So this post is less about Beer and More about thoughts on the experience of a brief detox from the magical substance of alcohol. After the previous post Are you a Fat Craft Beer Drinker I definitely changed my methods in how I changed my diet and exercise. It did take some medical tests in Australia for the knowledge that I have a damaged Liver (Not so much a Surprise) and high Cholesterol. In November I wrote an article about not drinking for a month, beer detox, which is probably the second time in 20 years of not drinking for a month, other than a few sips. Swine Flu in Canada was the other time!!
In the world of Internet Knowledge we can find out about anything, and I read about high Cholesterol and it pointed back to the Liver, the organ that processes the toxins in our body. Like many who enjoy alcohol on a Daily basis if I go a few days without I usually get Liver Toxin headaches.. this is from the Liver processing and trying to remove Toxins! So it made sense for me to work out how to improve the Liver function.
Improve the Liver
So this part is pretty simple and involves providing the liver a break from the alcohol and abuse that we put it through. Drinking more water, including Lemon throughout the day is one easy trick that you can use. Use half a lemon in Water and Peppermint Oil first thing in the morning. Try and drink a Litre if you can, otherwise a large glass before anything else will wake up the liver. This site explains more where I can’t. Ultimately its helping support the liver function that can help remove toxins from the body that are common in all the food and drinks we consume.
Common Symptoms of Poor Liver Function
Abdominal bloating and swelling – Without doubt Beer Produces Bloating & Gas
• Anxiety, frustration – Definitely find I have a shorter temper when Liver not working well
• Asthma – I Don’t have it
• Bad breath in the morning and tongue is coated – I’m a fan of Scope & Listerine mouthwash!
• Cellulite – A problem for females..
• Chemical and environmental sensitivities -without being a Hippy, I can say that seasons do effect me no matter what country I’m in.
• Chronic fatigue – Lack of Motivation to keep active is a definite for me at times.
• Colds and flues (the liver is responsible for immune function) – Didn’t know this one
• Concentration and memory problems – I can remember nearly every beer I have ever drunk if you named it, though I can’t remember my bosses assistants name, nor my neighbors if I met them yesterday.
• Constipation – Unless I’m in the US eating Pizza and Nachos all the time at Beer Events this is not an issue. Though its a Water Drinking issue.
• Depression – This would make sense as its related to several issues above. But Depression is also Genetic through your Parents!
• Difficulty losing weight – Okay Beer Drinkers this should be a key one, as I think I’m about 10-15kg overweight, and every year I seem to add 1-2 Kg. No Diets do not work, though change of Lifestyle DOES!
• Digestive problems – Yes I can say this issue is a common problem in our society, as we have so much fat, starch and not enough Protein in our food. Think of Wings, Steak, Fries, Caesar Salad, in real terms its not very good food for us!
• Dizziness – This seems to only occur on days when I have been ordered to clean the house from the Wife!
• Drowsiness after eating – I assumed this is like Thanksgiving turkey where you can’t move after the amount of food you have eaten, and your Liver needs ot digest it. We’ve all been there.
• Elevated cholesterol – This was for me the WAKE UP Call that I needed. I laughed at those margerines in the fridge as I have seen how they make them (You dont want to know) and since coming back to Australia I have eaten (Butter & Cheese & Coconut Thai Curries) every day, as well as Aussie Meat Pies. I knew they were bad, but it won’t happen to me, but YES IT DID.
• Fatigue – This is a common issue of getting older and bigger
• Flatulence – Only two words need to be said here CROP DUSTING!
• Foggy brain – Though I won’t admit this to anyone in person or in interviews, but a lot of work days consist of this.
• Gall stones – 10 Years ago I was in Hospital next a Guy who had these, and he was in agony. Not something I ever want to experience.
• Gallbladder disease – I suppose its a possibility with drinking Alcohol
• Headaches – Usually only get Headaches when having a few days off drinking alcohol. Toxic headaches.
• Heart palpitations – Yeah every so often I can feel my heart skipping beats or something.
• High blood pressure – Thankfully this is not an issue at this stage in my life.
• Hives, rashes – I suffer from Psoriasis that is passed from Father to Children, and yes this never goes away. I can definitely say when I’m run down and not 100% the skin is worse.
• Hormonal imbalances – I’m always an asshole!
• Hyperglycemia– (low blood sugar), also indicates a yeast or Candida problem
• If the liver has to work harder than
normal you will experience an increase
in body temperature.
