Healing as a Lifestyle

Healing is a matter of time,
but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

– Hippocrates

Once I began to understand that detoxification is a lifelong process, I slowly integrated detoxifying regimens into my daily life. Here is my typical morning routine.

1. Air Mattress

My day begins by finding the floor at the foot of our air mattress. We still sleep on an air mattress—partly because an air mattress is so simple and cheap, and partly because it works so well. My sleep has been much deeper since sleeping on the floor. There is a theory that sleeping closer to the ground helps the body recover its natural electrical balance. Click here to read more about the principle of grounding. I also recommend this article on the subject.

2. Bentonite Clay

Upon awakening, I drink a teaspoon of bentonite clay mixed with water. Bentonite clay has a pH of 9.7 and, according to an article titled How Healing Clay Works, is a powerful detoxifier:

Bentonite clay molecules carry a negative electrical charge while toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other impurities carry a positive charge. When the clay is taken into the human body, the positively charged toxins are attracted to the negatively charged surfaces of the clay molecule. The clay molecule acts like a magnet, attracting and holding the toxins and impurities to its surface, and removing them when the clay is removed or expelled.

For sources of clay, click here.

3. Oil Pulling

Then, I oil pull. This is a simple detoxification tool requiring an organic oil such as sesame or coconut. For instructions, click here. Since I began oil pulling, my teeth and gums feel stronger and healthier.

4. Neti Pot

I don't do this every day, but when I do, I'm glad. Nasal irrigation is another age-old remedy for general health, not just sinus health. The most efficient and hygienic option, in my opinion, is this stainless steel neti pot. A  nasal irrigator is another option and can be found here.

My favorite recipe:

8 c. distilled water (purified water is essential!)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp. sea salt
10 drops grapefruit seed extract

Shake before each use.

For a list of the many health benefits of nasal irrigation, click here.

5. Coffee Enema

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd look forward to such a thing, but this is by far the highlight of my morning.

I first began to consider enemas when I read Hippocrates' quote, "An enema is better than herbs or laxatives." Upon reading that simple sentence, something clicked. Relieving the digestive tract of toxins and waste made sense. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, founder of the GAPS diet, encourages enemas as a means of detoxifying.

The more I researched enemas, the more I kept being drawn to coffee enemas in particular. The fact that the coffee stimulates the activity of glutathione S-transferase solidified my decision to try it.

According to the Gerson Institute:

The coffee enema has a very specific purpose: lowering serum toxins. Coffee enemas have a definite effect on the colon which can be observed with an endoscope. The palmitic acid found in coffee promotes the activity of glutathione S-transferase and other ligands many times above the norm. It is this enzyme group that is responsible primarily for the conjugation of free electrophile radicals which the gall bladder will then release.

Next to mold avoidance and diet, coffee enemas have changed my life. For more, see my post  A Candid Colon-Cleansing Conversation!

6. Skin Brushing

Skin brushing comes next. This is a very simple and straightforward addition to any health routine. The skin is responsible for 1/4 of our detoxification each day and is often deemed "the third kidney." This is a simple way to stimulate the lymphatic system, which in turn boosts the immune system. For directions, click here.

7. Natural Hair and Body Care
Shower time. I stopped using shampoo more than a year ago. Rhassoul clay makes a wonderful, completely natural hair-cleansing product. (See this previous post.)

I’ve been using rhassoul clay for more than a year now and have noticed an improvement with the issue of hair loss. Two of my daughters have reported similar results. I follow my clay treatment with a rinse with coffee grounds. My hair is slightly darker because of this treatment—an unexpected benefit!

Charcoal soap works well as a body cleanser. The website Buy Activated Charcoal offers these charcoal soaps.

As for deodorant, I prefer not to impede the sweating process, but if needed I will use a formula I made myself based on this recipe, adding several drops of lavender essential oil.

I spend at least 10 minutes on my teeth. After three crowns and nearly 10 mercury filling removals this last year, I am determined not to find myself back in a dentist's chair if I can help it. I make my own toothpaste using this recipe.

