People ask me all the time, "What diet do you recommend?" More specifically, they ask "What diet do you think I should go on?" Honestly, it depends on your health goals and how fast you want to get there. Today I want to share with you the ones I personally think are best, and let you make up your own minds. I will give short reviews of the Eat Clean Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Diet, the Vegan Diet, the Raw Food Diet, and Juice Fasting. I've done them all.
If someone asks me what diet to start out with when they have been eating what is known as the Standard American Diet (SAD) of anything and everything out there, including between one and three meals a day of fast food and sodas, I tell them to get on the Eat Clean Diet. This is such a huge jump for most Americans that it seems radical. Why? Because for the first time in perhaps their entire lives, these people are going to have to learn how to cook from scratch and quit eating processed and pre-prepared food.
The Eat Clean Diet is easy in principle, but hard in reality, because we have to give up a bunch of food addictions like salt and sugar. My strong preference is for all of the food consumed to be 100% organic and GMO-free. However, food budgets can be tight, so I always tell people to do the best they can.
Bodybuilders and fitness models live on the Eat Clean Diet, because it works. All this diet consists of is healthy proteins, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates in approximately a 33-33-33% calorie ratio. We don't eat anything with more than one or two ingredients listed on the label. We eat healthy proteins like chicken breasts, salmon, tilapia, turkey, eggs, dairy if we tolerate lactose, and the occasional steak. We eat healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, fish oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, and butter. We eat healthy carbohydrates in two forms: healthy starches such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa, and all manner of fresh vegetables and fruit from the produce aisle or Farmer's Market. We eat five or six small meals a day in order to keep our metabolism up so we burn more fat.
While the above diets are what I might recommend for most individuals, there are times when what I call "cleansing diets" may be appropriate. These are the high raw vegan, the 100% raw vegan, and juice fasting diets. I recommend these diets when the body needs to go into "healing mode," but I do not recommend them for a long term lifestyle (as in decades) diet. The high raw vegan diet is simply adopting a vegan lifestyle, but consuming a minimum of 80% raw, live, uncooked plant food. Many Christians may recognize this diet by the name "Hallelujah Diet."
If one adopts the 80-20 high raw vegan diet to correct a health issue such as diabetes or to prevent cancer the way groovy Kris Carr is, I strongly encourage the addition of a "superfood" product for additional protein, vitamins, and minerals. Why? Because the soil on most farms have been so badly stripped of minerals that our plant food supply usually does not contain all the vitamins and minerals we see listed on nutrition lists. Actually, I recommend that everyone take a "superfood" product for their vitamin and mineral supplement for the same reason. I am writing an ebook right now on superfoods which will include a recipe you can make yourself.
A way to ramp up the healing process and detoxify faster is to adopt a 100% raw vegan diet. In this diet, no food is cooked at all. Soup may be warmed some, but in general, everything is eaten fresh and uncooked. There are a lot of raw food gurus and chefs now with some creative and delicious recipes. Check out David Wolfe, Matt and Angela Monarch, Shazzie, Ani Phyo, Mimi Kirk, and Quintessence raw food restaurant in NYC for starters. I know I left some gorgeous people out- sorry!
Finally, if you are really ill, dying, or someone told you you were "incurable," I recommend starting out with at least a 30 day fresh juice fast. I highly recommend the movie "Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead." You can watch it online through Netflix. The main character, Joe, heals himself on a juice fast using his "Mean Green Juice" as his primary diet. Here's the recipe: