a different kind of coffee break with Gerry and Ray Coffey

Disease-Free Living Through Fitness and Nutrition


By Alan Goldhamer, D.C.
resident, International Association of Hygienic Physicians,
and Director of the True North Health Center, Penngrove, CA.:

Headaches are often a symptom of withdrawal from a chemical or food in the diet such as caffeine or sugar. They usually resolve within three days. Headaches may be soothed by alternating hot and cold packs on the back of the head and upper neck.

Fatigue may occur, not due to lack of protein, but rather to adopting a healthier lifestyle with less artificial stimulation. This will allow you to experience your true energy level which may be much lower than you thought. If you experience fatigue, sleep more.

Hunger one or two hours after eating, or sensations of feeling less full after meals, may occur. This is because vegetarian meals feel lighter and are easier to digest as compared to meats and dairy foods. As you become accustomed to a vegetarian diet, you will become quite satisfied.

Bowel Gas and Indigestion are common after major diet changes. The digestive system and the flora in your gut take time adapting to different foods. Indigestion is more common when one overeats, or eats gas-forming foods. Reduce your intake of the harder to digest aromatic vegetables in their raw state such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli as well as irritants like spices, garlic or onions.

Cramping sometimes occurs due to gas formation or from the high fiber and fluid content in the diet distending the bowel with larger than accustomed stools, especially in those with previous constipation. These episodes are usually brief and pass spontaneously. The application of a warm water bottle on the abdomen, and/or reducing the quantity of food in the diet for a day or two is helpful.

Diarrhea or loose stools, may be a temporary reaction from over-eating, eating unripe fruit, or the sudden introduction of a high fiber diet. Reducing the amount of your total food intake, avoiding unripe fruit, and eating smaller salads for a while are helpful. Occasionally, with increased consumption of breads and pastas, an allergy to gluten, may present itself as diarrhea. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It is wise to leave out gluten containing foods if loose stools occur. The above recommendations are particularly important for those individuals with a tendency towards bowel inflammation (eg: colitis, Crohn's Disease, irritable bowel syndrome).

Allergies may become symptomatic in sensitive individuals who should try eliminating wheat, rye, barley, corn, tomatoes and citrus fruits as well as all dairy products. Eventually, most allergies improve significantly or resolve on a health promoting diet.

Frequent urination of large volumes of urine is due to the high water content of your diet, as well as to the excess water shed from your body because of the lower salt content of this food.

Weight loss is to be expected as excess fluid and fat are lost. Thin people also may lose weight initially, but as their digestive system adapts to the change in diet, weight may normalize.

There are more pleasant and long lasting effects that gradually occur as well. These may be increased vitality, feeling lighter with more energy after meals, improved sleep, more acute taste, regular bowel movements, reduced thirst, disappearance of swelling and edema, and many other noticeable health improvements.

Inside the body, cholesterol starts to leave the blood vessels because of your zero cholesterol diet. There is less load on the heart as blood volume returns to normal due to your lower salt intake. A positive calcium balance develops stronger bones due to a reduction of excess protein in the diet. (High protein diets cause a negative calcium balance, leading to loss of calcium from the body, resulting in osteoporosis.) Along with softening the stool, fiber protects the body from absorbing potentially harmful and cancer causing substances in the gut. Fiber also allows more gradual absorption of sugar into the blood stream, thus easing the load on the pancreas, helping to prevent adult onset diabetes mellitus. The risk of bowel, breast and prostate cancer, as well as heart disease, is reduced by the low fat diet. These are just some of the health benefits of this program.

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