As a former editor for Herbs for Health magazine (now rolled into the Herb Companion magazine) I’ve read a lot about spring cleanses or “detox” diets. There are mixed professional opinions about cleansing. Some say they are a healthy way to give our bodies a break from the daily deluge of toxins we face, while others say our bodies are naturally efficient detoxing machines and limiting our diets to a “detox menu” is unnecessary. If professionals can’t decide, I surely don’t know the answer. But I do know that it is smart to limit the amount of toxins that we put in our bodies every day, and we can do that by eating fewer processed foods, sugars and refined white flour. To that end, we included a healthy, gentle detox menu in the March/April issue (on newsstands now) that includes sensible light eating. Whether it helps our bodies “detox” or simply gives us a jumpstart on a new healthier menu for spring, this eating plan is safe and healthy to try for a week. You can read much more about this diet, as well as a professional herbalist’s take on cleansing in our article. Get a liver cleansing tea recipe here, which you can drink while eating this diet or alone to help rev up liver function.
One Week Detox Diet
Upon rising: Drink two glasses filtered water—one glass with half a lemon squeezed in.
Breakfast: Eat one piece organic fresh fruit such as apple, pear, banana, grapes (about a cup) or citrus fruit.
15 to 30 minutes later: Eat one bowl cooked organic whole grains, specifically millet, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa or buckwheat. Flavor grains with 2 tablespoons organic fruit juice for a sweet taste, or add a teaspoon of “Better Butter” with a little salt or tamari.
11 a.m.: Drink one to two cups veggie water, saved from steamed vegetables. Add sea salt or kelp and drink slowly.
Lunch (noon to 1 p.m.): Eat one to two medium bowls steamed organic vegetables such as potatoes, yams, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, asparagus, chard, kale and cabbage. Use a variety and include roots, stems and greens.
3 p.m.: Same as 11 a.m. Same as lunch
Dinner (5 to 6 p.m.):
Evening: Herbal teas only
This eating plan is by Dr. Elson Haas.