What are the Emunctories and How does the Body Detox?

The body doesn’t get enough credit for just how effective it is at detoxifying and filtering out all the impurities, foreign bodies, and potentially hazardous substances that enter it from various sources (mainly through our own voluntary consumption).  From eating and drinking to breathing and absorbing toxins, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to keep us healthy.

The detoxifying starts with the primary emunctories, also known as the liver, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and kidneys.  All of these important areas do their part to remove toxins floating around in our blood, air, digestive fluids, and urine.

Detox Teamwork

Toxins can put the body into disarray if allowed to build up to significant levels.  This could happen if your emunctories are affected by disease or illness.  Here’s how each major emunctory fits into their role:

  • Liver: This is the hardest working detoxifier of the bunch. The Liver filters out any toxins that entered in liquid or solid form into the body.  When alcohol is abused, the liver becomes overwhelmed with filtering out all the alcohol and starts to slowly die from exertion.
  • Lungs: Thousands of tiny little air sacs work hard to capture toxic particles before they are absorbed into the blood stream. It often goes unrealized as to just how much work the lungs do.
  • GI Tract: The entirety of the gastrointestinal system is filled with bacteria that work to filter out organic and inorganic matter to prevent toxins from building up or entering the blood stream. The colon takes the brunt of the toxic filtering, which is why it is so susceptible to disease and illness.
  • Kidneys: Another key player in the chain of detoxifying, the kidney is an organ that never rests. It is constantly filtering the blood and removing toxins to be released when we urinate.  The kidneys only make themselves known when bruised from the outside or when toxin buildup has produced inflammation or painful byproducts like kidney stones.

Toxic Invaders

When we talk about all the toxins that the body removes, there are multiple kinds that are being removed.  The most common toxins we associate the word with are environmental, like smoke, pollution, and pesticides.  There are other forms of toxins, too, like bacterial toxins that attack the body and create byproducts that do damage to your organs.  Heavy metal toxins sound like they would be the rarest, but they are found all over the place: in the air, water, and foods.

Some of them occur naturally in our foods, like dark green vegetables, but because these can take a toll on the emunctories, we must be vigilant and detox ourselves regularly to help reduce build-up of these toxins.

Detoxifying is a great way to increase the health of our entire bodies, not just our skin, which is a common signifier that we notice when we have a buildup of toxins, due to the absorbent nature.  Detoxing is also a way for chronic illness sufferers to manage their pain and/or discomfort.


What Does it it Mean to “Detox?”

Your DNA are not engraved stone tablets.

Every moment – of every day – they are in constant communication with your thoughts, your environment, what you eat, what you drink and the very air you breathe.

How your genes are expressed are connected to all those subtle intersections of your physical material, your intellectual life, your social life, your physical life and your spiritual life.

In this time of year, we will hear a lot about “Detox”-ing. And I applaud the notion of cleaning out the old and making room for the new. And the we all have tremendous capacities for moving ourselves towards the best possible versions of ourselves.

Detoxification can mean many things, but to focus on removing toxins from the body, it is helpful to know how the body actually takes away the bad stuff. The “organs of elimination” are known as the Emmunctories. Since this is not a term everyone knows, we made this silly video.

The body actively will get rid of toxins through the Emmunctories. Healthy, whole foods what give the Emmunctories what they need to carry the toxins out.

If you are looking for a safe Detox – we developed a 10-day whole food protocol called the Taste Bud Boot Camp. It offers an eating road map that will help you re-shape your relationship to food. You can access it here.

Take advantage of the moment that comes with the end of one year and the beginning of a new. Tell us what you are thinking about and hoping for and wrestling with.

The Modern Revolution is just beginning.

The Health Benefits of Having Adequate Amounts of “Play” in Your Life

Heart disease is the nation’s number one cause of death.  No matter if you’re vegan or a meat eater, if you don’t get any exercise, you’re going to be at-risk later in your geriatric life, if not sooner.  As we grow older, we often forget how important playtime really is, both mentally and physically.  By scheduling a little time to dance, pass a ball around, or go for a walk, you will be lower your chance for heart attack or stroke tremendously.

The American Heart Association recommends to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, 75 minutes of heavy exercise.  These 150 minutes are easy if you divide it up into short 30 minute sessions a few times a week, or a few 15 minute breaks to play each day.

Be Serious, But Have Fun

How you get your daily exercise is up to you.  You don’t need to join a gym or play sports, some of the simplest exercises can be the most effective forms of exercise.  If you live in an upstairs room or apartment, you can simply climb up and down the steps for 10-15 minute intervals, to start out.

Swimming for 30min to an hour just a few times a week is very effective, and fun!  Try picking up a Nintendo Wii, if you’re looking for a fun indoor activity by yourself or with family.  They won’t even know that your plan was to fight against cardiovascular diseases, unless you want to pass the healthy bug along to them.

Baby Steps

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with incorporating exercise into your daily routine, just remember that any little bit of introduced playtime will help.  Good habits must be formed gradually, otherwise the rebel in us all will naturally find ways of avoiding change.  Try brief spurts of activity, like getting up and doing a few jumping jacks, push-ups, and/or sit-ups in-between work.  15min breaks are perfect for getting some exercise in and increasing your energy levels to get through the day.

Benefits to Older Adults

These health recommendations can really improve the overall quality of life for those who are getting into their later years where serious health problems and diseases start to weigh heavy on the mind.  If you feel like your physical health is lacking in strength, stamina, or flexibility, you should consider adding more playtime back into your life.

By working on doing moderate levels of activity at regular intervals, you will notice changes within the first week, such as: improvement in overall mood, reduced pain in joints, back, and neck, stronger sense of balance (reducing chances of injury), and of course increases in strength, making everyday tasks easier to perform.

Approach this new level of activity with a plan and don’t overexert yourself, of course.  If you feel like you’re battling procrastination or de-motivational thoughts all the time, try to find someone who will join you in your mini-exercise sessions.  Make a friendly game of competition out of it through the use of activity tracker apps.

3 Office Christmas Party Weight Gain Traps

It’s Christmas Office Party Season and the sense of social obligation to accept the cookies, candy and to spend the two drink tickets are upon most of us. The season is hard enough without the social pressure of appearing to be a humbug if you do not participate fully in the eating aspect of the holiday party season. Here are three quick reminders to minimize the weight gain pitfalls of these social situtaions.

  1. Just because it is there, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. People often want to show their love with food. And many feel obligated to both accept consume all the culinary affections coming from their family and friends. While total abstinence from the treats of the season is not necessary, decide ahead of time how you will handle the inevitable gifts that are coming your way. Don’t eat everything sent your way just because you would feel it rude to do otherwise.
  2. Mind your alcohol. We all know that alcohol is a key factor in weight gain. Just like the candy, cupcakes, cookies and pie that will fill the next few weeks, so will drink tickets and holiday parties full of toasts and – and maybe shots? The key: don’t let your alcohol consumption become mindless. Make sure you have decided ahead of time how many drinks you are going to have. Waiting until the social situation presents itself is a sure way to drink much more than you intended.
  3. Don’t let the buffet have its way with you. Food is going to be available in nearly endless quantities for many people this season. And some will return to the buffet line at Christmas parties simply to have something to do in these social circumstances that are not always 100% comfortable. Again, plan ahead of time for what your limit will be when you go to parties who intend to celebrate their guests with enormous banquets.

It is a tremendously joyous time of year. Celebrate fully. Planning your limits for eating and drinking will in no way diminish your celebrations. But they will diminish regrets about going into the new year with unnecessarily gained weight.


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The English Cream Golden Retriever Gus

They were introduced as Red and Green. The smartest of the bunch and the most loving.

Their names matched the string of yarn tied around their puppy necks as a sort of collar. It struck me as an ingenious way to discern which puppy was which in the litter or 10.

We came for 1 puppy. We could have easily loved all ten but life is filled with choices, no? But the brains and the heart of the group were just plopped into our arms with that pungent puppy-coffee breath. Wriggly in a cute way, the heart was enthusiastic from moment 1 with us, while the brains was nonchalantly indifferent to us – though he didn’t outright ignore us.

The heart eventually became to be know as Winston, and the brains is known as Instagram’s most famous English Cream Golden Retriever Gus.

We drove 90 miles to bring home a single beautiful puppy. But if you find both the head and the heart, you don’t chose one.

You take them both.


If you like this style of writing, the author would like you to consider his audiobook: A Quiet Murmuration – A Public Journal of Private Thoughts.

Also, please consider this leash for your dog at AWellRunLifeGear.


How to powerfully improve your immune system quickly?

Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine.

In our space here on The Modern Revolution we will talk about how




We need a Modern Revolution in how we grow our food, prepare our food and eat. We invite any-and-all who are concerned in this same way to send us writing to share here. We are seeking Naturopathic Physicians, Urban Farmers, Health Coaches, Bee Keepers, Backyard Chicken Keepers, Farmers’ Market Participants and others who are concerned about the relationship between good nourishment and good health.

Depression, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes and obesity are present in epidemic proportions and are growing. Modern drugs and medicine are keeping people alive longer but their quality of life is greatly reduced by completely preventable diseases. As human beings, we are all governed by nature’s laws. Indeed, very little reflection is needed to remember that we are not above the natural laws that govern the planet and the universe.

