MAJOR benefits to your gut, weight, mood, energy, skin, and MORE!
Time-tested protocol based on ancient Indian medicine
Happy New Year—I hope you had an amazing holiday!
Of course, now that most of the merry-making and revelry is over, you’re probably looking for ways to get back to your healthy routine. (Or start a new one!)
If that sounds like you, I have a suggestion…
Consider a whole health “REBOOT” with my super-simple, seven-day detox.
It’s based on safe, time-tested practices that people have been following for centuries. Plus, it offers MAJOR benefits to your gut, weight, mood, energy, skin, and MORE!
The program is so safe, effective, and beneficial, I’ve been recommending it to my patients for more than a decade.
But before I get into the nitty gritty, let’s look at how detoxing affects the body…
Rest and repair
When most people think about detoxing, their mind goes to celebrities who undertake some wacky, completely “out there” program… like where you eat nothing but celery or fruit juice for weeks on end.
But here’s the thing about those kinds of extreme programs…
They’re designed to make headlines. They’re NOT for the average Joe… and they’re NOT designed to make you healthy. (Not to mention, fruit juice is all sugar. Say it with me now, #sugarkills!)
On the other hand, few people realize that traditional detoxes and cleanses have been used for thousands of years as a safe and effective way to let the body rest and repair itself.
In fact, I base my super-simple, seven-day detox on the time-tested practices found in Ayurvedic medicine. (This type of medicine focuses on whole body healing and dates back 3,000 years to ancient India.1)
Plus, when you follow this type of traditional program, you can expect to experience more than a dozen major benefits!
First and foremost, a good detox will rid your tissues and bowels of the toxins that build up due to a poor diet, stress, or other factors.
This will also bring balance back to your microbiome—the environment in your gut where billions of healthy bacteria (or flora) live. And remember, we can attribute many chronic diseases to gut imbalances.
Several recent reviews show that detoxing can also lower your insulin levels and help you shed unwanted weight in a very short amount of time.2
(I personally do this detox every six months. And I credit it with keeping me metabolically healthy… and keeping my weight exactly where I want it to be, year after year.)
Of course, my patients who undertake this detox also report a marked boost in their mood, energy, and mental clarity. And I tend to recommend regular detoxing to my patients seeking relief from specific nagging conditions, such as:
- Eczema or other skin conditions
- Gastrointestinal (GI) conditions (except diarrhea)
- Obesity or excess weight
- Sleep problems
Now, you should always consult with your own personal physician before starting any kind of detox or cleanse—whether it’s mine or anyone else’s. That’s because it’s important to understand how a detox may affect you, individually, alongside any health condition you may have. Especially if you have a heart condition or diabetes.
Okay—now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s talk about how you actually perform this rejuvenating detox…
Plan for success
Before starting my detox, you’ll want to take a few days to prepare yourself mentally and physically. Here are five specific steps I recommend:
- Clear your schedule. Pick a week where you’ll have very few distractions, stressors, or demands on your time. You should really think of the week as a time of healing, reflection, and relaxation—kind of like a wellness retreat right at home!
- Start taking FIVE key supplements. This will help prepare your body for the detoxification process. The five key supplements are:
- Milk thistle (200 mg/day). This botanical extract has impressive antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s easily your strongest ally when it comes to liver support—the organ that works the hardest to capture and remove toxins. One key compound in milk thistle called silymarin protects your liver on a cellular level by boosting membrane stability and fortifying antioxidant defenses.3,4
- Grapeseed extract (100 mg/day). This extract protects your liver, kidneys, and brain by reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and fighting against oxidative damage from free radicals.5
- Curcumin (200 mg/day). This antioxidant and inflammation-buster is traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to support digestion and boost liver function.6 Plus, research shows it works as a “chelating agent” against heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, and mercury. It helps capture and remove those harmful toxins, which may have accumulated over the years due to exposure to pollution, leaded gasoline, contaminated fish, or even dental fillings.
- A good, daily probiotic. This goes a long way in replenishing all the “good” bacteria that gets flushed out of your gut during the detoxification process. Look for a pill that contains prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. And remember, more isn’t necessarily better. The key is diversity of strains.
- A supportive, daily multivitamin. This is a necessity, because as you cleanse, you will lose vital nutrients. And a high-quality multi will help replenish them.
(Note: Look for a formula that contains all five in one. You’ll also want to continue taking these supplements during your detox.)
- Stock up on the foods you’ll need during (and in the days after) your detox. As you’ll see in a moment, you’ll need a few whole food items for your week-long detox. So, you’ll want to stock up on those.
You may also find it helpful to clear out your cabinets to eliminate unwanted temptations. Lastly, I suggest grabbing a few things to help you continue on a good diet plan AFTER you complete the detox. (See the sidebar for my suggestion on your first, post-detox breakfast.)
- Make day three’s bone broth. A quick internet search can show you how to make a delicious bone broth.
- Enlist a partner. You may find this process easier and more enjoyable when you’re not doing it alone. So, try to enlist a partner to join you. As an added bonus, you’ll both reap the health benefits! It can be a spouse, friend, or even your son or daughter.
Now, let’s move on to the main event…
Seven days to a healthier, happier, more energized YOU
Here is the basic outline of what you’ll consume during my seven-day detox:
- Day 1 and 2: Pure water and/or herbal tea
(like ginger tea)
- Day 3: Nutritious broths (especially highly nutritious, homemade bone broth)
- Day 4: Eggs (from free-range hens)
- Day 5: Avocados
- Day 6: Nuts (I recommend almonds, macadamia, pistachios, or walnuts)
- Day 7: Light, flaky, wild-caught fish (such as cod or halibut)
Now, there are a few things I should note…
On days 1 and 2, you’ll consume only water or herbal tea. And if you’re anything like my patients, that fact may initially give you pause… which is understandable.
