Dr. Fuhrman's Five-Day Super-Diet Challenge

You’ve heard about so-called “miracle cleansing” and detox diets, now you can give your body a real cleanse with high-quality foods.

You’ll be amazed at what Mother Nature can do with real food and no magic formulas. The Five-Day Super-Diet Challenge is completely different from the all-too-common fake “bowel cleansing” and “liver detox” programs you’ve heard about-programs that are little more than typical alternative-medicine scams.

Mother Nature’s Cleanse

The most important thing to understand about detoxification is that it is an ongoing bodily process. It isn’t something you can buy in a package. The healthier you are, the easier it is for your body to keep its tissues clean.

In order to maintain excellent health and true internal cleanliness, you must avoid all harmful, irritating substances (such as salt, pepper, and hot spices) and eat a diet rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain the most powerful healing agents. They nourish your body and help maximize its normal functions. The only way to effectively detoxify is to live and eat healthfully, and allow your body to do its thing at full throttle.

At the end of this article are delicious recipes that you can use to jump start your diet and detox program and lose weight at the same time. Let’s see how you feel after five days of eating Nature’s most powerful healing foods. Follow my cleansing diet for five days (or more) and send your results to me. I want to know how good you feel and how much weight you lose!

Toxic, Irritating Laxatives
Why am I so opposed to the “detox in a box” programs that have become so popular? The most important reason is they don’t work. Besides that, they also are harmful.

No special pills, powders, or herbs can detoxify you. The “health food” and supplement manufacturers combine a mix of herbal laxatives—such as senna and cascara—with some walnut hull, and they claim that these bowel irritants will detoxify you. Laxatives can no more detoxify you than washing your mouth out with soap can.

A false claim commonly made in “natural” laxative advertising is that you have years of hardened mucus and food stuck like glue on the wall on your colon. Well, guess what? You don’t, and thousands of sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies done by me and other physicians prove it.

When you eat a nutritious, high fiber diet, the walls of your intestines and colon will be pristine. Long-term exposure to the right amount and balance of natural fibers and natural food containing nutrients is the only way to protect your bowel and your body against disease.

Another problem with laxatives is that they are habit-forming. The more you stimulate your bowels by irritating the nerves lining your gut, the less reactive your bowel will become to the normal nerve stimulation from food. Before too long, you will be dependent on laxatives for normal bowel movements.

You can’t transform a toxic substance into a healthful one by asking your marketing department to give it a catchy name like “Ultimate Cleanse” or “Super Detox Cleanser.” Below are two examples of popular, but toxic, bowel-irritating formulas (and the claims made for them), sold on the internet and in health food stores.

Bowel Clear—Each tablet contains: cascara cagrada 500mg, golden seal 150mg, black walnut 350mg, rhubarb 200mg, elecampane 100mg, wormwood 100mg, sage 500mg, rice bran 800mg, soya bran 667mg.
The label claims that these ingredients “work like an Intestinal Broom; scrubbing & sweeping the inner walls of your colon, allowing larger amounts of unwanted waste matter to pass easily & regularly through your bowel.”
Ultimate Cleanse—Each tablet contains: psyllium seed, aloe vera powder, senna leaf, cascara sagrada, barberry root, rhubarb, slippery elm bark, cayenne 40,000 H.U.
The label claims that this product features “29 powerful cleansing herbs that stimulate the cleansing and release of toxins and poisons trapped in the body from poor dietary habits and environmental pollutants.”
Detoxification is an ongoing process in a healthy body. No substance can pull toxins out of the body. The body can utilize nutrients to fuel its normal processes, and it acts to keep itself clean when given the chance. Your body does all the work.

Toxic substances stimulate; healthful substances nourish. Simulation is a form of irritation; it ages you. Avoiding stimulation is an important component of a health-building program.

Detoxify Naturally
Follow my Five-Day Super-Diet Challenge and you will be amazed at what happens! Use the recipes below periodically and enjoy a genuine internal cleanse. You will lose weight and feel better—and you might decide to change your diet forever.

