Spring Body Reset: The “Let’s Not Call It a Cleanse” Cleanse

Fruit and vegetable cleanse

All right, I know the Interwebs are always ablaze with a new “super duper miracle cleanse” or an all-juice diet that usually consists of starving yourself whilst cleansing out the toxins that are keeping you from feeling your best. Honey, I have done it AWL. I mean, truly. The Master Cleanse nearly killed me. I tried an apple cider vinegar cleanse, and that lowered my blood pressure so much that I fainted and hit my head on a coffee table giving myself a nice shiner and trip to the E.R. Gwyneth likes to tell us at goop that a full-time working, gym-going, kid-having, on-the-go female can drink herbal teas and a spoonful of mushed lentils to cleanse ourselves, thus making us feel radiant. This might be true, but I also may freak out and order the entire Fresco menu at Taco Bell by day two from sheer hunger/anger/confusion. I can’t be blamed. It’s not my fault that I like to chew things. I am not putting down ANYONE who can do this…but I can’t.

And I got a solution for ya!

I enjoy a good “reset” – let’s not call it a cleanse. About three to four times a year, I take a few days to take inventory of what I’ve been putting in my body, and whether it’s been crazy clean or full of chocolate, I decide to simplify things by doing a two day reset. For the best results, I try to ease in to it AND out of it. So, you know, no bingeing on burgers and fries while downing a margarita in my sweatpants, falling asleep into a bowl of ice cream, and then waking up and saying: “Reset day!” Your body will thank you, even if you just try to avoid dairy or limit meat consumption at the onset and epilogue of this little reset for a day or two. You know, use yo’ best judgement, girl. You don’t want to shock your system too much. Here is a list of must-haves. I will leave the specific fruit/veggie/grain choices to you. Buy organic when you can!

  • 6 lemons
  • Senna root tea
  • Dandelion tea
  • Herbal tea (your choice!)
  • Raw nuts, preferably almonds
  • Frozen fruit of your choice
  • Unfiltered apple juice pressed from organic apples, NO sugar added. (If you don’t have access to a Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s/the like, just look in the health food section of your grocery store, they’ll have it)
  • Spinach, baby or regular
  • Vegetable broth (if you can’t prepare your own, the “low sodium” version at the store will work)
  • Egg whites
  • Fresh vegetable of your choice (excluding potatoes, peas, and corn)
  • Fresh fruit of your choice
  • Coconut water
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Chia seeds

My rules:

  1. Eat six “meals” a day: three substantial, three small
  2. Make two of your substantial meals liquid based. i.e.: green smoothie, broth-based soup, etc.
  3. Drink lemon water (one full lemon squeezed into 16-20 oz. of water) with each substantial meal
  4. Eat all types of vegetables, excluding white potatoes, corn and peas (think: carrots, onions, kale, spinach, tomatoes, ginger, celery, garlic, etc.)
  5. Eat all fruits before 4 p.m. (think: apples, pineapple, mangos, any berry. Limit yourself to one banana a day if needed)
  6. Avoid bread, sugar, alcohol, dairy, protein powders, meat, coffee, butter/ butter substitutes, beans, (this includes hummus) and any processed foods
  7. Dried fruits may be consumed, but no more than ¼ cup per day, as a snack
  8. Raw nuts may be consumed, but no more than ¼ cup per day, as a snack
  9. Herbal teas are unlimited, dandelion and senna are mandatory
  10. Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat cous cous, chia, or oatmeal may be ingested at one of your meals. Choose wisely!
  11. Use oils sparingly, about a tablespoon per day (think: coconut oil, olive oil, etc.)

