Saturday, October 18, 2008

21 Pounds in 21 Days: Revolutionizing Modern Medicine As We Know It

On October 11, 2008, I had the privilege and pleasure of interviewing Dr. Roni DeLuz, RN, ND who is the author of 21 Pounds in 21 Days and owner of Martha’s Vineyard Holistic Retreat. While Dr. Roni’s story begins with a very personal battle to save her own life, it continues as she now helps people around the globe restore health and vitality to their lives with weight loss being the preferred byproduct of her detox program. My fascination with detoxifying the body started with my own visits with Dr. Alim Muhammad, MD (Abundant Life Clinic, Washington, D.C.) who is trained in both allopathic and naturopathic medicines. His treatment and advice gave me the courage to try detoxification and nutritional supplementation to cure some severe health ailments and lose weight. (Dr. Alim told me that detoxing was part of my treatment plan after first eliminating food allergens and taking nutritional supplements--which I did.) Both programs worked and I now have a better understanding of eating (to live) properly and how to enable my body to heal itself. Never having met Dr. Roni face-to-face, I was thrilled to secure the telephone interview. I must say, on that call you could feel her energy and excitement and all over again, I was inspired to improve my health.

Dr. Roni DeLuz is a graduate of Fairfield University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, The Clayton School of Natural Healing, and the American Holistic College of Nutrition. Dr. Roni is a registered nurse and colonic therapist who has been a healing professional for 20years. She is a member of the Coalition for Natural Health, the American Naturopathic Medical Association, and the International Association for Colon Therapy. In 1980, Dr. Roni founded Singh Care Homes in California, which provides long term care facilities for children and adults.
She continues to act as its Executive Director. In 1997, she founded and opened the Martha's Vineyard Holistic Retreat By 2007, the success of her on-site retreat led Dr. Roni (along with publicist and partner James Hester) to write 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox. A former client-turned-success story, Mr. Hester has worked with Dr. Roni at the retreat since 2003.

An average day for Dr. Roni starts long before her clients rise in the morning. She takes time to address her own wellness needs and then oversees her staff’s execution of the customized treatment plans that she designs for each individual. She has a kitchen staff that prepares the juices, soups, and supplements, counselors, massage therapists, detox therapists, yoga/Pilates instructors, and more. Every client has a specific plan based on their health condition, length of stay, and personal goals. Every hour of the client’s day is scheduled. Her approach is very hands-on as she will periodically stay overnight at the facility. Dr. Roni also offers telephone consultations at an hourly rate. Emails and other correspondence are answered late at night. While this setup sounds pretty elaborate (as many have assumed), Dr. Roni assures me that she manages an intimate treatment facility making her very accessible to her guests.

We talked at length about the overall health condition of Americans in relation to the practices of allopathic (traditional) doctors. Dr. Roni stated that, “The problem is nutrition.” The quality and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables harvested in 2008 is more than 20 times less than produce grown over 50 years ago. Many doctors either refuse to investigate nutritional deficiencies in their patients, or they ignore it. Routinely, prescription medications are administered to treat an ailment, which leads to additional medications for treatment of the drugs’ side effects. Sadly, irreversible organ failure (i.e. kidney, liver) is a result of taking prescription drugs over the long-term. If a doctor decides to add anti-depressants to his/her patients’ “treatment plan”, expect those patients to die soon because the doctors have given up hope. Dr. Roni sees a shift in this old paradigm, especially in new doctors who now include detox programs coupled with exercise as a greater part of their orders.

Health and fitness professionals in the future will have to educate/re-educate themselves on cleansing, healing, and feeding the body properly for the optimal health and performance of their patients and clients. Treatment plans must expand to include these elements because our present system has failed. The average American is uninsured and toxic and can afford to neither get sick nor get well. The need for more naturally-trained professionals is increasing, but Dr. Roni believes that the industry is just not ready to take the leap. There is much to lose if our current HMO system is scrapped.

Dr. Roni’s advice for future professionals is to prepare now, model the behavior, and spread the word. Each care provider must be ready to accommodate new clients because the masses are frustrated and desperate for healing. Robin Quivers hired Dr. Roni and James Hester to detox her at her home. After a successful detox, Dr. Roni was invited to appear on Robin’s radio show. Unbeknownst to Dr. Roni, Robin works on “The Howard Sterns Show.” After her appearance, a viewer/listener with chronic digestive problems traveled to the Martha’s Vineyard Holistic Retreat looking for Dr. Roni in the wee hours of the morning. At the time the retreat was private and offered no walk-in services. Dr. Roni’s attorney said to her that, “You have to put things in place to help people.” That encounter led to the opening of the Martha’s Vineyard Holistic Spa Annex which offers detox/spa services for “walk-in” clients—in my mind, a quite natural progression. The exposure led to her book that debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller List, television appearances on shows like ABC’s “The View”, and a growing clientele ranging from professional to celebrity status. Dr. Roni now travels to detox clients during her retreat’s off-season.

The health and fitness professional of the future must, therefore, be properly educated, have a business structure that is easily expandable, be a service-minded resource, and be able to assist the masses through a variety of media. In this case, if you build it (and market it), they will come.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Atonement and The Power to Forgive

Emotional wellness is defined by Dr. Bill Hettler as: "...a person being both aware of and accepting of a wide range of feelings in him/herself and others. He/She is able to freely express feeling and manage feeling effectively to arrive at personal choices/decisions based upon the integration of feelings, cognition and behavior." Emotional wellness is also described as self-awareness or self-acceptance. The definition by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, Inc, on his web page goes on to say that an emotionally well person can function autonomously but is aware of personal limitations and the value of seeking interpersonal support and assistance.

Emotional wellness extends beyond oneself as it encompasses the health of our
relationships with ourselves, others, and our God. Inside each and every one of us lies the ability to let go of old hurts, anger, and despair. Forgiveness is defined by Merriam-Webster as : "Giving up resentment of; pardoning; absolving; willingness to allow room for error or weakness." Atonement is a process for making amends for a fault or wrongdoing. This process, if applied with a sincere spirit, can heal all wounds including broken marriages (, childhood abuses, overfeeding/abusing the body with food, drugs, and alcohol, and more.

In recognition of the 13th Anniversary of the Million Man March and the Holy Day of Atonement (October 16, 1995), I would like to share with you the Eight Steps of Atonement.

In order to resolve our problems with one another, we must follow these steps:

1. Point Out Wrong or Fault – Let it be known that a wrong was committed.
2. Acknowledge the Wrong – No matter who brings it to your attention, if you were at fault, admit it.
3. Confession – Confess your wrongdoing to your Creator and to the person whom you wronged.
4. Repentance – Show remorse for your actions and sincerely promise to change.
5. Atonement – If you can, do something to make up for your actions.
6. Forgiveness – Seek forgiveness from the individual wronged and your Creator. Remember, also, to forgive yourself for your transgressions.
7. Reconciliation –Settle differences and make peace with yourself and with
those whom you have wronged.
8. Perfect Union – Oneness with your Creator, family and friends.

Here are some tips for ensuring a productive atonement session:


(Adapted from Youth Leadership Development Workbook written and published by New Light Leadership Coalition, 2001-2003, pages 62-63.)

In order to work well with other people, leaders must be good at resolving conflict.
A conflict is a situation causing disunity or discord between two individuals or
groups. Conflicts are usually caused by perceived feelings of hurt, insult, or injury. To resolve a conflict, it is important to maintain control of emotions.
Use the following steps to approach solving conflicts with others peacefully:


You should never be the aggressor or the cause of a conflict. Try to avoid
physical confrontations if possible.
The main problem during conflict is that both parties want to get their point
across. This causes them to want to speak before the other person is heard. It is
important to LISTEN in order to resolve a conflict.
The other party must know that you are willing to compromise. A compromise
is the process of give and take that leads to a middle ground where BOTH PARTIES
are content.
Be sincere in your attempt to reconcile with another party.


√ Never approach an individual in front of other people as this will only cause
defensiveness.The person will likely retaliate instead of cooperating with you.

√ Do not insult the other party.Tell him what he is doing that is hurting you and
ask him to stop.

√ Do not provoke the other person or group.This will only lead to further conflict
and, potentially, violence.

√ Be calm! Instead of approaching the situation emotionally, give yourself a moment
to cool down before trying to deal with the conflict. Emotion can cause unnecessary
confusion, leaving the root of the problem neither discovered nor solved.

I wish you all peace and success in your attempts to achieve total wellness!