Tips and Recipes for a Healthy Detox Diet

Tips and Recipes for a Healthy Detox Diet

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Come January 1, most of us wake up groggy from a month-long food coma only to find that pants that fit perfectly in the beginning of November are suddenly beginning to feel a bit snug at the waist. But if you want to fit back into your skinny jeans before Valentine’s Day, you’ve probably considered trying a detox diet.

View All of Our Detox Diet Tips

Detox diets sometimes get a bad rap. Some are branded unhealthy or even unnatural, but according to Maria Marlowe, author of Detox Without the Deprivation, our bodies naturally detox our systems by releasing toxins through the liver. “When we ingest something, the nutrients pass through the liver before they get sent through the bloodstream,” says Marlowe. “If we ingest toxins, like chlorine and chemicals in water, hormones and antibiotics in meat, or pesticides on vegetables, the liver will either break the toxin down into something less harmful or package it up in preparation to send it out of the body.”

But our systems can sometimes get overwhelmed by too much indulgence (like Christmas cookies and a third helping of eggnog). A detox diet focuses on foods that flush the system and reset our bodies to absorb the nutrients we take in through our regular diets.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to fast or drink only juice to detox. Marlowe actually recommends food-based detox diets. “You don't just have to do a juice fast or a regular fast to detox, and you don't have to just eat carrot sticks,” says Marlowe. “When you cut out the toxic junk foods, you are still left with plenty of flavorful, delicious options. Try cutting out junk and eating detoxifying foods for just three days, which is short and manageable, yet long enough to see a difference.”

If you’re ready to get started, we’ve got some delicious recipes and tips for a healthy detox diet. That way, you can get back on track and feeling your best.

(Credit: Shutterstock)
According to Maria Marlowe, certified nutritionist and author of Detox Without the Deprivation, the most important part of detoxing is getting enough water. “Water is the number one detoxifier," says Marlowe, "so watermelon, which is mostly water, makes a great part of a detox plan. We eliminate many toxins through urine, which is why it's important to drink adequate water (at least 2.2 liters for women, 2.5 for men) per day, and eat water-dense foods (fruits and vegetables) every day, but especially while on a detox.”

Tomato and Watermelon Salad Recipe

(Credit: Shutterstock)
Tomatoes and watermelon are both more than 90 percent water, making this salad perfect for a detox diet. If you’re sticking to a strict detox diet, omit the goat cheese. The salad will still be incredibly delicious. Click here for the recipe.

Detox Soup For Weight Loss: 17 Detox Soup Recipes That Flush The Fat

If you&rsquore looking for a way to lose weight, improve your health and digestion, and reset your body, a detox soup cleanse may be right for you.

Now, while detox anything usually makes me cringe, bringing old-school starvation diets to mind, a detox plan containing the right vitamins and nutrients, like the ones in soups, sounds much more palatable and healthy. See, unlike juice cleanses, a detox soup cleanse doesn&rsquot deprive you of real food.

Sure, it&rsquos still a (mostly) liquid diet, but detox soup is packed with nutritious vegetables and fiber that eliminate preservatives, curb cravings, and give your digestive system a well-deserved vacay.

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Why Detox?

Healthy living is about more than just eating right and getting adequate exercise. Detox can help you feel better physically and emotionally. As you eliminate toxins from the body, you will notice that your digestive system functions better, your skin is clearer, you feel leaner and lighter and overall you just feel better. A detox can help you kick-start a weight loss program, build lean muscle, reduce stress, identify food allergies, identify the foods that are weighing you down or making you feel less energetic, and even transition from one phase in life to another.

Even the most health conscious individual is affected by the dangers of pollutants such as environmental toxins. A detox can help to improve functioning of the liver, lungs, colon and the circulation of blood which also works to improve other areas of the body including the skin and complexion. A body detox can improve energy levels, boost metabolism, eliminate headaches or body pains and have a lasting impact on emotional health and well-being.

Our 21-Day Sugar Detox Challenge Will Transform Your Life in Three Weeks

Exclusive to GH+ members, this plan can help you reset your relationship with sugar and live healthier in the long run.

Like most anything in life, sugar is just fine in moderation &mdash but when you take a closer look at the processed food you're eating, your alcohol intake and some of your favorite condiments, you might notice that you're eating far more sugar than you thought you were, which can lead to issues like acne, low energy and brain fog. While kicking the sugar habit might seem daunting, we've turned the challenge of forming a healthier relationship with the sweet stuff into an easy-to-follow plan packed with science-backed tips and helpful charts.

Good Housekeeping's 21-Day Sugar Detox Challenge breaks everything down for you, including how to step down your sugar intake gradually and reset your taste buds, plus it offers delicious recipes and easy snack swaps. Powered by our in-house health experts, including Stefani Sassos, Registered Dietitian for the Good Housekeeping Institute, and the culinary experts in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, this three-week plan is a recipe for success when it comes to being more mindful about your sugar consumption &mdash and you can download it for free when you sign up for our membership club, GH+.

While sugar definitely is not the enemy, most of us could stand to cut back &mdash the key is to learn the difference between the sugar naturally found in foods like milk and fruit and the added sugar hiding in lots of packaged foods. There are so many benefits to eating less sugar, but here are just a few positive effects you'll soon start to see after starting the Sugar Detox Challenge:

✔️ You can ditch the acne cream

Systemic inflammation is a known acne trigger. And sugar is&thinsp&mdash&thinspwouldn&rsquot you know it?&thinsp&mdash&thinsp inflammatory. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when non-soda-drinkers consumed one 12-oz can of soda a day for three weeks, their inflammation levels increased by 87%. Give up soda and other sweetened drinks, and you might not need as much of that expensive concealer, the research suggests.

✔️ You'll remember the details

Battling brain fog? Sugar may be to blame. One animal study at UCLA concluded that a diet high in added sugar hindered learning and memory. Over time, eating lots of sugar may actually damage communication among your brain&rsquos cells, the study showed.

✔️ You'll sleep better

The crash from a sugar high can leave you with midday sluggishness and the need for a nap. Also, added sugar triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which interferes with slumber, Lustig says. Cut it out, and you should be more alert during the day and better prepared to catch some zzz&rsquos come bedtime.


Pumpkin Spice and Greens Smoothie

This smoothie is creamy and spiced—reminiscent of pumpkin pie—but thanks to the spinach, almond butter, and pumpkin purée, it’s a filling, nutrient-dense on-the-go breakfast.

Breakfast Broth

Starting the day with bone broth can feel so comforting, and making a base broth early in the week takes most of the work out of it. Before serving, all you have to do is fortify the broth with some incredibly flavorful mix-ins, like miso and turmeric, making it that much more satisfying. It may be called breakfast broth, but it’s also great to sip in the afternoons, so feel free to work it into your snack routine during your detox.

Sweet Potato Two Ways

You can have it sweet and savory: We think the sweet potato tastes as delicious prepared with tahini, dates, and pepitas as it does topped with avocado, red onion, and cilantro. Baking the sweet potato the night before makes this quicker to prepare in the morning—warm it back up in the oven and finish with the toppings.

Detox recipes

All the recipes here can be used at any time of day. I typically start with juices for a full day, then move to the consommé and solid food, with Detox Green Rolls as a refreshing snack any time I need an energy boost. And remember, any cleanse is temporary before long, you&rsquoll reintroduce foods like whole-grain breads, avocado, lean protein, olive and other oils, all worthy elements in a richly flavored and healthy diet.

Green Rolls

Serves 6 / Chilled, these beauties make a refreshing snack. You&rsquoll find yourself whipping them up whether you are cleansing or not! Prep tip: After detox, add some good fats with a strip of avocado in each roll. View recipe.