The Law of Cause and Effect


Newton’s Third Law (for every action, there is an equal reaction)

all document that choices come with consequences.

If you are here, you likely agree: Good nutrition is important: the body the essential nutrients they need to work properly, grow and stay healthy. It is a natural law that proper nourishment is the sinlgle most effective avenue to avoid the lifestyle disease which are rapidly becoming a plague for us as a country and world.

The United States is in the midst of a great and terrible experiment proving that certain dietary choices carry the consequences of cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Many people continue eating habits that are contrary to their good health, until the consequences show up.  And then go to their doctor who typically has 7-10 minutes of time to be helpful.

With no malice, most Doctors use the tools available they believe will have the biggest impact with the greatest chance of compliance. Can anyone address the intricate conditions of why a person eats in the manner they do – in 10 minutes – with any hope of compliance?

The Big Pharma culture of the “magical pill” that masks unpleasant symptoms while allowing people to continue to do all the things they’ve been doing – is sadly, deeply rooted in our current time. We will discuss the economic realities of this system in many short, clear worded entries in this blog. But – for now –  as a reminder: Diabetes is a $322 Billion a year industry.

This system is making some people rich.

Do these people want to see our food growing – food preparing – food eating status quo change?

We Need A Modern Revolution.

We are Going to Talk About Here.

And Get to Work Out There.

We need a leadership miracle.

I wrote this book because I did not know what to do with the frustration I feel about the lack of leadership in the world today regarding the things I value most: health and wellness. How we produce food, how we care for the environment, how we handle disease and how we refuse to address the conditions that create disease in our country and culture are the issues that my energy is focused on improving.

I believe it is a special time in history that should not be squandered.

We know more than we ever have.

We can share information more easily than ever.

The world should be moving rapidly in a more positive direction than it is.

But is not. And I believe the only reason is that we lack leadership to bring all the advantages knowledge and technology that we have won into the hands of people all over the world.

Consider spending 35 minutes with me.

It’ll cost you $3.95 here on  Audible.

Or in Hardback here.

The English Cream Golden Retriever Gus

The Modern Revolution is about the drastic need we have in this country to change how we grow food, prepare food and take care of our bodies.


But nourishing our physician bodies sits within larger context of health and wellness context. The heart, spirit and mind need attention too. The need to love and be loved in return is central to the human experience. Our pets (we have 2 turtle as well – including Instagram Famous ElChapoTheTurtle – who we will talk about on Sundays found on Instagram here).


And so, every Saturday, I am going to briefly tell you about our English Cream Golden Retrievers named Gus and his brother Winston. 

This is Chapter 1.

Before Gus and Winston we purchased a Saint Bernard and named him Olympus. This extraordinarily cute dog came to us via an unknown breeder who we foolishly met in parking lot of a local Mexican Restaurant. I am not an experienced dog owner, but what few dogs I have had in my life came to me via people who loved dogs.

This is Olympus.


I did not think anyone could be in the puppy business without a pure heart.

Olympus came with full blown Parvo. He was a lethargic from the moment we received him. Chalked up to the change in environment, we fully expected a vibrant puppy to emerge. Sadly, our family spent 10 days fighting to keep him alive as he deeply suffered the ravishing effects of the Parvo virus.

At the end, it was he and I on my bathroom floor of a tiny house in Central Phoenix. He died right in front of me, his body releasing with life it had in a difficult to watch conclusion of a very short life.

I describe this experience in more detail at my Podcast: Puppy Love.

The hole Olympus left is permanent. The experience’s scar won’t fade. We are grateful for the short time nonetheless.

We found a Gus and Winston through a family that truly loved their puppies and the way they cared for these puppies  was similar to the greatest spas in the world. They opened the garage to introduce us to the litter and there has never been a Disney scene that could rival the cuteness of 10 Golden Retriever puppies ferociously licking and tackling us.

We went up to find a single puppy.

We came home with two.

This is Gus and brother Winston.


The story began this way. I will tell you of our lessons Gus and Winston teach us, the love they amplify in our family and tales of how we manage to keep 5 children, two turtles, and four chickens nourished in all their various and demanding needs.
We do our best.

You can read about Gus and his brother Winston every Saturday on this blog who’s intent is to change the world. Ambitious? We are not afraid and we stick together.

Join us and bring your loved ones.


Is Gus gay or straight? His indiscriminate affection makes it hard to tell. He is a gentle soul, whatever his orientation. If you have a small dog, he suggests this hat from his store AWellRunLifeGear:


He is almost 90lbs, but he is all ‘fraidy cat. So if you have a big scary dog like this, he asks you get the double-handled leash to keep everythong safe and civil:


You can also find Gus on Instagram here.

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