Take Control of Your Health With

Dr. Mercola’s Nutrition Plan


Author Note: Information was taken from a web site that may have broken links.

My apology in advance if this is the case.

Welcome to the condensed version of my nutrition plan. My program comes from decades of experience -- decades spent learning from extensive research, conferring with my professional colleagues, and most of all, successfully treating many thousands of patients. Whether you are struggling with weight issues, facing some disease or condition, or you consider yourself reasonably healthy, I am certain that if you adhere to the recommendations summarized below and presented in full in my new book linked above, they will help you achieve the happy and healthy life you so richly deserve.  

So what makes this nutrition program different from all the other diets you've tried? It's based on fact. There are no miracle cures here, just tools to help you understand your body and achieve optimum health.

Many of the world's leading dietary experts adopted one-size-fits-all dietary solutions that they believe can be universally applied. While there are indeed certain universal truths, such as the danger of sugar and toxins, if one adopts this principle, my experience has taught me that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work.

Fact: One person's food may be someone else's poison.

Many diets will reverse one condition in one person but have no effect, or even worsen the condition, in another person due to differences in metabolic biochemistry. Just as we all differ tremendously with respect to our outward physical appearance, we are also unique on an internal (biochemical and physiological) level -- we all process foods and utilize nutrients differently. When you adopt a diet based on your specific "metabolic type," you will resolve most health disorders and achieve optimum health.

When your health problems are addressed in a symptom-oriented or piecemeal fashion, you will often experience temporary relief. However, your problems never really go away. They frequently shift to other parts of your body or recur in a short period of time. In contrast, when you address your metabolic type -- the unique biochemical needs that are based on your specific genetics -- your health problems will be treated at the causative foundational level, and you will have a permanent solution for regaining your health.

Fact: You won't be hungry.

You need not worry about being hungry on this plan. When you address your specific nutritional requirements you will not have any hunger pains. When you finally balance your diet needs, your food cravings will disappear, and you will wake up each day with more than enough energy. If this isn't happening, then this is your giant clue that you are not giving your body something it needs, and you will have to modify your program.

Fact: You can do it! With my three-level approach, I've made this program manageable.

The main difference in these levels is a progressively more rigid adoption of healthy eating principles. These are most often counter-cultural recommendations, but they are designed to bring you to optimal levels of wellness and health. All three levels have the same requirements for carbohydrates, proteins, and high-quality fats. Normalizing your insulin level will be a major key to improving your health and is essential for success in all three levels. One of the major differences will be the type of proteins that are allowed in each phase. Higher-quality proteins are gradually implemented as one chooses progressively healthier levels.

Important: When you change levels, you need to apply any restrictions from your previous level, as they are not repeated in the higher levels.

As you progress through the various levels, each one becomes more difficult, yet more freeing. Soon you will be enjoying a level of health you never dreamed possible!

Achieve Independent Health With Your Optimized Nutrition Plan: Getting Started

I have broken my nutrition plan down into three phases: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Success comes in steps, and this program has been designed to allow you to make your journey to optimal health in a step-by-step manner.

Almost everyone should begin at the "Beginner" level. The exceptions are those who are already implementing the advice found there, and those with serious diseases or other conditions that may want to - or have been advised to - take the more extensive measure of implementing the advice found in several or all of the stages to promote healing and health.

While making every change within phase is ultimately recommended to help you reach your optimal health, to determine which areas you may want to put the most initial focus on, you should assess your "Four Factors" -- insulin, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol -- as defined below. You should also periodically update your knowledge of your four factors to determine the progress you are making.

Each of the steps in these three phases has been placed there based on my clinical experience: while most people will benefit from taking the plan stage by stage, if you are just beginning but there are steps in the Intermediate or Advanced plan that you are eager (or have been advised) to implement now, by all means do so. Likewise, if you have achieved many, but not all, of the steps in the Beginner plan and would like to move on to some steps in the Intermediate plan while continuing to work on the unfinished ones in the Beginner, go for it.

If some changes present more challenge than others, just keep working at them. Remember, health is the greatest commodity you can ever have, so every step you succeed at taking throughout these three phases, whether it feels large or small, is a great leap forward in this most important journey. If you get discouraged at any point, keep this in mind: It is your one and only body and mind, and, more than anything else, it is worth it.

One more important point before your proceed, though:

Listen to Your Body!

If any food or supplement that is recommended by me, or anyone else, makes you nauseous or sick in any way, listen to your body and stop it immediately! Your body will always provide you with a better indication of what is good for you. Most people notice a remarkable improvement in the way they feel in anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If you are not doing better, this may be your body's clue that you will need a knowledgeable health care professional that understands insulin and fat biochemistry that can help fine-tune your individual program.

The First Step to Health: Assess Your "Four Factors"

There are four time-tested, clinically proven gauges of health that you can use to determine your own level of health. They are:

These four factors are your signs on the highway to optimal wellness. You can use these proven health indicators to monitor your success on the beginner's nutrition plan. Additionally, you can use these indicators to figure out when to move to the intermediate level of this nutritional plan. You'll feel comfortable, confident and psychologically ready to move on to the next level, and your indicators of health will be in their optimal ranges

Factor #1: Your Insulin Level

So what's the deal with insulin levels? Well, you need insulin to live, but you probably have far too much insulin floating around in your body. Most adults have about one gallon of blood in their bodies and are quite surprised to learn that in that gallon, there is only one teaspoon of sugar! You only need one teaspoon of sugar at all times -- if that. If your blood sugar level were to rise to one tablespoon of sugar you would quickly go into a hyperglycemic coma and die.

You body works very hard to prevent this by producing insulin to keep your blood sugar at the appropriate level. This reaction keeps you from dying when you eat sugar. Unfortunately, it turns out that high levels of insulin are quite toxic for your body. Anytime you eat grains and sugars, you are increasing your insulin levels. If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or are overweight, it is highly likely that you are eating far too many grains. When I reference diabetes I am referring to the most common type, type-2 diabetes, which typically occurs in adulthood and is associated with increased weight. Type-1 diabetes is actually a problem with not enough insulin, as the pancreas loses the ability to manufacture it.

FBS: The Fasting Blood Sugar Test

To find out your insulin levels, you need to get tested by your doctor. The test you need to ask for is a fasting blood sugar test, which can also be called an FBS, glucose test or blood sugar levels test. It consists of a small withdrawal of blood after a fasting period of six hours.

Facts about FBS:

Another helpful test would be to actually measure your fasting insulin level. You can safely ignore the reference ranges from the lab as they are based on "normals" of a population that has highly-disturbed insulin levels.

I do these tests regularly in my office. Your fasting insulin level should be 5 or below -- the lower the better. A fasting insulin level above 10 suggests profound insulin disturbances; the higher the number, the worse off you are. It's unusual to have levels above 20 in someone who is not already diabetic. When you get tested, if your insulin level is below 5, you can use this as an indication that it might be safe to progress to the intermediate level nutrition plan.

Once you normalize your weight and exercise, you can reintroduce grains into your diet at a lower level to optimize your health.

Factor #2: Your Ideal Weight

This second factor is something we struggle with more and more; millions and millions of people are overweight in the U.S. and the percentage just keeps going up. To read about the epidemic of obesity in America and around the world, please type any relevant keyword into my search engine and click "search." You'll find lots of information to help you understand this truly troubling problem.

One effective and simple method to figure out if you have a weight problem is as follows: With a tape measure, comfortably measure the distance around the smallest area below the rib cage and above the umbilicus (belly button). Waist circumference, perhaps surprisingly, is the best simple anthropometric measure of total body fat, is better than BMI (body mass index), and is also the best simple indicator of intra-abdominal fat mass. So if you measure your waist, men would be classified as obese if their waste size was above 40 and women if it were above 37.

BMI is a good tool, however, to find out what your ideal weight should be. The National Institutes of Health has a good BMI calculator.

Your ideal weight is important for this nutrition plan. This is not only because I am committed to helping your body heal and become healthier, but also because extra body weight and obesity can have major negative psychological effects that impair your ability to be optimally healthy. If you are not at your ideal weight -- overweight or underweight -- you should start with the Beginning nutrition plan and stay there until you have achieved your ideal body weight; then I advise you move into the Intermediate plan, to further optimize your body to fight disease and live a longer, more energetic life.

Factor #3: Your Ideal Blood Pressure -- 120/80

Your blood pressure ideally should be about 120/80 without medication. If you are on medication you will be delighted to know that this nutrition plan tends to normalize elevated blood pressures in the vast majority of people.

Although elevated insulin levels are one of the most potent contributors to elevated blood pressure, it's also common for stress, tension or anxiety to contribute to this problem. After you begin my nutrition plan and follow it for several months, if you don't see an improvement in your blood pressure you need to seek out a health care professional who is well-versed in using stress-relief methods, such as my personal favorite: EFT.

In my clinical experience, over 95 percent of patients with elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels respond to a reduced carbohydrate and insulin level correction approach. This is especially true for triglycerides. In over 20 years of practicing medicine I have never seen an elevated triglyceride level fail to drop in response to a low carbohydrate program.

Factor #4: Your Ideal Cholesterol Level

Most people are seriously confused about their cholesterol levels. This is because too much emphasis is placed on the importance of the total cholesterol. A far more important predictor of cardiovascular risk is actually the ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to total cholesterol.

I use the percentage of HDL and obtain this number by simply dividing the HDL by the total cholesterol (HDL/Total Cholesterol). Ideally this number should be above 24%. Levels below 10 are very dangerous and usually indicate an imminent cardiovascular problem. Ideally this level should be 30 or higher. It rarely gets above 50, but to the best of my knowledge, the higher the number the better. Normally this is not true for a lab value, but because this is a ratio, I believe we can make this assumption.

It is important to note that some clinicians actually obtain this ratio by dividing the total cholesterol by the HDL (Total Cholesterol/HDL). In this case, the numbers should be lower. The cut-off point for a poor ratio would be any number greater than 4 with greater than 10 having serious problems. This number rarely drops below 2.

It's important to note that there are a small subset of individuals born with a genetic condition called familiar hypercholesterolemia (about one in 500 people) in which their cholesterols are typically around 350 or higher. While this program will help to moderate their cholesterol levels, they usually do not normalize with a low insulin program such as this. Learn more about hypercholesterolemia.

If you're using your HDL percentage to figure out when to transition to the intermediate nutrition plan, you must use caution and consult a trained natural health care clinician if your cholesterol is above 350.

You can also use the triglyceride to HDL ratio (Triglyceride/HDL) as another indicator of insulin disturbance. This ratio should be below 2. The higher this number is the worse your insulin control may be.

There does not appear to be a similar genetic condition for triglycerides so you could use the Triglyceride/HDL ratio below 2 as one indication that you are ready to move on to the adaptation phase.

