Have you thought about doing a cleanse, but the thought of committing to only drinking liquids for an extended period of time is a turn-off? The goal of a cleanse is to remove harmful foods and products from your diet so that your body has time to rest and detoxify. Occasional cleansing can be a great way to refresh and reenergize your physical self, but you can get a lot of the same benefits of a fasting cleanse without having to avoid all food or feel like you are being punished. Below, I’m sharing a food-based detox, which involves only eating and drinking foods that are detoxifying and beneficial to your body. Then you add in some healthy habits that increase your strength. Not only will you be cleansing your body of harmful ingredients, but you’ll be getting some added benefits from all the nutrients in the foods, including a stronger immune system and reduced inflammation. Try it for one week, or maybe two or three.Your skin will start to glow, your energy and vitality will increase, and you might even shed a pound or two. And eating real food will be a lot more satisfying and filling than trying to make it through your days with only liquids! The Non-Deprivation Detox Stay hydrated. Start your day with warm lemon water, which helps stimulate and clean out the liver, boost your vitamin C levels, and prepare your body for digestion by stimulating the release of enzymes. Then keep hydrated throughout the day by sipping on water and green tea. Green tea is a fabulous source of antioxidants and can increase liver function. Load up on nutrient-dense, plant-based whole foods. Eat a rainbow of vegetables and fruits to get as wide a range of micronutrients and antioxidants as possible. Make sure three quarters of your plate is made up of vegetables, especially leafy greens like kale and cruciferous veggies like broccoli. Green vegetables have chlorophyll which helps the body rid itself of environmental toxins and pesticides, while increasing oxygen in the blood. Additionally, eat fish, chicken, nuts, and seeds to ensure that you are getting enough protein. Amino acids are essential to helping your body stay strong. Avoid all processed foods. Remember, this detox is meant to help remove harmful toxins and elements from your body. All processed foods are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates and are toxic to your body. Eat only real food that comes from the ground or an animal. Cut out all sugar. Sugar is inflammatory and addictive. Eliminating all forms of sugar will help your body reenergize and help to reduce cravings. Beware of hidden sweeteners in foods such as peanut butter, bread, salad dressing and yogurt. Steer clear of foods that stress your liver. The liver is the body’s natural detox system, so everyone needs to take extra care of this critical organ. In addition to processed foods and sugar (which you will already be cutting out), other foods that can stress the liver and which should be removed from your diet for the short term are sodium and alcohol. Also beware of other potentially inflammatory foods such as gluten, corn, soy, and dairy. It’s your chance to clean out your body, so try eliminating as many of these foods as you can during this food detox. Same with coffee: if you drink a lot, cut down or cut it out altogether. You may be surprised at how much better you feel! Certain foods actually can help protect and stimulate your liver: load up on dandelion greens, raw garlic, grapefruit, avocado, beets, carrots, and artichokes. Take care of your skin. The skin is the largest organ in your body and plays a huge role in daily detoxification. Dry body brushing can help to remove dead layers of skin and stimulate blood circulation. Brush in the morning using firm pressure, and watch how your skin glows! What you put on your skin also can affect your health. Go through your bathroom cabinet and use only organic health care products. Work up a sweat. Whether it’s from a sauna, a hot bath or exercising, a good sweat is a great way to literally rid the body of toxins. Get quality sleep. Through detoxing, we are trying to repair and support our body. That’s why it’s really important to make sure you get enough sleep (the recommended 7 to 9 hours is ideal); your body needs time to rest and repair itself at night. At the end of your detox, you should feel energized and renewed. And who knows, maybe you will feel so good that you’ll be motivated to keep up with some of these habits. But it won’t be a cleanse or detox anymore, it will just be a healthy new lifestyle! Fight inflammation with a daily dose of turmeric supplementation! Want more? You might also like: Is Souping the New Juicing? Your 3-Day Soup Detox Meal Plan Healthy Comfort Foods? Yes! 9 Recipes Top Bloggers Are Cooking Right Now 7 Days, 7 Ways! Your Sugar Detox Challenge Assignment Calendar 15 Clean-Eating Recipes That’ll Make You Ditch That Bag of Chips Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.