The elimination diet is one of the most important aspects of our detox program. It can be very tempting to dive right in and start your cleanse as soon as it arrives at your doorstep but pre-cleansing is an essential aspect of any detox that can enhance the experience and lead to longer-lasting results.
We suggest pre-cleansing by eating all meals and snacks from the list of approved foods on the elimination diet for three to five days before the start of the cleanse. Even if we have been a fairly clean eater recently, the more processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar we have consumed over the years, the more inflammation our body experiences due to an accumulation of mucus and fat in the body. Diving into a cleanse without a solid pre-cleanse period can make our detoxification symptoms more difficult.
A pre-cleanse on the elimination diet allows us to slowly reduce major food sensitivities and transition off of coffee, sugar, and alcohol without the pressure of the cleanse protocol. We will also be able to determine which foods on the elimination diet we prefer.
FOODS TO ENJOY
Pre-cleansing is helpful because it involves slowly removing the major allergen and inflammation-causing foods while continuing to eat solid foods so don’t detox doesn’t happen too quickly.
There are so many options! Nowadays, there are many dairy substitutes we can use, such as hemp, coconut, rice, and nut milks. There are many gluten-free grains, including black rice, millet, and buckwheat.
For fruits and veggies, we can even have raw, steamed, roasted, baked, frozen – even canned, just make sure they are water-packed and be aware of any added sweeteners, preservatives, or ingredients we can’t pronounce. Also, we encourage taking advantage of vegetable proteins, like peas, lentils, and legumes. We can even do the cleanse as a vegetarian or vegan!
But of course, you can also include animal protein that is chicken, turkey, lamb, or fresh or water-packed cold-water fish. Nuts and seeds are an additional fantastic source of protein and provide us with much-needed vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. We like to use pumpkin, sunflower, cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts, and more.
Participating in the 21-Day Clean Program doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some desserts and snacks. We just avoid all sugars and sweeteners that aren’t coconut sugar, coconut nectar, stevia, natural fruits, or dried fruit.
Throughout our entire cleanse, we’ll be following the elimination diet which is intended to remove any foods that are causing a buildup of mucus, fat, and inflammation in our system. It can be surprising which foods can cause us to have a reaction, which is why it is necessary to remove so many during the cleanse.
FOODS TO AVOID
- Dairy and eggs: all
- Grains: white rice, wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye, triticale, oats
- Fruits and vegetables: oranges, grapefruit, bananas, strawberries, corn, nightshades
- Animal protein: pork, beef, veal, sausage, cold cuts, canned meats, frankfurters, shellfish, any raw meats or raw fish
- Vegetable protein: soybean products
- Nuts and seeds: peanuts and peanut butter
- Oils: shortening, processed oils, salad dressings, and spreads
- Drinks: alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and soft drinks
- Sweeteners: white and brown refined sugars, honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and evaporated cane juice
- Condiments: ketchup, relish, chutney, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, gum, breath mints
Read ingredients carefully when shopping. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but quickly becomes a new healthy habit. Once we find recipes we love we can enjoy the process!
Written by the Clean Team