The Hallelujah Diet is a vegetarian diet that emphasizes raw, plant-based foods and limited processed items. It was created by Reverend George Malkmus, who believes that food has healing properties and can help improve various health conditions. The diet is mostly vegan but does allow some animal products like eggs and unprocessed cheese occasionally. The focus is on eating at least 85% raw fruits and vegetables.
Overview of the Hallelujah Diet
The Hallelujah Diet aims to flood the body with nutrients and enzymes from raw plant foods while avoiding processed and refined foods. It encourages eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts and whole grains. Animal products are limited, with small amounts of raw dairy, eggs and fish allowed occasionally. Processed meats, refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol and salt are excluded.
The dietary guidelines of the Hallelujah Diet include:
- Eating 85% raw plant-based foods
- Having at least one large salad daily
- Drinking freshly juiced vegetables like carrots, beets, spinach
- Consuming nuts, seeds and sprouts
- Limiting animal protein to 15% of intake
- Excluding processed foods, refined sugar and white flour
- Drinking purified water
- Taking supplements like digestive enzymes and probiotics
By following these guidelines, the diet claims to promote weight loss, increased energy, improved digestion and better health.
The Hallelujah Diet permits a wide variety of plant foods. Emphasis is placed on eating raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts. Cooked whole grains and vegetables are allowed in moderation. Small amounts of unprocessed animal foods are also permitted.
Here are the main food groups allowed on the Hallelujah Diet:
All fresh, frozen, dried and juiced fruits are encouraged, including:
- Citrus fruits
All raw and cooked vegetables are allowed, including:
- Leafy greens like kale, spinach, lettuce
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
Unprocessed whole grains like:
- Brown rice
- Whole grain pasta
Nuts & Seeds
Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds are encouraged, such as:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Chia seeds
Legumes are allowed in moderation, including:
All types of sprouts are recommended, like:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Bean sprouts
- Broccoli sprouts
Herbs & Spices
Fresh and dried herbs and spices are permitted, such as:
Allowed beverages include:
- Filtered or distilled water
- Herbal teas
- Vegetable juices
- Nut milks like almond or coconut milk
Small amounts of the following unprocessed animal foods are allowed in moderation:
- Raw milk
These natural sweeteners are permitted sparingly:
- Raw honey
- Maple syrup
- Dried fruits
Foods to Avoid
The Hallelujah Diet minimizes or eliminates certain foods. These include:
- Processed meat
- Refined grains
- Refined sugar
- Fried foods
- Artificial sweeteners
Here are some specifics on foods to limit or avoid altogether:
Meat & Poultry
- Red meat like beef, pork and lamb
- Processed meats like bacon, sausage, deli meats
- Poultry like chicken and turkey
- Milk, cream, ice cream (unless raw)
- Butter and margarine
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Cheese made from pasteurized milk
- Refined grains like white bread, pasta, rice
- Pastries, cookies, cakes
Fats & Oils
- Hydrogenated oils
- Vegetable oil
- Canola oil
- Palm oil
- Energy drinks
- Refined sugar
- Artificial sweeteners
- Ice cream
- Barbecue sauce
- Salad dressings with additive ingredients
- Soy sauce
- Fast food
- Pre-made meals
- Microwave dinners
- Instant oatmeal
- Veggie burgers
- Energy bars
Here is a sample one day menu on the Hallelujah Diet:
- Green smoothie made with spinach, banana, almond milk
- Chia seed pudding with almond milk, cinnamon, berries
- Large garden salad with mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, tomato
- Apple slices
- Handful of roasted almonds
- Quinoa stir fry with broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions
- Steamed kale
- Avocado slices
- Carrots and hummus
- Green juice
- Fresh berries
- Nutrition bar made with dates, nuts, seeds
Tips for Success
Here are some tips to help you successfully follow the Hallelujah Diet:
- Eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies – aim for 85% of your diet from raw plant foods.
- Juice regularly – make fresh vegetable juices to flood your body with nutrients.
- Incorporate nuts, seeds and sprouts – they are nutrient-dense Hallelujah Diet foods.
