Enough already! The spring rains are here in Northern California now and as far as I’m concerned have worn out their welcome. lol. I know we needed the rain, but I think it’s all good now. I’d like to get my spring garden in as soon as I can. I’m just finishing up the greens from my winter garden and the yard is actually full of edibles like miner’s lettuce and lamb’s quarter.

The good news is that the markets are bursting with fresh raw produce providing me with all the fix’ins I need to prepare some really tasty meals. Which by the way are posted on the website and here in the Vibrant Living Newsletter. I’ve also written a fairly detailed article on cleansing and fasting so you can determine if it might be right for you to try one. So relax and Enjoy this issue of Vibrant Living.


Most days I’m posting health information, recipes, testimonies, etc on the facebook page of RAW-FOODS-DIET-CENTER.COM, so if you’re interesting in checking that out you can do that here.


“Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. You’ll get all the protein you need” ~ Jeff Sekerak


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Fasting & Cleansing

As you may remember from the last newsletter I mentioned that I had done a short 9 day water fast with some additional juice cleansing after that. For many people who have never really done a cleanse or water fast the question becomes “Do I really need to do a cleanse or fast to be healthy?” This is a really good question, but before we answer that let’s try to simplify the issue.

We all know someone, perhaps a grandparent, who had a fairly mainstream lifestyle, eating cooked foods and enjoying cakes, cookies, soda pop, and perhaps even cigarettes and yet lived to a ripe old age. That seems to defy logic and the main thrust of the natural health movement today, but let’s look deeper. Our health is really determined by how clean our body is, since that determines how well it is able to complete its bodily functions. Those functions include digestion and assimilation of nutrients, removal of waste products, and regeneration by creating millions of healthy new cells to replace the old ones, which for lack of a better word, die each minute of every day.

As you know I think good nutrition is very important, but a clean body system without optimal nutrition (100% raw foods) is way healthier than a dirty or clogged body system receiving the best nutrition available.

A number of things can clog our systems: wrong foods, too much food in general (even if it’s healthy food), medications, over the counter, street, and prescription drugs, some supplements and herbs, alcoholic beverages and smoking. Basically anything we put into or on our bodies has the potential to affect the good workings of our systems and create health issues. Heck even the basic metabolic processes create waste products that need to be removed regularly to maintain good health.

On top of all that, today our world is full of all types of chemicals, air pollution, and invisible negative influences like electrical pollution and radiation. Our daily lives are far more stressful and busy than those of people living a generation or two ago. These things play a strong role in the deterioration of health at the cellular level which affects our body’s ability to operate correctly. We must try to avoid these things as much as possible if we are to enjoy good health, but remember, what affects us the most is what we put into our bodies, mainly food and drink.

A large part of the problem is that when we’re born there is no “owner’s guide” on how to take care of a new baby. What’s the natural diet for our species? Every other species on the planet instinctively knows its natural diet and follows it from day one with guidance from the parents. Man with all his technological advances has distanced himself so far from nature that he no longer knows his natural diet. Man’s diet has been evolving now for millions of years, changing as the climate of the earth changed and with that the availability of different foods.

Actually we start out in the womb feeding on un-natural food stuffs through our mother’s milk and this continues on through childhood into our adult years when we read something about natural health, become intrigued and start to make changes, or start to feel the results of our poor dietary choices in the premature decline in our health. Many experts say that aging is really just the experience of the body’s toxic load over the lifetime taking its toll.

So the long lived person or grandparent you knew lived a relatively healthy long life not because of their diet, but in spite of it. They grew up in a time when ALL food was organic and the environment was much much cleaner than today. They also got far more exercise than we do today on the whole. Even if they didn’t do physical work on the job, they were active in their daily chores and walking was the main form of local transportation.

Some people’s health regime may consist of methods for allowing the body to rest and clean house so that they feel quite good most of the time, rarely get sick, and can probably enjoy relatively good health into their senior years. They may be avoiding excess stress, be exercising regularly, get a good night’s sleep, be involved in fruitful loving relationships with friends and family, and eat to live and not live to eat, all of which creates an environment for the body to be at ease and better able to cleanse itself through daily bodily processes.

Even if one is taking in some unhealthy food and substances, if the body can keep up the detox and expel most of the waste products then a relatively healthy life can be enjoyed, at least for some time. For most of us today years of poor eating habits and poor lifestyle choices have left us with no other choice than to be proactive if we wish to enjoy good health long term. We need look no further than our friends, family and neighbors to see the results of poor lifestyle choices combined with apathy towards personal responsibility for one’s own health. The majority of people in the developed world are waiting for a cure for this disease or a pill that will allow them to abuse their body and still be healthy. All I have to say is it’s likely to be a very long wait.

