A Gluten-Free Vegan Mom Who Knows

A raw, grain-free, corn-free, soy-free, oil-free, celiac mama raising her two healthy celiac girls.

Herbal Body Wrap to Start My Birthday Celebration Goes Awry


This past Monday was my birthday, and to celebrate, I scheduled a detox body wrap (my first) and a colonic (my 10th) to start off a relaxing, cleansing day with fun events to follow.

My wrap began at 9:30 AM.

Helen, my much respected colon therapist (I’ll blog more about her later), had prepared the herbal body wrap solution minutes before my arrival.

Here is what the body wrap procedure consisted of:
  • Helen mixed the premixed herbal blend with warm filtered water.
  • She then measured the target points on my body before and after my wrap (results appear below).
  • After my measurements were logged, she began soaking and then wrapping each towel around me extremities, torso, neck and head. 
  • After she wrapped each area, she then wrapped each area with cling-wrap (Oh, no!! BPAs!! Yes, that was my first thought as cling-wrap doesn’t have a place in my life or my home because of BPA exposure).
  • I then relaxed for an hour and a half on a heated table covered with a heated blanket (my body was actually cool because of the aloe). 
  • While relaxing on the table, I drank two bottles of water to help my body flush the toxins out of my largest organ, my skin. 
  • Even after my wrap was over, I had to continue drinking eight glasses of water a day for the next five days (I drank 8 pint [16 oz] glasses each day just in case).
  • After the hour and a half, Helen unwrapped me (I ran to the potty) and then she remeasured my target points. (I felt great!)

Helen tallied the results and little old me lost a combined total of 8 inches! Holy Cow! I did not think I had that much in me to detox! 

Helen said that everyone holds their toxins in different parts of their bodies, and we both didn’t expect these results! I’m always detoxing! 

Nevertheless, the primary purpose of fat is to store the toxins/chemicals that enter your body and to keep those toxins away from your vital organs, etc., so without those toxins to store, that fat is no longer needed and disappears, hence those lost inches. Bye, bye, toxins! 

The human body truly amazes me!

Okay, so when did things take a turn for the worst? 

When I was about 15 minutes into my colonic, I started yawning and burping while experiencing increasing GI discomfort (the beginnings of my classic gluten symptoms). Even though Helen only uses gluten-free products in her wellness center/spa, I asked her again if it was gluten free. She asserted that it was. Helen suggested that maybe I was just experience heavy detox symptoms, but I’ve detoxed so much that I could tell that yes, I had mild detox symptoms and MAJOR gluten-like symptoms. Nevertheless, she finished my colonic with much success, and as soon as I was off the table, I took the max dosage of Gas-X and Protonix. After I finished up at Peaceful Escapes, I headed home to continue with phase two of my birthday, a celebration with my girls.

I felt better on the drive, but I still felt a gluten sick. By the time I got home, my gluten-like symptoms were starting to intensify again – to the point where I was in tears. It had to be gluten! So I called Life Force, the company that makes the herbal body wrap, and yes, the product is gluten free as are all their products. I continued to cry as I was on the phone with them.

Helen and I were texting back and forth and she suggested that maybe that since my last gluten exposure occurred less than 90 hours before my wrap that maybe the protein was still in my body and got stirred up during the detox. That seemed highly possible to me, or so I thought, and no one else has ever reported complications with this herbal wrap to Helen’s knowledge.

Moments after learning of Helen’s theory, I got onto my computer and began researching the exit time of gluten from mouth to cecum. However, all the studies assert that the exit time is 72 hours. Okay. Well, maybe I was the exception. 

Instead of celebrating with my girls, Lauren, our sitter, worked on schoolwork with Ainsley while Sydney and I cuddled on the couch as I tried to sleep so that I could feel better so that I did not have to cancel my plans for the evening. 

My girls were so confused as to why I was sick on my birthday of which brought me to tears again. What did I do???

After resting, I was determined to go to our local natural food store to meet Dr. Ivy Branin, our new Naturopath in the area. I got myself together as much as I could and Lexie picked me up and we were on our way. We had a lovely and informative meeting with Dr. Branin, bought a few things, and then headed home.

After I arrived back home, Greg had us packed up for our overnight stay at the Borgata in Atlantic City. I still felt sick, but I wanted that garden roll at Izakaya. I had been completely raw since 17 December and I wanted my raw veggies surrounded by rice. Izakaya’s garden roll is my favorite! Nevertheless, we gave our baby girls sweet lovin’ and headed over to AC. 

Once at the Borgata, we checked in, dropped our bags off at our room and then headed down for dinner. 

Dinner was great! I felt good. Actually, I felt great! I ate a double order of garden rolls like I always do and I drank 4 1/2 glasses of water. 

