Cleanse for the New Year

13 Jan

by Green Gourmet L

Photo from

Around this time of year, alot of people think about doing a cleanse. You may have indulged in too many Christmas goodies. You may want a fresh start for 2011. You may be someone that does this every year as a ritual. Whatever the reason, cleanses can help restart the motivation to make conscious decisions about what you put in your body.

Cleanses can also be a bit scary. If you are thinking of doing one after the holidays, make sure you research the best one for you and talk to your doctor as some cleanses do not work well with certain medications, medical conditions, or body types. The most popular and trendy cleanse out there is the Master Cleanse. This involves drinking a concoction of lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper as well as taking laxatives and doing a salt water flush for at least 10 days. The theory is that the body builds up toxins and that this is a way to give your digestive system a rest and clear your body of whatever toxins may exist.

The Master Cleanse was developed by an alternative healer and there has not been much (if any) research done about it. But there is alot of anecdotal evidence that seems to be mostly positive in nature (weight loss, increased energy, etc). Be your best advocate and do your own research! If anyone has done the Master Cleanse (or any other version of it) and would like to share your experience, the Green Gourmets are very interested to hear it!

Photo from


If you don’t want to be as extreme as the Master Cleanse followers you can still cleanse by taking a few small steps to flush out your system. Mr. Green Gourmet and I usually do our own version of a cleanse right after the holiday season. This helps get us back on the right track for healthy eating in the new year.

This is what we avoid for at least 2 weeks:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Anything made with High Fructose Corn Syrup or Hydrogenated fats
  • All meats and poultry
  • Sugar and sugar substitutes (splenda, equal, etc)
  • Processed or packaged foods
  • We also limit our intake of dairy

This might sound really hard (especially the caffeine part), but it is doable. If you decide to do this, make sure that you are choosing organic produce and getting enough protein through beans/legumes, nuts, and soy/dairy. Also, you want to up your water intake to 8-10 glasses of filtered/bottled water a day. I find that once I start making more conscious decisions about what I am putting into my body, I don’t crave the sweets, salt, and caffeine buzz like I used to. If you need some ideas for recipes, Bon Appetit has written out meal plans and ideas for a “Food Lovers” Cleanse. This looks good, but expensive.  Now onto other buzzworthy facts:

How to Eliminate Caffeine in Seven Days

Caffeine is an addiction. Taking yourself off of caffeine will probably be difficult and may lead to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and irritation. BUT you also won’t have the roller coaster of energy highs and lows throughout the day. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and not NEEDING coffee to get going? It is kind of amazing. Give it 7 days. Credit is given to Mark Hyman from the book UltraMetabolism.

  1. Start out on a weekend where you can take naps as needed
  2. First three days: cut down to 1/2 of the amount of caffeine you usually drink (coffee, tea, soda)
  3. Next four days: Drink one cup of caffeinated green tea. I like the Tazo and Yogi brands
  4. For all seven days, increase your intake of Vitamin C (take 1-2 packages of Emergen-C powder)
  5. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of filtered/bottled water

And guess what…you can still drink decaf! I love the taste and the ritual of drinking coffee, but I never liked the effect it had on me. I was either wired or exhausted after drinking caffeinated coffee. But decaf doesn’t leave me with any side effects, so I enjoy my cup each morning. Good luck with any version of a cleanse, the Green Gourmets would love to hear your experiences!


2 Responses to “Cleanse for the New Year”

  1. Amanda January 13, 2011 at 3:58 PM #

    Hey guys, I recently stopped drinking coffee because it was giving me terrible daily headaches. It took awhile to figure out who the culprit was (sugar was my initial target), but for over a month, I have been headache free. Big yayyyy! I think it may have been a food allergy because the headaches were a result of both decaf and regular coffee.

    Anyway, love the blog, ladies! Especially all the delicious recipes 🙂

    • thegreengourmets January 14, 2011 at 10:05 AM #

      You are a brave soul Amanda! That is great though that you found your headache culprit. Do you drink tea now?

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