Greens Juice

Serves 2 / Jam-packed with nutrients and supportive of your body&rsquos cleanse action, this juice can prevent the fatigue that sometimes accompanies a cleanse. Apple adds just a touch of sweetness. View recipe.

Carrot, Lemon, and Wheatgrass Juice

Serves 2 / You&rsquoll love how you feel after downing this vitamin-C-rich drink. Ingredient tip: Look for wheatgrass juice in the freezer section of a natural food store it&rsquos generally sold in 12-packs of 1-ounce shots. View recipe.

Daikon and Shiitake Consommé

Serves 4 / This clear, hydrating broth is a great starter course for any meal, so keep this in your repertoire even after your detox is over. Deeply cleansing and relaxing, this delicate soup keeps your body at its peak. Prep tips: You can add chile spice or cayenne to this soup to stimulate circulation and intensify your cleanse. Just a scant pinch while the soup is cooking does the trick. To make a heartier meal post-detox, add edamame, cooked brown rice, or tofu cubes. View recipe.

Green Tea-Scented Quinoa with Corn

Serves 4&ndash6 / Quick cooking, high in protein, and loaded with flavor, quinoa will become your go-to grain, whether cleansing or not. This recipe is packed with antioxidants and nutrients to get you through your detox with strength. Prep tip: Brew the tea lightly so that it does not turn the quinoa bitter during cooking. View recipe.

Garlicky Greens with Lemon

Serves 4 / Leafy greens are high in chlorophyll, crucial for protecting the liver and ridding the body of toxins. They&rsquore also rich in nutritious antioxidants called carotenoids. An ample dose of garlic boosts circulation and increases liver enzymes that remove toxins. Recipe by Lisa Turner. View recipe.

Carrot Salad with Sesame Seeds

Serves 2 / This fresh, simple salad is loaded with fiber to promote regular elimination and carrots and parsley contain abundant carotenoid antioxidants. Parsley also acts as a mild diuretic to flush out toxins. Recipe by Lisa Turner. View recipe.

The best way to do a detox diet, according to nutritionists

Many people find cleanses and detoxes appealing as a way to reaffirm a commitment to healthy eating. While I certainly understand the desire dial down cravings for sweets and processed foods and create a pathway toward eating well over the long haul, the trouble I see with juicing and other similar cleanses is that too often, they leave people hangry, sluggish and distracted by constant thoughts of food. Cleansing can also lead to unwanted issues, like constipation (from lack of fiber) and bloating (due to excess fructose from juice cleanses).

If you want to reboot your diet without the unnecessary restriction and potential downsides that comes with detoxes and cleanses, clean up your eating with these nutritionist-approved tips instead.

Go green (and orange and purple and red)

“One of the best ways to reboot your diet is to rethink your fruits and vegetables. Both fruits and vegetables provide fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (natural plant chemicals that help fight and prevent disease),” Toby Amidor, MS, RD, author of "Smart Meal Prep for Beginners," says. Most Americans aren’t anywhere close to meeting their needs. (90 percent fall short of vegetable recommendations and 85 percent aren’t meeting their fruit quota.) To help you boost your intake and your overall health, Amidor offers these suggestions: “Add sliced strawberries to your oatmeal at breakfast, opt for a vegetable salad topped with lean protein at lunch, and fill half your dinner plate with a steamed vegetable medley. And don’t forget snacks! Enjoy sliced carrots, celery and jicama with hummus or top your Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries.”


One small thing How liquid calories can sabotage weight-loss success

One extra note here: Chewing your produce has benefits over sipping it. It could take two heads of romaine lettuce to produce one cup of juice, and while two heads of romaine would leave you satisfied, a small cup of green juice probably won’t put a dent in hunger. Though you’ll get many of the same vitamins and minerals, juicing removes the fiber, which not only helps you fill up, but also provides important nourishment on its own.