Dinner was great and so was the service, and since Greg and I are regulars at Izakaya, Kira, our food server, brought out a lit candle on a plate while the DJ played ‘Happy Birthday’ as the entire restaurant sang to me. The management even comped our comped meal (we have endless room, dinner, club cover and drink comps thanks to Greg but we didn’t have to use any of those comps on Greg’s account). I felt like a superstar, but more importantly, I felt good for the first time since my gluten-like symptoms began. However, something happened as we walked back to our room to drop off our leftovers (I ordered a garden roll to go).

Once we got back to our room, I got severely ill. Still gluten-like symptoms. However, this time they were worse than I have ever experienced. Could this really be because of an old exposure? I felt so bad that if we were going to stay, I wanted to be alone, but Greg refused to leave me to play poker, so instead he took me home. On the ride home we thought about heading straight to the ER but decided to see if I felt better once in my own bed. 

We were home my 9:20 PM. No Texas Hold’em (poker). No dancing the night away. No festive birthday celebrations. Instead, Greg took me straight upstairs and had me drink some ginger ale that released four gigantic burps. I then washed my face, brushed my teeth, flossed and put on my comfiest PJs and climbed into bed.

Eleven hours later, I woke up to discover Greg checking on me as he did many times that night. I was still sick the next day, but around 11:00 AM, Helen contacted me to reveal her discovery. She solved the mystery! 

Garlic! There is garlic in and amongst the “27 select minerals and herbs, featuring Aloe vera” in Life Force’s Herbal Body Wrap, and since I experience gluten-like symptoms anytime I ingest garlic, I knew this was the cause of my illness. 

It all made sense! I had an overdose of garlic that was absorbed throughout my body. During my detox wrap, I poisoned my body because like many people, I have an adverse reaction to garlic, and like Life Force’s website states, “Our skin is our body’s largest organ. We sometimes think of it as waterproofing covering, but it is actually extremely absorbent. It’s an ideal delivery portal, as well as an exit for excreting impurities. The herbal body wrap takes advantage of both pathways” while causing me to become seriously ill from the toxicity of garlic.   

I did not fully recover from my garlic exposure until Thursday, three full days after my body wrap.

I am truly grateful to Helen for contacting Life Force again and for going through the ingredients one-by-one until she discovered the source of my illness. If she hadn’t done this, I probably would have considered our first theory to be the only logical one, and I would have waited two plus weeks without a gluten exposure and would have tried the body wrap a second time. 

Surprised above my reaction to garlic? If so, check out the two videos below.

Knowing your body type and why are garlic and onion bad

Eating Garlic is very toxic for the body

So now my list of foods that I am intolerant to are gluten, quinoa and garlic. There are other foods that I avoid because of the way I feel afterwards; however, I haven’t identified if in fact my body is intolerant to those foods like it is intolerant to the ones above. 

I am almost completely grain free except on date night when dining at Izakaya; however, since I haven’t been digesting rice, I am going to ask the chef at Izakaya if he can make my garden roll without rice (that thought devastates me but I want to go completely grain free for awhile to see if I feel differently).
As for my birthday celebration, I am getting a re-do this Monday! Greg is truly the best as the re-do was totally his idea! and I gladly accepted 😉

Much Love!

Follow gfveganmomknows on Twitter


  1. Wow! This was fascinating to me! I had no idea! Thanks so much for sharing…and happy birthday. Hoping you’re feeling better.

    Happy seeing beautiful!

  2. That’s terrible! But I’m glad you’re getting a redo : ) Have a better time on that Birthday!

  3. My holistic doctor had told me that some people to do tolerate garlic, but I did not think that might be me. But now, I’m not so sure. So I’m going to totally cut out raw garlic and onion from my diet. I will also avoid cooking with it, too. Thanks for passing along this important info! I hope you enjoy your birthday part deux!

    ps – feel free to email me any time at my private account: cellotrope@yahoo.com. 🙂

  4. Does your colon irrigation specialist have a website? I was thinking of giving colonics a try and live in the Philadelphia area but when I googled Peaceful Escapes, I couldn’t find anything! I’d really like to get some more info on what colon therapy could possibly do to help with my health problems 🙂 thanks.

  5. Peaceful Escapes’ website will be up at the time of its grand opening come this March.
    Helen has been doing colonics for over 14 years and has been a cornier for the city of Philadelphia even longer (I love that she is CSI and knows the body inside and out!).
    Helen is open for business and would gladly talk to you in person and/or give you a tour of her wellness center/spa. However, she is still putting the finishing touches on her beautifully newly restored historic building (it is SO much better than where she used to work as a colon therapist! and I couldn’t be happier that she FINALLY decided to open her own center!).
    Nevertheless, as you can tell, I highly respect Helen and highly recommend her. Tell her I sent you! 🙂
    Much Love!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.