In today’s busy world, staying healthy and making the right choices for your body has become increasingly difficult. Because many of today’s food products contain artificial ingredients, your body can slowly accumulate toxins that can make you feel tired and run down. Completing a cleanse diet that consists of natural juices and special detox foods can help you effectively cleanse your internal system and restore your health.

Cleanse diets are ideal for people who lead an active lifestyle and do not want to endure the strict low-calorie guidelines of juice fasting. A cleanse diet offers many of the same benefits as juice fasting including detoxification, weight loss and improved overall wellbeing. But unlike liquid juice fast plans, cleanse detox diets allow, and even encourage, the consumption of a variety of healthy solid foods. If you are hesitant to try a liquid fast, completing a cleanse diet is a great way to introduce your body and mind to the many advantages of detoxification dieting.

How to Get Ready for Your Cleanse Diet

1. You must be in relatively good health before you can start a detox diet. If you have a serious health condition, such as anemia or diabetes, it may not be safe for you to omit certain foods. If you are unsure whether a cleanse diet is right for you, consult your doctor before moving forward.

2. Reduce your consumption of caffeine and hard-to-digest foods like red meat before you begin your cleanse diet. This will make the transition to eating a more restrictive diet easier and prevent caffeine withdrawals. You should also start cutting out deserts and artificial sweeteners at least a few days before starting your detox plan.

3. Set your own time limits. Cleanse diets typically last anywhere from three to 21 days. The length of your diet depends on your body, lifestyle and preferences. You don’t necessarily need to decide right away how long your diet needs to be. You can finish it and transition to eating other foods when you feel that you have accomplished your detox goals.

4. Plan your menu ahead of time for at least the first couple of days of your cleanse diet. Make a shopping list, and stock up on your favorite fruits and vegetables. Buying detox foods ahead of time will help you avoid the temptation to get unhealthy foods when grocery shopping during a cleanse diet.

Sample Detox Diet Plan

Breakfast

  • Homemade fruit juice or smoothie
  • Piece of fresh fruit

Lunch

  • Steamed vegetables
  • Salad with a variety of vegetables and homemade dressing (can also be dressed in olive oil)
  • Small bowl of brown rice
  • Freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice

Dinner

  • Lean animal protein (fish, chicken or turkey), grilled
  • Assorted vegetables
  • Baked chickpeas (can be spiced with cayenne pepper for additional flavor)
  • One serving of approved grains
  • Sliced fruit or fresh fruit juice for desert

Snacks (limit to one snack in between each meal)

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fresh juices and smoothies
  • Crunchy vegetables such carrots and celery
  • One serving of your favorite fruit
  • Fruit or vegetable juice

What Can You Eat During a Cleanse Diet?

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Berries – Include unsweetened cranberries. They contain a higher concentration of antioxidants than other types of fruits. Consuming antioxidants can help you strengthen your immune system and protect your body from significant health risks such as cancer.
  • Apricots
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Kiwis
  • Peaches
  • Lychees
  • Lemons and Limes
  • Grapefruits
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Mangoes
  • Prunes
  • Dried fruits – Should be used sparingly because dried fruits contain more natural sugars and calories than fresh fruits.

Vegetables

  • Artichokes
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, wakame, nori)
  • Leafy Greens (lettuce, cabbage, chard, kale, collards, bok choy, spinach, watercress, arugula)
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Legume vegetables (green beans, chickpeas, lentils, snap peas, snow peas, red beans).
  • Fruit vegetables (squash, zucchini, bell peppers, cucumbers)

Grains

  • Brown rice
  • Wehani rice
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Wheat-free sprouted grain bread
  • Oats

Lean Animal Protein

  • Fish (wild salmon, haddock, halibut, trout, cod)
  • Crustaceans (shrimp, crab, lobster)
  • Turkey
  • Chicken

Nuts

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pine nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts

Seeds

  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hemp seeds

Herbs and Spices

  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon (ground or fresh)
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Chili peppers (jalapeno, chipotle, habanero)
  • Sage
  • Ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • Basil

Oils

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Flax oil
  • Hemp oil

Beverages

  • Water
  • Fresh juices (fruit and vegetable)
  • Water mixed with honey or lemon
  • Herbal teas

What Food Should You Avoid During Your Cleanse Diet?

  • Corn
  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Foods that contain wheat
  • Sweeteners including sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup (avoid products that are sweetened with sugar such as jams and jellies. If you want to eat a fruit spread, make it yourself out of your favorite fresh fruits)
  • Condiments including mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sauces and bottled salad dressings (make your own dressing with approved ingredients)
  • Chocolate and other processed deserts (substitute with fresh fruit)
  • Margarine and butter
  • Alcohol
  • Soda
  • Caffeinated beverages including energy drinks, coffee, and teas (can be substituted with caffeine-free herbal teas)

Savory snacks such as chips or pretzels (replace with nuts)

How to Finish Your Cleanse Diet

1. Avoid the temptation to eat the same type of foods you were eating before you started your cleanse diet. Take your accomplishment as an opportunity to change the way you eat and start making healthier choices.

2. Finish your diet safely by slowly adding in other types of foods and using different cooking techniques to prepare your meals. Wait a week until you reintroduce red meat, dairy and wheat into your diet. Try to avoid going back to using artificial sweeteners and eating products that contain a lot of salt or sugar.