For many people, the thought of doing a detox diet can be overwhelming. This probably stems from the fact that there is such a broad spectrum of detox diets out there and a laundry list of do's and don'ts to match. Some of them require fasting (eating nothing at all), while others suggest following a diet of only raw foods or an extremely limited selection of foods.
In my experience, it is very difficult for most people to stick with these types of detox diets, because they are too restrictive in contrast to normal everyday eating. They have the potential to backfire by leaving the person feeling completely deprived, fatigued, miserable, and in the long run defeated if they can't complete the cleanse successfully. For those people who can follow a 30 day raw foods diet or who can handle going Vegan, my hat is off to you for your willpower! I do think it's worth mentioning, however, that while fasting and going raw can have benefits, there are many other foods that contain important nutrients which are eliminated completely when following one of these more extreme detox diets. I think it's also worth mentioning that if you are only drinking water with lemon and cayenne pepper for 30 days, it WILL slow your overall metabolic rate, something no one wants. Sorry Beyonce, but that is just a fact!
So where does that leave the rest of us? Maybe you have just been dining out a little too often or maybe you've been eating poorly for years. Maybe you are just looking for something to give you a kick start to healthier eating and get back onto the healthy train after being off for a while. Even for those who do maintain a fairly healthy diet, there can be an imbalance in many of the foods that are manufactured and sold in grocery stores. In a carb and convenience obsessed society, gluten and sugar are a couple of the biggest offenders. You may be experiencing gluten overload without even knowing it.
That is why I wanted to share with you my current 7 Day Cleanse Food List. Years ago, I did a Complete Body Cleansing Program from GNC and loved the food list they included as a guide. They charge $40 for their program complete with herbal supplements to cleanse your kidneys, liver, and digestive system. However, I'll be honest....you don't need to pay $40 to do a cleanse on your own with fresh whole foods that will automatically work on their own to cleanse your body and give you a fresh start to better eating and well-being. Of course, you should drink plenty of water every day too. I recommend 3-4 L minimum.
This 7 Day Cleanse Food List limits processed foods, toxins and chemicals which are found too abundantly in the typical Western diet. It focuses instead on fresh and organic choices, lean meats, high fiber and non-processed foods. This is one detox diet that is DOABLE without making you go crazy! Really, it's just a good guide for clean healthy eating all around. I have altered GNC's food list slightly (eliminating red meat altogether and adding in egg whites and almond milk as options).
Print it, shop with it, and do it for an entire week, month, or longer if you wish. If nothing else, it will open your eyes to the ingredients and foods that you are currently eating and will force a little creativity into your kitchen. You might even discover that you feel better by excluding certain foods from your diet, and have improved energy, attitude, and sense of well-being as a result. Try it and let me know what you think!