What is the Daisy Cutter Diet? 

By Beau Berman
July 22, 2021

I Tried Joel Greene's Daisy Cutter Protocol for a Day and Here's What Happened

The term “Daisy Cutter” actually makes me think back to high school, when we were learning about the war, bombs, political advertising, and fear mongering.

According to Wikipedia, a Daisy Cutter is a type of fuse designated to detonate an aerial bomb at or above ground level.

Basically, it detonates the bomb when it touches the ground or any solid object. The BLU-82 weapon system was nicknamed “Daisy Cutter” in Vietnam because it could flatten entire sections of forest.

Pretty gruesome.

The other "Daisies" that come to mind are from a 1964 television ad on behalf of a presidential campaign.

THE "DAISY" AD OF 1964

  • President Lyndon Johnson ran a now-famous television spot in 1964 that changed the way campaigns would promote candidates. The ad depicted a 3-year-old girl as she plucked daisy petals from a field. 
  • The ad is described here by Smithsonian Magazine: 

    On September 7, 1964, a 60-second TV ad changed American politics forever. A 3-year-old girl in a simple dress counted as she plucked daisy petals in a sun-dappled field. Her words were supplanted by a mission-control countdown followed by a massive nuclear blast in a classic mushroom shape. The message was clear if only implicit: Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was a genocidal maniac who threatened the world’s future. Two months later, President Lyndon Johnson won easily, and the emotional political attack ad—visceral, terrifying, and risky—was made.
  • The innovation was not negative advertising, per se. It was, rather, to help make emotions (primarily, fear) a staple of political spots. By 1968, political ads—by other agencies—were also transformed.1

So when I hear “Daisy Cutter” the first thing that comes to mind is a vicious nuclear bomb.

Something meant to just BLOW THINGS UP. 

Joel Greene, author of The Immunity Code, a book about peak health, dieting, and supplementation, has created a protocol with the same name: “Daisy Cutter.”

Perhaps the title comes from the goal of the protocol, which is to completely and rapidly recolonize your gut bacteria.

Essentially, the goal is to "blow up" your current gut bacteria situation, and start over, with more beneficial bacteria. 

The Daisy Cutter Diet is INTENSE 

Greene says the Daisy Cutter protocol is so intense that it should only be done once a year. In his book, he suggests following the eating regimen for a minimum of one day and a maximum of 7 days at a time. But he says the longer it’s followed, the more progress you will achieve.

According to an interview Greene did with Ben Greenfield, the Daisy Cutter protocol is “not for the faint of heart — only do it if you’re prepared physically and mentally.”2

In fact, he doesn’t recommend that his readers try the Daisy Cutter right away.

Greene prefers that people start with his “Apple Peels and HMO” protocol and his “Two-Day Core” protocol prior to trying the Daisy Cutter.

"I would not do that (Daisy Cutter) upfront. It's very brutal. The daisy cutter is something to do like kind of once. It's just kind of like a thing you do to prove to yourself how powerful retuning the gut is. And I've gotten a lot of feedback since Ben's original show, most of it, 90% of it is Ben's super positive and people having these astounding results. It's like anything else. There's no 100% solution. Nothing works for everybody. So, there was a 10% where it just didn't work for. But it's a great protocol to get measurable effects by retuning the gut. You'll see massive drops in body fat, your poop stops smelling, it comes out real easy. And so, it's kind of like something that you could do. I would say like it's something that most to do once a year,” Greene told Greenfield on the podcast.

My Attempt at The Daisy Cutter Protocol 

I felt like I was prepared so I decided to try the Daisy Cutter diet protocol for myself this week, to see how I would feel.

[VIDEO: My experience with the Daisy Cutter Protocol]

What’s the point of it?

Greene says the goal is “massive recolonization overnight.”

The goal he says, is “to prove to yourself how quickly the gut can be totally recolonized.”

Greene writes that his Daisy Cutter diet involves three things: 

  • Lots of bulk from cellulose-laden foods like raw green beans 
  • Lots of protein 
  • Little to no fat

The first step is to go grocery shopping.

Here is what you need to buy if you want to try the Daisy Cutter diet yourself:

  • Egg Whites (amount equivalent to 16-24 eggs) 
  • Raw Green Beans (amount to fill 1 to 1.5 full dinner plates) 
  • Onions (optional) 
  • Capers (optional) 
  • Pesto (optional) 
  • Spinach or Kale (enough to a huge salad — mixing bowl size) 
  • Raw Asparagus
  • Raw Cauliflower 
  • Raw Broccoli 
  • Green Beans 
  • Bok Choy 
  • Tomatoes
  • Feta Cheese (small amount) 
  • Chicken Breasts, Tuna, or Turkey 
  • Garbanzo Beans (to replace the meats if you are vegetarian and the eggs if you are vegan)
  • Fat-Free Vinaigrette Salad Dressing 

Alright — you’ve done your grocery shopping and it’s the morning of Daisy Cutter Day 1.

So what do you actually eat, and how?

Here’s the outline of the meals, which are quite simple:

BREAKFAST

  • 8 to 12 egg whites (can add thin layer of pesto for flavor) 
  • ½ to ¾ plate of raw green beans 
  • Optional: onions and capers 

LUNCH

  • Giant spinach or kale salad (big enough to fill a giant mixing bowl) 
  • Raw broccoli
  • Raw cauliflower 
  • Green beans 
  • Bok Choy 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Feta Cheese (small amount) 
  • Chicken Breasts, Tuna, Turkey or Garbanzo Beans 
  • Fat Free Vinaigrette Dressing 

DINNER

  • 8 to 12 egg whites (can add thin layer of pesto for flavor) 
  • ½ to ¾ plate of raw green beans 
  • Optional: onions and capers 
  • Note: This is an exact repeat of breakfast
Daisy Cutter Diet Breakfast of Eggs and Green Beans

So how did it go for me?