Cut out added sweeteners

While Americans fall short on fruits and veggies, we’re overdoing it on sugar, consuming close to 20 teaspoons a day. Health authorities suggest capping added sugars at 6 teaspoons (equivalent to about 25 g) a day for women and 9 teaspoons (or about 36 g) for men. Challenge yourself to cut back on added sugar from sweetened yogurts, cereals and granola bars, as well as the usual suspects (soda, cookies, ice cream, cookies and other baked goods). You’ll appreciate the natural sweetness of fruit so much more when you cut unnecessary added sweeteners from your diet.

To reboot your diet and reset your gut, remember to eat the three P's: prunes, pulses and pears.

Be good to your gut

Many people are drawn to cleanses to reset their GI system, but there’s no evidence that the cleanses and detoxes you typically read about have any benefit. Instead of trying to flush out toxins, take measures to boost your gut health so it can do its job well. “A healthy gut is important for almost every aspect of wellness — from boosting your mood to helping you sleep, from weight management to preventing chronic diseases, the list goes on and on. To reboot your diet and reset your gut, remember to eat the three P's: prunes, pulses and pears,” says Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, nutrition and healthy cooking expert.

“Prunes help maintain good digestive health and can positively affect the bacteria living in the gut, potentially reducing the risk of colon cancer. And pulses (which include lentils, beans, chickpeas and peas) can improve gut health by strengthening the gut barrier and reducing the risk of gut-associated diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Pears contain prebioitic fiber that helps promote intestinal health by providing food for beneficial probiotic bacteria.” The point is, you need a variety of fiber sources to optimize your gut health so make sure to include these foods, as well as others rich in fiber (such as whole grains and an array of fruits and veggies), often.

How to Detox the Healthy Way: 16 Recipes You Should Try

When the presents have been opened and all the treats are long gone, too many of us feel the need to “cleanse” or “detox” with a strict diet of fresh-pressed juices and hours of exercise. But before you ban all solid foods for the next week, hear us out — it’s entirely possible to clean out your system, learn how to detox and still eat.

“Detox diets that severely limit protein or food groups are too drastic,” says Bethany Doerfler, RD, LDN, and a clinical research dietician at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. “I am an advocate of people stripping back foods that they simply don’t need. That sometimes gets touted as a detox diet. But really, it’s a version of clean eating.”

How to Detox, Decoded

Let us explain: When we consume enough fresh fruits and veggies (at least five servings per day), we’re filled with nutrients that help the body function properly. For example, potassium regulates blood pressure, and fiber reduces cholesterol levels and helps us feel full after eating. “Fiber-rich diets also help us have regular bowel moments, which is one way our bodies rid themselves of excess waste and unwanted compounds,” Doerfler says.

To reap the most benefits, Doerfler says the length of the detox or cleanse should depend on how restrictive it is. If you choose to do a very restrictive diet or cleanse (such as a juice cleanse) — which Doerfler does not recommend — it should last no longer than three days. But, if you’re just trying to add more lean protein, fruit and veggies to your diet, and pull back on the alcohol and soda, you can aim to maintain those changes for as long as you want to. You just need to make sure you’re getting enough calories, protein, and carbohydrates for the body to function properly.

By now, we hope you’ve abandoned all notions of a juice cleanse, and your mouth is salivating over the prospect of all the yummy, healthy foods you’ll be chowing down on while your friends are sipping charcoal. Well, achieving a successful dietary detox is as easy as following these simple guidelines:

1. Pack in the Protein
“Getting enough protein and distributing it properly though the day is essential,” Doerfler says. “As a general rule, the body likes to consume about 20 to 30 grams of protein every four to six hours.” This is roughly equivalent to three extra-large eggs, a half-cup of diced chicken breast, a four-ounce fillet of salmon or a half-cup of black beans. Stick to lean proteins such as eggs, egg whites, poultry, fish, legumes or tofu, and include some at every meal. Women need at least 50 to 60 grams of protein every day, and may require up to 90 grams per day depending on exercise habits. Men can also operate in this range, but larger men may need between 70 and 110 grams of protein per day.

2. Don’t Banish Carbs
Carbohydrates are still very important. According to the Institute of Medicine, your diet should contain no fewer than 120 grams of carbohydrates per day. This can easily be achieved with a healthy balance of vegetables, whole grains and legumes. For example, one cup of oatmeal for breakfast (27 g carbs), a green salad with roasted winter squash for lunch (like the Fall Cleanse Salad below, 41 g carbs), and a bowl of lentil soup for dinner (54 g carbs) would be just over 120 g carbs for the day.

“Some people may think that does not sound so low, but consider that the average American eats 300 grams of carbohydrates per day,” Doerfler says. Some of those can come from whole grains, and from a limited amount of low-fat dairy (think yogurt or kefir), says Doerfler.“I like for people to make sure they’re including at least one, if not two, servings of whole grains per day,” Doerfler says. Experiment with sources that are not typically in your diet — try quinoa, millet and wheat berries.

3. Keep Calories Under Control
As a general rule of thumb, a low-calorie diet (aimed at losing weight) should consist of between 1,200 and 1,400 calories for women, and between 1,500 and 1,800 calories for men, says Doerfler. Aim for breakfasts of between 300 and 350 calories, lunches between 400 and 450 calories, and dinners between 500 and 550 calories. Snacks — up to two per day — should be around 150 calories.

Added sugar should make up no more than five percent of your daily calories, or no more than about 25 grams per day. Keep up that water intake, too, aiming for at least nine cups per day for women and 13 cups per day for men.

Remember that everyone is a little bit different — don’t be afraid to change things up after a few days if you’re feeling tired or hungry all the time. And of course, it’s always smart to consult with a doctor before starting a new nutrition plan.

Detoxifying Breakfast Recipes

1. Green Detox Smoothie
The Skinny: 264 calories, 1.9 g fat, 53.8 g carbs, 34.8 g sugar, 8.8 g fiber and 5 g protein per 16-ounce serving

This refreshing and nutrient-packed smoothie is full of heart-healthy fiber and potassium, thanks to the pineapple and banana mixed in. Spinach brings essential nutrients such as vitamin K (which helps keep bones and tissues in top shape) and vitamin A (which helps maintain healthy skin). While this smoothie may seem high in carbs, Doerfler says not to let that scare you away — just rein in your intake for the rest of the day. Craving something a bit more filling? Add a scoop of protein powder before blending. Photo and recipe: Ali Ebright / Gimme Some Oven

2. Baked Blackberry Oatmeal
The Skinny: 237 calories, 12.4 g fat, 25.5 g carbs, 10.7 g sugar, 4.7 g fiber and 8.6 g protein per ¾-cup serving

Blackberries and oats up the fiber in this breakfast bake, making it a great go-to to keep you full until lunchtime. The pumpkin seeds, pecans, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds also offer healthy poly- and mono-unsaturated fats and plenty of texture. A small scoop of this fruit- and nut-filled dish would make a great snack, too. Photo and recipe: Katie Morris / Katie at the Kitchen Door

3. Cherry Chia Seed Pudding
The Skinny: 260 calories, 11 g fat, 32 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 13 g fiber and 9 g protein per 1-cup serving

Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Soaking these tiny seeds in liquid creates a thick, pudding-like gel that is packed with fiber. Plus, its neutral flavor profile makes chia pudding the ideal canvas for whatever toppings you like. Cherries add a hint of sweetness, vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and even more fiber. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn

4. Pumpkin Papaya Superfood Acai Bowl
The Skinny: 306 calories, 9.1 g fat, 53 g carbs, 24.2 g sugar, 14.9 g fiber and 7 g protein per bowl

One surefire way to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet is to try and incorporate fruits and vegetables from every color family each day. Enter, the breakfast bowl. You’ll check off your orange and yellow produce requirements with pumpkin (packed with 245 percent of the daily recommended vitamin A per cup!) and papaya. Photo and recipe: Ksenia / Breakfast Criminals

5. Antioxidant Fruit Salad with Bee Pollen
The Skinny: 106.5 calories, .5 g fat, 27 g carbs, 22.5 g sugar, 4 g fiber and 2 g protein per 1-cup serving

If you’ve never tried bee pollen, consider giving this recipe a shot. Bee products are thought to help boost energy, provide essential nutrients, bolster the immune system, and even treat allergies. Blackberries, blueberries, plum, and nectarine make up the base of this hydrating and fiber-rich fruit salad. If you’d rather stick with seasonal fruits, feel free to sub in any variety you like. Add a scoop of plain low-fat Greek yogurt or a cup of plain kefir to boost the protein content. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn

6. 5-Ingredient Detox Smoothie
The Skinny: 181 calories, 1.6 g fat, 41 g carbs, 29 g sugar, 4.7 g fiber and 2.5 g protein per 2-cup serving

Antioxidant-packed berries and iron-rich kale make a nutritionally sound base for this easy detox smoothie. The ground flaxseeds in this recipe are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, and studies suggest consuming them may even help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Don’t skip the tofu either — it adds a bit of protein, but also helps create a nice silky texture. Add a scoop of protein powder or Greek yogurt to make this feel more like a complete meal. Photo and recipe: John and Dana / Minimalist Baker

Detox Lunch Recipes

7. The Ultimate Detox Salad
The Skinny: 442 calories, 38.7 g fat, 20.4 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 5.7 g sugar and 9.2 g protein per serving

This healthy salad packs in all of the fruit and veggie color families. Kale and broccoli provide vitamins A, C, B6, calcium and iron. Red cabbage is full of antioxidants and vitamin C, helps lower cholesterol and may also help lower the risk of some cancers. Carrots carry plenty of vitamin A, a nutrient essential for maintaining good vision. On top of that, avocado, walnuts and sesame seeds store a source of poly- and mono- unsaturated fats. Photo and recipe: Julia Mueller / The Roasted Root

8. Green Monster Detox Salad
The Skinny: 347 calories, 21.5 g fat, 37.9 g carbs, 13.7 g fiber, 12.7 g sugar and 11.2 g protein per serving

Cruciferous vegetables, which Doerfler says we should get at least three to four servings of each week, are the stars of this dish. Together, green cabbage and broccoli offer heart- and gut- healthy fiber, as well as compounds that have been linked to a lower risk of cancer. But that’s not all the green that this salad brings to the table. Celery and cucumbers also carry some added crunch as well as hydration. Photo and recipe: Consuelo / Honey and Figs Kitchen

9. Cleansing Spring Salad Recipe
The Skinny: 185 calories, 12 g fat, 20 g carbs, 6.4 g sugar, 6 g fiber and 3 g protein per 2-cup serving

With their earthy flavor and luscious texture, beets are a great way to add some heft to salads in addition to health benefits such as inflammation- and cancer- fighting properties. If you can find them in your local grocery store, spring for the microgreens over their normal-sized cousins — studies have shown that some microgreens can contain up to 40 times more nutrients than more mature versions. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn

10. Sweet and Savory Detox Salad
The Skinny: 186 calories, 3 g fat, 38.4 g carbs, 23.3 g sugar, 7.2 g fiber and 6 g protein per 2-cup serving

Don’t be turned off by the interesting combination of ingredients in this mix. Chopped broccoli and cauliflower (two points for cruciferous veggies!), sunflower seeds, currants, raisins and parsley combine to create a crave-worthy salad packed with nutrients. The dressing is simple, too — just vitamin C-packed lemon juice, a drizzle of maple syrup and salt and pepper. Photo and recipe: Angela Liddon / Oh She Glows

11. Fall Cleanse Salad Recipe
The Skinny: 427 calories, 29 g fat, 41g carbs, 6g fiber, 9g sugar and 12g protein per 2-cup serving

