An Important Health Process
The simplest way to understand symptoms and
disease integrates Western linear thinking,
Chinese medicine and its philosophy of yin
and yang, and the naturopathic approach to
health and illness. In fact this integration I refer
to as NEW Medicine with the N-E-W standing
for Natural, Eastern, and Western healing
approaches and applies to many health conditions; all of this is
reviewed in my new book, Staying Healthy with NEW Medicine.
Problems in the body (and mind) often arise from either
deficiency, where we are not acquiring sufficient necessary
nutrients to meet our needs and body functions; and the other
side is congestion, where we are having excessive intake, both
from reduced eliminative functions and the over-consumption
of foods or non-food substances, such as caffeine, alcohol,
nicotine, refined sugar and food chemicals.
People who are deficient may experience such problems
as fatigue, coldness, hair loss or dry skin, and they need to be
nourished with wholesome foods to aid healing. Congestive
problems, however, are more common in Western, industrialized
civilizations. Many of our acute and chronic medical diseases
and dilemmas result from the clogging of our tissues and tubes,
and the suffocating of our cells and vital energy. Colds and flus
to cancer and cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and allergies are
all examples of congestive disorders.
These medical problems may be prevented or treated
at least in part and often dramatically by embarking on a
process of cleansing and detoxification. The incorporation of
dietary changes, including consumption of more fresh fruits,
vegetables and water while reducing animal fats and proteins
and eliminating any damaging substances, especially those
overused or abused, helps begin the rejuvenation process for
the human body. This was discovered long ago and is still true
today even though medical science may make light of it in
deference to the quick solution to major diseases.
I consider the cleansing/fasting/detoxification process
(they are different degrees of the same process of reduced
toxin intake and enhanced toxin elimination) to be the missing
link in Western nutrition and a key to the health and vitality of
our civilization. In my forty years of medical practice in which I
have utilized extensively various detox and healing/rejuvenation
practices for both myself and literally thousands of patients, I
can tell you that I truly believe that cleansing and detoxification
is virtually one of the most powerful healing (real healing of
ailments and not just suppression of symptoms) therapies I
I have written extensively about detoxification, as can be
seen in the last section of my 1100-page Staying Healthy With
Nutrition book and which is the focus of my book, The Detox
Diet: The Complete Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus,
& Detox Plans, wherein I discuss both the medical and health
factors of the cleansing process. The basics of the Detox Diet
follow here to give you the general ideas of what is involved.
In truth, what I attempt to do in my writing and practice
is to place your health and that of your family back into your
hands, because so much of it is up to you. It really matters how
you live—what you do and what you eat, and what you think and
feel. Take hold and do what you can to be vital and healthy. It is
really worth it!
What are your SNACC Habits?
I use the detox process to help people break habits, and I
love the acronym SNACCs to stand for Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol,
Caffeine and Chemicals. Most people in our modern societies are
not living as naturally as they might for best health. From what
I see at speaking events, about 90 percent of people are using
substances to either stimulate their energy or sedate them to
rest and relax. We use caffeine daily and sugar to push us on,
and then alcohol, cannabis, other drugs, or big meals to calm
us down. When this is not done in balance or we don’t sleep
well or are sick, we may even need more SNACCs, and then we
run our body down. I often see this and the common results of
Fatigue and Insomnia, Depression and Anxiety.
The idea that I embrace is that we should have a proper
relationship to any substances, and even foods, that we ingest
regularly, especially the ones that can be affecting our health in
not all positive ways. Of course, everything, be it coffee, wine,
sugar, or even a cigarette, have some positive effects; otherwise,
we wouldn’t use them. Yet, when we become dependent and
need them to make it through our day, it’s wise to schedule
a break. Typically, it takes two to three weeks to shift habits,
and then you can see how you feel without your usual. It’s like
any bad relationship; we can’t always see it or appreciate how it
affected us until we are away from it. The detox process allows
us to have this experience. One of the ways to calm the body
down and support it is with a detoxifying diet.
Here’s The Detox Diet Menu from my The Detox Diet book.
SPECIAL GUIDELINES for THE DETOX DIET:
- Chew your food very well and take enough time when you eat.
- Relax a few minutes before and after your meal.
- Eat in a comfortable sitting position.
- Eat primarily steamed fresh vegetables and some fresh greens.
- Take only herbal teas after dinner.
THE DETOX DIET MENU PLAN
Morning (upon arising): Two glasses of water (filtered, spring, or
reverse osmosis), one glass with half a lemon squeezed into it.
Breakfast: One piece of fresh fruit (at room temp), such as apple,
pear, banana, grapes, or citrus. Chew well, mixing each bite
15–30 minutes later: One bowl of cooked whole grains–specifically
millet, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, raw buckwheat, or
Flavoring can be two tablespoons of fruit juice for a sweeter
breakfast taste, or use the “better butter” mixture mentioned
below with a little salt or tamari for a deeper flavor.
Lunch (Noon–1 PM) One–two medium bowls of steamed vegetables;
use a variety, including roots, stems, and greens–e.g.,
potatoes and yams, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots,
beets, asparagus, kale, chard, and cabbage. CHEW WELL!
Dinner (5–6 PM) Same as lunch
Seasoning—Butter/olive oil mix or flaxseed oil. Make this “better
butter” by mixing a half-cup of cold-pressed canola oil (or
olive or flaxseed oils) into a soft (room temperature) half-pound
of butter; then place in dish and refrigerate. Use about one teaspoon
per meal or a maximum of three teaspoons daily.
11 AM and 3 PM—One–two cups veggie water, saved from
steamed vegetables. Add a little sea salt or kelp and drink slowly,
mixing each mouthful with saliva.
Evening: Herbal teas only— e.g., peppermint, chamomile, pau
d’arco, or blends.
This works best doing this diet for 2–3 weeks. It helps calm
down inflammation and alkalinize the body. Many symptoms
lessen or disappear.
NOTE on protein intake: You may feel a little weak or have a few
symptoms the first couple of days; this will pass. Clarity and
feeling good should appear by day three or four, if not before.
If during this diet, you start to feel weak or hungry, assess your
water intake and elimination; if needed, you can eat a small portion
of protein food (3–4 ounces) in the mid-afternoon. This
could be fish; free-range, organic chicken; or some beans, such
as lentil, garbanzo, mung, or black beans.