Breakfast was not too bad. I ate breakfast at approximately 9:30 a.m. The sheer volume of green beans and eggs was A LOT.

I garnished the eggs with fresh pesto from Wegman’s, which was actually pretty delicious. I ate the green beans raw as instructed.

I did also have about 25 ounces of cold brew coffee with the breakfast and lots of cold water.

Lunch was also manageable. I think it helped that I didn’t eat lunch until 4:00 pm. so I was quite hungry and willing to eat almost anything by that point.

I had some pre-grilled chicken breasts from the day before that were delicious and the dressing helped to make the salad more appetizing. The raw broccoli and raw cauliflower were not … delicious. But they were tolerable.

I despise raw tomatoes so I skipped those and I ran out of time to add the Bok Choy so I skipped that too. But everything else was in my salad and it was quite large.

Dinner was probably the hardest part of the day because I don’t love eating eggs for dinner. Plus, you’re consuming a LOT of eggs. I probably had about 17 eggs during the single day of my Daisy Cutter protocol and probably something like 50 to 60 raw green beans, if not more.

Daisy Cutter Diet Lunch of salad with raw veggies

The Results 

Tangibly, I felt more energetic throughout the day and had to do two bowel movements between breakfast and dinner, which was more than usual. Intangibly, I’m assuming there was some change in my gut bacteria if I’m to believe Joel Greene.

But overall, I didn’t feel radically different, so the Daisy Cutter protocol was a bit of a let down for me. I will admit, that Greene suggests following it for three days to feel the full effect.

By comparison, I felt much stronger results when I followed Greene’s Apple Peel and HMO (human milk oligosaccharide) protocol a few months ago. I started with red apple peels each morning for a few days and then added in Layer Origin Nutrition PureHMO® Prebiotic capsules each morning as well. Within just 2-3 days I noticed much healthier bowel movements, more energy, and dramatically less gas.

Should You Try the Daisy Cutter Protocol?

I do think it’s worth trying the Daisy Cutter diet just to see how it impacts you individually. We all have different baseline diets and baseline gut bacteria compositions. Thus, you never know how a diet will affect one person versus another.

Greene promotes the diet as a way to quickly wipe out and repopulate your gut bacteria. He believes that food (fiber) is the best way to alter your gut bacteria and theorizes that it is so powerful because of how bulky it is when it moves through your system.

Greene uses the analogy of a pipe cleaner to describe the way that food can clear out your system from a 360-degree perspective.

Is the Daisy Cutter Protocol Safe?

There does not appear to be anything inherently dangerous about the Daisy Cutter protocol. Every food that you are instructed to eat is a natural whole food (save for maybe the pesto and dressing, which are combinations of whole foods, mostly).

I will say, that when I tried another one of Joel Greene’s quick-fix diet protocols I had a very strange result. I ate a whole grapefruit and two semi-green bananas for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner. Greene warned that you may have trouble falling asleep the night after doing this diet, because of how it spikes B-vitamin production. I assumed that he was exaggerating. But lo and behold, it was midnight and then 1:00 a.m. and I still could not fall asleep. I did not feel tired at all. It was truly amazing because usually I fall asleep rather easily and quickly.

So, you can never be sure how your body will react to a sudden and drastic change in diet, but even with that being stated, there is not anything truly unnatural about the foods within the Daisy Cutter protocol.

On page 256 of The Immunity Code, Greene cautions that “This is not for anyone with existing gut issues.” He states that the Daisy Cutter is only for those with normal digestion.

He admits that it is “not fun” but says it works rapidly. Greene suggests trying the Daisy Cutter for one day at first and then adding an extra day or two depending on how the first day plays out.

He does say that the longer you do it, the more powerful the results.

Greene says he once followed the Daisy Cutter diet for seven straight days in 2007.

How Did Joel Greene Devise the Daisy Cutter Protocol?

It’s not entirely clear how Joel Greene came up with any of this method and recommendations.

Greene has a website called VEEP Nutrition (The Visual Eating and Exercise Program), which provides nutritional consulting to organizations such as the YMCA and various health-related companies.

He says he served as a consultant for Quest Nutrition several years ago as well. Greene is also a friend of Robert Reames, the head trainer for The Dr. Phil Show. Reames appears to be Greene’s partner in VEEP Nutrition.

Greene told Ben Greenfield that he had a deep interest in nutrition since he was a child and got into body building. He told Greenfield that he noticed his weight fluctuating and decided that he wanted to learn the true physiology and function of the human body for the purposes of immunity, muscle building, and weight loss.

In The Immunity Code, Greene repeatedly talks about reaching your “peak human” levels of health.

He believes that health always comes back to immunity and the microbiome.

How Did  the Daisy Cutter work for YOU?

If you have tried the Daisy Cutter protocol and would like to share your results, I’d love to hear about how it went for you.

Email me at BeauB@LayerOrigin.com to share your story. 

References

1. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-daisy-ad-changed-everything-about-political-advertising-180958741/

2. https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/transcripts/transcript-crohns-disease/

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