This week’s topic is: Holistic Approach to Cleansing and Detoxing with Dr. Alejandro Junger
I am so excited to have a very special guest, Dr. Alejandro Junger, who is a New York Times best-selling author, LA-based cardiologist and founder of health and wellness company, CLEAN. Listen in as Dr. Junger shares how he went from being a cardiologist to running a company that focuses on a more holistic approach to cleansing and detoxing, and the 3 pillars of Clean!
- Dr Junger shares how he, as a cardiologist, became interested in a more holistic approach to cleansing and detoxing…
- What was Dr. Junger’s calling that encouraged him to live in India…
- Going beyond western medicine…
- Whether detoxing is too extreme of a lifestyle and how often one should detox…
- A breakdown of what the 3 pillars of Clean are…
- Ayurvedic body types and how they are treated…
- Intermittent fasting principles…
- Seven Ayurvedic herbs that are beneficial for the detox system…
- We discuss whether colonics and enemas are helpful when cleansing…
- How often you should do a 7 or 21 day cleanse…
- Foods and herbs that help support the liver and colon long-term…
- Meditation and how to stay present…
About Dr. Alejandro Junger
Dr. Alejandro Junger, MD, is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of health and wellness company CLEAN. CLEAN, launched in 2009, was inspired by Dr. Junger’s experiments to restore his own health. Dr. Junger was diagnosed with multiple ailments and none of the traditional treatments that he was prescribed solved his issues. He went on a journey to look at other schools of medicine, and found Ayurvedic medicine, among other things.
He completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine at NYU Downtown Hospital and a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at Lenox Hill Hospital before studying eastern medicine in India. This led him to developing the CLEAN program. In the years since he launched the program, his patients and followers have experienced benefits of upgrading and reclaiming their health and sense of wellbeing. A Uruguayan-born cardiologist and Functional Medicine practitioner, Dr. Junger is known for working with A-list celebrities, singer-songwriters, and countless other patients seeking to restore the balance of health.
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Dr. Junger’s Interview
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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly Snyder: Hi beauties, welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I am so excited for our special guest today who is sitting right next to me on the couch. His name is Dr. Alejandro Junger and he is a New York Times best-selling author, an LA based cardiologist and the founder of the health and wellness company, Clean. He also has a new book out that’s called Clean 7.
Dr. Junger: Yes.
Kimberly Snyder: Before we dive in, I have so many questions for you Dr. Junger and thank you for taking the trip up the mountains to sit with me. I always love-
Dr. Junger: I should pay you for [inaudible 00:00:37]
Fan Of The Week
Kimberly Snyder: … I always love being with guests in person. I just want to give a quick shout-out to our fan of the week, who is Cecilia29, she writes, “This review is long overdue. I look forward to listening to this incredible podcast every week. I absolutely love how Kimberly offers guidance on all aspects of health, physical, emotional, spiritual and diet.” Cecilia29, thank you so much for being our fan of the week. Sending a big virtual hug wherever you are. Thank you, thank you.
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Interview with Dr. Junger
Kimberly Snyder: All right, all that being said, Dr. Junger, thank you so much for being here with us today, coming up the hill. I know you live in Venice.
Dr. Junger: It was worth it, the view is incredible.
Kimberly Snyder: Isn’t it incredible? It’s so peaceful up here.
Dr. Junger: I know, very nice.
Dr Junger shares how he, as a cardiologist, became interested in a more holistic approach to cleansing and detoxing
Kimberly Snyder: When I was reading your bio, I was really interested in how, first of all, a cardiologist would become interested in cleansing and detoxing and a much more holistic approach. Most cardiologists I know are quite focused-
Dr. Junger: I really didn’t.
Kimberly Snyder: Tell us, how did this come about?
Dr. Junger: I didn’t really become interested in detox as a chosen curiosity.
Kimberly Snyder: What happened?
Dr. Junger: What happened is I got really sick. I was diagnosed with three diseases. I was given seven prescription medications.
Kimberly Snyder: Which diseases?
Dr. Junger: Irritable bowel syndrome, severe depression and severe allergies.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Dr. Junger: I was given seven prescription medications and this is already being a cardiologist. So, I had these two ah-ha moments. I wasn’t going to live that way, seven pills a day just in order to function. And the other ah-ha moment was, this is what I’m doing for my patients. So, I said, I’m going to find a different solution for my health issues. That took me, kicking and screaming to find detoxification. And then, when I found it, I was completely skeptical. I hadn’t learned this in medical [crosstalk 00:03:13]
Kimberly Snyder: Exactly, I was going to say, this is not part of your formal training.
Dr. Junger: It sounded like hokey pokey. But one thing that I am thankfully wired to, is not to argue with results or with success, or with disaster. So, when there’s disaster, you don’t do that anymore. When there’s success you try to really understand what’s going on and through cleansing and detoxification, I found not only the solution for my problems but eventually found the solution for hundreds of thousands of people.
Kimberly Snyder: So, did you try the medication route and you didn’t want to stay on the meds? Or right away, were you like, I’m going to seek alternatives?
Dr. Junger: I was so desperate that I did try.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay, I mean for three diseases that are quite debilitating.
Dr. Junger: Not for long though. I was given antidepressants and anti anxieties and they did not make me feel alive. They maybe they took that deep sadness or sense of doom that was paralyzing me but it wasn’t really a solution. And I understand that for a lot of people, it is. Hopefully, it is just a bridge until-
Kimberly Snyder: Temporary, yes.
Dr. Junger: … until they find what is really going to solve things from the root. And for me, it was detoxification.
Kimberly Snyder: How long ago was this?
Dr. Junger: This was in 2001 or 2002 when I found these things.
Kimberly Snyder: So you were a practicing cardiologist, seeing all these patients and suddenly-
Dr. Junger: I was living in Palm Springs.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay.
Dr. Junger: I had admission privileges in four hospitals, so morning rounds, I started at four, five in the morning. And then when I finished my four hospital morning rounds, I went to three different offices to work in different days where I saw more patients. And then I was on-call for overnight, many nights too. And I had gotten sick in New York while doing my training, when I was diagnosed. And then, I stopped everything. I graduated as a cardiologist, but I took off and I went to an ashram in India. And then I lived there for a while. I was exposed to-
Kimberly Snyder: What called you to India?
What was Dr. Junger’s calling that encouraged him to live in India
Dr. Junger: I had a very strong encounter with a spiritual teacher, with a guru, and she kind of-
Kimberly Snyder: Which one?
Dr. Junger: [Grumai 00:05:54]. And she smacked me on my chest and put me in this state which is what I aspire to-
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, I get goosebumps. So, you started learning how to meditate.
Dr. Junger: So, I started learning how to meditate. That’s the reason I went to India, to her ashram.
Kimberly Snyder: Was it in Rishikesh?
Dr. Junger: No. In a place called Ganeshpuri.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh.
Dr. Junger: It’s somewhere-
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, it’s somewhere in this vast, vast subcontinent. Okay, so you go to India, you’ve stopped practicing cardiology.
Dr. Junger: Well, once you’re a cardiologist, you’re always a cardiologist. Whether you’re working in [crosstalk 00:06:35]
Kimberly Snyder: Sure, you had all that training for a bajillion years.
Dr. Junger: … so every time you see somebody and they have a cardiology problem, you recognize it and you do something about it. But then I started adding other things too-
Kimberly Snyder: Well, when you were a trained doctor, was it really like, okay, here’s the issues with the heart, here’s medication, here’s surgery. You had no training formally up until that point about diet or food or …
Dr. Junger: Very little.
Kimberly Snyder: Nothing. They don’t really cover that in medical school, do they?
Dr. Junger: They don’t and they don’t cover that in hospitals. So, that means you have to look at the hospital’s cafeteria and see what they’re feeding [crosstalk 00:07:11]
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, they give them Ensure. The gross drink, they tried to give my mom when she was in there. I said, “No way.”
Dr. Junger: Yeah. So, I hadn’t had any and in fact neither of any of the three doctors that I saw, gastroenterologist, allergist and a psychiatrist, nobody asked what I ate, and I wasn’t-
Kimberly Snyder: Jeez, with IBS? Can you imagine?
Dr. Junger: Yeah, I can imagine, because I lived it.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah.
Dr. Junger: Yeah, so took off in the ashram. Food was not only vegetarian but prepared with love.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, and Ayurveda concepts.
Dr. Junger: And I was working, running the first aid station there. We saw people from all over the world that were living there. And also-
Kimberly Snyder: You were volunteering?
Dr. Junger: Yep.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, wow.
Dr. Junger: So also I was running the first aid station, a little clinic there. And also, we were going in a bus turned hospital around the poorest towns and villages where we, at any given day had up to three, 400 patients. They had walked for two weeks to see us.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Dr. Junger: Yeah, it was crazy. But, living there, I started getting a little better. Not fully but a little better. With all the meditation and all the vegetarian food and everything, and then I came back to the States to Palm Springs to work in the hospitals and I got sicker than even before.
Kimberly Snyder: Did you go back to the diet that you were eating before you left?
Dr. Junger: Well, yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: What was your diet? Were you eating a lot of meat and dairy?
Dr. Junger: I was on a see food diet. I saw food, I ate it. Whatever I see, I eat.
Kimberly Snyder: So, you were eating whatever.
Dr. Junger: Yeah, whatever.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah.
Dr. Junger: And then one day this guy comes to my house, whom I had seen 10 days before, and he was just like a lit bulb, shining, glowing and had lost a bunch of weight. And I had saw him 10 days before and said, “What the hell?” And he said, “Well, I just came from a detox center. Come, I can show you.” It was just a five minute drive from where I was living in Palm Springs. Called the We Care Spa. And he took me there and the owner is an Argentinian woman who not only speaks my language but super smart and super well-read.
Kimberly Snyder: Tuned in, yeah.
Dr. Junger: Tuned in and years of practice of guiding people through this. And she basically started me on this journey of detox. Through which in the first 10 days I got rid of all my problems. Not only that, I was looking and feeling 10 years younger. So, I said, well-
Kimberly Snyder: What were you eating in that time? Pure vegan? Mostly raw vegan?
Dr. Junger: Those 10 days were just juices, tonics, enzymes, probiotics. Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: All the good stuff.
Dr. Junger: Well, some of the good stuff. So, I transformed myself to the point that all my friends, my family, my patients, they were asking me, “What are you doing?”
Kimberly Snyder: So then you went back to being a cardiologist?
Dr. Junger: It’s not that I went back, I never stopped being a cardiologist.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, I mean you took a break to go to India.
Dr. Junger: I didn’t take a break. I took a break from the establishment, working in an office.
Kimberly Snyder: Sure, going to that hospital.
Dr. Junger: With nurses and seven minutes per patient, yeah, I took a break of that. I was working again there, which made me really sick, because this is a competitive cutthroat business.
Kimberly Snyder: And it must have felt strange to come back into that environment where it’s just medication and surgery and no one’s talking about food and lifestyle and eliminating inflammatory foods, all the aspects of detoxing.
