I want to share with you my general dietary recommendations for what I believe is the healthiest diet for the average person to keep their body healthy and clean. The reason I called it “The Body Cleansing Diet” is because a clean body is a healthy body.
Those who have followed me over the years know that my diet is an ongoing experiment. I constantly try new food combinations as well as fasting, detox, and cleansing programs. I am a former meat eater and became vegetarian in 2000. In my enthusiasm, I tried to go cold turkey. Of course, my body could not handle the shock and I became sick. I learned the importance of giving the body time to adapt to dietary changes. I changed my approach and, over a period of two years, slowly replaced cooked food, meat, dairy, wheat, and other gluten-containing grains with live, raw food. This allowed my body to adapt to a mostly raw vegetarian lifestyle.
My current diet consists of seasonal, organic fruit, raw nuts and seeds, a variety of fresh vegetables, fresh green juice, fresh herbs, sprouts, raw goat and sheep cheese, and salads. I do not consume wheat (gluten), grains, egg, pasta, meat, or toxic, man-made food.
My diet is 95% raw. Occasionally (maybe once a month), or when traveling, I will have steamed or lightly cooked vegetables, soup, or anything else I want. I don't claim to be perfect; I'm human just like you! I do not focus on restrictions. In fact, I believe focusing on restrictions is the main reason why most diets fail. You shouldn’t restrict your diet, you should add healthier options to your diet. I’ve personally seen and experienced the benefits of a raw, vegan or vegetarian diet and encourage others to consider their own dietary choices.
A balanced diet, getting regular sleep and sufficient exercise, reducing your daily toxin threshold, cleansing your body regularly, and maintaining a positive state of mind are required to obtain maximum health. The first step in any diet plan is to understand how the body utilizes and processes the nutrients it needs. Let's start by looking at the biorhythms regulating our body's nutritional needs. All creatures on this planet, including human beings, are naturally attuned to three daily body cycles. These cycles have precise and established hours set by the laws of nature.
BODY CYCLE #1 - THE ELIMINATION CYCLE
This Cycle Begins around 4:00 AM and ends around 12:00 NOON.
During this cycle, the body naturally tries to purge itself of toxic waste materials and unnecessary salts, proteins, and acids. During this cycle you should consume adequate amounts of fresh seasonal fruit (preferably organic or locally grown) to support the body's natural toxin elimination cycle. Not only does fruit supply the body with living matter to draw out unwanted substances, it also ensures the intestinal tract remains well hydrated and nourished. Fresh raw fruit provides the ideal ingredients for supporting the body's Elimination Cycle.
BODY CYCLE #2 - THE ENERGY CYCLE
This Cycle Begins around 12:00 NOON and ends around 8:00 PM.
During the Energy Cycle, food and nutrients are processed and stored to provide you with energy for your day. The best way to support your body during the Energy Cycle is to eat plenty of fresh raw vegetables (such as a salad or juice), with a starch source to provide your body with the energy it needs to maintain its natural biochemical balance.
BODY CYCLE #3 - THE REGENERATION CYCLE
This Cycle Begins around 8:00 PM and ends around 4:00 AM.
This is an opportunity for the body to take the time it needs to heal and regenerate. This is when the body should get quality sleep. During this cycle, the body assimilates all the foods that you consumed during the day and then processes the nutrients to regenerate itself cell by cell. If the sleep cycle is disrupted by irregular work patterns, night feeding of infants, travel across many time zones, or other factors, the body loses its ability to regenerate cells, which leads to their degeneration instead of regeneration.
I designed the body cleansing diet based on the body's natural biorhythms. Understanding and following these principles are critical for first improving and then maintaining your health and vitality. Although this diet may seem tough at first, I would not be helping you if I failed to tell you what your body wants and needs to function properly.
All foods should be certified organic or locally grown. This will help ensure that their purity and nutritional content haven't been compromised by toxins such as pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, refined sugars, MSG, artificial sweeteners, and other toxic compounds. Raw organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, grass juices, and sprouted grains provide the most nutrition to the body. Because they are not processed or treated (just gathered and cleaned), they provide the natural enzymes necessary for healthy digestion and cell function.
If you were not raised on raw organic vegetables or foods, it may be difficult for you to make the transition from cooked, fried, and processed foods. Take it slowly and start by eating fresh fruit for breakfast every morning. After you've done that for a week or so, start replacing one toxic food with a healthy option every week until you have accomplished the goal of creating a healthy diet for yourself. This process might take you 3 to 6 months or longer, depending on how strict you are in following the plan.
