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Cleanse 101: Juicing, fasting & detoxing your insides


Healthy DetoxI worked with Dr. Sanja Tamburic, a naturopathic physician, to develop a 21-day cleanse for myself and I thought it would apply or inspire many others.

Who should cleanse?

This is a relatively gentle cleanse and I like that it isn’t a fad-style cleanse (with a fancy name and a requirement to do something weird like drink salt water or go without food for weeks, which isn’t so easy when you are parenting young children or working a job.) Yet, this isn’t for pregnant or nursing moms, both of whom need to be careful to not get toxins moving (or they can move into the fetus or nursing child). For pregnant and nursing moms, instead try this “diet.” Everybody else should read this as well, because until you are doing these basic steps to improve elimination, you aren’t ready to cleanse.

When should we cleanse?

There isn’t a fixed answer, but Spring is a great time. It’s a time when many peoples throughout history of done some sort of cleanse–often in the form of a religious fast–and Dr. Tamburic says it is also a time when the gallbladder and liver can particularly benefit from a bit more support. A number of grandmas assure me that may farmers would also fast in the spring, but perhaps they just had run out of food by then.

Basic recipe of a 21-day cleanse

Week One

  • Eliminate all allergens (anything specific to your own body AND gluten/wheat, corn, soy, refined sugars, dairy, alcohol, and food additives such as nitrates, MSG, and all non-nutritive sugars)
  • If you have a great, clean protein powder you can add that in once a day
  • Reduce all grains and fruits and increase vegetable intake (I’ve been aiming for vegetables to make up HALF of what I consume at every meal as an easy way to visualize the 1/3 of calories that vegetables should make up of our diets. Yes, I can do math, but vegetables tend to be relatively low caloric foods compared to meats/grains.)
  • Eat organic! (what’s the point of introducing new toxins during this time)>

Week Two

  • Eliminate all allergens (anything specific to your own body AND gluten/wheat, corn, soy, refined sugars, dairy, alcohol, and food additives such as nitrates, MSG, and all non-nutritive sugars)
  • If you have a great, clean protein powder you can add that up to three times a day
  • Eliminate all grains and almost all fruits and increase vegetable intake
  • Eat organic!
  • Consider working in a 1-3 day green juice cleanse in this week

Green Juice Recipes

What we don’t need when juicing is a bunch more sugar, what we do want is readily accessible vitamins and minerals. That means the juice should be at least 60% dark leafy/ 40% other vegetables and fruit.

  • 60% leafy jean can mean kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, cilantro.
  • 40% can include apples, pear, beats, carrots, ginger, lemon (highly recommend for flavour).

Week Three

  • Consider working in a day or two of bone broth in this week.
  • Continue on as with week one.

Also, consider.

  • If you want to get the most “bang for your buck” with your cleanse, consider doing an organic coffee enema every week for a month at the same time as your cleanse. (Yup, that’s just what it sounds like. Instead of drinking your coffee, you send it in the other way. It’s apparently a panacea for all sorts of illnesses and a great way to help get the toxins you will be moving around,  out of your body fast.)
  • Taking your pH (using a roll of simply body testing pH paper) every day–ideally twice a day–to see how the alkalinity levels in your body are shifting. Most of us are far too acidic, and want to get more alkaline (higher than 7.0–7.2 seems a good, realistic, healthy goal).
  • If you would like a bit more support, I highly recommend the Sugar Control Detox Diet with the holistic nutritionist, author, and awesome cook Margaret Barry from Eat Naked Now.

As with all advice on The Green Mama, please follow your own wisdom first and foremost and if you have any complicating medical situations, seek the advice and guidance of a person you feel is truly qualified to help you. I am not a doctor, nor am I your mother, so take it all with a grain of salt.



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