- Limit animal protein – meat, eggs and dairy should be no more than 15% of intake.
- Read labels – avoid packaged foods with refined grains, sugar, unhealthy fats.
- Control portions – even healthy fats like nuts need to be eaten in moderation.
- Experiment with new produce – try new fruits, veggies, greens to increase variety.
- Take supplements if needed – especially digestive enzymes, probiotics and B12.
Making big changes to your diet can be challenging at first. But taking it step-by-step and making substitutions can help the transition. With some commitment and planning, the Hallelujah Diet can be followed successfully long-term.
Benefits of the Hallelujah Diet
The Hallelujah Diet has several proposed benefits, including:
- Weight loss – the fiber and water in raw plant foods can promote satiety and reduce calorie intake.
- Increased energy – carbohydrates from whole plant foods provide sustained energy.
- Improved digestion – fiber aids elimination and raw foods provide digestive enzymes.
- Disease prevention – phytonutrients in fruits and veggies have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Detoxification – the diet limits exposure to processed food additives and preservatives.
- Better immunity – carotenoids, flavonoids and vitamin C in produce boost immunity.
However, more research is needed on the diet itself to confirm these proposed health effects. But increasing plant food intake and limiting processed foods is generally encouraged for optimal health.
Downsides of the Hallelujah Diet
Some potential downsides of the Hallelujah Diet to be aware of include:
- Nutrient deficiencies – strictly plant-based diets require planning to meet needs for iron, zinc, B12, calcium, omega-3s.
- Low protein – inadequate protein intake may occur if animal foods are too restricted.
- High cost – large amounts of fresh produce, juices and certain supplements can be expensive.
- Difficulty dining out – finding Hallelujah Diet friendly restaurant options may be challenging.
- Strict rules – the diet is very limited and restrictive, increasing likelihood of quitting.
- Low calorie – some people may not eat enough calories for their needs due to the focus on low-calorie produce.
Working with a skilled nutrition professional can help optimize the diet and minimize risks. Supplements may also be warranted if restricting animal foods.
Sustainability of the Hallelujah Diet
Like most restrictive diets, the long-term sustainability of the Hallelujah Diet is low for most people. Some factors that affect sustainability include:
- Boredom – the limited food choices may cause boredom and desire for more variety.
- Social difficulties – navigating social eating situations like parties or dining out may be problematic.
- Expense – the cost of fresh produce, juicing and certain supplements can add up.
- Strict rules – the all-or-nothing approach may lead to feelings of deprivation.
- Nutrition concerns – some may struggle getting adequate protein, certain vitamins and minerals.
To improve sustainability, it may be beneficial to take a more flexible approach. For example:
- Focus on increasing fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds rather than totally eliminating animal foods.
- Aim for 60-70% of intake from plant sources rather than 85%.
- Allow moderate amounts of minimally processed grains in addition to some animal foods.
- Incorporate cooked vegetables, soups and stews for variety.
Making the diet less strict and extreme can allow it to be followed in a realistic, lasting way. Working with a dietitian knowledgeable in plant-based eating can also be helpful.
Who May Benefit from the Hallelujah Diet?
The Hallelujah Diet may provide benefits for some people, including:
- Those looking to lose weight – the fiber and water in raw produce promote fullness and reduce calorie density of meals.
- People with gastrointestinal issues – the easy digestibility of raw foods may improve digestion.
- Individuals with diabetes or metabolic syndrome – increasing produce intake can improve insulin sensitivity and markers of metabolic health.
- Those with autoimmune diseases – some report symptom relief on plant-based diets due to anti-inflammatory effects.
- People looking to lower cholesterol – soluble fiber in plant foods reduces LDL cholesterol.
- Anyone seeking an alkaline diet – fruits and veggies help promote a more alkaline pH for the body.
However, the diet may need modifications and supplements to meet nutrient needs for certain groups:
- Pregnant or nursing women – require higher protein, omega-3s, iron, choline, vitamin B12.
- Children – need adequate protein, calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin D for growth.
- Athletes – benefit from higher protein and calories for muscle repair and function.
It’s best to work with a knowledgeable nutrition expert if considering