Weston Price and The Detox Cleanse I'm Doing

Weston Price and The Detox Cleanse I’m Doing

weston priceEvery once in a while, I have a blog post composing itself in my brain, and before I actually get it onto my keyboard, someone beats me to the punch.

This time, it was on the topic of Dr. Weston A. Price, the dentist-researcher behind the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and the foundation upon which the Weston A. Price Foundation, the book Nourishing Traditions, and the Price-Pottenger Foundation were built. Yup, he wrote the book before I could get to it.

Just kidding.

Actually, my sweet friend Kimi of The Nourishing Gourmet wrote a thoughtful post just the other day on who Dr. Price was, the research that he did, the conclusions that he came to and why it should matter to us. Here’s an excerpt from her post:

Dr. Weston A Price was a dentist who lived from 1870 to 1948 when industrial foods were just starting to spread like wildfire. Spurred on by the death of his own son from a tooth infection and his own personal experience with tooth decay while eating a typical diet, he became intrigued by the question “Why do teeth decay?”.

That question led him onto a much larger journey where he studied the effect that new industrial foods had on people in comparison to their traditional diets. He literally traveled the world and studied and compared people who were eating the “new foods” such as canned foods, jams, white sugar, white flour, and vegetable oil, to those who ate their traditional fare. His discoveries are very relevant and helpful to us today.

He observed and studied 14 healthy peoples groups varying from the United States, to Switzerland, to Peru to Africa. All of these people groups ate very different diets, but they had more in common then you would think at first glance.

The first observation he had was that those who ate their county’s traditional food were robust and healthy with wide jaws to support good teeth structure, very few to zero cavities, and a resistance to the common plagues of that time such as tuberculosis. Those who ate a lot of the new foods, like refined sugar and flour and the vegetable oils, often had rampant tooth decay and little resistance to disease. He documented the pictures of people’s teeth and facial structure showing how vast of a difference there was between those who ate traditional foods and those who didn’t. The difference was often alarming.

You can read the entire post here, Dr. Price and the Underlying Theme of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. I highly recommend that you do, especially for those who are interested in learning more about the foundations of this idea of “traditional food” that we are exploring this month at Keeper of the Home.

In Other News… The Detox Cleanse I’m On

For the past 7 years, I’ve been in a cycle. It goes a little something like this… pregnancy, breastfeeding, pregnancy, breastfeeding, pregnancy, breastfeeding. Can anyone else relate?

Now, I just LOVE having my sweet babies and nursing them, but the one thing that this cycle doesn’t allow for much at all is the ability to detoxify or cleanse the body out more thoroughly. In this day and age, with all of the environmental toxins, chemicals used on food and in beauty products, in our water, etc. it’s become a necessity for us to give the body a thorough cleansing and really flush the toxins out every once in a while to maintain good health.

As I am preparing to go to the Philippines in just over a month with Compassion International, I had already made the (sad) decision to wean my 20 mth old darling, Johanna. I realized that I had a short but important window of opportunity, if I wanted to take it, to wean her just a few weeks early and go ahead and do the detox that I’ve been trying to do for about 2 1/2 years (the last time I attempted, I found out I was pregnant the day I had scheduled to begin!). I do want to make it clear that a cleanse of the intensity that I am doing is not something that would be suitable for anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.

real food cleansing guide cover adUsing the fabulous ebook The Real Food Cleansing Guide by Lisa Byrnes, I opted to do the most advanced level of cleanse (yep, I’m a keener and possibly a glutton for punishment). I’m doing a 3-5 day raw food (fruits and vegetables only) cleanse with some added supplements and clay baths for detoxification. As Lisa suggests, I’ve opted to cater my cleanse to the current season, spring, by focusing on the liver and gallbladder, and by using light, fresh, raw foods.

I’ve planned for several days of transition foods on either side to help ease me in and gently get my body back onto my usual diet afterwards. I’m taking it somewhat a day at a time, seeing how I feel before I decide for sure when to finish up. Better to listen to your body, rather than set a pre-determined expectation that you may not be able to follow through with in a healthy manner.

