One Week Detox

Lemon juice

7 days of hell for a whole year of happy.

Well hello there. It’s been 1 year since our last 7-day detox and I’m feeling toxic, stressed out and sleepy. A lot has happened in the past year and most of it was very good. But even if it wasn’t that good for you it’s still not to late to start over and to choose that this day, or maybe tomorrow will be the first good day of a whole year of good days. Now I sound like a life coach or something, but in all seriousness this detox stuff isn’t nonsense. Take it from someone who is completely obsessed with food and spends most of her time and money on it. A detox is necessary to continue to living a happy and healthy life in a big city. Sometimes we need a break and not the kind of break that involves TSA officers, sunscreen and lots of cash. We need a break from ourselves. Our nasty, vulgar selves that constantly complain that we are out of shape, too judgmental, too high strung, too stressed, too short-tempered, too impatient – okay maybe that’s just MY self – but I bet YOUR self has some nasty things to say as well.

I’m in awe of my vegan friends or those who eat organic fruits and vegetables exclusively or those who avoid dairy completely or those who don’t eat wheat. Really I am. But. I just don’t have that kind of will power or lifestyle to develop these kinds of habits. Not to mention I’m completely obsessed with food and eating, so eradicating a particular kind of food (even in the name of health and longevity) from my diet is not appealing to me. Generally I eat a mostly plant based, nutrient-rich diet but there’s usually some creamy cheese or fried potato product consumed every 24 hours or so (and more often than that during periods of high stress).

I will say that I would love to eat exclusively organic (and properly cared for meat and fish as well) but it’s financially exclusive. I go through about 2 heads of garlic a week which cost me about 2 dollars – Organic garlic is three times that price and I find that often to be the case with organic produce. I also have a bone to pick with the organic lobby in this country. Let’s start with getting the children to EAT vegetables in the first place before we start telling them which ones are dirty and which ones they shouldn’t eat.

I’ve heard a lot about this book called Will Power: The Greatest Human strength. I haven’t actually read it, but the women’s fashion magazines and men’s interest magazines that I’ve read at the dentist and at the gym have told me in short summaries that it explains how will power is something we, as human beings can learn to manipulate. It’s about how to focus, how to learn more about ourselves, learn how to enhance our strengths and make up for our weaknesses. That’s all well and good but I still don’t have any will power when it comes to food.  I can will myself to get out of bed in the morning and I can will myself to focus on something at work, but I cannot and never have been able to will myself not to eat something. Luckily I’ve got some good jeans, a real passion for fresh vegetables and fairly active lifestyle so that hasn’t lead to any serious health problems, but just simply a love a of food.

But once a year, I will myself to control my eating and limit what I put in my body for 7 days. It gives my body, but more importantly, my mind a chance to reset itself. Sure detoxing is a great way to get rid of “toxins” and make your skin glow and make you feel better than you ever have before, but it’s also a way to get to know yourself and remind yourself that you are in control. There is no evil force compelling you to order pizza for lunch and no, there is no nicotine is Reese’s peanut butter cups – it’s all in your head.

Which is why you need to get out of your own head for a week. You need to constantly remind yourself that you are in control and that it’s only 7 days out of your very long, happy and healthy life. Okay, I’ll shut up with the empowering nonsense, just do it – trust me.

Dr. Oz (90% veggies), Dr. Atkins (no carbs), Dr. Junger (Clean detoxing), Dr. Dukan  (high protein), Dr. Gittleman (Fat Flush)– they can’t all be right! But each of them surely has some wisdom to bestow upon us. I think Dr. Junger’s “Clean” cleanse makes the most sense to me and that’s the one I’ve been following on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website for years. But I’m also incorporating Gittleman’s love of flax seeds, and some chlorophyll.

Now, cleansing is usually associated with celebrity and wealth, because let’s face it –it takes a lot more than will power to do a detox. There’s a reason there are detox centers and retreats: it takes a lot of time and energy to detox and it’s hard to function normally when you’re depriving your body of the things you’ve taught it use to survive (coffee, sugar, potato chips).  Of course I would love to take a week off and do a detox retreat- but that’s just not possible with my work schedule and my pay check –that’s why this detox is especially designed to fit into your busy schedule. Gwyneth recommends light exercise and “steams” which obviously I encourage, but if you work more than 40 hours a week- good luck with that.

Not to mention you actually have to MAKE everything that’s going into your body so that you can monitor it. Dr. Junger’s Clean program is almost $500 for three weeks and juice delivery cleanses like BluePrint and Organic Avenue are usually about $100 per day.

My cleanse will not cost you $100 per day –it will cost you less than $20. And that’s really not bad considering that I’ve already spent $20 on a normal day before 1 o’clock between my toasted bagel, coffee and salad from the deli. Actually I added up all my spending for the week and it was about $120.00.

Supplements

The first two days are the hardest. Prepare yourself by slowly integrating these “cleansing behaviors” into your routine 3 to 4 days before you begin. Have a glass of lemon water when you wake up and start perfecting your detox protein shake. Start having a glass of chlorophyll water after lunch and have herbal tea instead of a Diet Coke when you crave it. Slow down on the coffee drinking as well and have a salad instead of fries.

As you make your way through the plan, your cravings will subside. By Day 3 I felt so light on my feet and full of energy. You start to crave dark leafy green vegetables instead of sugar. Make sure you are taking some sort of multi vitamin in addition to your protein powder. Trader Joe’s has very cheap supplements. I like their Very Green powder. Flax oil and flax seeds will give you the fiber you need to move the toxins out of your system, so make sure you have both of those on hand.

These recipes are simple enough to make at home even with a tiny, poorly stocked kitchen. Before you begin, it’s important to make sure you have the following tools:

a blender
a vegetable peeler
a large stock pot and a steamer basket
a small sauce pot
a non-stick frying pan
cheese cloth – for making almond milk
a baking sheet

You’ll have protein shake every morning to get you through till lunch. Using almond milk in your shake adds flavor and nutrients. Making almond milk is incredibly easy, but you’ll need a cheese cloth. If you don’t want to bother, you can use store bought unsweetened almond milk- but you really should try to avoid the preservatives.

DSC_5495

This is not a method for weight loss. Though you are bound to loose a few pounds by the end, they will come right back when you go back to your normal eating habits- that I can guarantee. This detox is a way to reset your body and your mind. When your 7 days are up – celebrate with food and alcohol if you want –but don’t go crazy.  Continue with the good habits you’ve picked up: drinking chlorophyll, avoiding salt and sugar and eating lots of fish and fresh vegetables. The good news is that this is more of a six and a half day cleanse – on Day 7 you’ll incorporate normal foods back into you diet and I recommend repeating Day 7’s plan for three more days.

Some of my favorite teas to get me through a 7 Day Detox

Some of my favorite teas to get me through a 7 Day Detox

The Rules

Stick to The Plan and use these rules to guide you.

Rule Number One: No Cheating

Yes, I know you have that dinner you committed to last month and you just were so faint you had to have that turkey sandwich – I’ve heard it all before and it’s all in your head. It’s only 7 days, cancel all your plans or make at them at a “detox-friendly” restaurant where you can order steamed spinach and tea and watch your friends scarf down pasta and meat while you try to remind yourself why they are your friends in the first place. Which brings me to another point: no partners. This is all on YOU, a partner is only going to convince you it’s okay to cheat.

Rule Number Two: No salt, sugar, carbs, caffeine, alcohol, red meat or drugs.

That’s right. Read em and weep. That means you need to be creative with flavor- use small amounts of olive oil and get used to the taste of steamed vegetables. Get creative with raw garlic (a GREAT detox food) and herbs.

Rule Number Two Amendment: You can have two cups of plain caffeinated tea per day.

I have a serious caffeine addiction and get splitting headaches if I don’t have coffee in the morning. I’ve found that a cup of Green Tea (about ½ as much caffeine as a cup of coffee) around 8am and another around 10am get’s the “wake up and start functioning” message to my brain in a “cleaner” way than coffee

Rule Number Three: Drink Lots of Tea

Tea is what will keep you alive. I’m being serious. When it’s 3pm and you are about to faint- that delicious cup of peppermint tea will lift your spirits and allow those around you to continue interacting with you without having their heads bitten off.

Rule Number Four: Shop wisely

PLAN AHEAD! I’ve done most of that for you already. Do most of your shopping a few days before. Stock up on the non-perishable staples like nuts, protein powder and boxed almond milk. If your budget is extra tight, you must must go to Trader Joes: their microgreens powder is $10.99 and their protein powder is the cheapest I’ve ever seen, though probably not the “cleanest.” If you have all the non-perishables at the start you should only be buying raw vegetables and fish throughout your 7 days.

Rule Number Five: Snack often  

You are going to feel hungry a lot, especially the first two days. Portion out bags of 15 almonds to carry around. Half of an avocado sprinkled with lemon juice is also a great snack. Herbal tea is your new “snack.”

Rule Number Six: Stick to your plan

Even veering off the plan slightly can send you off course and crashing towards Chinese take out. Don’t eat out and don’t eat with anyone. This sounds extreme but it’s a necessary evil. Reminder, it’s 7 days- see your friend on one of the other 358 day’s of the year. If you absolutely cannot cancel your plans- drink seltzer at the bar and try and convince your comrades to eat at Angelica Kitchen or Souen (New York City) where you can order plain steamed vegetables. Or! Go out for sushi and order ONLY sashimi and tea.

Rule Number Seven: Drink Lots of Water

All day, just chug water. Yes you are getting water from tea and such- but nothing helps with detox better than good old clean water. You should aim to drink at least 8 glasses a day.

When to begin?

I suggest starting on a Sunday. That way you can ease into the intensity of your work week. Save the Saturday before for shopping and cooking. I’ve listed the exact times for clarity but you can adjust meal times to your schedule. All of the recipes make enough food for 1. You are having the same smoothie for breakfast every morning- you may not like some of the fruits I’ve listed or they may not be available. Feel free to have the same blueberry, almond milk smoothie every day if that suits you. There is a separate annotated shopping list and recipe list to be used in conjunction with the plan. The concept here is to prepare all your lunches in advance so they can be taken with you to work. I have carefully laid out a cooking plan so you’ll know when to shop for which ingredients and when to make which recipe. This saves time and cost and eliminates waste. Most of the dinner recipes you can shop for the day before – but you are also encouraged to pick up ingredients on your way home. If there is a recipe that just sounds disgusting to you (such as steamed artichokes) replace it with something sensible and similar or repeat another day’s recipe.

Lemons

7 Day Detox 2013

Three days before: Stock up at the health food store or Trader Joes. Begin to Have a glass of lemon water in the morning and chug some chlorophyll after lunch.

Download a PDF of the shopping list here: Detox 2013 Shopping List
Download a PDF of the plan here: Detox 2013 Plan
Download a PDF of the recipes here: Detox 2013 Recipes 

The day before: Squeeze the juice from 4 lemons into a jar and remove the seeds –that way you can have your warm lemon water every morning without hassle. Make your own almond milk!

Sunday
Day 1

10:00 am: Lemon Water
10:30 am: Green Tea
11:00 am:  Blueberry Almond Milk Protein Shake
12:00 pm: Green Tea
1:00 pm: Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad
10:00 am: Glass of Very Green powder or other supplement
4:00 pm: Cashews and Herbal Tea
5:00 pm: Glass of Chlorophyll
8:00 pm: Broiled Salmon and Kale with Detox Pesto
9:00 pm: Herbal tea

Monday
Day 2

7:00 am: Lemon Water
7:30 am: Green Tea
8:00 am: Avocado and Strawberry Protein Shake
10:00 am: Glass of Very Green powder or other supplement
12:00 pm: Broiled Salmon and Kale with Detox Pesto
3:00 pm: ½ avocado with lemon
5:00 pm: Glass of Chlorophyll
7:00 pm: Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad
9:00 pm: Herbal tea

Tuesday
Day 3

7:00 am: Lemon Water
7:30 am: Green Tea
8:00 am: Avocado and Strawberry Protein Shake
10:00 am: Glass of Very Green powder or other supplement
12:00 pm: Boiled Artichoke + Detox Shrimp Scampi
3:00 pm: ½ avocado with lemon
5:00 pm: Glass of Chlorophyll
7:00 pm: Detox Swordfish + Lemon Parsley Quinoa
9:00 pm: Herbal tea

Wednesday
Day 4

7:00 am: Lemon Water
7:30 am: Green Tea
8:00 am:  Blueberry Almond Milk Protein Shake
10:00 am: Glass of Very Green powder or other supplement
12:00 pm: Detox Swordfish + Lemon Parsley Quinoa
3:00 pm: ½ avocado with lemon
5:00 pm: Glass of Chlorophyll
7:00 pm: Cabbage Salad
9:00 pm: Herbal tea

Thursday
Day 5

7:00 am: Lemon Water
7:30 am: Green Tea
8:00 am: Avocado and Strawberry Protein Shake
10:00 am: Glass of Very Green powder or other supplement
12:00 pm: Cabbage Salad
3:00 pm: Cashews
5:00 pm: Glass of Chlorophyll
7:00 pm: Broccoli and Arugula Soup
9:00 pm: Herbal tea

Friday
Day 6

7:00 am: Lemon Water
7:30 am: Green Tea
8:00 am:  Blueberry Almond Milk Protein Shake
10:00 am: Glass of Very Green powder or other supplement
12:00 pm: Broiled Cod + Broccoli and Arugula Soup
3:00 pm: 15 Almonds
5:00 pm: Glass of Chlorophyll
7:00 pm: Lemon Parsley Quinoa + Asparagus Salad
9:00 pm: Herbal tea

Saturday
Day 7

10:00 am: Lemon Water
10:30 am: Green Tea
11:00 am: Blueberry Almond Milk Protein Shake
12:00 pm: Green Tea
1:00 pm: Steamed Kale, Brussels sprouts and Cabbage
2:00 am: Glass of Very Green powder or other supplement
8:00 pm: Celebrate!!!

