There are certain topics which, once you’ve written about them, there isn’t much else to say until something changes or a new way of thinking is discovered.
But I make no apologies for today’s (repeated) subject of choice: colonics.
If I only ever convince you of one thing, partaking regularly in this essential self-maintenance would fall into my top three. Ditching the dairy and starting to juice would be another two.
Colonics are on my mind because I went for one of my four-times-yearly appointments on Friday, with Karen Dilley – owner of The Colonic Clinic, Market Harborough.
As usual, I left feeling fluffy, floaty and, above all, squeaky clean. It’s a feeling like no other.
It probably wasn’t the best idea for me to head straight off for a couple of sets of tennis afterwards, as half way through, my bed was calling. More like shouting and screaming, actually.
The first time I heard about colonics, I thought it was the most insane, unnatural and extreme procedure anyone could volunteer for, and because I discovered it in relation to Diana, Princess of Wales, I thought it was undertaken for no other reason than to lose weight.
How could I have been so way off the mark?
What I’ve learned about them since couldn’t be more different from my original impression. I continue to be possessed of the long-standing conviction that they are ESSENTIAL for digestive health.
I know what you’re probably thinking; the procedure, as I originally summised, is not natural. And if our bodies are so amazing, why do they need this extra helping hand?
The answer lies in the way we eat now, compared to how we used to as cavemen and beyond.
Have you ever wondered where the taken-for-granted concept of three square meals a day comes from?
Have you ever questioned it? Course not.
I can almost guarantee that if you eat in this westernised way – no matter how healthily – your digestive system is working constantly round the clock, with no break. Day in, day out.
Thousands of years ago, apart from the fact that our diets were either completely or largely meat-free, our eating patterns were based on eating when food was actually in our sights, i.e. sporadically, and in smaller quantities.
Our eating habits may have changed, but our digestive systems have not. And that’s where the problem lies.
We’re talking major back-log here.
Even though I have a green juice daily (well, 97% of the time), and eat only plant-based foods, I am always astounded by the amount of waste that gets flushed out when I have a colonic.
Sorry. TMI. I know.
As you know, my daily green juice gives my digestive system a rest, as it passes straight from my stomach into my bloodstream, giving my inner pipework a well-deserved haitus until I actually eat, usually around 2pm.
So it goes without saying that for those of you who eat meat and dairy – no matter how much or how little – you’re carrying a whole heapload of nasties around inside you.
Some of these toxic solids will have been lying there, putrefying for months and, in some cases, years. All because your overworked guts filed them under “pending”.
Not a pleasant thought, is it?
Let me give you an example. I’ve been told that I have a very efficient digestive system. And the fact that you could almost set your watch to my, well, you know, is testimony to that fact.
Yet on Friday, I got a glimpse of how long it takes the body to deal with food, even when things are tickety-boo.
“Have you been eating beetroot?” asks Karen.
“Yes. But two days ago.”
And equally – as it has this time round – it takes two days before I actually go to the toilet for more than a wee.
Having a colonic hardly rates in my top 5 ways to pass the time, granted, but on this occasion, Friday couldn’t come soon enough.
Because of my recent trip to Turkey, which, digestively, I was probably still suffering for.
At home, bread does not feature in my daily diet. The only time I buy a loaf of bread is when I have guests, and when I go out, I only usually succumb if I’m having soup and the bread rolls look too good to pass on.
But in Turkey, bread fast became my go-to filler-up-er.
Let’s just say that within a few days, everything had slowed down, I was suffering with uncontrollable gas, and I felt bloated like I never have in my life.
I don’t have a gluten intolerance, by the way. Not a sniff of one.
Mind you, can I be sure? Eight out of ten people who are coeliac don’t actually realise they are.
True, the sudden daily addition probably made things worse; if you eat bread all the time, it may not affect you so severely, but I would suspect that this is because your system on a go-slow is the norm for you.
What’s wrong with that?
When stuff hangs about, it causes disease.
So consider this my unintentional experiment on your behalf. Aren’t I good to you?
It wasn’t one I intend to repeat, so please take heed.
Karen and I were discussing this, after we had done our usual thing of lamenting that apart from me and maybe a couple of other clients, no one visits her UNTIL they have a problem.
That’s not how it should be. Don’t wait that long. Please.
What she told me about gluten is something I want to share with all of you. Rather like the way in which fruit has changed over the centuries and decades through the formation of hybrids, so too have our grains.
The main culprits – barley, rye and spelt – have significantly more gluten in them than, say, a century ago, because we’ve messed around with them. And as we continue to meddle, the more people with intolerances seem to bubble to the surface.
Why do we persist in doing that????
(And yes, spelt is an ancient grain naturally containing lower levels of gluten, but can you be sure that even this, in some strains, hasn’t been tampered with? You can’t.)
On top of that, there’s the “progress” in farming techniques and increases in chemical assistance, but arguably worse than that is the exploding “free from” market.
Karen says that in the most part, conflour is a common replacement for normal wheat flours in gluten-free products.
Now, apart from the fact that many of these gluten-free products have been processed to within an inch of their lives, Karen says that even without the presence of gluten in the cornflour, the body still responds in EXACTLY the same way.
Weird, but apparently true.
And this reaction is generally inflammation of some kind. Depending on your body’s Achilles heel, it will manifest in different ways; in some people, inflammation heads straight for the digestive system (like mine). In others, it goes to your head – quite literally – and presents as brain fog.
If you have any kind of auto-immune disease – arthritis, Type I diabetes, lupus, etc., consuming gluten is akin to opening the floodgates and wedging an industrial-sized doorstop underneath them.
And you should also bear in mind that many supplements on sale in the high street contain it too. Depending on how sensitive you are to it, the cumulative effect of one tiny gluten-infused tablet daily could be enough to tip you over the edge.
Two days on, I’ve had two good nights’ sleep, and I’m feeling tip top and light as a feather.
But I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to bread: approach with extreme caution from now on, with a large bargepole at the ready.