Two-step for health

Want to improve your fitness? Here are two simple suggestions that can produce remarkable results.

1. Drink more water. People have a tendency to be dehydrated. Many health concerns arise as a result of accumulation of metabolic byproducts that could easily be eliminated with proper water consumption. We all should drink half our weight in ounces of water per day. That is, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water a day. Start with a quart of water upon waking. This allows you to start your day almost halfway to your goal, and you will eliminate toxins that have accumulated in your system while you slept.

2. Do a one-day cleanse. Eliminate all animal products, sugar, alcohol, fruit juices, coffee and packaged, canned or processed foods for a full day. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as wild rice and quinoa should serve as the core of your menu for the day — and everything should be organic. I recommend that all vegetables be steamed to facilitate easier digestion, and every meal should have at least three colors. For example, carrots, broccoli and patty pan squash are excellent choices. Vegetables from the broccoli family such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli are excellent liver cleansers. Avoid tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers because they contribute to inflammation in many people. I also recommend that people avoid apples, citrus and bananas as fruit choices because they tend to cause allergy-like symptoms and cause a spike in blood-sugar levels. Better choices are blueberries and cantaloupe.

Due to the anti-inflammatory benefits of this cleanse, conditions such as allergies, migraines, premenstrual symptoms, heartburn, joint and muscle aches, insomnia, anxiety and other ills may dramatically improve.

It is wise to consult a knowledgeable health care practitioner if you continue the cleanse for longer than a day because the detoxification process may place strain on the liver and kidneys.

If you feel overwhelmed when considering these changes, be kind to yourself. Try them for just one day and see how you feel. The path to optimal health is a journey and requires compassion.

Dr. Daniel Smith is a naturopathic physician who practices at Bear Creek Naturopathic Clinic, 1012 E. Jackson St., Medford. Reach him at 541-770-5563; www.bearcreekclinic.com


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