Commonly asked question: What do I do after finishing the MC?
The first thing to do is avoid thinking of one particular aspect of the MC. Loosing weight is good, if you are overweight, but only if you keep it in perspective with your overall perspective, which should be BUILDING HEALTH. Removing toxins is good, especially if you have a history of toxicity (poor diet, live in a city etc) or symptoms and signs of toxicity, but I suggest even this takes a backseat to BUILDING HEALTH. Rebuilding damaged tissue or seeking to reverse the symptoms of damaged tissue (like cancer - it's only a symptom, the cause lies elsewhere!) is good, but success depends on BUILDING HEALTH!
The Consequences of "Curing Disease" or treating symptoms can limit your life:
"Curing Diseases" doesn't work, because it just treats the symptoms. The symptoms are part of the process the body goes through when it is dealing with a health condition. It is like a message: "Help! I am busy with repairs." If you "stop" the symptom, it's like blocking a radio message. The radio is still there, even if the broadcast is silenced. Symptoms are only the evidence and message that the body is trying to get rid of a bad condition. Instead of stopping the symptom, return the overall body to health, and the immune system of the body (the "radio tower") will not have to send out messages that it is working to correct the condition. A related link:
So, what to do after finishing the MC? Continue to BUILD YOUR HEALTH!
Here are some suggestions, starting with minor points and progressing to whole-body health.
The power of exercise
Andreas Moritz' opinion on the importance of sleep, exercise and emotional health on physical health:
Some general recommendations on exercise and maintaining metabolism before, during, and after doing an extended fast:
The relationship between exercise and reduced cancer risk (summary of a megastudy):
Emotional health is an incredibly complex issue which would turn this long post into a book! Information is available in many places on CZ.
Relationship between sugars, fats and exercise
There is a relationship between sugar, starch and carbohydrate consumption and fats. Sugars, starches and carbohydrates (complex chains of sugars) can eventually be converted to fat in the body. Reduce these substances, and you reduce the conversion of them into fat. While sugars can be turned into fat, fat can't be turned into sugars, so the only way to get rid of fat is through activity. (This info taken from Udo's book on Fats that Kill, Fats that Heal). This point is somewhat controversial, but I believe it's worth taking seriously - Udo's book is VERY well researched. Too much sugar and fat and not enough exercise eventually sets the Metabolic Syndrome into action, resulting in many poor health conditions, including diabetes. The really important thing for someone trying to regain health is that toxins are stored in fat, because fat is relatively inert and so makes a good "suitcase" for toxins. Prevent or reduce the formation of fats and the toxins are more likely to be eliminated rather than stored (my thoughts).
Eating healthy oils may prevent the build up of fats, including cholesterol, in the body. A Study.
A frequently asked question after coming off the MC is, what should I eat? And, what should I avoid? In regards to fats, avoid unhealthy fats and consume healthy fats from about Day 4 after the MC thereafter:
Sources of healthy fats:
Sources of unhealthy fats:
How much healthy fat is beneficial to your body?
That is an individual thing. Everyone's body has different needs, and these needs change over time. I'd like to recommend an excellent book on oils: Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, by Udo Erasmus. So, how can you tell if your body is getting enough oil? Just my ideas here: look at your nails. Do you have hangnails? You need more oil. When you have sufficient healthy oils, the skin around your nails is perfect, and your nails are shiny. Check the skin on your face and the backs of your hands. Dry? When pinched, is the skin slow to return to it's usual position? You need more oils and water. Check your lips. Dry and cracked? You need more oils, vitamens related to the metabolism of oil, and water. These are signs that I've noticed over the course of improving my own health over 18 months. Salmon is a good source for a quick fix for these signs (not symptoms) of insufficient fat, but over the long term you could try blending healthy oils yourself. Oils from vegetable sources are always better, because you are not consuming toxins stored in meat along with the oil. Substances that help metabolize fats are vitamin B3, B6 and C (with flavenoids), magnesium and zinc (p. 51)
Looking at p. 162 of this book, Udo recommends "Consuming 15 to 20% of calories as fats, with one third of this as LA (linoleic acid) and LNA (alpha linolenic acid" - it has a long, complex scientific name) in the appropriate ratio, and not more than one-third as saturated fatty acids, is a strong step in that direction," (ideal weight and health). From pp 162-163, LA 3-6% or 9 - 18 grams per day; LNA 2 - 2.5% (approximately). P. 44 has a list of LA and LNA deficiency symptoms (I described signs but not symptoms of insufficient fat in the body).