8. Lotion

After my shower, I apply kefir lotion. I make this myself. I make extra strong kefir with raw cream, allowing for a 48-hour fermentation. I combine 2 tbsp. of kefir with several drops of essential oil for an excellent moisturizer. Kefir contains alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), which reduces signs of aging. It is also a form of lactic acid which dissolves lipids, helping to remove dead skin cells. My skin has never felt softer since introducing kefir.

9. Breakfast

Breakfast was once a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. Now I eat as many nutrient-dense foods as I can and abstain from the coffee. (This article listing coffee as a cross-reactive food with gluten validates this decision.)

  • Kefir grains
    The first thing I consume is 1-2 teaspoons of kefir grains. The grains re-populate the digestive tract with the good bacteria needed to heal the gut and therefore the body. It's a strong healing food and must be added slowly. Consuming kefir grains on an empty stomach is an effective means of ingesting probiotics.

  • Garlic
    Next, I go for the garlic. I peel and crush three cloves, then take with water. When time allows, I ferment a jar of garlic cloves, which allows me to simply pop a clove like a pill from the jar, instead of having to peel and crush them. A study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that eating a teaspoon of fresh garlic and a half cup of onions per day increases the levels of a key enzyme for removing toxins in the blood cells of healthy women. Men require a larger dose, according to the authors. For more on this study, click here.

  • Raw liver
    Following the garlic, I take a cube of "liver ice" out of the freezer, cut it into little pieces, and swallow each like a pill. Grass-fed beef is critical for this. I choose meat that is raised locally with no added hormones or drugs of any kind. I thaw the raw liver, process in a food processor, pour into ice cube trays, and re-freeze. I take my liver pills just as I would any other supplement. Gram for gram, liver contains more nutrients than any other food: vitamin A, all of the B vitamins, particularly B12 (if consumed raw), folic acid, copper, CoQ10 (if consumed raw), and much more. For detailed information on the health benefits of eating liver, see this article. If I miss the raw liver, I feel it!

  • Raw egg yolks
    I cook three eggs sunny-side up. If I miss this, I become ravenous within an hour. Free-range, organic pasteurized eggs are crucial for this. I lightly cook three eggs in animal fat, leaving the yolks raw. Raw eggs contain an abundance of vital substances including protein and essential fatty acids, along with niacin, riboflavin, biotin, choline, vitamins A, D, and E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, and sulfur. Egg yolks are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D. For an interesting article on the health benefits of raw egg yolks, click here.

  • Green juice
    Finally, I wash the morning down with a glass of raw green juice—refreshing and energizing. Romaine lettuce makes up the bulk of our green juices. I try to rotate greens, adding in chard, kale, or wheatgrass when available. I generally avoid spinach because of the high oxalate level, although moderation and variety seem to be the key. Here is an interesting article addressing the issue of oxalates.
The entire routine takes approximately 90 minutes, all done in the comfort of my own home. Just as Hippocrates said, healing is an opportunity. For me, an opportunity to take charge of my health.


  1. So you eat the grains straight, as well as drinking the liquid kefir?

  2. Yes! The grains are stronger than the liquid kefir...which is why it's a good idea to start with the liquid first.

  3. I'm a big coffee enema fan too.

    I've had questions about whether it's okay to do them daily on a long-term basis though.

    In particular, people wonder about introducing acid into the colon on a regular basis. Have you read anything on whether it could be damaging to the intestinal lining.

    Thanks for a good blog. I'm feeling inspired!


    Lisa Petrison

  4. Nice.

    So you still have your morning coffee, just in a slightly different format..

  5. I'm laughing because we put bentonite clay in the wine we are making as part of the process! I'm sure that counts!!
    I am going to try some of this. Not sure I can handle the liver or the raw egg yolks!

  6. Gracious! That is amazing! I had a question about oil pulling, which I have just started to investigate. I can't seem to find whether it is okay to do this if you have fillings or crowns - have you heard if it is unsafe?

  7. Encouraged ! Thanks Andrea !

  8. Elizabeth, John Moore is known as an expert on removing mercury from the body. From what I understand he supports oil pulling even with the amalgams. He does advocate removing them as the best option. Here is what one person says,

    "Mr. Moore was lecturing on mercury detoxification, and he suggested oil pulling with sunflower oil to pull mercury from the gums and tissues in the mouth where it is deposited from mercury Amalgams -- an important reason not to swallow it! He recommended the brand Flora which also makes Udo's Choice. The label on Flora sunflower oil says, "Certified Organic Cold-Pressed & Unrefined."

