they contain natural enzymes so they partially break down themselves. So the more you have, the less work for your digestive system!

STEP 6: THE LARGE INTESTINE

Large Intestine
At last, we have the large intestine which is also commonly referred to as the colon. Now that the food has been broken down, the large intestine “cleans up the beautiful mess” so to speak. Healthy bacterial flora are responsible to absorb vitamins and decompose waste. Unused waste, or feces, is then compacted and stored in the rectum, where it will remain until you go to the bathroom to take care of business.

And that concludes the digestive process. Amazing how every time you consume any type of food, it goes through this extensive process. Having said that, how well this process works is solely dependent on how well you treat your body. And when it doesn’t work optimally, you are at risk of both physical and mental ill health. So take care of your digestive system! Which is a perfect segue…to introduce the benefits of juice fasting.

Take a BreakSo let’s say you consume an average of 3 meals a day. That’s 1095 meals per year!

Now let’s assume that you are privileged to eat 3 meals a day throughout your entire lifetime. The average life expectancy in Canada based on 2009 statistics is 81 years. That’s 88,695 times your body goes through the digestive process explained above.

You don’t expect any other part of your body to work that hard every single day, do you? How about working out your legs 88,695 times with no break? It seems absurd when you do the math and that’s exactly the reason why I laid out the numbers for you. Everyone and everything needs rest, including your digestive system. The few hours in between meals don’t count — it’s simply not enough time to actually get high quality rest.

Keep GoingWhat happens when you use any part of your body so strenuously over a long period of time? It starts to slow down. It gets tired. Of course it does.

So now that you get the big picture, I want to provide you with a concise list of benefits as well. Most of us are goal driven individuals and tend to stick to habits more if we have specific outcomes to work towards.

Stay tuned for Part 2The Benefits of Juice Fasting!

 

 

Author of this post:

1-rWuR7VSLt_hMzEMICxGjSgHi everyone, my name Tina Schomburg and I’m super excited to talk to you about Juice Fasting. WHY am I so exciting about it? Because Juice Fasting has been truly miraculous for me. I was diagnosed with cancer at 22 and I honestly accredit my recovery and survival in part to juicing and juice fasting.

The image to the left was a picture I took after my last 3-day juice fast. I felt incredible, my skin cleared up visibly, my energy was up and my mental agility was noticably improved. I love the euphoric feeling post-juice fast and I’d love for you to follow along this 4-part series. Maybe it will inspire you to embark on your own juice fast journey!  Juice it real good – cheers!

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Awareness

3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Awareness

Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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General

Are Lockdowns Affecting Children?

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We spoke to activist and mother Stephanie Sibbio about her co-creation of an organization called 100 Million Moms which seeks to empower women to stand up against injustices.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we choosing virus mitigation methods that are short sighted and harmful over the long term? Are they more harmful than the virus itself?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The potential downsides of lockdowns during pandemics have been explored quite a bit – and the truth is the scientific community is quite divided on whether it’s the right move. On one hand a case can be made for effectiveness of lockdowns, but at quite a cost, while on the other hand many have shown lockdowns to be ineffective in slowing spread. How a study is organized and conducted can also dramatically change results.

Interestingly a study in Nature showed that “less disruptive and costly NPIs can be as effective as more intrusive, drastic, ones (for example, a national lockdown).” This essentially states that governments could choose effective ways to mitigate virus spread effectively without inducing unwanted and long term side effects on society as a whole via lockdowns – regardless, lockdowns are still widely being used.

One question we might have is, what about factors that are not so easy to measure right away? Things like long term psychological damage of being constantly stressed, out of touch with community and friends, and confined to our homes. What affects are children experiencing in their development and learning? We may not know exactly for quite some time.

I felt inspired to speak to a mother who has not only be asking this question with regards to her child, but who has decided to do something to push back against government measures, like lockdowns, that many citizens and scientist don’t agree with.

Along with another activist, Stephanie Sibbio created a movement called 100 Million Moms who, as their Instagram states, are a rights-based movement empowering moms all over the world to stand up against injustice. We advocate for natural health & medical freedom.

I spoke to Stephanie about how she has seen lockdowns affecting children, and her story in co-creating 100 Million Moms. In this discussion you will learn how you can get involved as well.

Further Discussion

A large meta analysis on mask wearing has shown that children are having physiological issues and learning challenges with prolonged mask wearing.

A group of doctors did a panel worth considering that discusses the potential harms of lockdowns and the science that supports the idea.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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