'Off The Hoof' magazine - Article 1

I am pleased and very excited to have been asked to write for Off the Hoof, which I consider definitely has the potential to develop into a great magazine with something for everyone.

There was a brief description of myself in Issue One - but there is so much more for me to share with you all!

Though I am generally in the media nowadays for simply being alive against all the odds and for my power-lifting accomplishments, my day to day work involves incorporating multiple methods in resolving problems and issues incurred by my patients within their health challenges. These mirror those generally referred to a general medical practitioner; whether that be heart disease, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, celiac, Crohn's/colitis, Sjogrens syndrome, lupus, polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc - or relatively less threatening problems such as eczema, pre-menstrual syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, dysbiosis, etc. I also work with an ex GP who now embraces herbal medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy, etc and uses computerised thermal imaging for evaluating breast cancer and other chronic health problems.

I shall soon be working within a new enterprise - a fit-camp in Romania - Dracula's castle, no less! Anyone will be able to secure all-in holidays, with a focus on becoming fitter in the long term - and with private access to myself during their stay. I shall be supervising the fabulous food and liaising with the chef. Apart from individual dietary care and graded, enjoyable exercise strategies, everyone holidaying will also be looked after and contacted on a monthly basis. This will absolutely be a progressive step towards addressing the enormous obesity crisis in the UK. I will also use my ability as a personal trainer, alongside other local qualified therapists and this will occupy approximately eight days each month of my time from 8th May.

I have now followed a plant-based eating regime for forty-four years - wow - that's so long! Substantially, I have been eating raw and living foods (around 95% living foods) for the last seventeen of those. I credit my current excellent health and phenomenal energy to this method of food preparation - and also my ability to stay on top of the genetically-fuelled cancer.

I am now an accredited author! - My inspirational book 'A Living Miracle' has been received very favourably and has been sensitively and extensively reviewed. It is on track to be in hospices, care centres, libraries etc. It is selling well from my website and has enjoyed repeat orders from the Nutri Centre, October Books, Penny Brohn Centre (formerly Bristol Cancer Centre) etc.

In this, my first article for Off the Hoof, I would like to share some information on the subject of detoxification.

Each year, billions of kilos of toxic chemicals are released into the environment by industry. In 2005, over thirty-one million kilos of pesticides were used in the UK alone, equivalent to 0.5 kg per person living in Britain. This makes it impossible to avoid exposure to toxins at some level in our daily lives. To make matters worse, it has become increasingly difficult to consume an adequate amount of nutritional factors to assist with detoxifying these environmental assaults that find their way into our bodies. Over time, an accumulation of toxins can reduce energy levels, as well as negatively impact immune, neurological and overall health. Fortunately, specialised and individual nutritional support to help the body clear these toxins is available from practitioners well-versed in Nutritional Medicine.

There are many views, and multiple methods of detoxifying. Now nearing twenty years of practising Nutritional Medicine, I view the elimination of acquired toxic waste as absolutely the most appropriate choice for cleansing, improving all bodily functions and promoting an environment in which the body can heal. An enormous amount of health problems respond favourably to this approach.

Juicing organically grown vegetables - and a few fruits for added 'sweetness' can be a major health input - even if someone does this just once per day!

The human body certainly has the capability to naturally detoxify and cleanse toxic substances; however, this ability may be compromised due to poor digestion and over exposure to caffeine, medical drugs, tobacco, alcohol, chlorine, household chemicals, advancing age, compromised dental health, etc. Certain nutrients are also in increased demand to help turn toxic substances into harmless by-products for elimination from the body - and low quality foods and poor dietary habits continue to make it difficult to consume an adequate amount of these nutrients on a daily basis.

Obviously there are many ways around this: Something I always recommend, whatever the health challenge is to drink a half pint of organically sourced green vegetables every day. Juicing foods such as spinach, watercress, broccoli, Romaine lettuce, kale, fennel etc, plus an organic carrot/apple, etc, will supply an impressive amount of high-density nutrients, allowing the body to clear toxins, some of which are simply by-products of digestion - even the digestion of healthful foods!

Juicing - to provide optimum nutrition - requires the acquisition of a 'therapeutic-type-juicer'-Vitalmax, Oscar, Champion, Angel, etc - these types of juicers break down the cellular walls in a different way than the more popular, and cheaper, centrifugal juicers - hence more available nutrients can be ingested and optimally incorporated by the digestive system.

