Skip to main content

What to Eat When Detoxing

Dr. Abby Campbell is a Naturopathic Doctor & President of 911 Body ResQ, an online store providing organic and non-GMO supplements.

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of "One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan," one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)

  • Rid Toxic Overload With Superfoods
    Are you on toxic overload? Are you feeling sluggish or just need to get rid of holiday bulge? Find out what to do (or not to do), detox benefits, and what foods to eat while detoxing.

"Can I eat anything on a detox diet? I don't think I can survive on a liquid diet to detox!"

If these are some of your thoughts when you think about detoxing, then STOP! If you haven't read my hub entitled "Rid Toxic Overload With Superfoods," then go back to read it before continuing on with this hub. It lays the foundation for you if you're thinking about trying a detoxification diet. You'll be provided with information on exactly what a healthy detox is and why we all need one from time to time to cleanse overloaded toxins. You'll learn about problems you may encounter with most detox plans and why you need certain foods and nutrients throughout the process to do a true detox. A list of excellent foods for the process is also provided. All in all, you'll learn why it's better to be safe throughout a good cleansing for both health reasons and weight loss.

As mentioned in my previous hub on detoxification, you want to be sure you transition from one step to the next. Therefore, this hub will provide you with three different phases so your body doesn't go into shock. These phases include

  1. Prepping the Body for Detox
  2. The Detox Cleanse
  3. Transition to Normalcy After Detox

Example menus will also be provided. Please keep in mind that the serving sizes are for most average women. Tall women and men may increase their serving sizes.

Eat delicious and very nutritious foods while detoxing.

Eat delicious and very nutritious foods while detoxing.

Excellent Detox Foods

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Romaine
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Chia Seeds
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Fish Oil
  • Wild Salmon
  • Saltwater Shrimp
  • Organic Chicken
  • Organic Turkey
  • Organic Eggs
  • Pure Coconut Milk
  • Pure Almond Milk
  • Purified Water
  • Green Tea
  • White Tea
  • Herbal Tea
  • Pure Stevia (sweetener)


Phase 1 - Prepping the Body for Detox

The biggest problem most people encounter when beginning a detox diet is the way they feel. They think that 'dumping' the body of all waste is the best way to cleanse. Therefore, they fast or go on a starvation diet for a few days with only water to drink, hoping that this will eliminate anything that is in their digestive tract.

Other than water diets, they may go on juice diets. The Master Cleanse is a popular diet that includes lemons, water, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Fruit and/or veggie smoothies are also popular. Dieters may feel a bit lighter after a few days. However, the awful feeling of sickness follows. This in turn provokes them to do another cleanse which is still not healthy or safe. This yo-yo dieting affects health and metabolism, sometimes making the dieter gain more body fat which can be a toxin in itself.

If you read my previous hub on detoxification (mentioned above), you've learned that it's important to take in certain nutrients before a cleanse. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time with the usual cleansing diets as nutrients will not pass through to your cells. Without the help of your cells, you will not be able to eliminate the toxins within your body.

Therefore, you will need to prep your body for a super detoxification. Phase 1 prepares your body for detox and will be done over a three day period, giving your body sufficient time to transition to the main part of the cleansing plan. Please consider the following when transitioning from your normal diet to this phase:

  • NO dairy
  • NO grains
  • NO nuts
  • NO red meat
  • NO pork
  • NO sodas
  • NO caffeine
  • NO sugar (except natural sugars from fruit)

Why are these foods not allowed? Are they harmful to health? There is absolutely nothing wrong with these foods if you're normally eating a healthy diet. Dairy and grains are eliminated to enhance cleansing and decrease inflammation. Instead of milk, you may drink coconut or almond milk. Though nuts are a great source of fat and some protein, they will be eliminated to provide your body a break as fat slows digestion. For the same reason, red meat and pork will be eliminated.

The most important beverage you'll be drinking is purified water. Well water is fine. However, city water is harsh with chemicals, so you may want to purchase purified water from your local supermarket if you don't have a purifier on your faucet. Make sure you get at least half your body weight in ounces of water.

Other beverages you may enjoy are green tea, white tea, and herbal tea. There are some great detox herbal teas on the market. One tea that is absolutely beneficial during the detox plan is called Smooth Move by Celestial Seasonings. Drink one cup in the morning as this will ensure you are eliminating waste throughout the day in a non-harsh way. At night, you may find peppermint tea a delight as it will help with any hunger pangs if you get them. Additionally, peppermint is great for your metabolism.

If you drink caffeine, you may need to begin prepping for detox a little earlier than others. You want to slowly decrease your caffeine intake so that you don't get painful headaches through the first couple of days of the detox. Therefore, you may want to begin decreasing two weeks prior to the cleanse if you drink more than two beverages of caffeine per day. If you are drinking less than that, you shouldn't have any problems to begin Phase 1 of the detox plan.

A delicous omelette with veggies and a little protein will start your day with energy.

A delicous omelette with veggies and a little protein will start your day with energy.

Scroll to Continue

Phase 1 Menu Example


2 Omega-3 Eggs

3 oz. Chicken, cubed

1/2 Cup Strawberries, sliced

4 oz. Shrimp, peeled

1/2 Chopped Tomato

1/2 Medium Cucumber, sliced

1/4 Cup Blueberries

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1/2 Chopped Green Pepper

6-8 Grape Tomatoes, halved

1/4 Cup Raspberries

1 tsp. Coconut Oil, melted

1 tsp. Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup Red Onion, chopped

1 TBS. Chia Seeds

1/4 Tsp. Cayenne

Make omelette.

1 tsp. Olive Oil

Mix above and enjoy!

Mix above & stir-fry.


Pinch Sea Salt & Pepper


1 zucchini


Mix together for salad.


1 tsp. Coconut Oil, melted




Pinch Sea Salt & Pepper




Bake above on 350 for 20m.

Guacamole Recipe

A wonderful deto snack may include cut up veggies with guacamole. Following is a wonderful recipe to dip your veggies. Mix all the ingredients together and chill for 1/2 hour if you like it cold. Includes 2-3 servings.

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 6-8 grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch black pepper

Phase 2 - The Detox Cleanse

Phase 2 is the heart of this healthy detox plan where you'll enhance your body's ability to release all the gunky stuff called 'toxins.' This is a three day process; however, you can go longer (up to 14 days) if you feel the need. You know your body best, so judge it by how you're feeling.

You may feel a little challenged on the first day as you'll be cutting out more foods that were allowed in Phase 1. This is where you'll be releasing toxins from even years gone by, so please be patient with yourself. You may want to plan the detox cleanse for days that you'll not be working such as weekends. Having time to rest is very beneficial while detoxing.

In this phase, you'll be eliminating eggs, meats, poultry, and seafood for most of your meals. You are allowed chicken or fish for dinner. And, remember to hydrate well.

Phase 2 Menu Example


1 Cup Coconut Milk

1 Compact Cup Spinach

Guacamole Dip

5 oz. Tilapia (1-1/2 fillets)

1 Cup Cold Water

1/2 Medium Cucumber, sliced

1/2 Cup Baby Carrots

1 tsp. Coconut Oil

2 Cups Spinach

6-8 Grape Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Cup Celery Sticks

Pinch Sea Salt & Pepper

1/2 Cup Strawberries

1/2 Avocado, cubed

1/2 Cup Cucumbers

Bake above on 400 for 8-10.

1/2 Cup Blueberries

1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

See recipe above for dip.

Guacamole Dip

2-3 tsp. Chia Seeds

1 tsp. Olive Oil


Use 2nd half of dip on top fish.

Put in blender and mix.

Mix and enjoy!







Phase 3 - Transition to Normalcy After Detox

Phase 3 will help you transition back to a normal diet, and it is also a three day phase. This is also a great time for you to start thinking about a long-term healthy eating plan.

For breakfasts and lunches, you'll be incorporating more proteins back into your diet such as eggs and poultry. If you've been on Phase 3 for more than three days, the first day may cause some digestive discomfort. Therefore, go slowly and don't overdo it. You don't want to disrupt everything you've worked for up to this point. Again, continue hydrating your body.

Vegetables and chicken is a great detox dinner that will preserve energy.

Vegetables and chicken is a great detox dinner that will preserve energy.

Phase 3 Menu Example


2 Eggs

1 Compact Cup Spinach

Small Apple, Cut

1 lb. Chicken Breast, cut into strips

6 Grape Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Medium Cucumber, sliced

2 TBS. Almond Butter

1 Head Broccoli Florets, cut

1/4 Cup Red Onions, chopped

6-8 Grape Tomatoes, halved

Dip apple in butter.

1 Sweet Onion, sliced

2 TBS. Cilantro, freshly chopped

1/2 Avocado, cubed

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

Pinch Sea Salt & Pepper

4 oz. Chicken Breast, chopped

1 Lime, juiced

Make omelette.

1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 TBS. Coconut Oil

1 tsp. Olive Oil

2 tsp. Chili Powder

Mix to make salad.

1 tsp. Cumin Powder

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Stir-fry chicken & veggies in oil. Season and enjoy!

Questions & Answers

"I'm so accustomed to fasting or having fruit smoothies on cleansing diets. Why is there food on this plan?"

Please read my previous article on detoxification. It will answer these questions for you. Most cleanses are not healthy and will not truly cleanse your body. Your cells and cell membranes need to be penetrable for nutrients to help flush out toxins. If your cell membranes are full of gunky fat, nutrients cannot pass through to truly detoxify your body. This is why my detox plan provides healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in the way of chia seeds and fish oil. These healthy fats will replace the bad fats.

"There seems to be so little food on the plan. What if I get hungry?"

One of the purposes of detoxification is to allow your digestive system a break. If you get overly hungry and don't think you can withstand the time before your next meal, then please have a small snack to tie you over with the allowed foods. We wouldn't want you getting dizzy and falling over.

"Do men and women eat the same amount of foods?"

My example menus are for an average sized woman. If you are a tall woman or man, or a muscular man, you should increase your meal sizes if comparing to the example menus. A good gauge is your fullness level. Eat until you are 80 percent full and then stop.

"I hate veggies, so what can I eat?"

Certainly there are vegetables you may not have tried. There are hundreds of types on the market, and there are a variety of ways you can prep them. If you still insist you don't like veggies, then you may want to invest in a good blender such as the Ninja or even the Vitamix. With these super blenders, you can add coconut or almond milk with bananas, apples, and berries to sweeten the taste of your vegetables. This species of food is extremely important for your health as they provide a plethora of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

"Will this detox plan help me lose weight?"

Every person has different stats and health issues. For a normal person who doesn't have a metabolic disorder, some water weight as well as body fat will be shed through this process. The average I've seen for women is 5 to 10 pounds, especially in the lower abdominal region.

Tell Us What You Think

You're reading "What to Eat When Detoxing" by Abby Campbell. Please leave a comment and tell us what you think below. Then share the article with your family and friends. You may even share on Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, or Pinterest (buttons to your right). If you're a Hubber already, you may share this hub with your own followers by clicking on the social icon for HubPages (button to your right).

Helping those who desire it!

Helping those who desire it!

About the Author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, published author, and a naturopathic doctorate candidate. For more than a decade, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Hundreds have also consulted with her on gluten- and lactose-free diets due to health concerns such as Celiacs, depression, and developmental disabilities. Abby is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been married for more than 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 20+ year cancer survivor.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Dr Abby Campbell (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on September 02, 2014:

Oh, Randi. Definitely take care of yourself. I'm glad you're working with someone locally that can help you. :-)

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on August 31, 2014:

I just may Abby but I'll have to check with the docs first. I had my 3rd bowl resection this past January. There's not a while lot left sui I have to preserve it as best I can!

Dr Abby Campbell (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 31, 2014:

Good morning, Torrs13, and thank you for your comment and compliments. I think it's human nature to want to binge before detoxing or even with any type of dieting or just going healthy. But, it definitely would not benefit the binger. I hope you give this a try sometime. :-)

Dr Abby Campbell (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 31, 2014:

Good morning, Victoria. Thank you for your comment. It's not as difficult as it may seem, so I hope you'll give it a try sometime. I think you'd be very pleased with the results. :-)

Dr Abby Campbell (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 31, 2014:

Hi Randi. Thank you for your comment. You'll have to try my detox plan sometime. :-)

Tori Canonge from North Carolina on August 31, 2014:

Such a well-written hub with valuable information! I've never personally done a detox but I have friends who have. I would say most of them went on a binge fest before detoxing, so clearly their bodies weren't ready for what was to come.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 30, 2014:

This looks useful and healthy as well. I don't think I have the discipline to do this, but I would like to try it one day just to see and feel the results!

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on August 30, 2014:

Thank you, Abby! This looks interesting and useful. I am actually scheduling an appointment with a nutritionist through my doctors office. I'm pretty excited about that! Up++

Dr Abby Campbell (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 30, 2014:

LOL, Bill. Well, thank you for commenting and supporting me nonetheless. I appreciate you! Have a great Labor Day weekend! :-)

Dr Abby Campbell (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 30, 2014:

Thank you, Eric! It was tasty, and that also helped me to continue with it for 14 days. :-)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 29, 2014:

Never say never, right? So I'll just say I have no plans on doing this in the near future, but still find it interesting. :) And of course, I'll always try to support you. Have a great weekend, Abby!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 29, 2014:

Very interesting and helpful. To me it all looks very tasty also.

Related Articles