In fact, I remember one patient in particular, a rap music icon, almost cried when I explained to him that he couldn’t eat for the first two days on this detox.
But he dug in (as do many of my patients) and called me after seven days to say how fantastic he felt. He was amazed that he was never hungry. And, of course, he lost 10 pounds—just in time for the Grammy’s—so he was quite a happy man.
You’ll also notice on days 3 through 7 that food does return to the program. But there’s just one type of food listed for each day. And here’s why…
When I originally designed this detox, I intended for you to eat as much of that one, single food as desired… on that one, specific day.
This “mono-diet” method of eating comes from traditional Ayurvedic cleanses. It’s thought to streamline your digestive process, allowing your body to allocate more natural energy to cleansing and detoxing.
With that being said, a lot of my patients have trouble following that strict method of eating. So, I have also found it’s acceptable to “stack” the foods on my detox…
In other words, on day 3, you’ll enjoy a simple bone broth. But on day 4, you can enjoy some bone broth and eggs. Then, on day 5, you can enjoy broth, eggs, and avocado.
You’ll follow this same “stacking” method until you get to day 7—when you add flaky fish to the menu.
Here are a few more tips for success on your seven-day journey:
- Eat unlimited quantities of the food listed on days 3 through 7. This is not a deprivation diet. And you aren’t supposed to feel hungry past days 1 and 2.
- Drink LOTS of water. You can also enjoy herbal teas, such as ginger tea, as they can help soothe the stomach.
- Stick to a routine. Try to eat at the same time each day, limit distractions while eating, enjoy pleasant conversations with others, and eat until you’re satisfied, but not full.
- Keep your body and mind occupied. While I don’t recommend you continue with your normal exercise routine during this detox, I do recommend some light walking, which will help the process along.
You should also look for ways to keep your mind occupied. Take some time to read that book you have been meaning to, do the daily crossword, scrapbook, or reach out to friends to catch up in the New Year.
- Practice some mind-body approaches. Make sure to get enough sleep (seven to nine hours each night), practice some mindfulness meditation, and even book a massage during the week to further enhance the detoxifying process.
- Continue with your normal medications. But as always, check with your doctor for individualized advice.
At the end of this super-simple, seven-day detox, you can expect to feel a tremendous BOOST in your overall well-being.
After all, you’ve just REVVED your metabolism and CLEANSED your liver, so you’ll probably notice your energy and mood levels SOAR.
You’ll also have a new sense of mental CLARITY and SHARPNESS. You’ll likely report better SLEEP. And you’ll probably even lose some WEIGHT along the way.
Healthy eating BEYOND the seven-day detox
If you’re anything like my patients, you’ll want to maintain and even build upon this new-found vitality. So, here are some tips for keeping up the good momentum…
When you resume your regular eating pattern post-detox, make sure you adopt a Mediterranean-style diet that features high-fat, low-carb foods—like lean protein, fresh produce, and nuts.
I find that a little meal planning can go a long way in helping you stay on track…
I set aside time every Sunday to plan the week ahead. I think about what will pair well with the staples I have on hand. Or any delicious dish I may want to make.
Then, I think about the season we’re in and what fresh vegetables I will likely find at the market.
If you’re in the mood to try something new, I suggest checking out my cooking show, Cooking with Dr. Fred, on Instagram (@DrFredNYC) and YouTube (“The Dr. Fred Show”) for some inspiration.
You can also order a copy of my very own A-List Diet book (www.AListDietBook.com) to gain access to hundreds of healthy recipes. (This book also goes into much more detail about the ins and outs of the seven-day detox.)
Cooking at home does require more work on your end. But it’s MUCH cheaper than eating out or ordering take-out—especially with inflation nipping at our heels.
Plus, planning your own meals and cooking them at home can help you maintain—and even build upon—the healthy foundation you laid during your seven-day detox. What a wonderful way to kick off the New Year!
A REWARDING breakfast
In your quest to plan a few healthy meals following your detox, try this hearty breakfast…
SIDEBAR: Fried Egg and Bacon with Watercress
- 1 teaspoon macadamia nut oil, or more if needed
- 4 Canadian bacon slices
- 2 jumbo eggs
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 thin red onion slices
- mayonnaise, to taste
- 1 cup watercress sprigs, tough stems removed
- Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Add more oil to the skillet if necessary and crack the eggs into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and fry until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.
- To assemble, place an onion slice on each plate. Spread a little mayonnaise on the onion slices, then lay two bacon slices on top of each onion. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top each with some watercress and an egg. Serve and enjoy.
- “What is the Ayurvedic Detox, and Does It Work?” Healthline, 7/24/20. (healthline.com/nutrition/ayurvedic-detox)
- “’Detox diets’: Does science support the claims?” Medical News Today, 5/1/21.
- “Silymarin in the prevention and treatment of liver diseases and primary liver cancer.” Cur Pharm Biotechnol. 2012 Jan;13(1):210-7. doi.org/10.2174/138920112798868818.
- “A review of the bioavailability and clinical efficacy of milk thistle phytosome: a silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex (Siliphos).” Altern Med Rev. 2005 Sep;10(3):193-203. PMID: 16164374
- “10 Benefit of Grape Seed Extract, Based on Science.” Healthline, 11/5/19. (healthline.com/nutrition/grape-seed-extract-benefits)
- “Protective effect of curcumin against heavy metals-induced liver damage.” Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Jul;69:182-201. doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2014.04.016.