The Body Cycle- By Guest Blogger Toni Becker
Greetings! Guest blogger here. I truly feel privileged to be given the opportunity to share this slice of information with you, although I must admit I never imagined I’d be serving it to you via a blog! You see, when I was a young mother raising Steph and her two brothers waaaay back in the late seventies and through the eighties, the concepts of Internet, email, websites, blogging, etc. weren’t even a conceivable idea to most of us who lived the everyday life of a busy homemaker and mom. However, even waaaay back then, there were those of us who embraced the “big pie” connection between one’s physical well being and the various segments of that pie that keep the body healthy. We realized even then that sunshine, sleep/rest, fresh air, exercise, clean water, and of course, food all combine to complete the cycle of life’s physical essentials for healthiness.
I must admit that my journey of understanding how these vital and interconnected components of health all worked together began when I was just a teenager trying to keep my skin clear of blemishes. Early on, I read how certain foods could exacerbate the problem or how drinking plenty of water was important; it soon became clear to me that how I cared for my body on the inside would be reflected on the outside. From then on, it was no great leap of faith to accept the idea that I needed to care for my babies with equal diligence. I vowed “no sugar” for my toddlers (although that soon became an impossible promise)! Of all those necessities for physical health, I knew food was the one that needed my constant vigilance.
Throughout the years, I have continued to research and learn. Often I’d find myself saying, “If only I’d known this years ago!” But I’ve come to accept the fact that gaining knowledge is an ongoing process. It fascinates me to continually discover how truly amazing the human body is, actually nothing short of miraculous! And that’s precisely why I want to explain The Body Cycle.
Do you realize your body is constantly working to heal itself? Consider for a moment what the body does when it encounters an allergen. Triggered by a “naughty” food or nasty airborne culprit, the body immediately produces an army of defense mechanisms within itself (and often on it too), red flags to warn us that something is awry. Watery eyes, runny itchy nose, rashes, and often even worse reactions force us to listen to our bodies. Or if we would happen to break a bone, the body knows instinctively what to do and before long, the process of knitting that bone together has begun. Ever gotten a sliver in your finger? Left alone, the body forms a barrier around that foreign object causing a festering that eventually oozes that “stranger” out. I’m sure you can think of other examples. Plus there are undoubtedly other healing processes occurring in our bodies at this very moment of which we are not even aware.
Significant, as well as common, to each of these mending activities is that the body is “curing” by cleansing itself of toxic waste whether it be pollen, dust, a particular food, or the internal debris that accumulates over time. However, since the body seeks first for survival, it is obvious that it will defend the internal organs and the processes that keep it alive before seriously considering the expulsion of toxins. Therefore, unless we work with the natural cycle of our body to help it detoxify, we may experience the zapping of our energy at the very least or, at the worst, a debilitation of our physical abilities.
So how can you help your body do the many jobs that it does so routinely? Those involuntary functions just take care of themselves, don’t they? Actually, a bit more thought will reveal to you that the human body seems to have its own cyclical flow as it uses all the physical essentials for life. If you wisely participate in the accomplishment of this rhythm, then your body will thank you with renewed energy, a slim physique, and priceless health!
Bad breath, coated tongue, body odor, those icky smelly things that we’d rather not own are most obvious…when?? You’re right… in the morning after we have awakened from our night’s sleep. Why do you suppose that is? There is a concrete physiological reason. However, before answering that question, let’s start at the beginning. It’s been said, “You reap what you sow.” How true! You are what you eat…yes, but let me be quick to add,…and what you digest an absorb.
In her last blog, Mary Ellen established the smoothie as a great way to get vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fiber into our daily diets. In an earlier one, Steph provided us with lists of those vitamin/mineral-enriched foods stressing that organic is by far the better choice over conventional. Those are the “what” choices we make when we eat to fuel this living body of ours. A simple test for nutrient value comparing live plant-based foods to processed ones would clearly show that fresh fruits and veggies afford more nutrition because of all the living and co-working minerals and enzymes. (Incidentally enzymes are inactivated through cooking, but that’s a subject for another blog!)
Now back to this cycle your body follows faithfully during a twenty-four hour period. When you eat what you eat plays a huge part in the second half of eating: digestion and absorption. Remember the body is continually healing itself through cleansing? Well, the body uses a sequential process of passing through three phases during a one-day period of time. Each phase has its distinct job to do, and even though each one of these jobs is ongoing at all times, the intensity of each stage is greater at certain times of the day. This is where you come in!
These pronounced phases with their approximate time frames are
Elimination (of body waste and food debris) 4 a.m.–12 noon
Ingestion/Digestion (consuming & breaking down food) 12 noon–8 p.m.
Assimilation (absorption and use of food) 8 p.m.–4 a.m.
Note: (Of course, if you have a job working at night and are sleeping during the day, your cycle’s times would be reversed.)
No wonder The Kitchen Remix ladies are encouraging you to drink your smoothie first thing in the morning; it’s a perfect breakfast. A blended raw plant-food smoothie is the easiest to digest and absorb during the elimination stage and actually aids your body in eliminating toxins and waste while still giving you the energy you need to get through the early morning. Blending breaks down the cell walls of the greens and fruits, flooding your system with nutrients that the body can readily use with little to no effort on its part. As an added benefit, this continued cleansing that began while you were sleeping, helps shed those pounds that so many of you have reported as having lost. Now you know why!
I know what you’re thinking…”But what about eating a big breakfast to get you energized for the day and eating only light foods at night?” Well, sometimes the best thought out logic is just that…logic in theory only. But in reality, digestion draws the most energy from the body. See why a heavy breakfast leaves you sluggish and why everyone feels like napping after Thanksgiving dinner? If you eat a big breakfast full of complex foods that require much work on the part of your body to digest, then there is not much energy left over for you to do your morning tasks because body has to stop cleansing in order to digest!
But some of you might say, ”I drink my smoothie and love it, but in a couple of hours, I’m hungry.” No problem. If you wish to continue working with your body’s cleansing until noon, eat something else that’s easy to digest, like fresh fruit. You’ll find a recipe below for one of my favorite satisfying fruit salads to eat later in the morning or whenever you are feeling hungry.
Undoubtedly then, the Elimination phase is the best place to begin when deciding to give your body a helping hand. Of course, you can further support your well being throughout the other two phases, Ingestion/Digestion and Assimilation; those stages will be addressed in future blogs, so stay tuned!
Let’s face it. We’ve been given the gift of an incredible body, and it’s up to us to be good stewards of it; we need to take care for our body so it will serve us for a lifetime with vitality. Happy Body Cycling!!
Hearty Tropical Fruit Salad
1 ripe banana (peeled and sliced into circles or cubed)
1 ripe mango (cut and cubed)
1 ripe avocado (cut into slices lengthwise and cut from skin into cubes)
Yes, the avocado is actually a fruit.
Place all fruit in a bowl. Mix gently. May add a bit of lime juice if desired or enjoy just as is.
Article Sources: The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder, CN; Fit for Life by Harvey Diamond and Marilyn Diamond; articles by Herbert Sheldon on Life Science.