A Doctor Explains: Getting Your Doctor on Board with a Reboot

By: Dr. Carrie Diulus M.D.

If you’re interested in starting a Reboot but want to make sure your doctor is on board, follow these helpful tips to help you talk to them. 

What NOT to do…
Asking your doctor outright if it is okay to do a prolonged “juice fast” may not be the best approach. While I can’t speak on behalf of all doctors’, most have very little training in nutrition and are trained to be skeptical of any quick-fix, weight loss “diets”. In fact, when you talk to your doctor, don’t use the term “juice fast.”  A “fast” implies that you are not taking in nutrients and calories.   When you are doing a Reboot, you are doing exactly the opposite and flooding your body with nutrients, while still providing adequate calories. 

A better way to approach the subject…
First, ask your doctor if he or she has any issue with you decreasing your consumption of processed foods, and increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Tip: Run far, far away from any health care provider who has an issue with that!  Second, tell them that you have considered juicing the vegetables with some fruits as a way to increase your overall plant intake because while you can get excellent results from just eating fruits and vegetables, you can quickly and easily increase the amount of vegetables in your diet by adding them in the form of juice.

More talking points to support a Reboot…
You can tell your doc, “A Reboot allows you to ‘flip the switch’ on the circuit-breaker and reset your system so that you begin to crave plant-based foods rather than the highly-processed, nutrient-poor addictive foods that are so prevalent in most people’s diets. A Reboot is not a “diet,” and is not meant to be an unhealthy short term weight loss program, but rather the beginning steps to help make it easier for me to switch from an unhealthy way of eating to one that incorporates a much higher percentage of plant foods.”

A 15 Day Reboot is a proposal that most doctors should be able to approve for the vast majority of people (i.e. 5 days of eating plants, followed by 10 days of juicing plants).  It is brief enough to decrease any concerns that nutritional deficiencies will develop. If your doctor has concerns about you drinking your calories for a short time, it is also appropriate to remind him or her that many bariatric surgeons place patients on various meal replacement liquid diets for a period of time leading up to surgery.  Challenge your doctor to consider why drinking a highly processed chocolate mixture is healthier than freshly juiced vegetables and fruits.  

From one doctor to another…
You can share with your doctor that I, an orthopedic spine surgeon, have found this concept to work for myself in my own personal journey to health and have been successful using it with my patients. I often tell patients that the real goal is to improve your health and one of the nice “side effects” is weight loss! 

Once your physician has given you the ok to do a 15 Day Reboot, you should be fine to propose doing a longer juice-only Reboot as long as you are doing well after the first 5 days of juice.  This is, in fact, the way I approached my first Reboot.  I set out to do juice-only for just 10 days and see how I felt.  By the time I got to Day 10 I felt so great that it was an easy step to continue.  I do not recommend juice-only Rebooting for longer than 15 days without having some simple blood work done to check electrolytes and monitor the impact on medical conditions. For those who want to do a longer Reboot, or whose physician would like them to work more closely with a nutritionist, the Guided Reboot is an excellent option.  

Nutritional changes are successfully used to treat many medical conditions.  Most physicians are happy when a patient takes an active role in improving their own health rather than passively wanting to be “treated.”  I would reconsider any physician who does not embrace this.  

Rebooting is a springboard to launch the change toward a lifestyle that includes a high intake of plant-based foods.  Getting your physician on board, or finding a new physician who supports these healthy changes can greatly increase your success. The strategies I discussed above can help to facilitate this collaborative effort toward improving your health.  

Reboot Information for Your Doctor: If you’re interested in Rebooting, print this document for your doctor and bring it to your next appointment to help you explain exactly what a Reboot entails.

This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. 

We would love to hear from you the concerns raised by your physicians when you approach the subject with them!

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Dr. Carrie Diulus M.D.

Dr. Carrie Diulus is an orthopaedic spine surgeon for the Cleveland Clinic. She treats a range of degenerative and sports related spine conditions. She has a special interest in the role of nutrition in orthopaedics and chronic pain. As a result of struggling with her own weight she now includes freshly expressed juice into her daily routine and incorporates juicing and high micronutrient diets into the treatment of her patients. Dr. Diulus has co-authored textbook chapters and her research in orthopaedics, pathology and biomaterials has been published and presented at both national and international meetings.

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