As the New Year begins we think about how to make the coming year more productive and enjoyable. Many people plan a vacation, start a diet, join a gym, quit smoking, or take up a new hobby. Health is critical to feeling happy and having the energy to enjoy the benefits of living in sunny Arizona. A detox diet is an easy way to shed some pounds and cleanse your system of the chemicals that are all around us and in the food that we eat.
If you are considering a diet, take a look at our program. We have specialized supplements that work with the diet. This program is not about starving yourself. You can still eat a satisfying meal but by eating the right type of foods and adding our supplements you will sleep better, feel energized, and more focused as you start the New Year off right!
Take the Detox Diet Quiz
Before finding out more about what the diet entails, become familiar with the possible symptoms of toxicity by taking the Detox Screening Quiz.
-I often feel tired, sluggish, or lethargic.
-I have difficulty concentrating or staying focused.
-I catch colds easily.
-I usually have bad breath.
-I tend to get congested, stuffed-up, or post-nasal drip.
-I have unpleasant body odors when I’m not using deodorant or perfume.
-I often have bloating, gas or indigestion after eating.
-I usually have dark circles under my eyes.
-I have allergies.
-I have eczema, acne, or psoriasis.
-I often go for more than one day without having a bowel movement.
-I’m a current or former smoker, or I spend time regularly around other smokers.
-I usually drink less than three cups of water a day.
-I usually eat meat two times or more a day.
-I tend to get bloated or puffy.
-I eat less than 1 serving of green vegetables a day (1 serving= 1/2 cup cooked)
If you answered yes to more than five of these statements, you may benefit from a good detox program.
What to Eat on the 7-Day Detox Diet
1) What to Eat Before the Diet – Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee and sugar, should be phased out before starting the diet in order to avoid headaches and other reactions. Find out how to prepare for a detox.
2) Foods to Eat – Here is a list of foods to eat during a 7-day detox diet.
A detox diet is short, focused diet program focused on eliminating environmental and dietary toxins from your system. Although there are many types of detox diets, the foods that are allowed are often quite similar, unless it is a juice fast. Buy Organic whenever possible to avoid additional toxins.
Foods to Include:
fresh or frozen fruits
unsweetened, natural juice
dried fruit – unsweetened, in limited amounts, such as cranberries, dates, raisins, goji berries
Vegetables thought to be particularly good detox foods include broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, onions, garlic, artichokes, beets, and dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and swiss chard
sea vegetables, including kelp, nori sheets, wakame
corn – avoid corn as it is acid-forming
note: some people are sensitive to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, and may wish to avoid them
Grains and Starches
rice, especially brown rice
whole grains are preferred, but products these may be allowed, such as brown rice pasta, pure buckwheat noodles, rice crackers, and gluten-free bread
Beans and Legumes
split yellow and green peas
Nuts and Seeds
hemp seeds, hemp nuts
coconut, especially young coconuts
nut and butters made only with allowed ingredients
Choose unsalted, raw nuts and seeds.
cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
safflower, sesame, and sunflower oils in limited amounts (due to omega-6 fatty acids)
Avoid all Dairy!
“milks” made from allowed foods, such as rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk
coconut milk – except canned coconut milk
unsweetened juice made from allowed fruits and vegetables
mineral or seltzer water – in limited amounts
brown rice syrup
real maple syrup
black strap molasses
apple cider vinegar
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
miso – small amounts
lemons and limes
fresh and dried herbs and spices
cacao powder and cacao nibs
mustard (check ingredients for sweeteners)
wheat-free tamari – in limited amounts
Detox diets differ on the question of whether to include animal protein. If it is included, allowed foods may include:
organic chicken, preferably pastured
wild, cold-water fish, such as Alaskan salmon
wild game, such as venison, buffalo, ostrich
Daily Detox Do’s
Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day
Take the time to chew food well
3) Foods to Avoid – A list of foods to exclude on a 7-day detox diet.
A detox diet is a focused, short-term diet to promote the elimination of unwanted chemicals and environmental and dietary toxins from the body. Although detox diets vary, here is a list of foods often avoided.
Dairy Products and Eggs
Wheat and products containing wheat, such as pasta and bread (unless Gluten-free).
any white sugar
any brown sugar
high-fructose corn syrup
evaporated cane juice
All gluten-containing grains, including wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, kamut, couscous, bran, and farina
soy protein powder
Coffee and Caffeinated Beverages
4) Sample Menu Plan – Although meals made from any of the allowed detox foods are okay, it helps to have a sample menu plan with ideas on what to make.
