It took years of studies by Dr Ewa Dąbrowska, hundreds of testimonies of people healed from a range of ailments, and a few celebrities to really popularize the fruit and vegetable diet in Poland and beyond its borders. It is a type of detoxification of the organism that is based on radical deprivation of energy intake: the daily limit should not exceed 600 kcal, so that a thing called endogenous feeding can kick off.

Endogenous feeding, or 'substitute internal nutrition', is a mode of functioning when the body starts to devour itself, starting with the least needed tissues and elements. First, it gets rid of excess of water, so all the swellings disappear, then it takes care of fat stores, blood clots and all the dead and defective cells, giving way to fresh and healthy ones.

Although there is a substantial weight loss, Dr Dąbrowska's fast is not a typical weight reduction diet and the yo-yo effect is to be expected, if no permanent changes in one's eating habits are undertaken. However, the list of other benefits would not fit in this article. Fasting helps to stabilize blood pressure, normalize sugar levels, strengthen veins and arteries, regulate the work of the digestive system. What are the results? Longer life, diminishing the development of civilization diseases, healthier hair, skin, and nails, more energy, clearer thoughts, calmer emotions, and better sleep, to name just a few.

To achieve this type of results, one needs to fast between two and six weeks, no more. Be really careful in the first three days, as your body will not take the switch to internal nutrition too lightly. Most of the foods are forbidden: you can only eat most vegetables (but not potatoes or beans!), preferably raw, and a couple of fruits, like apples and grapefruits. After the end of the fast, it would be too much of a shock to for the organism to start eating normally right away, so coming out of it should take at least as long as the diet itself. During that time, one should slowly add other products one by one each day. Of course, if one suffers from any serious illnesses, they should consult their doctor before trying the fruit and vegetable diet. Pregnant and nursing women are completely forbidden to do it.

As the effects of Dr Dąbrowska's diet reach beyond the body, but to the mind and soul as well, in recent years, it has become extremely popular among Polish Christians to go on 'Daniel's fast', which is a type of religious retreat where the fruit and vegetable diet is mixed with prayer and contemplation, in order to achieve a deep renewal of body and soul. It seems like a good recommendation for at least a part of Lent.