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Your Guide To A Healthy 5 Day Detox

healthy chicken

For the last couple of weeks, we've been thankful, celebrated Holy miracles and marked the end of the secular calendar. We gathered with family, friends and coworkers around the table, sharing love, good conversation, and delicious food and drink; but who are we fooling? We also shared the imminent need to unbuckle our belts at the end of the meals and the urge to take a long, comatose nap.

Comes January, we're tired, bloated, sluggish, and feeling off. Isn't it then the perfect time to press the reset button, support our body and get its vitality back?

Helping our organs detoxify means removing burdening substances, while providing the right compounds --such as fiber, water, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants and other nutrients--that our liver, kidneys, colon and skin need to do their cleansing jobs smoothly and to get rid of what we don’t need.

Try it out for five days, and see how you feel. Who knows, you might even want to keep it going for longer!

Here's how it works:

For five days, avoid:

  • gluten (wheat, spelt, rye, barley. Use "tamari" soy sauce when using this condiment to avoid the presence of wheat)
  • dairy
  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • refined sugar
  • artificial sweeteners
  • over-processed food (don't eat anything that has ingredients you can't picture in your head as food)

For five days, do:

  • Make sure you drink 8 cups of water (preferably between meals).
  • Eat lots of vegetables of as many colors as you can: try filling up your plate 75% full with steamed, raw, and/or roasted veggies or soups. The remaining 25% of your plate should have good quality protein and a bit of good fats. Try to eat a brassica vegetable (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, arugula, radishes, kohlrabi, cabbage, etc) and raw garlic every day. They are really powerful detoxifiers!
  • Enjoy fresh fruit, especially in the morning (whole fruit is better than fruit juice)
  • Eat good quality protein: eggs*, chicken*, turkey*, beef*, wild fish* (avoid tuna and farmed fish), beans, lentils, organic tofu or tempeh.
  • Consume good quality fats: avocado (fruit and oil), coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Avoid vegetable or grain oils, and nix margarine.
  • Substitute sugar for raw honey, pure maple syrup or coconut sugar (or nectar) and only use them sparingly.
  • Choose whole, gluten free grains and pseudo-grains such as quinoa, forbidden rice or brown rice, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, etc, eating them only in moderation.
  • Try eating as many of these detoxing foods as you can: artichokes, apples, almonds, beets, lemons, green veggies, garlic, sea weeds, brassica vegetables and broccoli sprouts, cilantro, parsley and other fresh herbs, berries, fennel, and spices such as turmeric and cinnamon.

*preferably pastured

Get started with some delicious options:

detox salad

Each one of the ingredients of this dish provides our body with amazing compounds needed during different stages of detoxing. Rich in phytochemicals, beets are great blood purifiers and overall body cleansers, while pineapple contains bromelain, a cleansing enzyme that improves digestion. Besides supplying fiber, fennel is a great source vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that plays a key role in detox. With a long list of nutrients, phytochemicals and soluble fiber, apples are great detoxifiers. Arugula, and the rest of the brassica family contain high amounts of glucosinolates, which are converted in the body into two types of compounds that stimulate the liver's detoxification pathways. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, which is key to flushing mercury out of our body, and protecting our cells from damage. Kombucha is a fermented tea rich in probiotics, antioxidants and enzymes. It can be made at home or purchased at health food stores. Raw apple cider vinegar has many compounds, among them enzymes and prebiotics, and is alkalizing (yes, despite it's acidic pH). This is a very flexible recipe, so feel free to add more veggies to it if you feel like it, and although I give you specific plating interactions, feel free to plate it as you like!

healthy chicken

Lemongrass, garlic, lemons, ginger, turmeric, cilantro, cinnamon, are all phytochemical and digestive powerhouses. They've been coveted for centuries for their antioxidant, antiiflammatory, disease fighting and cleansing medicinal properties. And the best part is, that they aren't only healthful, but delicious, as they lend their fragrance, pungency, flavor, color and deliciousness to this comforting, but sophisticated chicken dish. The slow cooker allows the flavors to develop beautifully, and gives you a break from the kitchen, but if you are shorter on time, place everything in a Dutch oven and cook covered in a 375 F oven for about 45 min to 1 hour. I usually double up the recipe and freeze one for the following week.

Find some other detox friendly recipes in JOK in the following links (just make sure that if any of them call for soy sauce, use tamari--a wheat free version:

An InLinkz Link-up