Today the focus on good healthy, healthy living and lifestyle is a more powerful message than ever before. With obesity no longer lurking but overtly present in all age groups in all countries – the message has to be got across – it is a life-saving message if listened to.

Let’s say you have a teenager who is now what they call ‘clinically obese’ – this means grossly overweight for their height and age. The next stage is ‘morbidly obese’ – body functions are being impaired; organs are coming under severe pressure; joints are beginning to swell. One by one the body’s systems and functions are showing that they cannot cope with this unnatural burden. Trust me, it is an unnatural burden. We were not built for fat, we were built for speed! So here you are, worried about your child.

Stage 1 – look at diet – not just theirs, but yours also – we lead by example. If you consume vast quantities of take-aways, fast food, fizzy drinks and the like then naturally, your child has got used to eating this way and thinks it is normal. So before working on your child, let’s work on you!

You realise that it is time for a change – you want your youth back and you want your figure back. Where do you start? The number of fad diets out there is frightening – each one more damaging than the rest from what I have seen! It is less about a ‘diet’ and more about a new way of living. If tomorrow morning you woke up and said ok – now I will only eat what ‘they’, the officials, say is good for me. The famous 5 a day. So off you go onto fruit, whole grains, water, loads of salad etc. Then wonder why you feel rubbish!!

Dependent on your digestive state, you may feel dreadful if you try to eat raw vegetables, fruits and salads.Chances are you just wouldn’t be able to digest them as you would have a lack of digestive enzymes. What happens also if you are intolerant to gluten, as so many people are these days. This form of diet would feed yeast issues, raise your sugar levels, give you wind and bloating and generally make you feel uncomfortable. Plus if you drank a large quantity of water your body would rush to dump toxins and you would overload your kidneys! Fruit is just pure sugar and would also feed yeast/candida issues. Salads in the winter are just more damp forming – a digestive situation beloved by yeasts and bacteria!

Slowly and sensibly does it therefore – the first step is to drop the bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, caffeine etc. Be prepared for the headaches even at removing these items – withdrawal symptoms like that will show you how your body felt when you were putting these things in there! So, a good sign then!

What do you put in the place of these staples? This is where the new way of living comes in – starting your day without a cup of tea (as everyone in England does!) and having hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon in it. Becomes quite addictive after a time! What is this doing for your body? Flushing out the digestive tract from the night before and giving your kidneys a quick cleanse at the same time. Then what? This rather depends on the amount of time you have in the mornings. If you want grains, then oats are the lowest in gluten and less likely to bloat you and are slow release for energy. Try not to have it mixed with a load of nuts and dried fruit – hard to digest, a bad mix of carbohydrate and protein and the dried fruit is just loaded with sugar. Porridge is good! Slow release energy! Or have your oats raw and just add milk (rice or soya better here) with say a small amount of honey or maple syrup – natural sweeteners. Mix in a sliced banana if you like but that is enough. Scrambled eggs or poached eggs are great if you have the time. I like my scrambled eggs with fresh parsley and a little smoked salmon – at the weekend!

Teas by all means, but use teas that will help the detoxifying process such as nettle, camomile, green tea. Water is king – but please don’t take tap water – it is full of chlorine which destroys the good bacteria in your bowel. Bottled water is safer but the cheapest is to buy a filter jug and use this for drinking and cooking. Don’t keep it in the fridge!! Drinking ice cold water is seriously bad for your stomach. Too much of a shock.

Mid morning has arrived and you are hungry – whether at work or home now is a good time to go for the rice crackers with say houmous or a little goat’s cheese (easier to digest than cow’s). Oatcakes also work well and easy to carry around with you. Carrying pumpkin or sunflower seeds to snack on. If you want a piece of fruit then have an apple, but eat if before you have the rice or oatcakes as it will digest quicker. Try to avoid eating oranges or drinking orange juice as it is highly acidic. Even though apple juice is sweet it has the added benefit of softening stones in your gall bladder for easy removal when, and if, you make a liver flush! It tastes great I promise! Just use a lemon, thinly peeled leaving on the pith and sliced; 2 cloves of garlic; 1″ of ginger root peeled and chopped finely; 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 8fl oz carton apple juice – whiz it all in a blender until smooth and then ‘chew’ as you drink it slowly – this is to mix with the enzymes in your mouth. Eat nothing for a couple of hours afterwards to let it do its work. This will stimulate a sluggish liver and gall bladder. If you feel a little nauseous, don’t worry it must means your liver is working! Cut back on the ingredients so that you can take it without feeling nausea and then slowly increase them to full strength. Most people unfortunately eat back to front – fruit at the end of the meal and copious amounts of liquid during the meal – your poor stomach! Never gets a chance to digest anything before it is pushed out only half done!

