10-Day (Moderate) Cleanse

I’ve wanted to try a detoxifying cleanse for some time now, but just couldn’t wrap my head around trying to function while only consuming some purportedly magical concoction of water, lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in an attempt at pursuing the so-called  Master Cleanse. If you’re like me and lead an active and busy lifestyle, it would be nearly impossible to follow most detox programs without feeling drained or hangry the entire time.

Moderation and feasibility in mind, I’ve devised a cleanse that keeps it real and keeps you functional.  I am not a nutritionist (yet!) or doctor, but I have done my fair share of research. The first two days of this cleanse are 100% raw–intended to scrub out your digestive track the natural way–and all but the final day are in keeping with a vegan diet.

This is a great way to give your system a reset as the seasons change. That being said, while following this please listen to your body. It’s normal to feel hungry at times (especially during days 1-4), but do not starve yourself. If your body is telling you to increase portion sizes, do it. Also, WARNING: do not work out during the first two days of this cleanse as there is little to no protein. I don’t want you doing damage to your muscles. If you desperately need to exercise days 1-2, do some restorative yoga, stretching, or take a long walk. Mainly, avoid any high-impact activities, weight training, or isometric training.

THE PROGRAM:

(The meals below are guidelines. Feel free to use the fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains you like best. For example, if you can’t find kale, use any other dark leafy green.)

Day
           Allowed Suggested Meals
1 whole fruits &veggies
  • Breakfast: blueberry beet smoothie w/ grated ginger and lemon
  • Snack: apple w/ cinnamon
  • Lunch: baby arugula w/ mushrooms, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow bell peppers, carrots
  • Snack: ½ avocado w/ apple cider vinegar
  • Dinner: ½ roasted squash w/ diced onions & cayenne inside; steamed broccoli
  • Dessert: 5-6 figs (or any sweet, whole fruit)
2  whole fruits &veggies
  • Breakfast: blueberry beet smoothie w/ grated ginger and lemon
  • Snack: apple w/ cinnamon
  • Lunch: baby arugula w/ mushrooms, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow bell peppers, carrots
  • Snack: ½ avocado w/ apple cider vinegar
  • Dinner: ½ roasted squash w/ diced onions & cayenne inside; steamed broccoli
  • Dessert: 5-6 figs (or any sweet, whole fruit)
3 whole fruits &veggies; and seeds & nuts
  • Breakfast: pineapple banana kale smoothie w/ ground flaxseed
  • Snack: orange slices
  • Lunch: baby spinach, 2 tbs walnuts, 1 tbs pumpkin seeds, strawberries, mushrooms
  • Snack: ¼ cup raw almonds (unsalted)
  • Dinner: grilled eggplant, portobella mushroom, and red pepper skewers; side spinach salad w/ sunflower & pomegranate seeds (apple cider vinegar for dressing)
  • Dessert: raspberries (or any sweet, whole fruit)
4  whole fruits &veggies; and seeds & nuts
  • Breakfast: pineapple banana kale smoothie w/ ground flaxseed
  • Snack: orange slices
  • Lunch: baby spinach, 2 tbs walnuts, 1 tbs pumpkin seeds, strawberries, mushrooms
  • Snack: ¼ cup raw almonds (unsalted)
  • Dinner: grilled eggplant, portobella mushroom, and red pepper skewers; side spinach salad w/ sunflower & pomegranate seeds (apple cider vinegar for dressing)
  • Dessert: raspberries (or any sweet, whole fruit)
5 whole fruits &veggies; and seeds & nuts; and beans
  • Breakfast: mixed berries w/ 2 tbs soaked chia seeds, slivered raw almonds, and almond milk (substitutes: coconut, soy or hemp milk )
  • Snack: apple w/ cinnamon
  • Lunch: arugula w/ roasted root veggies (roasted w/ only coconut oil)—carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, red onion
  • Snack: baby carrots & homemade white-bean hummus
  • Dinner: warm lentil salad w/ chickpeas
  • Dessert: ½ mango w/ cayenne (optional)
6  whole fruits &veggies; and seeds & nuts; and beans
  • Breakfast: mixed berries w/ 2 tbs soaked chia seeds, slivered raw almonds, and almond milk (substitutes: coconut, soy or hemp milk )
  • Snack: apple w/ cinnamon
  • Lunch: baby arugula w/ roasted root veggies (roasted w/ only coconut oil)—carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, red onion
  • Snack: baby carrots & homemade white-bean hummus
  • Dinner: warm lentil salad w/ chickpeas
  • Dessert: ½ mango w/ cayenne (optional)
7  whole fruits &veggies; and seeds & nuts; and beans
  • Breakfast: mixed berries w/ 2 tbs soaked chia seeds, slivered raw almonds, and almond milk (substitutes: coconut, soy or hemp milk )
  • Snack: apple w/ cinnamon
  • Lunch: baby arugula w/ roasted root veggies (roasted w/ only coconut oil)—carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, red onion
  • Snack: baby carrots & homemade white-bean hummus
  • Dinner: warm lentil salad w/ chickpeas
  • Dessert: ½ mango w/ cayenne (optional)
8  whole fruits &veggies; and seeds & nuts; and beans; and whole grains
  • Breakfast: oatmeal (or quinoa) w/ fresh blueberries, cinnamon, 2 tbs chia seeds (or ground flaxseed) and 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Snack: orange slices
  • Lunch: kale salad w/ chickpeas
  • Snack: ½ avocado w/ apple cider vinegar
  • Dinner: warm quinoa salad w/ grilled eggplant
  • Dessert: ½ mango w/ cayenne (optional)
9  whole fruits &veggies; and seeds & nuts; and beans; and whole grains
  • Breakfast: oatmeal (or quinoa) w/ fresh blueberries, cinnamon, 2 tbs chia seeds (or ground flaxseed) and 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Snack: orange slices
  • Lunch: kale salad w/ chickpeas
  • Snack: ½ avocado w/ apple cider vinegar
  • Dinner: warm quinoa salad w/ grilled eggplant
  • Dessert: pear slices (or any sweet, whole fruit)
10  whole fruits &veggies; and seeds & nuts; and beans; and whole grains; and eggs
  • Breakfast: egg-white omelette with spinach, tomato, mushroom & spices; ½ avocado sliced
  • Snack: ½ cup mixed berries
  • Lunch: kale salad w/ chickpeas
  • Snack: ¼ cup raw almonds (unsalted)
  • Dinner: warm quinoa salad w/ 1 poached egg
  • Dessert: pear slices (or any sweet, whole fruit)

Suggested Shopping List:

  • Salad greens: baby arugula and spinach
  • Salad fixings: mushrooms, (grape) tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers (any color), carrots, avocados, and any other raw veggies you like
  • Meaty veggies: eggplant, portobello mushrooms
  • Fruits: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, oranges, mangoes, pineapple, pears, peaches, plums, figs, etc
  • Hearty greens: kale (mustard greens, collard greens and swiss chard work too)
  • Root vegetables: parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots
  • Squash: butternut and acorn
  • Nuts (all unsalted, raw): almonds and walnuts preferrably
  • Seeds (all unsalted, raw): pumpkin, sunflower, chia (whole or ground), flax (ground)
  • Whole grains: quinoa and oatmeal (other good ones include faro & barley)
  • Proteins: pinto, kidney, black, or butter beans; lentils; chickpeas; eggs
  • Flavoring: onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and any other spices you like
  • Acids: lemons, apple cider vinegar
  • Oils: coconut oil (or cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil if you can’t find that)
  • Sweeteners: maple syrup (or raw honey)
  • Beverages: unsweetened green, white, and herbal teas; water!
  • Liquids: almond, hemp, coconut or soy milk

The No-Nos:

  • Salt
  • Coffee and black tea
  • Sugar (except small quantities of maple syrup or raw honey)
  • Oils (except small quantities of coconut oil or cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil)
  • Refined Starches (a.k.a. “empty calories” like white bread)
  • Booze (sorry kids–if you need a little sauce before going out, try kombucha)

I’ll be sharing recipes and insights over the course of the next 10 days, so stay tuned!