• Inability to handle fats without feeling nauseated or belching – Thankfully this is not a problem for me.
• Indigestion – This is definitely a huge issue when trying to digest big meals, you know your body is working overtime to do it, and your body temperature rises.
• Irritability – It is funny sometimes my wife and I argue and we both realize its our Liver that is toxic and making us angry when its over a stupid issue such as Chicken or Fish for dinner!
• Irritable bowel syndrome – (where the bowel actions are irregular vary from diarrhea/constipation over a 24 hour period)
• Kidney stones
• Lack of harmonious flow of vital
energies in your body—one minute
you’re bouncing off the walls, the next
you’re depressed and lethargic
• Obesity – In the beer community this is a common site of large percentage of guys, and girls.
• PMS as well as excessive menstrual flow containing many clots of blood
• Weak tendons, ligaments, and muscles – Thats why my Biceps have Shrunk!
• Weight gain especially around the abdomen – Definitely!
Keys to Improve the Liver
As I have spent the past 2 weeks working on my body I can definitely say what has worked for me, and I’m NO pillar of Health but your average CRAFT beer Drinker like you. I’m 6ft 100kg and I can definitely say that many of the above issues with the liver have affected me and my lifestyle to the point where I often choose not to drink due to my body not feeling 100%. I have gone through long periods recently where I’m drinking for the sake of drinking, where beer or wine has not tasted like I remember it. The THRILL had gone!
Step 2. Psyillium Fibre – We do not eat enough fibre in our Western diets, as we need foods such as Nuts/Beans and fibrous vegetables on a daily basis to clean our Intestines & Bowel. 1 Tablespoon in a glass of water when you first wake up followed by another glass to wash it down. Or you can add to your cereal. This fibre from a healthfood store is cheap and will clean out massive amounts of toxins as long as you keep your water intake up.
Step 3. Alcohol Intake – This only makes sense if you are serious about a DETOX, you have to STOP for 1-2 weeks. This is easier than you think. Your partner has to be with you on this.
Step 4. Liver Tonic – There are many types available at your local health food store, and the main active ingredient is Milk Thistle that assists the Liver remove toxins. I think from Day 1 when I started taking the liquid tonic I could feel the effect on the liver. The following day I remember having a huge headache that I had to lay down and nap. The extra assistance to the liver will improve your whole body. This is crucial if your aiming to undertake a liver detox. I bought a liquid tonic, but powder can be used to add to juice or water.
Step 5. Salt Water Flush – Now this is one of the most bizarre experiences I have ever encountered, and its very effective at cleaning out your system and excess water weight. Ultimately this involves drinking 2 Litres of Water 1st thing in the morning, but each litre must have 1 teaspoon of Organic Sea Salt. You can start by adding 1 teaspoon per litre and begin by only drinking 1 litre, and build up to 2 litres, which is what I did. You definitely need to do this when your at home without any responsibilities that day, as you will need appropriate access to a bathroom.
– Start this method by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt in 100 ml of warm/hot water and then add the rest of water to the bottle, so that its is fully dissolved. Use fine salt.
Step 6. Your Diet. There is no point doing a detox diet if your not goign to eat foods that assist with the release of toxins, and allow for your body to eliminate more easily. We added Tofu into our meals, and only ate Chicken, Fish and Soups for a week to remove Steak/Lamb/Fatty Food, and Carb based foods such as Pasta. We’re lucky to live near a Chinese community in Sydney with great veggie grocers and seafood. We included Brown Rice instead of Noodles for our Asian dishes.
How do I feel now?
The last week has been incredible in terms of how much my body feels different, my skin looks revitalized and my general health feels great. I’m going back for more blood tests this week to check the cholesterol level and liver, and I’m going to continue the light meals, especially with TOFU. My mom was a hippy that made us eat TOFU when I was kid, but now I really enjoy it, so those crazy vegans are right now when they say its good when cooked right. I was amazed by the Salt Water Flush and continued it for 5 days. When I drank a Pliny the Elder the other night, I could smell the hops from the other said of the room, and I could instantly feel the effect of the carbonation on my intestines, in a very bloating way. It felt like razer wire going through my system after my detox and I only wanted a sip of beer. After detoxing its always advisable to add the ‘Bad’ things like alcohol back in slowly!!
I’m no expert on health but this worked for me, and I’m going to continue working on my liver, as every Fat Beer Drinker should!