This really is, I promise, super easy. The basic idea is that you’re avoiding everything in #6, so you can fill your body with much needed nutrients in #4, #5, and #10 – and flush out nasties with special teas. I will leave your own personal menu up to you, but here are some samples to go by if you need an idea or two:

Green smoothie cleanse


  • Green smoothie consisting of a few chunks of frozen mangos and frozen peaches, 8 oz. unfiltered apple juice, 4 oz. water, 1 cup spinach (add ice cubes if consistency is too thin)
  • Cup of dandelion tea
  • 16 oz. lemon water with a dash of cayenne


  • ¼ Cup raw almonds

(you can prepare this the night before so you can just bring it with you to work the next day)

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Sauteed onions, garlic, zucchini, and bell peppers
  • 16 oz. lemon water with dash of cayenne


  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 8 oz. water
  • Herbal tea


  • Vegetable soup: let your onions and garlic sweat in a little bit of water or a small amount of oil. Once translucent, add chopped carrots, chopped celery, and any other vegetable you enjoy (but don’t put in any greens yet!). Add 40 oz. of veggie broth and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until veggies are tender. You may add cumin, coriander, turmeric, pepper or any other spice you love, but watch the sea salt – just a dash should do. Add kale or a leafy green in the last five minutes of cooking.
  • 16 oz. lemon water with dash of cayenne


  • Senna tea (a must, helps with digestion)
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Raw radishes
  • Vinegar

OR…for those of you who need a heavier food intake early in the day and a lighter intake later in the day – or for those of you doing morning workouts, try this out instead! In addition to the water you’re already drinking, up to 8 oz. of coconut water each day may be ingested, if you like.


  • Smoothie made with 8 oz. unsweetened almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 1 teaspoon honey
  • 16 oz. lemon water with dash of cayenne
  • Dandelion tea


  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 8 oz. water
  • Herbal tea


  • Scrambled egg whites (¾ cup) with spinach and sliced tomatoes
  • 16 oz. lemon water with dash of cayenne


  • Green smoothie made with 8 oz. filtered apple juice, 1 cup spinach, ½ cup frozen berries


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup sauteed veggies of your choice
  • 16 oz. lemon water with dash of cayenne


  • Senna tea
  • Raw veggies

Dandelion tea is an effective cleansing agent for your liver. It’s supposed to purify your blood and aid in digestion. It’s a diuretic and replaces potassium in the process. It relieves bloating/water retention and contains antioxidants to help your body fight toxic bacteria and viruses.

Think of this as a way to say “thank you” to your body for working so hard for you. Remember that this reset is not for weight loss, although you will probably see a 2-3 lb. difference on the scale once you’re done. This is likely water weight: it’s not FAT loss. As you can see, it’s very much about simplifying, something we should all do from time to time.

It’s also important to remember that these are just my suggestions for “cleansing” your body. I have been doing this little reset for about 10 years, but I am not a health professional. I just thought I would share my thoughts with you on the myth behind cleansing and offer alternatives to the extreme fads that exist right now.

Notice that this regimen has a lot of liquid in it: space it out throughout the day. And come up with your own recipes based on your favorite foods. If you’re a calorie counter, throw that out the window for a few days, and just play with your food combinations. You should never really feel hungry aside from the occasional craving, which is natural. Do the lemon water regimen for only the two days, anything more will be bad for your teeth and stomach lining. You may be tempted to follow this regimen for a week or two: that is fine, just omit the lemon water 2 times a day (cut back to one cup a day) and up your protein, adding back in beans, whole eggs, etc. It’s important to ease yourself into eating different foods again so do not just go get a burger and fries and pat yourself on the back because all that hard work with have been for nothing. If you would like to keep a food journal, that’s also helpful. You have a lot of freedom to switch things up and change around and modify my guidelines above. The sky is the limit.

What are your favorite recipes for cleansing your body? I love new ideas!

  • http://www.twitter.com/sukiilu Veronica Horn

    What’s dandelion tea taste like? Interesting. I’m gonna pick some up this weekend! :)

    • http://getunsullied.com Kathryne

      It’s tasty! It’s like a nutty flavor- not bitter, but light, nutty and earthy. One of my faves. If you can’t find dandelion, you can always get the Yogi Detox tea, they have several flavors, or the Traditional Medicinals Everyday Detox Tea. They’re very gentle and I like them all!