Drink a glass of lukewarm, filtered water with lemon.
A typical breakfast consists of at least 50 percent fruit or vegetable (such as baked sweet potato or green vegetable juice). Ideas for breakfast include:
Fresh berries or other fresh fruit
Gluten-free bread with avocado or raw nut butter
Gluten-free cooked cereals
Herbal tea, spice tea, or green or white tea
Snack ideas include:
10 to 15 raw almonds
Apple or pear, sliced, with 1 tablespoon raw almond butter
Piece of fruit
Carrot, celery and/or cucumber sticks with hummus
Unsalted gluten-free crackers (such as rice crackers or Mary’s Gone Crackers) with guacamole or hummus
Smoothie made with allowed foods
Green vegetable juice
A typical lunch on a detox diet consists of approximately 60 to 80 percent vegetables, preferably raw, such as greens, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and hemp seeds. You can then fill the other 20 to 40 percent in with other plant foods, such as cooked chickpeas, steamed broccoli, gluten-free grains such as rice or quinoa, baked sweet potato, or steamed fish (if you eat meat).
A salad is an easy, packable detox lunch. Assemble a bowl or plate based on the ratios above. Make a simple dressing using 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, and an optional 1 teaspoon of fresh-chopped herbs. Other lunch ideas include:
Chickpeas and vegetables seasoned with turmeric, ginger, and cumin
Salad with choice of vegetables, such as arugula, cucumbers, onions, and steamed beets.
Kale salad with pine nuts and cranberries
Try for a dinner that is 60 to 80 percent vegetables. An easy dinner is a Buddha bowl. You don’t have to follow a recipe to make one, just combine 1 cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa, 1 to 2 teaspoons of an allowed oil such as extra-virgin olive oil, vegetables, beans and legumes, seeds and seasonings, such as chickpeas, spinach or kale, steamed broccoli, avocado, hemp or chia seeds, or seaweed. Other dinner ideas include:
Portobello mushroom cap, brushed with olive oil and baked or lightly sauteed
Steamed kale sprinkled with pine nuts and tossed in lemon juice and olive oil
Brown rice or quinoa
Steamed salmon with fresh herbs and lemon with bok choy
Vegetable curry with brown rice
Black bean salad with quinoa
Thai cashew vegetables with quinoa
There are many types of detox diets, from juice fasts to detoxes that allow three meals per day. While it may be tempting to make a drastic change by trying a fasting diet, sometimes simple changes such as drinking more fluids, eating more vegetables, or eliminating wheat can have a profound effect on how we feel. The key is to choose the diet that best matches a person’s health, energy level, and lifestyle.
Other Steps to a Detox Diet Plan
Diet is just one component of any well-designed detox diet. In addition with an eating plan, there are other important steps:
1) Enhance Circulation
A lack of physical activity can result in poor circulation of blood and lymph fluid, which can have a negative effect on health and impair detoxification and immune function. The best way to get blood flowing is to exercise. Contrast showers and dry skin brushing are also great because they can be integrated into your regular shower.
2) Promote Elimination
When toxins that are stored in our cells are mobilized, they travel to our blood and must be eliminated from the body through feces, urine, or sweat or they can be reabsorbed and recirculated in our systems. Sometimes our organs of elimination are sluggish because we don’t move (and therefore don’t sweat), are constipated, or don’t drink enough water. Ways to increase elimination include: foods that prevent constipation, herbal laxatives such as senna tea or cascara, increased fluid intake, colonics, or enemas.
3) Improve Digestion
Promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, so that it can keep potentially harmful bacteria in check, otherwise “bad” bacteria can produce toxins that damage the intestinal lining, are absorbed into the bloodstream, and injure cell membranes in the body. The detox diet can often provide the nutrients needed to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics can also be supplemented.
Most detox diets call for the removal of foods people are often sensitive to, such as wheat and gluten. A properly chosen diet supports the liver by providing it with protein, antioxidants, vitamin, and other nutrients so that it can detoxify efficiently. Supplements can also be taken, such as protein powder and vitamins, antioxidants, herbs for the liver, or detox teas.
4) Mind/Body Wellness
Stress can impair the body’s detoxification systems and lead to digestive ailments, impaired immunity, and have wide-ranging effects on health. A detox diet is a time not just to let the body heal, but to allow the mind to rest. Try to incorporate mind/body practices into your detox, such as diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation.
Please call our office with questions or if you would like to get started on the program.