January Cleanses & Detoxes

January Cleanses & Detoxes

This post was quite popular when I originally posted it in January of 2015, so I thought I'd squeeze in another update - before we run out of January! The gist of my original post was the observation that many of the conversations I was hearing around town - on buses, in lines, at cafes - related to cleanses, detoxes, and diets. There seemed to be two veins of conversation - the individuals excited about cleansing or fasting, and the debunkers (link, link).

My immediate reaction was that you don't really need to be in one camp or the other. There might be something to inspire you in one of those programs, even if you're not going to get onboard entirely. It could be a single recipe you come to love, or a mantra you embrace. Personally, I like to look at lots of different cleanses and detoxes, because there tend to be so many positive aspects to them - I'm talking about the ones based in real, whole foods (versus supplements & powders). The menus and recipes often emphasize the power and promise of good, diverse, plant-centric ingredients, mindfully sourced. Participants end up shopping, eating, and cooking with intent - also important. And because they tend to last a week, or two, or four, they can help establish new habits. So, while extended detox stretches or diets tend not to be my thing, an overall commitment to treating your body well, in the best way you're able, is something I'm always trying to get/keep a handle on. That's a long way of saying, I find that wherever you fall on the spectrum of diets, cleanses, and detoxes, there is a lot of good content out there, particularly in January - and some of these programs can be a great source of recipes, reminders, and ideas. Beneficial, and health-supporting not just for January, but for the rest of the year as well. :) Here's an updated list of related links I've come across:

- Bon Appétit's 2016 Food Lovers Cleanse (the complete menu)

- BuzzFeed: 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge 2016

- Pop Sugar: 2 Week Clean Eating Plan

- The 2016 goop Detox

From past years:

- Bon Appetit Food Lovers Cleanse 2015 (the complete menu)

- My New Roots' Winter Weekend Cleanse

- Green Kitchen's Green & Clean 2015 E-Book (more here)

-2015 Goop Detox with Dr. Alejandro Junger

And a few more links:

- Detox your Mouth

- Whole30 / Whole30 Veg / Vegan

- An awesome (and laugh/cry funny) list of other cleanses.

- Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon does Nine Days Plant Based in Harper's Bazaar (the daily plan)

-Whole Living Action Plan (from 2013)

- Full Moon Feast: Also, (a book rec) Jessica Prentice's book takes you through an exploration of ancient and modern connections of our foodways to the seasons through the thirteen lunar cycles of the agrarian year. An inspired read as we think about our connections to food as we move through our own calendars.

- There are a bunch of January-friendly recipes in the 101 Cookbooks archive, especially in the soups, and salads. A few favorites include:

- This carrot soup

- This broccoli soup

- Green Smoothie

- Green Juice

- A Lesson in Juicing

- Immunity Soup

Hope you find plenty of inspiration as we head into February! xx h

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Reading this as I chow down on your healthy Double Broccoli Quinoa. I have never chimed in here before but just had to say how much I LOVE this recipe. I make it about once a week and devour it each time. Sometimes with little tweaks, like leaving out the 1/2 & 1/2, or adding a little dollop of tahini on top. I never get sick of it! Just wanted to say thank you!


Hi Heidi - thank you so much for this. Along the same vein as you, I love looking through different cleanses/detox diets. I look forward to January because that seems to be when they all appear. I've kept the BA Food Lover's Cleanse menus/recipes for the last few years and I tend to go back and recycle some of them. It's fun to try to put together a two-week plan for myself; I look at it as kind of a challenge to tackle some new recipes and stick to a plan rather than to really be on a detox diet or cleanse. I hadn't seen some of these so thanks for sharing this list!


LOVE the whole loving actin plan. I have done it twice, and truly the recipes are so filling and satisfying, it doesn't feel like a diet at all. And I sleep so much better while eating like that as well, it's crazy!


Firstly, Jessica's book is my absolute favorite. I return to it season after season moon after moon! I interviewed her for the ten week course I teach because I wanted to be sure to include her earthy grounded foodways into healing and diet. I just finished co leading a two week cleanse with Claire of VidyaCleanse dot com, worth putting on your radar for her gorgeous whole foods recipes. With the Ayurvedic awareness, we discussed how cleansing this time of year may be cultural, but not usual for our physiology. We focused on self care and Winfrey whole foods. It was very successful, meaning people enjoyed it, felt good, and got new recipes :)


I have never been one to follow detox's or cleanses, as my eating never really changes that drastically that I feel the need for a full "reset," but I do enjoy seeing what others are up to and incorporating new things/ideas into my lifestyle.

Cara's Healthy Cravings

While I appreciate everyones effort towards sharing healthy recipes ("detoxes" etc), I wish more people would incorporate lean protein like chicken breast or fish. It helps you stay full and stick to lower calorie meals, which in turn helps you stick with the diet or lifestyle choice longer.

Of course, I understand some people don't eat meat, but there are plenty of low calorie whole food alternatives! Thanks for sharing these meal ideas!

Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious

I'm pretty dubious about a lot of the detox diets (there's a reason why you have a liver, after all), but this month we've been getting back to a primarily vegetarian diet and that's felt right. December and early January weren't great that way and I've been really disinterested in eating meat lately, which is probably a good thing.


I so agree, Heidi! People are free to follow their curiosity to new things, and integrate the ones that work for and better them into their life. An open, albiet critical mind, is important.


As I read this, I was drinking my green smoothie from the My New Roots winter weekend cleanse. I couldn't manage to do the full-on cleanse, but the smoothie is surprisingly tasty and filling.


I love your little (link, link) bit. :) Thanks for the great inspiration! Anything that keeps us focused on eating more greens and wholes (grains, veggies, whatever) is always a welcome treat.

Sarah from Soymilk + Honey

Hi Heidi - thank you so much for this. Along the same vein as you, I love looking through different cleanses/detox diets. I look forward to January because that seems to be when they all appear. I've kept the BA Food Lover's Cleanse menus/recipes for the last few years and I tend to go back and recycle some of them. It's fun to try to put together a two-week plan for myself; I look at it as kind of a challenge to tackle some new recipes and stick to a plan rather than to really be on a detox diet or cleanse. I hadn't seen some of these so thanks for sharing this list!


I've done the GOOP detox several times and would recommend it.


For some reason, I love reading about detox diets! I hardly follow any of them to a T, but I love to learn all about them. I'd rather take a healthy approach all year, like you, than a big push in January.


I like your balanced approach to cleansing, Heidi. As a Health Coach I also believe in the positive effects of whole, plant-based cleanses. They give us a renewed focus on gentle self-nourishment and mindful eating. And they're great for resetting unfavorable eating habits and creating more favorable ones, ones that can be weaved throughout our normal lives (beyond the week-long cleanse) so that we can be work to support our body's cleansing functions throughout the year. Love your link line-up. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful perspective!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

Hi Heidi! We bought one the wonderful Ceramic steamers and were wondering if you had any great recipes to suggest. We have steamed some salmon and veggies. So good. But we want to venture out. Tried to search recipes on Pinterest to no avail.

Helen Davenport

You put it perfectly, Heidi. My job is to help people establish new, healthy and sustainable wellness habits. Sometimes it's through a full-on detox, and other times its through gently coaching them through one change at a time - but the goal is always to eat, cook and LIVE with intent and mindfulness. Regardless of the approach, good, *real* food and kindness towards oneself is always the cornerstone.


love this post so much! I too am not one for detoxes / cleanses (I try to shepherd myself away from black-and-white thinking) but I do love the spirit behind eating simply and nourishing intentionally. I love the Full Moon Feast book, and another one along the same lines (if you're as concerned about lunar cycles as I am) is called The Way of the Happy Woman (given its hokey title, it's surprisingly good). I truly believe that living in attunement with the seasons--emotionally, mentally, physically--is a kind of simple and ancient wisdom that would help us all to be kinder to ourselves and to others. Your blog, of course, always reminds me of the beauty of eating whole foods and the possibilities of nourishing oneself creatively and aesthetically. Cheers to a new year Heidi!


Heidi, thanks for sharing all these resources! Although I'm not big on the idea of cleansing, easy and healthy recipes are what always bring me back to the kitchen after relying on takeout and party food over the holidays. Your own Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup has been my personal "reset" meal for several years!


Well put Heidi. I welcome any sort of detox/diet/cleanse if it's the start of a new way of eating and/or treating your body.
Loving the link share as well!


Is there any specific reason for having a picture of persimmons on this page other than they are very pretty.
Where I live they are now plentiful and my home is loaded with them.

Janet Paula

I just completed a 3 week clean eating program throughly Prescribed Nutrition. It was great & I learned a lot about changing eating habits, how I can feel better through food, yet still enjoy eating. It was lifestyle changing. Great program.

Julie C

So glad you gave a shout-out to Shira Bocar. I used to LOVE her recipes back when Whole Living magazine was in publication. Now that it is no longer, I miss her recipes! Thanks, Heidi!

Shira is the best!


Love these links - the my new roots one looks gorgeous! I also adore Shira's videos and her new book - yum!

Millie | Add A Little

I totally agree with everything you said! While January can be a good time to build new habits and discover healthier patterns of eating, cleanses may not be meaningful if they are viewed in a negative mindset, as a tortuous device to lose weight- they should be viewed as a fresh start, a new page.

Maggie @ Veg Fiend

I love all of these! So many inspirations for clean eating this year and I love Jessica's book too!


Very beautifully stated post. I have been following Dr. Mark Hyman's "detox," which is paleo/vegan (Pegan) (although people who eat meat can do it with free-range/organic meats). Basically it encourages low-carb veggies, a limited number of fruits, and good veg protein like tofu and tempeh. No caffeine, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy. He admitted in an interview that it's basically a whole food diet and that the book publishers wanted to add the detox label to help sell more books. Anyhow I shared it with a few friends and one railed on me saying "how unhealthy" it was.... clearly without reading anything about it. Simply bc of the word detox. As she slurped down a Starbucks frappucino and baked good I'm sure... way healthier. With that said, it doesn't matter to me what other people think. I feel great on this plan and am going to continue doing it.


Totally agree - why pick one camp? Let's camp all over the place.


Thanks so much Heidi for a wonderful post. It's great to hear that there's even more talk than normal about detoxes and cleanses. This is a super round-up to keep hold of. I hadn't heard of the Full Moon Feast before, that sounds fascinating. Many thanks, Rolandas


I'm super intrigued by Full Moon Feast. I just requested it from my library and can't wait to check it out. Thank you for the thoughtful list.


This is a great attitude to have and it has made me re-think my stance a bit. I'm usually very anti detoxes and dismissive of them, but thinking about it I actually enjoy the blog content that comes out of it and I find that it does influence my habits throughout the year as I go back to their old blog posts and try out their recipes. Bookmarking that immunity soup now!


Love your kitchen. Everything is so retro.


I just have to say, I found your Coconut Broccoli soup AMAZING!


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