Welcome to the first week of Whole Nutrition’s January Cleanse/Weight Loss program. I am so proud of you for taking your health into your own hands for this new year. For the next 31 days we will be gently cleansing our body through whole foods and lifestyle choices. I have designed the program to begin with a week full of “baby steps” to ease into a weeklong gluten-free, vegan cleanse. Weeks 3 & 4 we will reintroduce animal protein and dairy back into our diets if desired and week 5 will allow you to reintroduce any other foods that you normally enjoy. It’s important to take note of how your body and mind feels throughout the cleanse and once you add specific food groups back into your daily meals.
Our goal is to eat whole, natural foods to efficiently fuel our bodies and allow our bodies to cleanse out toxins and impurities By gradually starting this cleanse, you will ease into a healthier, more energetic you. You will complete this simple, non-drastic cleanse over the next four and a half weeks. Each of the weeks has different guidelines and goals:
I have included menu plans, links to recipes and healthy lifestyle tips to make this your cleanse as simple as possible. Please email me with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to answer them.
This is your elimination week. It’s food choices are not as strict as the following weeks. Our goal for this week is to prep our bodies for the cleanse that follows. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Each day this week we will be removing a specific food from our diet until instructed to reintroduce it.
This cleanse is a time to abstain from alcohol. If you absolutely must indulge in a glass of red wine, you will be allowed one glass during the third, fourth and fifth weeks of the cleanse. Alcohol is considered a toxin because it taxes the adrenal glands, negatively impacts liver detoxification and creates free radicals that can damage cells. We want to detoxify our bodies, not add more toxins into the mix!
We will start each morning with a 16 ounce cup of room-temperature or warm filtered water with two tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice. This practice is a great way to awaken your digestive system, detoxify the liver and intestines and alkalize your body. Continue this practice throughout the entire month if not indefinitely.
If you drink coffee or caffeine, you will be gradually reducing your intake this week. I know from experience that it is painful to quit caffeine cold turkey. Take this week to gradually decrease your caffeine intake. For example, if you usually have two cups of coffee each morning, have 14 ounces on Monday, 12 ounces on Tuesday, 10 ounces on Wednesday, etc. until you are down to none.
If you eat meats, poultry and fish, we will be abstaining from these foods on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Please take the time to read through this week’s daily guides and take the time to plan out meals according to each day’s recommendations. This week is a chance for you to take “baby-steps” towards the cleanse. It is not an excuse to pig out and indulge in rich, “bad-for-your-health” foods. Our goal is to prepare our body for next weeks gluten-free, vegan cleanse. Try to include plenty of green vegetables, fruits and unprocessed foods. Experiment with a new recipe or try a new-to-you food.
Sunday, January 1st: Today’s goal is to eliminate HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) and Refined Sugar from your food intake. These ingredients eaten in excess have been shown to create an acidic environment in your body, negatively affect blood sugar levels and promote the overgrowth of candida. They are empty calories and do not supply your body with any healthy nutrients. Besides avoiding the obvious candy, baked goods and ice cream, you also need to check the labels of dry cereal, dressings and sauces, jelly or jam, canned soups and any type of processed food. Another tip is that sugar can be listed under another name. Food manufacturers know that more and more people are avoiding HFCS and refined sugar and therefore try to use alternate names for these ingredients when used. You also need to scan labels for the following names:
Now that you have excluded HFCS and refined sugar from your diet, here are some healthier alternatives to use instead:
In the evening, have a cup of herbal tea instead of dessert. Go to bed a half hour earlier than normal and read a book until your fall asleep. Notice if you sleep more soundly than normal.
Monday, January 2nd: Today’s goal is to eliminate trans fat (or trans fatty acids) from your diet. Trans fat is a type of fat that is chemically manufactured and not found in nature. It is made my food manufacturers when they turn liquid fats into solid form. It is added to processed foods to increase their shelf-life. It has been shown to clog arteries and raise “bad” LDL cholesterol. Luckily, food manufacturers are required by law to list the amount of transfat on nutrition labels. Transfat has even been banned from some fast-food and dining restaurants.
Today, look for trans fat listed on the label of any processed food that you eat. You do not need to worry about whole, natural foods because they do not contain any trans fats. Some surprising foods to contain trans fats (not all brands do, so check the label before buying):
We should not eliminate all fat from our diet. Our body needs healthy fats to stay function properly. Sources of healthy fats to include in our diet include:
Try to keep your intake of pure, healthy fats to around 2 tablespoons of oils and nutbutters or about an ounce of avocado and nuts. Roughly 200 calories per day – give or take.
In the evening, have a cup of herbal tea before going to bed a half hour earlier than normal. Take out your journal or a notebook and write down three things that you are thankful for in your life. They could be centered around family and friends, health, stability, etc. After writing down what you are thankful for, concentrate on the joy that they bring to your life as you fall asleep.
Tuesday, January 3rd: Today’s goal is to take all forms of gluten out of your diet. Gluten is a common allergin found in wheat, barley, spelt, rye and some processed oats. Gluten-sensitivity affects far more people than currently diagnosed. By removing gluten from your diet, you are avoiding a possible culprit to your stomach pain, bloated stomach, anxiety, skin conditions or a number of other possible issues. Gluten can be very tricky to detect because it is found in so many processed foods that you would never think of containing gluten. The easiest way to see if a food is okay to eat is if the label clearly states “gluten-free.” If it does not, you need to scan the list of ingredients for wheat, soy sauce, rye, barley, malt barley extract, spelt or oats. Sometimes a package will clearly state “contains wheat,” but you have to check every ingredient even if that is not listed.
Here is a list of common ingredients contain gluten on celiac.com.
Great alternatives to these foods include:
Remember that today is a meat/poultry/fish free day. Try incorporating beans, legumes, tofu, quinoa or other vegetarian protein sources into today’s meals.
In the evening, have a cup of herbal tea before going to bed a half hour earlier than normal. Before falling asleep, write out a list of the things that you have to get done tomorrow. Relax and know that you will be able to get them accomplished tomorrow. Your job tonight is to fall asleep without worrying about what tomorrow will bring. Fall asleep peacefully and awake refreshed in the morning.
Wednesday, January 4th: Today’s goal is to remove dairy from your diet. Many people are lactose or dairy-intolerant and don’t know it. Signs of dairy-intolerance include bloated stomach, gas, upset stomach, achy joints and acne. Cow’s dairy seems to be the worst offense. Some people can eat sheep or goat’s dairy without the problems normally caused by cow dairy.
Today, remove all dairy from your diet. This includes: milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, creamer and dairy ingredients found in processed foods.
Alternatives include: coconut, almond, rice and soy milk and their cheeses, yogurt and creamers.
In the evening, have a cup of herbal tea before going to bed a half hour earlier than normal. Practice a simple meditation as you fall asleep. Close you eyes and relax your body. Start by imagining stress leaving the top of your head, then your forehead, then your eye… Continue pushing the stress out from every part of your body down to your toes. Lay there and try to just be. Allow yourself to be totally relaxed without thinking or worrying about anything. If a thought enters your mind, allow it to drift away. Continue this practice until you dose off to sleep.
Thursday, January 5th: Today’s goal is to remove soy from your diet. Soy is a much more common allergen and sensitivity than is commonly recognized. A lot of soy that is used in processed goods is genetically modified. This means that it’s genetic structure has been chemically altered to be able to continue to grow when sprayed with pesticides. This unnatural food is the culprit for many unwanted symptoms including stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue and wheezing and other asthma symptoms.
Today, remove all processed soy products from your diet. You can continue to eat edame (whole soy beans) and foods that are specifically labeled “GMO-free.”
Remember that today is a meat/poultry/fish free day. Try incorporating beans, legumes, quinoa or other vegetarian protein sources into today’s meals.
In the evening, have a cup of herbal tea before and draw yourself a bath. Light a candle and take a book or magazine in there with you. Just be careful not to get it wet! Remember to plan your evening so you can still go to bed a half hour earlier than normal.
Friday, January 6th: Today’s goal is to remove corn from your diet. Sensitivity to corn is not commonly recognized. Because corn is a cheap crop to grow and a major source of income for many American farmers, it is used in a variety of processed foods. Similarly to soy, most of the corn that is used in processed goods is genetically modified. Some people may not be able to tolerate the genetically modified version of corn.
Today, remove all processed corn products from your diet. You can continue to eat corn and foods made with corn only if they are specifically labeled “GMO-free.
In the evening, have a cup of herbal tea before and take out your journal or notebook. Make a list of people who always lift your spirits. Write down what characteristics you admire in these individuals and make a promise that you will call them and set up a time to meet with at least one of them over the next week.
Saturday, January 7th: Today’s goal is to remove peanuts from your diet. Peanuts are a commonly known allergy, but a lesser known sensitivity. Peanuts are susceptible to molds and fungal invasions. Of particular concern is aflatoxin, a poison produced by a fungus called Aspergillus flavus. You can read more about the nutrition and concerns about peanuts here on whfoods.com website.
Today, remove all processed peanut products from your diet. This includes whole peanuts, peanut butter, granola and protein bars and some Asian sauces. Replace peanuts with almonds, cashews, brazil nuts or your other favorite type of nut.
In the evening, have a cup of herbal tea before and take out your journal or notebook. Tomorrow is the beginning of your seven day vegan cleanse. Write down what your intentions for the next week are. Do you want to lose weight, clear your skin, have more energy or feel less bloated? Whatever you are hoping to gain from doing this cleanse, write it down and look at your list each night for the next week.
Main Pointers for Week 1:
I will be posting helpful website and recipe links throughout the cleanse. I also encourage you to purchase a book on cleansing or detoxification. There are many hokey and over-the-top cleanse and detox books out there, so skim through it first and make sure that you are comfortable with the author’s suggestions before you purchase it. Also, I warn you against researching cleansing and detoxification methods on the internet because anyone can post anything online. Take any information that you gather online with a grain of salt because it may or may not be accurate. With that being said, here are three books that I own and recommend to others who want to learn more about safe and natural cleansing and detoxification:
Natalia Rose’s “Detox for Women” is a great place to start reading about how your daily food choices can improve your health. I do not follow all of her guidelines because they do not work well with my body, but she offers a balanced diet for those wishing to continue a gentle, detoxifying diet post-clease. Her other books include raw and vegan recipes and lifestyle tips.
Dr. Alejandro Junger’s “Clean” was the first book that I read about cleansing with whole, natural foods. Dr. Junger includes a lot of scientific and medical research when explaining the benefits of cleansing. This was beneficial because a lot of cleanse and detox information is put out by people without a medical background and can seem unscientific. Dr. Junger backs up all of his suggestions with research and case studies. He includes a 30-day regime in his book. I was going to try it out, but decided against it because two out of the three daily meals had to be in liquid form and I could not see myself having a smoothie for breakfast and a blended soup for dinner for a month straight. However, if I had a medical condition that could be improved by his suggestions, I would be willing to try it over taking prescription drugs.
Adina Niemerow “Super Cleanse” is a fun book filled with different cleanses to try out. She Niemerow is a personal chef leads group cleanses in California. Her book includes ten different types of cleanses ranging from beginner to veteran. She has cleanses meant to help get you out of your winter rut or help to beautify your skin and even includes a one-day cleanse. I have tried some of her recipes and they are tasty enough to eat even when your not cleansing.
Remember, this week is about preparing our body and mind for next weeks gluten-free, vegan cleanse. Try to focus on adding lots of unprocessed, whole foods into your diet as you take out the foods listed above. Please email me with any questions or feel free to comment below. Let’s get excited to feel our best as we transition into a new year!
Much love and support,
*** Please consult with your doctor or health care professional before beginning any new diet or exercise plan. The information that I have provided is optional and you can alter anything to fit your dietary and lifestyle needs. Please do not eat any foods that are allergens for you or interact with any medications that you may be on. Remember to be safe and listen to your bodies needs. ***