Dr. Junger: Yep, I mean-
Kimberly Snyder: Start to feel disconnected.
Going beyond western medicine
Dr. Junger: In a way. I mean, I wasn’t fully there yet. But then I started really studying and learning and then whatever I saw happening at the We Care Center which I thought was magic or … I then discovered the Institute for Functional Medicine, which in the language of medical school, in the language of Western medicine, explained to me all things that I already knew, but grouped them and connected them in a different way. So, for example, I knew what the liver was, I knew what the kidney was, I knew what the lymphatic system was. But I never thought of all these things as forming, as being part of a system, the detoxification system.
Dr. Junger: So, once I understand what this system works and why it works and how it works and how you can strengthen it, accelerate it, optimize it, then I started getting incredible results with people.
Kimberly Snyder: So, let me ask you Dr. Junger, so detox is something we’ve been talking about in the community for years. So, it’s something that’s of great interest to me as well. And I always look at it as two types of detox, as I call it, the ones where you go onto a program or you do a juice fast, you do a set amount of time where you really go in deep. And then your everyday life, which isn’t a diet, more of a lifestyle incorporating more fiber, taking probiotics. Just how you live your life because sometimes we get a lot of questions about, “Oh, detox seems really extreme. Is it just something I do once a year versus how I live?” So, can you tell us a little bit about, because we are detoxing all the time, your perspective.
Whether detoxing is too extreme of a lifestyle and how often one should detox
Dr. Junger: A detox program is, you hire a crew of cleaners and in three days, you clean every single corner of your house. In between those lines on the ceiling, everywhere. That’s a detox program.
Kimberly Snyder: But what about in between the cleanings?
Dr. Junger: In between, you got to keep your house somewhat clean or clean. It’s just not everyday you’re going to the ceiling, stairs, you clean every corner and you go under the carpet. Then today you vacuum, you clean the windows and everything looks good. But if somebody comes and does a deep cleaning, they’re going to notice stuff. We can go around your house, I’ll show you some spider webs if you want.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, for sure. So yeah, so, how often do you think people should do that deep clean?
Dr. Junger: Well, it depends on how dirty your house is. It depends on what you do between deep cleaning. Another example that I use is, detox programs are like taking a shower. And how often you need to shower depends on what you do between showers.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s right. That’s right. So, it just depends. It’s so individual. Depends on the state of the person, their diet, their lifestyle, their constitution.
Dr. Junger: Yeah, some people should detox for the next three years. Other people should detox once every three years. It depends.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, tell us about your three pillars of clean.
A breakdown of what the 3 pillars of Clean are
Dr. Junger: Many years ago I wrote a book called Clean, which is a 21 day program that is transformational. People that do it sometimes become health gurus themselves. They go into it and they end up studying. I can name a few. As transformation as it is, I realized that not as many people as they need are doing it. And for years I’ve been looking into it and understood that 21 days for the average Joe or Josephine in America is a big commitment, so-
Kimberly Snyder: It is, and people are busy and they have families.
Dr. Junger: People are busy, there’s birthday parties and [crosstalk 00:15:21] and holidays.
Kimberly Snyder: And work gets busy.
Dr. Junger: And work, so a lot of people were not engaging because it was too long. So, I used to tell people, well, do the first seven days of the 21 days. But it happens that in the first week usually on a detox program, it’s the worst week. So-
Kimberly Snyder: Oh yes. When your skin starts breaking out, you start getting headaches.
Dr. Junger: … for 10 years I’ve been looking for ways to shorten the time and deepen, accelerate, intensify the results. And I did, by combining my first book, my 21 day program, these are basically concepts that I learned from functional medicine and just from life in general.
Kimberly Snyder: So, you went back to the functional medicine school? You studied with them too?
Dr. Junger: I’ve been studying with them since I discovered all these things. I’m a functional medicine student.
Kimberly Snyder: Are they here in LA too?
Dr. Junger: They’re all over the world, yeah. But then, I started going to India. I studied with my Ayurvedic medicine master. I was lucky that I was one of the last ones that he taught.
Kimberly Snyder: In India?
Dr. Junger: In India, in Lucknow. He was a legend, amazing. A Dr. Narendra Singh and he taught me about certain Ayurvedic medicine principles that specifically will enhance the Clean Program, because he had read my book. And when he saw me, he said, he was a very serious man and he said, “This is an Ayurvedic medicine book.” I said, “No, Narendra, this is a functional medicine book.” He said, “Same thing.”
Kimberly Snyder: Like principles of Panchakarma and cleansing were already woven in.
Dr. Junger: Principles of Panchakarma and cleansing were not woven in and they’re still not woven in because the principles that I learned from him that would really enhance cleansing and detoxification were observing the Dosha, the diet-
Kimberly Snyder: Being more specific to your body type?
Ayurvedic body types and how they are treated
Dr. Junger: More specific to your body type, so, he said, “You’re treating everybody the same and they will get results but there’s differences between Kapha, Pitta, Vata.” And then he taught me what herbs to use as well. And that’s where I was like, whoa. In seven days now, somebody can have a full on experience. Not the 21 day full on experience, but full on enough that people would be excited, inspired and make a commitment to continue. Or, at least apply many of these principles on a daily basis.
Kimberly Snyder: And in Clean 7 there’s some kind of self-diagnosis or quiz so people can tell their body type.
Dr. Junger: Which is pretty okay. You don’t need to a-
Kimberly Snyder: Can I tell what, I mean, what I am by looking at me?