In my book The Green Body Cleanse, I explain precisely how to eliminate and replace toxins from the foods you eat and the beverages you drink.
One of the main reasons people have such a hard time losing weight and why we live in an obese society is that people are not eating their meals in a parasympathetic state. I have reviewed practically every diet book or plan ever written and not one person has ever mentioned how important this is or even linked this to a cause of weight gain.
Sympathetic state: Your Sympathetic nervous system is what causes the "flight or fight" response which allows your body to adapt to stress or anxiety. In today's society people are in a constant state of stress due to finances, raising a family, negative news stories, traffic, work pressures and many other things. When your body is in a sympathetic state it continuously releases adrenalin into the bloodstream to deal with the stressful situation. Once the stress reaction is gone, it leaves the body exhausted and hungry. When the body is in a sympathetic state the digestive tract stops working and can even treat food as a toxin. Our body is not designed to eat when we are in a fight or flight situation. It is designed to run or get away from the stressful situation. When people eat in a sympathetic state the digestive system is shut down and does not work properly which leads to a poorly digested and assimilated meal. The ability to breakdown, absorb and process food is completely restricted which may cause weight gain, digestive upset, gas, degenerative conditions, and even bloating.
Here are some examples of eating in a sympathetic state:
Parasympathetic state: The Parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for relaxation, healing, repairing and recharging your body. When you are in a relaxed state or parasympathetic state, your body is not dealing with stress and is able to break down, digest and absorb the vital components of the meals you eat. The fastest and easiest way to put your body in a parasympathetic relaxation response is through deep breathing. Research has shown that deep breathing can almost instantly calm the body and mind. Deep breathing causes the bodies muscles to relax, the lungs to expand and the heart rate to drop. Eastern cultures have used this technique for thousands of years to reduce stress, prevent weight gain and achieve physiological balance within the body. Deep breathing can be done anywhere and anytime before meals to activate and support your digestive process. It should also be practiced after every stressful situation you encounter.
To relax your body before meals or during a stressful situation, find a quiet area to sit, close your eyes and take 9 deep breaths starting from deep in your belly all the way up through your upper lungs. Breathe in through your nose slowly until your lungs are fully inflated and then breathe out through your mouth until you push all the air out.
NOTE: Many people who have food allergies often eat in a sympathetic state.This is because the body treats the food as a toxin, allergen or threat and initiates an immune response toward the food. If you suffer from food allergies, start performing the deep breathing exercises before meals and you should start noticing better digestion and less allergic reactions within months.
Drinking water or other beverages with meals dilutes the digestive juices, which slows down the digestion process. Try to drink water between meals. If this doesn't suit your lifestyle, limit your water intake during a meal to less than 8 ounces. Do not drink milk, tea, juice, sodas, energy drinks, or any other toxic beverage during meals.
You should eat 5 small meals daily to help regulate your metabolism and keep your body clean. This might sound difficult, but when you think about it, it just takes a minute to peel and enjoy a banana or eat a handful of raw seeds or raw nuts.
Always eat slowly and chew your food until it is a liquid-pulp before swallowing. This will allow your stomach to signal your brain, "hey I'm full now," so you avoid taking in excessive calories. You produce up to 32 ounces of saliva every day. Chewing your food will help your body absorb vital nutrients more thoroughly and rapidly due to the enzymes secreted in your saliva. After food is liquefied in the mouth, the tongue will recognize the various flavors of each food and then send messages to the brain, which in turn, orders production of the corresponding digestive juices needed to break down that food. Chewing your food well ultimately leads to more effective digestion and is also one of the best-kept secrets for losing weight.
Consuming organic foods is a step in the right direction, but your body depends on the correct balance of food types. It's important to know how foods react with one another once they are inside the body. Many competing theories exist about the best food or diet combination to follow regularly. I will tell you what I have used, based on the biochemistry of the body, and based on what has worked for me in my practice and my personal life. Below, I will cover the most damaging combinations of food, then I will present suggestions for five balanced meals I'm sure you will enjoy.
