The Healthy Melissa's Blog

My journey into the world of Health,Wellness, and Functional Medicine

Category: Detox

How To Test Yourself To See If Your Body Is Too Acidic

Hello Everyone! This is an easy, at home test that you can do to determine if your body is overall too acidic or not.

But first, let me explain how the Acid / Base scale works:

The pH scale goes from 0 – 14.

A pH of 7 is considered Neutral. 

Anything less than 7 is acidic

Anything greater than 7 is alkaline/basic

The normal pH of human blood is about 7.4, so it’s not extremely alkaline. Different parts of the body have different pH’s. Stomach acid has the pH of about 2, super acidic so that it can be able to denature your food. We don’t want our bodies to be TOO acidic or TOO alkaline, this can cause death.

What are the dangers of being too acidic?

Dr. Alex Vasquez shared a position paper on urinary alkalization written by emergency room physicians. These doctors worked with suicide patients that had been acutely poisoned or had cases of industrial poisoning. ER physicians found that when urinary pH was 7.5 (alkaline), the body was able to excrete toxins more readily.

When our bodies are too acidic, we have more incidence of:

  1. Lower functioning immune system
  2. Risk of cancers
  3. Overall poorer health
  4. Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

If you put cancer cells in a petri dish containing an alkaline environment, the cancer cells would die. Cancer and illness can only live in an acidic environment.

What causes our bodies to become acidic?

  • Stress. Stress increases the production of stress hormones such as cortisol , Interleukin-6, which can turn on inflammatory cascades in the body. Constant cortisol secretion can cause weight gain, more food sensitivities (because it deteriorates the gut lining), and sleep disorders (more things too).Blood tests show that a chemical called Interleukin-6 sharply increased in the blood of those who are stressed. Previous studies have associated IL-6 with several diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers. More detrimental is that the increase in IL-6 can be turned on for up to 3 years after a highly stressful and chronic situation.
  • Diet. Not eating enough vegetables and fruits is the #1 contributor to an acidic environment. Eating grains, wheat, sugar (not fruit), processed foods, dairy, very non-nourishing foods can cause the leaching of calcium from bones to buffer the acidic environment and lead to osteoporosis. Especially with dairy! Dairy is highly acidic in the body, and several studies have confirmed that dairy does not prevent bone loss or make your bones strong. It actually does the opposite, and more incidents of osteoporosis is actually seen in countries that consume more dairy. Alcohol is another thing that when overindulged can do a lot of damage.
  • Mood. Studies also show that when you are a more pessimistic person, negative in nature or hold a lot of anger, it causes your body to have a lower functioning immune system. On the contrary, having an attitude of gratitude actually improves the regulatory T-cell function in your immune system.
  • Emotions. If you watch a scary movie and you’re feeling afraid, you will temporarily become acidic. If you see someone get hit by a car, boom acidic. If you are anxiety ridden or thinking so many overwhelming thoughts, you will drop down into acidic. We really don’t realize how powerful our mind is and how it can master us if we do not master it first.

Okay, now that we are all clear on what creates an acidic environment, lets move onto the test!


This is the chart that you will use for the reference ranges.

You will need: 

-pH Strips

         – 1 Tbsp of lemon juice in like 3 oz of water

– A stop watch.

– The chart above.

How it works:

  1. Start by taking 1 strip of the pH paper and placing the yellow side down on top of your tongue, close your mouth for 5 seconds. Make sure the yellow part is fully saturated with your saliva.
  2. Pull the strip out and match the color to the colors on the bottle of the pH strips. This is your starting pH.
  3. Now take the water mixed with 1 tbsp of lemon and drink it. Take another pH strip and place it on top of your tongue again as you did before. This is your pH after you have challenged it with acid. This will temporarily drop your pH down (which is what we want.)
  4. Now, start your stopwatch. You will wait 1 minute from the time you tested your pH after drinking the lemon, and then test your pH again with another strip.
  5. You are going to continue to do this for a total of 5 minutes. Record your pH results each time you do this.
  6. At the end of the test, if you pH is following the red line or above it, you have a good buffering system. Your body is not too acidic! Congratulations! If your pH is not good, and you dropped off after a certain point, you have some opportunities here.

What to do if you are too acidic:

  • First, assess your diet and lifestyle. Are you consuming enough fruits and vegetables? How are you at managing your stress? Do you find ways to relieve your stress? Do you drink lemon/lime water often? Do you smoke cigarettes or over drink? Do you eat too much sugar in the form of processed foods or grains/dairy? Do you live on coffee?
  • These are all pertinent questions that you need to ask yourself. The diet is  first and foremost the biggest thing that can contribute to being too acidic. I can suggest supplements to help you, but if you are unwilling to change any of these factors – it’s not going to work. It’ll be like throwing a bucket of water on a house fire.

