New Year, New You Detox: Week 1–Get the Junk Out

Imagine waking up without an ache or pain, cruising through your day with energy and ending it by enjoying a refreshing night’s sleep. Then, imagine waking up to do it all over again. Think it’s impossible? Think again. The key is eliminating toxins from your body and your life. Toxins can leave you feeling sluggish, achy, heavy, and out-of-shape. They can also be a factor in the development of chronic diseases like cancer, arthritis, allergies, and many other serious conditions. Over the next five weeks, I’ll show you how to get rid of those toxins following a modified version of the program I developed through a decade-and-a-half of research and share in my book, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan.  In this book, I share how to detoxify your kidneys and urinary tract, intestinal tract, liver, gall bladder, skin, respiratory tract, and more.

This week let’s get started by eliminating harmful foods and lifestyle habits and start to replace them with health-supporting ones. Start by lessening or eliminating:

  • Alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs. Of course, continue to use any prescription drugs your doctor has recommended.
  • Dairy-milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, butter, buttermilk, etc. Many people are sensitive to dairy products but are not aware of this sensitivity. It may show up as digestive difficulties, bloating, cramping, seasonal allergies, joint or muscle pain, arthritis, and many other symptoms and disorders. During the detox, it’s best to avoid dairy products to give your body a break. You can begin them again after the detox if you wish.
  • Fried foods. I think this one is self-explanatory.
  • Sugar, synthetic sweeteners and food made with sugar or sugar substitutes. If you’re craving sweets, start by eating a piece of fruit or sweeten herbal tea with stevia (a natural sweetener that does not impact blood sugar levels) or a small amount of raw honey or real maple syrup-no more than a teaspoon at a time. Don’t confuse stevia, an herb that is naturally sweet with Splenda, which is not included in the detox.
  • Reduce animal protein to no more than a few eggs per week and 1 meal of meat (preferably organic eggs and meat). Obviously if you are vegetarian, you can ignore this step.
  • What I call the “3 Ps”-processed, packaged and prepared foods. Instead, you can eat simple home-made meals from fresh ingredients. By eliminating or reducing these foods, you’ll automatically be lessening your exposure to preservatives, additives, colors, artificial flavors, and trans fats.

  • Wheat products (that includes foods made with white or whole wheat flour). Instead eat brown rice, millet, oatmeal (not the packaged ones with sweeteners and salt-add a teaspoon of pure maple syrup and organic cinnamon for a delicious treat), wild rice, and other whole grains on this program.
  • Margarine. Contrary to common advice, margarine is not a health food.
  • Salt-Switch to Celtic sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt, or another type that contains naturally-found minerals alongside the sodium. Usually they have a grayish or slightly orange color due to the minerals present. Of course, reduce consumption of salt if you’re a heavy salt user.
  • Coffee and black tea. Reduce your consumption to no more than a cup a day. Try drinking herbal or green tea instead. Sweeten with stevia if desired.

Remember: your efforts will be worth it.

Of course, you should consult your physician if you have any health conditions before starting any new eating or lifestyle program. And, if you’re diabetic, pregnant or nursing, you should avoid detoxification.

NEXT WEEK: Week 2–Kidney and Intestinal Cleanse

Adapted with permission of the author from the book, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. (Wiley, 2006).

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Lynn Gates
Lynn Gates10 months ago

Are there verified scientific studies to base these recommendations on or is this "junk" science?

Carolanne Powell
Carolanne Powell3 years ago

Never heard of the herb stevia...thanks, will look it up.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Good to know. Thanks for the post.

Jo Asprec
Jo Asprec4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this series. Great help!

Ruth R.
Ruth R.5 years ago


Beng Kiat Low
low beng kiat5 years ago


Sarah Timewell
Sarah Timewell5 years ago

I recently did this detox - all five weeks of it, in order - and loved it! I followed it very strictly which was difficult at times as I love sweets and junk food. Now that I'm done, I'd like to continue to make healthier meal choices regularly.

Thank you so much for this series! Excellent stuff.

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Stevia is a natural herb. It is not a synthetic sweetener. Unlike sugar, it does not affect blood sugar levels. It just naturally tastes sweet.

Judith Crofts
Judith C.5 years ago

thanks for information

Laura S.
Laura S.5 years ago

Are you saying one meat meal per day or one meat meal for the whole week? That wasn't really clear.