Detoxification and The Detox Diet: An Important Healing Process

by Elson M. Haas, M.D.
Copyright © 1999

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. 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 CONGESTION, where we are having excessive intake, both from reduced eliminative functions and the overconsumption 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 substance abuses is the beginning of 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 twenty five 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 have seen.

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 new book, The Detox Diet: The How-to and When-to Guide For Clearing Your Body of Toxic Substances, 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 it 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! Be Well.


THE DETOX DIET

SPECIAL GUIDELINES for THE DETOX DIET:
  1. Chew your food very well and take enough time when you eat.
  2. Relax a few minutes before and after your meal.
  3. Eat in a comfortable sitting position.
  4. Eat primarily steamed fresh vegetables and some fresh greens.
  5. 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 with saliva.

15-30 minutes later: One bowl of cooked whole grains -- specifically millet, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, raw buckwheat, or buckwheat. 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 P.M.) One-two medium bowls of steamed vegetables; use a variety, including roots, stems, and greens -- e.g. potatoes or yams, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, asparagus, kale, chard, and cabbage. CHEW WELL !

Dinner: (5-6 P.M.) Same as Lunch

Seasoning: Butter/canola oil mixture. 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 3 teaspoons daily.

11 A.M. & 3 P.M. 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, camomile, pau d'arco, or blends.

NOTE: 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 3 or 4, 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 lentils, garbanzos, mung, or black beans.

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