For those of you who are still confused about what actually constitutes a “health food,” let me clear the air: if a substance contributes to the removal of the accumulated waste in the body, either by awakening it or by helping it move through the eliminative channels—in a process called Deep Tissue Cleansing—it has a place in a cleansing diet. If not, it cannot rightfully be called a “health food.”

Deep Tissue Cleansing happens through the eliminative organs, predominantly the bowel, followed by the skin, lungs, kidneys and lymph, with support from the liver and spleen. Check out <a href=”/blog-detail.php?ID=23”>my post of 10/14/07</a> to learn how waste accumulation saturates the cells and tissues throughout the body.

Many people believe they are cleansing when they simply undertake a raw food diet or a fast, or use an herbal “cleanse” product. However, it is only through the copious release of old waste through the colon (while other eliminative organs play a supporting role) that meaningful cleansing occurs.

Deep Tissue Cleansing is the only cleansing that is profound enough to impact biochemical improvements in our bodies. Understanding this is the key to determining which foods have a rightful place in a cleansing diet-lifestyle. However, keep in mind that there’s a distinct hierarchy even within this group of foods.

Substances that support Deep Tissue Cleansing can be broken down into three categories:

1. Those which are truly health-generating (alkaline)<br /> 2. Those which are neutral<br /> 3. Those which keep us sane as we cleanse (mildly acidic) Caution: Do not confuse foods in this third category with health foods. It’s best to regard them as “safe poisons.” See below for more details.

Let’s look at each category one at a time:

1. The true health generators are only vegetable juices, raw vegetables, and fresh, raw, ripe fruit (avocados and young coconuts are high on the list). These are the only substances that are truly alkaline, contributing life force and cleanliness to the blood and fully exiting the body, leaving no accumulation behind. Health generators are also the effective “awakeners” in a cleanse because their alkaline charge literally magnetizes the acid-waste matter in our otherwise alkaline bodies, creating the potential for that waste to exit the body.

One caveat here, particularly for women, is fruit. Fruit is the cleanest food for the human body, and the highest vibration food on the planet. However, if you combine high quantities of accumulated acid waste with the estrogenic nature of your biochemistry, which makes you more inclined to proliferate yeast, beware of feeding that yeast with sugars—including fruit sugars. I strongly urge women to consume only small amounts of low-sugar fruits, such as lemons (which you may use liberally), grapefruits, green apples, and berries, until the system is cleaner and less saturated with yeast. Focus more on the raw vegetable juices and raw vegetables for your source of alkaline, waste-awakening foods. I explain this in greater detail in my new book, Detox for Women (available May ’09).

2. Next are the neutral foods. These are not health generators, but they won’t to stick in the body or hold back the cleanse either. They help to fill you up, leave the body easily, and facilitate the transition to this lifestyle. Neutral foods are all the cooked vegetables (from spinach to yams and everything in between) and the following few grains: millet, quinoa, and buckwheat. Cooked vegetables are of a higher vibration than nuts and seeds and therefore should not be shunned as they typically are in raw food circles. One of the biggest mistakes that raw foodists make is to focus their diets around nuts and seeds while vilifying benign cooked vegetables. Cooked vegetables are the helping hand in a long-term cleansing diet.

Personally, I’m not a fan of grains in general, but those who wish to include them can still be successful with millet, quinoa, and buckwheat. Women should stick to these three grains as they are less likely to feed yeast. Men and some women (especially beginners coming off the mainstream diet) can enjoy other whole grains, such as the sprouted grain bread products, spelt, kamut, and products like spelt pasta. However, millet is the only truly neutral, non-gluey grain, followed by quinoa and buckwheat. All others would fall into the third category…

3. Foods that keep us sane as we cleanse. These are the less offensive low-vibration foods that offer an emotional and social crutch as you embark on the cleansing lifestyle while still struggling with addictions to low-vibration, stimulating substances. For example, if you are addicted to bagels and burgers, you will need a bit of acidic food to ease the transition without bringing the cleanse to a halt. As you focus on a diet of raw juices and salads, the true health foods, you might include some acidic items from this third category for some fun and familiarity. Such foods include raw goat cheese (some pasteurized goat cheese is okay when you can’t get raw), high quality fish (admittedly hard to come by, now that our waterways are so polluted), sprouted grain breads and whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate.