If you turned out to be too acidic, don’t freak out! This is just an area that we have an opportunity to improve : )

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Coffee Enemas: The best part of waking up, is coffee in your butt!

Did the title catch your attention?! I hope you sang the title to the Folgers commercial song! Allow me to explain:

Coffee enemas have been around since the time of the civil war. Since their introduction during the late 1800s  they were used to help speed up healing following surgeries or to help heal cases of accidental poisoning. And if you didn’t know, surgeries were very unsterile and dangerous procedures until the introduction of washing hands before surgery & also the introduction of anesthesia.

The Gerson Protocol For Cancer

“Stay close to nature and her eternal laws will protect you.” – Dr. Max Gerson

In the 1950s coffee enemas were made famous and became more widespread thanks to Dr. Max Gerson (founder of the Gerson protocol which is practiced at the Hippocrates Institute in West Palm Beach). Dr. Gerson began using coffee enemas as a key to treating cancer patients, others are now turning to this procedure for various ailments that don’t respond well to traditional treatments or prescription medications.

“Dr. Gerson observed that cancer patients exhibited markedly degenerated organs, especially the liver, presumably caused by the clearing of toxic materials of an unknown type that the disease produced. He also noted that the situation became worse after chemotherapy, probably because of more toxic products entering the bloodstream. Gerson’s regimen focused on helping the liver rid the body of toxic substances while restoring and maintaining healthy liver function.”

The purpose of coffee enemas are to assist in detoxifying the liver. Your liver is a filter for all the toxins that your body is exposed to from medications, air, pesticides, hormones, etc. The caffeine from the coffee travels through the portal vein through your intestines, to reach the liver.

The University of Minnesota conducted a study that demonstrated that coffee enemas are able to help stimulate the production of an enzyme created in the liver called glutathione s-transferase. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in our body that helps our liver detoxify, removes heavy metals, helps us age slower and have an overall better status of health.

Other things that coffee enemas can help with (that I have seen in my practice):

  • I have seen coffee enemas be the only thing that eliminates unremitting nausea from cancer patients going through chemotherapy.
  • I have hear testimonials from patients about coffee enemas stopping a gall bladder attack.
  • I have seen pictures and heard testimonials of gall bladder stones (the size of quarters and nickels) being released with the administration of a coffee enema.
  • I have seen pictures of parasites being released from the intestines after doing coffee enemas.
  • Bloating and digestive issues improved because once coffee gets into the liver, the bile ducts are opened up and increase production of bile that’s needed for digestion and excretion.
  • Massive amounts of energy afterwards.
  • Skin appearance improved on face and body/acne/boils gone away.

Caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates excretion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products from blood across the colonic wall.

  • Coffee enemas can produce the excretion of gallbladder stones, which will range from yellow to dark green in colors.  Cholesterol can even be excreted, which is a light green color. Mucoid plaque can be seen sometimes if you’re doing a series of enemas..this is a rubbery dark brown substance. Impacted debris that has been stuck in the crevices of the intestines is also common to be excreted.
The Coffee Enema Protocol:
This is the protocol that I follow, and it was given to me by an Iriodologist that I had went to in 2015:
  1. Mix 5 1/2 cups of Distilled Water and 4 tablespoons of ORGANIC CAFFEINATED GROUND COFFEE.
  2. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the liquid in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes (periodically checking on it) When the liquid is cool use a fine colander to strain the coffee.
  4. The coffee will have boiled down to about 4 cups. You will pour the 4 cups of coffee into the enema bag.
  5. Take some coconut oil or olive oil and lubricate the enema tip. Insert the enema tip, set the timer for 15 minutes and turn on your right side.

(The first time you do this it may be difficult to go for the full 15 minutes – but some people do it. You will feel contractions that will make you want to go to the bathroom, but try and breathe/rub your belly to get past this. The contractions will come and go.)

  1. After the 15 minutes sit on the toilet and all that liquid will be flush out.

(You may notice you feel an increase in energy and stomach may feel flatter. Some people even notice  pains in their body decrease after doing these enemas.)

  1. You may even notice gallbladder stones floating to the top in the first enema or in future ones.

Things To Consider With Coffee Enemas:

Things that could be harmful are:
– If you don’t strain out the grains well which could lead to inflammation of the colon.
– Obviously you should wait until the liquid is cool enough before doing the enema, you don’t want to scald your insides. I say this because there is always that ONE person out there.
– If its not organic coffee beans being used. Coffee is one of the most highly sprayed crop. Don’t even drink non-organic coffee!
– There is also the risk of perforating your colon, if you’re shoving it in your rectum unlubricated or with too much force. (Even water colonics present their own risks, as well as benefits.)
– Electrolyte imbalance with over use of enemas or colonics can happen, I suggest drinking an electrolyte replenisher afterwards. I use Ultima Replenisher.



