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The Fast Track Detox Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

May 26, 2010 | Book Reviews | 0 comments

As a Nutritional Therapist I am always looking for tools to share with my clients about weight loss and detoxification. In The Fast Track Detox Diet, Ann Louise Gittleman offers us a guide to detoxification and weight loss that is a simple blueprint to improve our health, vitality and longevity. In the beginning few pages she sums up her intention for writing this book when she asks the reader, “What is the point of struggling to manage our food intake if our organs are giving way under the strain of processing a toxic overload?” The author clearly invites the reader to: Cleanse your system back to glowing health and vitality, get rid of unhealthy fattening toxins, and jump start your metabolism. The Fast Track is a guide for the professional looking for an organized tool to support their clients/patients who desire to lose weight, or the lay person looking for an easy-to- use guide to better health and weight loss. She suggests that any diet that does not support liver and colon function is not going to work in the long term. If the liver is not healthy and functioning normally, the fats in our diet will not be digested and this fat and cholesterol will circulate in our blood leading to obesity. This book comes as a complete package, which includes a seven day prequel, a one day fast, and a three day sequel. Also included are detailed shopping lists and recipes for all three phases of the detox process. The beginning of this book details why we need to eat certain foods to live a healthy life in our toxic world. As Gittleman makes her case she calls on her twenty years as a practicing nutritionist. She sees the rising levels of obesity strongly linked to our toxic body loads increasing each year. Our bodies are staggering under the huge load of industrial toxins in our foods. The author describes the negative effects on our endocrine balance of the hormone-laden meats coming from the feed given to livestock to fatten them up for the market. She describes as “deadly to our health and disastrous to our weight” the toxins in our homes, workplaces, our cosmetics and our foods. Gittleman suggests that we would get the fiber that we need if we ate a diet rich in whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fresh fruits to help neutralize toxins. She describes how we are more likely to “consume fatty, sugary and floury foods or go on low carb, low fiber diets like Atkins or South Beach”. In previous generations we ingested twenty to thirty grams of fiber daily, while today average less than 12 grams. The waste from our food sits in our colon for weeks causing our overloaded liver stress as it works to detoxify our bodies. She asks “how can they [our livers] properly metabolize fat when they are assaulted by this daily dose of toxins?” Gittleman also talks about the downsides of long term low-carb diets on our health and weight. While she suggests that most individuals can lose weight on the low-carb diets, she stresses that many of the high protein foods are loaded with the toxins referred to earlier. Also the low amount of fiber in a low carb diet reduces our ability to purify and eliminate the toxins. She has found that many people do not have sufficient stomach acid to digest the large amounts of protein in these low fiber diets, and the undigested meat and cheese rots in our guts. She sees the resulting acid reflux epidemic as a result of these dietary choices. Now that she has described the need to “get on the fast track” she describes the three-stage process that this plan prescribes, the seven day prequel, one day Miracle Juice fast, and a three day sequel. Each day during the prequel you will choose foods from five categories of liver-loving foods such as:
  1. Crucifers including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli
  2. Green leafy vegetables such as parsley, kale, chard or collards
  3. Citrus juices from orange, lemon or lime
  4. Sulfur rich foods including garlic, eggs
  5. Liver healers such as artichoke, asparagus, and beets.
You will daily choose two of the following Colon-Caring foods, powdered psyllium husks, ground flaxseeds, carrots, apples, pears or berries. She also suggests you drink “half of your body weight in ounces of water”. The prequel also includes two tablespoons of either flax or olive oil daily. Each prequel day include two servings of protein in the form of lean beef, lamb, skinless chicken or fish. She suggests that if you are vegetarian you include at least two tablespoons of high-quality blue-green algae or spirulina. Gittleman supplies a list of “detox detractors” to avoid which include: Excess fat, (especially trans fats from margarine) sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, gluten, soy protein isolates, alcohol, caffeine, mold (from over-ripe fruits), milk and cheese. The author stresses that the prequel is key to this plan working. She suggests that “if you do not follow the prequel for the full seven days do not attempt the One-Day Detox” She has found in trials that as a consequence of not doing the prequel for seven days, participants were more bloated, constipated and toxic than before. Of course she includes detailed user friendly instructions including a shopping list for each of the prequels steps. Gittleman supplies in the book logs where you can record what foods you have eaten from each group each day. The second part of this program is the One-Day fast. Avoid fasting under the following circumstances: if you are pregnant, nursing, recovering from an illness or injury or have a weakened immune system. The author also recommends that those people with type I diabetes, many heart issues or mental illness not fast. She also suggests that if you are under a physician’s care, using prescription medication; consult your physician before starting a fast. The One-Day Detox, a delicious blend of cranberry and citrus juices spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg will stave off hunger, balance blood sugar, and rev up metabolism. Gittleman supplies the recipe and instructions and a sample schedule for a day alternating each hour with a cup of the “Miracle Juice” and a cup of water. To support detox she suggests a fiber drink upon arising and at the end of the day. She describes in detail the reasoning behind each ingredient in the Miracle Juice. To seal in the results of the fast she offers a three day sequel. During the three day sequel choose from the same categories as the prequel and add a probiotic food to restore “friendly” bacteria to the colon, such as raw sauerkraut (she supplies a recipe) or plain yogurt and follow the same steps and instructions as outlined in the Prequel. She also suggests a hydrochloric acid supplement during your sequel meals. Gittleman includes many recipes in this book that are simple and carefully explained. She also includes a comprehensive resources section. In the resources are found ranchers who supply healthy beef, educational opportunities, schools, and other resources to use towards a healthier lifestyle. This is not your fathers (or mothers) diet book. This is an excellent guide to living healthier in our toxic world. I have enjoyed the Fast Track because it is a simple and manageable plan with great results. This new way of eating can benefit you as you strive to be healthier, have more energy, and enjoy life to the fullest. Disclaimer: Statements made in these articles have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products or protocols are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or be used as a substitute for appropriate care of a qualified healthcare professional.  The ideas and options of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Nutritional Therapy Association SPC.