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on April 28, 2003
I bought this book, along with the cookbook, on Amazon a month ago and followed the diet plan closely for the first two weeks (I lost 13lbs.) and loosely for another 7-10 days for a total weight loss of 27lbs. It is not the easiest diet to follow, as the flax oil tastes really icky and the flaxseed fiber supplement drink is equally hard to swallow, but if you actually do what the author suggests, you Will lose weight. What I found the most difficult was eating eggs without salt and topping my protein portions with the flax oil as suggested. I think (I cannot prove it with personal research), that flax oil is much the same as linseed oil. It's not the initial taste, but the lingering aftertaste that put me off. I did learn how to cut back on carbs, fats and sodium (it's amazing what you can do with mustard and hot sauce) and did manage to modify my long term dietary intake, but after a month, I wanted to taste a grilled steak with garlic salt and maybe even a touch of butter, not to mention a crusty bit of bread! If you are more committed and have more willpower than I do, you can really lose a significant amount of weight on this plan and alter your palate. I have maintianed my weight loss (except for 4 lbs.), which is probably water weight due to increased sodium intake) and am very happy with the plan. I did lose a good amount of weight and learned alot on how to control portions and refined carbs without any real discomfort. The cookbook has lots of really good recipes, most of which could be elevated to stardom with some off-limits additions of butter! The mock mashed potatoes, using cauliflower was a real hit in my household and is still something I will fix regularly. This is an effective but not entirely painless diet plan suited for someone with real dedication. I thank the author sincerely for the many pounds I lost initially and for the good advice that I continue to follow. It's worth trying, especially if you have 20+ lbs. to lose!
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on January 22, 2003
When I read TFFP 11 months ago, I had suffered diabetes for 15 years. Over the years I progressed from a solution consisting of diet and exercise to the use of diabetic medications and then eventually to also taking insulin. I became insulin resistant and developed Syndrome X. For several years I was daily giving myself 100 units of insulin perday and taking 2 tablets of Glucophage and 2 of Avandia to achieve some control. My last A1C test was 9.7.
My cholesterol had been 266. I was on Baycol for 12 months when it was taken off the market last August. My doctor then prescribed other statins which caused severe pain in my legs and chest and also did not control my cholesterol readings.
My wife and I read the Fat Flush Plan book on a Sunday afternoon. We went to the supermarket Sunday evening, and started the Plan Monday morning, Feb. 25th, in earnest. Tuesday morning my glucometer readings were low so I cut the doses in half. On Wednesday morning my readings had again dropped lower and I discontinued the insulin and medications. I have had absolutely no medications or insulin since February 27th. My April 6th lab showed my cholesterol to be 166. The HDL's were up and LDL's were down. My total cholesterol has been getting lower ever since. My A1C is down to 5.5.
I have always been overweight. For 30 years I have weighed between 250-300#. Taking insulin added about 50# to my weight. When I began on Feb. 25th, I weighed 352#, I guess. I say "guess" because my doctor's scale only went to 350# and my weight was off to the right of the end of the scale. My wife Joan weighed 253#. I wore size 60 pants and XXXL shirts comfortably. Joan was wearing XXL pants and tops. I am now 230# and wear size 40 pants and size 16 shirts. Joan is 160# and is wearing Medium size pants and tops.
Over the past 10 years, I had developed a severe hiatic hernia. I had a lot of acid reflex at night and had been taking Aciphex for several years for this condition. After about a month, I discontinued Aciphex and have not been bothered with it since.
I have had sleep apnia for 17 years. I had my uvula removed in 1987 and have been using a CPAP machine since 1996. On Feb. 25th I was using 16# of air pressure. I was tested again this last December and they reduced my pressure to 6#.
My wife is a nurse and she used to come home literally in tears with the arthritis and pain in her legs from walking and standing. Now she comes home even after a 10-hour shift tired, but not in pain. She also no longer suffers from extreme pain in her thumbs and arms.
And these are just the obvious benefits of the return of health my wife and I have experienced since we began the Fat Flush Plan. We had to be willing to change our life, but we happily embrace every aspect of the Plan. This is the Plan we are on for life. From the Sunday we read the book, we felt this was a healthy plan. It is a life filled with fresh fruits vegetables, nuts and oils. It's hard to go wrong with that.
Thank you, Ann Louise, for setting our feet on this path.
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on January 18, 2003