Thermography: Detecting breast cancer many years earlier than Mammography

“Thermography measures the temperature of the breast and there is no need for any mechanical pressure or ionizing radiation.” – John Gofman, MD, nuclear physicist, & one of the worlds leading experts on radiation damage.

This is a comparison of my thermography’s done in 2008 and 2016. I’ve been doing thermography scans since I was 17 years old, never once have I had a mammogram. When I posted this photo on my instagram, this post alone got the attention of over 6,000 people. I was astounded at the number of people who had never even heard of thermography! Thermography’s been around for about 30+ years and has thousands of peer reviewed studies, proving its efficacy as a safe and effective screening tool.

Not only is thermography able to detect breast cancer  years earlier than mammography, but it can detect ANY inflammation in the body ANYWHERE. Inflammation is the beginning of disease and imbalance. Once we can identify the area of dysfunction, we can pin point how to heal it through functional medicine.

Mammograms squish and compress your breast, shooting radiation into the breast – which raises the risk of breast cancer by 1% for each mammogram that is had. With thermography, there is no compression or radiation – nothing touches you. It is a digital infrared camera that takes a picture of your body heat.

The reason why I can claim that Thermography IS early detection and ACTUALLY PREVENTATIVE is because cancer is detected when it has only multiplied to about 256 cells. Whereas with Mammography, cancer is detected at over 4 BILLION CANCER CELL. At this point, this is not even preventative. This is just telling you that you have a tumor.

Active breast cancer cells double every 90 days, causing inflammation, which is our body’s physiological response to this abnormal process. Our immune system has failed… from either an acidic environment caused by poor nutrition, too much estrogen, hormonal imbalance, or genetic pre-dispositions that are triggered by our own diet and lifestyles. Abnormal vascularity will begin in the breasts in order to feed, nourish, oxygenate and support the growing tumor. This all takes place at under 300 cancer cells. This is when thermography can see those changes that are taking place.
OR, you could do your typical conventional standardized “gold standard” tests, and wait until you have over 4 BILLION cancer cells in that tumor, when a mammogram will finally see it.

It’s important to realize that a negative mammogram cannot be equated with a clean bill of health. All a negative mammogram can tell you is that IF you do have cancer, it hasn’t grown large enough yet to be detected. This is particularly true for women with dense breast tissue. 49% of women have high breast tissue density, and mammography’s sensitivity for dense breasts is as low as 27 percent—meaning about 75 percent of dense-breasted women are at risk for a cancer being missed if they rely solely on mammography. Even with digital mammography, the sensitivity is still less than 60 percent. ” – Donna Tomey of Thermography First, LLC

Lymphatic Congestion:

Lymphatic congestion before & after lymphatic massage:

If you have tenderness and pain in the armpit area, you may have lymphatic congestion. The lymphatic system runs from your brain to your toes & is like your body’s sewage system. If you are congested, you are not ridding your body of toxins! This system requires movement to get the sewage circulating out of the body. When there is stagnation, there is congestion in the lymph nodes (such as in the groin, under arms and sides of the throat). Often times the tumors that are removed from breasts contain the same chemicals as in deodorants.

  • Chemical deodorants can contribute to congestion by clogging the pores with aluminum and other chemicals that have been linked to cancer. Ditch the chemical deodorant and go for a natural one. I use ‘MOVE’ by HealthJunkieJess @ (It’s not one of those deodorants that puts a pine scent over the sweat.)
  • Dry skin brushing can also help to move the lymphatic system
  • Lymphatic massage is amazing and can really help to clear up congestion within a few sessions. I recommend Fia –
  • Drinking half your body weight in ounces of pure water each day. Water helps your body to flush out toxins more easily.
  • Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system to move all the sewage and excrete it out. It also makes you sweat, which helps to release toxins.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is the most rare and deadly form of all breast cancers. Unfortunately, it is also still widely unknown of all breast cancers too.

Donna Tomey of Thermography First, LLC allowed me to repost this woman’s case:

“A client of mine last year had a rash on her breast and her doctor told her it was a bug bite that became infected, and gave her months of antibiotics. When it had not gotten any better, she came to me because she did not want to do a mammogram with the ‘infection’. Her breast was deformed from what she thought was the ‘breast infection’. She was already at Stage 4, and didn’t even know it.”

Donna explains that the first signs of IBC are:

  • Thickening or dimpling of the breast
  • Inversion of the nipple
  • A rash or bump on breast that will not go away or seems to be spreading
  • Swelling or change in the size of one or both breasts

There is usually NO palpable tumor with IBC. Can you imagine this woman doing a mammogram? Squeezing and compressing her completely inflammed breast?  IBC spreads and metastasizes like wild fire and will not be touched by doctor unless forced to do chemotherapy first. Thermography is the ONLY imaging modality that can see IBC in its most earliest stages.


Images of a client who had a stroke on the entire right side of her body. You can see the difference in both sides, the right side is clearly colder (blue/black, which in this client indicates nerve damage and peripheral circulatory disorder)

  • Stroke happens when the brain is deprived of blood. What carries the blood to the brain? The carotid artery. The carotid artery is the largest vessel that supplies blood to your brain. If there is inflammation/blockages, it can result in a stroke.
  • Thermography can show you inflammation in the carotid artery years before it becomes a stroke.

Inflammation in the Carotid Artery

This person has a huge risk factor for a stroke because of this inflammation in their carotid artery.

The Importance Of Returning For Your 3 Month Follow Up:

1st scan – ok

3 month follow up – abnormal changes occuring

After detoxing and supplementation, her thermography returning to normal.

This is precisely why you it is vital to return for your 3 month follow up. Because cancer cells double every 90 days! This woman thankfully did her 3 month follow up and was able to catch her abnormal/suspicious activity before it turned into cancer.

Oral Health & Heart Disease Connection:

This patient with a hypothermic asymmetry over the left lower chest has a history of coronary heart disease (CAD) . He also has an abscess at the upper left tooth.

  • Thousands upon thousands of studies have linked oral disease to systemic disease. Inflammation is a well known disease causing force, and gum disease and other oral diseases produce chronic low-grade inflammation in your body. According to Dr. Gery Curatola, a biological dentist:

“This inflammation has very, very deleterious effects on just about every major organ system – from Alzheimer’s to stroke, heart disease, and diabetes,” Dr. Curatola explains.

  • Gum disease can raise your risk of a fatal heart attack up to 10 times. According to Dr. Curatola, if you get a heart attack related to periodontal or gum disease, nine times out of 10, it will actually kill you.

Autoimmune/Immune Dysfunction:

The green circle just below the neck signals a good, balanced functioning immune system.

The blue/cool spot below the neck signals an immune imbalance or weakened immune system. Through blood work you would be able to tell exactly what it is.

Diabetic Neuropathy/Nerve Dysfunction:

Two different people with diabetes and diabetic nerve pain. The white and red spots are the most inflammed.


Ending Thoughts:

  1. Mammograms are NOT early detection, nor are they prevention. They are detection once you have a tumor. How many women do you know who gets their mammograms faithfully every year and then have the nasty surprise of  being diagnosed with breast cancer? How many women get their mammograms and it misses their cancer?
  2. Thermography sees the physiological process of cancer….inflammation, vascular changes, pattern changes, blood vessel development – which precede and support active tumor growth.
  3. Ditch the chemical deodorant !

To Find A Local Thermographer In Your Area: go to

If you are in South Florida: I recommend Donna Tomey @

Edible Masks That Can Heal Your Skin & Toxic Ingredients To Avoid

“We will not be able to reduce the risk of breast cancer without addressing preventable causes, particularly exposure to chemicals.” – The Environmental Working Group


Did you know that your skin is considered your “biggest organ”? Your skin absorbs literally everything that you put on it. This is why it is vitally important that you always read the ingredients of the lotions, makeup, moisturizers and masques that you put on your face and body!


I always stay clear of any products that contain:

  • “Fragrance” 
    • Fragrances are in everything from shampoo to deodorant to lotion. Federal law doesn’t require companies to list on product labels any of the chemicals in their fragrance mixture. Recent research from EWG and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name brand fragrance products, none of them listed on the label. Fragrances can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world. (
  • Parabens (specifically Propyl-, Isopropyl-, Butyl-, Isobutyl-parabens)
    •  Parabens are estrogen-mimicking preservatives used widely in cosmetics. They have been linked to breast cancer. (
  • Petroleum / Petrolatum
    • Commonly found in mascara. They may cause contact dermatitis and are often contaminated with cancer-causing impurities. Produced in oil refineries at the same time as automobile fuel, heating oil and chemical feedstocks. (
  • PEG/Ceteareth/Polyethylene  
    • Used in conditioning and cleaning agents. These synthetic chemicals are frequently contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which the U.S. government considers a probably human carcinogen and which readily penetrates the skin. (
  • Phthalates
    • Studies indicate this damages the male reproductive system. Pregnant women should avoid nail polish containing dibutyl phathalate. (

To see the complete list of all chemicals to avoid, check out the EWG’s researched list:

Luckily for us the EWG has a database that they have rated from safest/least toxic to the worst/most toxic or cancer causing, based on their ingredients. It allows you to search hundreds of makeup products, skin care products, hair products, nails products, fragrances, baby products, oral products, and sunscreen products.

For Example: These products were among the worst rated by the EWG. 1-2 is low hazard, 3-6 moderate hazard, 7-10 high hazard. The database is ever growing and ever changing – and companies have seemed to improve their products since the launching of this tell all database. (thankfully).



You can access this database here:


Which brings me to my next point: If you’re one of those people who can’t or chooses not to slather on goo gobs of primer, foundation, concealer, contouring stuff, and bronzer because it clogs your pores – then stay tuned. If you’re one of those people who’s more interested in actually clearing up the acne or pimples instead of just covering it up under a pile of makeup – then stay tuned. If you’re one of those people who wants to have beautiful, radiant skin and still likes to wear makeup – stay tuned!


My skin tends to be normal with occasional dry areas, so I’ve designed the following facial masks that you can do at home and the best part is… could EAT all the ingredients if you wanted to. All the ingredients are non toxic and safe. These masks restore radiance to the skin, moisture and help acne to heal faster.

 1. The Charcoal Mask

It looks like i’m not smiling, but its because the mask got so tight I couldn’t move lol

What You Will Need:

  • 1 tsp Bentonite Clay (I used Redmonds Clay)
  • 1 capsule of Activated Charcoal (I used Integrative Therapeutics)
  • 1 tsp Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Often used in parasite cleanses too.)
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tsp of Water ( can be distilled or not.)
  • Mix together until mixture forms a paste. You may need to add more water or ACV.
  • Leave on for 10 minutes or until it is completely dry. Be advised not to leave on too long because it will feel a little itchy. Redness after removing the mask is quite normal.
  • Always do a spot test on your arm before applying any of these masks to your face to make sure you do not have an allergy to any of the ingredients

This mask is great for absorbing impurities from your pores and helping to remove dead skin and drying out pimples.


2. The Egg White Mask

Even though it looks like baby poop, you still should put it on your face!

What You Will Need:

  • 1 egg, use only the white of the egg and toss the yolk**
  • Bentonite Clay (I ran out of the powder so I opted for the capsules – I just open 2 capsules up. Same Brand : Redmond Clay)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp “Food Grade” Diatomaceous Earth

You shouldn’t need to add any water because the egg white will do the trick. *Sometimes if its too runny you can add more of the D.E or Turmeric powder. Or just use half the egg white. Leave on until it dries.

The ingredients in this mask are going to soothe inflamed skin, and bring softness to dry areas of your face and tighten the appearance of large pores.

3.  The Probiotic Mask

More coconut oil would be better for the hair – this wasn’t ideal for the hair. Worked great for the face though!

What You Will Need:

  • 1 – 2 Probiotic capsules, opened up ( I use a probiotic that is not cultured on dairy because dairy can be inflammatory inside the body as well as outside) (Brand used: Klaire Labs – Therbiotic Complete Probiotic)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Diatomaceous Earth
  • Bentonite Clay
  • 1 egg, use only egg white
  • 1/2 tsp Coconut Oil
  • Leave on until it dries

This mask will tighten your pores, remove impurities and give your face a radiant glow.

4. The Papaya Mask

Papaya contains enzymes that exfoliate skin, repair aging skin, and moisturizes dry skin. Honey is a natural antibacterial, also anti-aging.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 piece of papaya mashed up
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Diatomaceous Earth
  • Water to make it into a paste
  • Leave on until it dries

The ingredients here will exfoliate your dead skin, calm inflammation, and bring moisture into your skin.

5. Aloe Papaya Soother

This one is very simple – What You Will Need:

  • Blend together Aloe vera gel with a piece of papaya
  • 1 Probiotic capsule
  • Leave on until it dries

Aloe vera is extremely soothing to cuts, burns, acne, pimples and can help inflamed skin. It is very beneficial to drink as well if you ever have ulcers, leaky gut, stomach aches, gastritis, etc.

Another Component of Skin Health To Consider: 

Quote by Christa Orecchio

One of the reasons why we can develop cysts, boils, acne, pimples is that we do not have a healthy gut microbiome. That means you need to find out what foods you have sensitivities to and eliminate them from your diet. If you have leaky gut, you need to repair your gut lining.  Most importantly, you also need to poop at least 1-2x per day.

“Whatever is happening in the gut shows up on the skin.” – Dr. James Jack

Probiotics are essential for a healthy gut! Absolutely everyone should be taking a probiotic. Infants that are not breast fed or are C-section born are not set up with as good of an immune system as other babies. They can develop food sensitivities more early than other babies too and have more incidence of gut related issues through out their life.

Gluten and dairy are the two most common contributing causes of acne and dermatitis (among many many other diseases.) I always advise my patients to eliminate those two inflammatory foods within the first visit – and the majority of the time improvement in some area of the person’s health follows. It is always a great idea to do a cleanse a few times per year. Eliminating the toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis via air, water, food and makeup can accumulate rather quickly.

Remember, the body is amazing and it can heal anything! You just have to map out your goals, and make one change at a time and you will be on your way to optimal health!


Are You Toxic? What Contributes To Faulty Liver Detoxification & What You Can Do About It

Human liver

Detoxification is a constantly active process that takes place in the GI tract, lungs, kidneys, skin and blood brain barrier. But 95% of the detoxification system happens within the liver.

Your liver is an organ that has the job of breaking toxins down into smaller molecules through 3 phases of detoxification, which allows your body to safely excrete them out  via urine, feces, and sweat.

The liver is hard at work anytime you:

  1. Rub lotions with petroleum/petrolatum/parabens/chemicals on your skin
  2. Eat conventional (non-organic) foods that contain pesticides
  3. Use plastic water bottles or containers (especially bad if you microwave them, or drink from them after they’ve been in the car.)
  4. Drive in a car (dashboards off gas Bromine which is a known thyroid disruptor)
  5. Swim in a chlorinated pool
  6. Put unsafe chemical laden makeup on your face (MAC is one of the worst!)
  7. Breathe polluted air (ex: China has the top deadliest polluted air)
  8. Take any medications (acetaminophen, tylenol, synthetic estrogens, anti-psychotics, pain killers, blood glucose regulators, statin drugs)
  9. Eat farm raised meats with antibiotics as opposed to grass-fed, wild, free range meats that are not given antibiotics.
  10. Drink polluted water
  11. Drink caffeine, alcohol
  12. Exposed to mold toxins, paint, solvents, dyes, perfumes, pain thinners, water-repellents, flame retardants, commercial detergents,
  13. Consume high fructose corn syrup
  14. Internally we also produce endotoxins: neurotransmitters, excess hormones, homocysteine, bacterial endotoxins  (LPS – affiliated with leaky gut).
  15.  Prolonged fasting or in a state of starvation. Toxins are stored in fat cells, so when you lose fat, all of those toxins come out at once. This is a heavy burden for the liver. If you release a load of toxins and not eating antioxidants via fruits and veggies, your liver suffers.

If we aren’t able to get rid of all these toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis we are left with chronic illness. Each year, 2,000 new chemicals are introduced for use in everyday items including: foods, personal care products, prescription drugs, household cleaners, pesticides and lawn care products. That’s astounding isn’t it?

Bisphenol-A is one of the most common xenbiotics and known endocrine disruptors. It can mimic the effects of estrogen, it’s linked to cancer, liver inflammation, disrupts thyroid function and can cause fertility issues. BPA is a commercial plasticizer that is readily absorbed via the skin and intestinal cells. Roughly 8 billion pounds are produced every year (lining of canned foods, plastic water bottles, plastic containers) and more than 90% in the USA have measurable BPA levels in their body.


In Phase 1 of Liver Detox–Transformation phase: The goal is to break the toxin down  into a compound that is more water soluble so it can be excreted easier. But sometimes after that toxin is broken down,  it can be turned into something even more toxic than what it started out as.

In order for Phase 1 to work, you must have adequate levels of:

  • Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, B12, Folate, Glutathione, flavonoids, phospholipids and Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). Without these, your liver will not be able to break down toxins right out of the gate.

A negative by product of Phase 1 detox is Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These ROS damage cell membranes, DNA and can lead to cancer if they are not checked. Essentially, ROS are like a kid who will just keep eating  a bunch of candy without adult supervision. The kid will keep going without stopping until something really bad happens and he gets sick. Luckily, there is an antioxidant defense system that puts a stop to those nasty ROS.

In order for this antioxidant defense system to function optimally it needs the following nutrients:

  • Zinc, Manganese, Selenium, Copper. You can take a supplement but the best way to get all of these nutrients are from the right foods (which we will get to.)

In Phase 2 of Liver detox–Conjugation Phase: the goal here is to add another substance to the toxin (cysteine, glycine or sulphur) in order to reduce the reactivity of that super toxic intermediate metabolite that just came out of the Phase 1, so it can be eliminated from the body. There are about 6 processes that go on within Phase 2, but what you need to know is that

For Phase 2 to work properly it needs:

  • Glycine, Taurine, L-Glutamine, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), Cysteine and methionine. All of these are amino acids.

Phase 3 of Liver Detox —Transport phase: The main goal of this phase is to act as a barrier system against toxins from entering, as well as moving toxins in and out of the cells. These transporters are present in the liver, intestines, kidneys, and brain.

What Affects Our Ability To Detox?

  • Age: The older a person gets, the less ability they have to properly detox. I believe this is because we have done more damage to our bodies as an older person as opposed to a young child who is new to life.
  • Gender: Pre-menopausal women have more Phase 1 enzymes to efficiently detox vs. Menopausal women.
  • Genes: Genetic mutations are extremely common in liver detox pathways.
  • Diet: Charbroiled meats affect liver function. Not eating enough antioxidant filled fruits and vegetables
  • Environment: Firefighters/construction workers, careers that place you around paint, solvents, metal fumes. Home surroundings: pesticides, cleaning chemicals. Personal habits: Smoking, drinking, etc.
  • Medications: SSRI’s, antibiotisc, H2 blockers, inhibit phase 2 enzymes.

Manifestations of Detoxification Imbalances:

  1. Parkinson’s Disease
  2. Fibromyalgia
  3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  4. Multiple drug sensitivities
  5. Multiple chemical sensitivities
  6. Cancer
  7. Gilbert’s Syndrome
  8. Encephalopathy
  9. Pancreatitis
  10. Alzheimer’s Disease
  11. Hormonal Imbalance

What You Can Do:

  • Exercising & Weight loss: Exercise is so amazing for every system of the body. But do NOT lose weight too fast. Remember, xenobiotics and toxins are all stored in adipose tissue. If you lose more than 2lb/week, you will be overloading your body with toxins.
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of pure water each day. Water allows your body to flush out toxins more readily.
  • Sweat it out: Infrared saunas & dry heat saunas help to eliminate toxins.
  • Protein: Low protein diets are associated with lower detox capacity. High Protein diets can overburden the detox system by excessive production of ammonia. So which type of protein should you choose?
    •  Animal proteins that are wild/free range/clean/not raised with hormones or antibiotics are rich in sulfur amino acids which are important for Phase 2 detox.
    • Plant proteins higher in methionine: sunflower seeds, Non-GMO oats, cashews, almonds. Plant proteins are rich in ellagic acid & fiber, which protects the liver and eliminates toxins. Fiber traps toxins and promotes elimination.
    • Plant proteins are also alkalizing, which promotes higher clearance of toxins in the liver.
    • Carbs to Eliminate: Gluten/Wheat as this causes leaky gut.
    • Non-starch Carbs: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kale, chicory root, bitter greens, beetroot, onions, garlic, all increase activity of Phase 1 enzymes. These also prevent against estrogen dependent cancers.
    • Fat: Eliminate trans fat, hydrogenated oils. Increase vitamin E, plant oils and fish oils, sardines, salmon, cod fish, olive oil.
    • Herbs: Turmeric (curcumin), Anise, caraway, celery seeds, cilantro, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, parsley, mint, all increase Glutathione levels which is the most powerful antioxidant in your body. Ginger increases antioxidant capacity
    • Herbs: Milk thistle, paprika, saffron, green tea, Garlic and Onions – all amazing for liver detoxing.

Superfoods & A Daily Detox Regimen:

  1. Probiotic – Absolutely everyone should be taking a probiotic everyday.
  2. Fiber: Non-GMO Oats, Flax meal, Chia seeds
  3. Chlorella & Spirulina
  4. Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, turnips, rutabaga, mustard greens, cauliflower
  5. Green tea
  6. Spice: Rosemary, garlic, curry, ginger
  7. Raspberries & Strawberries
  8. Dark Chocolate – at least 70%,
  9. Milk thistle
  10. NAC – This amino acid is the precursor to Glutathione, an extremely important antioxidant. Take 500-3,000 mg/day.
  11. Alpha-lipoic acid
  12. Vitamin D. You should have your levels checked. For optimal health they should be between 70-80.
  13.  Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Take a high quality fish oil every day, not one from a drug store. 1-3 g/day

Of course the goal is to always try and get these nutrients from food. But unfortunately our food quality is not what it used to be so that is where high quality supplements come in to bridge that gap. As always though, TEST, don’t GUESS.

Remember, the body is amazing and it can heal anything!   For a more individualized detox plan, you should consult with a functional medicine practitioner.

Never give up or lose sight of your goals ~










Pictures by:


Grant, D. M. (1991). Detoxification Pathways in the Liver. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, 421-430. doi:10.1007/978-94-011-9749-6_2

Hodges, R. E., & Minich, D. M. (2015). Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2015, 1-23. doi:10.1155/2015/760689



The Mold Gene: HLA-DRB1


I am a strong believer in epi-genetics.

Epi-genetics is the scientifically proven theory that your genes do not determine your health, but your environment is what determines whether a disease causing gene will express itself. Example: Because your mom had breast cancer, it does not mean that you are destined to breast cancer. If you eat no fruits and vegetables, live a high stress life style, use all plastic containers and drink from plastic water bottles, and don’t ever exercise – then you will be switching on your predisposition to breast cancer.

Environmental Factors Are:

  1. Development in utero and childhood
  2. Internal dialogue/thoughts you think on a daily basis
  3. What foods you eat
  4. Environmental chemicals that you are exposed to
  5. Drugs and medications that you take
  6. Methylation has been strongly linked to being able to activate or repress a gene. Methylation is part of phase 2 of liver detox where you utilize B vitamins and Folate to pull toxins out of your body so that you can excrete them. If you have a genetic weakness (such as the MTHFR) in that pathway of methylation, then you need to be taking methylated B vitamins to assist your body in detoxification and energy production.

