Posted on: April 29, 2016 at 1:42 pm
Last updated: September 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Problems in the body (and mind) often arise from one of two states: 1) deficiency, where we are not acquiring sufficient necessary nutrients to meet our needs and bodily functions; or 2) congestion, where we are faced with the problem of excess, either due to the over-consumption of foods or non-food substances (e.g. caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, refined sugar and food chemicals) and/or due to the reduced capability of our eliminative functions e.g. kidneys, lungs etc.

People who are deficient may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Coldness
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin

These people need to be nourished with wholesome foods to aid healing.

People who have congestive issues may experience:

  • Colds
  • Flus
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies

Congestive issues are more common in Western, industrialized civilizations. These medical problems may be prevented or treated, at least in part, and often dramatically by embarking on a process of cleansing and detoxification.


In my forty years of medical practice, I can tell you that I truly believe that cleansing and detoxification is virtually one of the most powerful healing (real healing of ailments and not just suppression of symptoms) therapies and the missing link in Western nutrition.

This process includes incorporating dietary changes such as consumption of more fresh fruits, vegetables and water, all while reducing animal fats and proteins.

It is also important to eliminate damaging substances that are abused or overused, in particular SNACCs – an acronym that stands for Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals.

Unfortunately, about 90% of people use these substances to either stimulate their energy or sedate them to rest and relax. When this is not done in balance, or we don’t sleep well or are sick, we may even need more SNACCs, and then we run our body down. I often see this happen with the common results being that of Fatigue, Insomnia, Depression and Anxiety.

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To get started, you can use the guidelines for the basic Detox Diet below. This will provide you with a general idea of what is involved:

THE DETOX DIET- by Elson M. Haas, MD © 2016


  1. Chew your food very well and take enough time when you eat.
  2. Relax a few minutes before and after your meal.
  3. Eat in a comfortable sitting position.
  4. Eat primarily steamed fresh vegetables and some fresh greens.
  5. Take only herbal teas after dinner.


Morning (upon arising): Two glasses of water (filtered, spring, or reverse osmosis), one glass with half a lemon squeezed into it.


Breakfast: One piece of fresh fruit (at room temp), such as an apple, pear, banana, grapes, or citrus. Chew well, mixing each bite with saliva.

15-30 minutes later: One bowl of cooked whole grains–specifically millet, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, raw buckwheat, or buckwheat.

Flavoring can be two tablespoons of fruit juice for a sweeter breakfast taste, or use the “better butter” mixture mentioned below with a little salt or tamari for a deeper flavor.

Lunch (Noon-1 P.M.) One-two medium bowls of steamed vegetables; use a variety, including roots, stems, and greens–e.g. potatoes & yams, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, asparagus, kale, chard, and cabbage. CHEW WELL!

Dinner (5-6 P.M.) Same as Lunch.


Seasoning – Butter/olive oil mix or flaxseed oil. Make this “better butter” by mixing a half cup of cold-pressed canola oil (or olive or flaxseed oils) into a soft (room temperature) half-pound of butter; then place in dish and refrigerate. Use about one teaspoon per meal or a maximum of 3 teaspoons daily.

 11 AM & 3 PM – One-two cups veggie water, saved from steamed vegetables. Add a little sea salt or kelp and drink slowly, mixing each mouthful with saliva.

Evening: Herbal teas only – e.g. peppermint, chamomile, pau d’arco, or blends.

NOTE on Protein intake: You may feel a little weak or have a few symptoms the first couple of days; this will pass. Clarity and feeling good should appear by day 3 or 4, if not before. If during this diet, you start to feel weak or hungry, assess your water intake and elimination; if needed, you can eat a small portion of protein food (3-4 ounces) in the mid-afternoon. This could be fish; free-range, organic chicken; or some beans, such as lentil, garbanzo, mung, or black beans.

For more comprehensive information on this subject, you can read my books: The Detox Diet: The Complete Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, & Detox Plans, and Staying Healthy With Nutrition.

Dr. Elson Haas
Contributor to The Hearty Soul.

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