If you’ve been dieting and exercising and not getting the results you think you deserve, it could be that your liver is not functioning at its optimal level. Poor liver function is often missed because its symptoms are varied like being overweight, bloated, fatigued, headaches, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, indigestion, and the inability to lose weight. This is a partial list, but my point is that most people I talk to have some of these symptoms and they don’t think too much about them. I know I didn’t until an insurance company refused me coverage due to a blood test that showed that I had elevated liver enzymes.
I’ve been fighting the battle of the bulge for most of my adult life, but it wasn’t until I hit middle age that the pounds and inches just wouldn’t come off no matter what I did. I tried many exercise and diet programs. With each new regimen I’d have some initial success by losing five to eight pounds and a few inches only to gain it all back. In other words, it was a long hard fight to lose it and a short merry trip to gain it all back and then some.
I consulted a doctor who told me that my liver enzyme numbers were nothing to be concerned about. I had fatty infiltration of the liver and the only way to reverse this condition would be to lose weight, but that is really hard to do. I went way with high hopes and new determination along with a letter to the insurance company saying that my condition was benign. Even a letter from a doctor didn’t persuade the insurance company to cover me. My next blood test taken at a local health fair showed that my enzymes were climbing up even with my renewed attention to diet and exercise.
I didn’t know what to do, but somehow I lucked onto the book that has changed my life. I found it on Amazon. It is The Liver Cleansing Diet:Love Your Liver and Live Longer by Dr. Sandra Cabot. I had heard of liver cleansing, but thought that it seemed like a risky and harsh process. After reading the book’s synopsis, the reviews and testimonials, I ordered the book to see what it had to say. I was intrigued by the information in the book about the liver, its many functions in the body and what happens to us when it is overwhelmed and becomes diseased. I looked over the diet and decided that this is something that I could do; in fact, it was something I needed to do.
I set a date to start. I gave myself plenty of time to shop for the foods on the meal plan and to let my friends and family know what I’d be up to. Most of the foods could be found in my local market. Some of the foods like raw nuts and carob, I found at a health food store. That was seven months ago. Today I’m twenty pounds lighter and pleased as punch!
I remember that first morning when I went into the kitchen to begin. I thought for a moment that I couldn’t do it, but then I told myself, yes, you can, you’ve got all your groceries and there’s no turning back now. I took a deep breath and started. I haven’t looked back. The amazing thing is that the diet hasn’t been hard to follow. I have Dr. Cabot’s book and a website (www.liverdoctor.com) to refer to when I waver, have questions, or forget why I’m doing this. I’ve made mistakes, but still it has worked for me.
The diet lasts for eight weeks, however Dr. Cabot says that you can stay on the diet indefinitely. As I said, I’ve been following this diet for seven months and I plan to keep on following it as a lifestyle. Dr. Cabot recommends supplements of calcium and iron since dairy products and red meats are not eaten. I have also started taking addition B vitamins and a liver detox herbal supplement.
Every morning I drink the juice of a fresh lemon, lime or an orange squeezed into two big glasses of water. After drinking the citrus juice, I wait for 15 or 20 minutes and then juice a couple of good sized carrots, a couple of celery stalks and a handful of fresh parsley. I like to add an apple, a half a beet and spinach. You have to have a juicer for this step. Most of the time the vegetable juice fills me up until lunch, but if I’m really hungry, I go ahead and eat a breakfast I can chew. I eat when I’m hungry and as much as I want. I can have my fill of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Eggs are permissible as are chicken and fish. Foods should be organic, free range and as natural as possible. No fried foods or dairy products are allowed. Table sugar, artificial sweeteners and all other hidden sugars like high fructose corn syrup in processed foods are to be avoided. Acceptable sweeteners are the natural ones such as honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and black strap molasses. Stevia and xylitol are okay, too.
Finally, after years of effort and anguish I found out that my inability to get to my ideal weight wasn’t because I was weak and lazy or undisciplined. It was my poor beleaguered liver. By the way, it can work the other way, too. There are people who have a hard time gaining weight. Improving the liver with this liver friendly diet can help those people reach their ideal weight. To me the twenty pounds I’ve lost is proof positive that this diet works for weight loss. Now, as far as the liver function goes, I can’t make any claims just yet. I’ve got to have another blood test to see if my liver enzymes have gone down. Since I don’t have a health insurance policy that will help me pay for the lab costs, I’ll have to wait for a health fair to come to my town for an affordable blood test.
The Liver Cleansing Diet: Love Your Liver and Live Longer by Dr. Sandra Cabot