Genetics are like the loaded gun, and the environment is what pulls the trigger. If you maintain a healthy environment , the trigger never gets pulled.


What Is The HLA-BRB1 Gene?

The HLA-DRB1 gene provides instructions for making a protein that plays an important role in how the immune system functions. The HLA-DRB1 gene is part of a family of genes called the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex. The HLA complex helps the immune system distinguish the body’s own proteins from proteins made by foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria.

In approximately 24% of the population, there is a mutation in this gene that causes even the smallest exposure to a biotoxin to wreak absolute havoc on a person’s immune system. These people cannot handle the environmental exposure to mold and they switch on the faulty gene & express symptoms rather quickly.

What This Means For You:

There are multiple kinds of variations in this gene, and based on which one you have it can express itself in the following ways:

  • Mild susceptibility to extreme susceptibility to being sick from mold exposure
  • More likelihood of contracting Chronic Lyme Disease/inability to fight it off
  • Susceptibility of being sick from ingesting Dinoflagellates (fish)
  • MARCoNS (A nasty nasal infection/sinusitis)
  • Low MSH
  • Developing Multiple Sclerosis
  • Developing Chronic Fatigue
  • Developing Chronic Fatigue from Lyme vaccine Lymerix – It will cause an inflammatory immune response in certain genotypes. In another genotype is worked well.
  • There are MAJOR contraindications from the Gardasil Vaccine for cervical cancers and should be avoided based on what variation of this gene you have.

If you already have one or more of these conditions, you definitely need to do the genetic test to find out what is going on inside your body on a cellular level and then take further steps to rid your body of these toxins and boost your immune system.

How To Test If You Have The Genetic Mutation In This Gene:

It is a simple blood test that you can have your doctor do. A lot of times doctors will say you don’t need it or they will not do it because they adhere to what the insurance companies deem appropriate to test for, which is wrong! Your doctor works for YOU. If you want a test done, you should be able to have it done. Individual insurances will vary so it’s best to call them and ask them if that is something you can do through insurance. If you do not have insurance or do not want to use insurance you can always go through Professional Co-op. They offer significantly discounted prices for lab testing. Life-Extension is another lab that does this test, but Professional Co-op is less expensive. Functional Medicine Practitioners will more than likely do this test for you.

What You Can Do To Detox Mold & Biotoxins From Your Body:


Activated Charcoal – This acts as a sponge and soaks up everything, allowing you to excrete toxins out through the bowels. In one study that looked at subjects who were fed deoxynivalenol (which is a mycotoxin that occurs in grains) and then given activated charcoal. The results were that after ingestion of charcoal there was no mycotoxin that could be detected in the blood.


NAC-60c_042115N-Acetyl Cysteine & Glutathione – NAC is an amino acid that converts into the master antioxidant Glutathione. Glutathione has a short half life, so if you can do both at the same time it will increase the circulation in your body longer. This combo is very useful in binding heavy metals, candida, toxins and detoxing the liver. In one case study of a woman who accidentally ingested toxic mushroom, she was treated with activated charcoal, NAC and after only 10 days she was healed and had no organ complications.


Chlorella – This is a green algae that has been shown to cleanse your intestines, bind to mold toxins and heavy metals and eliminate them through the bowels. It also cleanses the liver and the blood. Clean blood assures that metabolic waste will get carried away from your tissues. Chlorella also allows your body to process more oxygen (which lowers cancer risk). Studies conducted in Japan have evidenced that chlorella may also help reduce body fat, and help with weight related diabetes, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Another 3 year study conducted with 350 people who worked in a metal facility, were given chlorella to remove very toxic heavy metals: Mercury, Antimony, Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic. The results showed those who took chlorella had removed ALL heavy metal completely. –Note: Chlorella contains iron, so it is important for men to have their iron and ferritin levels checked. Women have their periods so it usually is not an issue for them


Cilantro – Cilantro is a green herb that also has a detoxification effect. It works with mold toxins and heavy metals.

As Dr. Mercola states, “You should always start any detox with chlorella gradually, taking just a small amount at first to see how your body tolerates this powerful detoxification tool. Some people also report benefits from beginning a detoxification by first eating small amounts of cilantro for a few days. Cilantro also promotes a detoxification response in your body, but at a less intense level — which may help your body ease into a smoother detoxification response from chlorella.”

waterrrExercise  & Drink Water – Toxins normally are sequestered in body fat. One of the best ways to remove stored toxins is to exercise! But also be sure to drink plenty of water. When you lose weight and don’t drink enough water, it will cause your toxins to flood the body because now there is less space for them to be stored, and more toxins all at once. It is VERY important that you drink at least half your body weight in ounces of pure water every day (and especially if you are detoxing).

All supplements and testing mentioned here are available at Dr. Jack’s Wellness Center.



Pictures Courtesy of:

Chlorella Powder

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