When in season, fall squashes, such as delicata, are a creative way to add orange produce into your diet. In the off-season, look in your local freezer section for pre-cut frozen winter squash, Doerfler says. It’s simple to prepare (just steam or roast!) and will boost any salad effortlessly. Fennel is a great way to add some crunch and it’s a good source of tons of nutrients that support better skin (thanks, vitamin C!), improved bone and heart health, lower blood pressure and better digestion. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn

Detox Dinner Recipes

12. Roasted Beet Noodles with Pesto and Baby Kale
The Skinny: 263 calories, 25 g fat, 10 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 3 g fiber and 3 g protein per serving

News flash: Beets make a great substitute for pasta! All you need is a spiral vegetable slicer, which uses a special blade to cut vegetables (or fruit) into thin, noodle-like pieces. Beets are packed with heart-healthy nutrients including fiber, folate and betaine. They’re also a great source of potassium, which helps many vital organs operate properly. Plus, research suggests that betalains, the pigments that give beets their color, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers and may even help protect against some cancer-related issues. Add some grilled protein or white beans to make it more satiating. Photo and recipe: Ali Maffucci / Inspiralized

13. Raw Spicy Zoodle Bowl
The Skinny: 364 calories, 16.2 g fat, 54.7 g carbs, 18.1 g sugar, 14.2 g fiber and 9.7 g protein per serving

Here’s a comforting meal to brighten a dark and wintery day. Zucchini and carrot noodles are the foundation, but the rainbow of nutrients doesn’t stop there. This dish also contains antioxidant-packed red cabbage and red bell pepper, plus a bevy of other flavor-packed fresh ingredients such as celery, cilantro, ginger, avocado and sesame seeds. Photo and recipe: Shannon / The Glowing Fridge

14. Coconut Lentil Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger
The Skinny: 497 calories, 15.5 g fat, 54.5 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 21.5 g fiber and 24.6 g protein per serving

This soup is a heart-health powerhouse. Lentils and butternut squash contain a healthy dose of soluble fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol levels. Lentils are also a great source of lean vegan protein, offering about 18 grams of protein per cup (cooked). Because this recipe is relatively high in carbohydrates, make sure to limit your carbs for the rest of the day, aiming for around 120 to 130 grams total. Photo and recipe: Lindsey Johnson / Café Johnsonia

15. Macro Bowl with Sesame Tofu Recipe
The Skinny: 379 calories, 23 g fat, 29 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 6 g fiber and 16 g protein per serving

Macrobiotic meals are dense with essential nutrients thanks to a mix of whole grains, vegetables, lean vegan proteins, greens and seaweed in each serving. This flavor-packed bowl is low in saturated fat and high in fiber and protein. Brown rice brings fiber and magnesium, which helps keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy and seaweed adds a wealth of iodine, a nutrient that is crucial in maintaining thyroid health. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn

16. Grapefruit, Avocado and Shrimp Salad
The Skinny: 288 calories, 22 g fat, 23.4 g carbs, 12.5 g sugar, 8.9 g fiber and 3.6 g protein per serving

Shrimp makes a great (and quick) addition to any salad. Four large shrimps contain just 22 calories, while also offering five grams of protein and zero grams of fat. Fit in a serving of whole grains with brown rice, or sub in another option such as quinoa or wheat berries. Avocado adds creaminess while grapefruit delivers a hefty dose of vitamin C. Photo and recipe: Mary / The Kitchen Paper

Recipes and tips

Lemonade and cayenne detox plan is quite simple, so you could star right away. You don’t need fancy and expensive ingredients Mother Nature took care of them all, so you can find them easily. You can grow lemons and peppers in your own garden and simply get the rest of the material.