Enzymes and rebuilding health:
Another thing MCers returning to digestion should consider is the role that enzymes play in being healthy. Here's a long post by Udo (ignore the marketing and start reading the info half-way through the post to save time):
Juicing vegetables is probably the fastest way to get living enzymes and maximum nutrition with a minimum drain on the digestive system. The benefits include increasing your enzyme "overhead" (extra enzymes stored in your body which can be called upon for many purposes, beyond digestion, at any time as needed), continuing the cleansing and building that the MC started, and reversing damage caused by lack of vitamins and other nutritional elements. Without reversing this damage, it can lead to many degenerative conditions down the road, such as "aging" of tissues, DNA damage, free-radical damage, and even cancer. The MC, repeated as needed, can go a long way to removing toxins and allowing the body's energies to work on rebuilding damaged tissue. It is very helpful to support this between MCs by increasing your nutritional overhead as well:
A comparison of some juicers. This chart gives you an idea of what to look for when choosing a juicer:
The relationship between insufficient enzyme levels and cancer:
Many MCers focus on losing weight . When weight is lost, usually it is 50% fat and 50% muscle. While it is good to get rid of fat, losing muscle is not so good; put simply, you lose strength and the ability to maintain your metabolism. Muscle burns energy (calories) faster than fat. One of the major problems for people coming off of the MC is regaining fat due to a slowed metabolism (and reduced muscle tissue).
Fat can be made anytime from various forms of sugar: sugar, or glucose, carbohydrates, and starches. When calories from these sources of food are plentiful, the energy is stored as fat. However, fat cannot be turned back into energy. The only way to burn fat is to exercise.
I know that many MCers want some way to quantify their results.
For those using heart rate to adjust level of exercise:
To estimate body fat % using a tape measure (in cm):
For those watching their weight, here's a BMI calculator:
Note, this is a VERY rough indication of your health in regards to physical size. Other things, of course, are weight scales and fat %. Fat % is a better indication of health, as the lower your fat %, the less easy hiding spots for toxins. However, you DO need some fat to maintain your health. Without fat, you would be dead in minutes. It insulates the nerves of the nervous system, allowing electricity to be generated and pass through your body. Plus it is essential for many other biochemical reactions throughout the body. So some perspective is necessary here. A rough estimate of healthy fat % is 18 % - 25%. Males can maintain a lower fat % then women because of their hormones. But this topic takes us to something far more important than the measurement of fat or weight:
People who are low in magnesium suffer many of the same symptoms as the Herxheimer's Effect (skin rashes, weakness, muscle cramps, irritated mood, nausea, and sleeping problems.) Here is an excellent source of information on magnesium of all compounds. It describes common symptoms of magnesium deficiency and how to correct this deficiency through supplements or diet:
Pepe brought up an interesting point. Most people are low on magnesium, due to diet and things we do which drain magnesium from our bodies. However, iff we oversupplement on magnesium, calcium levels can be depleted. As Pepe noted, we should not take magnesium supplements during the MC. Here's a safe way to build both calcium and magnesium through diet after the MC:
A good introduction to electrolytes, a chart showing foods that contain them, and a list of safe upper and lower levels:
Having a good balance of electrolytes is essential for maintaining a safe range of pH (acid-alkaline) levels in the body. This is one of the simplest things to check and work with at home, and is essential for whole-body health:
One of the best ways to keep an eye on your general health (this is more holistically oriented) is to test your body's secretions for pH level. If your body is too acidic (or too alkaline), this condition compromises the immune system and causes damage to tissues and, eventually, organs. The easiest way to maintain a neutral pH of about 7 (on a scale of 0 (acid) to 14 (alkaline, or base) is to consume a lot of vegetables. This link gives an excellent description of the acid-alkaline balance, the results of an imbalance, how to measure YOUR levels, and what to do about it. After coming off the MC, your pH levels might be off a little. So starting off with vegetables - raw, if possible, to get living enzymes - is an excellent way to return to digestion and maintain and enhance all the hard work you did with the MC.
Here is an excellent and very comprehensive website which explains acid/alkaline levels (and many other things relating to returning to and maintaining health):
A step-by-step reduction of toxins and rebuilding of the body's strength and immunity:
Here's an excellent description of how we get toxins into our bodies, what to do to remove them, and what to eat/do to continue detoxins and building the immune system (quite a long post):
The purpose of this post is to give a general overview of the MCer's return to digestion and the goal of enhancing and maintaining results. The main goal of the MC should be to improve overall health. I hope that readers can use this as a kind of reference or starting point for any particular aspect of their health journeys.
Good luck to everyone using the MC to improve their health!