As I write this, I’m nearing the end of my first official day (after dropping all grains and sweeteners and beginning to take liver-strengthening herbal teas prior to beginning). I’ll confess… I feel a bit light-headed, I’ve got brain fog and I’ve had a mild headache on and off. That’s okay. It’s really, really normal to feel “off” while cleansing, even to feel a bit sick to your stomach, have a low grade fever or flushed cheeks, some aches and pains, headaches, etc. The feeling of well-being, refreshment and energy that comes after a while is well worth it.

Have you ever done a cleanse before? How did you do it and was it worth it?

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  1. Nope, never done a cleanse…I’m also caught in the pregnancy-breastfeeding cycle and they overlap (still breastfeeding when becoming pregnant). Its a hard choice to make…the benefits of longer term nursing (I am aiming for 2 1/2 to 3 years or more this time) vs. something like a cleanse. At least with my current nursing toddler I think its best to continue nursing her due to our family history and her difficulties with still eating well.

    1. @Nola, It’s definitely a toss-up, I know. For me, I know that many of my own issues (from such poor nutrition and lifestyle up until I was about 23) keep affecting my children as I breastfeed them, making them more prone to things like food sensitivities, eczema, Candida, etc. Knowing that we still want more children, I just felt that for me, it was necessary to take some time to clean out my body and prepare it better for the next time around. I think it’s such a personal decision, though, and each mom knows her own babies needs best. 🙂

  2. I have not done a cleanse either, but have been talking to my hubby about it recently. I’m currently pregnant, so it will be a while before we can go all-out, but for now we are really starting to cut back on the junk we eat (which comparatively isn’t a lot, but still isn’t healthy!). I really liked this NYT article yesterday http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?hp=&pagewanted=all “Is Sugar Toxic?” It’s not ground-breaking by any means, but it shows some of the history of how studies related to the effects of sugar (including HFCS) on our bodies are so often covered up for being “inconclusive” while they so compellingly point the finger at sugar as a major cause for not only diabetes and obesity but also heart disease and cancer. It’s a good read. I hope Day Two is much better for you!!

  3. When we do “cleanses” I always try to make sure we also get plenty of fat (usually coconut oil and the fat inherently found in broth). I have seen all raw fruit and veg cleanses go terribly wrong, even after just a couple of days, for people with or without blood sugar problems. So even though, as you said, it is normal to experience weird symptoms, it is not normal to thoroughly tax your adrenals without enough dietary fat to support normal functions.

    1. @Shannon, I actually forgot to mention that I did decide to include some cold-pressed olive oil, on my salads. I felt like I needed to eat some fat.
      I’m glad you brought it up, though. I’m a bit torn on the subject. I’ve read many, many books from different practitioners who think it is fine to briefly remove fats, for a short, controlled period of time (I know, I know, they’re probably people who wouldn’t agree with how we eat as WAPF followers, but nonetheless…). I know there are definitely others who think differently, as you are expressing.
      Lisa does include some olive oil in her dressing recipes and coconut oil in at least one of the smoothie recipes (maybe more, I can’t remember). It’s certainly the first thing I plan to add back in greater quantities, along with broth, as I transition back to regular eating. My feeling is that after a cleanse, it’s necessary to go through a building phase, of eating highly nutrient-dense foods (lots of good fats, organ meats, broth, etc.).
      Anyways, it’s food for thought (literally, mmmmm, fat!) and I’ve got various health books scattered all over my house at the moment. For me, the jury is still somewhat out on whether it’s a good idea or not, but I totally appreciate your opinion, Shannon! 🙂

      1. I just had my amalgams removed and have been thinking on detox, but want to be careful to do it right (mercury is confusing). Also, have had trouble with elevated liver enzymes, pcos, bloating (and recently heartburn), and low iron. I also tested low for many b vitamins a while back, but have been working on my health and supplementing for over a year. I would love to know what the “easier” cleanses are!

  4. OK I know this totally wasn’t the focus of the post, but my Philippines trip is coming up too (3 weeks and two days!) and I’m about to burst from excitement!!! I can’t wait to see all the beautiful faces of the people I’m going to meet!

  5. Stephanie!

    I’m was just bowled over reading your latest post and seeing my ebook mentioned! Just thrilled that you are using it for a spring cleanse 🙂

    So grateful for the tremendous work you do through your blog– yours is one of my FAVORITES! Can’t wait to follow you as you go through your next adventure with Compassion in the Philippines. Praying for you and the whole team!