If you care about the quality of your life and not just your weight on a scale or an insurance chart, then read this book. The author is committed to sharing in an easy to follow format, how to be responsible for the fuel (food and supplements) that runs your body. The science is thoughtful and sound, the instructions clear and the quality of your life and the shape of your body can be your reward. You owe yourself the honor of making the committment to read this book and take action!
I am 59 years old and had been severely ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia for the past 6 years, having been partially paralyzed and bedridden for much of that time.
Medications and pain induced sedentary lifestyle created a size 16-18 body on my 5'4" frame. I was exhausted and craved sugar all the time, which made me just more tired and wanting MORE. I was spiraling out of control. My skin was dull and dry and I was finally beginning to AGE........at high speed.
In April 2002, I weighed 193 pounds and began by banishing all "white" and refined foods from my diet and drinking large quantities of good clean water. I was doing better; slowly the inches and pounds fell away......I was still struggling, but help from Ann Louise Gittleman was on the way!
On September 19, 2002, I began The Fat Flush Plan and the results were dramatic and immediate. I not only became smaller and found my cheekbones and muscles again, but my skin and hair glowed and I was growing younger looking and feeling. The change in me is nothing short of miraculous. The New Year saw me wearing size 6-8 clothing and everything about me is glowing with vitality; both friends and strangers stop me and ask how I have been blessed with such energy and youthful, thin, fit appearance.
I have decreased my body fat and cellulite fell away and vanished. Losing 50 pounds and dropping from size 18 to 8, without saggy, baggy, dull skin, is nothing short of amazing, particularly at my age. Everyone says that I look 20 years younger and they ask if I have had plastic surgery on my face. My dentist states that I am no longer forming huge quantities of tarter and calculus on my teeth. My nails and hair are thick and glowing with health. I sleep better than in years. I am following Gittleman's Fat Flush Plan as a map for better living, through knowledge and committment.
I can think of no better gift to give yourself for the New Year than this book and magnificient wellness. This is so much more than just a diet book and the plan is easily followed while traveling and for a lifetime.
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on December 11, 2002
I'm a 54 year old semi-retired nurse who has struggled with my weight since my teens. Just let it be told that I've lost the same 50 pounds three or four times. Last May, I went to my physician in total frustration, having packed 214 pounds on my 5'3" frame. I expressed my concerns regarding my weight and my "classic apple shape" which has been identified with greater health risks. Now, being a nurse, I was not looking for any magic diet "pill" to solve all of my problems. I wanted a plan that would work for me. My doctor had no ideas for me.
A few months later, my daughter called me to tell me she was on the Fat Flush Plan on advice of her doctor. He had recommended it to her for the liver detoxifying benefits because of long term medications, but she wanted me to know about the almost effortless weight loss she was experiencing. I ordered my book that very day.
I started the plan on September 9. Since then, I have lost 28 pounds, over 14 inches off my waist, hips, and thighs. My cholesterol dropped from 250 to 172, and I feel wonderful. My energy level is greatly increased, I am never hungry, and I don't even want the foods I can't have. I made chocolate truffles and bon-bons yesterday, and didn't even lick my fingers--this from a self-proclaimed chocolate addict. I plan to lose another 35-40 pounds or so, and I know I can do it.
This plan is not a quick fix. It requires an investment of time since the preparation of fresh, healthy foods takes longer than convenience foods. The plan also requires supplements which can be expensive for some, but the investment in one's improved health status is well worth it.
I think the best benefit to being on the plan is the many friends I have made on the Fat Flush Message Board through ivillage.com. My daughter and I joke about having many new friends that we've never met. On the board, Fat Flushers share their triumphs and travails, and give advice on everything from where to buy good supportive bras to where you can get the cheapest cranberry juice and flaxseed oil.
I highly recommend this plan to anyone who is willing to invest their efforts to greatly improve their quality of life. It's been marvelous for me, and I want everyone around me to feel as wonderful as I do.
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on December 19, 2009
About a month and a half ago I was at the end of my rope. I have been battling some kind of allergy or allergies for a while now that have just baffled me. There have been many times that I've eliminated something from my diet and I thought, awesome, I feel better! I've figured it out! And then a couple of days later the problem would come back and I'd find myself back at square one.