Dr. Junger: I cannot, because I’m not an Ayurvedic medicine expert. So, I do know how to use certain Ayurvedic medicine principles within what I do. I am though, very interested, and I’ve since then, for the last 10 years, I’ve been looking into it.
Kimberly Snyder: The pulse reading and …
Dr. Junger: But I’m not that guy that’s going to pretend that he’s an Ayurvedic medicine master.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, there’s some physical characteristics they say but then there’s a lot of nuances too.
Dr. Junger: There are. But I tried to guess and I’m falling short. Give me a few years and then I’ll come back and look at you and tell you.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, I’ve two Ayurvedic doctors say I’m actually tridoshic, but when imbalanced my-
Dr. Junger: So it was a tricky question.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, it was a trick question. But my Vata definitely is the one that gets imbalanced. Okay, so you started incorporating Ayurvedic principles into the program.
Dr. Junger: And intermittent fasting principles.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay, so let’s talk about that, because there’s so many different forms of IF.
Intermittent fasting principles
Dr. Junger: And now, with Clean 7 the program, is a seven day program that has functional medicine principles, Ayurvedic medicine principles, intermittent fasting principles. So, from functional medicine, I borrow the elimination diet, which is a powerful way of eliminating everything that allergic, that causes other food sensitivity, that causes severe acidity or mucus forming.
Kimberly Snyder: So, in your program Doctor, do you eliminate one at a time so you can tell?
Dr. Junger: No.
Kimberly Snyder: How do you know, how do you identify?
Dr. Junger: Okay, so you eliminate all at once.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, keep it super simple.
Dr. Junger: But not only super simple, there is a misconception, some people try to quit sugar and they have a really difficult time. Some people try to quit gluten and they have … so they think, “Oh my God, if sugar is difficult, gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol, coffee, oranges is going to be impossible.” But the truth is, that in practical terms, the people that eliminate everything at the same time can do it way better. Because what happens is, one of the food groups triggers the compulsion to eat another. For example, if you have bread then you have a high of … at the beginning of the gluten and then with the low ones, you are craving sugar.
Kimberly Snyder: You want caffeine or coffee, yeah.
Dr. Junger: You compensate for one of the two. So, when quit one and you take the other, it’s impossible. If you quit every one at the same time-
Kimberly Snyder: But it’s for seven days.
Dr. Junger: Well, if you want to do Clean 7 it’s for seven days. If you want to do a Clean Program it’s for 21 days but which ever-
Kimberly Snyder: Well then, what after that?
Dr. Junger: So, from functional medicine, I get the elimination diet, and the five R’s, which is removing all the toxins, not only in your food but in your cosmetics, in your household-
Kimberly Snyder: Class cleaning, yeah.
Dr. Junger: Yeah. Removing toxins, removing yourself from toxic situations, removing the triggers and sources of toxic emotions.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, you talk about relationships a little bit?
Dr. Junger: A little bit.
Kimberly Snyder: Because that can be-
Dr. Junger: I’m no expert, but I’ve had relationships.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, well, you know how toxic that can be?
Dr. Junger: Well, I can give a lecture on that. I’m an old man, I’ve lived a lot. I’ve seen a lot. And then so, remove. Replace, by replacing all the nutrients that are needed, replacing the other things like relaxation, sleep. Then, reinoculation, with good bacteria because in the removal part is also removal of the bad flora. So, reinoculation with the good bacteria, with the good fungi. Then, relaxation. Those are the five R’s from functional medicine. That’s one of the pillars of Clean 7, of the program.
Dr. Junger: Another pillar is, Ayurvedic medicine. So you have the Doshas. You have a questionnaire that you can answer, what Dosha you are in there. And the way I apply the Dosha system to my detox program is the elimination diet gives you basically the five big groups, gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol and coffee. And then to that you add the foods that your Dosha recommends that you eat less, or none of. So, depending on which one you are, if you’re fire, if you’re Pitta-
Kimberly Snyder: Less onions and garlic.
Dr. Junger: Yeah, less spicy foods, less mango, all the things that whose Dosha is the same as the one that you’re trying to avoid.
Kimberly Snyder: No, I never heard that about mangoes. Is mango bad for Pitta?
Dr. Junger: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: How come?
Dr. Junger: I don’t know. I learned it in [crosstalk 00:23:36] there’s this woman that had really bad sweats and hives-
Kimberly Snyder: Wow, from mangoes?
Dr. Junger: From when she was drinking mango juice all the time and the Ayurvedic doctor at that time said stop the … I wanted to give an anti allergic, she said, “Nah, nah, nah, stop the mango for a few days.” She stopped and all her hives went away.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow. Incredible.
Seven Ayurvedic herbs that are beneficial for the detox system
Dr. Junger: So, the dosh distinction and the Dosha diet and Ayurvedic herbs. So, I use seven Ayurvedic herbs that are really beneficial for the detox system in itself.
Kimberly Snyder: Like, which ones?
Dr. Junger: Turmeric, ashwagandha, Moringa, shatavari for women.
Kimberly Snyder: Shatavari’s amazing. Now, we hear ashwagandha’s strengthening, how does it help with detox?
Dr. Junger: Well, ashwagandha’s not only strengthening, but it’s also calming if the situation’s stressed. Ashwagandha is a big time adaptogen, so that means that whenever there’s a hyper, in terms of adrenals, emotions and blood pressure, it’ll bring it down. And if there’s a low of that, it’ll bring it up because it’s a balancing hormone.
Kimberly Snyder: Amazing.
