Kathy Freston is the author of Quantum Wellness and the above book The Quantum Wellness Cleanse. The cleanse is for 21 days and is not a fast. The cleanse does require abstaining for 3 weeks from meat, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, dairy and wheat/gluten. I can hear you screaming, 'But what's left if you exclude all those things from your diet?' Well, quite a lot it seems.
To avoid gluten you stop eating anything made with wheat flour, however you can buy or make breads from many other grains (oats, corn, kamut etc.). You can use agave syrup in place of sugar. Almond or rice milk make nice replacements for cow's milk. Huge health benefits apparently come from eliminating dairy, sugar and wheat. On the cleanse you will eat mainly vegetables, fruits and legumes.
For example, I plan to have the same breakfast every morning: steel-cut oats, with added fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries) and walnuts - maybe a little agave syrup if needed. Lunch will be salads that include either legumes (chick peas, lentils, etc.) with nuts, seeds or sprouts. Suppers can be quinoa with roasted vegetables, meat-free minestrone soup, etc. etc. If you are interested you need to read her book because there are lots of great suggestions about satisfying meal plans and snacks.
My daughter and her partner are just completing their second time on Freston's 21 day cleanse in one year. Both have lost a bit of weight although that was not the goal because neither was overweight to begin with. However, they are both are astounded by the increase in their level of energy once eliminating the foods that are so taxing on the digestive tract. Their skin glows, their eyes are bright and white, and they claim it is much easier than one would imagine. Neither of them normally eat meat or dairy, so it was a matter of eliminating sugar, alcohol, caffeine and gluten. I have the advantage of already eating no meat, but do eat some dairy (rarely), wheat, caffeine, some sugar and alcohol (wine). So I will have to abstain from them for the 3 weeks.
I am planning to give the 21 day cleanse a try starting Monday, February 1st. Anyone interested in joining me in this 'adventure'? You would have to read her book and immediately stock up on the things you CAN eat, have a concrete plan as to what you will eat every day - and try to keep it simple. Freston includes many recipes by Tal Ronnen the 'Conscious Cooking' chef and author. Another book that will be helpful on this cleanse is "Clean Food".
It will be a big challenge, but I'm gearing up for it now and will stock my cupboards with all the acceptable foods this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes, and do let me know if you would like to do it along with me. February 1st is this coming Monday! C-Day. (C for Cleanse!)
P.S. (Added 3 hours after initial posting.) Some of you have indicated in your comments that you might be interested in doing this with me. Here is a little article off of E-How by Stuart Copeland about the 21 Day Cleanse - what it is like - what you need to consider before trying it:
The 21 Day Cleanse focuses on healthy, wholesome foods and eliminates five staple foods from the diet. For three weeks, you are to give up alcohol, sugar, gluten, caffeine and animal products. Freston emphasizes conscious eating, being completely aware of what goes into our bodies, where it comes from and why we are consuming it. In an article in The Huffington Post, Freston says, "Sitting down to eat is an elemental part of every day and what we choose to put on our plate has repercussions not only for our physical well-being but also for our spiritual well-being."
The inherent and obvious benefits of the cleanse are to rid the body of toxins that build up due to bad habits, bad eating and pollutants in the environment. As these toxins build up, the energy required to naturally expel them takes it toll on the body, whereas a detoxification program eases the expelling process. Freston explains the benefits: "The cleanse delivers a fresh start. It's like a vacation, a reprieve from our old and tired ways...an opportunity to kick start a momentum of consciousness and healing."
Doctor Benjamin Kim of DrBenKim.com lists some of the best natural food for the cleansing process. These foods include: lettuce, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, carrots, onions, corn, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, pears, apples, bananas, mangoes, red beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, papaya, peaches, plums, nectarines, grapes, coconut, oranges, grapefruit, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Example Meal Plan
Oprah.com lists a typical daily meal plan for the cleanse:
Gluten-free toast with natural peanut butter or almond butter and tea
Quinoa with tofu and vegetable stir-fry
Salad with fresh vegetables
Soy yogurt with blueberries and almonds
Salad with avocado
It is best to slowly ease your way into the cleanse. The week prior to starting the cleanse, slowly ween yourself of caffeine, sugar and alcohol. An abrupt change in diet can cause extreme irritability, vomiting and fatigue. Consult your doctor before starting the cleansing program to ensure it is safe for your particular needs and lifestyle."
I personally will not be eating so many soy products on my cleanse. But that is up to each person. I don't particularly enjoy the flavour or texture of soy and know that one can get enough protein by combining legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains. I might make a concession and purchase some soy-based protein powder with which to make smoothies for breakfast or snacks. You really need to check this out for yourself to see if such a 21 day program is right for you.