    1. @Lisa Byrne,
      I bought the “Simplify” package and forgot your book is in there! Now to think about when I could successfully pull off a cleanse….Thanks for including it in the pack.

  6. I just finished an intensive medical liver detox/cleanse. I waited sooo long to do it…and ended up weaning my 2 year old in order to do the cleanse because my body was in shambles and I needed to restore my heath. I had been pregnant or nursing or both continuously for 8 and a half years! I have develped some autoimmune issues (gluten intolerance and autoimmune thyroid disease) as well as adrenal fatigue and hypoglycemia over the past few years even while eating a (mostly) traditional/WAP diet. But my diet pre-WAP was deplorable…grew up on twinkies and hamburger helper and then swung to veganism for 5 years before learning about Weston Price and the need for real foods to nourish our bodies. After the 5 week long detox, I feel like a new person. I feel alive…before the cleanse I felt like the walking dead and was totally devoid of energy by lunchtime every day. I still have more work to do to get back to full health, but I’m am well on my way thanks to the detox. It’s a hard decision to wean a little one for the sake of cleansing, but I think in some cases the benefits of mom getting her health back and everything that goes with it (sanity, energy, ablitly to properly care for her home and children) is truly worth it.

    1. @cmarie, That’s sort of how I feel, about it being worthwhile for mom to be in better health, because everyone does better when mom is doing better. 🙂

      I would be really curious to know what your cleanse what like, what you ate, what supplements you used. 5 weeks is far longer than I intend to go for (but it sounds like you had a professional supervising yours, which I don’t). I relate in that prior to having my babies, I had awful health and nutrition (junk food as a kid and teen, then a shift to near vegetarianism and soy products). Although the traditional diet has done so much to build my health back up, I’ve still never been able to really deal with some of the toxic effects of what I did previous to eating this way.

  7. Yes!! I’ve done them on my own, but have most recently completed the Purification/cleanse from Standard Process, through my Naturopath. I can’t tell you how GREAT I feel and how my body is handling normal everyday toxins and stress. WOW!!!!

  8. I really need to do a cleanse. I’ve been eating way too many sugary foods recently and I’ve gained a few pounds that need to GO! Lisa’s book is out of my budget so any other suggestions where to find a cleanse to follow?

  9. I’m caught in the same cycle… A cleanse is something I hope to do when we decide we’re done having children. For now we’ve decided to leave the timing in God’s hands and so basically everytime I get pregnant I’ll likely be breastfeeding. LOL I’m hopeful that eating traditional foods will help keep me in good enough health in the meantime to be a good mommy.

  10. I’ve done a number of cleanses before. They’re not particularly fun, but so worth it in the end!
    I heard a seminar earlier this week about how toxins have a huge impact on weight loss/gain. When there are toxins in your body, the body stores fat to surround and protect your organs from those toxins. Once you detox your body, you begin to lose more weight. Detoxification is 50% of weight loss, Nutrition is 35%, and exercise is only 15%.
    Also, here’s a great website on raw foods! http://www.livinghiho.com/

  11. i would love to do a cleanse so much, but i have been pregnant or nursing or BOTH for the past 8 years solid! someday, someday!!! i have allergies that i just have a feeling would be so much better and possibly even eliminated completely once i do a cleanse. enjoy!

  12. Thank you for directing me to Dr. Price’s book and his work. I think this may hold the answer to my husband’s chronic pain and inflammation that refuses to go away. In fact, I’d been thinking of writing to you for help and guidance, but guess you heard me somehow:-)
    heading over to check Kimi’s post, the book and more.
    And yes, I’m doing a cleanse this week too. It feels liberating and all inside-lovely:-)

    Thanks again!

  13. I took Lisa’s most recent class and did a cleanse for a week…but not the hard core raw foods one, and am now trying to continue most of the healthy eating practices over into my everyday life. I’ve been enjoying it!

  14. It is great to read that people feel wonderful after a cleanse. I have not done a “formal” cleanse but juice every day and use the ionic foot bath once a week. I am looking forward to doing a cleanse soon. By the way, very refreshing to read Christian content on the web. God bless you in your writings!

