Your daily detox diet is an essential factor in your ability to cleanse your body and achieve optimal wellness. The ideal diet for cleansing and detoxification is 100 percent raw with at least 60 percent fruit. A raw food detox diet usually gives the best results for cleansing and regenerating the body.
A Gentle Transition for a Healthy Detox Experience
For most people it is often best to start gradually, so that detox symptoms do not become uncomfortable and overwhelming. If you make a sudden dietary adjustment you may experience reactions as your body releases toxins. This is often referred to as the “healing crisis” and can include headaches, digestive disturbance, fatigue, insomnia, skin eruptions etc.
Even though you may feel like you are getting worse during this time, this is completely normal and is an indication that your body is cleansing. It is usually a good sign! If you wish to maintain your normal daily activities during this time you may consider starting out with a less aggressive approach.
Alternatively you can adjust your diet as you progress with the cleanse, in accordance with your response, and slow down the detox when necessary. This can be done by increasing your intake of cooked vegetables and other optional foods that will be outlined in the suggested meal plans below.
How To Follow the Detox Diet Menu Plans
The detox diet meal plans are categorized in levels. Generally you will start at Level 1 and progress to Level 4. However, it is also perfectly acceptable to move back and forwards between the levels as feels appropriate for you. At any time if you feel too uncomfortable you can go back to the previous level before trying again.
Many people also begin their detox diet plan with one to seven days in Level 4 – the mono fruit diet – to kick-start detoxification and reset the appetite in favor of fresh, healthy foods.
It can also be helpful to modify your natural detox diet depending on the weather. Most people feel better when consuming warm foods in a cold climate. However, it is still important to maintain a high intake of raw food, regardless of the external influences, when your goal is to cleanse and regenerate your health.
The most powerful detox diets such as the watermelon diet, grape fast or lemon cleanse are best attempted during the warmer months and at those times when you have an opportunity to rest during the day.
You will achieve the most dramatic results with a raw food detox diet when you combine it with a herbal cleansing program such as the 14-Week Deep Tissue Cleanse.
Include Cooked Vegetables for a More Gradual Detox
Many people have a high level of toxins in their body. When you combine this with decades of an unhealthy diet it can often be very difficult to adopt a 100 percent raw food diet right away.
In these cases it is still possible to detoxify your body very effectively while eating freshly prepared steamed vegetables and plain homemade vegetable soup. Steamed vegetables will not stop the detox, just slow it down a little. You can still achieve very good results while eating mostly raw food during the day with cooked vegetables at night.
If you prefer an even more gentle approach – or if you need to slow down the detox due to uncomfortable symptoms – you can also include small amounts of brown rice, quinoa, baked winter squash or baked sweet potato.
Starch tends to have a congestive effect on the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. It also places an extra load on the adrenal glands, which are generally depleted in anyone who has a chronic health challenge. Most grains are also highly acid-forming, which contributes to inflammation and lymphatic congestion.
If you do choose to consume cooked foods it should ideally be for the last meal of the day. It is also important to avoid eating fruit after a cooked meal as this can result in digestive discomfort.
Regular table salt should be avoided as this has a negative effect on the health of the circulatory system and kidneys. You can flavor your food with herbs, spices, lemon juice and dulse flakes (a seaweed with a naturally salty flavor). If you must have salt, Himalayan or Celtic sea salt are the best choices, however these are generally best used sparingly.
Most people will begin the detox diet with Level 1. Try to base your diet around fruits and vegetables – at least 75 percent raw – while following the guidelines in the Level 1 detox diet menu. When you are comfortable with Level 2 and wish to reach a deeper level of detoxification you may consider progressing to a 100 percent raw diet.
The Mono Fruit Diet
Once you reach Level 3 you will focus on mono fruit meals. This is the ultimate way of eating to promote detoxification and consists of eating meals consisting of a single fruit only.
Choose one fruit and eat as much as you like until you feel satisfied. Grapes, melon, papaya, mangoes, peach, nectarines, cherries, berries, pears, bananas and tangerines are good choices for mono meals.
One of the benefits of this way of eating is that it places the minimum demand on the digestive system, which frees up additional energy for detoxification and cleansing. Throughout the entire detox program, for all three levels, ideally eat a mono meal for breakfast, preferably melons because they are extremely hydrating and alkalizing.
The Detoxification Lifestyle
As you experiment with this new diet to cleanse and detoxify your body the goal is to create a way of eating that is comfortable for you, that suits your lifestyle and that you enjoy. For those with chronic health issues it may be necessary to follow the diet for many months – and in some cases several years – so in order to be able to stick with the program over the long-term this is essential. However it is also necessary to ensure that your choices remain discerning and will produce the health outcomes that you desire.
Generally most people do well following Level 1 for a month or so. This will allow your body to adjust to the dietary changes with the minimum amount of discomfort. After about a month you can then progress to Level 2 and so on. You can stay on the Level 3 menu plan for several months up to a year or even longer.
If your progress is slow on the detox diet plan you may considering adding botanical herbs to enhance the detox process such as in the Deep Tissue Cleanse. In people with chronic health challenges a herbal detox can dramatically enhance recovery and reduce the amount of time needed to stay on the strict detox diet program.