Recently, I’m noticing a lot of people are talking about cleanses. There was even an article in The New York Times that highlighted the increasing fad of juice cleansing in the office. I am definitely intrigued by the promise that juice cleanses flush the system, making you feel healthier and helping with weight loss. However, the idea of living on nothing but juices doesn’t sound all that appealing to me, especially since many of them are really expensive – $58 a day?! For juice! – so I opted for another way to cleanse. I turned to The Detox Diet; The Definitive Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, and Detox Plans by Elson M. Haas and Daniella Chace and found a more basic, less expensive and seemingly healthier way to detox. See the menu plan below, which is just one of a number of different plans featured in the book that can a be done for just one day or up to three to four weeks; you can totally do this!
2 glasses of water (filtered), 1 glass or both with the juice of half a lemon.
1 piece of fresh fruit (at room temperature), such as an apple, a pear, a banana, a citrus fruit, or some grapes. Chew well, mixing each bite with saliva.
15-30 minutes later: 1 bowl of cooked whole grains—millet, brown rice, amaranth, and quinoa are the best choices. Oatmeal may be used because it is a favorite breakfast grain for many, but it does have some congestive qualities, as do most grains. (We are avoiding the “gluten” grains of wheat, rye, and barley.) For flavoring, use 2 tablespoons of fruit juice, for sweetness, or 1 tablespoon of Better Butter (recipe below) with a little sea salt or tamari for a more savory taste.
1 to 2 medium bowls of steamed vegetables. Use a variety and include the roots, stems, and greens. For examples, potatoes or yams, green beans, broccoli or cauliflower, carrots or beets, asparagus, kale or chard, and cabbage. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dressing, such as Better Butter (see below). Be sure to chew well!
Same as lunch. If you feel fatigued or in need of protein, 3 to 4 ounces of fish, poultry, or beans can be added to this meal or, even better, at 3-4pm.
Beverage breaks for alkaline support (11am and 3pm)
Drink the water collected from steaming the vegetables. It contains many nutrients and offers a more alkaline balance for the body. A bit of veggie salt or garlic salt can be added to boost flavor. A green powder or buffered vitamin C powder can be mixed in as well.
Consume no additional foods after dinner. Drink only water and herbal teas.
Note: Eating times are relatively important, especially your last meal; finish eating at 6pm or so, or by nightfall at the latest, if your schedule can’t conform. Having that rest from food overnight is important to the detoxification process.
Better Butter spreads easily and is lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than dairy butter. Flaxseed oil can also be used. This recipe is adapted from The New Laurel’s Kitchen. Makes 32 single-tablespoon servings.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1 cup (2 sticks) organic butter, at room temperature or melted over low heat
In a glass bowl, combine the olive oil and butter until well mixed. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.