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Wellness

I Detoxed My Body By Eating Nothing But Fruit For Five Weeks Straight

Six months after joining Black Everywhere’s online wellness community, I remember feeling like I’d reached some sort of pinnacle. I lost a noticeable amount of weight, got my meal and exercise routines back on track, and was sharing resources with other Black folks on their own journeys. Baby, I was lit!


I truly didn’t anticipate any further improvements to my mental and physical health—until Kendra Patton, a physician assistant and holistic health coach, affectionately offered her Fruit As Medicine detox to the group. The program’s “eat fruit for five weeks” protocol was a tall order. “I can only eat fruit? For five weeks straight? I don’t know about that…”

I had never heard of the concept that eating fruit alone could heal your gut, and I wasn’t too excited about putting the concept into action. I was already on a plant-based diet, and those restrictions felt like more than enough; I gave up chicken for God’s sake! I was incredibly apprehensive, but Patton’s deep kindness helped ease me into the unknown.

Patton’s comprehensive FAM Detox includes a gradual introduction to the all-fruit diet, a series of targeted cleanses, herbal supplement recommendations, a 10-step daily wellness protocol, and a gradual return to other foods. Each cohort is a community where people can navigate their detox journeys together. By the end of the program, I released so many toxins I had no idea were inside of me.

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“The really beautiful thing about fruit is that it purges,” Patton says. “It helps your cells to get rid of toxins and waste. In layman's terms, it helps each of your cells; we have like 300 trillion cells. It helps them all to poop.” Even from an anatomical standpoint, human beings are hardwired for high fruit consumption—when you take our mildly sharp teeth, average hand size, and the length of our digestive tract into consideration. Fruit’s benefits to the body are also twofold. “The other beautiful thing is it's purging you out, however, it's also providing you with antioxidants and nutrients and vitamins.”

Off the bat, the FAM Detox gave me a new respect for grapes. A week after transitioning into the fruit diet, Patton’s first targeted cleanse involved a week of solely consuming grapes. “Grape week” as she calls it, highlights the fruit’s powerful micronutrients, making for a deep and effective colon cleanse. It was during this week that I found my first stomach-churning surprise in the toilet: I’d passed a large piece of fat. “Detoxing is gross,” Patton admits despite urging her clients to examine their poop. “You realize the level of nastiness that you have accumulated over the years—whether that be through mucus, gallstones, liver flukes, parasites, long worms, or even just that old toxic, stale waste that looks like leather that's been sitting in your body for years.”

"Detoxing is gross. You realize the level of nastiness that you have accumulated over the years."

Once I was past the discomfort, I started to notice that the FAM Detox was helping me build a more intimate relationship with my body. Coupled with taking a closer look at my stool, Patton also prescribes a set of daily wellness protocols to help keep the body’s detox pathways open. She recommends practices like breathwork, movement, saunas/hot baths, dry brushing, and enemas to help toxins make their exit.

“We focus on opening up the liver, the skin, the colon, the kidneys, and the lungs very specifically. And then we also open up the lymphatic system,” she explains. “You really should not detox and cleanse without those systems being opened, because what happens is you’ll eat all this fruit and high vibrational food, then the toxins will just be released into your circulatory system, into your blood.”

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Patton’s program makes intentional use of naivete; she gently leads clients through the process by presenting new information gradually. I was indeed more naive than I should have been about the various ways healing can really hurt. The FAM Detox introduced me to the term “healing crisis,” which describes the phenomena of symptoms worsening before they improve.

While headaches, nausea, and body aches were all par for the course, the daily wellness protocols also provided plenty of relief. There was, however, one hot bath that brought me more healing than I bargained for one night. After adding ginger to the tub for an extra detox boost, I found myself crying uncontrollably. I was incredibly grateful to have a community to turn to while releasing years of stored grief.

“Detoxing is such a spiritual and emotional effort that when you are doing it alone, it can really feel like you're going through your dark night of the soul by yourself,” Patton says. “And you probably are. If you're doing it correctly, you probably feel low at certain points.” Before the FAM Detox liver and gallbladder cleanse, she shares a concept founded in ancient Chinese medicine: we store feelings of anger in our livers.

For this cleanse, we avoided fatty fruits for four days before drinking a mix of olive oil and grapefruit. It was definitely a point where tensions ran high; I passed a series of tiny green-colored gallstones thereafter.

By the program’s final “master” cleanse—which features gallons of water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper concoction—I’d traversed every bodily “ick” possible. I was dauntless when I passed a long, white parasite. I snapped a pic of that bad boy, feeling a deep sense of pride. After successfully ridding my body of toxins for a month and a half, I was forever changed. By the time Patton was leading us back into consuming other foods, my relationship with food and my body had been changed in one fell swoop.

“When people trust me, I do not take it for granted,” Patton notes. “And so the fact that people trust me on this journey, I think I found my purpose, and I found my passion. People can read that. People can sense it. They sense I believe in my work, and that I've done it for myself, and I have dozens of testimonials now of people who have trusted me, too.“

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Featured image by Getty Images

 

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