Every once in a while our body can benefit from a break. Ideally, we would be making decisions every day to ensure we're feeling at our best and with the energy and vibrancy we would like to live our lives to the fullest. But even experienced cleansers will tell you that sometimes our busy lives, stress, hectic schedules, social life, and much more, tip everything a bit off balance, especially our gut and detoxification system.
When our gut isn't healthy or we have toxin buildup we can start feeling an array of symptoms ranging from lack of deep and restorative sleep, brain fog, mood swings, lack of energy, digestive issues, skin problems, among other things. We know that when we start feeling these things, it's time for a cleanse. Ideally, you would do our Clean 7 or Clean 21 detox programs. But if you simply want a 3-day "clean" reset, follow these recipes for three days and you'll probably see a boost in your energy and mood regulation. We include at least one liquid meal per day to decrease the workload of the digestive system and boost your nutrient intake.
The basic three guidelines of the Clean Diet include:
1. Follow the Elimination Diet
The Elimination Diet is an important pillar in functional medicine. It involves eliminating foods that we might be sensitive to or that are causing some sort of inflammation. Within Clean, our Elimination Diet consists of removing Dairy & Eggs, Gluten, Sugar, Coffee, and Alcohol. We also suggest removing all processed foods. In our cleanse programs we go further and eliminate corn, nightshades, sobre fruits, beef, peanuts, among other foods that commonly cause sensitivities.
2. The 12-hour Fasting Window
Between the last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day is usually the longest fasting period we sustain every day. Digestion is one of the most energy-consuming functions of the body. If it is constantly tied up with digestion, your body will place deeper cleansing on hold.
Digestion takes roughly 8 hours, so beyond those first 8 hours, our body just begins to repair and intensify the detoxification processes. We suggest at least 4 hours of this period. This adds up to the 12-hour window we include in our programs. If you can fast intermittently for more than 12 hours (14,16, or 18 hours) you can further intensify some of the benefits of fasting.
3. At Least One Liquid Meal a Day
Liquid meals help free up energetic and nutritional resources for our bodies to use. They help speed up the digestive process since they are practically ready for absorption. Since the body does not have to work as hard to digest the food, more nutrients can be absorbed at a faster rate and with a smaller energy requirement. As you reduce the energy and nutritional requirements for digestion, you free up these resources for other body systems and functions to use. Then nutrients and energy can be used for cell repair, rejuvenation, and enzyme and hormone synthesis, among other needed functions for optimal health.
Our detox programs Clean 7 and Clean 21 include 2 liquid meals a day. The following meal plan includes 1-2 liquid meals a day in the form of a smoothie, juice, or a soup. This will help restore your energetic and nutritional resources and balance in the body.
Green Coco Shake (by Frank Giglio)
- 2 cups coconut water (see below)
- 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
- 1 giant handful baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons whole cashews
- Pinch of stevia
Blend until smooth and creamy.
Hemp Pesto Crusted Halibut (by Frank Giglio)
- 1 pound halibut (or any local wild-caught fish), cut into 4 fillets
- 2 large handfuls of lettuce greens tossed in a lemon vinaigrette
- For the pesto:
- 1⁄2 cup hemp seeds
- 1 medium beet, finely diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 2 lemons, sliced thin
- 1⁄2 cup basil leaves
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil, plus extra to dress the fish
- 1–2 teaspoons sea salt
- Black pepper, freshly ground
To make the pesto, place the hemp seeds, beets, and garlic into a food processor and pulse until the beet is finely chopped. Add the lemon, basil, and seasonings. Keep processing while drizzling in the olive oil. Note: For this dish, the pesto is best on the thicker side, so only add enough oil to well puree the mixture. Pour the pesto into a bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the fish fillets with some olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper and cover with thin slices of lemon. Place fillets in a baking dish and bake for 10–25 minutes or until cooked through (check with a fork).
Divide the lettuce greens onto 4 plates, top with the halibut, and place a scoop of pesto on each piece of fish. Serve warm.
- 1 cup dried green lentils
For the dressing:
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄4 cup pineapple, diced small
For the salad:
- 1 cup zucchini, diced
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 3⁄4 cup carrots, diced
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro leaves, pulled off stems and chopped
- 1⁄4 cup scallions
- 2 cups salad greens, washed and dried
Place dried lentils in 3 cups purified water and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. When tender, remove from heat and drain. Set aside to cool.
