Feeling a little maxed out with the summer eating and drinking activities? We have also been feeling this way. Generally, our healthy routines are a bit loose during the summer season, but after a few months we can start to feel sluggish, burned out and uninspired with our eating habits. These are the perfect reasons to take a few days to simplify, make space for creativity, reset digestion and cultivate healthy habits again, and it’s the perfect time to try a simple detox before heading into the fall season.
In most cases, our bodies are not toxic, and we do not need a serious detox. Hard detoxing can often deplete us more than we need and be potentially dangerous. Our bodies need support, nurturing and building to function properly. To improve your health and feel better in your body, the real key is in making more subtle long-term shifts.
We have outlined a simple three-day detox that is a healthy, yet realistic way to reset the digestive system, slow down a little and enjoy building your reserves for the changing season ahead.
This three day cleanse offers a gentle detoxification plan with a focus on digestion and nourishment, while setting you up to continue the suggestions after the three days are up. Cleansing is best during the spring and summer months because in winter we are trying to build all the reserves we have. So find a window of time, ask a friend to join for support, and treat yourself to some quiet downtime and gentle cleansing.
The 3-day detox
- Things to avoid: caffeine, sugar, dairy, alcohol, tobacco, other toxins, the stressful to-do list, screen time and stressful situations.
- Things to embrace: BITTERS, simple plant based foods, lots of water, sleep and rest, time outdoors, yoga, walking in the woods, meditation, journaling, deep breathing, sauna/bath, dry skin brushing & sunshine.
- The primary tool to this three-day detox is to incorporate bitters into your every day and to be diligent in taking them before each meal. The other goal is to simplify your meal plan to a few staples that are plant based, and easy on the digestive tract. Many foods are detox super stars by encouraging bile production, and supporting the natural detox function of the body- optimal liver health and bile production. Choose foods that are bitter and warming in nature, you can make before hand, and enjoy for three days. We have suggested a soup/salad for lunch and dinner, and a veggie loaded smoothie for breakfast, while increasing water and herbal tea intake, and eliminating items like alcohol, sugar, caffeine, etc. The goal is to make this easy for you and to limit strict food elimination. The plus side is that you continue to use bitters every day after the three days are up. They offer gentle detoxification and digestive support every day.
Bitters are the ultimate digestive tonic. They offer support to the gastrointestinal tract in functioning exactly how it is designed: to assimilate that which keeps us healthy and to excrete waste. When our bitter taste buds are activated, they promote a myriad of digestive secretions such as bile, stomach acid and digestive enzymes whose job is to help us both assimilate and excrete efficiently. The benefits of having this system in good working order are countless and can include a thriving liver and healthy, glowing skin.
Bitters are a good choice because they are made from whole plant extracts. From the moment they hit the tongue, they stimulate release of digestive secretions throughout the entire digestive tract.
Daily plan: follow these steps for three days
(See suggested recipes at the bottom, or create your own)
- 1 Dose of bitters before eating
- One qt warm herbal tea
- 1 Smoothie – not until you have taken bitters and had a warming drink! Cold substances slow the digestive tract down, which is why we recommend starting with bitters and a warm drink first.
- Lots of water
- One dose of bitters before eating
- Water or herbal tea.
- Green bitters salad: arugula, dandelion greens, cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil.
- Cucumber mint water or lemon water ( Healthy Liver Bitters taste great in this too!)
- 1 Dose of bitters before eating
- One serving warm or chilled green vegetable soup + simple salad. Green vegetable rich soups are alkalizing, full of nutrients and when blended, easy on the digestive system.
- One qt warm herbal tea
- Lots of water
- One dose of bitters before bed.
- Lots of water.
If you find yourself hungry or in need of a snack, try drinking more water or snacking on some simple vegetables. If you are feeling like you can’t eliminate protein; try incorporating soaked nuts and seeds (easier to break down) or adding superfoods like spirulina or hemp seeds in your smoothie.
To prepare for the three-day detox:
- Make soup/ salads ahead of time
- Purchase smoothie ingredients
- Steam/freeze veggies for use
- Buy your bitters!
- Mix up your herbal tea blends
- Simplify your schedule, clean your house and plan out the next three days.
Remember to take things slow, set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate each victory. It improves your experience by 100%.
This detox was designed to support your overall health and happiness, so adjust in any way that feels best for you. If you are having a hard time, remember that one day is okay, and you know your body. In the end, ease into your routine, while still incorporating bitters before each meal. The long-term effect of bitters every day is gentle detox support and a smoothly running digestive system.
Besides simplifying the diet and incorporating bitter foods for a gentle daily detox, here are some other suggestions for supporting the detoxification process:
Dry Skin Brushing: Dry skin brushing helps support your lymphatic system, which is supportive for ridding the body of stagnation and cleansing in itself
Sweat: Although it is a major eliminative organ, most people’s skin is very inactive. Sweat is a primary elimination route for toxins. If you can, take a hot sauna or bath, this works magic for the skin and assists its ability to breathe, stay hydrated and glowing.
Exercise: Moving your body during this time is essential, not only is exercise crucial for overall health but the more we move, the better we support our body to circulate out toxins. Gentle and low-intensity movement is best when you are cleansing, so take the time to get to a yoga class, a long walk or some stretching each day will help you feel more connected to your body.
Meditation: Mental attitude towards health is one of the most important things, If you are feeling inspired and good about yourself, it makes the creation of healthy habits all that much easier.
Try to take the time to meditate each morning during the cleanse, even if only for 5 minutes.
½ cup frozen blueberries/strawberries
½ cup steamed + frozen cauliflower
½ cup steamed + frozen zucchini
½ banana or avocado
½ cup spinach
1 tsp spirulina
1 tsp maca
1 tsp hemp seeds
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tablespoon flax/ chia seeds ( soaked)
¾ cup plant based milk/ or water.
(protein powder optional)
Blend on high for 2 mins.
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1 cup cooked broccoli
2 cups handfuls spinach, de-stemmed
1 cup kale
1 large celery stalk
1 handful parsley leaves
1 handful cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 -3 cups water or bone broth.
Sauté the garlic, broccoli, celery and sweet potato until soft. Add in greens and broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Blend until smooth. Stir in miso and nutritional yeast. Reheat or serve chilled.
Arugula, radicchio, dandelion greens, spinach and micro greens topped with cucumber & parsley, tossed with lemon juice and olive oil.
Mineral rich and detox supporting herbs for cleansing teas: raspberry leaf, nettles, milky oats, red clover, lemon balm, burdock, dandelion leaf, turmeric, and artichoke leaf.
*pregnant and nursing women should not embark on a cleanse at this time.