I follow a very clean lifestyle for the majority of the year. When the holiday's arrive, as most people, I tend to over indulge. I usualy follow my overindulgance with a cleanse and a diet. This year I decided to take a different approach. Most of my current research is on microbiomes and gut health. After taking a very close examination of my usual diet, I decided that some of my dietary choices may be affecting the balance of my gut flora in a negative way. There has been a lot of discussion on dietary choices and specific diet protocols. A lot of those discussions had bits and pieces pertaining to gut health, but nothing addressing a comprehensive approach to cleansing and repopulating the flora with the right amounts and types of microbiomes. This was the protocol I put together. I have had tremendous success with it. THE CLEANSE: Psyllium Husk This is taken twice a day, morning and before bed mixed in an 8 oz. glass of water Psyllium is also an excellent prebiotic. Diatomaceous Earth and Bentonite Clay I used this product, but there are others. Put one spoonfull in your psyllium at night. Mix the clay in a plastic glass with a non metalic spoon. Metal will interfere with the properties of the clay. Wormwood, Black Walnut Complex I have never considered the chance of having any kind of parasite and have never done anything to address the possibility. This is nasty stuff unless you love the taste of pure clove. I did a 10 day cycle, twice a day dissolved in a glass of water according to the directions on the product label. I used this product. Lemon and Essential Oil Liver Cleanse Squeeze 1 lemon and add to it 1 drop of food grade lemon essential oil and one drop of food grade peppermint oil. DRINK ALL THE WATER YOU CAN TOLERATE ON THIS CLEANSE!!! I can't stress this point enough. Water will help to flush away the toxins but it will also aid in the function of the clay. Bentonite can bind you up good if you don't have enough water and fiber. THE DIET: Fruit, apples, blueberries, oranges. Oatmeal Proteins like chicken or fish that are easily digested, no beef or pork. Plain Greek Yogurt Fermented sauerkraut or Kim Chee. Has to be fermented, not store bought. Dark chocolate (excellent prebiotic) High complex carb vegetables, some are a great source of resistant starch. Lentils, kidney beans, black beans. I won't go into amounts or caloric intake, you can proportion as you see fit for your purposes. AVOID Sugar, alcohol, processed food, simple carbs, wheat and gluten. This was the hard part for me as I gave up drinking wine and eating wheat toast. There is a purpose for avoiding gluten on the cleanse however. Regardless of whether you have a true problem digesting gluten, it irritates the gut of everyone to a certain degree. PROBIOTICS This is where you need to do your research. There are hundreds of probiotics on the market, but a relative handfull of effective ones. Learn the benefit of each individual strain and choose a probiotic that has an extended release or an enteric coating. Getting the right amount and the correct strains is critical. I went with this one. I am working on a big post regarding specific strains and their relative benefits. There is some fascinating new science and a burgeoning new field of psychobiotics.