Living Well: The 4th Quadrant of Life

Posted by: Lainie Neiman, Life Coach on


Most folks are well aware of the three-legged stool of good health- good nutrition, exercise and restful sleep.

However, while taking my health coaching certification classes, I learned about the fourth quadrant of health, less commonly noted, and that is cleansing and detoxification. It’s the least glamorous of all the four quadrants, and usually considered indelicate to discuss in mixed company.

We all know how sluggish we feel when we are constipated- it’s like carrying lead in our bellies. Quite unpleasant.

One of the least attended to health functions is the elimination of waste and toxins from our bodies on a daily basis. If we think of our bodies like a small furnace that is constantly burning fuel, you can visualize the “ash” that is left after the fire burns out.

Fiber in the Diet Removes Toxins

The reason health experts focus on consuming adequate fiber in our diet has a great deal to do with getting our metabolism (our furnace) to move the toxins and residue out of our bodies, so they aren’t sitting around wreaking havoc.

The other value of fiber (both soluble and insoluble) is that it also carries fat out of the body. This leads to another critical aspect of detoxification, and that is drinking enough water on a daily basis.

The average suggested amount for adults is 8 glasses a day- depending somewhat on your height and weight. Our bodies need sufficient hydration to accomplish the healthy daily metabolizing of foods, nutrients and the elimination of waste.

Some health professionals recommend periodic colonics to cleanse the colon more thoroughly, but I profess to not taking that route myself.

Fruits and Vegetables Are Full of Natural Fiber

The most important thing is consuming 10-14 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, which is not easy for many folks to accomplish. Fruits and veggies are full of natural fiber that is so vital for our bodies functioning on so many levels, including cleansing.

There are also many natural grains that are low glycemic carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, and beans. These grains are loaded with good fiber that is responsible for a person feeling satiated when eating, so they are less prone to crave the less desirable sugary foods- that only add to fat storage and offer no redeeming nutritional value.

In summary, turn drinking water into a regular daily habit. Replace sugary fruit juices and sodas. Water helps you feel full, so your appetite is more moderated. 

Become more mindful of consuming more dietary fiber, making a habit of reading nutritional labels on food packaging. Remember that detoxification and elimination of waste from your body is the fourth and equally important quadrant of health.  Becoming aware of this component can keep all those free radicals/cancer causing cells moving though and out of your body and promote optimal health. What’s better than that?

Lainie Neiman has been the principal of Neiman Consulting, LLC, since January of 2005. She focuses on business consulting, career and life coaching and health coaching, with a specialty in family owned business and health coaching.  Her previous experience includes working with the premier employee assistance program provider in the country, headquartered in St. Louis.  She was involved in all aspects of the business including supervisor training, account management, and counseling individual clients.