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Spring cleaning

DRAGONFLY - Tisha C. Bautista (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2013 - 12:00am

Basic physics will tell you that two things cannot occupy the same space. That being said, whether it’s sadness, lack of inspiration or even excess weight, this principle holds true. So when it comes to physical wellness, it perhaps makes more sense to remove things (that are detrimental) from our body first before all else. Enter the “Clean Program.”

Born in Uruguay, founder of the Clean Program, Dr. Alejandro Junger, graduated from medical school in 1990 and moved to New York City for his postgraduate training. After three years of studying Internal Medicine and cardiovascular disease, his drastic change in diet and lifestyle left him a patient himself. His digestive system was affected. He had chest pains, anxiety, and could not perform at his usual levels. To make matters worse, he was diagnosed with depression  — “a chemical imbalance” was the supposed culprit. Somehow, none of it made sense to him. So began his search for an alternative solution to his own health problems. 

Instinctively refusing the idea that he would be on prescription drugs for the rest of his life, Dr. Junger proceeded to think out of the box. He exhausted his list of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other professionals he felt could get him out of his state. But to no avail …. until finally, he decided to try out the self-help section at his local bookstore. There he was introduced to the practice of meditation, Eastern philosophies and, best of all, yoga. After studying all these and more, he decided to bring the best of Eastern and Western medicine to the table free of any judgment in order to find the optimal solution for himself as well as whoever needed help. He called it “open-minded medicine.” The last and final push that brought his journey to wellness was a visit from an old friend who had just come from a holistic detox program. The program was filled with natural products, procedures for flushing out toxins, fresh juices, and natural supplements. Needless to say, his friend looked and felt at least 10 years younger! He definitely wanted some of that!

That said, he moved to Los Angeles and began to treat patients through a special program that incorporated lab tests, medications, but also included detoxing, aspects of Chinese medicine, and a strong emphasis on dietary change to build wellness from the inside — his vision of open-minded medicine. Years later, he developed a program designed with the same results but without the need to go out of town, to a holistic center or even to a clinic. Voila! — The Clean Program — to remove, restore, rejuvenate. 

“Okay! Sounds amazing. But have you ever tried it?” you may ask … Well … Yes, I have. And yes, it is amazing. Twenty-one days of a different life … 21 days of realizing how much junk we actually put into our systems.

The basic principle of the “Clean Cleanse” is that by creating the right environment within our bodies, it will naturally heal itself. This ideal condition is achieved by letting go of old diet/eating habits and by embracing more nutritionally beneficial foods and supplements. It’s composed of three steps: Pre-cleanse (three days), Cleanse (21 days), and Reintroduction (seven days).

The Pre-cleanse is just the process of easing your body into the actual detoxification phase and involves simply eating three solid meals per day from the Cleanse diet list. The Cleanse proper is a three-week routine of: a Cleanse Shake for breakfast, a solid meal for lunch (from the Cleanse list), and a Cleanse Shake for dinner. Each meal includes Cleanse supplements that need to be taken throughout the day. The Reintroduction portion is the final stage. Its purpose is to identify which foods work specifically for you in the long-term and which are detrimental to your well-being. In addition, a list of items to eat and to avoid during your cleanse is provided. (See chart above.)

There are many interesting aspects of this program, one of them is the required “Twelve-Hour Window” where after your evening shake, you will be asked to refrain from eating until 12 hours after. The premise is that the body needs eight hours for digestion and another four hours for a deep clean. Sure enough, you will feel better the next morning. Other tenets of the Clean Cleanse include snacking mindfully, exercising gently, proper elimination daily, and lots of water. 

What I personally liked about this entire process was the realization that if you were serious about “cleaning up,” the transformation had to come from the inside: a conscious choice to choose better things. Similarly, the program will encourage you to keep a journal of your observations and reactions (both emotional and physical) to different types of food. The amazing thing is that you will come to understand that certain things you felt you would die without were actually preventing you from living your life fully! What’s more is that Dr. Junger’s program includes a wonderful support system of experts, forums, staffers who are constantly trying to help address all your needs on this journey to wellness. So much so, that even if you try out this program with only weight loss in mind, you will find that getting thinner is only the bonus — how you see your body and how you choose to take care of it for the rest of your life are the real rewards. For the people who have tried it, it’s more than just looking better but feeling better in your own skin. What could be cleaner than that?

* * *

How to try it? The Clean Cleanse kit is available online via its website www.cleanprogram.com. However, if you would like to learn more about it first, I would recommend that you get a copy of Dr. Junger’s best-selling book  “Clean.”

E-mail tcbautista@arkeology.org.

 

CLEAN CLEAN CLEANSE CLEAN PROGRAM CLEANSE CLEANSE SHAKE DR. ALEJANDRO JUNGER DR. JUNGER EASTERN AND WESTERN INTERNAL MEDICINE PROGRAM
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