In addition to my stomach aches other symptoms indicated that there was something wrong. I developed some kind of skin problem where I was constantly itchy, especially my arms and neck. I was also noticing that my jeans were tight and things just weren't fitting like they used to. I had trouble focusing. I was super impatient (more than normal!). I knew that my eating habits hadn't changed and there was no reason I should be gaining weight. Still, something was off and I figured all these issues were related. After visiting numerous doctors who would prescribe antibiotics, tell me I had IBS, and then say there was nothing more they could do, I finally realized I had to take matters into my own hands. I needed to "reset my system" or in other words, I needed to detoxify.

Okay, I too immediately associate the word detox with odd concoctions of lemon juice, pepper and maple syrup. But this is not what I wanted. I needed something that would restore my health to where it should be without starving myself. First off I considered Dr. Alejandro Junger's plan after reading that Gwyneth Paltrow was a fan. I do love Gwyneth and while Dr. Junger's plan seemed sound, it didn't seem like anything more than what I normally do. I eat healthy. I don't use chemicals, etc., etc. I didn't think that it was enough to "reset" me. So I consulted the gospel, aka Amazon.com to see what else was out there. I typed in detox plan and up came about a million results. After reading reviews for several days, and I mean several days, I came across Anne Louise Gittleman's The Fat Flush Plan.

First of all, I was really taken by the number of positive reviews for this book. I almost always consult Amazon.com's reader reviews before purchasing a book and most of the 270 people had nothing but good things to say about Gittleman's plan. That day I started reading. While I enjoy reading, I don't normally read diet or health books. But this didn't seem like a diet or health book as much as a fascinating glimpse into one's system, with scientific reasoning to back up the author's research and claims. I literally read this 254 page book in 2 days. It is a quick and easy read.

The basics:

1. Phase I - A two-week fat flush aimed at giving your liver some rest. Gittleman believes that the liver is an important fat-burning organ that needs to be working correctly in order for your overall health to be good. Phase I is an extremely difficult 2 week system reset. In a nutshell it emphasizes flax and flaxseed oil, lean protein, eggs, tons of vegetables, 2 fruits a day, 100% cranberry juice mixed with water, and GLA supplements.

2. Phase II - Another two weeks of Phase I but this phase is different because you can begin to slowly add back things like bread or rice to see how you stomach/body reacts. This phase is what really drew me to this plan.

3. Phase III - The Lifestyle Eating Plan. Again, the aforementioned items should be the main part of an ongoing diet but now dairy, bread, potatoes, nuts, etc. can be added back in moderation, if you determine you are able to tolerate them. Food combination rules are discussed including how eating fruit with vegetables or more than one protein at a time is not good for digestion.

4. Exercise - The plan promotes walking and using a mini-trampoline in Phases I & II. In Phase III the author goes into more detail about weight training and walking for longer amounts of time.

The Challenges:

For me the first week Phase I was VERY hard. I almost gave up to be honest. The things I found challenging were:

1. I found it tricky trying to get everything ready for me to take to work, i.e. the Cran-water, the flaxseed and oil, etc. Weekends were easier in that I didn't have to pack and lug a bunch of stuff, but harder in that I couldn't eat out very easily. I resigned myself to eating at home for the most part because I could control everything much better.

2. I had to refer to the book about a million times because I kept forgetting how much of what I was supposed to be eating. The measurements are quite specific...a tablespoon of flax oil twice a day, a tablespoon of ground flax twice a day, etc. It was a lot to remember but soon became second nature to me.
100% Cranberry Juice is VERY tart. We're not talking about anything Ocean Spray makes. Mixing this stuff with water makes it more palatable but still, having to drink so much of it a day wasn't easy. But again, I was soon able to drink this with no problem.

3. Initially all the flax and flaxseed oil were hard to get down. I quickly became adept at mixing them with things that would make them go down easier. Salsa is a lifesaver. You can put it on anything to make it taste good. But now I actually do like the taste of flax and flaxseed oil!

4. It was hard to feel full on vegetables. I found that even though potatoes were on the no-no list I had to incorporate them so that I felt like I was eating something more than air. I would roast them with a tiny bit of olive oil and they really hit the spot.