    I like sesame oil, others like coconut oil.
    You can read more about Mr. Moore's journey here:

  9. Wonderful post Andrea! Thanks for the information! What a daily routine... really impressive!! I have allot to process, research... and then apply! (i'm so far away!) kt

  10. Lisa,
    Here is an excerpt from "The Little Enema book" published by the Gerson Institute.

    There are effects on both the liver and gall bladder brought about by the irritant nature of the caffeine. These effects can cause the following symptoms:
    As the gall bladder is irritated, it begins to undergo spasms as it attempts to get rid of this irritant. It begins to flush bile down through the bile duct to the outlet of the bile system where it empties into the duodenal loop of the small intestine. The caffeine causes a dilation of an opening of the sphyncter at this location, allowing a much greater production of bile to be flushed from the body."

    What's more, on occasion some of the bile backs up into the stomach, where it comes to rest, causing some irritation. The author advises copious amounts of peppermint tea saying that these instances can happen during a healing reaction.

    When taken orally, coffee travels through the stomach causing digestive problems and affects the liver by shutting off the bile ducts.

    One other thought on the acid...I buy light roast (organic and fair trade) because it has more palmitic acid than dark roast. (If only my supplier at the Farmers Market knew:)

  11. I read your story on Dr. Mercola's site. I am a holistic practitioner (Radionics) in NC, and have had v. good success treating mold problems. I'm interested - at this point, would you say your regime is necessary to suppress symptoms or do you feel mold-free and living a healthy life-style?

  12. Peter,
    The answer lies in the genetics from what I understand. For those who fall into the susceptibility group (1 in 4 people) mold avoidance and lifestyle are often not enough. Their bodies don't "recognize" these toxins. For the remaining 75% of the population,leaving the environment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are often enough. I wrote an entry describing this genetic factor titled "Genetic Susceptibility"


    So great to hear of your work!

  13. Is there anything you can substitute for men's hair gel?

  14. How much Rhassoul clay do you apply to your hair?

  15. Dustin,
    My boys use coconut oil (at room temperature it's thick enough)...can keep it chilled if needed.
    I like castor jelly. I get mine at Snowdrift Farms in Tucson AZ.

    As far as rhassoul clay, I use a tablespoon for as much water as it takes to make a paste. Sometimes I make it in bulk and leave in a jar in the shower...this can be a cup for several cups water...and then use as much paste as I need to cover my head...

    Hope this helps!

  16. What do you think about Yerba Prima Great Plains bentonite clay? Is it anygood? I have a bottle from a few years ago that I never took.

  17. I am part of a clay forum...I will ask and get back with you here.

  18. Yerba Prima Great Plains clay is a sodium clay. From what I understand calcium bentonite clay is preferable.
    Hope that helps,

  19. Can you tell me again what you do w/ the kefir grains after you make it? Stick them in the freezer right? Then can you mix them w/ the warm milk again? I got the packets from the health food store.

  20. Kefir grains can remain indefinitely in the fridge provided they are "resting" in a fresh milk or yogurt...this means changing out the milk or yogurt weekly. I keep making kefir to drink so I'm using my grains many days out of the week. In summary...you can do either: store them or use them to make more kefir drink. If you're eating the grains you would want to take a few and store them.

  21. Hi, Andrea! I had a question about the clay for shampoo (and coffee grounds) - how does your drain handle this? That was always my concern. I'd love to try the clay and such but have been concerned that it would clog my drain. Any experience with this?

  22. Rhassoul clay is different than bentonite clay which should have a screen covering the drain. The Rhassoul dissolves thoroughly and quickly...we've had no troubles with it.
    The grounds seem to do fine as well...I saw some mixed messages on this...some say it can help clean the drain..others say to be careful. I don't use much ...just enough to exfoliate my hair and so far so good.

  23. Andrea, What kind of air mattress did you purchase? Thank you!

  24. We buy whatever we find at Wal-Mart..we off gas outside overnight and then use the next day. We generally have to replace them once or twice a year no matter which brand we use.