Detoxing rids the body of free radicals, rejuvenates the skin and digestive system, and stimulates the liver and kidneys.
It works best as a committed three-day, five-day, or (gulp) a 21-day cleanse, using the first few days to fast or juice and then slowly introducing organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and plant-based proteins over the following days and weeks.
I like starting my detox by getting rid of the chemicals. That means no alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten, meat, or dairy. Then, I increase my intake of purified water to 2 liters a day and drink detoxifying tea (like dandelion).
The first two days consist of three to four fresh juices a day, followed by fresh raw fruit-and-vegetable salads with olive oil and vinegar on Day 3 and 4. Days 5 to 7 can include cooked brown rice, tofu, adzuki beans, and cooked vegetables, in addition to the juices and raw fruits and veggies.
What to Expect
Initially, you’ll feel great! If you keep drinking your juice and water every few hours, you won’t feel hungry, and you’ll have extra energy. I’m able to maintain a regular workout schedule on the first few days as well.
On Days 3 and 4, my energy starts to dwindle, and I begin craving carbohydrates. Yin yoga and naps keep me going during this time. On Days 5 to 7, I’m ready for the beans and rice. It’s amazing how full I feel after a small meal, and how ready to be done with all the juice and tea I am, but I keep it up.
A plaque on the tongue (ama) after about four days usually develops, as well as flaky skin; this is a sign that the body’s getting rid of toxins. Use a tongue scraper to get rid of the ama and a dry brush to exfoliate dead skin cells before showering.
I take a hot Vinyasa class to sweat it out, and I feel like all my cells are new!
There are many ways to detox, so take some time to figure out what’s right for you. Here are six healthy juices for a winter detox, simple recipes targeting specific detoxifying needs to kick start a healthy body.
For most of these recipes, you need a juicer. Or, if you live near a Whole Foods, you can purchase their fruits and veggies, and they’ll juice them for you for free! Try these juices as a detoxifying winter cleanse, or in addition to your healthy yogic diet.
1. Hot Lemon Ginger
- Juice of 2 organic lemons with pulp
- 2 dropper fulls of ginger extract from your local health food store, or 2 tbsp. freshly juiced ginger root
- 2 c. hot water
- 1 tbsp. raw honey
Instructions: Gently mix the juice from the lemons, ginger root, and water together with a spoon, adding the honey slowly until dissolved.
Benefits: Lemon aids in digestion, purifies the blood, rids the body of toxins, reduces inflammation in the joints, and fights free-radicals (vitamin C means goodbye colds and flu!). Ginger root soothes the intestinal tract (great for nausea!), boosts immunity, and protects against cancer.
2. Spicy “Lemon-Aid”
- Juice of 4 lemons
- 1 c. hot water
- 2 tbsp. coconut sugar crystals or raw agave nectar
- 1 dash cayenne pepper
Instructions: Mix all ingredients until sweetener is dissolved. Chill or serve over ice if you prefer your lemonade cold!
Benefits: Super-spice cayenne pepper improves circulation, detoxifies the blood, and reduces inflammation in the body.
3. Taste the Earth
- 1 organic red beet with stems, halved
- 3 organic carrots (the plumper the better!)
- 2 stalks organic celery with leaves
- 1 large organic Fuji or Honeycrisp apple, quartered
- Handful organic parsley
- 2 mint leaves
Instructions: Mix beet, carrots, celery, apple, and parsley in juicer. Grind mint leaves with a mortar and pestle (or the back of a spoon) before adding.
Benefits: The earthy taste in this juice comes from the roots red beet, carrot, and celery. It activates your root chakra, making you feel more grounded. Full of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and vitamins, this beverage stimulates digestion, flushes the kidneys, and lowers blood pressure!
- Handful organic curly kale leaves, de-stemmed
- Handful organic spinach leaves
- ½ pineapple, cored and sectioned
- 1 c. mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
- ¼ to ½ c. unsweetened coconut milk (for desired consistency)
- 4 ice cubes
- 4 drops almond extract
Instructions: Blend all ingredients on medium-high until smooth. Enjoy!
Benefits: In this recipe, pineapple buffers the alkaline taste of the kale, and almond extract gives a sweet surprise without adding a sweetener. The protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, K, folate, and fatty acids in the kale, plus the antioxidants and resveratrol from the berries make this drink a real super-smoothie!
5. Very, Berry Chia
- 1 large Fuji or Honeycrisp apple, quartered
- 1 c. kale leaves, de-stemmed
- 5 large basil leaves
- 1 c. mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries), washed
- ½ cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
Instructions: Juice apple, kale, basil, and berries together, then add pomegranate juice and chia seeds. Mix well before serving.
Benefits: The crunchy chia seeds make this tangy drink fun, and you’re getting more resveratrol than red wine with this one! This antioxidant-rich juice is great for anti-aging and maintaining blood-glucose and cholesterol levels because it’s packed with dietary fiber, vitamins C and K, folic acid, and manganese.
6. Go-Go Green Apple
- 2 large or 3 medium green apples, quartered
- 2 stalks celery, leaves on
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1 cubic inch ginger root (optional)
Instructions: Juice ingredients together and enjoy!
Benefits: This simple, light, and rejuvenating juice is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Celery regulates the body’s alkaline balance, improves the health of your eyes (vitamin A!), and fights cancer thanks to a flavonoid called luteolin.
So, which one of these recipes are you making first? Share your comments and experiences with me below!