I absolutely do have to promote the use of wheat grass juice, barley grass juice and sprouted broccoli juice as ingestion of these have been a key provider in my battle with genetic bone cancer. These are really easy to grow and to juice given access to any of the above-mentioned juicers, and are a key detoxifier that also provides essential nutrients. All things being equal l would recommend 2/3 ounces of 6/8 day old wheatgrass to be taken in juice form by anyone concerned with their future health. It is really easy and cost effective to grow. I personally grow masses in my Easygreen sprouting equipment. There are also some great products on the market, such as those grown and produced as a 'one-shot-a-day' - vegusdirect.com. If you do not own any of the above juicers and do not want to grow these grasses - this website will be a great source of information and inspiration for you.

In general, detoxification requires several weeks/months avoiding toxicants such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, etc.(Such toxicants would be identified via a qualified Nutritional Therapist), I, unfortunately, find that most health-challenged people are taking in these toxic-to-themselves food items on an everyday basis.

Though anyone can effect such required detoxification, it is obvious that working with a skilled practitioner will most definitely provide the best option for someone with health problems - big or small - and supply the necessary education for enjoying a far healthier life.

For a healthy person - someone with no diagnosed medical condition, free of headaches, digestive complaints, skin problems etc - eating something raw with every meal and a near daily green juice will likely maintain this status quo and create an on-going gentle detoxification.

For a health-challenged person, however, in addition to the green juice an optimally-defined eating regime needs to be in place; this plan should also address any 'weak areas' for that person; i.e. for asthma, specific care of the lungs and circulatory system using appropriate foods which assist. Such a plan needs to be evaluated after several weeks. In my opinion, there is little point in changing lifestyle habits unless these can be determined as being productive towards an enhanced life ethos.

Many of you who are already aware that the way I stay 'in control' of my challenges - especially those of you who already own my inspirational book 'A Living Miracle' - will know that l devote a considerable amount of time, on a daily basis, to my own toxin removal. This is likely to involve cellular level detoxification - metabolic clearing, colonic cleansing, Epsom salt baths, intravenous vitamin C/hydrogen peroxide, coffee enemas and specific breathing techniques. Every few weeks I will take a few days to step up this cleansing, so that then I am only ingesting wheatgrass juice and other green juices. Such timings are usually influenced by my competitive power lifting events, around ten per year, and my general health. Obviously I need to work a little harder than most of you, given the position I find myself in.

For those less challenged than myself, I heartily recommend a green juice every day and a daily plan which involves at least 25% sprouted foods. One hundred suitable recipes are provided in 'A Living Miracle' - these are the ones I use all the time.

Obviously they are composed of raw and living foodstuffs, but are ultimately adaptable to include cooked foods, as befits the scale of detoxification required at any specific time.

Intense detoxification regimes undertaken without the required preliminaries can be very stressful for the body. Anyone interested in increasing their raw and living foods (and I hope that is many of you reading this article!), needs to do this slowly over a period of weeks, in order that the body can adapt accordingly. Switching from mostly cooked food to mostly raw and living foods should generally not happen overnight!

If any reader of this article is using more than 70% of their total food intake from cooked produce - and, unfortunately, l find that this is very common - irrespective of whether the person follows a vegan/vegetarian/omnivore plan: This flags up warning signs - relative to detoxification!

I DO want you to TAKE ACTION HERE! More than 70% daily ingestion of cooked foods is a definite DANGER signal to your FUTURE HEALTH! This will also compromise your body's efforts to detoxify on a daily basis.

A bare minimum of 40% daily eating of raw and living (sprouted) foodstuffs is a great starting point. I implore you to evaluate your own percentages - and determine the most appropriate measures required to optimise your body's ability to detoxify.

In my next article, which has been determined to be more fully focussed on the subject of living foods, I will explain how you can avail yourselves of these and appropriate them to improve your personal health, etc. I am looking forward to providing you with everything necessary to know on this vitally important food preparation method.

Until my next submission - I hope you will give some time and serious thought to making any necessary changes towards improving your own detoxification processes, which will surely lay the foundations of living a healthful, peaceful and fulfilling life in a manner as befits your personal goals.

Love, Light and Peace.

Pat Reeves, practitioner of Nutritional and Functional Medicine.

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