Welcome to the Beginner Nutrition Plan

I feel it's best for most people to start at the beginner level of this nutrition program. However, if you're healthy and highly committed to improving your health, you can go straight to the intermediate or advanced section. I do recommend reading through each plan, though, as recommendations that are mentioned in each plan aren't repeated when you go to the next level. The reasons I recommend most people starting at the basic level are twofold:

There are several basic requirements in this beginning level plan that will take time and patience to integrate into your daily life, and these requirements are essential to move on to my intermediate and advanced nutrition plans.

You need to allow your body to adjust to lowered insulin levels.

There is, however, a general principle that is useful for everyone, no matter what level you choose:

Listen to your body!

As I mentioned in the introduction, this is one of the most important principles in this series of recommendations. If any food or supplement makes you sick in any way, stop it immediately! You have the tools to tell if something is good for your body or not -- please use them!

Step 1: At least one third of your food should be uncooked.

There are valuable and sensitive micronutrients that are damaged when you heat foods. Cooking and processing food can destroy these micronutrients by altering their shape and chemical composition. Regular vegetable juicing will easily help you reach this goal of 1/3 raw food in your diet.

Step 2: Eat more vegetables.

Let us first start out by describing what you can and should definitely eat more of: vegetables. ALL vegetables promote health, unless you are allergic to them or they cause gas or intestinal problems; consult my "Recommended Vegetables" list for the healthiest choices.

It would be best to consume your vegetables uncooked, but you may have to lightly steam them initially.

Vegetables contain phytochemicals, which are powerful natural agents to promote health. They will also help to alkalinize your system, as most of us are far to acidic. Most people benefit more from increased vegetables than from extra vitamins. You will normally need a large amount of vegetables to optimize your body's pH acid/alkaline balance.

Nearly everyone would benefit from eating as many vegetables as possible within the allowances of their metabolic type design limits, or their unique biochemical individuality. Please remember that you are unique, and your body knows best and will tell you, what is an optimal amount for you. An Eskimo simply can't eat as much vegetables as a Peruvian Indian can. Not only would they feel poorly but they'd likely develop a ravenous appetite matched only by their sweet cravings, as well as who knows what degenerative process and emotional imbalances.

The best way to determine the amount of vegetables your body requires is by finding out your metabolic type. While we all need vegetables to stay healthy, the type and amount should be determined by what metabolic type you are. There is a basic test you can take to find out your metabolic type, which is detailed in my new book, Total Health Program. Carbohydrate metabolic types need far more vegetables in their diet than protein metabolic types. One of the easiest ways to fulfill your vegetable intake is through regularly consuming vegetable juice.

In other words, let your body report back to you how accurate your appetite/taste buds are at gauging what is right for you.

Step 3: Keep your vegetables fresh.

If you are unable to obtain organic vegetables, you can rinse non-organic vegetables in a sink full of water with 4-8 ounces of distilled vinegar for 30 minutes, or use the solution described at the end of this article.

Please be sure and squeeze as much air as you can out of the bag that holds the vegetables and then seal it.  The bag should look like it is vacuum-packed.

I do this by holding the bag against my chest and running my arm over the bottom of the bag to the top, which bleeds the air out of the bag. This will double or triple the normal storage life of the vegetables.

Step 4: Limiting sugar is critical.

Eating refined sugar weakens your immune system and promotes yeast overgrowth. All non-diet pops have 8 teaspoons in each can. Most packaged cereals have sugar as their major ingredient. Avoid most natural sweeteners (including corn syrup, fructose, honey, sucrose, maltodextrin, dextrose, molasses, rice milk, almond milk, white grape juice, fruit juice sweetened, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, date sugar, cane sugar, corn sugar, beet sugar, succanat and lactose).

When in doubt about the sugar content of a food you can always look at the list of ingredients and see how many grams of carbohydrates are listed. Unless the carbohydrates are from aboveground vegetables you should be concerned that they represent sugars that could alter your insulin levels.

Step 5: Avoid hypoglycemia.

Most of us eat large amounts of grains and sugars that cause us to have large amounts of insulin circulating in our blood. When you stop eating grains your body will take several days to lower your insulin levels. In the meantime the high insulin levels will cause you to have many symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, headaches, and generally feeling miserable.

If you eat every two hours for the first few days of your transition you will be able to avoid this temporary side effect. You will need to eat some protein, such as an egg, piece of chicken, turkey, fish or some seeds along with a vegetable such as a piece of celery, cucumber or red pepper. This will help to prevent hypoglycemia and stabilize your blood sugar.

Even after your system has adjusted, it will be wise to eat 4-6 meals a day. Eating more frequently has been shown to normalize cholesterol levels. It will also help your adrenal glands better regulate cortisol levels.

Many people ask about Equal or NutraSweet (Aspartame). These artificial sweeteners need to be eliminated. There are more adverse reactions to NutraSweet reported to the FDA than all other foods and additives combined. In certain individuals, it can have devastating consequences. If you are healthy you can use a few teaspoons of succanat intermittently. One should also avoid artificial chemicals like MSG.

Make a Menu -- If you fail to do this, you are planning to fail

Most people have great difficulty implementing these suggestions unless they sit down once a week (at a time when you are well rested, fresh and relaxed) and plan every meal for the week ahead.

A good rule for working people is to prepare your meals ahead of time. For example, make your lunch for the next day before you go to bed. Also, to know what you will be eating for dinner before you leave the house in the morning. This way you can go to the store or take the appropriate items out of the freezer. This is strongly advised. Those who don't do this will more easily slip back into their old, more comfortable, and less healthy eating habits.

Ten Recipes

All you need to do is find at least ten recipes that you like. That is all that most families use.  You might have to try ten recipes to find one that you and your family enjoy, but that is ok as it is all part of the process. It is vitally important to have a variety. Do NOT rotate between two or three meals or you will burn out and stop the program. Variety is the key.

Step 6: Learn to distinguish physical food cravings from emotional food cravings.

If you are seeking sweets or grains because of an emotional challenge, you will want to consider using the simple and rapidly effective psychological acupressure technique, EFT, to rapidly help you control your emotional food cravings.

Many people don’t understand that emotional well-being is essential to physical health. In fact, in terms of dieting for weight loss, not addressing emotional issues -- whether small or serious traumas from the past -- is the primary reason that most people who lose weight often fail at keeping the weight off.

If you are maintaining negative thoughts and feelings about yourself while trying to take physical steps to improve your body, you will not succeed. It will be like repeatedly washing your car in an effort to keep it clean during a dust storm. Fine-tuning your brain to "positive" mode is absolutely imperative to achieve optimal physical health.

Many people shun this notion, not because it doesn’t make sense, but because the medical establishment has conned them into believing that it means they’ll be shelling out many thousands of dollars over the coming months or years to traditional psychological care.

Well, some of the traditional psychological approaches may sometimes work, but there is a better solution. It’s psychological acupressure, an inexpensive, simpler and proven way to eliminate the negative emotions barring you from a full and healthy life. And the Emotional Freedom Technique -- or EFT -- is the most powerful form of this technique available.

EFT Can Help You:

If you feel that your own emotions, or your own self-image, may be your own worse enemy with this (or any) nutrition plan, I highly recommend you read my free EFT manual and consider trying EFT on your own. You may also want to consider my EFT series on DVD or VHS, which provides in-depth discussions and lessons on EFT, and also provides an in-depth discussion of this nutrition plan. EFT is an easy technique to learn, and because of its incredibly high success rate at helping people instill positive emotions, it is also gaining widespread popularity quickly.

Beginner Plan: Protein

Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of body tissues such as skin, internal organs and muscle. They are also the major components of our immune system and hormones. Proteins are made up of substances called amino acids -- 22 of which are considered vital for health. The adult body can make 14 of these amino acids, but the other eight, known as essential amino acids, must be obtained from what we eat. Proteins are found in all types of food, but only meat, eggs, cheese and other foods from animal sources contain complete proteins, meaning they provide the eight essential amino acids.

According to my experience, most people don't eat enough protein. A person's protein intake varies and depends on your sex, height, weight and exercise levels. Normal protein intake ranges from 20 to 50 grams at each meal.

Lesson 1: Look at the package.

If you are eating packaged foods, the number of grams of protein per serving is listed on the package. For whole foods, 3 ounces of most meats will provide about 20 to 25 grams of protein. A 4-ounce hamburger, which is processed, only has about 20 grams of protein while typical lunchmeats have about 5 grams per slice. One egg has about six grams of protein and a cup of milk (not typically recommended) has 8 grams.

Lesson 2: Eggs are an excellent source of protein.

Go organic. Omega-3 eggs contain a 1:1 omega 6 to 3 ratio, while commercial eggs contain a 19:1 omega 6 to 3 ratio.

Don't be afraid to eat eggs. You can easily eat one dozen eggs per week, as they will not cause your cholesterol to increase. Scientists have shown that infants who eat the adult equivalent of 40 eggs per week don't have problems.

The best way to prepare eggs is to not cook them at all, but this is an advanced technique.

Lesson 3: Restrict your intake of dairy products.

Milk, yogurt and cheese are allowed in this phase but are drastically reduced in the intermediate phase. If you have allergies, consider avoiding all dairy, or at the very least, milk. When eating yogurt, please pay special attention to the carbohydrate content as many contain added sweetener, which dramatically increases the carbohydrate content. Also, low-fat dairy products are densely packed with carbohydrates and should be avoided.

Lesson 4: You can eat all meats in this phase.

All meats, including lunchmeats, are allowed in this phase. It would be wise to purchase lunchmeats that are preservative-free. You will move toward higher-quality protein sources in the intermediate phase of the program; however, if you want to try two types of meat that come with my highest recommendation and taste as good as, if not better than, prime beef, consider ostrich and bison. Because both ostrich and bison taste great and are very versatile, this is not a difficult switch to make, and yet these are two of the healthiest meats on earth. Both ostrich and bison are now available in my "Recommended Products" section, or you can sometimes find them in select health food and grocery stores.

Lesson 5: Become aware of your soy intake.

All soy products are allowed in this phase, though soy is not, despite a lot of popular belief, really that good for you - amongst other issues, it can weaken your immune system (input the term "soy" in our search engine to find dozens of articles on soy's health drawbacks). Soy products will be excluded in subsequent phases, with the exception of fermented soy products like tempeh, miso and natto.

Lesson 6: Think about your fish and seafood intake.

All fish and seafood products are allowed in this phase but are progressively eliminated in subsequent phases due to fish and seafood contamination with mercury and other toxins; sadly, seafood and fish, whether from the ocean, lakes and streams, or farm-raised, is all showing signs of such contamination, and so even otherwise healthy fish are now advised against and will be phased out in subsequent phases.

Lesson 7: Nuts and seeds are okay for now, but...

