WHEN you begin a program for better health, it’s important to understand the effects cleansing has on the body. If you are like most people, you’ve probably spent your life eating dead, processed, and chemically-laden foods. So it comes as no surprise that many of the toxins from those foods are stored in your body. But as you consume clean, living food, you will, in effect, be giving your body permission to finally get rid of those toxins. Sometimes this is an uncomfortable process. As your body begins dealing with the damage caused by your former lifestyle, you may experience symptoms which for a short time could actually make you feel worse. But my friends, please don’t give up! The good health and energy you have so long desired are right around the corner.
When you begin eating living, nontoxic food, your body will begin reversing the tides, having the energy and nutrients to begin ridding itself of the stored toxins. Excess weight that was used to store toxins will begin to come off as well. Yet, before you experience unbroken health and wellness, you may experience some discomfort as your body expels these toxins. People sometimes experience cold or flu-like symptoms, while others mistake the symptoms as allergies. I know one man who, although he said he felt good, was coughing up phlegm for almost eight weeks—he was a former smoker. There may be body aches, nausea, dizziness, headaches, pimples, stuffiness, or mental fogginess. The symptoms, or any combination of these or other symptoms, can come and go, and can range widely in severity.
But don’t worry! They are merely the signs that you are finally giving your body what it needs to shake all those toxins loose from their isolated places to sweep them out. The symptoms you’ll likely experience are a normal part of what is called a healing crisis. Later, in Chapter Twenty-three, we’ll navigate more thoroughly through the healing crisis. But for now, we’ll discuss how the healing crisis is a natural part of the cleansing process.
There are several elaborate systems your body uses to cleanse itself, which all cooperate in what is called the elimination system. It involves much more than the so-called elimination organs—skin, lungs, colon, kidneys, and sinuses. Your body will use these elimination organs as the exit point for getting rid of the toxins. As this happens, you should know that a very complex and well-designed process has been going on to get the toxins to these exit points. Most of what you’ll be feeling during your healing crisis will be the effect of having the toxins in your blood stream again. That means they’ll be passing through all your tissues on their way to one of your elimination organs. And they’re being carried there by various properties in your immune and elimination systems.
But you aren’t completely at the mercy of how aggressively your body cleanses itself! You can cooperate with your body to keep the pathways of elimination open and clear. The detoxification  symptoms you may feel as you get healthier will be made worse if you don’t help your elimination organs do their job. So, let’s talk about the elimination exit points and some things you can do to support your elimination process and lessen the healing crisis symptoms.
SKIN. Not many people consider the skin when they think about their organs, but the skin is the largest organ of the entire body. It keeps out most of what we want out, and it keeps in what we want in. You may have thought only your lungs provide oxygen and nitrogen to your body, but much of your respiration actually occurs through your skin. Your skin also helps remove poisons from your body through perspiration.
Most people don’t think of sweating as a good thing. No one likes feeling self-conscious of how they smell. However, it’s one of the body’s best ways of removing toxins. We should encourage the body to sweat or the skin will become congested with toxins and micro particles. Skin rashes and lesions result from tissue congestion inside the layers of the skin.
Keeping our skin clean with frequent bathing and showering will help prevent the reabsorption of toxins. Using natural products will help the skin breathe much better than their commercial, chemical counterparts. Avoid mineral oils, as they will clog pores.  Also, choosing natural fabrics for clothing will help the skin’s respiration; man-made fabrics tend to hold in moisture, and they also restrict the skin’s ability to breathe.
Be careful with all antiperspirants and some deodorants, as they block the body’s function to sweat. Your underarms are designed to sweat for a reason, and if you block these outlets of toxic elimination, you beg for trouble. Your armpits are the abode of your lymphatic glands, so preventing this area from sweating forces toxins back into your system. Further, most antiperspirants contain aluminum which studies have linked to Alzheimer ‘s disease. You will need far less protection or masking from odor when your sweat no longer contains the backlog of toxins that cultivate odor-causing bacteria. In fact, after you’re on The Hallelujah Diet for a while, you’ll likely find that you don’t need deodorant at all because the excess toxins will be gone for good.
Lungs. Our lungs are among the largest, most valuable elimination organs. They exchange over 12,000 quarts of air per day. Gases are eliminated through the lungs, particularly carbon dioxide. When we inhale oxygen, the oxidation of our body’s cells produces carbon dioxide.
