Detox: Hoax or Healing?
I have used the process of detoxification and the information in this book for more than thirty-five years for my personal well-being as well as for many thousands of patients, with even more people benefiting from the process since the publication of the first edition of this book. Of course, there are many other practitioners who guide and observe people through similar processes of elimination diets, detoxification programs, and juice cleansing and have thousands of positive anecdotes. We still do not have much research that backs up what we see. It is challenging to first study the multi-dimensional programs people typically employ and then compare them with placebos or different diets. This research gold standard (double-blind, placebo-controlled study) is much easier when evaluating one substance, like a new medicine.
Really, we are talking here about a complete lifestyle shift, as with diet, exercise activities, and attitudes. Thus, to skeptics, it’s all a bunch of talk. “Prove to me that it works,” states a scientific researcher. I say, “Let me put you on a program and we’ll see how you feel and look. And we can study your blood chemistry, such as your cholesterol level (especially when it’s high), or monitor your blood pressure. Many aspects of your health will get better, with many side benefits.” I know when people make lifestyle and habit changes they often have improved health results.
Still, it’s difficult to study whole programs for improved health. Here, experience and anecdote might be a better gold standard.
We have expanded the recipe options from the original version of The Detox Diet because we want to give you more tasty choices for foods you can consume during and after detox. The following recipes are examples of foods you can eat coming off your detox program as well as some you can even consume while on your detox. We have organized them into breakfast; lunch and dinner; soups, salads, and side dishes; sauces, dips and dressings; snacks and treats; hot and cold drinks; smoothies; and fresh vegetable and fruit juices for easier access and application to your diet.
Part of the detoxification process is following an alkaline diet to help balance the acidic body state, which we believe leads to the toxicity and inflammation that results in the chronic, degenerative problems many Westerners experience. (See the earlier discussion on the acid-alkaline balance in chapter 2.) Therefore, our program focuses on the alkaline-generating fruits and vegetables and the most alkaline grains, which include millet, quinoa, and buckwheat. We have avoided the use of commonly reactive foods, such as wheat and dairy products other than an occasional optional ingredient, as with the cheese in the Stuffed Bell Peppers (page 228).
We also suggest minimizing all chemical exposure, both from your environment and from your foods. Therefore, we support your inclusion of organic food choices whenever these are available, as well as avoiding packaged and processed foods as much as possible and minimizing chemical use at home. A review of chemical concerns and the most important foods to buy organically grown can be found in Staying Healthy with Nutrition.
Good appetite. Good food. Good health.
Green Pea Hummus
This brilliant green dip is fresh, filling, and perfect for entertaining. Serve with colorful vegetable slices as an appetizer or afternoon snack. Serves 4.
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
2 tablespoons toasted tahini
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Baby carrots, celery sticks, and/or sweet red, orange, or yellow bell pepper slices, for serving
Mix the peas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper, cumin, and oil in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve in a bowl with baby carrots, celery sticks, and/or sliced bell pepper.
Excerpted from The Detox Diet, Third Edition by Elson M. Haas, MD, with Daniella Chace, MSN. Copyright © 2012 by Elson M. Haas, MD, with Daniella Chace, MSN. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.