5. I have low blood pressure so I had to incorporate salt as well otherwise I felt dizzy.
It was hard not to do more than just walk. While I didn't have the energy to feel like doing more I mentally had a problem with it. So I incorporated yoga and walking every day with an occasional run and felt better mentally. I don't have a trampoline so I didn't utilize that aspect of the plan.

6. The groceries are expensive. Cranberry juice is $7.99 for a small bottle! GLA was $28 at Whole Foods. I realize now that these things are cheaper elsewhere, especially on the internet, but it takes some planning ahead of time. In any case I justified the expense by telling myself it was going to help me in the end. If I spent money on a trainer why not on this?

7. Since I don't eat meat or chicken I had to eat eggs and fish every single day. This became really tiresome. For those who eat meat and chicken this plan will be much, much easier.

The Results:

Since I'd read so many positive reviews of this book on Amazon.com, I tried not to get my hopes up that I would experience results the way other people did. Some people lost 15 pounds in a week! Others said it drastically helped symptoms of their various diseases including fibromyalgia, diabetes, and thyroid disorders. It's hard not to keep those kinds of things in mind when embarking on a journey like this. My results were as follows:

1. My skin cleared miraculously cleared up. I saw my esthetician after less than a month of being on this plan and she was amazed and said she'd never seen such a transformation in a client's skin in such a short time. "Remarkable," she said. My skin isn't perfect by any means but other people have also remarked that it is smoother and clearer and the circles under my eyes are better too. I have always struggled with my skin so this is really quite a compliment.

2. My stomach problems aren't gone completely but they are much better. As the author suggested, after the first two weeks I slowly added a piece of bread into my meals to see how I reacted. I didn't react well so now I know I can't tolerate bread or wheat. I'd always suspected but now I know for sure and this was my reason for doing this in the first place. I've also identified that certain fruits trouble me and that small quantities of milk don't. (I used to think that I was lactose intolerant but this may not be the case).

3. I told myself I wasn't going to get on the scale, after all, I wasn't doing this to lose weight. But of course I did anyway and I lost 6-7 pounds. I was also supposed to measure myself with a tape measure but I never got around to it. I can tell my jeans fit perfectly now! No I didn't need to lose weight but like I said, there were areas around my stomach and hips that were never there previously and they bothered me. I knew they weren't fat exactly and the author talks about "false fat" in the book which is exactly what I believe I had. The false fat is gone!

4. My overall energy is much better and I am able to think with clarity. Prior to doing this I was having difficulty concentrating at work and even at home when reading a book or watching TV. But now I feel like I can actually focus better and I have the energy to do it.

5. I certainly didn't follow the book perfectly but I'd say I did 95% of what Gittleman suggests. Now that I am finished with the prescribed 4 weeks I plan to take on many of the author's suggestions on a permanent basis. The GLA supplements, the flax, the cranberry juice are all things I want to keep up. Minimizing sugar, flour, and too much fruit are also things I want to keep up.

To be honest, I am just really relieved that I found a possible solution to my stomach problems. The fact that this plan gave me hope was something no MD was able to give me. There is nothing more discouraging than visiting doctor after doctor with no solution. For that reason alone I suggest that people with health or weight problems check this book out. At the risk of sounding a touch dramatic, this book certainly changed my life and it is one of the best things I've ever done.

Ameena Din
Freelance Reviewer
Fancy That...Fancy This
[...]
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on August 30, 2004
The mind can be a funny thing. After weighing myself today, I was actually upset that I weighed 168 pounds. I had apparently forgotten where I had come from. The heaviest I weighed in at was 229 pounds. I know that I weighed more than that, but stopped getting on the scale after I saw 229. I was so tired of seeing the numbers going up. I had been out of control, overwhelmed by my new role as mother to 2 little boys. It was the same vicious cycle for me as it is for everyone. I ate because I was sad, then was sad because I was large.

