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3 Steps to Successful Cleansing

Most of my patients can reset their metabolism by switching from sugar and processed foods to real, whole, fresh food. But there are some who need a more powerful reboot, a cleanse. And there are so many programs and cleanses out there -- some good, some not.
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Most of my patients can reset their metabolism by switching from sugar and processed foods to real, whole, fresh food. But there are some who need a more powerful reboot, a cleanse. And there are so many programs and cleanses out there -- some good, some not. Some even include a lot of fruit juice, which can be a problem if you have diabesity or struggle with sugar issues.

For those who are interested in a trying a cleanse, who need a reboot, who have FLC Syndrome (where you feel like crap), there are a few things to keep in mind.

Not just any cleanse out there will work -- there are a lot of fad diets with potential short- and long-term consequences masquerading around the internet as legit medical cleanses. You need to follow the guidance of someone who knows the science behind how the body functions and what nutrients it needs to thrive, someone who understands the root causes of our toxic bodies and minds.

There is one single ingredient in our food supply that leaves millions of us desperate for a quick reboot on our health along with a yearning to press pause on the craving and food addiction cycle. What's the culprit? Sugar!

The fact that we eat 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour per person per year in America makes it impossible for people to control their behavior around food. These substances are highly addictive; in fact, they are eight times as addictive as cocaine. Rats will keep eating sugar even while they are getting electric shocks to make them stop!

We blame people for being overweight, but the truth is, it's not their fault. Our taste buds, hormones and brain chemistry have been hijacked by the food industry, which adds sugar and other addictive substances to food to try to get you hooked. If you want to detox, you must first reset your hormones and brain chemistry by unhooking yourself from these addictive substances and replacing them with real, whole, fresh foods. The result is not only a significant jump start on weight loss but also a dramatic change in health.

When you eat real, whole, fresh foods that are highly concentrated in vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients and fiber, you provide your body with the fuel it needs to stay healthy and prevent and heal from disease. But you also have to remove the junk. All the sugar, flour and processed foods in our supermarkets today interfere with a healthy, functioning body.

My good friend Jill Pettijohn showed me how to create delicious, wholesome, hypoallergenic meals. She is the person I picked to design and prepare healing meals on my detox retreats, as well as for my book, The 10-Day Detox Diet. Jill is a chef and leader in safe, effective cleansing. Her cleanses are the hallmark of healthy eating. They are low glycemic, organic and toxin-free, as well as fresh and phytonutrient-rich. This means your insulin levels won't spike when you follow any one of her cleanses and your blood sugar levels will normalize. Maintaining low circulating insulin is the first and most important step in leading a vital life at the right weight for your body.

As importantly, your body will be flooded with nutrients it depends on to stay healthy. One of my favorite meals on Jill's cleanse is the Spinach Watercress Soup. It's made with creamy avocado that supports your fat-burning hormones and has watercress, which is a green leafy plant that is high in antioxidants and disease-preventive compounds called isothiocyanates that may inhibit cancer growth.

When I want something sweet but I don't want to send my blood sugars soaring, I love sipping on her Almond Chai, which is made with real vanilla bean, raw almonds and chai spices like cinnamon and clove, which, studies show, lower blood sugar levels.

Since Jill is the expert in creating great-tasting juices and soups for cleansing, I asked her what tips she has for you:

  • Choose raw, LIVE ingredients in order to optimize your nutrition status while cleansing. Not all raw food is alive (like raw meat!). Make sure you take the time to soak or sprout your ingredients, like nuts and seeds, in order to activate important enzymes necessary for proper digestion and assimilation.

  • Ensure a variety of flavors, colors and ingredients to maintain pleasure and sustain interest. Jill's cleanse has every color of the rainbow from bright green to deep pink -- all from using real ingredients like vegetables, nuts and berries. This not only ups your enjoyment factor but also ensures a variety of nutrients, so you maximize nutrition.
  • Keep it quick, simple and accessible for your on-the-go lifestyle. I love Jill's cleanse because I can actually enjoy it! Because her products are already prepared for you (and can be shipped via FedEx anywhere in the country), it is easy to incorporate them into my busy schedule.
  • Wishing you health and happiness,

    Mark Hyman, MD

    Interested in learning more about Jill and her variety of options? Check out Jill's Cleanse to see what flavors await you the next time you feel like giving your body and mind a total reboot.

    Join Dr. Hyman on his path to revolutionize the way we think about and take care of our health and our societies at, on Twitter, on Instagram @MarkHymanmd, and on Facebook.