When animal proteins and starches are combined and metabolized, the end products are normally acidic. Your body should actually be slightly alkaline, not acidic. Your gastric juices contain three enzymes that act on proteins, fats, and milk; they are pepsin, lipase, and rennin, respectively. Protein digestion requires an acid environment initiated by the secretion of pepsin into the stomach. Pepsin splits the protein molecule to form hydrochloric acid. As the stomach becomes more acidic while digesting protein, starch digestion comes to an end. We may say those conditions which are optimum for protein digestion, exclude starch digestion. Worse, the introduction of the starch almost neutralizes the stomach acid, thus deactivating the enzymes and creating the climate for putrefaction and fermentation. Non-starchy vegetables make for the best combinations with proteins.
Examples of Unhealthy Meals Containing Proteins And Starches:
For healthy meals, only combine proteins with non-starchy vegetables listed below.
Starchy Vegetables And Grains (Do Not Combine With Protein): Bagels, Beans, Bread, Corn, Lentils, Muffins, Pasta, Potatoes, Tortillas, White Rice, Winter Squash (Butternut, Acorn),Yams
Non-Starchy Vegetables (Best Combination with Proteins): Alfalfa Sprouts, Artichokes, Asparagus, Bamboo Shoots, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant, Green Beans, Leafy Lettuce, Leeks, Mushrooms, Okra, Onions, Peppers, Radishes, Rutabaga, Sauerkraut, Snow Peas, Spinach, Summer Squash, Turnips, Water Chestnuts, Zucchini.
Unhealthy Example: Bread, Pasta, Rice, etc. + Any Acid Fruit or Fruit Juice
The digestion of starches begins in the mouth with an enzyme called ptyalin (pronounced tie-uh-lun). Saliva, which is high in ptyalin, is secreted by the salivary glands and reduces starch to maltose, which in turn is reduced in the intestines to dextrose. Ptyalin will not activate in a mildly acidic or strong alkaline environment. The acid in regular vinegar, grapefruit, lemons, or other sour fruits will completely stop the action of ptyalin, resulting in a poorly digested meal. These meals will likely ferment, producing toxic byproducts as well as decreasing the nutritional value.
Example: Meat + Any Acid Fruit or Fruit Juice
Pepsin (an enzyme that digests protein) will act favorably in an acid environment. Therefore, you might think the addition of more acids, such as citrus fruits, might improve the digestive process. This is not so! The addition of citrus or other acids stops the secretion of the gastric juices necessary for protein digestion. Either the pepsin will not be secreted in the presence of an acid, or the acidic environment will destroy the pepsin. Any acid (say, vinegar or lemon) on a salad, when eaten with a protein meal, stops the production of hydrochloric acid since the pepsin interferes with protein digestion. An exception to this rule should be noted: Acids can be combined with nuts and seeds because the high fat content of these foods will postpone gastric secretion until the acids have been assimilated into the body. Therefore, use raw nuts or seeds (not roasted or salted) with salads to neutralize the acids typically found in salad dressing.
If two different types of high proteins are eaten together, the amount of digestive secretions for each might stop the action of the other. In other words, your body cannot modify the digestive process to accommodate each food. Suppose milk was eaten with meat, this would initiate a highly acidic reaction and upset the proportions of pepsin and lipase acting on the meat. Both proteins would not be fully digested, leading to the development of toxins.
Alkaline producing foods should be consumed 80% of the time. These foods aid in digestion, neutralize acids, and help restore the body's natural alkaline state. The following foods should always be consumed fresh, juiced, raw, or lightly steamed and should be locally or organically grown. Although some fruits are classified as acid fruits, once they are broken down in the body they convert the body fluids to an alkaline state.
Highly Alkaline Producing Fruits & Vegetables (Best Option):
Almonds, Avocados, Blackberries, Carrots, Celery, Chives, Cranberries, Currants, Dates, Endive, Figs, Grapes (Sour), Kale, Plums, Lemons, Pomegranates, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Romaine, Spinach
Other Alkaline Producing Fruits & Vegetables
Alfalfa, Apples, Apricots, Artichokes, Bamboo Shoots, Beans (snap, string, wax, navy), Beet Leaves, Beets, Berries (most), Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage (red, white, Savoy, Chinese), Cantaloupe, Celery, Cherries(sweet/sour), Chicory, Coconuts, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Grapefruit, Honeydew, Horseradish, Kelp, Leeks, Mangoes, Nectarines, Okra, Onions, Oranges, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Papayas, Parsnips, Pears, Pineapples, Pumpkins, Romaine Lettuce, Tangerines, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watermelon
The Body Cleansing Diet - Sample Meal Plan
Now that you've learned the basics about food mixing and optimal combinations, read on to find a ready-made diet plan that you can start today. This is no bland, uninspiring diet, either. The foods I've included (if prepared properly) are so loaded with energy and flavor, you won't ever want to return to eating the high-fat, processed foods we've become so accustomed. Eating 5 balanced meals at the recommended times each day can help restore the health of your body, and consequently restore and enhance your overall well-being.