Dr. Junger: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: And how do you recommend people-
Dr. Junger: [inaudible 00:25:01] the mother herb of Ayurvedic medicine. It’s good for everything.
Kimberly Snyder: How do you take the herbs in your program? In hot water or with food?
Dr. Junger: So, the book describes how do to the program without you needing to buy anything, except the herbs, that you can by anywhere. And those you take according to the instructions on the bottle. I recommend the brand Organic India which, disclosure, owns half of my company as well. But-
Kimberly Snyder: They have tea.
Dr. Junger: Yeah, they have tea and the best, most powerful, freshest, most prana containing Ayurvedic herbs in the world because of the way that they grow them, organically, biodynaically-
Kimberly Snyder: That makes a big difference.
Dr. Junger: … regenerative agriculture. And the incredible standard of quality. Even their factory in India, it’s platinum leads, you know, the building of the factory, so these people are serious. And the reason I even let them buy half of my company is because, for me, it’s what I aspire to be, is like them. The way they do business, the quality that they … so our kit is with shakes that have all come from organic biodynamic farms with pea protein and some rice protein and all the Ayurvedic herbs within the shake itself. And some of them that would give the shake-
Kimberly Snyder: Bitter, yeah.
Dr. Junger: … too bad taste, we provide them as pills, and the teas. And so it’s a little box with all the shakes, the teas and the supplements. Or you can just make your own shakes according to the recipes in the book. And then buy your own Ayurvedic herbs. So you can take them, Ayurvedic herbs are good whole, in tea form, in tincture form.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, I know certain herbs, the hot water helps to activate some of the properties in tea. Okay, so Ayurvedic principles and then the third was intermittent fasting.
Dr. Junger: And then I needed a humph to … and that’s the intermittent fasting. Because when you go into the fasting state, then something happens that you cannot achieve if you don’t go into the fasting stage.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, you body turns on autophagy, it starts cleaning itself.
Dr. Junger: Yeah, maybe autophagy doesn’t turn on in 24 hours.
Kimberly Snyder: So, is this 24 hours, because there’s so many different kinds of IF.
Dr. Junger: We do seven days, 24 hours [crosstalk 00:27:45] but I build you up to that. Most people are not accustomed or even-
Kimberly Snyder: We’re so attached to food.
Dr. Junger: Yeah. And nobody’s fasted, except if you’re a Jew and you fasted in Yom Kippur or if you’re-
Kimberly Snyder: A Muslim on Ramadan.
Dr. Junger: But Ramadan, you don’t stop eating for 24 hours.
Kimberly Snyder: I think you eat when the sun goes does. I’m not sure.
Dr. Junger: I’m not sure either but there’s forms of fasting in religion and people have experienced it through those channels. But [crosstalk 00:28:19]
Kimberly Snyder: The average person in the United States hasn’t.
Dr. Junger: … so, from day one to day two, you wait 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. From day two to day three you wait 14, day three to four you wait 16, so you have dinner earlier and you wait until you have breakfast, that’s 16 hours. And then on the fourth to the fifth day, it’s 24 hours. After lunch one day you don’t have anything but tea until lunch next day.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Dr. Junger: So, that really just-
Kimberly Snyder: Turns it on.
Dr. Junger: … gives it the turbo effect. And people just feel amazing after it. I mean, not as profound and as completely as when you do a deep, deep cleaning of 21 days because biology takes its time to do certain things. And what is done in 21 days you can’t do in seven, no matter how connected-
Kimberly Snyder: No, but it’s a good jump start.
Dr. Junger: But it’s a really good jump start. And a really good way of also maintaining.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, what do you think Doctor when you were mentioning about the program or when you started getting into this colonics and enemas. Do you recommend people to do … because and I’ll just say, personally, when I was in New York, I used to be very constipated and I had a lot of bloating issues. There was a period in my life where colonics were really helpful, personally. I did gravity ones. But, I think it’s really dependent on the practitioner. It depends on people’s bodies. Now, I have an enema kit which I use sometimes, not right now that I’m pregnant, but what do you think?
We discuss whether colonics and enemas are helpful when cleansing
Dr. Junger: I think that colonics can be really helpful. I think they can turn into an addiction and that’s dangerous.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes, because then you’re just overusing them.
Dr. Junger: You’re absolutely right, this is an operator dependent [crosstalk 00:30:13]
Kimberly Snyder: Yes. It’s not one size fits all.
Dr. Junger: Yes. So, a bad operator can kill you. If you have diverticula and they put too much pressure and they burst even so-
Kimberly Snyder: Well, people with diverticulitis aren’t even supposed to do colonics, are they?
Dr. Junger: No. But the bad operators don’t even ask the questions. A lot of people don’t even know, so how can you fit to everybody. But a good gentle experienced operator, colonic therapist, will not burst your diverticula, even if you have them and you don’t know. So, yeah, operator dependent, very important. But it’s also the context. When are you having colonics? If you have them during detox times when actually stool can get stickier than normal because this is a moment in which you’ve been accumulating mucus and fat, which is what the body does in order to defend itself and buffer itself from all the toxic chemicals that we’re exposed to. Plus the ones that are produced internally as waste products of our metabolism. The body, in order to first buffer that irritation, generates and retains mucus and fat which in Ayurvedic medicine is called ama.
Kimberly Snyder: Mm-hmm (affirmative), sticky.
Dr. Junger: Ama, sticky. So, once you start detoxing, once you reduce the load of toxins that you’re exposed to and that are circulating in your blood, you support the liver nutritionally so it can do its work of detoxification. You also, somehow, give the intestinal flora some strength, because the intestinal flora itself is in charge of 30 to 40 to 50, depending on who you are, percent of the detoxification work in the body.