Dr. Fuhrman’s Five-Day Diet-Cleanse Recipes

Breakfast
Fruit Plate
One whole grapefruit or two oranges
One box of blueberries
One box of strawberries
Lettuce (optional)

Arrange on a plate and serve.
Lunch
Blended Salad
8 oz. baby greens
One orange
Juice of ¼ lemon

Blend in a blender and serve.

Healthy Slaw
½ cup shredded raw cabbage
½ cup shredded raw beets
½ cup shredded raw carrots
1 cup shredded apple
¼ cup raisins

Toss together and serve.
Dinner
Spinach Salad
4-6 oz. baby raw spinach
¼ finely shredded red onion
2 Tbsp. unhulled sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 box (pint) blackberries
2 Tbsp. pear or fig vinegar, if desired

The Green Machine
4-8 oz. raw chopped kale
4-8 oz. raw chopped bok choy
4-8 oz. chopped broccoli rab
2 large tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
One medium onion, chopped

Add tomato, garlic, onion, and mushrooms to pan. Cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Add greens on top and continue to cook in covered pan on low heat for 5 more minutes.

Apple-Stuffed Peppers
One red pepper
One medium apple
½ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

Chop apple. Mix with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut top off of pepper and remove core and seeds. Stuff pepper with apple mixture and bake in oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
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Comments (23) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Helena B - August 1, 2006 9:53 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you for confirming what I have always known in my bones: My intestinal system is not the problem, it only gives me problems when I don't give it good food. I'm definitely going to try this cleanse by eating "clean". I'm going to forward this link right now, to everyone I've ever argued with about this! Thank you, again!

Leanne - August 1, 2006 11:41 PM

The thing that continually amazes me is that the good Dr Fuhrman is always right. And you know why? Because what he teaches is simply not-so-common common-sense.

Basic common-sense, really.

Howie Jacobson, PhD - August 3, 2006 7:37 PM

Awesome set of recipes! My son helped make the Healthy Slaw, so it wasn't completely vegan - little bits of fingertips probably found their way into the shredder.

We added a tablespoon of lemon juice, which preserved the gorgeous colors and made the slaw a little juicier - the only local apples we can find in NC in the summer are a little shriveled.

I'm curious: what's the scientific evidence that spicy food is harmful to health? Especially during this heat wave, I find a little jalapeno in a dish helps me cool down. Am I digging an early grave with my panting tongue?

Joe Fennell - August 14, 2006 11:42 AM

Dr. Fuhrman,

I read in your bio posted on your website that you are a family physician. Are you also a gastroenterologist? How many sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies have you personally performed?

You state above that the claim that "years of hardened mucus and food stuck like glue on the wall on your colon" is false. Since you are addressing the population at large, I presume that you mean that this claim is false for everyone. This being the case, exactly what is the cause of diverticulitis? Is food matter ever found in the diverticuli upon examination through colonoscopies and simoidoscopies? If so, what is the state and consistency, generally, of such food matter?

Veronik - March 31, 2009 10:32 PM

I just finished the 5 day detox....lost 4 lobs but best was that my blood pressure went down 3 points.

This was easy...I live in a small village in Mexico and alas No blueberrys

susanne - May 31, 2010 2:15 PM

I just have a question, i am from denmark, but my dictionary can't translate baby greens, what is this?

mike - June 18, 2010 1:06 AM

@susanne

Baby greens are simply greens that are harvested while they are still young and tender. If you like a mix of spicy, crunchy and mild greens, buy a packet of mesclun seed--a premixed blend of lettuces, mustards, radicchio, and endive. Or, if you prefer simple lettuce salads, create a custom blend of frilly green and burgundy leaf lettuces mixed with romaines.

Baby greens er simpelthen greens, der er høstet, mens de stadig er unge og
tilbud. Hvis du kan lide en blanding af krydret, sprød og mild greens, købe en pakke af Mesclun frø - en færdigblandet blanding af hovedsalat, sennepper, radicchio, og julesalat. Eller hvis du foretrækker simple salat salater, skal du oprette en brugerdefineret blanding af frilly grøn og bordeaux pluksalat blandet med romaines.