Meal Planner and Recipes

The Day before

Do all your non-perishable shopping.

Make: Lemon Water: squeeze juice of 3 lemons into a jar to keep in the fridge, Almond Milk.

Lemon Water

You will need:

4 Lemons

4 oz warm water (for each serving)

Method:

1. Squeeze all lemon halves and save the juice in a jar in the fridge.

2. Each morning, combine 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and 4 oz. water in a glass.

Almond Milk*

Lasts up to four days in the fridge. Makes 4 cups. 

You will need:

1¼  cup of almonds

4 cups water

Method:

1. Soak the almonds overnight (8 hours)  in just enough liquid to cover them.

2. Rinse and drain the almonds.

3. In a blender, combine the nuts and 4 cups water. Blend on high for a full minute so the almonds are almost completely broken down.

Almond milk in blender

4. Fold a large rectangle of cheese cloth (about 12 inches x 24 inches) in half. Drape the cloth square over a medium-sized bowl. Slowly pour about ½ cup of the almond mixture into the center.

DSC_5532

5. Gather the cloth tightly around the almond mixture and gently squeeze all the liquid out into the bowl. Repeat as many times as necessary until you have extracted all the liquid. Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

DSC_5538

*The nuts will need to soak over night, so feel free to make this on Day 1.

Day 1 (Sunday)

Make: Roasted Beets and Avocado Salad, Steamed Kale and Salmon

AM

Blueberry Almond Milk Protein Shake

Serves 1

You will need:

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

3/4 cup almond milk

1 scoop whey protein powder

1 Tablespoon finely ground flax seeds

up to 2 Tablespoon water

Method:

1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Add a bit of water if you prefer a more liquid consistency.

DSC_5506

Roasted Beets and Avocado Salad

Makes 2 Portions (1 for Day 1 Lunch, 1 for Day 2 Dinner)

You will need:

4 cups mixed greens

6 medium sized beets (I like to mix red and yellow beets)

2 teaspoons flax seed oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 avocado, sliced into small pieces

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Wrap each individual beet in foil and place on a baking sheet. Poke a few holes in each beet with a fork.

2. Roast the beets for 1 hour, or 1 hour and 15 minutes if they are especially large.

3. Let the beets cool for at least 30 minutes. Peel with a vegetable peeler and slice into small pieces. Set aside ½ the beets, ½ the avocado and ½ the greens to use for another meal.

3. Whisk the flax seed oil and balsamic vinegar together in a large bowl- set aside half the dressing. Add the greens, beets and avocados and toss to combine.

Note: save 1 roasted beet for cabbage salad later in the week

PM

Broiled Salmon and Kale with Detox Pesto Sauce

Makes 2 portions (1 For Day 1 Dinner and 1 for Day 2 Lunch)

You will need:

a dash of olive oil

1 lb. fresh salmon

coarsely ground pepper

about 10 leaves of Lacinato Kale

Pesto Sauce:

1 large garlic clove

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon flax seed oil

1 Tablespoon water

1 cup of fresh basil leaves

a squeeze of lemon

Method:

1. In a blender or food processor, combine all pesto ingredients except the water. Blend for 15 seconds, then pulse several times. Add the water and blend for another 10 seconds until completely blended. It should have a soupy consistency- so add more oil or water if necessary.

2. Separate the kale leaves from the ribs and chop into bit sized pieces. Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the kale leaves for 1 minute. Drain in the sink like you would pasta.

3. Preheat your broiler on the highest setting. Cover a baking sheet with a piece of foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the salmon with freshly ground pepper and place on the baking sheet. Broil for about 7 minutes then set aside for 5 minutes to cool.

Salmon and Kale with Pesto

Day 2 (Monday)

Make: Avocado and Strawberry Protein Shake, Boiled artichoke, Detox Shrimp Scampi (Day 3 lunch)

AM

Avocado and Strawberry Protein Shake

Serves 1 

You will need:

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 avocado

3/4 cup almond milk

1 scoop whey protein powder

1 Tablespoon finely ground flax seeds

up to 2 Tablespoon water

Method:

1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Add a bit of water if you prefer a more liquid consistency.

