When considering a cleanse, remember that cleansing should always be balanced with the needs of growth and repair if you do not want to force your body into a survival mode. If a balanced approach is not implemented, cleansing and weight-loss results are short-term at best. One of the greatest examples of a balanced approach to cleansing is found in the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. His work with patients who are awaiting heart transplants is extraordinary and applicable to this topic.

Heart disease is rarely if ever limited to the heart. A bad heart is a symptom of a compromised cardiovascular network. Given that this is the network that feeds every other system in the body, generally myriad secondary symptoms also follow a compromise of the cardiovascular system. These could be hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, decreased muscle strength, compromised skeletal system, compromised reproductive system, and so forth. From brain function to sexual capacity, cardiovascular disease reaches your entire body because the proper and free flow of nutrients to every other system in the body is compromised.

Instead of asking patients to fast, or to drink only juice, or blended fruit and veggie drinks, or to eat 100% raw food, or to eat mono-meals, or to drink just lemonade dowsed with cayenne pepper, or to drink just smoothies, or to live on chocolate, or to eat just watermelons, or to do a green cleanse and so forth, Dr. Esselstyn does something everyone can do quite easily. He recommends that while a person arrests and reverses heart and cardiovascular disease, that they eliminate all intake of overt fats, which include all animal-based foods, oils, and to even limit the intake of avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds to a sparing use.

Before I tell you what his patients eat, let me share their results. One hundred percent of patients that follow his protocol, lower risk factors sufficiently within three to eight weeks to arrest heart disease and to lower risks sufficiently to come off of all Statin drugs. Moreover, 100 percent who continue to follow the protocol experience a reversal of heart disease. The reversal requires just one to two years to achieve maximum benefits.

Considering that the average waiting time for a new heart is now 18 months, I would say the docs patients have spent their time wisely while waiting for hearts. Moreover, not one of his patients on the heart donor list, who have followed his dietary protocol, have ever had to go through with the heart transplant. Heart disease has been the leading cause of death within the U.S. for several decades. The fact that this man's 150+ peer-reviewed publications and their results are not front-page news is criminal, considering the true healthcare costs to each of us. Eighty percent of the U.S. population suffers from cardiovascular disease.

So what is the cleansing protocol that cleans up and heals an entire vessel network and heart? Well, remember that cleansing alone is insufficient; to experience such benefits, cleansing must go hand-in-hand with growth and repair. Think about it, a compromised cardiovascular system sustains real damage. Cleansing is insufficient; it must be accompanied by repair and regrowth. Therefore, the approach to true health success is not imbalanced, but must meet all primary metabolic needs without starving the body of certain vital nutrients that are required for growth and repair.  


Realities of Cleansing or Losing Weight the Wrong Way!

Any dietary regimen that starves the body of the basic vital nutrients that are required for metabolism, forces the body into a survival metabolic pathway. Let's say that you need to lose weight and fast from food for forty days and nights? What will you accomplish? You will lose a lot of weight, you will help clean up the cardiovascular system, you will experience healthier skin, you may even reverse various degenerative conditions. With all that good, why knock it?

I wanted to accomplish some things that required long-term fasting this past summer. I fasted for more than 20 days straight and enjoyed several of the benefits described above; however, I also forced my body into a survival mode. Afterwards, even with a well-planned diet, I steadily gained weight for approximately three months. It took three months of sound nutrition just to get my body out of its survival mode. Just think how much weight I would have gained had I not known how to eat properly. It would have been horrific; as it was, it gave me personal proof that everything I have read about this subject is true.

Experts that have run fasting and detox clinics are aware of this phenomena. Here is the key; if you deprive the body of any essential nutrient that is needed for growth, repair, and cleansing, you force it into a survival mode where it strives to hang on to everything, until about three months after you normalize your vital reserve levels. The body wants to hang only everything as if you were in a famine.

Dr. Esselstyn has effectively demonstrated that popular, super-cleansing extremes are unnecessary in order to repair, build, strengthen, and cleanse the body. Rather, for long-term sustainable cleansing, growth, and repair, a wiser approach leads to far more sustainable and lasting results. 

Popular Cleanses - Strengths and Weakness

Allow me to share a few popular cleanses; even though they are each incomplete, they offer wonderful insights for us. In fact, each of the following cleansing techniques promises to help you release weight, have more energy, enjoy more youthful skin and face, overcome depression, and to enjoy several other health improvements such as better digestion, better breath, lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, improved mental strength and focus, and greater physical strength.

Mono Cleanses: These are cleanses that focus eating on one fruit alone for extended periods of time. Perhaps you've heard of the grape cure, or the watermelon cleanse, or the apple cleanse, or the cherry or apricot cleanse. Each of these mono cleanses include drinking plenty of water and consuming several pounds of the particular fruit per day during the season in which each fruit ripens and is naturally coming off the vine or tree. Each has peculiar benefits unique to the particular fruit that is eaten in its natural season. 

For instance, grapes are rich in antioxidants and apples are high in pectin and act as a wonderful intestinal sweeper. Apricots and cherries help stimulate bowel movements and to loosen the contents of the small and large intestines to create a magnificent flush.

Warning - none of these fruits provide a full array of vital nutrients required to sustain all metabolic activity and if diet is limited to them alone for extended periods you will force your body into the survival mode, as if you were in a famine. It requires several months afterwards of a sound diet to bring your body out of survival mode. 

Liquid Cleanses: These include popular cleanses such as the water fast, the lemonade diet, juice fasts in general and the more specialized green juice diet, blended fruit or green smoothies, coconut water, raw soups and even blended steamed vegetables. Each of these cleanses minimize digestive needs and enable the body to do significant housekeeping while it is taking a digestive break. They lead you to feel good and to feel energized; they can even help to build specific nutritional reserves.