Nuts and seeds are allowed in this phase but are progressively eliminated in subsequent phases. However, consider lowering your nut intake now if you have:

The only exceptions will be flaxseeds and walnuts, which can be consumed in moderation in future phases as they help you balance your omega-6 and omega-3 fats. (Most Americans consume dangerously low levels of omega-3. Fish oil, which is purified of any contaminants found in fish meat, is the best source of omega-3, as it also contains the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA. Flax seeds and walnuts are amongst the next best choices, though they don't contain DHA and EPA.)

While seeds and nuts are relatively low in carbohydrate, nuts are dense sources of calories and should be used in moderation. Even in this first phase, you can try to phase out other nuts and just consume walnuts and flaxseeds moderately:

Lesson 8: Watch your bean and legume intake.

If you do not have a problem with insulin, these foods are acceptable in this level. If you have high insulin levels, you will want to avoid beans until you have normal insulin levels. If you have achieved your ideal weight, you can introduce beans. Symptoms of high insulin levels include:

Remember that beans have carbohydrates and are sources of good, but not complete, proteins. Add some additional proteins to your meal if beans are your primary protein source at any meal.

Beginner Plan: Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide fuel for the body in the form of glucose, which is a sugar. There are two types of carbohydrates -- simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars, such as the ones found in candy, fruits and baked goods. Complex carbohydrates are starches found in beans, nuts, vegetables and whole grains.

In October, the government released a report that told us that two-thirds of us are either obese or overweight. Folks, we have an epidemic on our hands! This is the result of eating far too many processed foods and believing the low-fat diet myth.

If this is new information for you, it will be very important to read one of the most important articles on the site, Reduce Grains and Sugar to Lose Weight and Improve Health, which discusses the reasons you need to radically reduce the amount of grains in your diet.

What most people don't know is that you don't actually need carbohydrates -- they aren't essential for survival. If you ate no carbohydrates, like many traditional Eskimos do, you would be fine as long as you had enough high-quality protein, fat, water and minerals. While both grains and vegetables are carbohydrates, most grains should be avoided and most vegetables are acceptable. I don't advocate a zero carbohydrate diet, as I believe we all need vegetables to achieve optimal health.

Your body prefers the carbohydrates in vegetables rather than grains because it slows the conversion to simple sugars like glucose and decreases your insulin level. On the other hand grain carbohydrates will increase your insulin levels and interfere with your ability to burn fat.

Lesson 1: Find out your insulin level.

This step necessitates a trip to your doctor. The test you need to ask for is a fasting blood sugar test, which can also be called an FBS, glucose test or blood sugar levels test. It consists of a small withdrawal of blood after a fasting period of six hours.

A fasting blood glucose level test is very powerful, yet it's one of the least expensive tests in traditional medicine. A normal fasting blood sugar should be around 87 mg/dL.

When the blood sugar rises above 100 I become very concerned with respect to future diabetes. Any fasting blood sugar over 100 suggests insulin resistance and inability to control blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is not usually diagnosed until the blood sugar rises above 126 mg/dL. However, it is my contention that this is far too late in the process. A blood sugar over 100 can usually predict future diabetes that is even 10 or more years down the road.

For an interesting and quick read to motivate your avoidance of sugar check out my article "108 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health."

Lesson 2: Scale back, or completely eliminate, all grains, beans and legumes in this phase; the higher your insulin levels, the more ambitious your grain-elimination should be.

Grains to eliminate include:

  • Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Barley
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Quinoa
  • Teff
  • Potatoes (This is actually a vegetable, but it digests more like a grain)
  • Corn (This is considered a vegetable, but it is technically a grain)

Highly processed food products are not recommended, regardless of insulin level. These include:

  • Breads
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Bagels
  • French fries
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Waffles
  • Pancakes
  • Baked goods

Avoiding grains frequently causes weight loss. If you don't want to lose weight you can increase grains in your diet, but I strongly recommend that you contact a knowledgeable health care professional that understands insulin and fat biochemistry to help fine-tune your individual program.

If you want to eat beans, soak them for 48-72 hours, rinsing every 12 hours prior to cooking them. You can then cook them for 8-12 hours in a crock-pot. These steps ensure that the protein will be more easily digested. Additionally, selecting beans for your blood type may make some sense.

Lesson 3: Eat the best vegetables.

Remember this important principle: vegetables are generally good, but not all vegetables are created equal. For example, increasing your vegetable intake with salads is a good start, but I would advise avoiding iceberg lettuce. Why? It has minimal nutritional value. Red and green leaf lettuce, along with romaine lettuce and spinach, provide much more nutritious options. Also, finding organic vegetables is important. However, if you can't obtain organics, any vegetable is better than no vegetable! Take care with non-organic vegetables by washing them and removing peels and cores when possible.

My Recommended Vegetables List provides a guide to the most nutritious vegetables, and those to limit for their high carbohydrate content. Remember: the greener the vegetable, the more nutritious it will be.

Finally, at least 1/3 of your diet should be raw foods, and vegetables are an obvious choice to help achieve this. While vegetable juicing is an important step later in this nutrition plan, I encourage you to try it now, as it is an easy and enjoyable way to consume all the vegetables your body requires.

Lesson 4: Reduce your intake of sweeteners.

It's best to avoid sweeteners whenever possible, but for the beginning level the following sweeteners are acceptable:

Avoid using high fructose corn syrup.

You may use artificial sweeteners at this level, but please avoid NutraSweet (aspartame). There are more adverse reactions to NutraSweet reported to the FDA than all other foods and additives combined. In certain individuals, it can have devastating consequences. If you are healthy you can use a few teaspoons of succanat intermittently.

It is helpful to avoid artificial chemicals like MSG. You can use sucralose, acesulfame K and saccharine in moderation. Using a sweetener will likely increase sugar cravings in the majority of people using them so use them with extreme caution. Please be sensitive to changes in your body, especially if you notice an increase in your sugar or grain cravings and consider stopping them if you notice those changes.

Beginner Plan: Fats

Did you know that your brain is about 60 percent fat? The fats you eat strongly influence your level of brain function. Some nutritional anthropologists believe the human brain would not have developed as it did without access to high levels of DHA (a type of fat) found in fish and wild game. Just two generations of high omega-6 and low omega-3 fats can lead to profound changes in brain size and function.

Fat is made of fatty acids attached to a substance called glycerol. Fats play an important role in the body; they are essential to build cell membranes, clot blood, absorb vitamins, cushion vital organs and protect us from extreme temperatures.

Lesson 1: It is the type of fat that matters, not the amount.

Learning about fats can be confusing. When you go to the grocery store, you're confronted with advertisements telling you that a product is low in fat, or a product is made with partially hydrogenated oil. To make sense of all the labels, I've compiled the following list of definitions for you:

Lesson 2: Learn about the importance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

Omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, are essential for brain and nerve function. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the U.S. diet is typically about 15:1, but it can be as high as 25 or 50:1. The ideal ratio is about 1:1, as this is what our ancestors consumed. To state it simply: for every omega-6 fat they ate, they ate one omega-3 fat. But most Americans are consuming 15 omega-6 fats for every one omega-3 fat.

In cell membranes, omega-3 fats improve your cell's response to insulin, neurotransmitters and other messengers. They also help the repair process when your cells are damaged. On the other hand, omega-6 fats contribute to insulin and membrane resistance, altering your mood, and impairing learning and cell repair. To avoid high levels of omega-6, it is important to avoid all vegetable seed oils.

Please understand that it's not only necessary to consciously consume omega-3 fats, but it is just as important to lower your omega-6 fat intake. If you don't lower your omega-6 fats to acceptable levels, your omega 6:3 ratio will not be low enough, and you will not receive many of the wonderful benefits of omega-3 fats such as reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's, arthritis and many other degenerative illnesses.

Lesson 3: Learn about the benefits of fish oil.

I am often asked what addition to the diet, outside of increasing the intake of water and fresh green vegetables, I most recommend to fight and prevent disease and live longer. My answer is easy: fish oil.

Americans consume a dangerously insufficient amount of omega-3, a fat essential to good health but only found in fish oil and a few other foods. Meanwhile, our intake of omega-6, another fat found in corn, soy, sunflower and other oils, is far too high. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be 1:1, but the typical American's ratio ranges from 15:1 to 50:1!

I am convinced that this lack of omega-3 in our diets is a primary reason behind many of the diseases Americans face, and our shorter lifespan in relation to many other "first world" countries such as Japan or Greece.

Benefits of omega-3 found in fish and cod liver oil:

While a helpful form of omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, walnuts and a few other foods, the most beneficial form of omega-3 -- containing two fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which are essential to fighting and preventing both physical and mental disease -- can only be found in fish.

I advise against eating any fish meat from any source, as mercury and other toxins are becoming too prevalent in all varieties, but I do highly advocate routinely consuming fish oil/cod liver oil, which has been purified of all contaminants. On this site, I offer the highest quality and purest fish oil/cod liver I know of - you can find proper dosage information for fish oil and cod liver oil, and the difference between the two, on the fish oil page.

Lesson 4: How to Know If You Are Taking Too Much Fish Oil

Basically, though, because cod liver oil is high in vitamin D, and your vitamin D levels are often too low in cool months but okay in warm months (because the sun is a primary source of vitamin D) remember this: Take fish oil in the warmer months and cod liver oil in the fall, winter and early spring months. If you live near or close to the equator, you will most likely only need to take fish oil, not cod liver oil, as your vitamin D intake from the sun will be sufficient.

Most of us can safely take up to one teaspoon of cod liver oil for every 25 to 40 pounds of body weight during the winter, early spring and late fall months.  

Omega-3 deficiencies have been tied to the following problems:

  • Mental sharpness on awakening

  • Depression/well-being

  • Weight gain  

  • Brittle fingernails  

  • Allergies

  • Arthritis

  • Quality of sleep

  • Memory problems

  • Dry hair

  • Dry skin

  • Concentration

  •  Fatigue

If you are sick the normal dose of fish oil is one 1,000 mg capsule with 300 mg of EPA/DHA for every ten pounds of body weight.

One teaspoon of cod liver oil is equal to about 3 and one half capsules and there are three teaspoons in one tablespoon so one tablespoon would equal about 10 capsules.

This dose can be reduced if you are healthy and if you are in a summer climate with warmth and sun exposure.

If you start the fish oil and notice that one or more of the above symptoms improve that is a very good sign.

If after a time on the fish oil your symptoms return for no apparent reason, that is a good clue that you are taking too much fish oil and should stop for a short while to help your body eliminate the oil and then resume at a lower dose.

Unlike vitamins and minerals whose intake is usually relatively constant, the amounts of essential fatty intake is quite variable so following the above will help fine tune your dose so you can fully benefit from the true miracle health benefits that fish oils provide.

Beginner Plan: Beverages

Let's start with the most important element of your diet: Water! Water makes up more than 70 percent of your body's tissues and plays a role in nearly every body function from regulating temperature and cushioning joints to bringing oxygen to the cells and removing waste from the body. Therefore, it's vital to pay attention to what you drink.

Lesson 1: Drink 1 quart of water for every 50 pounds of body weight per day.

Drinking enough water is one of the most simple, basic, and important health steps you can take.

Your body needs 1 quart of water per 50 pounds of body weight to function at an optimal level. If you normally don't drink enough water, you'll have to build up your water intake gradually to prevent running to the bathroom every few minutes.

Your bladder will adjust to this level after a short period of time, and you can keep increasing your water intake until you reach optimal levels. Try increasing your intake on this schedule:

If you drink the recommended amount of water, you can easily avoid dehydration, which can have profound effects on your health. Dehydration can cause:

Lesson 2: Drink your water at the right pace.

It's important to sip water all day long. Depending on your size, your body can only process a bit more than a glass of water per hour. If you drink much more than this at one sitting, the extra water will not be used, but merely flushed down the toilet bowl. So keep your water bottle with you all day long. This way you can confirm precisely how much water you are drinking.

Lesson 3: Drink healthy water.

Healthy water? I bet you thought all water was healthy! Don't be tricked! Healthy water is only water that has been treated to avoid contamination. Nearly all municipal water supplies have chlorine and fluoride added. Europeans have known for many years that fluoride is toxic and have long since removed it from their water supplies. Be sure and obtain a filter to avoid chlorine and fluoride. Unhealthy arsenic levels are in about 5 percent of the water supplies and can cause you health problems.

Additionally, thousands of tons of drugs are flushed down the toilet, and many wind up in your water supply, as most filtration plants aren't designed to remove them.

There are several ways to obtain healthy water in your home:

Lesson 4: You can use lemon juice to add a bit of flavor and normalize your body's pH level.

You can add lemon juice to your water occasionally to help flavor it and normalize your body's pH if you're too acidic. However, be careful not to use the lemon juice continuously or you run the risk of developing an allergy to it.

Lesson 5: Assess your water delivery system.

If you have a water softener, you need to divert the softened water away from the kitchen tap to a reverse osmosis system. If you have municipal water you will also want to add a filter to your shower to remove the chlorine, as this exposure could actually be greater than exposure from drinking your water. If you are on your own well, this is not necessary.

Lesson 6: Monitor all other fluids.

Coffee and tea: In this level you can have unlimited coffee and tea unless you are pregnant. Caffeine has clearly been associated with pregnancy complications and should be avoided by all pregnant women. If you struggle with insomnia or anxiety, please avoid all caffeine.

Beginner Plan: Supplements

It is my goal to limit supplements. I believe you can obtain most of the nutrition you need from wholesome food. There are some exceptions, but it is quite rare where someone really benefits from a shopping bag full of supplements.

Lesson 1: Chromium may help sugar cravings.

If you have problems with sugar cravings, some people have found chromium to be useful to control it. However, please be aware that it is far more likely that your sugar cravings are related to consuming extra carbohydrates or emotional issues that can be treated with psychological acupressure tools like EFT.

Lesson 2: Avoid iron in your supplements.

Please avoid iron in all your supplements unless your serum ferritin is decreased. It is rarely needed and can be quite toxic. Even then I would advise against supplemental iron unless you can't eat red meat. If you must take supplemental iron please make sure it is carbonyl iron as that is the safest form currently on the market.

Lesson 3: Carefully evaluate your need for a multi-vitamin.

Multiple vitamins are generally not necessary if you are eating a healthy diet, but you may want to take a multiple vitamin until you progress to a higher level.

Lesson 4: Make sure you get enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It's found in food, but also can be made in your body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. The major function of vitamin D in your body is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. During the summer months, you will get enough vitamin D from just spending some time outside every day.

In the winter months, though, you will most likely not get enough vitamin D if you don't live in place that is sunny a lot of the time (such as the southwest U.S.). In that case, I strongly recommend cod liver oil, which is high in vitamin D and omega-3 (an essential fatty acid most Americans are in dire need of) -- because cod liver oil can vary greatly in quality, I have researched multiple brands and offer the highest quality cod liver oil in the "Recommended Products" section of the site.

Lesson 5: Be careful with Tylenol.

If you take Tylenol regularly, you should be on N-acetyl cysteine to prevent organ damage.

Lesson 6: Smell your vitamins.

It is important to smell your vitamins. If they smell bad, you should not take them. It is your body's signal that they are not good for you.

If you do take many supplements, a convenient way to store and transport your supplements is a small fishing tackle box (available at sports stores).

Lesson 7: If you are on the go, consider "supplementing" with a convenient but real food source.

While nothing can substitute for the health benefits of real vegetables, I do understand that sometimes people’s hectic lifestyles simply make consuming the proper meals impossible, especially if you are into the healthy habit of vegetable juicing. I would first urge you to reevaluate the prime importance of your health and try to prioritize your healthy eating accordingly -- when it comes down to it, health is the basis of life, as it provides energy, longevity, avoidance of disease, and the ability to focus on other areas, so what is really more important than eating properly?

Beginner Plan: Lifestyle Changes

Along with all the dietary changes you are making, there are some basic changes to your lifestyle that will help you along the path to optimal wellness.

Lesson 1: Practice techniques, such as EFT, to control anxiety and stress, eliminate self-doubt and negativity, and instill self-control and peace of mind.

(If you haven’t already focused on this repeated Lesson from the Beginner phase, it is important to focus on this now.)

There is no greater enemy to your physical health than a negative self-image or high stress. Many people initially succeed at implementing a diet -- whether it is to lose weight, heal a disease, or strengthen their body against sickness -- but then fall back to the old habits... and therefore, the "old" body. Why? -- Because the emotional barriers were never overcome in the first place.

To truly succeed at this nutrition plan, I highly recommend you work on overcoming your emotional barriers, whether they’re based on life’s anxiety-factors or emotional traumas.

There are a host of techniques to instill positive emotions and thoughts and create a sense of inner-peace, and the best rule is to find the one that works for you, whether it is considered traditional or "alternative," and keep on using it. In my clinical practice, I have tried a variety of methods, and have been exposed to many more (both traditional and alternative) through my medical background, but none have come close to the success rate I have experienced with the "Emotional Freedom Technique," or EFT.

I highly recommend you at least give EFT a try. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that, while it appears a bit unusual to some at first, can almost seem miraculous in its ability to erase negative emotions and instill positive ones.

With EFT, while mentally focusing on the psychological/emotional issues in a positive manner through the use of affirmations, pressure is applied to the same energy points used for thousands of years in acupuncture (these energy points are finally even being recognized as legitimate by the pharmacy- and surgery-addicted American medical establishment.) These energy points are only tapped, though, not punctured as in acupuncture, as it has been shown that pressure on these points is all that is necessary to activate the body’s bioenergy. This combination of positive mental focus on the issue(s) and physical stimulus to the body’s biochemistry is amazingly effective at eliminating the issue -- be it stress, cravings, trauma, etc. -- quickly.

I routinely use EFT in my practice and I highly recommend it for optimal your emotional health. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing - no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body's ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.

EFT is very easy to learn, and will help you:

You can learn how to start using EFT on yourself and those close to you right now with my free online EFT Manual. For the most in-depth approach to using EFT routinely in your life, consider my EFT series on DVD or VHS; this series also comes with my complete nutrition plan discussion that includes real-world demonstrations.

NOTE: This is the only lesson that will be repeated in each phase of my nutrition program, as it is crucial to long-term success.

Lesson 2: Control your eating habits.

Lesson 3: Make sure you always get a good night's sleep.

To get a good night's sleep, it's important to sleep in complete darkness. I suggest:

For more information on these and other sleep suggestions, see my Guide to a Good Night's Sleep.

Lesson 4: Start exercising, especially if you need to lose weight.

At a bare minimum, everyone should exercise for 30 minutes per day. If you need to lose weight, it is important to exercise at least 60 minutes every day. Also note that, if you are diabetic, you will not be able to control your diabetes without exercise as part of your regime. If you are just beginning exercise, work up to 60 minutes slowly; you can combine several shorter exercise periods to reach your daily 60 minutes. There is a synergy with diet and exercise that is incredible. You will not be able to control diabetes without exercise.

Swimming is one of the best exercises on the planet, but if you are like most people your only option is swimming in a chlorinated pool. I strongly advise avoiding this since you will absorb more chlorine by swimming in a chlorinated pool than you would by drinking tap water for one week. Swimming in a lake, ocean or other natural water body is recommended. Peroxide (not bromine) is also an alternative for chlorine in your pool, and a product called Baquacil is available at most pool stores.

See Exercise to Improve Your Body and Your Brain for much more on my exercise recommendations, and to access an exercise table to plan and chart your progress. I also recommend you explore the following articles:

Lesson 5: If you're smoking, don't quit now.

I know, this sounds unusual. This is generally the first thing most health professionals ask you to do. What you may not know is that sugar is a far more dangerous influence to your health than cigarettes.

It is more important to stop eating sugar before you stop smoking. If you try to do both at once you will most likely fail. I want you to start feeling better before you even think about stopping smoking. I do recommend that everyone should stop smoking, but taking on the task of quitting should only be done once you have an optimal diet in place and you are already feeling good.

Lesson 6: Minimize drugs.

Minimize the unnecessary use of drugs, and seek safe and effective alternatives when possible. Especially troublesome are antibiotics, anti-ulcer drugs, birth control pills or estrogen for menopause unless you are having hot flashes. If you take Tylenol regularly, you should be on N-acetyl cysteine to prevent organ damage.

Welcome to the Intermediate Nutrition Plan

Once you have started to reap the benefits of the beginner phase and you have some time and practical experience under your belt, you will want to consider advancing to the intermediate level. This level is designed to move you even further toward optimum health so that you can harvest all of the delights and pleasures that come along with occupying a healthy body.

As covered in "Nutrition Plan: Getting Started," you need to make sure the following four factors have reached acceptable levels:

If they haven't, you either need to analyze your success at following the beginner recommendations, or find a trained health professional to help you figure out the piece of the puzzle that's missing (there are highly qualified physicians focused on natural health throughout the U.S. and much of the world -- often a call to your local health food store will set you in a good direction. If you live in the Midwest, or are willing to travel, you may want to consider becoming a new patient here at The Optimal Wellness Center).

The suggestions in this level are not as "out there" as the advanced level, but they will take some getting used to. Revisit your personal plan and use the tools provided there to help you successfully assimilate all of the intermediate level recommendations.

Congratulations on making it to the intermediate level. My sincere wishes for your success with this intermediate level of my plan. Remember, radiant health is within your reach!

Intermediate Plan: Protein

Lesson 1: Up the ante to organic eggs.

Remember eggs? Now that you've reached the intermediate level, it's time to move up to organic eggs. Organic eggs don't have to be certified, so if you are fortunate enough to know someone who is growing chickens and controls the food and conditions, those eggs are typically better than organic store-bought eggs. However, if you only get one organic food it should be eggs. Non-organic eggs are acceptable, but less than optimal.

An interesting fact about eggs: You can increase your egg intake up to two dozen a week, as your cholesterol level won't increase.

The best way to prepare eggs is to not cook them at all.

Eggs are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol, so the way you cook them will influence the level of oxidized cholesterol in your blood. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to hardening of the arteries and increases your risk of heart disease.

High heat will promote this oxidation. Since there is iron in the egg white, when it combines with the egg yolk that will also oxidize the cholesterol. Scrambled eggs or omelets are one of the worst ways to prepare eggs.

The best way to prepare eggs is to not cook the egg yolk at all. In the advanced technique, you will want your yolks runny and intact until just prior to eating.

Lesson 2: Eliminate all fish from your diet, unless you know they have been tested and are free of harmful mercury.

Fish, whether farm-raised or caught from the ocean or freshwater sources, should now be avoided, as almost all fish are contaminated with mercury, PCBs and DDT. The only exceptions to this rule are 1) sardines and anchovies, as they are small enough to have minimal contamination; 2) fish that you know have been tested and shown not to contain harmful levels of mercury and other toxins (I have been searching the market for safe sources of fish, perhaps those caught from more pristine water sources that may still exist, and will certainly make any announcements toward this end in my free newsletter)

Instead of consuming fish, it is now best to obtain the important omega-3 fats with DHA and EPA fatty acids from fish or cod liver oil. Reputable fish oil/cod liver oil, like the Carlson brand I offer and highly recommend, is purified of mercury and all other contaminants and tested and certified by independent agents for that high purity.

Lesson 3: Get valuable omega-3 fats from your meat.

Another way you can receive the necessary omega-3 fats is eating meat that is allowed to range free. Most wild game fit this description, but is not readily available for most us. Grass-fed beef or poultry are reasonable alternatives. Range-fed poultry is available from most health food stores or local farmers growing chickens.

You must also be careful when purchasing grass-fed beef at most stores. Many advertised grass-fed beef is not. Please remember: all cattle are grass fed, but the key is what they are fed during the months prior to being processed.

Cattle are routinely shipped to giant feedlots and fed corn to fatten them up. You will need to call the person who actually raised the cow, not the store manager, to find out the truth about your beef. The least expensive way to obtain authentic grass-fed beef is to find a farmer you can trust who is growing the beef, and then buy a half a side of beef from him. This way you save the shipping and also receive a reduced rate on the meat.

An inexpensive yet effective way to determine if the meat is really from a grass fed animal is to purchase the ground beef. Slowly cook the beef until done, drain and then collect all the fat. Grass-fed beef fat will be relatively thin compared to traditionally prepared ground beef. It will also be a liquid at room temperature as it has very few saturated fats.

However, most of us live in large urban areas and do not have the time for this process. Just as it would be ideal to have an organic garden and grow your own vegetables, most of us elect not to do that due to time or space limitations.

One great way to get grass-fed beef is through our online distributor, Grassfed Organics.

Lesson 4: Avoid soy.

Soy is the latest craze in health foods, but I recommend avoiding soy unless it is fermented or sprouted. Most soy is not a health food! Although it has many beneficial properties, it also has digestive enzyme inhibitors that will impair your ability to break down protein. It also contains phytic acid, which will bind minerals. Fermented soy (tempeh, natto and miso) and soybean sprouts don't have these problems. You should avoid tofu, soy protein products, soymilk and especially soy baby formula, which should never be used for infants.

Please visit my soy information page for more details. At this level you should avoid all non-fermented soy products. You can review the material on soy for further details on why this food should be avoided unless fermented. If you use protein powders, it's important to avoid soy protein.

Lesson 5: Limit your nut and seed intake.

Except for walnuts, almost all nuts have high levels of omega-6 fats, and if eaten in excess they can unbalance the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in your body. Unless you are already very healthy, it is important for you to limit your use of most seeds and nuts. Sprouting them would help somewhat, but unbalancing the omega 6:3 ratio can have profound negative health consequences for your body. Most all of us already have an excess of omega-6 fats in our diet.

Lesson 6: Avoid dairy.

It is clear that most people benefit from avoiding commercial milk that is loaded with hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. However, even if you are able to obtain organic milk that is free of these contaminants, you are still left with a food that is pasteurized and homogenized.

Pasteurization is done to protect you from potentially dangerous infections like TB and brucellosis, but it unfortunately changes the structure of the milk proteins, particularly casein, to a far more allergenic food and is a major reason why milk allergies are the number one form of food allergy.

In this level, you need to eliminate milk if you haven't already done so. You can have cheeses, particularly raw milk cheeses, if your body tolerates them well.

Lesson 7: Phase out protein powders, consider a healthier "convenience" food if necessary.

In this level, consider phasing out protein powders as a regular source of food as they are highly processed and not "real" foods. If you are traveling and you know your only choice will be the terribly unhealthy hotel foods, instead consider taking a convenient food product with more extensive nutritious value such as Living Fuel. While nothing can substitute for real vegetables and the other whole foods advocated in this nutrition plan, Living Fuel Rx -- not only high in protein but almost every vitamin -- is certainly a better choice than protein powders, and an outstanding substitute when you simply cannot prepare your own meal. But if it is between only your protein powder and the terribly unhealthy hotel food (or the like), of course stick with your powder!

Intermediate Plan: Carbohydrates

Lesson 1: Only eat quality vegetables.

At the intermediate level, I recommend that all of your vegetables be organic. Organic varieties of vegetables will decrease your exposure to dangerous pesticides. Additionally, they have two to five times more nutrients as compared to non-organic vegetables. Most people agree that they also taste much better. It is important to remember though that nearly any non-organic vegetable is better than no vegetable at all.

Lesson 2: Avoid all grains.

I believe that most people's health is improved by avoiding all grains. This also includes durham flour and semolina from which most pasta is made. You can obtain most of your fiber from vegetables, which is a far healthier choice. Additional foods to eliminate at this level are:

Lesson 3: Start using Metabolic Typing.

The purpose of the beginner plan is to normalize your metabolic biochemistry, and that involves addressing your specific nutritional needs in a unique and comprehensive way. You'll correct your imbalances with the small number of regulatory mechanisms that manage the vast number of biochemical reactions taking place in your body. If you haven't done so already, I highly recommend you read the book Metabolic Typing for a detailed explanation of the program.

Metabolic typing is a dynamic process that does far more than simply assign you to a broad, fixed category that roughly approximates your nutritional needs. It is a much more precise and flexible system of a series of simple self-tests that enable you to tailor your diet with accuracy; that is, you'll know what foods are good for your metabolic type -- you won't have to guess and see!

Since Metabolic Typing is not a static system, the process allows you to adjust your diet if your metabolism shifts. It is important to realize that your metabolic type isn't carved in stone.

Lesson 4: Apply the Metabolic Typing system by completely removing all sugars and grains from your diet for at least one week.

Most of us are addicted to grains, so this is best done as soon as you are ready to implement the approach. A gradual reduction just won't work for most people, as your insulin levels will continue to increase. This means that your cravings for sugars and grains will be high, and you will not reap the benefits of lowered insulin levels.

It's important to normalize your insulin levels so you can remove the distorted signals your body has been giving you all these years. Once you are off all grains and sugars for a week, your body may tell you that you need to resume them, but most people benefit from remaining off of them for some time. You will know. Your body will make this very clear. If your energy level is dramatically improved and most of your health complaints are gone or significantly better, then this is a giant clue that you are on the right path. If you are not better, you will want to consider reintroducing small amounts of grains back into your diet.

Lesson 5: Retrain your body's response to sweets.

If you are overweight, you have likely trained your hormone system to respond very aggressively to sweets. As soon as anything sweet hits your mouth your body will instantly release insulin. This occurs even when it does not need it, such as when you are using low calorie sweeteners. Pavlov proved this principle over 100 years ago.

He began to feed his dogs in association with the ringing of a bell. After a certain time the dogs were shown to salivate profusely in association with the ringing bell even when the actual sight or smell of food was not present. Pavlov regarded this salivation as being a conditioned reflex and designated the process by which the dogs had picked up this reflex classical conditioning.

You have also experienced this conditioning. You've developed a link between your taste buds and your brain that will cause your body to produce insulin the moment you eat anything sweet, even if it is not grains or sugar. This will sabotage your efforts to lose weight successfully, as you will keep on having cravings for sugar and grains.

It's just a matter of re-educating your taste buds. It will be essential to have no sweets for few weeks; once you clean your palate of grains, foods will taste better than ever. You can use this as an opportunity to explore the use of spices and organic foods, as they typically taste much better once you eliminate your body's response to sugar.

Intermediate Plan: Fats

Since you've made many of the essential changes for fat consumption in the beginner phase, the intermediate phase instructions are quite simple:

Please Note: If you are a "Carbohydrate Metabolic Type," you will need about 15% of your diet as fat. If you are a "Protein Metabolic Type," you may need up to 50% of your diet as fat. This is why it will be important to understand what metabolic type you are.

If you have not been metabolically typed via a medical practitioner, I highly recommend you read the book The Metabolic Typing Diet: Customize Your Diet to Your Own Unique Body Chemistry to help you understand your type.

Here is a very general guideline to follow in the meantime, though: the more you enjoy steak and feel good with it, the greater the percentage of fat you will need in your diet. If you feel wonderful as a vegetarian and comfortable with very little meat, then you will likely need much closer to only 15% of fat in your diet.

Intermediate Plan: Beverages

Lesson 1: It's time to move up to a reverse osmosis water filtration system!

Unlike most carbon filter systems, reverse osmosis will actually remove from the water the fluoride that most municipalities in this country add. Reverse osmosis will remove virtually all contaminants from the water, including fluoride, especially when combined with a pre- and post-carbon filtration system. You can obtain them locally from Home Depot or Coast Filtration (800-542-6723).

If you don't want to install a reverse osmosis system, you can often get water that has been filtered by reverse osmosis at health food stores. They provide containers, and you fill them right there in the store.

Try not to purchase the one-gallon cloudy plastic (PVC) containers from your grocery store as they transfer far too many chemicals into the water. The five-gallon containers and the clear bottles (polyethylene) are a much better plastic and will not give the water that awful plastic taste.

Lesson 2: Limit chemical exposure from your shower water.

Most people do not recognize that their shower is a significant source of chlorine exposure. It is best to put a filter on your showerhead. If you take a bath, fill it up from the shower. The filters are $29 (part #181128) at 800-642-2112. These are probably not necessary if you obtain your water from a well. Remember, you should have a reverse osmosis system for your drinking water if you have a water softener.

Lesson 3: Avoid fluoride.

Did you know that nearly all of Europe used to add fluoride to their water supply, but after they studied the issue more carefully decided to remove it?

In terms of beverages other than water, I would recommend starting to cut down and eliminate them. In the advanced phase, the only recommended beverages are water and breast milk for infants. To make it easy, choose one beverage to eliminate and focus on that for a month.

Intermediate Plan: Supplements

Lesson 1: Get active bacteria into your diet.

Live active cultures of lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidus are important. These are the good inhabitants of the gut that help to control the yeast and bad bacteria that are also in your gut. Active cultures are living and therefore are best kept refrigerated. There are literally dozens of different types on the market and many of them simply do not work. I recommend Flora Source in my own office since it is a very effective, highly potent, multi-strain product.

It's best to take these products ONCE per day after drinking 1 glass of BOTTLED OR FILTERED water, or with some food. This reduces the acidity of the stomach and allows the powder to be more effective.

Lesson 2: You can use supplements to help relieve irregular bowel movements.

Bowel movements aren't necessarily the most pleasant things to think about, but it's healthy to have two to three bowel movements a day. Ideally, they should be effortless, odorless and not sink to the bottom of the toilet bowl.

It's important not to use magnesium on a long-term basis, as it will cause imbalances in the calcium/magnesium ratio in your body. If the magnesium does not work, you can use Aloe Vera capsules.

Lesson 3: Use vitamin E to maximize the benefits of fish oil and vitamin C to help with stress or the effects of heavy exercise.

You may want to consider taking vitamin E (400 units a day) as this will help protect the omega-3 oils from being oxidized once you consume them. You might want to also consider vitamin C, especially around times of heavy exercise or stress.

If you are consuming one pound of vegetables for every 50 pounds of body weight, you will receive a large variety of antioxidants from the vegetables so it's not as important to take a vitamin E supplement.

Intermediate Plan: Lifestyle Changes

Lesson 1: Practice techniques, such as EFT, to control anxiety and stress, eliminate self-doubt and negativity, and instill self-control and peace of mind.

(To ensure your long-term success, this is a crucial step throughout this entire nutrition plan, which is why it is the only lesson repeated in each phase.)

There is no greater enemy to your physical health than a negative self-image or high stress. Many people initially succeed at implementing a diet -- whether it is to lose weight, heal a disease, or strengthen their body against sickness -- but then fall back to the old habits... and therefore, the "old" body. Why? -- Because the emotional barriers were never overcome in the first place.

To truly succeed at this nutrition plan, I highly recommend you work on overcoming your emotional barriers, whether they’re based on life’s anxiety-factors or emotional traumas.

There are a host of techniques to instill positive emotions and thoughts and create a sense of inner-peace, and the best rule is to find the one that works for you, whether it is considered traditional or "alternative," and keep on using it. In my clinical practice, I have tried a variety of methods, and have been exposed to many more (both traditional and alternative) through my medical background, but none have come close to the success rate I have experienced with the "Emotional Freedom Technique," or EFT.

I highly recommend you at least give EFT a try. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that, while it appears a bit unusual to some at first, can almost seem miraculous in its ability to erase negative emotions and instill positive ones.

With EFT, while mentally focusing on the psychological/emotional issues in a positive manner through the use of affirmations, pressure is applied to the same energy points used for thousands of years in acupuncture (these energy points are finally even being recognized as legitimate by the pharmacy- and surgery-addicted American medical establishment.) These energy points are only tapped, though, not punctured as in acupuncture, as it has been shown that pressure on these points is all that is necessary to activate the body’s bioenergy. This combination of positive mental focus on the issue(s) and physical stimulus to the body’s biochemistry is amazingly effective at eliminating the issue -- be it stress, cravings, trauma, etc. -- quickly.

I routinely use EFT in my practice and I highly recommend it for optimal your emotional health. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing - no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body's ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.

EFT is very easy to learn, and will help you:

You can learn how to start using EFT on yourself and those close to you right now with my free online EFT Manual. For the most in-depth approach to using EFT routinely in your life, consider my EFT series on DVD or VHS; this series also comes with my complete nutrition plan discussion that includes real-world demonstrations.

Lesson 2: Take your time.

It's very important to chew your food properly. Try to chew your food to a liquid form and then swallow it. This will predigest your food with the enzymes in your saliva. It will also provide neurological stimulation of your stomach and pancreas to increase their acid and digestive enzyme production. Avoid chewing gum for this same reason. Chewing gum will cause your body to be fooled and you will secrete valuable digestive juices unnecessarily. This will worsen your digestion and your health. It's also helpful not to talk while you are chewing your food as this interferes with optimal digestion.

Lesson 3: Don't drink too much water during your meals.

Don't drink fluids with your meals if possible, as this will dilute the gastric digestive contents and make it more difficult to digest. A few sips of water during the meal would be fine.

Lesson 4: Keep your kitchen clean -- the non-toxic way.

A food scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has worked out the recipe for a sanitizing solution. All you need is three percent hydrogen peroxide, the same strength available at the drug store for gargling or disinfecting wounds, plain white or apple cider vinegar, and a pair of brand new clean sprayers like the kind you use to dampen laundry before ironing.

Welcome to the Advanced Nutrition Plan

You've reached the most challenging level of my nutrition plan, but these recommendations will help you to be the healthiest person you can be. This is the level where you're most likely to encounter a cynical attitude from friends and relatives. They will tell you that you've gone over the edge! Most of the people who see me as patients are on this advanced nutrition plan as they have very serious health challenges, or they simply want to maximize their current health.

Two types of people should go to this level of the program:

This level may be inappropriate for the vast number of people who are reading it. It should be reserved only for those with the most serious health challenges or for those who are absolutely committed to achieving the highest level of health possible. It will improve not only the length of your life, but the quality of your later years.

At this level, you should definitely incorporate Metabolic Typing you're your plan. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you read The Metabolic Typing Diet: Customize Your Diet to Your Own Unique Body Chemistry for an in-depth understanding of this foundation to proper nutrition.

Normally, Intermediate Metabolic Type testing is sufficient for the majority of people (Note: This has nothing to do with the Intermediate level of this nutrition plan). However, if you have a serious condition such as osteoporosis or cancer, it would be wise to consider advanced metabolic testing.

Unfortunately, this is only done with a trained metabolic typing counselor and there just aren't enough to meet the current demand. This is not a major problem however, as the Intermediate test is part of the advanced testing, and you can incorporate the results of the Intermediate program until the advanced results are available. The advanced level actually incorporates a number of different metabolic challenges, such as your body's response to a specific amount of glucose and potassium and also your blood pressure, temperature, urine and saliva pH values.

My best wishes for your success with this last stage of my program.

Advanced Plan: Protein

Lesson 1: Refine your use of eggs.

This is the last step with eggs: it's time to not cook your yolks at all, and use the entire egg raw. If you're concerned about salmonella, there is little reason to as only one in 30,000 eggs in the US are contaminated with salmonella. If you do get salmonella, a relatively benign, self-limiting illness, it is easily treated in most people with some good bacteria. Most people in this level have a good enough immune system to counteract salmonella, so this isn't likely to be a problem. Please read my extensive recent article on using raw eggs.

Lesson 2: Stop all dairy products.

For most people it's very important to stop all commercial milk products. Not all people need to stop dairy, but most people seem to benefit from cutting it out of their diet. I recommend that you avoid dairy for a few weeks to see if your health symptoms improve. Avoid commercial milk products like:

Also avoid non-milk products that are problems for other reasons:

Please note that many people can tolerate raw milk (non-pasteurized), and in fact, it is a strong producer of health for many. However it it's difficult to obtain and you would need to purchase this directly from a dairy farmer as it is illegal to sell commercially in most states.. Cheese may be acceptable unless you have a severe dairy allergy. Raw milk cheeses are better and generally available in health food stores as they are legal to purchase.

Lesson 3: Don't consume any pork products -- there are better meat choices.

Pigs are scavenger animals and are frequently contaminated with parasites that aren't removed through the cooking process. It would be best to avoid all ham and pork products. Pork can be heavily contaminated with mold spores in its fat and is also used in labs to culture cancer cells, because it increases their growth.

Bison and ostrich are two of the absolute best meat options, as they are both very healthy, taste absolutely fantastic, and are available as free-ranged with no antibiotics or hormones; both are now available in my "Recommended Products" section, or you can sometimes find them in select health food and grocery stores. Grass-fed beef is another excellent option, and venison and lamb are also good options since they are game animals and generally have few pesticides. Chicken and turkey are also acceptable.

Lesson 4: Eliminate shellfish.

I advise people as this level to avoid and eliminate all shellfish (lobsters, crabs, shrimp, etc.) since they are scavengers, and so they are frequently contaminated with parasites and viruses.

Lesson 5: If you haven’t already done so, phase out protein powders; consider a healthier "convenience" food if necessary.

If you did not do so in the intermediate phase, you should now very seriously consider phasing out protein powders as a regular source of food as they are highly processed and not "real" foods. (You should definitely not consume soy protein powders at this point.) If you are traveling and you know your only choice will be the terribly unhealthy hotel foods, instead consider taking a convenient food product with more extensive nutritious value such as Living Fuel. While nothing can substitute for real vegetables and the other whole foods advocated in this nutrition plan, Living Fuel Rx -- not only high in protein but almost every vitamin -- is certainly a better choice than protein powders, and an outstanding substitute when you simply cannot prepare your own meal. But if it is between only your protein powder and the terribly unhealthy hotel food (or the like), your powder is still the better choice!

Lesson 6: Avoid peanuts

Peanuts are especially problematic, as they have no omega-3 and distort your omega 6:3 ratio and are frequently contaminated with pesticides.

Advanced Plan: Carbohydrates

Lesson 1: Recognize if you are addicted to sugar and modify your diet accordingly.

At this advanced level, you need not be obsessive about sugar; if sugar is the fourth or fifth ingredient in your food, that's acceptable. Many people, however, need to avoid sugar permanently for optimal health. Sugar addiction is similar to alcohol addiction in that it requires total abstinence.

One tool I find very useful to help curb sugar cravings is EFT. Limiting sugar is critical to your optimal health. Eating refined sugar weakens your immune system and promotes yeast overgrowth. All non-diet (regular soda) pops have 8 teaspoons in each can. Most packaged cereals have sugar as their major ingredient.

Lesson 2: If you really want sugar, raw honey is the best substitute.

If you must have some sugar, raw honey (not from the grocery store) would be the best choice and is best eaten with a large meal, not alone or between meals.

Lesson 3: Avoid these sweeteners:

  • Anything sweetened with fruit juice
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Date sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Honey

  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Ice milk
  • Succanat
  • Sucrose
  • White grape juice

When in doubt about the sugar content of a food you can always look at the list of ingredients and see how many grams of carbohydrates are listed. Unless the carbohydrates are from above ground vegetables you should be concerned that they represent sugars that could alter your insulin levels.

Advanced Plan: Beverages

It's now time to eliminate all beverages except water (breast milk for infants). Water is definitely the only beverage you should have at this level. To achieve this, follow the lessons below.

Lesson 1: Eliminate coffee.

You may know intuitively that coffee is not the best fluid to drink but not really understand why. Here are several reasons to eliminate coffee from your diet:  

If you are struggling with food changes, you can leave coffee at the bottom of the list. However, quitting coffee should be one of your goals. Coffee should never be consumed if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, insomnia or anxiety.

Here are a few tips to help reduce the chance of harmful effects until you can completely eliminate it:

Lesson 2: Eliminate all forms of alcohol, beer, wine and hard liquor.

While moderate wine consumption -- one to two glasses per day -- can have health benefits, all alcohol use impairs driving performance and can pose significant health and safety risks. I don't normally recommend it for most people. I believe alcohols should be reserved for people who are at no risk of alcohol addiction and have already achieved optimal wellness, and therefore have their carbohydrates (sugars and grains) under control. 

Lesson 3: Eliminate fruit juices and sports drinks.

Store-bought fruit juices are frequently contaminated with mold and therefore we should avoid them. They also contain a large amount of refined carbohydrates. Each 12-ounce glass of juice has about the same amount of sugar (8 teaspoons) as a 12-ounce glass of soda, even if no sugar is added.

Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, must also be avoided.

Advanced Plan: Supplements

Lesson 1: Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D.

Milk is a major source of vitamin D for many people. As you've stopped eating commercial milk and milk products, make sure you are getting enough vitamin D from other sources. Please read the section on vitamin D so you will be certain to obtain enough of this essential vitamin.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It's found in food, but also can be made in your body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. The major function of vitamin D in your body is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. During the summer months, you will get enough vitamin D from just spending some time outside every day.

In the winter months, though, you will most likely not get enough vitamin D if you don't live in place that is sunny a lot of the time (such as the southwest U.S.). In that case, I strongly recommend cod liver oil, which is high in vitamin D and omega-3 (an essential fatty acid most Americans are in dire need of) -- because cod liver oil can vary greatly in quality, I have researched multiple brands and offer the highest quality cod liver oil in the "Recommended Products" section of the site. It is possible to overdose with vitamin D, so avoid taking it when you are having plenty of sun exposure and if there is any question about dosing I strongly advise having your vitamin D level measured.

Lesson 2: Consider adding vitamin E.

Although the vast majority of people seem to benefit from vitamin E, that certainly is not universally true. For most it seems a reasonable supplement to take at about 400 units as it has reduces the rate of fat oxidation. However a recent study suggested that if you consume plenty of vegetables, the antioxidants in the vegetables may provide as much or more protection that vitamin E.

Lesson 3: Make sure you are getting enough calcium.

If you are off all milk products, you should consider a calcium supplement. Vegetable juice has plenty of calcium, and if you take it with cod liver oil the vitamin D will help you absorb all the calcium you need. If you are unable to drink the vegetable juice and you can tolerate citrus fruits, you can use calcium citrate as your calcium source. If you are a protein Metabolic type calcium is an especially important supplement for you and you may want to consider a regular supplement unless you are consuming raw dairy.

Lesson 4: Learn about lipoic acid.

I am not fond of recommending supplements routinely, but I do believe that antioxidants make sense for many of us.

Clinically, lipoic acid seems to be a useful supplement in treating hepatitis C. It can also be used for painful nerve conditions in diabetes, and there is suggestion that it might slow down the aging process through its reduction in free radicals.

I wish I had been aware of lipoic acid when I pursued my former and exclusive health passion, exercise. I am sure I caused considerable harm with some of the excessive exercising and running I did in the 70s and early 80s. I did not take antioxidants at that time, and, worse still, I consumed plenty of whole grain bread and steel-cut oatmeal that further raised my insulin levels. I would have considerably more hair left, I suspect, if I had recognized the dual nature of excessive exercise. It can be a potent stimulus to good health, but it can also be overdone and actually accelerate the aging process.

I routinely take vitamin C and lipoic acid (100 mg) prior to my runs. Since they are primarily water-soluble they should be taken close to the time of exercise. Vitamin E can be taken once a day, or even once a week, as it is fat-soluble. Keep in mind I take these supplements as a form of insurance, as vegetables and red meat have plenty of lipoic acid and other nutrients like carnitine that are particularly helpful in burning fat.

Living Fuel, a nutritious superfood that is useful when vegetable juicing is not an option, such as when traveling, also includes lipoic acid.

Advanced Plan: Lifestyle Changes

Lesson 1: Practice techniques, such as EFT, to control anxiety and stress, eliminate self-doubt and negativity, and instill self-control and peace of mind.

(To ensure your long-term success, this is a crucial step throughout this entire nutrition plan, which is why it is the only lesson repeated in every stage.)

There is no greater enemy to your physical health than a negative self-image or high stress. Many people initially succeed at implementing a diet -- whether it is to lose weight, heal a disease, or strengthen their body against sickness -- but then fall back to the old habits ... and therefore, the "old" body. Why? -- Because the emotional barriers were never overcome in the first place.

To truly succeed at this nutrition plan, I highly recommend you work on overcoming your emotional barriers, whether they’re based on life’s anxiety-factors or emotional traumas.

There are a host of techniques to instill positive emotions and thoughts and create a sense of inner-peace, and the best rule is to find the one that works for you, whether it is considered traditional or "alternative," and keep on using it. In my clinical practice, I have tried a variety of methods, and have been exposed to many more (both traditional and alternative) through my medical background, but none have come close to the success rate I have experienced with the "Emotional Freedom Technique," or EFT.

I highly recommend you at least give EFT a try. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that, while it appears a bit unusual to some at first, can almost seem miraculous in its ability to erase negative emotions and instill positive ones.

With EFT, while mentally focusing on the psychological/emotional issues in a positive manner through the use of affirmations, pressure is applied to the same energy points used for thousands of years in acupuncture (these energy points are finally even being recognized as legitimate by the pharmacy- and surgery-addicted American medical establishment.) These energy points are only tapped, though, not punctured as in acupuncture, as it has been shown that pressure on these points is all that is necessary to activate the body’s bioenergy. This combination of positive mental focus on the issue(s) and physical stimulus to the body’s biochemistry is amazingly effective at eliminating the issue -- be it stress, cravings, trauma, etc. -- quickly.

I routinely use EFT in my practice and I highly recommend it for optimal your emotional health. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing - no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body's ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.

EFT is very easy to learn, and will help you:

You can learn how to start using EFT on yourself and those close to you right now with my free online EFT Manual. For the most in-depth approach to using EFT routinely in your life, consider my EFT series on DVD or VHS; this series also comes with my complete nutrition plan discussion that includes real-world demonstrations.

Lesson 2: Be cautious about dental care.

Lesson 3: Eat the right salt (and the right amount!).

In reality, most people are harmed by low-salt diets. However, you don't want to use your current table salt. Instead, obtain "real salt." The difference between conventional and "real salt" is that conventional salt is dried at over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. This amount of heat changes the chemical structure of the salt. Also, conventional processing adds harmful additives and chemicals. When you do obtain "real salt," please use it liberally on your greens, such as kale, to decrease any bitter taste.

If you need to avoid salt, lemon crystals and lemon pepper are great replacements and give food a mouth-watering zing.

Lesson 4: It's time to stop smoking.

You aren’t consuming sugar, and your diet is very healthy overall. Now is the time to quit smoking. I highly recommend you read my free online EFT manual to discover how this remarkable psychological acupressure technique is ideal for eliminating addictions -- particularly, cigarette addictions, which have been shown to be associated with depression.

My free EFT manual provides an overview and lessons you can begin using right away; if, after reading the manual, you are interested in the most in-depth lessons on using EFT to help eliminate your addiction (and much more!), consider my EFT series on DVD or VHS.

There are, of course, myriad other methods to help you quit smoking, and if EFT does not appeal to you toward this end, I recommend you do your research and try what you believe will work for you. Fact is, at this stage in the nutrition program, not only will your body be craving this final and very important "fix," but the great increase in your energy and focus will make the battle to quit smoking much less of a battle!

Lesson 5: Get rid of your microwave.

Microwaves can seriously deplete the nutrients in food. It's no surprise that microwave heating of food results in losses of nutrients because all heating methods have a similar effect. However, microwave heating appears to produce the greatest losses.

Microwaves are high frequency electromagnetic waves that alternate in positive and negative directions causing vibration of food molecules up to 2.5 billion times per second. This creates friction and heat that can destroy the fragile structure of vitamins and enzymes.

Microwaves may also cause pathological changes in your body. Once a food's structure is altered, it cannot perform the desired function in your body. Clinical studies show that microwave heating of milk or cooking of vegetables is associated with a decline in hemoglobin levels. These reductions may contribute to anemia, rheumatism, fever and thyroid deficiency. To learn more, read The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking.

Lesson 6: Consider not using antiperspirants.

If you currently use antiperspirants, look and see if you notice a stain in the armpit area of your shirts. This is not due to your sweat but is from the aluminum in the antiperspirant. I don't recommend using conventional antiperspirants, as they are full of aluminum, which is a toxic substance. You can wash your armpits daily with soap and a washcloth as an alternative.

Normally, washing is sufficient to remove all traces of odor. If you still find odor to be a problem, store a small box of baking soda in your bathroom medicine box. Before each shower, pour a teaspoon of powder in your hand, close your hand with the baking soda and step into the shower. After you step into the shower, briefly let the shower water seep into your closed hand then apply the moistened baking soda to each armpit. You can then rinse the armpits and begin your regular shower routine.

If the above measures don't work, you could also use grain alcohol or vodka in a spray bottle and squirt it under your arms. This will kill the bacteria that causes odor. However, this should be a last resort, as when you shift your diet the types of bacteria growing there will change and then the odor will naturally decrease.

Lesson 7: Get the best nights of sleep possible.

Getting a good night's sleep was covered in the Basic level of the nutrition plan, but, as it is so important to sleep in complete darkness, here are some further suggestions to implement now if you haven’t already done so:

For more information on a sleeping well, see my Guide to a Good Night's Sleep.

Lesson 8: Let the sun into your life.

With the invention of new technology, we are all spending more time indoors and out of the sun. We all should strive to have one hour of sunshine a day. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the sun is the strongest. This is the time you should try to get outside in the winter. In the summer, you should be careful of your time outdoors in order to avoid sunburn. Sunburn, not sun exposure, can cause skin cancer. Noontime sun (for people in climates that are not tropical or subtropical) is the best. You just need to exercise caution with your exposure.

Sunlight into your retina is also a very important nutrient. You will get the full benefits if you do not obstruct the light with glasses or contacts.

Make sure you understand the risks of sun cancer versus your sunlight needs. Of course we should not get burned or look directly into the sun; but small amounts of daily sunshine on our skin and in our eyes is essential for good health! You can combine sun exposure with a brisk walk to satisfy your exercise requirements.

If you have problems that worsen in the winter, consider installing full spectrum lighting in your bathroom, kitchen, eating area and work environment. This will compensate for the loss of sun on your skin during the winter. They are also available for incandescent fixtures.

One note: Do not use neodium bulbs, as they are color-corrected and therefore don't qualify as full spectrum lighting.

Lesson 9: Avoid electromagnetic fields when possible.

Please avoid low frequency (60 hertz) pulsating electromagnetic fields such as those found in electric blankets and waterbed heaters. Also, avoid electric razors and close exposure to any AC/DC transformer for appliances you plug into a wall, and do not carry keys that open your car doors with radio waves in your pocket.

Wearing metal on your body is something you generally want to avoid. If you are a woman who is wearing underwire bras, please consider removing the wire from the bra.

This can be done be snipping the fabric and pulling out the wire. The wire can form an antenna attracting EMF fields and can actually increase your risk of breast cancer.

If you need the extra support that the wire provided, you can go to a fabric store and purchase some boning material, which can be gently heated in a flame to form it into the shape needed and then inserted back into the bra. Anything else that you use on the body, such as hair rollers, pins and clips, should also be changed to plastic.

Lesson 10: Analyze your use of hormones.

If you are a woman having difficulties with your periods or are past the age of 50 or a man with prostate problems, you may want to consider natural progesterone supplementation. Dr. Lee's book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About PRE Menopause, is an inexpensive paperback that goes into greater detail. The book covers all aspects of female hormones, not just menopause.

Juicing: Your Key to Radiant Health

Congratulations! You have made some great changes to your life. The last step will be to implement a juicing plan. I am firmly convinced that juicing is the final key to giving you a radiant, energetic life and truly optimal health.

I've said this in the other levels of this nutrition plan, but it's so important I'll say it again - valuable and sensitive micronutrients become damaged when you heat foods.

Cooking and processing food destroys these micronutrients by altering their shape and chemical composition. In this advanced nutritional level, you avoid all processed foods and eat only organic vegetables and fruits unless not otherwise possible.

Metabolic Typing and Juicing

According to Metabolic Typing principles, if you are a Carb type, vegetable juicing is STRONGLY recommended. With patients in our clinic, we strongly encourage it if they expect to regain their health. If you are a mixed type, it is certainly useful to juice. However, protein types need to follow some specific guidelines to make it work for them.

Protein Types And Juicing

If you are a protein type, juicing needs to be done cautiously. The only vegetables that should be juiced are your prime protein type vegetables, which are celery, spinach, asparagus, string beans and cauliflower (including the base).

It is important to keep your serving size of juice to no more than 6 oz., but don't be surprised if you find that as little as 3-4 oz. of juice feels like the right serving size for you. For a protein type, 3-4 oz. of juice is a significant amount.

Also, to make drinking vegetable juice compatible with protein type metabolism (which needs high amounts of fat), it is important to blend a source of raw fat into the juice. Raw cream, raw butter, raw eggs, avocado, coconut butter, or freshly ground flax seed meal are the sources of raw fat that we most recommend.

In addition to adding a source of raw fat to your juice, you may also find that adding some or even all of the vegetable pulp into your juice helps to make drinking the juiced vegetables more satisfying to you.

Some Reasons to Juice

There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your health program:

1. Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition rather than having it go down the toilet.

2. Allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.

3. You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads everyday. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally eat.

If you are new to juicing, I recommend a mid-priced juicer. The cheap centrifugal juicers (like the Juiceman) break easily, produce low quality juice, and are very loud, which may contribute to hearing loss.

Many of my patients thought that juicing would be a real chore, but the majority were pleasantly surprised to find that it was much easier than they thought it would be.

This is partly because you should only start by juicing vegetables that you enjoy eating non-juiced. The juice should taste pleasant -- not make you nauseous.

It is very important to listen to your body when juicing. Your stomach should be very happy all morning long. If it is churning or growling or generally making its presence known, you probably juiced something you should not be eating. Personally, I've noticed that I can't juice large amounts of cabbage, but if I spread it out, I do fine.

Here are a few simple lessons to get you up and juicing quickly:

Lesson 1: Drink vegetable juice for breakfast.

Vegetable juice makes a great breakfast when balanced with some essential oils and a bit of chlorella.

Please remember that vegetable juice and fruit juices are two completely different substances in terms of nutrition. Ideally, you should avoid fruit juices. Although vegetable juice is processed, it doesn't raise insulin levels like fruit juice. The only exceptions would be carrot and beet juice (and most vegetables that grow underground), which function similarly to fruit juice.

Lesson 2: Get ready to juice!

Step 1: Now that you're ready for the benefits of vegetable juice, you need to know what to juice. I recommend starting out with these vegetables, as they are the easiest to digest:

These three aren't as nutrient dense as the dark green vegetables, which should be avoided if you are a protein type (except for spinach). Once you get used to the 3 vegetables listed above, you can start adding the more nutritionally valuable, but less palatable, vegetables into your juice.

Vegetables to avoid include carrots and beets. Most people who juice usually use carrots. The reason they taste so good is that they are full of sugar. I would definitely avoid all vegetables that grow underground to avoid an increase in your insulin levels.

If you are healthy, you can add about one pound of carrots or beets per week. I do believe that the deep, intense colors of these foods provide additional benefits for many that are just not available in the green vegetables listed above.

Step 2: When you've acclimatized yourself to juicing, you can start adding these vegetables:

Step 3: After you're used to these, then go to the next step:

An interesting side note: Cabbage juice is one of the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as it is a huge source of vitamin U.

Step 4: When you're ready, move on to adding herbs to your juicing. Herbs also make wonderful combinations, and here are two that work exceptionally well:

You need to be cautious with cilantro, as many cannot tolerate it well. If you are new to juicing, hold off. These are more challenging vegetables to consume, but they are highly beneficial.

Step 5: The last step: Only use one or two of these leaves, as they are very bitter:

When purchasing collard greens, find a store that sells the leaves still attached to the main stalk. If they are cut off, the vegetable rapidly loses many of its valuable nutrients.

One important note: I prefer to juice my vegetables at room temperature. I leave my vegetables out overnight, or for at least one hour in the morning, as I do not enjoy drinking cold fluids, especially when it is cold outside.

Lesson 3: Make your juice a balanced meal.

Balance your juice with protein and fat. Vegetable juice does not have much protein or fat, so it's very important for you to include these fat and protein sources with your meal.

Use eggs. Eggs will add a significant amount of beneficial fats and protein to your meal. An egg has about 8 grams of protein, so you can add two to four eggs per meal. I suggest that you blend the raw whole eggs raw, into the vegetable juice. The reason I advocate this is because once you heat the eggs, many of their nutrients become damaged. If you are concerned about salmonella, purchase organic eggs; it's unlikely you'll have any problems.

There is a potential problem with using the entire raw egg if you are pregnant. Biotin deficiency, a common concern in pregnancy, could be worsened by consuming whole raw eggs.

Please read my recent article, Raw Eggs for Your Health -- Major Update, for further information on consuming raw eggs.

For increased satiety, blend in some seeds. If you get hungry easily after juicing, put your juice and seeds in the blender to make a higher fat drink. Seeds are full of protein and essential fatty acids that bring a juice into balance beautifully. I recommend pumpkin and flax seeds. If you use flax seeds use a coffee grinder to grind them first and drink immediately after blending into the juice.

Use chlorella. Chlorella is an incredibly powerful nutrient from the sea and is a form of algae. I use it quite a bit for mercury detoxification as it binds very strongly to mercury to eliminate it from the body. The normal dose is one teaspoon in the juice. However, about 30 percent of people cannot tolerate chlorella, so if it makes you nauseous you should definitely avoid it. The advantages of chlorella are:

If you have high iron or vitamin D levels, you will want to avoid chlorella, as it is loaded with both of these nutrients.

Add spirulina. Spirulina is another algae that has many similar benefits and is a good balance to chlorella. However, it does not bind to heavy metals like chlorella.

Consider a protein powder. I personally prefer to drink raw eggs for my breakfast protein. Fresh juice mixed with a protein powders is also a very convenient meal. In my opinion, whey protein is the best type of powder because it is the most complete protein and the easiest to digest. Although whey protein is from milk and many people have lactose intolerance or an allergy to dairy, the major protein in milk that causes an allergy is casein. Fortunately, whey protein does not contain casein, so most people digest whey protein quite well. The most popular protein powders are those made from soy protein (which I do not recommend due to negative effects unfermented soy has on the body).

Add some garlic. I like to add one clove of garlic in my juice, as it incorporates the incredible healing potential of fresh garlic. I strongly advise you to do this regularly to balance out your bowel flora. The ideal dose is just below the social threshold where people start to notice that you have eaten garlic. One large clove, two medium cloves, or three small cloves is the recommended dose.

Add oil. But not just any oil! I highly recommend cod liver oil for the winter months and fish oil for the summer months. If you live in a primarily sunny climate, however, I wouldn't advise taking cod liver oil. The reason for this is that cod liver oil has a level of vitamin D that can prove toxic to those in very sunny climates. The dose for cod liver oil or fish oil is one teaspoon for every 25 to 40 pounds of body weight. Please note that cod liver oil can raise your vitamin D levels to unhealthy ranges and ideally you should have your doctor monitor your vitamin D levels with a blood test while taking cod liver oil. Please be sure to read my comprehensive explanation on sunlight and vitamin D testing, and please review my updates on vitamin D information.

The reason why adding oil (fat) to your vegetable juice may be helpful is that fat can help you better absorb the vitamin K from your vegetable juice as vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin K is very important for gluing the calcium into your bone matrix and helping you build stronger bones. Additionally, new research suggests that vitamin K significantly reduces calcification in the arteries. Adding raw egg yolks, as described above, will also help you to absorb all the vitamin K from the juice. You could also use flax as a source of omega-3 fat, but many people have problems digesting it.

Lesson 4: Make your juice taste great.

If you would like to make your juice taste a bit more palatable, especially in the beginning, you can add these elements:

Lesson 5: Drink your vegetable juice right away, or store it very carefully.

Juicing is a time-consuming process, so you'll probably be thinking to yourself, "I wonder if I can juice first thing and then drink it later?" This isn't a great idea. Vegetable juice is very perishable so it's best to drink all of your juice immediately. However, if you're careful you can store it for up to 24 hours with only moderate nutritional decline. To store your juice:

Most people juice in the morning, but if that does not work out well for your schedule please feel the freedom to choose whatever meal works out best for your lifestyle.

Lesson 6: Clean your juicer properly.

We all know that if a juicer takes longer than 10 minutes to clean, we'll find excuses not to juice at all. I find that using an old toothbrush works well to clean any metal grater. If you buy a high-quality juicer, the whole process should only take about 5 minutes. Whatever you do, you need to clean your juicer immediately after you juice to prevent any remnants from contaminating the juicer with mold growth.

Warning: Don't follow the juicing recommendations that come with the juicer, as they most often emphasize carrot and fruit combinations.

Taken from Dr. Mercola’s web site http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/index.htm