As you breathe, the movement in your lungs, diaphragm, and thorax act as a pump for lymph fluid as it flows through your lymph system. Your lymph system is the primary system your body uses to deliver toxins to your elimination organs. The lungs are also involved in body temperature regulation, the acid/alkaline balance we discussed earlier, and the movement of fluid throughout the lymphatic system. In addition, deep breathing is the primary source for oxygen, which is vital for your body to produce the energy it needs to get through the healing crisis.
Pollutants and smoking will hinder your lungs, and they’re downright deadly. You can help out your lungs by taking long walks in fresh air; focus on filing your lungs; taking a few long, deep breaths instead of many shallow, quick ones. And when you are sitting or resting, position your body so you can breathe as deeply as possible. This will increase your absorption of oxygen and relax your body
Colon. Your colon is one of the most obvious routes for elimination. Quite simply, your colon’s job is to remove water from fecal matter and expel that matter from your body.
How does matter arrive in the large intestine? First, food is chewed in the mouth and then travels down to the stomach via the esophagus, where it is further broken down and digested. Living foods are easily digested in the stomach, because they still contain the enzymes that work with the digestive juices to break down the food. After digestion, it enters the small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed and released into the bloodstream. Everything else then moves into the colon. The gradually dehy drating and compressing matter is moved along the intestines through contractions of smooth muscles around the intestines and colon. Exercise and deep breathing helps to assist in this process. But what we eat affects the efficiency of this process.
Plant-based foods—with their great amounts of water and fiber—are digested in 30 to 45 minutes. The fiber acts as a broom that sweeps the colon clean. On the other hand, meat has no fiber and sticks around for 72 to 96 hours. Meat often leaves a residue that clings to the colon for months—or longer. Part of your Thanksgiving dinner from a few years ago could still be in there! To paraphrase Leonardo da Vinci: “When humans eat animal products, they use their stomachs as a graveyard.”
Other foods can also cause problems in your large intestine. White sugar and flour have no fiber and simply ferment in your colon until they pass through it. This can cause heartburn, headache, indigestion, and diarrhea.
A healthy colon is necessary for the body to function properly. An unhealthy colon can cause a plethora of problems and is a major source of toxins in the body. You need to cooperate with this elimination system by supporting it with food that will help it function powerfully. You must also drink lots of clean water and juices throughout the day occasionally, it may be helpful to use a colon-cleansing herbal blend to assist in removing the dead incrusted fecal matter. But once it is cleaned out, in most cases drinking enough juices and water and sticking with the 85-percent raw vegetable diet recommended in this book, will be enough— along with exercise and deep breathing—to keep your colon working freely.
Kidneys. The kidneys filter your bloodstream, drawing toxins out of it. One of these toxins is uric acid. Uric acid builds up in your muscles and other tissues as a by-product of metabolism and the breakdown of proteins as they are used to rebuild tissue. Meat consumption is a major source of uric acid toxicity. Many people have very high levels of uric acid in their blood and tissues because of their meat-based diet. It’s very easy for a human to exceed the ability of the kidneys to filter out uric acid on a meat-based diet.
As the kidneys filter out toxins, they will suspend them in water and send the solution to the bladder, drinking lots of pure water and juices will help the kidneys function well. Make it your goal to drink a total of one-half ounce of water for each pound of your body weight per day (This quantity may include the fresh juice, but does not include coffee, tea or other beverages.) More about this in the next chapter.
Eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Your body uses all of these organs to detoxify. Many symptoms we consider illness are really just our bodies expelling unwanted particles out of our system. You may notice your eyes becoming more crusty than usual in the mornings, or they may form a mucus coating, which prompts you to rub them.
You can support all your eliminative systems by eating fruits and vegetables with a lot of fiber. Juice fasting occasionally (drinking juices only, but not consuming any solid food) can boost your body’s ability to cleanse and provide the nutrients your body needs to repair itself. Please note that we do not recommend juice fasting until you’ve been on  The   Hallelujah Diet for at least six months. Your body needs to cleanse slowly, and a juice fast can be harmful if implemented too quickly
Water fasting is not recommended for detoxing, as it simply draws out toxins and does nothing to provide the body with needed nutrients.
The cleansing process is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be traumatic. Just remember, you’ve been putting toxins into your bodies for a long time and you can expect it will take a while to get them out. It won’t always be pleasant, but it will definitely be worth it. Make a commitment to try The Hallelujah Diet for at least a month. And remember, once you feel those obvious symptoms of the cleansing process, you’ll know you’re on your way to better health!
And now for the good news! The vast majority of those who go on The Hallelujah Diet suffer from such mild symptoms, they don’t even realize they’re going through detox.