DSC_5603

PM

Boiled Artichoke

Makes 1 serving

You will need:

1 large artichoke

1/2 lemon

Method:

1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Add the artichoke and lemon (whole) to the  boiling water. Cook for 40 minutes – then try to pull off a leaf. If it comes off easily and is not too fibrous when you eat it, it’s done. If not, continue cooking it.

Detox shrimp

Detox Shrimp Scampi

Makes 1 serving for Day 3 Lunch.

You will need:

10 medium shrimp (cleaned and deveined)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon

finely ground black pepper

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for one minute and then add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and sprinkle with pepper and lemon.

DSC_5618

Day 3 (Tuesday)

Make: Detox Swordfish (Day 4 Lunch ), cabbage salad (Day 5 Dinner), Lemon Parsley Quinoa (Dinner Day 3), soak 1 ¼ cup almonds for almond milk

Swordfish and Quinoa

PM

Detox Swordfish

Makes 2 portions for Day 3 Dinner and Day 4 Lunch.

Note: If you don’t like swordfish or cannot find it- repeat the broiled salmon or cod recipe. 

You will need:

1 lb. fresh swordfish, cut into thin filets

1 pinch paprika

1 teaspoon lime

Method:

1. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle paprika on both sides of the swordfish. Cook each side of the fish for three minutes. The fish is buttery enough – so there is no need to use oil.

Lemon Parsley Quinoa

Makes 3 servings for Day 3 Dinner, Day 4 Lunch, Day 6 Dinner.

You will need:

1 cup dry quinoa

2 cups water

1 Tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

1. In a small pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Take off the flame and rest for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

2. In a bowl, combine quinoa with chopped parsley and lemon juice.

Day 4 (Wednesday)

Make: Almond Milk

AM

Almond Milk

See recipe above 

PM

Cabbage salad dressing

Cabbage Salad

Makes 2 Portions for Day 4 Dinner and Day 5 Lunch. 

You will need:

4 cups shredded cabbage (red or green)

10 Brussels sprouts

1 red bell pepper

2 large pieces of kale

1 roasted beet, chopped (saved from Day 1)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1 large garlic clove, chopped

2 Tablespoons flax seed oil

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

1. To make the dressing combine the ginger, garlic, parsley, oils, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse to combine.

2. Chop the Brussels sprouts, peppers, kale and cabbage into tiny pieces. In a large bowl, toss all the vegetables together with the dressing.

DSC_5681
Day 5 (Thursday)

Make: Broccoli and Arugula Soup, Broiled Cod

PM

Broccoli and Arugula Soup

Makes 2 servings for Day 5 dinner and Day 6 lunch. 

You will need:

1 lb. fresh broccoli crowns

1/2 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

2 garlic gloves, chopped

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 cups fresh baby arugula

3 cups water

Method:

1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then add the broccoli.

2. Continue cooking the broccoli until it starts to brown and then add the water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add the arugula and then take the soup off the flame. Allow it to cool slightly for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to turn the mixture into soup. Or, pulse in your blender in small batches when it is cooler.

DSC_5684

Broiled Cod

Makes 1 portion for Day 6 lunch

You will need:

1/2 lb. fresh cod fillet

freshly ground pepper

a dash of paprika

a dash of olive oil

Method:

1. Preheat your broiler on the highest setting. Cover a baking sheet with a piece of foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the cod with freshly ground pepper and a dash of paprika and place on the baking sheet. Broil for about 7 minutes then set aside for 5 minutes to cool.

Day 6 (Friday)

Make: Raw asparagus salad.

DSC_5692

Raw Asparagus Salad

Makes 1 portion for Day 6 dinner. 

You will need:

1/2 lb. big fat asparagus

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Method:

1. Using a vegetable peeler, slice thin strips off the asparagus into ribbons.

Note: if your asparagus is too thin and your peeler just isn’t making nice thin ribbons- simply chop the stalks into 2 inch pieces, blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and then toss with the dressing.

2. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, pine nuts and pepper.

Relax, you’re in the home stretch!

Day 7 (Saturday)

Make: Steamed vegetables (kale, Brussels, cabbage) from left overs

Steamed Vegetables

You should have some left over Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale 

You will need:

2 cups cabbage

10 Brussels sprouts, cut in half

1 cup kale

1 Tablespoon sesame oil (or olive oil)

Method:

1. In a large pot with a steamer basket bring 2 inches of water to boil. Add all the vegetables to the basket, but separate out the Brussels sprouts.

2. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove the cabbage and kale. Continue steaming the Brussels sprouts for another ten minutes.

3. Toss with sesame oil.

6 thoughts on “One Week Detox

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s