Don’t worry- you won’t be eating kale and lemon water for the next 10 days. You will live and you will enjoy your food. No need to fast. No need to go crazy. Just get ready to say ‘sayonara’ and ‘adios’ to those processed, packaged foods. You’ll need a mini pantry and fridge makeover before you get started. So say ‘au revoir’ to those shinny packages in your pantry and welcome to Real Food.
(More Sugar-Free tips and recipes in my NEW Cookbook, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body.)
This is NOT a Diet. This is about Clean Eating. My plan is a Food Cleanse and a Body Cleanse.
My plan will help you:
- Eliminate toxins from your body
- Overcome cravings for sugar and other processed foods
- Listen to your body and teach it to listen to how you react to foods
- Restore your gut health, which is connected to your entire body
- Reduce inflammation
- Identify food allergies and intolerances
What You Need:
Eat at home; fill your fridge with organic fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Create an Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Avoid inflammatory foods (wheat, gluten, dairy, fatty non-organic meats, sugar, coffee, soda, alcohol, energy drinks, processed foods. Toss the foods in your standard American diet (inflammatory and acidic) and replace them with alkaline organic vegetables, green juices, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Check out my Anti-Inflammatory Grocery Guide for more information.
Drink Up: Aim for drinking half your weight in ounces of purified water every day. Add fresh lemon to help alkalize your body.
Sleep on It: 8 hours at least! Get to bed, sleepy head.
Eat Enough: You should be eating at least 1,200 calories each day and at least 50-90 grams of protein each day (more if you have an active lifestyle). This will keep your metabolism burning and prevent your body from holding onto excess weight that occurs when you do not eat enough calories.
Chew It: Your stomach doesn’t like to see huge pieces of food. Stop talking with your mouth full and chew that food!
Stick with Clean Foods: You will not feel the amazing effects of this cleanse if you cheat and eat packaged, processed foods. Therefore sticking with whole, unprocessed foods will help your body cleanse, nourish your cells and allow your body to drop any excess weight. There are numerous ways to make this plan work for you and I’m here to help you along the way.
Remind Yourself to Eat Mindfully: Get yourself into a calm state before you start to put food into your mouth. This is tough for many of us and I too find it hard to focus on mindful eating. When I was in corporate America, I literally inhaled my food in front of my computer and I often caught myself eating mindlessly- but I just take a step back and focus on what is most important. In our busy lives, inhaling food to get to the next place seems like the right thing to do, but unfortunately it’s not. I bet you’ll be a lot more productive if you give yourself a few minutes to eat and then get back to your work. Taking this time for yourself also calms your digestive tract to ensure proper digestion without bloating and indigestion.
Don’t Fear Fat: Organic cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, hemp seed oil, walnut oil and flaxseed oil are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are important in reducing inflammation. When cooking, choose the following oils: Grapeseed, Coconut, Macadamia Nut and Avocado. Coconut oil contains anti-fungal properties and is a great oil to use if you have candida or are trying to heal your gut. Even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, a moderate amount is good for you; in it’s natural and unrefined form coconut oil is tasty and healing. When making salads, try experimenting with Macadamia Nut Oil and Avocado Oil. Aside from oils, nuts and seeds are loaded with healthy fats, minerals, protein, fiber and vitamins. You can choose from walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, ground flax seeds, almonds, pecans and sunflower seeds. You can make your own nut butter by combining raw nuts and tahini (sesame seed paste) or you can purchase a jar. Peanuts and peanut butter are usually heavily sprayed with pesticides so be sure to purchase organic peanuts and peanut butter. Always purchase raw nuts and store them in your freezer or fridge.
Fermented Fun: Naturally fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut (vinegar-free) are high in good bacteria and a great source of B vitamins. Make sure you purchase raw kimchi and sauerkraut because pasteurization kills the life, reduces the nutrient content and destroys enzymes. Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar, raw sauerkraut and white miso are great examples of fermented foods that you can purchase.
Seaweed: Seaweed is full of flavor and minerals. Many of my clients use sea vegetables as a salt replacement. Popular seaweeds include: Nori, Arame, Dulse, Hijiki and wakame. Nori is the black outer layer of sushi rolls that you have probably seen before. You can purchase all of these seaweeds online or at a health food store such as Whole Foods Market. I use nori in place of flour tortillas to wrap vegetables, avocado or sliced organic turkey. I add dulse to my salads instead of sea salt and I add wakame to miso soup. Look for organic sea vegetables in the health food store.
Season Everything: Himalayan sea salt, dulse flakes, wheat-free tamari, cinnamon, cayenne, wasabi, black pepper, rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, cilantro, curry, pumpkin pie spice, dill and ginger powder are my favorite condiments. I love Simply Organic Spices and Frontier Organic Spices; they are amazing and worth every penny. Quality herbs and spices make such a difference to food.
Veggies: A pH balanced, low-fat, anti-inflammatory lifestyle can do wonders for your body. Some of my favorites are: zucchini, peppers, asparagus, parsley, cabbage, chard, onions, garlic, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, broccoli, kale, squash, carrots, bok choy, jicama, sweet potatoes and parsnips. But I could go on forever- they’re all delicious.
Fruits: Fruits are a healthy addition to your day and low-glycemic fruits (less sweet) are better for your blood sugar. Fruit is filled with minerals, vitamins and fiber that cleanse your system. Eating fruits also is a great way to cure a sweet tooth. I recommend 2 servings a day. A few of my favorite fruits are: avocados, apples, lemons, tomatoes, berries, grapefruit, pears and limes. Try freezing grapes and enjoying them as a sweet treat!
Feed Your Soul: Take a few minutes every morning and night to jot down a few thoughts. Believe me, this will help you be honest with yourself and cleanse your mind while you cleanse your body.
It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes.