As much as I’m obsessed with juice cleanses, I’ll admit that they aren’t for everyone. Perhaps some people just prefer chewing their food, or perhaps they’ve tried a juice cleanse before and it’s left them feeling too grumpy, exhausted and unable to exercise to ever do it again.
If you’re one of these people, here’s the good news: You can cleanse your body without having to resort to juices as meals. Yup – you can cleanse with food! Here’s how.
Five tips for following a four-day whole food detox
#1: Eat five to six small whole food meals a day
Newsflash: Cleansing or detoxing isn’t synonymous with starvation. Eat five to six small meals per day that incorporate “real foods”, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. You can have a juice here and there despite being on a whole food detox – for example, a green juice instead of a regular snack.
#2: Cut out all sugary drinks processed junk
My idea of a good cleanse is one that removes all sugary drinks and processed food. So, for the next four days, ditch the packaged stuff. You’ll find that most cleanses limit or omit processed foods, especially dairy, carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, because they’re the most challenging to digest and process.
#3: Change your water-drinking habits
It may sound like one of those annoying health tips, but you must drink lots of water. I recommend drinking eight glasses a day with the squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper in each glass. This will help you feel satisfied as well as boost your metabolism. I also suggest adding a teaspoon of organic aloe vera gel into one of your glasses of water each day.
#4: Drink lots of green and herbal tea
If you’re a tea fan, you’ll be glad about this. You must switch to green or herbal teas, and try to down to two cups of green tea during your cleanse while drinking plenty of other herbal tea. I recommend dandelion root tea, fennel tea and chamomile tea. Enjoy each cup with just a drizzle of raw honey.
#5: Keep some of your cleansing habits
While you can go back to eating the occasional doughnut or bagel after your cleanse, you should still be able to incorporate a lot of the eating habits you created during the four days into everyday life. While a juice cleanse is completely unsustainable, a whole food cleanse sets you up forever.
Feeling physically and mentally better during your whole food cleanse will help motivate you to not only stick with the cleanse for four days, but also to continue to incorporate the healthy habits you learn into your daily life for the long haul.