During a cleanse or fast all we’re really doing is giving the body a chance to catch up with house cleaning and throw out the garbage that’s been stored away over the years in various areas of the body. Some people achieve this by fasting one day a week, or three days a month, or perhaps drinking juices for one weekend per month. There are many ways to lighten the load on the body so it can do the work nature intended for it.

Some prefer herbal cleanses, which can be effective too; but I feel once a person has gained a level of good health then water or juice fasts are probably all that’s needed to keep healthy unless there is an unusual circumstance, or a parasite issue. I do feel for a person who has never cleansed before that an herbal cleanse can be very effective and they tend to be easier on the person than a water fast or perhaps even a juice fast. The Arise and Shine company has a pretty good herbal cleanse and so does Ejuva and Health Force. I think a good parasite cleanse makes sense for people at some time also, and perhaps every few years or so depending on exposure to pets and other animals.

So back to the question “Do I really need to do a cleanse or fast to be healthy?” I would say yes. I believe that with most people’s history and the world we live in today, some type of house cleaning should be undertaken on a regular basis to insure the continuance of good health. It is important to note that cleansing can make the individual feel poorly and even quite sick if there are years of toxic burden to be relieved, but this is no reason not to start now to clean the temple given you at birth. One thing for sure it’s not going to get any easier. The important thing to remember is that you can start as easy as you like and perhaps not feel any ill effects at all. Now that approach would take much longer than a full juice or water fast, but it is available to those with concerns.

Simply eliminating one unhealthy food from your diet is a form of cleansing. What if each month you replaced one unhealthy food choice with a healthy one? Where would you be in 12 months? I think you’d be amazed at the positive changes in your health and life overall.

That’s one way to start, other possibilities include an herbal cleanse, a juice fast, a short water fast, and replacing your unhealthy breakfast with a green smoothie each day. You’re in charge and you’re the one responsible for your good health or further decline, so try one method or try them all and see what works best for you. However if you do an intense cleanse, then before another intense cleanse is taken you should let the body rest and rebuild, making sure of course to provide healthy nutrition for the building blocks of good health.

Want to really get great results from a cleanse? Then do all the deep breathing of fresh clean air you can. A majority of our toxic load is expelled through our exhalations. If you’ve never cleansed before or even if you have and start feeling poorly then an enema is a good way to rid your body of the toxins making you feel that way. Many people believe cleansing and enemas and or colonics go hand in hand.

Years ago when I did some deep cleansing with herbs and juices I used a colema board twice a day to cleanse my bowels, and I felt it really did a good job of cleaning the slate. If you’re unfamiliar with colema boards they’re just a platform with a hole in one end that goes over the toilet and is elevated slightly away from the toilet. You lay on the board with knees bent giving yourself a series of enemas until you’re really cleaned out. Mine had a five gallon bucket I could fill with purified water and perhaps lemon juice or other things which hung from a hook I’d placed in the ceiling.

Today when I cleanse I take an enema when feeling poorly and sometimes just to move my bowels and move things along. I’m so used to being very regular, two or three times per day depending on how many meals I have, that it feels strange not to have movement. You can pick up enema bags online at very good prices at places like Amazon.

Exercise is a huge body cleanser; it stimulates the lymphatic system and causes deep breathing which is where 60% or more of the toxic load leaves your body in exchange for oxygen rich air. However exercise should not necessarily be done while doing a cleanse, depending on what type of cleanse you’re doing, but daily exercise during your life will help move the poisons out of your body. Even though I’ve been a lifelong health nut I was also known to drink a beer or two back in the day, and found that physical exercise worked that poison out in a relatively short time. If not for the active lifestyle I’ve always led I would surely not be in the good physical health and shape I am today.

Sunlight is another of the great cleansers. How wonderful is it that you can get sunlight, exercise and deep breathing all at the same time. If you’re doing a deep cleanse then perhaps an easy walk or just a lie down in the sun breathing deeply is best. Getting sun on as much of your body as possible for up to an hour a day as long as you’re not burning is a great prescription for good health. If you wear glasses or contacts remove them during this time as to allow the healing rays of the sun to enter your eyes.

The old sanitariums of Europe and here in the USA used fresh air, sunshine, and exercise mixed with a diet of mostly to all raw foods to heal every malady known to man before the pharmaceutical industry got such a strangle hold on the world.

There are many health modalities available today that can be helpful in cleansing. I used to have a far infra-red sauna that was a great cleansing tool, and I use a triangular oscillating system, magnetic mattress pads, and a few other healing/cleansing tools almost daily and think they’re helpful, but I feel these are supportive modalities and should not be solely relied on to keep the body clean.

There are a number of good books on juice and water fasts, and of course all types of info available online on a variety of fasts. And they all will tell you that it’s very important to break your fast in a way that will encourage good health and not stress or cause damage to your newly cleansed temple. What this means is slowly returning to solid foods and making sure they’re healthy foods. Moving from water to juices to smoothies to solid foods is one way to go, but whatever you do don’t overeat. Take it slow and enjoy a newfound taste for healthy foods and the good life they bring.

