This easy cleanse can be done between the parties, feasts, and treats that define the holiday season. The cleanse is based on fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, and raw nuts – all prepared in a way to leave you feeling warm and nourished even on the coldest of winter days. Take a look at the menu plan below: you will have cooked fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch, and soup for dinner. I also like to call this the “soup and salad cleanse.” After three easy days, you will feel light, refreshed, and ready for the next holiday party!
|Time of Day||Food Options||Cleansing Benefits*|
|Upon Waking||Warm water with fresh-squeezed lemon juice||Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant to help neutralize toxins in the body.|
|Breakfast||Steamed apples or pears and prunes. Top with cinnamon and raw walnuts or pecans.||Prunes are high in fiber that feeds beneficial gut bacteria and prevents constipation. Prunes are also high in phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants.|
|Mid-morning||Green tea or herbal tea with raw nuts and seeds||Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the small intestine, liver, and lungs.Nuts and seeds are good sources of essential fatty acids, vitamin E, protein, and minerals. Nuts are an excellent source of arginine, an amino acid that plays an important role in detoxification. Nuts keep blood sugars balanced.|
|Lunch||Mixed greens salad topped with chopped vegetables, your choice of beans, and sunflower seeds. Make a dressing with olive oil or flax oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.||Mixed greens are high in chlorophyll and vitamin K. Bitter greens like dandelion stimulate digestion and may improve liver function.Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which protects against the toxic effects of cancer-causing chemicals.|
|Mid-afternoon||Raw vegetables or fruit||Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber to promote elimination, potassium to balance electrolytes, and antioxidant vitamins to neutralize toxins.|
|Dinner||Your choice of soup (see suggested recipes below). If choosing a bean or lentil soup, serve with a steamed vegetable.||Lentils are a good source of protein, fiber, and trace minerals. They promote healthy elimination and good blood sugar balance.Vegetables in the cabbage family (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale) contain compounds that increase detoxification enzymes and exert antioxidant effects.|
|Evening||Cup of herbal tea with optional piece of fresh fruit.||Numerous herbal teas are available. Many are specifically formulated for detoxification. Choose one that you enjoy!|
Suggested soup recipes:
Choose any soup recipe that fits your fancy, but I most highly recommend bean, lentil, or vegetable soups. If you feel best eating meat, you can certainly do a homemade chicken and vegetable soup or beef stew. Here are three of my favorites:
*The information on cleansing benefits of the foods is taken from The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND.