We’re rapidly approaching the end of our month of blogging about detoxification. We’ve talked a lot about what not to do, and looked at a bunch of (mostly cheap) easy detox options. Chief among the things we’ve discussed has been the importance of stocking up on good, clean, nutrient-dense food before, during and after any type of detox. With that in mind, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you at least a few suggestions on how to find or choose a nutrient-dense diet that will help ensure your body gets what it needs while it’s doing the hard work of detoxing!
Obviously, there is no one right answer to the question of what you should eat to support your immune system, clean out clogged elimination pathways, and support detoxification. With that said, there are three diets that almost anyone can do at pretty much any time that will directly support detox efforts. (In fact, for many people just adopting one of these diets counts as the healthiest possible detox option in and of itself!) All are clean, based in solid science, available to the public, and boast ample resources to simplify and guide implementation. I’ve listed them here from (in my opinion) easiest to hardest, though that’s entirely subjective and largely relative.
Designed by Dianne Sanfilippo, the 21 Day Sugar Detox Diet (21 DSD) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – you cut all forms of sugar (with the exception of some fruit) from your diet for 21 days. This eliminates the stress excessive sugar consumption places on your body, breaks existing sugar addictions, resets your taste buds, and can help reset your blood sugar balance. It can also positively effect weight, gut bacteria imbalances, mental/emotional states, along with a host of other factors/issues. Certified coaches are available, but optional. The entire program is clearly laid out in the book, and an abundance of support resources can be accessed for free online, including recipes and meal plans. The program features three levels of sugar detox plans, replete with a quiz to help you figure out which one is right for you and predetermined, well laid out variations for people with specific needs/circumstances (such as professional athletes and women who are pregnant). At only 21 Days, it’s easy to fit in around holidays, events, travel, and other potentially-derailing complications. When you’re done, you’ll have slain the sugar dragon and be perfectly positioned to make lasting positive changes.
It’s hard to go wrong with Paleo, whether you do it temporarily or permanently. While some people can thrive on clean, properly prepared grains and raw dairy, and there are plenty of Paleo recipes that are really just disguised junk food, most people will find that going Paleo forces them to clean up their diet significantly, with very positive outcomes. There are tons free or inexpensive resources to help you get started, from books (I like Well Fed and Practical Paleo), to blogs, to menu plans and more. Paleo is easier than ever to do, and a great way to systematically and cohesively embrace clean eating.
The Whole 30 is a deeply clean, nutrient-dense diet free of all common allergens that is intended to last (surprise!) for 30 days. Most people find their first one challenging but, like Paleo, resources have proliferated in recent years to make it easier. This will absolutely change how you think and how you feel, and if you’re looking to do some serious healing and cleanup it’s a practical and powerful place to start.
There you go! Those are my preferred places to start. Do you have a favorite I didn’t mention here? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!