Dr. Junger: Once all these things start happening, then the body doesn’t have the need to retain all that mucus and it starts dumping it. The major sites through which it’s dumped is the stool. You can’t sweat mucus, you cannot breathe mucus out, you cannot pee mucus, you-
Kimberly Snyder: It comes out through the stool.
Dr. Junger: … have to shit it out.
Kimberly Snyder: Right.
Dr. Junger: So, that’s when this, from the walls of the intestines, everybody’s used to thinking of the walls of the intestines as a place that food goes into the blood. But the intestines also do the reverse. From the blood, they grab stuff, dump it into the intestine. When they start dumping all this sticky stuff it just sticks and it takes a shape like old paint, you know [crosstalk 00:33:05]
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, it gets impacted.
Dr. Junger: Yeah. And then that, when it comes out, you see it, it’s like, in the shape of a colon and shows you [crosstalk 00:33:13]
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, it looks like rope.
Dr. Junger: That’s called plaque, intestinal plaque.
Kimberly Snyder: It’s like, black. I’ve seen it black come out of my body, yeah.
Dr. Junger: So, that is a result of you dumping all that mucus and that fat that you now don’t need to retain anymore because you’re reducing the work, you’re reducing the exposure and the adsorption of toxins. And you are accelerating and supporting its conversion to non-toxic and water solubles so that it can be eliminated. Everything is connected.
Kimberly Snyder: Do you think at a certain point you get rid of most of that deep plaque and if you’re maintaining a pretty healthy lifestyle, little build up comes but not that rope that takes years or do you think it’s something-
Dr. Junger: Absolutely.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah.
Dr. Junger: Absolutely. But that rope takes a little time to come out.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Junger: That doesn’t happen in the first seven days.
Kimberly Snyder: No, it’s a long term.
Dr. Junger: But in 21 days or you know, that’s when it starts happening. And that’s when transformations happen. You see them right in front of your eyes.
Kimberly Snyder: Also Doctor, how often now do you do a seven day or 21 day cleanse?
How often you should do a 7 or 21 day cleanse
Dr. Junger: So-
Kimberly Snyder: Personally.
Dr. Junger: … when I first started, I needed to do two, three a year. Then less. Then less. Then, like everybody else, I go through good times and bad times, so I’ve fallen in really bad habits again-
Kimberly Snyder: Yes, we all do. Thank you for being real. I hate it when people pretend that they’re prefect, we all eat crap.
Dr. Junger: [inaudible 00:34:45] when you need money or stress, so like a lot of people, I revert to crap, then I get coffee again. So, then I do, again. I’m always trying things.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, it’s like a rhythm.
Dr. Junger: Like for example, right now, every morning for the last month, every morning I wake up and I wait a little bit then I have 16 or 20 ounces of celery juice, pure celery juice. You know the medical medium?
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Junger: He’s a good friend of mine.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes, I saw he wrote the intro to the book.
Dr. Junger: Yes, and he wrote to intro to my book, I wrote the intro to his first book.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay, I know he’s super into celery juice.
Dr. Junger: I’ve known about the celery juice for years-
Kimberly Snyder: I put celery in my GGS, our most popular smoothie.
Dr. Junger: … but it’s not the same putting celery in your-
Kimberly Snyder: You think it has to be pure?
Dr. Junger: Well, that’s what he says. And that’s what the people that are getting these crazy results-
Kimberly Snyder: It’s very mixed some of the stuff I hear, but it’s interesting.
Dr. Junger: Well, listen, I’ve watched enough that I say-
Kimberly Snyder: It’s working for you.
Dr. Junger: Not only for me, for a lot of people I know. And for a lot of people, all you have to do is turn his Instagram story and see, he posts. Anyway, that’s what I’m doing now. Then I wait. I don’t have anything until two, three in the afternoon. And then, there I have a big meal or the big meal, which basically is salad or I do eat meat, I do eat chicken, I do eat fish. I eat everything. But everything that’s healthy. If I eat fish, it’s caught in the ocean. If I eat chicken it’s range free, hormone free, antibiotic free and so I have a meal. And then sometimes I don’t have anything else until the next day. Or sometimes I have a big clean shake at night. So I’m trying with this-
Kimberly Snyder: Trying different things. This would not be a good protocol for pregnant women. I’m hungry listening to that. Obviously there’s periods, pregnancy, lactation-
Dr. Junger: [inaudible 00:36:59] good for pregnancy. One shouldn’t be detoxing when you’re pregnant.
Kimberly Snyder: No, it’s not the time. You’re building.
Dr. Junger: You should be eating really good nourishing food and get away from any drastic program.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, Doctor, I hear you talking a lot, a couple of times you talked about the liver functionality and supporting the colon. What, in between your program, which I’m sure you talk about in your book as well, what are some foods and herbs that you have seen in your work really support the liver and the colon longer term that people listening to this can start incorporating on a more regular basis?
Foods and herbs that help support the liver and colon long-term
Dr. Junger: So, the liver is really where most of the chemical reactions that convert lipophilic, meaning only fat soluble toxins into non toxic hydrosoluble compounds or molecules so that those can be eliminated through sweat, urine, breath and feces. We can only eliminate stuff that is water soluble. We can eliminate stuff that is fat soluble. So, that’s what the liver does. Just through certain enzymes, the conjugating enzymes and the P450 enzyme in the liver, they do all this, they effect all these chemical reactions. They need certain nutrients to do it. They take away this couple of atoms from that toxic molecule and they add this other couple of atoms. And now this toxic molecule is now non toxic.
