It is common to feel overwhelmed when going into your first 2-Week Detox Program. It may seem like a lot of work, especially if you are not much of a chef and enjoy eating out. Luckily, there are a wide variety of healthy and nutritious foods to choose from that you can enjoy while cleansing your body back to optimal health.
Detoxing is not synonymous with fasting. I am an advocate for using food as medicine to help your body heal and use its natural biological processes working from the inside out. When selecting your detox foods, choose fresh organic items as locally sourced as possible.
Animal proteins, legumes, seeds, nuts, and grains are all excellent sources of protein while detoxifying your body. I recommend limiting protein to four to six ounces three times a day and not always sourcing it from animals. Seeds, nuts, quinoa, and legumes are excellent vegetarian options for protein sources. Avoid highly-processed meats, soy products, and peanuts when possible.
Although limited, dairy and cheese are acceptable during the detox program. Raw and unpasteurized are best because they have active enzymes that will not clog the liver, as pasteurized dairy products do. You will want to keep your raw dairy intake to a minimum or avoid it altogether. If you are a cheese addict, you can have raw mozzarella, cottage cheese, or goat cheese every three days but limit it to two to three tablespoons per meal. If you are dealing with a chronic illness or an inflammatory process, avoiding dairy altogether is advised.
You cannot go wrong with any green foods that you can get your hands on. Include large amounts of broccoli, spinach, celery, sprouts, cucumbers, kale, and green beans. Green foods are rich in chlorophyll that works with the body to eliminate chemical toxins, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.
Colors of the Rainbow
All vegetables are welcomed on this detox. When you sit down to a meal the more variety in color on your plate the better. It's best to have 60% of your meals be vegetables and of that 50% be eaten raw. Some of our favorites are broccoli, sprouts, asparagus, artichokes, and beets due to their powerful detoxifying properties.
Look through your cabinets and throw out any vegetable or canola oil. They are harmful to your body and shouldn’t be used to cook with, whether you are detoxing or not. These oils are highly inflammatory and the standard American diet contains high amounts of these in so many foods, especially processed.
For cooking at higher temperatures, opt for avocado oil with a smoking point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium temperatures, coconut oil can be used up to 350 degrees. When making salad dressings and for use on cold items integrate extra virgin olive, almond, and grapeseed oils into your diet. Adding variety allows you to get the benefits of healthy fats and minerals that each of these oils can offer to your body.
All herbs and spices are welcome on this journey to optimal health! Just because you are actively detoxing your body doesn’t mean that your food needs to lack flavor. However, do avoid adding seasonings that have added salt, MSG, or sugar.
You cannot go wrong with adding fresh herbs to your meals, or even to your smoothies. Parsley and cilantro are powerful additions to any meal that aids in detoxifying the body of heavy metals, chemical waste and removing toxic build-up in the kidneys. Consider adding a windowsill herb garden for ease of access to delicious fresh herbs year-round.
Enjoy cooking with bountiful amounts of garlic and onions. Their sulfur compounds enhance the liver’s detoxification pathways and are antimicrobial in nature. Garlic and onions are incredible for adding flavor to your meals without added calories and aid in killing viruses and bacteria that may exist in your gut. It is important to note: if you suffer from acid reflux or frequent heartburn, large amounts of garlic and onions may trigger a reaction. If you experience discomfort, avoid using garlic and onions for the first part of your detox until your body has had a chance to begin its healing process.