Gentle Detox for the New Year

January 6, 2017

Happy New Year, friends!

It is that time of year again when many of us are thinking about new starts, new goals, and our intentions for this coming year.

I have set some goals this year, both personal and for the blog and I’ll be sharing them with you throughout the year.  I have some exciting things planned!

Speaking of goals, I have some news!  Last month, I enrolled in the Herbal Academy of New England!   I am beyond excited to be pursuing an education in Herbalism!   Much of what I know is self-taught so I am excited to take it to a new level and share with you what I’m learning.

Now on to today’s topic. . .


Gentle Detox for the New Year | Healthy Eating | Plant Based Diet | My Healthy Homemade Life


Did you overindulge a bit over the holidays?

I definitely did and I am NOT feeling my best.   It’s time to rein things in and get back on track.   Thankfully, all of the holiday goodies are gone!  😉

One of the things that I love to do when I feel like I’m getting off track with eating healthy is to detox.  I’m not talking about anything drastic–no juice fasting, weird detox drinks or herbal detox supplements, just eating really clean for 3 weeks.  No cheating!

I find that when I do this, I feel lighter, I sleep better, the cravings disappear and I usually drop between 10-12 lbs over the 3 weeks.  At the end of week 3,  I feel amazing!  I feel more energized, and just healthier in general.  I feel so good, I just want keep eating clean.  It’s so much easier to resist temptation for unhealthy foods after a detox and you’ve gotten out all the garbage.

Today, I’m going to be sharing what I do to gently detox and get back on track after the holidays or any time I just need to “re-boot.”


Eat Super-Clean, Plant Based Whole Foods

  • This means eating lots of vegetables, beans and legumes, fruit, gluten free grains (such as brown rice, quinoa and oats,) nuts and seeds.  If you do eat gluten, this is a wonderful time to give your body a break from all the gluten.

  • When choosing food, focus on things that are grown in the ground rather than things that are man-made.   Choose fresh vegetables whenever possible. Choose frozen vegetables over canned.

  • Eat a wide variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

  • Things I avoid during my detox: meat, fish, dairy, eggs, soy, alcohol, gluten, coffee, caffeine, sugar, bread, pasta, over the counter medication and processed foods (with the exception of  a few items such as canned tomatoes, canned beans and organic, gluten free vegetable broth.)

Gentle Detox for the New Year | Healthy Eating | Plant Based Diet | My Healthy Homemade Life



Eat in Moderation

  • I load up on the fresh, raw veggies but everything else I eat in moderation.  I find that being mindful and present when I am eating (NOT multi-tasking)  is extremely helpful.  Eating slowly and savoring the food also helps tremendously.

  • For protein, I aim for 1 cup of beans or legumes per day along with some grains (slightly less if I’m also including a complete protein such as quinoa in one of my meals.  I also limit nuts and seeds to no more than 1/4 cup per day.

  • I avoid snacking at night or between meals if possible.  If needed, I’ll snack on raw vegetables or fresh fruit.  I find sipping some hot herbal tea after dinner and in the evening is extremely helpful in warding off temptation for an after dinner snack.

Gentle Detox for the New Year | Healthy Eating | Plant Based Diet | My Healthy Homemade Life



Drink Plenty of Water and Herbal Tea

  • I drink distilled water (with 1/4 tsp sea salt added per gallon), filtered water or herbal tea and avoid caffeinated beverages and chlorinated or fluorinated tap water.

  • Drinking enough during your detox is critical!  You want to move toxins out of your body as quickly as possible. Drinking enough will also help if you are having headaches during your detox.

  • Choose herbal teas that both detox and nourish your body.  I like to start my day with Dandelion Root tea in place of coffee. Dandelion root is wonderfully detoxifying and bitter  It helps to stimulate the liver and gall bladder to clear waste products and toxins from the body. It is also a diuretic so avoid drinking it right before bed!   Drinking teas made from herbs such as nettle, raspberry leaf, rose hips, and red clover will help nourish your body as you detox.


Gentle Detox for the New Year | Healthy Eating | Plant Based Diet | My Healthy Homemade Life

Epsom Salt Baths

  • Epsom salt, also know as magnesium sulfate, is an easy and relaxing way to detox.  Epsom salt pulls toxins (such as pesticides and heavy metals) from the body as you soak.   Add 2 cups to a full bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.

  • During my detox, I take several Epsom salt baths each week and add 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil to the bath water (add the tea tree to a full tub of water and stir before you get in.) This is another thing that really helps with the headaches you might experience during your detox. Don’t be alarmed if you start to sweat during your bath, it’s the tea tree.  Sweating will also help remove toxins.

Gentle Detox for the New Year | Healthy Eating | Plant Based Diet | My Healthy Homemade Life


Meal Ideas for your Gentle Detox

Listed below are some typical meals I eat during my detox.  This is not an all inclusive list so feel free to mix things up and come up with your own meals.  I’ve included some ideas to get you started.  The goal here is to eat nutrient-dense, plant based meals in moderation.   Aim to eat a variety of different foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

Breakfast :  

  • Fruit plate (3 cups of fresh or frozen seasonal fruit) or Fruit Salad

  • Gluten Free Steel Cut or Old Fashioned Oatmeal sweetened with fresh berries and/or a small amount of pure maple syrup or Topped with Cinnamon, Chopped Apple and Walnuts.

  • Large Green Smoothie or Fresh Fruit Smoothie

  • Chia Pudding (made with a plant based milk such as almond or coconut) and topped with fresh or frozen fruit.    Use 1/4 cup chia seeds to 1 cup of milk.


Gentle Detox for the New Year | Healthy Eating | Plant Based Diet | My Healthy Homemade Life


  • Large Tossed Salad:  Mixed baby greens, spinach or Romaine with a variety of  fresh vegetables, 1/2 avocado OR up to 1/4 cup nuts/seeds OR cooked beans OR quinoa OR cooled steamed or roasted beets and topped with Homemade Greek Dressing or other homemade dressing prepared with extra virgin olive oil (no vegetable oil.)

  • Nori Rolls (if you’re adventurous!):  Toasted Nori filled with pre-cooked brown rice, cucumbers, carrots, and red peppers, with a sprinkle of sesame or hemp seeds.

  • Homemade Soup & Salad (such as Homemade Minestrone Soup or Mexican Soup.)

  • Leftovers from Dinner

  • Homemade Hummus and Vegetable Platter



  • Stir Fried Vegetables:  Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, red peppers, zucchini, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc., stir fried with garlic and fresh ginger and extra virgin coconut oil. Top with a splash of Coconut Aminos (a natural soy-free soy sauce made with coconut) if desired.  Serve with or without quinoa, wild or brown rice or millet.

  • Brown Rice & Beans with Steamed Vegetables

  • Baked Sweet Potato with Roasted Cauliflower and Wilted Greens

  • Cooked Lentils and Roasted Root Vegetables

  • Homemade Vegetable or Bean Soup

  • Quinoa Salad with Kale, Fresh Chopped Vegetables and Chick peas

  • Burrito Bowl with Black Beans, Brown or Wild Rice topped with Lettuce, Cucumbers, Corn, Fresh Cilantro and Homemade Salsa or Guacamole.


What to expect from your Gentle Detox

  • Detox symptoms such as headaches are completely normal.  Drinking plenty of water and/or herbal tea and taking Epsom salt baths will help.  If you normally drink coffee, the first few days can be a little rough as you detox off of coffee. Consider gradually weaning yourself off coffee in the week prior to starting your detox. Avoid taking any over the counter medication for your headaches.  You are just setting yourself back.

     You can expect to feel a little hungry as you get used to a new way of eating. This is not a starvation diet.  Eat a reasonable amount during your meals, just don’t overdo it.  You will find that if you stick with it, you will feel satisfied after and between your meals.


Wishing you all the very best in this new year ahead and a happy, healthy 2017!




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