MEAL #1 of the Day: BREAKFAST (Fruit Meal)
Have breakfast between 4am and 9am.
Eat organic fresh fruit or drink freshly squeezed fruit juice. Eat or drink only fruit. Try to mix up the fruits during the week. For example, do not eat bananas every morning. Try melons now and then, as they are one of the easiest foods to digest. Melons actually proceed directly to the intestines after being consumed. If they are held up in the stomach by other foods, they will decompose quickly and ferment. A melon is a great way to start the day. You can eat a variety of fruits throughout the whole morning, but never mix sweet fruits with acid fruits. It's okay to mix sweet with subacid or acid with subacid (see below). Eat as much as you want until you are full. Remember, we are supporting the body's Elimination Cycle in the morning.
*Mangos are both Sweet & SubAcidic
MEAL #2 of the Day: MID-MORNING SNACK
Should be eaten halfway between breakfast and lunch
For a nice brunch, choose option #1, #2, #3 or #4. (For example, you might eat #1 on Mondays, #2 on Tuesdays, #3 on Wednesdays, and so on.) Remember to chew your food well before swallowing. You can snack on 1 of the following items:
MEAL #3 of the Day: LUNCH (Vegetable + Starch Meal)
Have lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Choose 2 to 3 alkaline vegetables (no acidic ones) and combine with a salad of fresh spinach, mixed lettuce, and greens (such as arugula, beet greens, or kale). Organic salad dressing, a mixture of organic olive oil with balsamic vinegar or organic apple cider vinegar are excellent complements. Select only the red or dark-green leafy types of lettuce. Iceberg-type lettuces are usually hybrids and contain virtually zero nutritional value. Spinach (and baby spinach) is an excellent source of nutrients, and besides that it tastes great in salads. You may also mix some raw seeds or nuts of your choice into the salad.
Choose Two or Three Starchy Foods From Below To Accompany Your Salad: Potatoes (red, baked), beans, pumpkin, squash, gluten free bread, gluten free pasta, lentils, quinoa, sweet potatoes, rice (brown or wild), chick peas, beets, or cauliflower. It’s best to eat your food of choice raw, otherwise lightly steam, boil quickly, or bake. The more you cook food the less healthy it becomes.
MEAL #4 of the Day: MID-AFTERNOON SNACK
Should be eaten halfway between lunch and dinner
These options will be the same as your mid-morning snack (listed above). Choose options #1, #2, #3, or #4 (For example, you might eat #1 on Mondays, #2 on Tuesdays, #3 on Wednesdays, and so forth)
MEAL #5 of the day: DINNER (Vegetable + Fat + Protein Meal)
It's best to have dinner between 6 and 8 p.m.
As with lunch, eat a large, fresh vegetable salad (with only alkaline vegetables) before anything else. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of organic flaxseed oil, cold-pressed olive oil, hempseed oil, or coconut oil into your salad. This dressing will provide more flavor as well as the essential fatty acids your body needs.
Although you need to pick one protein source for dinner, I strongly recommend you start slowly eliminating meat from your diet. The human body is an herbivore not a carnivore. If you absolutely must have meat on occasion, limit it to 1-2 servings per week and make sure it's organic. Meat and dairy should come from range fed animals raised without harmful antibiotics and hormones.
Sources Of Protein: Eggs, Lamb, Veal, Rabbit, Legumes*, Hemp Milk, Raw Goat Milk, Fermented Soy, Range-fed Beef or Buffalo (Bison), Cottage Cheese, Raw Seeds, Raw Nuts, Other Organic Cheeses, Cold-water Fish (Cod, Halibut, Sole, Haddock) or Wild Game (Deer, Squirrel, Duck, Quail, etc.)
*Legumes include beans and peas, and can be a good source of protein if eaten with mixed vegetables (in a salad) or with a complete protein (seeds, nuts, meat, and eggs). On their own, legumes are incomplete proteins and contain only certain amino acids.
If you want a little extra seasoning for your meal, Himalayan Crystal Salt is an excellent substitute for regular table salt and can perk up any dish! Make sure you don't overdo eating at dinner time. Let your appetite be your guide and (I'll say it again) chew your food thoroughly!
