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The Whole Nine Yards

The Whole Nine Yards


Roy Simmons's detoxification program is not simple or cheap'the supplements alone cost more than $150 a month'but there are similar steps, says Roni DeLuz, a naturopathic doctor and founder of the Martha's Vineyard Holistic Retreat, to the ones that Simmons went through. Many of these, HIV specialists concur, are part of a pretty commonsense approach to general good health. ' Buy a juicer and drink a daily juice made from a variety of vegetables. 'Juicing gives you the maximum nutrition. It's a way you can use to detoxify, but you also can use it to feed,' DeLuz says. Cade Fields-Gardner, director of the Chicago-area HIV nutrition firm the Cutting Edge, recommends that live juices be consumed right away and not refrigerated for later use so that their antioxidant capacity is not diminished by exposure to air. ' Eat berries and whole-grain products. These contain natural antioxidants and reduce the number of toxins entering the body, DeLuz asserts. Whole grains contain a number of fat-soluble vitamins, like A and E, as well as dietary fiber, Fields-Gardner notes. Berries can have anywhere from two to 20 times the antioxidant capacity of even antioxidant supplements, she adds. ' Eat fish whenever possible and cut back on red meat. 'This keeps the diet as least stressful as possible,' DeLuz says. 'When someone has a chronic illness you want to take away the foods that stress the body's systems.' Fish, particularly tuna and salmon, has large amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, Fields-Gardner adds. Red meat, though a key source of iron, is typically high in saturated fats. Go for leaner cuts, such as beef or pork tenderloin, and avoid fattier choices like filet mignon, she recommends. ' Exercise. Even rigorous walking is beneficial. ' Get plenty of sleep. DeLuz also recommends not eating less than three hours before bedtime to allow the digestive organs to properly rest during sleep. ' Drink plenty of water. Michael Gottlieb, MD, an HIV specialist, says adequate water intake can help prevent dehydration that may occur in HIV-positive people suffering from chronic diarrhea. It also can flush out the kidneys and help prevent problems with kidney stones and kidney sludge. ' One controversial cornerstone of DeLuz's holistic practice centers on colon health. She urges colonics once a week or more and over-the-counter'type enemas for people who cannot afford the $60 to more than $100 per visit price tag for colonic irrigation. 'Enemas are not going to hurt you,' DeLuz says. 'They're going to help you by keeping you from reabsorbing toxins.' But Gottlieb says there is no scientific evidence supporting the notion that toxins build up in the lining of the colon and must be artificially purged. 'Why do people feel better after colonics and enemas? It's because there's some satisfaction, a sense of well-being, with elimination,' he says. But, he insists, the same can be accomplished through regular bowel movements. ' Perhaps the two most important steps to take when embarking on a new diet or exercise program, including the supplement-based regimen endorsed by the Martha's Vineyard holistic center, are to first consult with your HIV doctor and then partner with someone else adopting the same regimen. 'Do it with a friend,' Jimmy Hester, Simmons's best friend, says. 'I really can't emphasize this enough. Roy and I are there for each other every day, and some days that makes all the difference.' You Should Know Enemas also are not appropriate for everyone and are typically contraindicated for people who have had recent colon or rectal surgery, have hemorrhoids, suffer from an unknown abdominal condition, have an irregular heartbeat, have suffered a heart attack, or who have cardiovascular disease. Women in advanced stages of pregnancy or who have recently delivered should check with their physicians before receiving an enema. In addition, research has shown that overuse of enemas can deplete the body of needed minerals, including potassium and key electrolytes.

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