If you’ve never cleansed before, then it’s probably best to figure that you will be doing a series of cleanses over a fair amount of time, perhaps years, but I would encourage you to start somewhere slightly on the edge of your comfort zone and see what happens. After that you can enjoy your elevated level of health and decide later when you’re ready to go to the next level.

For someone who is quite toxic it would be best to start easy, perhaps with a green smoothie in the morning while eating a healthier version of your old diet for lunch and dinner. Even this could bring on a cleansing response such as flu like symptoms or a weak and shaky feeling. If you can it’s best to just continue cleansing through these symptoms until they clear, but you can always take a day off from your cleanse and start again. As I said before, the cleansing response is a good thing; it’s all the bad stuff leaving your body and making for a healthier you. If it doesn’t ever leave your body it clogs the system and breeds dis-ease, so it’s best to get it out now, today!

Of course a mostly raw food diet is a cleansing diet; this can do wonders in cleansing your body and probably will bring a healing crisis somewhere down the road. The healing crisis is simply your body throwing off toxic load and poison, the same as it does whenever we “catch” a cold or the flu. Not necessarily pleasant, but it’s a good thing.

If you’re the type of person that needs support in an endeavor like cleansing then you’re in luck. There are fasting clinics of one type or another all over the world. True North Fasting Center is just a few miles up the road from me in Northern California and there are literally hundreds of healing centers and retreats throughout the USA alone that supervise fasts and cleanses. Anyone looking to do longer than a three day water fast should probably do a supervised fast at a fasting Center. People who are overweight or have existing health issues are probably very toxic and can have real problems if they release toxins too fast, as can happen on a water fast. So please keep mind that it’s better to go slower and finish the race, than to drop out early and not complete the goal of attaining good health.

In my opinion the question is not “Do I really need to do a cleanse or fast to be healthy?”, but rather, “When should I start my fast or cleanse?”, and I think the answer to that is very soon. The sooner you start the sooner you reap the rewards in ever increasing good health.

Best of luck to you in finding the fast or cleanse that’s best for you.

Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh


“Anytime you think caffeine isn’t an addictive poison, just try to stop it cold turkey and see what happens. And yes, it’s poison, though a slow one.” ~ Wayne Green


Listed below are recently added recipes to the website. Tasty, quick, easy, and HEALTHY!

Pineapple Spinach Smoothie

Hearty Beet Tomato Soup

Helen's Raw Breakfast

Cruciferous Medly


More of Us Just Became Obese...Overnight

Latest research shows that the Body Mass Index (BMI) method which uses the ratio of weight to height used by physicians to determine if a person is at a healthy weight or not may not work when it comes to determining if someone is obese or not.

Researchers calculated the BMI’s of 1400 men and women, and then used a more precise body scan to get a more accurate reading. When they compared the two results they found that about 50% of the women and 25% of the men whose BMI’s labeled them as merely overweight were actually obese. Dr. Eric Braverman of Weill Cornel Medical College says that could mean 60% of Americans are obese.


“The... patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop.” ~Quentin Regestein


Discount Super Foods and Such

Although I believe strongly in a diet comprised mostly of fresh raw foods, I do supplement with super green powders, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, and the occasional dried fruit such as goji berries. If you’re like me you’re always looking for a good deal on quality food whether it’s fresh from the farmers market or purchased online, so I thought I would share with you where I make most of my online purchases.

You may already be aware of the Raw Food World and their “at cost” specials, but if not here you go. When you go to purchase supportive foods like those listed above you can save money and get “at cost” special pricing by going to the link below and clicking on the “at cost” specials tab. This also allows you to save up to 14% on every order of their already good deals. The important thing to remember is that fresh is best and these products are supportive and should not be your mainstay. Enjoy!

The Raw Food World


Continuously Updated Web Pages:

There are a number of new testimonies at the website which I hope you will read and pass on to others when you feel they would benefit. And please feel free to leave your own story if you feel moved to do so.

You need not be 100% raw to share a testimony; the fact is most people on the raw diet are not 100% anyway. Your story may inspire someone else, perhaps from the other side of the globe, to give the raw food diet a try.

Success stories.


Please send me your health questions, they can be submitted anonymously if you prefer, and you may help someone else improve their health and quality life. Your questions.

Please contact me with other questions, feedback and comments here.

Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh





The contents of my website and my newsletter are gleaned from my experiences and observations, meant only for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice, consultations, or treatment of any kind. I recommend you see your professional health care provider if you suspect you have an illness or disease of any kind. I'm not medically trained, and I would never suggest or imply that I know what is best for someone else's body or overall health, ultimately each of us is the only one who knows what's best for us.

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