Coconut Oil: Organic virgin coconut oil is one of the best choices of good fat you can add to your diet. Coconut oil contains 90% saturated fat and is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are easily digestible and can drastically improve your health. MCFA’s are not stored as fat because they are immediately converted to energy once in the body. This oil is also very good to cook with because it remains stable even under high temperatures. Coconut oil contains lauric acid (a known immune stimulant), is rich in fiber, and contains essential vitamins and minerals. Organic raw unrefined extra virgin coconut oil is the best to use and should be solid at room temperature.
Benefits of consuming coconut oil include: Weight loss, immune system support, cardiovascular health, increased energy, thyroid support, healthy skin, hair and nails, improved cell regeneration, disables fungus, bacteria and viruses, improves insulin secretions and protection against free radicals.
Hempseed Oil: Hemp Seed oil is derived from the seeds of the plant cannabis sativa. It provides all the essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and essential amino acids, structured in an easily digestible form to maintain human life. The oil is composed of 80% essential fatty acids, the highest in the plant kingdom. It contains the Omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids. No other plant oil has a perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 EFA’s. Hemp seed oil is also great for vegetarians because it provides them with healthy fatty acids without having to consume fish oil. Hempseed oil is also rich in vitamin E and is the only plant which provides a source of Vitamin D.
Benefits of consuming Hemp Seed oil include: Cardiovascular support, natural sunblock agent, helps high blood pressure, reduces PMS, lowers high cholesterol, reduces inflammation, calms arthritis, soothes eczema, assists the brain and nervous system, produces healthy cell membranes, healthy skin, nails and hair, and can be used as skin moisturizer without clogging pores.
Flaxseed Oil: Flaxseed oil is extracted from the seeds of the flax plant. This oil contains 55% of Omega 3 fatty acid by weight. Omega-3 refers to three types of fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Once consumed, the human body converts ALA to EPA and DHA. This oil is also high in fiber and potassium. Flaxseed oil requires special packaging because it is easily destroyed by oxygen, heat and light. It is best to purchase organic flaxseed oil and keep it refrigerated to preserve freshness.
Benefits of consuming Flaxeed oil include: Helps crohns disease, colitis, soothes intestinal walls, natural laxative, reduces high cholesterol, promotes healthy hair, nails and skin, reduces symptoms of menopause and helps burn body fat.
Olive Oil: Olive oil has been used as a medicine and health aid since it was first cultivated around 5000BC. It is a monounstaurated fat and contains vital vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Olive oil has a large amount of vitamins A, D, and K, as well as vitamin E, which are key sources needed to prevent free radical damage. When purchasing make sure the olive oil is organic, cold pressed and extra virgin.
Benefits of consuming olive oil include: Promotes healthy digestion, protects against heart disease, eases symptoms of gastritis and ulcers, lowers gallstone formation and reduces high cholesterol.
Common Foods that are Grains, or are made from grains are: Rye, Wheat, Bran, Kamut, Cornflour, Corn, Beer, Cornmeal, Spelt, Oats, chicken, beef and vegetable stock. Avoid the following foods made from the list above: Biscuits, pizza, bagels, pasta, cakes and bread crumbs.
Common Foods/ Flours that are Grain-Free: Arrowroot, Almond flour, Buckwheat (Kasha), Chickpeas, Fava Bean, Flaxseed, Lentils, Sesame, Quinoa, Amaranth, Coconut flour, Cottonseed, Potato Starch, Plantain flour, Tapioca and Cassava. Grain free foods are always gluten free.
Wheat products contain the largest source of the protein Gluten. Gluten consists of two primary amino acids known as Glutenin and Gliadin. These amino acids contain four main proteins: prolamins, globulins, albumins, and glutelins. The most dangerous form to the body are Glutelins which cause gluten intolerance and allergic reactions. The human body does not produce the enzyme necessary to break down gluten which means every single person who consumes it will have a negative immune reaction. The intake of gluten creates an autoimmune response whenever wheat or its proteins enter the body. An allergy to gluten may cause breathing difficulty, hives, headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, bloating, gas or even celiac disease.
Avoid the following Gluten Containing Foods: Cereal grains, wheat, rye, spelt, barley, white flour, durum wheat, kamut, wheat germ, wheat bran, graham flour, pasta, bread, couscous, flour tortillas, cakes, crackers, cookies, pastries, chips, imitation fish, hot dogs and fried foods. Replace with gluten free alternatives