Kimberly - October 26, 2010 10:22 PM

Wow! This really works. Thank you Dr. Fuhrman.

Heyman - November 8, 2010 8:48 PM

I am thinking about trying this. My body is stuck... maybe from Zoloft that I was on for three years. But even following E2L strictly, I am not dropping any weight. I need to shake something up, I think.

Daniel - February 2, 2011 11:52 AM

Sorry, I don't totally understand. Is one meant to eat all of these options for every meal? I.e. does one have all of the fruit listed in the first recipe for breakfast, or switch out the fruits each morning? Are all three recipes for dinner meant to be had every evening of the 5 day plan? Just a little confused...

Kristy - February 7, 2011 11:30 PM

Daniel: I have done this several times before. You are meant to have the grapefruits/oranges AND the berries for breakfast and the blended salad AND the healthy slaw for lunch. Same for dinner. In theory, you could eat the same thing for 5 days, but you get a lot of variety from the menu itself.

Hope that helps.

Jade - April 2, 2011 3:31 PM

That is a lot of food. I don't think I can eat all of the dinner. Can I choose one of the things for dinner?

Sally Morgan - August 15, 2011 4:11 PM

Couldn't hear any of your videos.

gloria crawford - August 29, 2011 10:53 AM

what kind of diet do you recommend for someone with stage 2 bladder cancer.

Thanks

tiffani - June 5, 2012 10:20 AM

how much is a box of blueberries/box of strawberries. (i.e. ounces)? are you saying a whole fresh small box from produce section? i know dr. fuhrman says to eat onions everyday...do they have to be raw?

Donna Weller - July 14, 2012 11:18 AM

My husband and I have been following your Eat to Live diet for a month now, he's lost over 20 and I've lost 10. Everytime we get on the scale, it's less -- such a nice surprise. Enjoying all the fresh fruits and veggies, especially since it's summer and they're at their best. Lunch seems to be the hardest meal to find something to eat, there are only so many salads I can get my husband to eat. Been using prepared veggie burgers and soy meat substitutes, those have helped a lot to add some variety.

Jennifer - July 20, 2012 1:30 PM

I have been doing this for 4 days now, and have already lost 9 lbs!! Wow! And even better than that I feel great and have nearly zero cravings for the "bad" foods i was eating before. I plan to stick with it!

Judi - August 28, 2012 12:00 AM

In "Breakfast" is 1 box blueberries 1 box strawberries. What is 'box'? Is that a box of frozen or a pint of fresh?

Elia - October 4, 2012 8:15 PM

Do you gain weight at first i am menopausal and want to know if this will help with losing weight. I am eating vegs and fruit alot. I stop with all the candy and sugar. You say pita bread isnt heavy with carbs.

Renee - December 21, 2012 12:29 PM

do you use any type of salad dressing on these dressings? Are there any receipies for a dressing that can be used? Or are these dry salads?

Hope - January 7, 2013 9:49 PM

My husband and I just attempted to complete our first day of the plan. The quantities of food were overwhelming. By dinner time I made one serving using the 4oz of items and we shared only to find we could barely eat half of the half. I am curious if I have the quantities wrong or if we are just so unused to this variety of fresh veggies that our systems need time to adjust.

Hope - January 12, 2013 1:58 AM

Just finished the 5 day challenge. I feel fantastic. I worked out 60-90 minutes each day. My concerns that I would not have energy or stamina were put to rest by day three. I kicked caffeine and sugar withdraw and cravings in less than 36 hours (usually 4-5 miserable days). I was never hungry and could not eat the full quantities suggested for dinner because I was still so full from the breakfast and lunch foods. I have been reading Super Immunity and I am convinced these are the answers to healthy living. The bonus is the 8 lbs and measurable inches I lost in 5 days. I have a lot of healing to do from several years of overindulgence and lack of exercise but I believe this approach to nutrition will be the key to my recovery and future.

Micheline - January 29, 2013 10:55 AM

I have just purchased the book and will be starting this weekend. All the wonderfull comments have helped me make my decision..more to come

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