Transition Diet – An Introduction to Arnold Ehret’s Methods

I recently posted this response to a member of the Facebook Arnold Ehret Support Forum who had been a bit too aggressive with their initial transition. This perspective is very useful for those interested in sustaining a plant-based diet as a lifestyle. It must be understood that we cannot go from our standard diet of civilization into a full-out mucus-free lifestyle overnight. And the full transition may take longer than you think. But consistently applying the principles is the key!: 

Greetings! The length and quality of transition is the great unknown with the Mucusless Diet Healing System. Often, what we think is a long time with our mind is nothing to our bodies. In your case, I would have probably of recommended some mucuslean evening vegetable meals that include cooked mucusless (mucus-free) vegetables with raw salads followed by toasted 100% wheat bread. Baked vegetable options such as squash and sweet potatoes are also good (but not white potatoes). These meals slow down the elimination, but are far better than eating mucus-forming processed vegetarian/vegan/dead animal foods or Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). And when combined with raw vegetalbles, a mucus/intestinal broom is created. Then the afternoon meal could be all fruit. 

This portion of the transition seems to be what many ‘raw-food’ devotees try to skip over. The result can be losing weight too fast or becoming wedded to nuts, avocados, etc. With that said, once the body has been properly cleansed for as long as it takes, it will be much easier to live at higher levels of mucuslessness. Brother Air has practiced the diet for over 30 years, yet he did not begin by doing long fasts, going raw, or doing intense fruit periods. On the 25th year of his transition he did an entire year on fruit. In following years he began to do 8+ month long fasts. In the years leading to this he did thousands of short and longer term fasts, mucus-free periods, and mucuslean periods that were suited to his own physiology. He was careful to not push too hard, yet systematically cleansed over a long period of time. Although people are blown away by his more recent long fasts/fruit dieting, I marvel at his ability to maintain a slow and consistent transition toward mucuslessness for decades.

The diet must be PRACTICED for longevity. Think of an professional athlete or musician. Could they start out practicing 8-10 hours a day in the beginning? Probably not. But over time, and with practice, the skill and stamina necessary to effortlessly achieve higher levels is fostered. With that said, sometimes the detox can get rough and you will look worse for the wear. But overall, if a less aggressive transitional protocol is adopted (for people not fighting terminal illnesses), toxic wastes can be expelled over a longer period of time with less issues. With your current insights, go back to the ‘Transition Diet’ section of Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System and reread it. You might be surprised how liberal Ehret’s transition really is. 

As I always say, I love to see people push themselves and this does not mean that everyone should just slow down and eat a bunch of cooked food or mucuslean menus if it is not necessary. I love to see folks accomplish lengthy fasts and periods of fruit eating. Yet I’m more impressed with hearing people say “I’ve been totally mucus-free for a day/week/month/year/etc. Each body is different, yet the principles of the transitional system remain the same and applicable to all. And to sustain the diet, a rational transition from the very beginning is key! 

Peace, Love, and Breath! 

Prof. Spira



Excerpts from Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System

transition diet

In the preceding lessons you were taught the foods which are best, as well as those which are bad, and which are the worst ones. You know the exact reason why and also what is going on in the system—what happens with good foods as well as with bad ones in the human body. You have learned that even the best foods which have the highest, most vigorous healing properties can become harmful, even dangerous in the beginning, if not carefully used; that they become mixed with the filthy mucus and poisons which they loosen up in the body, and thereby become poisoned, entering the blood stream in this poisoned condition.

Everything is perfectly performed by Nature thru evolutional, progressive changes, developments and accomplishments and not by catastrophies. Nothing is more incorrect than the mistaken idea that a decades old chronic disease can be healed thru a very long fast, or a radically extended strict fruit diet. “Nature’s mills grind slow but sure.”

My experience of over twenty years, covering for the most part the extremely severe cases of all kinds of diseases, has proven that a carefully selected and progressively changed TRANSITION DIET is the best and surest way for every patient to start a cure, especially for the average mixed eater. As long as wrong foods (foods of civilization) are partly used, I call it a MUCUS-LEAN DIET. Transition means the slow change from disease-producing foods to disease-healing foods, which latter I call the MUCUSLESS DIET.