  15. While I like a lot of what Weston A Price has to say, please be careful with the WAPF. They aren’t necessarily a reputable resource. I’m a dental professor and read this article about dentistry: http://www.westonaprice.org/dentistry/1957-root-canal-dangers.html The article states that “Dentists are generally taught to remove a tooth and leave the periodontal ligament in the socket, a procedure which would be like delivering a baby and leaving the placenta in the uterus.” Except that this isn’t true. I’ve been a professor at 2 dental schools and a student at 1 and this statement would be considered completely crazy. I teach students how to extract teeth and I’d be sued if I was teaching them to leave the ligament. No one today advocates leaving the periodontal ligament in the socket and it is certainly not what “dentists are generally taught”. It isn’t even something that is controversial. This statement is just wrong. It isn’t even a matter of philosophy or opinion. This isn’t what dentists are taught. I know. I’m teaching them!

    I’m not the only one who has found inaccurate information there: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/06/23/the-real-story-of-homogenized-milk-powdered-milk-skim-milk-and-oxidized-cholesterol/

    So just beware that they may not be a reliable resource for information…

  16. Hi Stephanie, thanks for the post! I am going to wean my thirdborn soon as well, and need to take the opportunity to work on my health. My digestive system is very messed up due to way too many antibiotics, resulting in many food sensetivities and a low immune system. I eat crazy healthy and do lots of things to improve my health, but just haven’t been able to improve much. I was thinking of doing the GAPs diet for a little while (basically meat and veggie, as I can’t tolerate the eggs and nuts from the diet), but I can’t afford to do that very long. Do you have any thoughts on the benefits of a cleanse like you are doing vs. something like GAPS or Body Ecology Diet? I’d so appreciate your thoughts, thanks!!

  17. I have done several cleanses! The one that I did that really wasn’t a cleanse for me was the RAW Food-cleanse, but ate that way every day for a very long time. I originally id this for a month with no processed anything and lost a lot of weigh, which I WAS NOT trying to do. I was just trying to get my thyroid back to where is was supposed to be and it worked. I am now doing the GAPS because I want to see if I can eliminate some “food intolerances”. Then I will be back to the RAW. This is because I feel the very best I every have on RAW. I eat plenty of fat on the raw. I do like the GAPS, not a big change after doing dairy/gluten free for years. The thing I’m not real big on is the broth. I have to choke it down. For some reason the older I get the more I don’t like much meat and that includes chicken. Even if the chicken is cooked throughly it still tastes like raw chicken smells to me. Also, beef I have a difficult time with. Sometimes, )actually most times) It tastes like the barn yard smells to me. I can’t predict, it. There have been times I have ordered or cooked a burger or a steak and have taken a bite and given the remainder to my husband, because no matter how bad I had a taste for it, it tastes like raw meat or the barn yard. I would really like this GAPS to go well and so far (with the exception of the meat) it has. I feel pretty good, but don’t really feel any better, maybe a bit less energetic, but will continue to see how this works. Good Luck on your cleanse! I my opinion, they all do something! Some more that others and since everyone is at a different point in their quest for health, different cleanses work differently for different people. Does that make sense?

    Love your posts!

    1. Are you sure it isn’t adrenal problems? Your adrenals can cause secondary hypothyroid. People with adrenal issues often have an aversion to meat and allergies.

      1. @Andrea, You know, it could be! I have had that problem in the past. No one that I have worked with has ever mentioned the connection. It is a definite possibility. However, when I had adrenal fatigue, it must have been pretty bad, because I feel 100% better now than I did at that time. I will be looking into this more. Thanks for the suggestion!!!

    2. @Julie, I agree that they do all do something different, and it really depends on the person. I’ve felt great on the raw diet, but found that (although I definitely felt that I did some detoxing) it may not have been extreme enough for me to detox as heavily as I wanted to. I just felt good, energy, and somewhat cleaned out and refreshed, but I expected to have more of a healing crisis and I didn’t really. I think that I may need to do something more extreme, or perhaps some of the other cleansing things we’ve done (we did the GAPS intro twice in the past 13 months) had cleaned me out enough with an obvious detox reaction that perhaps I didn’t need it as much as I thought I did? Hmmm, who knows. I’m still glad I did it! 🙂

  18. Hi Stephanie,

    Are you going to share your results? 🙂 I’d love to read more about how you felt and now feel and what a “normal” diet is for you. Thanks for posting this and reminding me that I have Lisa’s book!

