Seasonal Cleansing: Beat the Aging Process, Shave the Fat Off Your Body and Stick to Your Diet

Monday Feb 10 | BY |
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Since 1996, I’ve obsessed with the idea of finding the “perfect diet”. I’ve tried various forms of the vegetarian diet, raw food diet, and everything in between. I’ve seen lots of people get fabulous results with those programs, but also many with difficulties in maintaining the diet in the long run.

The biggest problem most people face is the inability to apply the information they have learned about healthy into a complete lifestyle that makes sense and works for them.

It’s easy to wake up one day and say “I’m going to change everything.” But after three months of a really strict raw food diet, many give up entirely. I know it because I’ve done this many times, and can speak from personal experience.

The other method of progressively changing your habits and making a transition over several years can also be disappointing. It’s hard to break bad habits if you keep them alive just a little.

And even if you have the discipline to progressively change your diet, you might not get to your destination unless you have a very clear plan.

But there’s a tool that you can use to help you. It’s called is called seasonal cleansing.

What Is Seasonal Cleansing?

About 2-4 times a year, you will go on a pretty strict and “pure” version of the raw food diet for about a week.

In between these cleanses, the idea is not to binge or go the opposite way by eating lots of junk foods and using these cleanses to “detoxify” you from your abuses.

On the contrary, these periodic cleanses enable you to “propel” you to make positive changes in your lifestyle. But at the same time, you only have to commit to doing these cleanses.

The only willpower you require is to decide to do these cleanses in the first place. But what you do in-between is up to you.

The beauty of this system is that these cleanses literally “force” you to reevaluate your health and your lifestyle on a regular basis. So the changes you make will come from your own inner motivation.

Cleansing and Fasting in History

The concept is not new. Periodic fasting has been part of humanity’s history since the earliest of times. Whether it is by choice or by force of circumstances, humans have been fasting for as long as we can remember.

Most religions have recommended some form of fasting for purification. The Muslim faith actually recommends it to improve your health. In the Jewish tradition, one must fast for 24 hours, five times a year. And for a certain numbers of very strict followers, the Monday and Thursday of each week are strict water fasts.

For the Muslims, their “Ramadan” consists of avoiding all food and water during the day for one month — but to eat at night. Even though some people catch up a bit too much at that time, most followers end up losing quite a few pounds by the end.

Other tribes, such as the long-lived Hunzas, who for a while were recognized as the world’s healthiest people, were forced to go on a semi-fast during the spring months, when food was scare. They only ate a few greens and early vegetables from their gardens.

Reasons to Cleanse

Here are a few reasons why you should seriously think about starting a program of periodic cleansing.

Get Back on Track — We all make mistakes from time to time with our diet, so periodic cleansing is a great way to “undo” these mistakes and get back on track.

Makes it easier to stick to your diet — After you’ve gone for one week on just fruits and greens with no fat and salt, it becomes a lot easier to downgrade to less strict version of the diet. This is the old “two steps forward, one step back” trick.

Puts you in touch with your body — A little bit of fasting and cleansing does a great deal to put you in touch with your body. It could be that you’ll be come more aware of what’s actually good for you, or more sensitive to harmful substances such as salt. Going on a regular cleanse really helps you to hone your natural instincts.

Reconnect with your commitment for natural living — Sometimes life goes on, we want to become more part of “society”, we start to drink too much coffee, or wine, go out to restaurants, and pretty soon the whole raw lifestyle is down the drain.

By going on a regular cleanse, you’ll reconnect with your reasons for living naturally in the first place. During the cleanse, you’ll be drawn to read more books about health, you’ll think about what changes you want to make after the cleanse, what positive habits you want to keep or implement, and more.

What Cleanse to Choose?

There are many types of cleanses you can choose to make this work. In fact, I wrote an entire eBook on the subject. It’s called the 21 Best Detox Diets and will be made available soon to Renegade Health Readers.

Whatever cleanse you choose, it should follow the following guidelines:

No fat — The most basic guideline for the cleanse is to avoid all types of dietary fats. This includes even foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, oils, etc. That’s probably the most important part of the cleanse, so make sure that whatever cleanse you choose at least understands this guideline.

Based on fresh fruits and vegetables — You also want to avoid almost every food except fruits and vegetables during the cleanse. This includes meat, dairy products, fish, grains, bread, root vegetables, etc. The basic foods of the cleanse are fruits and vegetables. Within that frame of reference, you can have many possible variations.

Raw, if possible — A cleanse will generally include only raw foods, and avoid all types of cooking for the duration of the cleanse. I say “generally” because I could see some instances where you could include some steamed vegetables in the cleanse, but unless you have a particular reason for doing so, keep it raw during the cleanse.

Start With a Fast — The other basic guideline for the cleanse is to start with a short fast. This helps you make the transition to the cleanse, and get the system prepared for it. For the weekly cleanse this is optional, but if you’d like you try, all you have to do is skip one meal, such as breakfast or the dinner the night before. For the seasonal cleanse, I recommend a 24- hour fast to kickstart the cleanse.

Keep it Simple — The cleanse is not the time to experiment with new recipes and try all sorts of new food. Keep things simple. Focus on mono meals, fruit, green smoothies, and similar foods.

My Favorite Cleanses

There are many possible cleanses. Some people like to go on a juice fast. I personally don’t enjoy it or recommend it, unless you have a lot of weight to lose. Then it may become an interesting option.

But generally people on juice fasts (also called “juice feasts”) drink far too much juice, end up “spacy” from the excess sugar entering the bloodstream too fast (without the natural fiber to slow it absorption), and don’t get better benefits than those doing a cleanse which includes the natural fiber in foods.

My favorite cleanses are simple. I like the “Green Cleanse”, which consists of only eating green smoothies and fruit. And I also like the simple “low-fat” raw food cleanse, which consists of eating only fruits and vegetables with no fat.

The “mono” cleanse is also extremely positive, and with this one you only consume one type of food at a time, for example only one type of fruit or one type of vegetable.

With some experience you will be able to determine which type of cleanse is the best for you. The cleanses you choose may also vary from one cleanse to the next.


So there you have it, a quick and easy way to maintain and grow your health using seasonal cleansing.

Remember that this program is not a substitute for living healthfully. But it’s away to regularly stay on the right track and keep making progress.

After each cleanse, even if it’s just a one day event, you’ll feel revitalized and your desire to stay on the right “track” will grow stronger every time. Why settle for less when you can feel great all the time?

Start getting the benefits now… plan your next seasonal cleanse in your calendar!

NOTE: in future articles, we’ll explore this topic in more details!


Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.


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  1. IH says:

    I really like your recommendations. I’m one of these people who sticks to a healthy diet most of the time coupled with a few health practices that I do on a daily and weekly basis. There are a lot of detox programs out there. Some are called detox plans but I do that already on a daily basis so it definitely may be a detox for some people but not for me. Your plan sounds simple and sound. The only thing I would include would be sprouts. I only have one question. I don’t need to lose a gram of weight. Would I still need to leave out the avocado and the olive oil? I know that you do not recommend oils to begin with but then I also could see that a lot of your clients want to shed a couple of extra pounds which is definitely not the case with me.


  2. Lee Wenzel says:

    I really appreciated how you wrote your ideas for cleansing. It encouraged me to try it and made a lot of sense!

  3. Sara says:

    lol. I usually gain weight during Ramadan, but that’s usually because I don’t do it properly. You’re supposed to wake up before dawn and have something to eat, hydrate etc. Then fast from everything including anger and other unhealthy emotions and at sunset you break your fast. Then after a bit before you sleep it’s recommended you do about 20 of the prayer rotations, which is kind of like yoga ( if you see muslims pray, you’ll get what I mean); this can take an hour or so. What I’ve usually done in the past is sleep in and miss the morning meal then binge until I sleep with none of the recommended prayers, which resulted in weight gain. That being said, despite the improper fasting technique, when I had really bad acne, I remember my acne decreased dramatically. By the end of the month, my acne would get pretty mild and almost clear.

  4. Kathy Long says:

    Excellent article. Very to the point and very doable. I gravitate to the ideas that aren’t very complicated. My life is way too complicated already and I don’t think God intended good health to be as complicated as we make it. Thank you for all the excellent information.

  5. Becca says:

    I am planning a cleanse at the end of the month! Perfect timing for this article.

  6. Isabel says:

    I am a huge fan of the green smoothie cleanse too. Very easy, satisfying, full of fiber and easy to make! Almost feels like I’m not cleansing, the smoothies are so delicious and fulfilling (I use greens, apple/frozen banana, lemon juice, water).

    Thanks for this post. I am about to soon embark on a cleanse.

  7. Brenda says:

    Good info – thankyou.
    Discipline is the hard part to do a cleanse, and to stay on track.
    Will try it.

  8. Mike says:

    Why no fat? Fats are essential for optimal functioning. What harm is there for including some healthy fats while cleanseing?

  9. Marcia says:

    Very nice and balanced approach to cleansing. Thank you!

  10. LINDA says:

    This is great!!!!! I personally aswell have issues with the raw diet ,have been for almost 4 yrs. I ‘m still raw. but have trouble finding organic foods and fresh and nice fruit and vegies. I try different things but always go back to the simple raw but not much variety. It gets boring that is my problem not much available and very expensive.
    When does you ebook come out, love to read it
    Have an amazing day

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