Hindsight being 20/20, I did what a lot of people do. I put myself last, everyday slowly losing who I was. With my hindsight, I can also see that I was becoming desperate, not knowing how to find myself again. My sister-in-law told me about the Fat Flush, and I gave it a last ditch effort. I had tried so many times to lose the weight, and told myself "If it doesn't work this time, just give it up." The first time I tried the plan, I found that it removed my physical cravings after about 3 weeks. It was those darn habits and emotional cravings that did me in. Although I fell off a few times, I got back on everytime. Sometimes it took a couple of days, sometimes a couple of months. Each time I came back, it got easier. As I write this I am in Phase 2, and have been on track for a couple of months. I feel successful because I don't have those horrid habits coming at me anymore. The thought of eating my old regular, garlic bread, fettucini alfredo, ice cream for dessert, makes me cringe. After all these years, I am actually standing on the "other side". The side where people talk about healthy food being yummy while being genuine. The side where cheese on everything is truly not appealing. The side where I can think clearly, my mood swings are gone and I am not tired all the time. And to top it all off, even though I still have about 25 pounds to lose, I can boast that I have lost 61 or more pounds, 6 dress sizes(from 22 to 10), and 58 inches. My waist alone has gone from 45 inches to 32!!! I have lost 5 feet of fat!!!

There will always be bad days along with the good days, but I am better equipped to handle things when I am eating according to the Fat Flush Plan. With the book as my guide, and the iVillage message board as my support, I know I can be good to myself, and set a great example for my boys. I am in a new never-ending cycle, and in this one, the more I eat well, the more I feel great. Life is pretty good now, and I am finally looking forward to my future.

Grinning like an imp,

Claire Lacroix
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The medical and nutritional advice in this book is sound. The importance of liver detoxification is a classic part of the alternative medicinal regimen. Generally, the liver burns fat, acts as a metabolizer and detoxifies the blood of waste materials.

Overloading the liver results in weight gain, cellulite, bloat,

increased blood pressure and fatigue. Liver stressers are caffeine, sugar, medications and emotional stress.

The standard flush consists of a mixture of Cran juice and water,

psyllium and/or flaxseed. This produces a potent phytonutrient

mix which is rich in antioxidants which provide classic cofactors for optimal liver functioning. In addition, the combo helps to digest fatty globules in the lymphatic system. The cocktail

discharges fat generally. Eggs help to regulate bile.

Broccoli and kale are sulforaphranes which convert toxins to

non-toxic materials. Ginger root is known to increase metabolism.

Lipotropic herbs are dandelion root and milk thistle. Milk thistle is a classic producer of liver enzymes which helps to repair damaged tissues.

Certain foods trigger destructive activity in the immune system.

i.e. dairy, wheat, sugar and yeast which together account for

approximately 80% of food reactions. B complex prevents fat buildup. Candidiasis yeast overgrowth occurs. To counter this

overgrowth, the body needs essential fatty acids (Omega 3),

vitamins and amino acids. Decreased cortisol levels increase stress.

In the first phase of the detox program, subjects drink 64 ou. of cran and water and 48 ou. of plain water in a later phase.

The Long Life Cocktail consists of diluted cran and flaxseed or

psyllium. The classic fat flush would have us avoid coffee,

alcohol and sugar. The dietary regimen described should be enhanced with daily exercise.

The presentation has a considerable following in the alternative medicinal community , as well as adherents to complementary medicinal approachs. The program should be coordinated with a professional nutritionist and applicable medical providers.
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on December 1, 2002
This is without a doubt the BEST book on diet that I have ever read! (And I've read a bunch of them.) I didn't follow every detail of the plan, and I didn't take every supplement recommended, but even by just following the basics of the program, I saw incredible results. It did wonderful things for my complexion, and for the first time in... well, maybe the first time ever... I didn't crave chocolate or starchy carbohydrates.
I'm not overweight, but this book is more about improving your overall health, digestion, and the effectiveness of your body's functions. Weight loss is just a natural response to the positive changes you make in the fat flush plan. Whether you have weight to lose or not, I HIGHLY recommend this book.
In response to the previous one-star rating... the wheat and dairy restrictions are only for the first two weeks. Wheat and dairy are incorporated back into the plan as it progresses. Personally, eliminating dairy was a great step for me, and even when the plan allowed for dairy again, I chose to leave it out.
This is an awesome book with tons of great information!
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on March 18, 2005
If followed precisely or even closely, this book, and the diet plan it espouses, will prove to be for many people a "nutritional boot camp." As such, it's important to understand ahead of time that Gittleman's Fat Flush Plan (FFP) diet is best undertaken by the serious dieter who has the requisite discipline and dedication to stick with it, as it entails elimination of, and restrictions on, various of your favorite foods. You may even need to throw many things out of your cupboard or fridge before you even begin!