    1. @Kelly, I wasn’t planning to officially post about it, but basically I did the full cleanse diet for almsot 4 days, with 1 transition day before I began, and another 4 transition days on the end. I felt some detoxifying effects (flushed cheeks, irritable for a couple days, some headaches, etc.). Once I was past the first couple days, my energy began to pick up and I found myself waking up naturally earlier than I had been before. I think it helped to minimize some yeast issues that I was still dealing with a little. Overall, I felt awesome on it and after it and I’m thinking of bringing a few of the aspects of the diet (the fresh juice or green smoothies for breakfast and the huge green salads for lunch every day) back to my regular diet. My normal diet definitely includes raw and cooked fruits and veggies, a fair bit of greens, and then lots of good meats, fats, raw dairy, eggs, and soaked/sourdough/sprouted whole grains, and minimal natural sweeteners. In a nutshell, anyways. 🙂

  19. Stephanie,

    I just found your blog today while browsing from blog to blog and continuing my current passion for more traditional and healthy ways of life. You have some amazing content here, thanks for all of your efforts! I completely agree with your view about cleansing your body before having more children, etc. We have a 12 month old girl who we are currently working with to heal her own gut as she has some digestive issues and absorption issues….when I began researching to heal her is when I was introduced to WAP and Nourishing Traditions and basically how our modern society has gone WAY off track causing more harm than good. At first I felt guilty as a mother for simple lack of education and knowledge of the subjects while pregnant and nursing…but now I feel empowered and have set out to change our lifestyle and improve our well being. Not only with my sweet baby, but with my own health. I am battling some adrenal and thyroid issues and also had candida overgrowth and hypoglycemia. I am sure I got this way from prolonged poor diet and way too much stress in years before pregnancy…but how would I have known? After having the baby I was so moddy, fatigued, tired, had awful sugar cravings and I just wasn’t my happy self. I couldn’t produce enough breastmilk once my daughter hit 9 months and she began to refuse to nurse due to low supply. You can imagine the guilt I felt on top of my stress and exhaustion. Research led me to an ND and at last I am on the road to improvement! I I just finished up a 6 week yeast free cleanse and I can’t tell you how much BETTER it made me feel in just a few weeks. Now I am on the road to recovering my adrenals and continuing to incorporate more traditional foods in our household. My dream was to always have kids close in age, but now I know it is more important to get my body, gut, and overall well being in tip-top shape before conceiving again so that we can possibly avoid some of the complications my sweet girl is dealing with now. ANYWAYS, many blessings to you and so glad to have stumbled upon your blog!!

  20. Stephanie,
    My husband and I would like to do a detox/cleansing diet, and would probably include our toddler as much as possible as well. I nursed our boy for just over two years, but am ready to cleanse now that he is weaned. All three of us have some digestive issues as well as some skin problems that we think may be food related. We eat very healthy, making most everything from scratch, only eating sugar in the form of syrup/honey occasionally, drinking raw milk, eating mostly organic produce (except some of the clean 15) grass-fed meat and free-range chicken, soaking/sprouting/souring grains, etc. I was thinking about ordering either the Real Food Cleansing Guide or the GAPS book. I was wondering which you would more strongly recommend (or maybe another one all together). Thanks so much for sharing all that you do on your website!

    1. @Angie, I think that if you’re trying to specifically deal with some digestive issues, GAPS might be the better fit for you. Real Food Cleansing is more about a short-term cleanse to help refresh the body and get rid of toxins, but less about dealing with longer-term issues like food sensitivities or digestive troubles. Hope that helps!

  21. Hi Stephanie,

    I was just checking your results from your cleanse. It seems like you have so so results (-: I am on GAPS now, but recently found out I have heavy metal toxicity. I am in the process of weaning so I can do a cleanse. Would you recommend this one – or is it geared towards other toxins? Thanks!

  22. Hi Stephanie,
    The book link doesn’t seem to work any more. Do you happen to have a copy of the book that you are willing to share?

  23. I am in a break of the pregnancy breastfeeding cycle right (baby #4 in 4 years!) and found this post because I want to do a juice fast! Okay, technically I’m still nursing but my little one is 14 months old and can have some extra raw milk for the 3 day period. Do you have any more posts on this topic or how it went? I can’t find them. Thanks! Love your blog.

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