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Full Body Cleanse: FAQ
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim on Jan 07, 2010
What follows are a series of questions and answers regarding the Full Body Cleanse Program.
If, after reading through this section, you have additional questions about cleansing and detoxification, please feel free to use our Contact Form to send us your question(s).
How important is it to stay away from coffee during the full body cleanse program?
Beyond stirring up and eliminating toxins, one of the goals of the full body cleanse is to restore optimal tone to your autonomic nervous system and all of the organs that your autonomic system governs.
One of the keys to restoring optimal tone to your autonomic nervous system is to avoid stimulants. The most common stimulants used in everyday life are alcohol, nicotine, and drinks that contain concentrated doses of caffeine, like coffee, most conventional teas, some types of soda, and energy drinks.
So the answer to this question is that it's quite important to try to avoid the use of coffee while on the full body cleanse program. While you can still experience significant health benefits if you drink coffee during your cleanse, you won't experience optimal improvement in the health of your autonomic nervous system.
What do you think about drinking just water, lemon juice, maple syrup/honey, and cayenne pepper for several days or a few weeks at a time?
Going on any calorie-restricted cleanse like the one described in this question may lead you to experience some symptoms of detoxification. It may also lead to some improvement in your health, especially if your everyday diet includes significant quantities of foods that aren't good for you.
But over the long term, cleansing programs that are severely limited in calories may contribute to a number of health challenges, the most common ones being binge eating and muscle loss.
Maintaining muscle mass is critical to promoting optimal health over the long term for a number of reasons, the most important one being that your muscles act as a reservoir for glucose, which is stored as glycogen. Maintaining a healthy amount of muscle mass for your structure can help keep your blood sugar level within a healthy range. Since people tend to lose muscle mass as they age, it's important to preserve as much muscle mass as possible through physical activity and a healthy diet.
How does the full body cleanse compare to water fasting?
Water fasting leads to rapid detoxification - no other type of cleansing program can match the pace at which toxins are stirred up and eliminated from the body during a properly conducted water fast.
The full body cleanse program can lead to significant detoxification and restoration of tone to your autonomic nervous system, but the changes that take place during the full body cleanse program take longer than they do during a water fast. The good news is that the changes that take place during the full body cleanse tend to be lasting changes, as the program promotes healthy dietary habits for the long term and preserves much of your muscle mass.
Can I take the greens and acerola cherry powder during the full body cleanse?
Yes, it's fine to take any whole food supplements that contain only fruits and vegetables during the full body cleanse program. It's best to ensure that the supplements that you take during your intense cleanse are free of grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and protein isolates. For more guidance on choosing quality whole food supplements, view:
Are we able to use other oils during the full body cleanse, such as flaxseed, pumpkin, hemp seed, or organic coconut? Why is olive oil allowed?
Oils are extremely low in protein, and are typically easier to digest than foods that are considered protein-dense (grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and animal foods).
Still, oils are highly concentrated foods, and they require more work of your digestive system than vegetables and fruits do. So it's best to avoid oils during the cleanse. A small amount of extra-virgin olive oil is recommended only if you find it difficult to eat raw and steamed vegetables on their own.
Other oils may be suitable substitutes for olive oil. I recommend extra-virgin olive oil only because it's the one that I have long used with the full body cleanse program, and I know that the program can be highly effective with small amounts of extra-virgin olive oil.
I am allergic to avocados. Also, I am a very active athlete, and I exercise vigorously a minimum of 7 hours per week. Is there something that I can substitute for the avocados during the full body cleanse?
As mentioned in Full Body Cleanse: Lifestyle, it's important to give your body as much physical rest as possible during the full body cleanse. The full body cleanse diet and physical rest are both essential requirements for experiencing significant detoxification and improvement in your overall health.
If you must exercise vigorously as a part of an athletic training program, it is likely in your best interest to include some protein-dense foods - like legumes, organic eggs, and fish - in your diet. Nuts and seeds are fine choices for most people as well, but my experience has been that legumes, organic eggs, and wild fish are better choices than nuts and seeds.
I have read that you should avoid cleansing within two years of planning to get pregnant. Do you believe this is true? Do you recommend any cleanses for women who are trying to get pregnant?
Regarding cleansing while pregnant, nursing or preparing to get pregnant: Unless a person has been exposed to extremely high levels of toxins in the past, I don't think that elimination of toxins presents a danger to a baby.
The main danger in experiencing an intense cleanse during these times is that if an extremely light, vegan diet - like the one described in this series - is followed for an extended period of time, it's possible to become undernourished in nutrients that are essential to a baby's development. For more information on potential problems with a strict vegan diet, please view:
While pregnant, nursing, or preparing to get pregnant, I believe that it's best to focus on getting as many nutrient-rich foods into your system as possible, including foods that are rich in healthy fat, protein, complex carbs, and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and enzymes).
I have read that it is not good to eat fruit and vegetables together as one hinders the digestion of the other. Also not to eat fruit at the end of a meal. Your thoughts on these thoughts?
If one's digestive tract is extremely sensitive or inflamed, it may be helpful to eat fewer types of foods per meal. In fact, "mono-meals" can be useful in some cases, where a person eats just one food at a time.
But for most people, I have found that most combinations of fruits and vegetables can be eaten together without any struggles. There's really no getting around observing how your body reacts to different foods and combinations of foods, and tailoring your choices accordingly.
Are dried fruits like figs and dates allowed during the full body cleanse?
Dried fruits are allowed, but they are not optimal choices, as they are highly concentrated in natural sugars. When eaten in large amounts and on a regular basis, dried fruits can contribute to problems with your blood sugar and insulin levels. Dried fruits can also contribute to the development of cavities.
If you soak dried fruits in water for an hour or two before eating, they become much healthier choices, as re-hydrating dried fruits effectively decreases the concentration of natural sugars within.
In your everyday life, it's fine to eat a handful of dried fruits daily, but only if you eat lots of mineral-rich greens - like romaine lettuce - and you brush your teeth after each serving and you don't experience signs and symptoms of tooth decay, like tooth pain and sensitivity after eating.
Can I have my 3-year old do the full body cleanse?
I feel that it is best to have growing children eat a variety of foods, including foods that are naturally rich in healthy fat and protein.
Even when a young child has been exposed to antibiotics, other prescription meds, and a variety of environmental toxins, his or her self healing and detoxifying mechanisms are likely to be sharp enough to preserve good overall health while on a well balanced diet.
In short, I recommend the full body cleanse diet plus foods like legumes, organic eggs, grains, and small amounts of nuts and seeds for growing children and pregnant and nursing women.
Full Body Cleanse Series:
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