The FFP diet appears to make a lot of sense from a nutritional standpoint: basically, it's all based on the not-too-extreme idea that by eliminating such things from your diet as dairy products, wheat (and other gluten-containing foods), sugars, preservatives, excess salts, soy, caffeine, alcohol, vinegar etc. you can "un-load" your liver, thus allowing it to do its job much more efficiently. Part of the liver's job is to process fat, and this it will do much better if it is a clean liver. But also, without all the extra sugars, salts, chemicals and food allergens, the liver will stop sending "self defense" signals to your body that make your body retain fluids, thus giving you that undesirable bloat. That's largely what this book is about: getting back your normal liver function so it will help you burn fats and stop retaining excess fluids.

The overall Fat Flush Plan is both simple and complex: the "simple" part is the elimination of various things from your diet - e.g. wheat/gluten, dairy products, alcohol, sugary things, etc. Okay, so don't buy 'em, don't use 'em. How complicated is that?? But the diet gets more complicated when you have to factor in the daily eating ritual (meals and snacks require planning and timing, and are carefully outlined for each phase), not to mention the supplements that you are obligated to take in order to make the Plan work (flaxseed oil, pure whey powder, unsweetened diluted cranberry juice, the so-called Long Life Cocktail - which is nothing more than a fiber supplement such as psyllium powder or ground flaxseed meal blended with water and unsweetened cranberry juice), and several other supplements). Remember, this IS after all a detoxifying diet, and as mentioned, it will require your full dedication and discipline, and in addition will no doubt entail the cooperation and assistance of ones close to you - be it family, friends, or co-workers. Speaking of assistance, Ann Louise Gittleman and friends operate a very active and helpful Fat Flush Forum on the Internet, which is available for answering any and all questions about the Plan, as well as providing ongoing information and encouragement. If you do the Plan, I highly recommend joining the Forum.

My own experience: I have been on the FFP diet, and though it is a bit harsh-going at first (just like the REAL boot camp I went through many years ago), I nevertheless found it doable, and ultimately rewarding. You may (as I did) find it necessary to take a few creative liberties in tailoring the diet to your own particular needs and abilities. But I remained (and still do remain) close to the prescribed framework of Phase One, as I found that the Phase One portion of the diet really "clicked" with me: I find that it is actually quite liberating to be off of so many foods that I had heretofore mistakenly believed were really part of a balanced diet, but in fact might actually have been causing weight gain and bloating. Obviously I can't speak for everybody - "your mileage may vary," as they say - but my approach seemed to work, because I not only had tangible results, but I felt inspired to continue on with this more Spartan and easy-to-maintain diet and lifestyle. It even gives me a "big picture" perspective: in a world where the price of oil flirts with new highs every day, I just like the thought of being able to make do in life with less.

It's perhaps an important consolation (or inducement!) to know that after you have successfully completed Phase One, you go on to Phase Two and Phase Three (the so-called Lifestyle Plan) - each of which gradually incorporates some of the previously "forbidden foods" back into your diet. As for me, I can barely comment on Phase Two or Phase Three of Gittleman's FFP, as I have still found it undesirable to reintroduce many of these forbidden food items back into my diet. I figure if they were causing problems with weight and bloating in the first place, why would I ever want to put them back in my body?? After all, I don't want this to become yet another yo-yo diet!

Anyway, I highly recommend this book to others out there in Diet Land who, like me, may be looking for that "missing link" as to why other diets have failed them, or why their blind reliance on mainstream ideas about which foods are healthy for humans may be misguided. Give this diet plan a sincere attempt, and you just may be happy with the results. And if you're like me, perhaps you can maintain yourself in a sort of "Phase One-and-a-Half" version of Gittleman's FFP diet for a long, long time! I leave you with a quote from the movie JOE DIRT: "Life's a garden, people. Dig It!!"
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on January 24, 2002
Weight loss diets don't necessarily make you healthier and cleansing diets don't usually make you thinner. The combined approach so clearly presented here gets to the underlying cause of weight and disease It is the best I have found in my 30 years as a nutritionist. I work with a lot of people with autoimmune diseases, blood sugar problems, weight issues and just plain old fatigue. I have found that this way of eating has helped all my clients, regardless of the symptoms. I recommend this book to everyone.
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