Note: I find that non-vegan items such as the raw goat cheese and fish actually leave the body much more easily than the celebrated raw nuts, seeds and grains, which are extremely dense and should be consumed with caution. They tend to be overeaten and sit like dead weight in the body. Further, they are often mis-combined—such as when eaten with avocados or raw grains or followed by fresh fruit—which is not healthy or cleansing. As you transition and require these third category foods less (though you may never let them go altogether), try to eat them in the evening. Drink lots of raw vegetable juice and pure water (distilled is best, as the vegetable juice will ensure good mineral balance) in the morning, graduating to raw salads and avocados as the focal point of daytime eating, then a raw salad and any of the cooked food in these latter two categories (per the Quick Exit combination laws in my books) in the evening.

If you hold all health food information up to the light of Deep Tissue Cleansing, you will never again be misled or confused by what is healthy. Always ask yourself: Will this contribute to mobilizing accumulated waste matter out of the cells and tissues of my body or not?

Nuts, seeds, and grains, which are traditionally among the most celebrated foods in the raw lifestyle, are actually the least health-supporting of all the foods mentioned above! Oil and coconut butter are fussy additions that can bring some fun to transition foods, but they are not health-generators. They are dense and clogging and should be used minimally—especially by women. I don’t eat raw chocolates because they sit in the body like a dead weight (again fine for transitioning off Twix and Mars Bars, but far from a Quick Exit health food). When I’m in the mood for high-quality dark chocolate, I prefer the non-raw brands like Rapunzel (my latest favorite), Green & Black, and Dagoba.

Fiber supplements are also frequently recommended in the mainstream diet. This is because the mainstream diet is overwhelmingly comprised of starch, sugar, fats, and protein (for example, bagels, turkey, Velveeta sandwiches, meatloaf or soy-loaf for vegans). A diet devoid of natural fiber makes it necessary to take fiber supplements, but that does not make them healthy. When we eat poorly and then try to patch up what we are missing with supplements, vitamins, gym workouts, and eight glasses of water a day, we will get sick and deteriorate rapidly.

The only way to live well is to fully enter into the circle of truth, where we can drink pure water but don’t need to focus on a particular quantity; where we eat raw vegetable like normal humans instead of taking fiber supplements; where we can stop counting calories, fat grams, and carb grams and forget the contrived concept of consuming three meals a day plus snacks, which is way too much food for the average body to process. In the circle of truth, we wait for our bodies to tell us when we’re hungry, then start with our juice and eat our raw salads when we are hungry for more. We instinctively create salads that taste good and include neutral and non-offensive cooked foods to make the process pleasurable.

All we have to remember is to remove accumulation for cellular cleanliness. We must ensure that the waste being awakened by the alkalinity of the raw juices and vegetables continuously exits the body through bowel cleansing and sweating (ideally infrared saunas and rebounding, or other exercises that you enjoy). The body has no other needs. For those in the circle of truth, the chi flows in blissful currents and health is abundantly obvious. If you are working hard at your health but not feeling this current of life force, you are probably eating too much dense food and not eliminating enough waste. Correct this and see what happens.

Never forget: Deep Tissue Cleansing is the only meaningful kind of cleansing. Let this always be your measuring stick as you make your health food choices.

Keep your sights set on the mountain peak and you will get there. Don’t look down. The truth will set you free, but you must be courageous and dedicated enough to follow that truth all the way to the top—and let me tell you, it’s mighty fine up here!

In loving service, Natalia