18-day Quick Start program

Setting Expectations for Success

STEP 1- The Induction Phase, Days 1-3

For the first three days in The Plan, you’ll eat only above-ground, non-starchy veggies, avoid all oils and refined sugars, and drink enough water (6-8 glasses/day) to stay hydrated. During this time, it’s recommended you do a kitchen makeover to create a positive environment for your success. Purge your pantry, fridge, and freezer of food that doesn’t support your new healthy choices.



STEP 2- The Therapeutic Phase, Days 4-18

For the next fifteen days, you’ll expand your food repertoire to include a wide variety of whole, plant-based foods— grains, fruits, beans, peas, nuts, and above- and below-ground vegetables. Continue to avoid refined oils and sugars. Use salt moderately. Keep drinking plenty of water. To ensure success, plan meals and prepare food in advance so you aren’t tempted to make last-minute unhealthy choices. 

Repeat as Necessary. The Journal has tracking pages for two 18 day cycles.  Share the experience with a friend or do a second 18 days – its your choice.



STEP 3—The Maintenance Phase, Day 19 and beyond

In Step 3, you’ll settle into your new healthy lifestyle for good. Keep eating a wide variety of minimally processed whole plant foods. You can now enjoy very small amounts of healthy, plant-based fats (like avocadoes, coconut, extra virgin olive oil). If you choose to include animal products, use them as condiments (flavoring) rather than the center of your meals. Collect an assortment of 15-18 new healthy recipes that are your new go-to favorites—at least three for breakfast, five to nine for lunch, and seven for dinner (if you choose to eat dinner). Use these as part of your usual Recipe Rotation. Be on the lookout for new healthy recipes so it doesn’t become boring. as well. There are many new experiences for your palate.

Beside the dietary changes, there are other habits that are important parts of a therapeutic lifestyle—three of those are Sleep, Exercise, and Fasting.


Experts tell us we should all be getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but most of us don’t. Sleep deprivation can increase appetite and carbohydrate cravings, weaken the immune system, and cause headaches and even depression. Turn off all blue light screens at least 60 minutes before bedtime and develop a regular nighttime routine to help you get your best rest. Interestingly, making a habit of journalling 3 things you’re grateful for before bedtime helps you sleep better! (Learn more in EPFW Journal) 


If you haven’t yet incorporated it into your daily routine, make a date with exercise. Put it on your calendar as you would any other appointment and stick to it. Thirty minutes of moderate cardio exercise (ex: walking, jogging, swimming) most days, and 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening is recommended. Begin gradually and find a buddy to do it with you. Be sure to consult your doctor if you haven’t been exercising regularly. Learn more about all the benefits of exercise in the book.  

Intermittent Fasting

Fasting refers to a state the body reaches when the energy it needs to function is being pulled from storage and not from food sources coming in. It takes 8-12 hours after the last meal for the body to switch over to this fasting state. That’s why the first meal of the day, after we’ve been sleeping, is called “breakfast”- literally the meal that breaks our fast. It should be the biggest. There are many health benefits of fasting— weight loss and increased longevity are two of them. Most would benefit from eating only two meals a day, like my wife and I have done for years. This is why I recommend one of three options for The Plan:

1. make evening meal the lightest of the day.  

2.Limit the evening meal to only whole fruit.  

3 No evening meal at all – drink unsweetened herbal tea, water.

Get the social support you need by encouraging family/friends to do it with you, or starting/joining a group at work, church, or school. If at any point you fall back into some of your old, unhealthy habits, simply start over with The Plan. Whatever you do- don’t give up! The choices you make every day are cumulative and will impact your health for the rest of your life. Make choices going forward that promote health rather than illness!

Here’s to your success!