The speed of elimination depends upon quantities and qualities of food and can therefore be controlled and regulated according to the condition of the patient. The worst and by far the most unhealthy ‘habit is the HEAVY BREAKFAST. No solid food should be eaten in the early morning at all if you desire to secure the best results. It is permissible to take the drink that you are accustomed to, but nothing else. If you find this difficult to do in the beginning you may drink again later on so that your lunch is taken in the empty stomach. This is so very important that a number of light diseases can be cured by the so-called “NO BREAKFAST PLAN” alone. (This subject is more fully covered in Fasting Lessons 17, 18,19, 20.)

It is best that no more than two meals a day be eaten, even though the quantity you eat is as much as if three or even four meals were eaten. Later, when the stomach is cleaner, a small dish of fresh fruits when in season may be eaten for breakfast if desired. If possible, the first meal, lunch, should be eaten between ten and eleven in the morning, and supper not sooner than five or six in the afternoon. Another very important rule, when eating for health, is SIMPLICITY; in other words do not mix too many kinds of food at one meal. Count the different number of items in the average meal of today and the total will startle you.

NEVER DRINK DURING A MEAL. If accustomed to tea or coffee, wait a short while after you have eaten before drinking. Soups should be avoided with meals, as the more liquid taken the more difficult for proper digestion. If a warm drink is desired, for instance, as a breakfast drink during the winter time, make a broth by cooking for a long time different kinds of vegetables, such as spinach, onions, carrots, cabbages, etc., and DRINK THE JUICE ONLY.

Menus for the First Two Weeks

LUNCH: A combination salad, consisting of raw grated carrots or cold slaw or both, half and half, and two or three spoonfuls of a stewed or canned vegetable, such as green peas, string beans or spinach. Add to this one of the following items (whatever is in season): cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, lettuce or other green leaf vegetables, celery, etc., but only a sufficient quantity for a flavoring.

You may make an oil dressing according to your taste if desired, using lemon juice instead of vinegar for flavoring purposes only. The rest of the meal should consist of one baked or stewed vegetable such as cauliflower, beets, parsnips, turnips, squash, etc. If you still feel as though you were hungry you may eat a small sized baked potato or one slice of toasted bran or whole wheat bread. Fats of any kind, including the ordinary butter, are unnatural and therefore should not be eaten. However,  should you crave fats it is best to use peanut butter or some other nut butter on your bread.

During the winter months canned vegetables may be used when green vegetables are not available. Drink the juice separately in the morning and mix the green or string beans or spinach, etc., with the salad stock as described above of cold slaw or raw carrots. The object of this menu is to supply the “broom” to provide means for mechanically cleansing the digestive tract by quantities of raw, baked and stewed starchless vegetables. This may be called “Ehret’s Standard Combination Salad,” the “intestinal broom” spoken of so frequently, and so necessary for properly eliminating the stored up poisons now being loosened during the body’s house-cleaning.

SUPPER: Mix (half and half) a stewed fruit such as apple sauce, stewed dried apricots, stewed dried peaches, or stewed prunes with cottage cheese or with some very ripe bananas, mashed, sweetened with brown sugar or honey to taste.

The bananas would be for a less “mucused” or less acid stomach.

LUNCH: First a baked apple, apple sauce or other stewed dried fruit. After ten or fifteen minutes a combination salad as suggested in first menu, and bran or whole wheat bread toasted if still hungry. Cow butter should be gradually avoided and replaced by a vegetable or nut butter during the transition. By allowing the cooked vegetables to soak on the salad for 10 or 15 minutes it serves the purpose of a dressing.

SUPPER: A baked or stewed vegetable, as suggested in the first menu, followed with a vegetable salad made of lettuce and cucumber or raw celery or a little cold slaw.

Menus for the Third Two Weeks

LUNCH: During the summer this should be an exclusive fruit meal—one kind only. In winter a sweet dried fruit, for example, prunes, figs, raisins or dates eaten with apples or oranges or the dried fruits can be chewed together with a very few nuts, and then followed by the fresh fruits. If in the beginning this fails to satisfy, wait for ten or fifteen minutes and then eat a few leaves of lettuce or a cold vegetable either cooked or raw, but just a small quantity.

SUPPER: A combination salad as suggested in the first menu, followed by a baked vegetable.