Evening meals become simple! Quick too! A protein such as salmon, tuna, chicken, lamb – preferably not beef as we are trying to detox here and this is hard work for your digestion. Have vegetables but not too many different ones at one time – stir-fry or steam or bake your vegetables. Stir-fry, bake or steam your fish or meat. Season with herbs or a little natural rock or sea salt. Maybe a dash of soya. If I pan-fry my fillets of salmon then I usually do so using a little goat’s butter. Tastes fabulous! Get into the habit of using a lot of garlic – increase gradually if you are not used to it. This will help to clean your blood and begin the work of killing off all the infections such as viruses, bacteria and fungus you are probably carrying! Again – no fruit at the end of the meal – make a fruit starter instead – just choose those varieties not the highest in sugar such as the exotics like mango.

Doesn’t sound much of a detox so far does it? However, it is! This is a way of eating that will restore your liver, help your kidneys, your bowel etc. It is a gentler way of doing it. Once you have had this sort of diet for a couple of months you can then step up into a next stage detox.

Stage 2 Detox

Now you are ready to go for a cleanse! Bowel herbs are the no 1 here – no detox is worth doing unless you clear out and support the elimination channels. Kidneys, bowel, liver and skin. What I use for my own patients are capsules I make that are all herbs to cleanse, tone and stimulate the bowel. These are taken in conjunction with a powder combination of bentonite clay, fennel seed, activated willow charcoal and golden linseed (ground). This formulation softens the old, impacted matter on the colon walls and the capsules help to break it down and move it out.

I don’t ever advocate that someone goes on a pure water fast – most people are so toxic that they would literally drown in their own poisons. Having said that – I did it once, years ago, before becoming a practitioner. I was in Crete for the summer and my body just started to reject food, alcohol – anything really. So for 1 month this went on and every day I walked 3 miles, sunbathed, swam and drank only water. Given that my lifetime burden has been my own bowel and digestive system – the end result was little short of miraculous. However for the first 2 weeks I could hardly see for the headaches, kept falling asleep – which was my body’s way of telling me to stop so that it could go to work. When I was ready to start eating again – I just knew that suddenly I was hungry – I only ate very lightly. Any fool can fast, it takes a wise man to break it properly! (I think that was said by George Bernard Shaw for some reason!). I looked and felt amazing – all health issues had vanished along with cellulite, edema, fat. My hair gleamed, my eyes shone (and were now greener than before), my skin glowed and I felt glorious.

I would still not want anyone to do this without serious supervision of a qualified practitioner – it is dangerous!

Clearing our your bowel by having colonics or enemas will make such a huge difference to you. Avoiding all the foods that are harmful will also. Interestingly enough as you clean out the old gunk you no longer have the craving for the rubbish – makes it somewhat easier!

Doing a bowel cleanse for a period of 2 weeks is enough. Doing this 2 or 3 times a year is good practice especially at the end of the winter as you start to change into much lighter foods as the temperatures start to rise.

Many people have what I call ‘dampness’ issues. This is not related to external this time but to internal. Caused by a toxic and clogged colon. Cleansing that will help with the side effects of dampness which is swellings anywhere, joint inflammation, excess mucous, sinus issues, tinnitus, sluggish liver, bloating, skin issues or fungal toes and fingernails. And more. Disease begins in the colon – cleanse yours for optimum health!

There are some great herbs out there to assist but, please, talk to a qualifed practitioner or medical herbalist before embarking on them, just to be on the safe side. Having said that herbs for your cooking are ones you probably use already! Coriander, parsley, garlic, chillies, turmeric, ginger root, fennel bulb or seed, etc

I trust that this article will go some way towards understanding how you can help yourself to health, lose weight and then help your overweight teenager! It won’t happen overnight but small steps lead to great success.

Here’s to yours!