Warning - Once again, they fail to provide all essential metabolic needs and force the body into survival mode if used for more than a few days at a time. Also, rips, tears, and hemorrhoids often occur while trying to restart the digestive system at the conclusion of such cleanses.   

Raw Food Cleanses: Raw food cleanses tend to focus upon consuming green smoothies at least twice daily as well as your choice of other raw fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, the raw-food cleanse often calls for complete abstinence from nuts, seeds, olives, and avocado, rather than a more healthful sparing use. It is a step up from the other cleanses because it doesn't shut the digestive system down and keeps a large amount of natural fiber flowing through you, which is important during a cleanse. Well-designed raw-food cleanses provide similar benefits to the cooked and raw dietary protocol that has been implemented so successfully by Dr. Esselstyn and his patients, with one exception. Blending foods accelerates absorption rates to far exceed the natural physiological preferences of the body, resulting in grossly high blood-sugar levels. This is counter-productive on several levels. High blood sugar levels lead to the conversion of sugar to fat. They also lead to damaged nerves, damaged eyes, damaged organs, to heart disease, and to amputations. Until you learn how to approach this dietary method in a proper manner, you will possibly inflict undue damage to your body. 

Warning - As I have worked with weight-loss clients, I have noted blood-sugar levels that have reached over 600 mg/dl of blood among several clients I have worked with, following the consumption of any smoothie. My conclusion is that recommending smoothie-based solutions and even fresh-juicing based solutions to the general public is inadvisable for probably six or even seven out of 10 people. Sixty-seven percent of the population was overweight in 2009; none of them should depend upon smoothies to win back their health. Smoothies and fruit juices are incompatible with the design of normal human physiology. If employed or used, sip, don't guzzle and enjoy your drinks very slowly over extended periods of time! This will prevent blood-sugar levels from rising to unsafe levels.



To experience lasting vitality and ideal body weight, we must consider successful and sustainable solutions that employ balanced approaches to repair, growth, and cleansing. Each of the above cleanses, as well as Dr. Esselstyn's work, offer certain insights that can be applied to long-term solutions. In Cleansing Wisdom - Part 3, I will share my short and long-term recommendations that draw from the strengths of each of the above cleansing solutions to create a sensible dietary approach for a lifetime. Whether you suffer from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, or from any one of today's 4000 plus diet-induced diseases, you will realize exceptional benefits from the recommendations that follow in Cleansing Wisdom - Part 3.



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...Question:  How is it that many studies say that RAW oils from nuts and fruits (coconut) ARE heart healthy and preventative?

Ruth Ann

Please explain more about the function of oils in our diets.  I have been experimenting with my diet for the last 9 years, and have learned to notice the effect of certain foods on my mental and physical well-being.   If anything, I have begun to wonder if I need more, not less healthy oils in my diet.  I am very active taking care of my young children, and eat primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.  Weight is not an issue, but I have noticed that eating coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, and various raw nuts (rotating various types) feels like I am taking light into my body.  I have a totally different response to cooked nuts, white flour, sugar, etc.


I was also wondering whether the 10% of calories from fat guideline you have mentioned is just carried over from the research on animal-based foods discussed in "The China Study", or if there is other research showing the same evidence of disease "turning on" regardless of the the source of the dietary fat.

Certain essential fats are absolutely essential to our diets, just as are proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and so forth; however, it is a misnomer to believe essential fats must be extracted and used as concentrated oils in order to provide the desired benefit. Nature provides the perfect balance of essential fats within whole foods. Our creator did not leave them out of fruits, vegetables, grains, or legumes. A diet of whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes provides nine to 12 percent fat, without adding any overt natural fats such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados. A small addition of these quickly takes our fat intake to 20 percent or higher. Dr Essenstyn's work recognizes the need for essential fats, but also recognizes the truly heart healthy way of consuming those fats--from whole foods, not concentrates. His research has yielded the same consistent results for over 30 years right within the walls of the most prestigious heart clinic in the world.


Consider how damaging concentrated extracted sugars are to our bodies. No nutrients should be extracted and consumed, but should be a part of a more natural blend of nutrients provided by nature. Research also has demonstrated that the number one cause of heart disease today is from the use of oils in our diets and has also demonstrated that no more than four percent of our calories should ever come from oils; yet, as a public, 30 percent of our average caloric intake comes from oils. The studies you site, rarely speak to limitations that should be imposed if you choose to use concentrates. Good question. In general, I only recommend two sources of oil; for a cooking oil, coconut oil provides the greatest benefits. As a minor addition to whole-food salad dressings, to help emulsify the dressing and to help it cling to vegetables, extra virgin olive oil can be used. However, science has effectively demonstrated that all benefits associated with this oil are lost through cooking. There are some medicinal uses of various oils, but these are not for everyday use.


If I can take the time to address oils more completely, I will do so in a manner that is more useful and instructive and that includes proper citations. Jim

The key isn't about adding oil or not adding oil to your diet. The objective is to obtain the essential fats you need for good mental health, heart health, and so that your fat soluble vitamins can function as they should in the body. Without adequate essential fats, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are not absorbed properly. This results in myriad health problems, such as an inability to mineralize the body properly. The average fat intake today is over 40 percent. This is far too much fat and is as bad inadequate fat intake. As I said in the above response; I hope to be able to tackle this subject more fully in the near future. Best, Jim

Thanks. I eat most days about 80% raw. My milk is from almonds, nuts and seeds, as well as coconut, avoiding the processed oils as much as possible. I love raw virgin coconut oil in several dishes. All education you offer is so much appreciated. Thanks for doing an excellent job!


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