Yesterday I woke up in pain. Arthritic pain so bad I could barely get out of bed. I finally did it because the dog was looking worried and had his legs crossed. I considered the alternative and managed to wrench myself upright.
No I wasn’t hungover. Nor did I have the flu, or another ubiquitous disease. I was simply toxic. I’d had too much sugar, meat, and baked goods in the few days prior, and was not paying enough attention to 1) Getting the stuff out of my body, AND 2) Not putting that stuff in my body in the first place. I’m on vacation, sort of, and I’ve just been a bit unconscious about the usual taking care of things.
You see the body is really a system of assimilation and elimination. EVERYTHING that goes in must somehow come out. That means that you can put all sorts of things in: stuff that’s good for you, like an in season and local organic apple, or some home grown greens – OR stuff that’s really not: like an entire batch of chocolate chocolate chip muffins, topped with a pint of caramel goo ice cream, drenched with some sort of gooey sweet liqueur and set on fire. The latter sounds more fun, of course, but can your body assimilate anything of use from it, and what happens to the stuff that just sits around?
Well, as we all know, nothing sits around forever. It’s gotta go somewhere. Usually somewhere that we are supposed to enjoy it going, somehow. The problem is that the substances that make up this second choice are those that cause the body to produce a whole bunch of excess mucus. I’m not just talking about the stuff that drips off the end of your nose, or causes you to hack thru the department meeting you just disrupted. I’m talking about mucus that goes everywhere. That gooey mass you just spent an hour shoving into your face is now inside you, irritating the heck out of your tissues as it passes thru your body. Naturally your body tries to protect itself, and tries to smooth or lubricate the passage. White flour? Processed white sugar? Alcohol?? All sorts of unpronounceable things are causing your body to try to defend itself. In the process, it is trying so hard that it ends up poisoning itself. A system that evolved to protect us during several million years of eating primarily what we could pick off a tree or root out of the earth is now faced with petroleum product preservatives, a poisonous substance from an industry operated by and founded on the backs of slaves, and a grain that has been manipulated, processed, bleached, and processed some more until it no longer resembles the original food product that gave rise to the empires of the early world. In other words, if your food of choice was the second one, not only are you supporting some things that are really not nice, but you are actively trying to do damage to yourself.
I’m sure that most of what I’ve just said really isn’t news to anyone. And the purpose of this blog isn’t to raise awareness of the world’s injustices and ironies, although one could claim that healing yourself will automatically cause a raising of awareness. The purpose is to help give information on things that you can do to take control of your own health.
When folks eat the kind of food that poisons them (and I’m feeling totally guilty and raising my hand right along with you), we tend to shovel it in. For some reason, the more poisoned the food, the more we inhale it. I think that this is because a food like an organic apple lends itself to good chewing. You know, the kind that turns the bite you just took into completely liquidated apple. The apple just tastes better and better when it is chewed to a pulp. It’s really good. BUT, the second kind of food, like the muffin and ice cream sundae from hell above, it tastes good for a second or two.
Our mouths have evolved a way of assessing the food we eat. Sweetness, one of the first things we can detect, is a taste that indicates to our primitive selves that we are eating something that can give us energy, and creates an attraction. Bitterness tells us that what we are eating may be poison, and creates an aversion. The presence of sugar in almost every kind of processed food should tell us that the food manufacturers are fully aware of this. Thus the initial bliss of the chocoholic (guilty!). But just keep chewing. Really chew it. What do you think happens? You begin to start to taste the ‘other stuff’ that’s in there. Bland, chalky, hmmm cinnamon?, more sand-like and then bitterness. LOTS of bitter aftertaste, even after the food has been swallowed.
Hmmm, this appears to be a Catch-22. You are supposed to be chewing thoroughly, but if you do the food ends up tasting like chemical ickiness. So what do you do? You learn on a subconscious level, at a very young age if you are fed the Great American Diet, to avoid chewing your food. To inhale it so that you get that first burst of sweet or sweet and salty, and avoid the poison taste that happens after you chew for a bit. The problem with that is that when you do not chew your food, the salivary glands in your mouth don’t emit saliva. Your mouth gets no help in the breaking down process of mastication, and that means that the digestive juices in the stomach don’t get the signal that they are about to go to work. If the first part of digestion in the mouth doesn’t happen, the second part in the stomach doesn’t happen. Or at least doesn’t happen very well.
So the poison gets to your stomach, sits around a bit. Digestive juices? Some, but the first part of digestion hasn’t been done, the first digestive juices never excreted, and so the second part of digestion doesn’t get done very well. The food then passes on thru the digestive tract, where it will have a last chance to assimilate and feed the body. The body tries again and again to digest the garbage you just assaulted it with, until it ends up at the intestine. And then the colon. As the food solids pass thru, they leave a part of themselves behind, stuck in the mucus on the walls of the intestines like glue. Think Gorilla Glue. And this gets repeated again and again as time goes on. Layers and layers build up, and prevent the intestines from doing their assimilation work, In other words, think a plastic coated tube. No chance of obtaining nutrients from there. And as the layers build and the tube gets smaller and smaller, most of the solids get stuck. The fluids come thru in abundance and then you have irregular stools, diarrhea, chronic constipation (both the kind that makes you suffer and the kind that you never see), and other lovely things. And your body has obtained very little nutrition, only about 10% of the nutrients you just consumed. What happens to the inorganic material that your body was able to assimilate but not use? Well, since the body also couldn’t eliminate it, it finds a place somewhere inside you that is already weak, like an old injury site, perhaps those lungs that hosted pneumonia last year, or maybe a genetically vulnerable spot where it settles and begins a process of deterioration.
This is pretty simplified, but it sounds sort of depressing and hopeless, doesn’t it? Well here’s where the miracle comes in. Your body is a miracle machine. If you allow it to do it’s job of elimination, then it can heal itself of almost anything. For those places where toxins have settled and created havoc, the body working in conjunction with non-narcotic and non-toxic herbal aids can release those toxins by helping to nourish and rebuild that site that is injured.
So that is where you start. Elimination. You HAVE to. If you actually read the icky bits above, you noted that you weren’t able to assimilate much nutrition from your food. (BTW – have you ever wondered why in America we suffer from epidemic numbers of people who are both obese and starving?. Our bodies are desperate for nutrients, and if the subconscious knows that and activates our survival drive, well diets be gone. We need energy. We must eat something sweet. And so it goes.) Until you can improve you body’s ability to assimilate nutrients, you cannot hope to heal it. So clear the way for the digestion to work properly by getting all the roadblocks out of the way of oncoming traffic, i.e. your lunch.
Next time, I’ll look at the HOW of clearing the digestive and elimination tract. AND, I’ll take a peak at some of the foods that can help, and some that can hurt, the healing process.
Until then, be good. Or not.
images and text ©2014 Marie Angeli