To make the dressing, place cumin, turmeric, ginger, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, and sea salt in a glass jar with a lid and shake vigorously. Or place all ingredients except pineapple in a food processor and process until smooth. Add pineapple last so the dressing is chunky. To assemble the salad, place the lentils and all the vegetables, except the greens, in a bowl. Add dressing, mix well, and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Serve on top of the greens.
Creamy Blueberry Shake (Frank Giglio)
- 1 1⁄2 cups shredded coconut
- 1⁄2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1⁄4 cup almond butter
- 1 tablespoon chia seed gel (see below)
- Stevia to taste
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy, roughly 45 seconds.
To Make Chia Gel: Soak 1⁄4 cup chia seeds in 1 cup purified water. Chia soaks up a lot of water so if the gel becomes too thick, simply add more water. Soaked chia is easier to digest and blends more smoothly than unsoaked seeds. The gel will keep for a week in the fridge.
Basic Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa (white, red, or black)
- 1⁄4 cup fresh celery, diced
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cucumber, diced
- 1⁄4 cup green onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup fresh carrot, diced
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 11⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cups purified water
- Salt to taste
- optional: 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
Rinse quinoa well to remove bitterness. In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add salt to taste. Add quinoa, bring to boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until quinoa is tender but firm and water has been absorbed, about 15–20 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.
Add all vegetables, herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice. Eat warm or chilled.
Zucchini and Basil Soup
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 tablespoon red or sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄4 avocado
- 4 cups purified water
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Blend and enjoy.
Cucumber, Cabbage, and Parsley Juice
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled if not organic
- 2 cups shredded white cabbage
- 1 cup parsley
- 1⁄2 lemon, peeled
Add to juicer or blend and strain and enjoy.
Garlic Lemon Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Parsnips, and Apples (by Jenny Nelson)
This is incredible comfort food. Leftovers also make perfect chicken salad used in toasted gluten-free bread or wraps, or over mixed greens. Serves 4.
- 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (local, free-range)
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 small handful of rosemary (5–6 sprigs), bashed around a little with a knife or in a mortar and pestle to release the flavor
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- Pinch each of sea salt and black pepper
Make the marinade by squeezing the juice from the lemon wedges into a bowl and then adding the rosemary, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper together, along with the squeezed lemon pieces.
Slice the chicken breasts into about four pieces each so you have sixteen pieces of chicken, and add them to the marinade. (You can simplify the process by putting chicken and marinade in a well-sealed plastic bag.) Massage the chicken pieces so each is well coated. You’ll begin to see the meat curing of the lemon (turning white). It’s best if it sits together for at least 1 hour (several is even better) at room temperature or in the fridge if it’s a warm day.
Preheat the oven to 425 ̊F. Combine everything in a baking dish, and cook for roughly 40–45 minutes, but keep checking since oven temperatures and cooking times can vary. Just make sure that the chicken is cooked through and the parsnips are tender. Serve warm.
Thai Vegetable Salad Wraps with Almond Sauce
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon nama shoyu or wheat-free tamari
- Pinch of cayenne (or skip if on the Gut Repair Program)
- 1⁄3 cup purified water
- 4 large romaine lettuce leaves
- 1⁄2 Napa cabbage, shredded
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 6 snow peas, thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
- Nori sheets cut into strips,1⁄8-inch thick by 2 inches wide
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- optional: sliced almonds, for garnish
To make almond sauce, blend together almond butter, ginger, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, nama shoyu or tamari, cayenne, and water until creamy. Add more water if too thick. Wash romaine leaves and set aside to drain.
Combine remaining vegetables in a bowl. Put about one-quarter of the mixture into each romaine leaf and roll-up. Drizzle each wrap with 1 tablespoon almond sauce.
Garnish with cilantro leaf and strips of nori or thinly sliced almonds.
Serve on a platter.
A Final Note
If you see these recipes work great for you and you're feeling amazing, repeat them for a few more days. These recipes follow the Elimination Diet (eliminating gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and coffee), they include at least one liquid meal a day, and they seek to respect the 12-hour fasting window. Follow these same guidelines to maintain a clean lifestyle that will help you sustain balance in your body in your everyday life.
If you want to take a step further in resetting your body, try our 7-day or 21-day cleanse programs. You'll not only continue supporting your body with nourishing and clean food, you'll also enhance your body's processes and functions with supplements that support detoxification and gut health, and help restore the much-needed balance we seek in our busy and modern lives. Shop Clean 7 or Clean 21 HERE.