Plant-Based Detox Basics
Each week of this plan varies, from what you eat and also when. This detox is meant to be affordable. It should be flexible based on where you live, and your kitchen equipment, schedule, and budget. Say goodbye (for just a few weeks!) to soda, sugary drinks, processed foods, refined white foods such as white bread, white rice, white sugar, and animal products. Instead, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, certain grains, nuts, seeds, delicious simple plant-based meals, and natural sweeteners.
The goal is not to deprive, but to provide your body with an abundance of nutrients to boost your energy, promote healing, and clear away toxins.
If you don’t already, you may wish to use a few supplements. Vitamin D3+K2, magnesium, omega-3’s, and probiotics are all great for reduction of inflammation and improved systems function.
Stay hydrated by drinking 64 ounces (1 gallon) of water each day. Water is essential to help your body breakdown and release toxins.
Get stocked. I suggest green, ginger, chamomile, and fennel teas to enhance the detox.
Eating, drinking, and movement can realign your bodily systems and energy to the shifting flow of dark and light that comes with the change of seasons.
In the morning
Drink 16 ounces of water shortly after waking. Add lemon, lime, cucumber, mint, or other herbs if you have time or don’t like the taste of water. This helps flush your kidneys and is key to the detox. It my also help spend 5-15 minutes stretching, meditating, or journaling.
In the beginning 2 phases, have breakfast within two hours of waking up. No exceptions. If you’re not a breakfast person, perhaps it helps to let go of the idea of a typical SAD breakfast. A breakfast can be quite small and simple. Whatever will fit your busy day. In the 3rd phase, this will change.
Snacks should happen about 2 hours after and 2 hours before you next meal. Having healthy snacks on hand will be key to making this work for you. You may need to be prepared with snacks unless you live or work in an area where those things are easy to get.
Midday and Evening Meal
Meals should happen every 4-5 hours. Aim for a lunch that is larger than your dinner. Between meals, herbal teas can be used to help enhance detox and enliven your body, or to curb appetite if you do not have food available.
Activity and Movement
You should aim for 60-90 minutes of physical activity throughout your day. If seated for over 30 minutes, be sure to take a break to encourage lymph circulation. Moderate to high intensity physical activity or exercise, something that gets your heart rate up and cause you to break a sweat, will help to further flush your body of toxins. A basic guideline is to aim for:
- At least 10 consecutive minutes of moderate to high intensity activity at a time
- If daily, aim for 20 minutes per session
- If every other day, aim for 45 minutes per session
Phase 1: Days 1-10
Meat, chicken, turkey, seafood. All oils/fats except for higher quality kinds such as ghee, extra virgin olive oil, and cold pressed coconut oil. Processed foods and white sugar.
Vegetables and vegetable juices, herbs, fruits. Nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados. Beans and legumes. Whole grains and starchy vegetables. Sweeteners should be natural, like raw honey, 100% maple syrup, and blackstrap molasses. Drink a gallon of water daily.
Phase 2: Days 11-20
Above plus cheese, milk, white rice, white potatoes, wheat foods, refined grains.
Above plus increase focus on beans, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables. Whole grains like non-GMO corn, quinoa, amaranth, oats. High fiber root vegetables like sweet potato, yam, yucca. Continue using plain/naturally sweetened yogurt or kefir, if you’d like. Increase intake of herbs and herbal teas.
Phase 3: Days 21-27
Above plus eggs, soy protein that is not fermented or sprouted, any remaining dairy products.
Fruits only for breakfast. Can be taken as smoothie. Shift to intermittent fasting — 16 hours per day no eating, with an 8 hour eating window. For example, eating only between 8am-4pm, or 12pm and 8pm. Do not eat later than 8pm unless your work a late or night shift. Try to eat more raw foods.
Phase 4: Fruit Fast
Pick one day of the last phase to do a Mono Fast. This means, pick one fruit to eat throughout the day. You can still use herbal teas throughout the day.
After your one-day fast, easy gently back into other foods, as you were eating in phase 3, for a day or two. Based on how you feel, you can get back to your regular diet, or decide what is right for you.
That’s it! Please do let me know if you try this detox, and how it goes for you.