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July 13, 2009

A Book to Cleanse Your Life

Here’s a creed at The HSUS: When we treat animals with decency and respect, we create a better, more civil society. And here’s a corollary: When we make conscious food choices, there are a host of good outcomes: for animals, the environment, public health, and our personal health.

The Quantum Wellness Cleanse by Kathy Freston Author Kathy Freston touches on that corollary in this follow up to her best-selling "Quantum Wellness." In "The Quantum Wellness Cleanse"—a highly accessible, positive, practical, fast-moving read—she gives us a day-by-day approach to better living to achieve “a higher state of wellness.” In fact, it’s a 21-day dietary regimen that she all but promises will change the way you live and feel.

It sounds austere when you bunch together the proscriptions: a three-week period of abstaining from sugar, caffeine, gluten, alcohol, and animal products. But as she rolls out her plan chapter by chapter, she makes it all seem achievable, and a 100-page glossary of recipes from chefs Tal Ronnen and Lex Townes should help the newly conscious eater. She’s no drill sergeant, and tells us, “my whole approach to health and wellness is that it’s about leaning toward change and taking small steps to support growth: there is no need to force yourself into something that is terribly uncomfortable. Just lean.” And most importantly, by following Kathy's recommendations, you get something in return: a better mind and body.

That’s an approach I like. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Do your best, and do it in increments. The principle behind the 21 days is that it’s not a lifetime commitment, but a commitment that requires some sacrifice and some deprogramming. But in return, you’ll be able to see and feel results.

This is definitely a diet and lifestyle book. But Kathy is passionate about protecting animals, too, and she includes a couple of chapters on the environmental effects of meat-eating and our mistreatment of animals in industrial agriculture. The pull-out quotes from Gail Eisnitz’s "Slaughterhouse" are raw and shocking, and enough to make you explore vegetarian eating for at least 21 days.

In "In Defense of Food," Michael Pollan tells readers, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Kathy Freston provides some different points of emphasis, but leads us in the same direction. The right food choices make for healthier individuals, and a healthier, better, and more humane society.

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