Dr. Junger: Now, the other couple of atoms, where do they come from? From food. Those are nutrients. Plus you need the anti oxidants because these chemicals are oxidative when they’re circulating around, so we want to protect. So, that is how you can support the liver nutritionally. You make sure you have clean food. First of all, you have to stop the source of toxic chemicals in your food. So, don’t eat anything that has chemicals.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, processed.
Dr. Junger: Yeah. Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds.
Kimberly Snyder: Clean.
Dr. Junger: Clean foods.
Kimberly Snyder: Back to your book title, yes.
Dr. Junger: Clean whole foods, not food [crosstalk 00:39:25]
Kimberly Snyder: So, in general, okay.
Dr. Junger: So in general.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Junger: If you want to be more specific, for the liver you can use things like Silymarin and you can use things as tulsi-
Kimberly Snyder: Milk thistle.
Dr. Junger: Yeah, Silymarin and [crosstalk 00:39:41]
Kimberly Snyder: Okay. Do you think that’s, have you found that to be quite effective?
Dr. Junger: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay. Like a tea?
Dr. Junger: Yep. Well, you can take it as pills and you can take it in tea too.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay.
Dr. Junger: So there are supplements that will support the liver. And then there’s a lot of other things-
Kimberly Snyder: And tulsi’s good for the liver.
Dr. Junger: … you need sulfur compounds, you need for detoxification, those come in garlic and onion, but if you’re not having those, then you better take them so that the liver can use them up and those for those chemical reactions.
Kimberly Snyder: Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative), and-
Dr. Junger: [inaudible 00:40:16] and there’s hundreds of things that you can use to enhance the liver’s function, to optimize the liver’s function.
Kimberly Snyder: But I like how you started with, don’t make the liver’s job so hard in the first place.
Dr. Junger: Yes.
Kimberly Snyder: Don’t eat a ton of fried vegetable oils, processed foods, all this stuff.
Dr. Junger: My sister is suffering with migraines. And so she did the Clean Program and migraines disappeared immediately. But then she went through a stressful time and she calls me back and she says, “Oh, can you find out,” because she lives in Uruguay, “Can you find out what’s the latest medication in-
Kimberly Snyder: She lives in Uruguay?
Dr. Junger: Yeah. “What’s the latest medication for migraines in America? Can you please find out?” I said, “Listen, you just three weeks ago, finished the Clean Program. You had no migraines whatsoever during it, but you started eating the crap again, so you remind me of the man that sits on tacks and starts having pain in his [inaudible 00:41:22] and asks for asprin instead of taking the tack out of his butt.”
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, wow. It’s so funny, sometimes it just seems … I mean, for us, once you’ve connected the dots, they’re there, but sometimes people don’t see it.
Dr. Junger: Even once you’ve connected to dots, you can get easily confused when you’re going through difficult times.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes. So, do you talk about, in your program at all, or I don’t know if it’s in your book but just in general with your patients now to incorporate lifestyle practices like meditation?
Meditation and how to stay present
Dr. Junger: Yes.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay, good.
Dr. Junger: And I-
Kimberly Snyder: Because this is where it all started, when you went to India, and you were drawn to meditation.
Dr. Junger: … I don’t want to say further because it’s nothing better or worse but I … most meditation techniques and practices are the ones in which you sit, you close your eyes, you put your hands like this, you breathe and you say prayers. Or you follow your breath or you repeat a mantra. But then, you open your eyes and you stand up and you have to do your life. And that kind of goes.
Kimberly Snyder: Wipes it out.
Dr. Junger: Kind of. Unless you’ve been doing it for a long time. So, I follow certain teachings that allow me to become present at any given time. Say for example, right now. I’m talking to you, I’m looking at you, but I’m also noticing the mountains behind you and the big quartz that you have there and chair, and the camera that’s filming, the thing that’s in between that, so I make a small sudden mental note of those things at all times.
Kimberly Snyder: And that keeps you very present?
Dr. Junger: Well, those things are in the present, so that is my attention, some of my attention being anchored in the present. So, it makes me more present. Or, for example, I put some of my attention on feet. So, right now, as you speak to me, put some of your attention on your feet. Feel your feet. Feel them from inside. Feel the temperature, the humidity, feel them touching the floor. Don’t move them.
Kimberly Snyder: I just wiggled my toes. All right, I won’t move them.
Dr. Junger: You don’t need to move them.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, just feel the aliveness. The energy. Yes, I feel them.
Dr. Junger: So, feel them touching, feel the temperature. So, keep on doing it. Now, two minutes ago, when we were talking, the feet were non-existent in your awareness.
Kimberly Snyder: Correct.
Dr. Junger: But now they are. Keep on doing it. So, I’m looking at everything. I’m feeling my feet. I’m also listening to everything, which is a little difficult with these things because now I’m only listening to you. But in general, I would be hearing the bird chirping and the cars go by and maybe the heater turning on and off. And all of that anchors you in the present.
Kimberly Snyder: Does that help you stop following thought patterns?
Dr. Junger: Imagine this, not imagine, but think of this. We have a certain amount of attention to be used at any given time. Now, that attention, it either goes into things in the present or is sucked by the vortex of negative repetitive thinking. When that-
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Junger: … now if you’re really focused, like when you were feeling your feet, you forgot but now start feeling them.
Kimberly Snyder: I know, I did forget. I feel them now.
