To purify, to exercise, or to diet? That is the question. That time of year is here when we usually loosen up on our eating habits with so many delicious, wonderful, and favorite holiday foods to eat. Thanksgiving and Christmas only come around once a year and with the great family time and food, there is usually also some holiday weight gain. Once the New Year arrives and brings about resolutions, most people get back into the health mentality of losing weight, getting ready for summer time, and joining a new gym.
For those people that are most consistent with working out at their favorite gyms, they tend to avoid January and February to allow the crowds to quiet down again after the New Year’s resolution rush. But, what if I told you that there is an easier way to get you feeling better and lose some weight without the gym membership and having to spend an hour at the gym every single day to lose those extra pounds gained from the holidays?
There is a way and that way is starting off the New Year with a cleanse. A purification program (or cleanse) is a great way to jump-start your health goals in the New Year. But, most people usually do not hear many positive things about a cleanse. Typically, people hear only bad things about the more extreme cleanses that require you to starve yourself or only drink things like vinegar. But, I have an excellent cleanse that I recommend to all of my patients; it is the same one that my wife and I have done for the past three years and are excitedly looking forward to this coming January.
The cleanse we do is the 21-Day Purification Program from Standard Process. The most difficult part of participating in this program is getting into the mentality of actually starting the program, but once you jump in, it is extremely rewarding. This is one of the fewest cleanses out there where you actually feel full during the program and can essentially eat as much as you want (as long as you are eating vegetables!).
The main purpose of the 21-Day Purification Program is to remove the inflammation from your gut which allows you to feel healthier and lose some weight at the same time. By removing the foods from your diet that cause inflammation, it allows your body to lose all of the water weight that prevents you from losing weight.
The first time I did the purification program I weighed 220 pounds. By the end of the 21 days, I had dropped to 200 pounds. My low back pain, knee pain, and bloated sensation were gone as well. The purification program helped me to understand that food can be the source of pain in the body. During the 21 days, I ate as many vegetables as my heart desired, but I did not work out. While I strongly recommend also incorporating physical activity into your health regimen, the results I experienced just go to show you that diet alone is the most effective way to lose weight. You may wonder if I gained it all back after I reintroduced specific foods back into my diet, but I am happy to say that I have never been over 200 pounds since the first time I participated in this program over three years ago. Why?
Well, the purification program educated me on the best way to go about grocery shopping. It taught me to focus on the ingredients list for food and not the nutrition index. If I am unable to pronounce or if I do not recognize the ingredient, I do not buy it. This cleanse also helps the human body eliminate dependencies and cravings for sugars and carbohydrates. By eliminating processed sugars and carbohydrates in your diet, it decreases your appetite and it better allows your body to tell your brain when it is full and when it does not need any more food.
The first 10 days of the cleanse you are able to have a variety of vegetables, fruits, quinoa, and select spices. On day 11, it introduces lean proteins such as deep-sea fish and organic chicken. Throughout the entire 21 days, you have 2-3 shakes per day as well as supplemental nutrients that are provided in the purification kit from Standard Process. The key to the cleanse though is to keep the vegetable to fruit ratio at 2:1. The reason behind this philosophy is due to the fact that vegetables contain a lot of fiber so they take longer to break down into the small carbohydrate molecules for the body to use for energy. Fruits have a high content of simple sugars, which the body breaks down more quickly. Therefore, you feel much fuller after eating vegetables than fruit.
Standard Process has made their purification program even easier to follow in recent years by adding a free smart phone app that will help you with sticking to the program. The kit comes with all of the supplements needed for the 21 days that assist in purifying the body; a grocery list of foods that should be eaten on the program; and some select suggestions for healthy recipes. We do have a cookbook from Standard Process that has a plethora of delicious recipes available for our patients as well.
My wife and I are anxiously looking forward to our 4th annual purification program in January. We hope that you might join us on this wonderful adventure as we will guide and support you every step of the way if you decide to give it a try. It can be a challenge at times, but it is truly rewarding. If you have any questions, please email me (email@example.com) and I would be happy to answer them.
-Dr. Aaron Erhardt