This detox plan is not about strict fasting or skipping out food groups. It is about giving your body a rest from some of the common toxins we take in. Changing your diet habits for a little while can also help shift some of the unconscious eating behaviours you might be doing, so that after the seven days you might notice you are more naturally drawn to healthier food choices.
- Use organic and fresh produce when possible
- Drink plenty of water and herbal teas
- Try to eat in a relaxed, calm space (if that’s not possible take a few deep breaths before eating)
- Eat grains only at breakfast; lunch and dinner should consist of steamed greens and vegetables
- Chew everything you eat very well, mixing the food well with your saliva
The detox process
When your body starts to get rid of toxins, it is possible that you’ll feel a little bit tired or weak, or that you’ll experience some other symptoms. Keep an eye on your intake of water when that happens — you need to drink extra water during a detox. Feeling good and clear usually happens around the third or fourth day.
If you feel you need some extra fuel, eat some protein-rich food around lunch time. This could be free-range/organic eggs or some pulses, such as lentils, mung beans, garbanzo beans, or black beans. Try to avoid meat or fish, but if that is not possible try to make it steamed or grilled white fish.
Day 1-3: Preparation
Cut out toxins
Prepare by starting to cut out the toxins you’ll be avoiding during the detox, like alcohol, sugar and caffeine. Try to avoid fried or processed foods if possible.
If you usually drink a lot of caffeine – in tea, coffee or sodas – reduce your intake gradually over the three days. It is quite common to experience withdrawal headaches when you cut out caffeine.
On days 1 to 3, begin taking a tablespoon of chia seeds in half a cup of water. Stir the seeds into the water and leave it for at least 10 minutes, and then drink the gel that has formed. This will help to clean your digestive tract.
Fill up your store cupboard
Stock up on foods you are going to use:
- Grains such as amaranth, quinoa, rice, millet, buckwheat
- Veggies: including kale, broccoli, carrots, beets, cabbages, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, asparagus, chard, squash (fresh and organic if possible)
- Fruits: such as pears, apples, bananas, oranges, mixed berries, melon, papayas, grapefruit, mangoes – you’ll need plenty of lemons too
- Chia Seeds and Goji Berries
- A good organic olive oil and sea salt to accompany your detox foods.
Day 4-10: Detoxification
When you wake up
Drink one glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it. Or, if you know you have too much heat in your body, leave out the lemon and take the chia-seed gel and the glass of warm water. If you don’t know which one to choose, pick the one you are drawn to.
Begin with a piece of fresh fruit — any kind you like. 15 to 30 minutes after that, eat one bowl of cooked whole grains. For the grains, think about amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, millet. Find out what you like and what works for you!
You can add a small amount of sea salt or tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) to your grains for flavor. For a sweeter taste add 2 tablespoons of fruit juice to the grains.
Eat one to two bowls of steamed vegetables for lunch. Save the water you used to steam and put it to one side to cool. You can use whatever kind of vegetables you like. Just try to use a wide variety and mix of colours so that you get a good range of nutrients.
Think about kale, broccoli, carrots, beets, cabbages, sweet potatoes, green beans, asparagus, chard, squash, and any other veggies that you like.
Use the same guidelines as for lunch.
Sometime between 11am and 3pm, drink the juice of the steamed vegetables with a little added sea salt, or even a bit of spirulina or kelp if you have it.
In the evening, drink only herbal teas. Teas like peppermint, chamomile, echinacea, fennel or nettle are good choices.
Drink a glass of goji berry tea twice a day. To make goji berry tea, add one tablespoon of organic goji berries to a cup of hot water and let it sit until the berries are plump. Then drink the tea and eat the berries. I really recommend goji berry tea for all the nutrients — it’s great for the liver, and it’s delicious!
A simple alternative
For a more simple detox plan next to your yoga practice, just leave out foods like alcohol, sugar, caffeine, fried foods and processed foods. Add the lemon and warm water routine upon rising and just try to eat as fresh as possible!
Please comment below for other good ideas, questions, or just to let me know how you are doing. We can keep each other motivated that way.
Combine it with a yoga program
This detox plan works great alongside our 10-day Get Fit and Healthy yoga program
30 minute classes with lots of core work and energising Sun Salutations
Build up your strength and fitness using Sun Salutations from the Ashtanga Yoga system as well as strengthening and toning exercise for your core.
- Build up and strengthen your abdominals, arms and legs
- Improve your whole yoga practice with a stronger core
- Increase your overall fitness
- Gain confidence and a positive body image
Get your EkhartYoga subscription to follow the program.
Note: This was originally published in January 2013, updated May 3rd 2016.