7 Comments

  1. I am beginning this cleanse with my husband tomorrow after hearing glowing reviews from my friend Vivienne who just finished it.
    I was wondering though, does nutritional yeast fit into this equation at all?

    • Hi Cat! Great that you’re going for this and glad to hear that Vivienne liked it. As for nutritional yeast, feel free to add that in once you get to day 5. It is packed with nutrients including B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein and apparently (though I’ve never tried it) has a yummy flavor. If I were you, I would add it in the same places I add flaxmeal or chia seeds, though it sounds like it might even taste good sprinkled on the salads in lieu of salt.

      • Great, thanks!

  2. I see coffee is a “no-no” but have had a 3-5 cups habit for years. Any suggestions? I am thinking cold turkey may not be a good way to set myself up for success, but maybe that is the jolt my body needs. Maybe do two cups first day, then one cup 2nd day then go cold turkey day 3? IDK…

    • Hi Scott,

      Thanks for reaching out. It depends on the goal of your cleanse. If it is to truly detox the body I’d say use the 10 days to ween yourself off the joe. I’d go more slowly than you say. Try 3 on day 1, 2 on days 2 and 3, 1 on days 4 and 5, switch to black tea on day 6, green tea on day 7, and cold turkey for days 8-10 (when your food will be more filling and satisfying). See how you feel. It will be HARD. You will literally be in withdrawal and will likely experience some headaches and fatigue when you switch to tea, but stay strong! Ultimately, there is enough evidence out there to suggest that 1-2 cups of coffee a day is not only safe but can to your overall health. So if after doing this cleanse (and the connected caffeine experiment) you want to have one cup per day and have a cup of green tea or herbal tea when you’re looking for your next fix, I say go for it.Keep in mind that 1 cup = 8 oz, however, as most American coffee mugs hold 12 oz or more.

      If you have any further questions feel free to keep the conversation going or email me directly at moarfit@gmail.com

      Be well,
      Amy

  3. Amy,
    Thanks for the rapid response!! That does help clarify my concerns over my java addiction.
    I did have one additional question that may be beneficial info for other folks looking at this fast.
    This week, the Cleveland Clinic released a chart promoting EVOO over coconut oil.
    http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/10/olive-oil-vs-coconut-oil-which-is-heart-healthier/?utm_campaign=cc+tweets&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=210214+coconut+oil&dynid=twitter-_-cc+tweets-_-social-_-social-_-210214+coconut+oil

    What are your thoughts? What is the health benefit over coconut over olive oil? I acknowledge that strictly using the numbers, olive does trump coconut, but wasn’t sure if there were other perks like antioxidant or other metabolic/nutritional benefits to using coconut.
    Thanks again!

    Scott

  4. Hi Scott,

    My pleasure. So here’s my take on that. I think both olive oil and coconut oil have their benefits. Olive oil has been studied for a longer period of time so there’s just plain more evidence out there as to its benefits. I’m an advocate of using both in your day-to-day meal preparation. Here are 10 Evidence Based reasons why Coconut Oil is good for you: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/. When it boils down to it, though coconut oil is high in saturated fat (very high!) those sat fats are MCTs which are processed differently in the body and digested more efficiently as fuel. Used in moderation is can be a great source of energy and is said to have immune boosting effects. Every heard of bulletproof coffee? If you’re a coffee-lover and health nut like me, this might just be something you’re willing to try (post-cleanse): http://foodtrainers.blogspot.com/2013/04/you-should-drink-coffee-and-best-coffee.html.

    Amy

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