The Liver Cleansing Diet (LCD) was developed by naturopath Dr Sandra Cabot. The principles behind the LCD are that the liver is the supreme organ of metabolism, and the missing key in excessive weight and sluggish metabolism.
The LCD has 12 vital principles to improve your liver function, they are:
1) Listen to your body – do not eat if you are not hungry.
2) Drink at least 8 – 12 glasses of filtered water daily, this cleanses liver and kidneys and aids in weight loss.
3) Avoid eating large amounts of sugar, especially refined sugar as the liver converts this to fat.
4) Don’t become obsessed with measuring calories this is not the aim of LCD. Ignore the bathroom scales.
5) Avoid foods that you may be allergic to, digestive enzyme tablet should be taken before you eat if you have weak digestion.
6) Be aware of good intestinal hygiene, eat only fresh food, avoid reheating food, avoid take out foods, wash your hands before eating, etc.
7) Do not eat if you feel stressed or anxious.
8) Check if organically grown fresh produce is available in your area.
9) Obtain your protein from diverse sources including legumes not just from animal products.
10) Choose your breads and spreads wisely.
11) Avoid constipation by eating plenty of raw foods and vegetables and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
12) Avoid excessive saturated or damaged fats because these will harm your liver if you eat them regularly. If you avoid healthy fats within four weeks your body will show symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency, your liver function and metabolism will slow down leading to easy weight gain.
The main aims of this diet are to help people with stubborn weight, “If you follow the LCD your metabolism will improve in leaps and bound and you will start to burn fat!” It is also recommended for patients with high blood pressure, those with general digestive problems and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). LCD targets liver disease and dysfunction as well as gall bladder disease. This diet helps with problems caused by imbalance in the immune system, to cure headaches and/or migraines, as well as women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It helps to eliminate toxins from alcohol and recreational drug users. People who have hepatitis B or C will have less chance of developing chronic liver disease. It increases longevity and vitality for older persons by staving off degenerative disease, because liver weight and volume decrease with age.
The LCD is divided into three sections:
1) The first two weeks
2) The next four weeks
3) The last two weeks
During the eight weeks lunch and dinner are interchangeable, you should not have more that two courses in one meal i.e. soup and a main meal, or a main meal with dessert.
Dessert and sweets are provided for in the LCD. Snacks between meals are fine you should not have more that two or three snacks between meals especially if you are trying to loose weight. Always have a salad with your main course as this will improve digestion.
Snacks are raw carrot or celery sticks, an orange, an apple, or a handful of raw almonds, cashews, seeds or raisins. One rice cake, one rye vita biscuit spread with avocado or hoummus. But the best snack is to have a raw juice. Snacks to avoid include all dairy product, including chocolate, packed crisps, pretzels, salted or roasted nuts, anything that is found in a packed and loaded with salt, chemicals and damaged fats.
You can have a maximum of three main meals daily.
Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water daily.
Restrict tea to 2 – 3 cups of tea and 1 cup of coffee daily, and only 4 glasses of alcohol per week.
A typical days menu for the first two weeks:
On arising drink 2 large glasses filtered water with the juice of a lemon, lime or orange. 15 minutes later have a raw vegetable juice made with carrot, celery and parsley.
Breakfast: 2 wholemeal pancakes topped with strawberries and banana, lemon juice and LSA mix (linseeds, sunflowers and almonds).
Lunch: Spicy seafood salad with a side salad of grated carrot, beetroot, cherry tomatoes.
Dinner: Vegetable ratatouille with one bowl of brown rice sprinkled with LSA.
Soup: Harricot bean soup or Dessert: Nutty Cream
The next four weeks:
Avoid chicken and egg yolks, seafood is allowed. On rising the same as the previous two weeks.
Breakfast: Cereals such as unsweetened or homemade muesli, weetbix, special K, sustain, cooked rolled oats or porridge, use around 50g of cereal, use soy almond or rice milk, you may add LSA for extra protein, may add fresh banana, apricot or apple to cereal if desired.
Lunch: Bamboo shoot, carrot and raisin salad, with one of the dressings and tabbouleh, sprinkle with LSA.
Dinner: Pumpkin baked with sesame seeds and grilled fish of your choice.
Soup: vegetable and barley soup or Dessert: Banana mousse
The last two weeks
Breakfast: Scrambled tofu with a side of carrot sticks, sliced apple and cherry tomatoes.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with a slice of bread with tahini, topped with coriander, parsley and chives.
Dinner: Vegetable paella
Soup: Potato and leek soup or Dessert: Carrot cake
In order to follow this diet correctly it is best to buy the book: The Liver Cleansing Diet by Dr. Sandra Cabot, published by WHAS 1996 (New South Wales, Australia)