Dr. Junger: Yeah. So, now check how just doing that, everything kind of settles.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, it’s harder to focus on your feet and follow all the thoughts.
Dr. Junger: And be pulled away from here now by your thoughts. Which is what happens to all of us all the time.
Kimberly Snyder: It’s interesting because I was so focused on you and our conversation, but then with the feet, I’m like, oh, am I splitting it, but no because I’m still with you but it’s part of the present.
Dr. Junger: Not only you’re with me, you are more present with me because whatever you are giving me, part of it was going to the next question that you’re going to ask or just interpreting or maybe remembering that your toddler needs breast or whatever it is.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s true.
Dr. Junger: But when you’re feeling your feet and listening to me, those are not taking you away. You are really present.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, that’s interesting Doctor. That is interesting. So, you are practicing presence all day long.
Dr. Junger: Not only 20 minutes in the morning but [crosstalk 00:45:55]
Kimberly Snyder: I love that, that’s beautiful.
Dr. Junger: Which is great to do that.
Kimberly Snyder: And it gets easier.
Dr. Junger: One doesn’t replace the other.
Kimberly Snyder: Sure.
Dr. Junger: Two different-
Kimberly Snyder: Well, it’s keeping you anchored in between the sitting mediations.
Dr. Junger: Yeah. The sitting meditations are great. They’re really important. You’re not taking anything away from them, but that’s why I started by saying maybe I go a step further. But I don’t know if it’s a step further. I think it’s just one more tool.
Kimberly Snyder: It is, it’s integration with daily life.
Dr. Junger: It’s a tool that you can use all day long.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, I think so many people eat mindlessly. And just grabbing food you don’t realize you’re eating, you don’t realize you’re snacking, you don’t know when you’re full. So, being present, which we hear a lot but the actual practice of it could really help a lot of people.
Dr. Junger: And think about this. You forgot about your feet again but I won’t put you [crosstalk 00:46:55]
Kimberly Snyder: I forgot about my feet.
Dr. Junger: Listen, it’s easy to stick with, once you’ve been practicing in the long-
Kimberly Snyder: How’d you know?
Dr. Junger: You can see. You can see, feel it or sense.
Kimberly Snyder: You could tell I forgot about my feet?
Dr. Junger: I can tell you the moment the attention goes away from-
Kimberly Snyder: Oh my God.
Dr. Junger: … but because I’m doing it.
Kimberly Snyder: You’re on your feet still?
Dr. Junger: Since I came in.
Kimberly Snyder: Damn.
Dr. Junger: So-
Kimberly Snyder: For like an hour you’ve been with your feet?
Dr. Junger: Well, it went away at times when I got excited about telling you things but-
Kimberly Snyder: In the car, when you’re driving, you’re with your feet?
Dr. Junger: No, I was listening to Howard Stern, so it was completely out of my mind.
Kimberly Snyder: So it’s when you …
Dr. Junger: It’s when I remember.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay.
Dr. Junger: Sometimes I [crosstalk 00:47:35]
Kimberly Snyder: But is your goal to be on your feet all the time?
Dr. Junger: My goal is to be present all the time.
Kimberly Snyder: Right, I mean like, yeah, using the feet.
Dr. Junger: [inaudible 00:47:41] constant at that time, that would be a consequence of it, not the cause of it.
Kimberly Snyder: Got it. Wow. Let me try that.
Dr. Junger: At any time. I tell people to do that even when they go to an important meeting and they say, “Oh, why would I do … put attention my feet or the surroundings, I have to be,” but that’s really not true. Because when you have to really be on something, your fears, your things, they may interfere, but when you’re of the present, nothing interferes anymore. You don’t even need to think about how you’re going to say what you’re going to say, it just flows out.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s amazing. Well, Doctor, you really … I’ve been studying meditation for a long time too, different aspects, but this idea is something that’s very new for me and I’m going to try it, so thank you so much.
Dr. Junger: If you want to read an interesting book-
Kimberly Snyder: Tell me.
Dr. Junger: … apart from mine.
Kimberly Snyder: Of course.
Dr. Junger: In Search of the Miraculous.
Kimberly Snyder: Who is the author?
Dr. Junger: Pyotr Demianovich Ouspenskii, he’s a-
Kimberly Snyder: Oh yes.
Dr. Junger: … a Russian philosopher.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes, I think he’s referenced in Be Here Now.
Dr. Junger: For sure.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes, yes, yes.
Dr. Junger: So, he studied under a teacher called George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was just an incredible man.
Kimberly Snyder: In Search of the Miraculous, I will buy it today.
Dr. Junger: Very controversial but these distinctions that I’m talking about, that’s where I got it from.
Kimberly Snyder: Amazing. Well, Dr. Junger, I could pick your brain all day, but thank you so much for coming. I’m glad we did this in person so you could see that I wasn’t thinking about my feet. Obviously so much knowledge.
Kimberly Snyder: Beauties, we will link in the show notes to information about Dr. Junger, his website, cleanprogram.com, his new book called Clean 7.
Dr. Junger: Instagram, Dr. Alejandro Junger.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes, and we will link to that as well. Also, @cleanprogram, we have here. So, thank you so much Doctor. This has been really fascinating.
Dr. Junger: My pleasure.
Kimberly Snyder: And thank you so much Beauties for tuning in. As always, we are back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast. We have lots of resources for you, including the show notes from today’s interview over on our website, mysolluna.com and we’re on social @_KimberlySnyder. Thank you Beauties, take great care of yourself, keep the questions coming on the website and sending you lots of love. See you soon.
Dr. Junger: Bye Beauties.