Cleanse Recipes & Meal Plan

Preparing for your Cleanse

A few days to a week before you begin your cleanse, I recommend the following. It’s not required but makes the detox process much more gentle and enjoyable.

  • Reduce/eliminate toxic agitators: Caffeine, alcohol, dairy, meat, processed foods, low-quality carbs from your diet.
  • Get into a routine of going to bed and waking at the same time.
  • Start moving. If you have a walk or yoga routine, fabulous. If not yet, now is a wonderful time to begin the practice. 
  • Shop and meal prep. A little pre-planning in this arena will make it easy to eat the cleanse foods and make it less tempting to reach for those old reliable snacks.

5-Day Cleanse Meal Plan

Sample Meal Plan with snacks, days 1 – 5
  • Begin every morning with a cup of warm lemon water. You can either squeeze 1/2 a lemon or 1 – 2 drops lemon essential oil into a mug.
  • Breakfast: Days 1, 3, and 5 will be quinoa and steamed veggies. Days 2 and 4 kitchari
  • Lunch every day is simple kitchari
  • Dinner is Vegan harvest stew
  • Snacks – if you need an extra nosh, choose from kitchari, steamed veggies, some oven-roasted root vegetables, or the Autumn Delight Juice.
  • Drinks – Sip on more warm lemon water, or caffeine-free teas

A Day in the Life of Detox

Incorporate some or all of these elements into your cleansing day to experience a whole body, mind, and spirit detox.

  1. Right when you awaken, start your day infusing love into each of your 5 senses.
  2. Do cleansing breathwork and meditate
  3. Body brushing to stimulate the largest organ in your body, your skin.
  4. Drink warm lemon water before eating breakfast. 
  5. Practice mindful eating at every meal.
  6. Sip on tea or lemon water throughout the day to enhance hydration
  7. Find 20 – 60 minutes to incorporate movement into your day. Sweat and stretch to aid the detoxification process.
  8. Make time for a little time in nature. Even a 10 minute walk outside, bare feet on grass, toes in the sand, or even a little quality time on your balcony with your potted plants will help connect you to the earth.
  9. Treat yourself to a little journal time each day….see prompts
  10. Indulge in a warm Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt helps aid digestion, improve circulation, and release toxins. A warm bath before bed is a great way to bring your body and mind into sleep-mode.
  11. Try to eat your last meal 3 hours before bed. Stick to tea and lemon water after dinner. Keep hydrating.
  12. Turn off the TECH at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Bonus points if you leave the phone in a different room while you sleep. 
  13. Give your body a few moments of stretching before getting into bed…
  14. Right before bed, think of and maybe write down something you are grateful for today.

Recipes

Classic Kitchari

Classic Kitchari

Ingredients

  • 2 cup yellow mung dal beans
  • 1 cup basmati rice or quinoa
  • 2 tbsp ghee, sesame oil, or coconut oil
  • 5 cups chopped organic veggies according to your dosha such as kale, spinach, carrots, celery, bok choy (avoid nightshades)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp each black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh or 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp each cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds or powder (optional cinnamon in winter)
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth (no salt)
  • ½ tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions

  1. Chop all your veggies into bite-sized pieces
  2. Rinse your dal (mung beans) and remove any pebbles
  3. Heat the ghee/oil in a large pot. Add all seeds and toast until mustard seeds begin to pop. Add bay leaves, powdered spices, turmeric, and mix together.
  4. Stir in rice/quinoa and beans/dal. Add 8 cups of water/stock, cardamom pods, cloves, and chopped vegetables.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook at least an hour until beans and rice are soft and kitchari is like porridge. Top with cilantro if desired.

Variations

Not sure about your dosha? Take this quiz.

Vata

  • Use 2x ghee/oil
  • Add a pinch of cayenne with powdered spices
  • Add ½ inch minced fresh ginger with the spices
  • Use quinoa instead of rice and double the amount for extra protein
  • Veggies: carrots, zucchini, peas, sweet potatoes, and asparagus

Pitta

  • Use ½ amount mustard seed and pepper or omit the mustard
  • Swap ghee for coconut oil
  • Veggies: leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, and carrots

Kapha

  • Use ½ or omit ghee/oil and add an inch or two of water with the spices to soften before adding beans and rice
  • Use quinoa, millet, or amaranth instead of rice
  • Add ½ inch minced fresh ginger with spices
  • Best veggies: leafy greens, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and celery

Other variations

  • Vegan: Use sesame or coconut oil instead of ghee
  • Grain-free/low carb: Omit rice/quinoa and instead put ½ a head of cauliflower in the food processor until rice-sized. Toast in a pan with ghee/sesame for a few minutes and add to pot after dal has finished cooking.