Menus for the Fourth Two Weeks

LUNCH: Fruits as in previous menus.

SUPPER: First eat fruits, either baked or stewed, or fresh, followed a little later by a cold cooked vegetable or better still a vegetable salad.

If you find that you are losing weight too rapidly, the elimination should be slowed down by eating bread or [baked sweet] potatoes after the vegetables. Should you feel an intense craving, in the beginning for meat—a great desire returning which you cannot resist, then eat vegetables only on that day, and NO FRUITS.

A Dissolved Mystery

The reason doctors and even Naturopaths in general, as well as the layman, do not believe in a FRUIT diet or MUCUSLESS diet, is simply this: Whoever experiments without experience with this diet of healing, whether sick or well, loses his faith immediately, as soon as he has a crisis, becomes what he believes to be “seriously ill,” that is to say, a day on which a great amount of dissolved waste, debris, mucus and other poisons are taken back into the circulation, a day of great elimination. This produces at the same time a strong, almost irresistible craving for wrong foods and, strange as it may seem, the patient most strongly craves for the wrong food which was once his favorite. This is explained by the fact that Nature is eliminating thru the circulation the waste of these foods, and it is when they are in the circulation the craving and desire is naturally enough produced.

This then is why it is of extreme importance that every meal of a diet of healing and cleansing must leave the body as soon as possible. Being mixed with the loosened and dissolved poisons they cause these “uncomfortable” conditions—a fact that has never before been perfectly understood or explained.

Certain foods prove more laxative under certain conditions. Therefore, eat the foods that you have personally found to be the most laxative in your own body. If you do not experience a regular bowel movement before retiring, always help with an enema, a laxative or both. A natural laxative help, which you will undoubtedly find very efficient, is eating a few dried prunes before the other fruits are taken.

A very good aid to elimination which can be used during the transition diet period, until the bowels are cleansed from the old sticky waste, and until such time as the bowels act freely from the new diet is a harmless herb vegetable compound, per­fected by myself, and the most efficient intestinal broom and bowel regulator known.

Spira’s Note: The example menus above are only meant to be a guide. Understanding the principles of the system is key. If you are already on a plant-based diet, obviously you do not need to go back to cottage cheese or other non-plant-based items. Keep in mind that this portion is prescribed for people coming off of diets that are 70%-90% mucus/pus-forming. Yet, it is good to know what mucus-forming items can be used when great cravings arise. Do not be hard on yourself and do what you need to do to rationally transition. If you make the right choices from the beginning, you can move relatively fast and go very far. Overall, the diet works because you move away from the most harmful mucus-forming foods to less harmful and detoxifying mucus-free foods, but not overnight. Raw Mucusless Foods (fruits and green-leaf vegetables) are the best for humans, but you will need to transition to these higher levels. And this can be done using mostly raw and cooked, starchless vegetables and fruit. For those of you already detoxing, understanding the principles of the transition can help you quite a bit when you need to slow things down. 

If this has peaked your interest, I highly recommend reading the entire Mucusless Diet Healing System book along with Rational Fasting. If you have read it in the past, read it again and focus on understanding the nature of the transition. This is not only a ‘diet,’ but a system that includes progressively changing menus based upon the condition of the person, along with periodic long and short-term fasts plus colon irrigation. What is prescribed above for ‘the first two weeks,’ etc., could be applied to various lengths as you become more advanced. Time is relative  and two weeks could represent one month, etc. This is not a one-size-fits all kind of system, but a total lifestyle of regeneration that should be adapted to your particular health needs.

Over the past ten years, my most standard diet has consisted of a fruit meal (or juice) in the afternoon and a vegetable mean (or vegetable juice) at night. But to get to the point where I could easily sustain this I needed to transition through various mucuslean periods. Lemon enemas and ‘rational’ intermittent fasting also was an important part.

For contemporary insights about the transition diet [and more about my mucuslean eating], I invite you to download my new eBook Spira Speaks: Dialogs and Essays on the Mucusless Diet Healing System. Many advancements have been made by Mucusless Diet practitioners over the past fifty years, and I’ve done my best to capture it. The eBook includes several case studies [real life accounts] along with insightful essays about practicing the Mucusless Diet in the 21st century.

Peace, Love, and Breath!

Prof. Spira

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