The basic cayenne pepper detox lemonade recipe requires only a few natural and beneficial ingredients. To make this miraculous elixir, you’ll need lemon juice (freshly squeezed), cayenne pepper, organic maple syrup and fresh water. To make one glass of this delicious cleansing drink, you’ll need:

  • About 30 ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • About 20 ml of maple syrup
  • About 1/10 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 250 ml of pure water

You can use more of cayenne pepper if you can handle it, of course. The water should be distilled. You could also make the drink by batch of 3 liters and store it in the fridge the entire day, since it is a daily amount according to the cleansing program. If you decide to make it that way, you’ll need:

  • 3 to 4 lemons for freshly squeezed juice
  • 150 ml of organic maple syrup
  • About 2 to 3 pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 1700 ml of distilled water

Classic Berry-Infused Water

Recipe courtesy of Dr. Amy Lee


  • 2 strawberries, cleaned and sliced
  • 6 blueberries, cleaned and halved
  • 4 red raspberries, cleaned and halved
  • 4 black raspberries, cleaned and halved

Directions: Fill a 24-ounce mason jar with ice and add the ingredients listed above. Then, fill the jar with water. Soak the berries in the water for at least 4–6 hours before drinking.

What does it do?

A berry-infused drink is a perfect way to maximize your daily water intake while equally enjoying a flavorful and refreshing drink. Berries, nature’s antioxidants, are packed with vitamins and minerals. According to Dr. Lee, dark blue and purple colored berries—like blueberries and black raspberries—contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin, a plant compound containing powerful antioxidants.

Shopping List

Amounts recommended are approximate and may need to be adjusted according to your needs.

Herbs & Products

While you will certainly have leftovers of any Ayurvedic herbs you order for your cleanse, you can continue to take any of them after the cleanse to support further detoxification.

    (1/2 ounce) or Triphala tablets (6 tablets)
  • Optional: Brahmi/Gotu Kola powder for rehydration tea (1/2&ndash1 ounce)
  • Optional: Vata Digest, Pitta Digest, or Kapha Digest tablets can be taken after meals to improve agni (nine tablets)


  • Organic White Basmati Rice, (21 ounces)
  • Organic Yellow Mung Dal (12 ounces)
  • Organic Ghee, clarified butter&mdashavailable at most health food stores (6 ounces)
  • Organic rolled oats (1 1/2 cup or 6 ounces)
  • Optional: raisins (3/4 cup or 4 1/2 ounces)
  • Apple, apricot, peach, or pear (1 1/2&ndash3 cups)
  • Organic roasted sesame seeds (1 cup per batch of sesame seed chutney)

Vegetables for kitchari (6 cups total), such as:

  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Winter squash
  • Zucchini

Spices and garnishes to have on hand

  • Black mustard seeds
  • Black pepper
  • Cilantro (1/4 pound per batch of fresh coriander chutney) , whole
  • Coconut, unsweetened and shredded
  • Ginger root, fresh
  • Hing (asafoetida)
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mint, fresh, or dried peppermint
  • Sweeteners: Barley malt or raw honey turbinado sugar

Optional spices and garnishes:

    (for oatmeal)
  • Cayenne pepper (for sesame seed chutney) (for oatmeal) (for oatmeal)
  • Nutmeg (for oatmeal)

Cleanse Products

Or, save time and money with one of Banyan&rsquos cleanse products:

  • Banyan&rsquos Kitchari Kit contains a seven-day supply of Organic Basmati Rice and Yellow Mung Dal, as well as Kitchari Spice Mix and Ghee.
  • For an even more convenient and customizable option, Banyan&rsquos Cleanse Bundle allows you to select which items you&rsquod like, and also features CCF Tea.

Additional Resources

For more information on Ayurvedic Cleansing, click here to return to our cleansing department.

To explore the Ayurvedic practice of rasayana (rejuvenation), please see our rejuvenation department.

For more information on agni and why it is so critical to our overall health, you may enjoy our piece on The Importance of Healthy Digestion.

For more on ama (natural toxins), please see our article on Ama: the Antithesis of Agni.