Vegan Harvest Stew

Vegan Harvest Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 large carrot
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 small parsnips
  • 2 cups butternut squash or acorn squash
  • 3 cups green cabbage
  • 8 oz mushrooms 
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (no salt)
  • 1 -2 tsp sea salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Peel and dice the butternut squash, medium dice the onion. Cut the carrot, celery, mushroom, and parsnips into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic. Rinse and rough chop the cabbage.
  2. Using a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they start to sweat about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, parsnips, and celery for another 2 minutes. Followed by the squash, mushrooms, and cabbage. Add a pinch of salt and continue sauteing until the veggies begin to stick to the pan.
  4. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme plus a splash of stock to deglaze the pan. Scrape up any sticky bits off the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the rest of the stock and another pinch of salt. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook on low for 30 minutes.
  6. Taste occasionally and add more salt and herbs to your taste preference.

Quinoa and Steamed Vegetables

Quinoa and Steamed Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups quinoa
  • 3 cups water or vegetable stock (no salt)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp each fresh herbs rosemary & thyme (optional)
  • 3 -5 cups chopped vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower.

If you prefer sweet to savory

  • Swap the rosemary & thyme for fresh grated or ground ginger, cinnamon, and clove
  • Best vegetables to compliment are squash, carrots, sweet potato, parsnips, and cauliflower.

Directions

  1. Chop all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with water/stock. Add salt and pepper, herbs, and/or spices. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn heat to low and add quinoa. Stir, cover, and simmer on low until liquid is absorbed (about 15 min).
  4. Bring another pot with a few inches of water and a steamer basket to a boil. Add the vegetables and steam until tender. If using butternut squash, carrots, or parsnips, put them in first and let steam 3 – 4 minutes before adding the rest.
  5. To serve: scoop a cup of quinoa into a bowl and top with 1/5 of the vegetables. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs, or a pinch of cinnamon if doing the “sweet” version.

Autumn Delight Juice

Autumn Delight Juice

Ingredients

  • 1.5-pound raw beetroot (2 medium)
  • 2 apples
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalk celery
  • 2-inch raw ginger
  • 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Add veggies to the blender or juicer and pulverize until juice.
  2. If using a blender, you may want to pour through a fine-mesh strainer to remove some of the pulp.

After day 5, what comes next?

After 5 days you should be feeling rejuvenated and cleansed. Yay! At this stage, you have a few options that will allow you to continue feeling good.

  1. Continue with the cleanse. If you’re enjoying the simple, soothing dishes you’ve been consuming, it is safe to continue this meal plan for another few days up to a few weeks. You can adjust the vegetables you use to change things up a bit.
  2. If you are craving a little more variety in your menu but want to keep your diet clean, start introducing more foods, but keep them 100% plant-based, unprocessed (or minimally processed), and organic where possible. Stick to this plan for another few days up to 21 days total. Check out the recipe links below for some inspiration.
  3. End the cleansing phase and begin transitioning toward your “regular” diet. You have likely reduced and/or eliminated cravings for things that don’t serve your body such as caffeine, sugar, salt, and processed foods. If you don’t want these to become a regular part of your diet again, now is an ideal time to make that lifestyle change.

Regardless of your choice, you’ll want to slowly transition back to your “regular” diet so as not to shock your system. Your body might be more sensitive to processed foods and animal products leaving you not feeling well if you rush back into consuming them. The general rule of thumb: “Eat (real, whole) foods. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Food Author, Michael Pollan.

What to Eat

Focus on:

  • seasonal, fresh veggies and fruit (organic if possible)
  • whole grains: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, brown/wild rice
  • beans, peas, and lentils
  • nuts and seeds (walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.)
  • vegetable stock (no sodium or homemade)
  • fresh-pressed juices and green smoothies
  • fermented foods (sour kraut, kimchi)
  • coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee (Use sparingly. Omit ghee if eating vegan.)
  • unsweetened nut milk (homemade is best)
  • detoxifying teas
  • warm water with lemon, or ginger and apple cider vinegar
  • sparse amounts honey or agave

Avoid:

  • processed food (anything with preservatives, additives, chemicals. Canned, frozen, boxed, etc)
  • meat (beef, poultry, pork, etc.)
  • fish/seafood (including shellfish)
  • dairy (a little ghee is alright for cooking)
  • eggs
  • caffeine (including from tea, coffee, and chocolate)
  • alcohol
  • gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, etc.)
  • soy (including tofu)
  • corn
  • peanuts
  • excess salt
  • refined sugar

Clean Eating Recipes

Got Leftovers?

I sure did! Here is what I made with my surplus of butternut squash, parsnips, harvest stew, and other cleanse ingredient goodies.

Juices

Salads

Mains