New Year’s Detox Update


Hi all!

Who else is going through a detox or cleanse right now?

It’s a really popular thing to do post-Christmas season, of course, and I’ve spoken to so many people doing one right now! I don’t want to put my stamp of approval on all of them because all cleanses are not created equal, but a safe, gentle cleanse that just encourages whole food eating and cleansing of the body is always a great idea to shift your tastebuds and mindset from everyday treats (as we tend to start to expect over the Christmas season) back into healthy everyday living.

My cleanse of choice, as I blogged about last year, is the Wild Rose Detox, which I realized – fittingly – was actually created here in Calgary, so I’m perfectly placed to be doing this cleanse right now! Again, I do not work for the company or get anything for promoting the detox, but I will say that it’s my favourite because the herbal blends are gentle yet effective at getting your body to cleanse itself and eliminate as much as possible, while the diet is totally realistic, healthy and delicious.

It follows the 80/20 dietary guidelines – 80% of your food should be alkaline, 20% acid-forming. It blocks out all fermented foods and sweeteners, including the very sweet fruits such as tropical fruits (bananas, oranges, pineapple etc), as they can contribute towards the production of yeast in the body. No dairy (except butter!) is allowed, although some lean meat is, for you non-veggies out there, so it’s not completely unrealistic.

Below is a sample of the food I’ve been eating over the past 8 days – today is Day 9 and the cleanse is 12 days long so it ends this Sunday. It’s safe to do two of these cleanses back to back but then you should wait a month before doing another, according to Dr. Terry Willard’s blog (he created the cleanse). I decided to share these food ideas in case

  • you’re following the cleanse yourself or planning to and want ideas for foods to eat
  • want to know what following a cleanse looks like, diet-wise
  • you want ideas for whole foods to eat – this diet is a great one to follow lifelong, not just for a cleanse!

So here goes nothing:

Breakfast is almost always steel-cut oatmeal with cut up prunes and almonds, made with almond milk. However, I did find a recipe for delicious pancakes made out of oats (I blended half the oats into a flour), chia egg, almonds, almond milk and oil.

ImageI topped them with a homemade applesauce I made that also fulfilled sweet cravings I had, and acted as an anytime dessert or snack. I simply diced up 4 organic apples (skin left on!), and boiled them in 1/2 cup water, a squeeze of half a lemon, and 1 tsp cinnamon. I let that cook until most of the water was gone, then loosely mashed the apple with a potato masher, leaving some chunks. Delicious and so sweet!

ImageOther breakfast ideas included my version of a ‘protein’ shake (protein powder is not allowed on the cleanse – protein tends to be acid-forming in the body so protein tends to be de-emphasized during the cleanse): frozen strawberries blended with some unsweetened almond or soy milk, a teaspoon or two of almond butter, a quarter of a pack of Mori-Nu silken tofu, and a pinch of my favourite new ingredient: organic vanilla powder (gives such a wonderful vanilla flavour! Thanks Carla for telling me about it!)

ImageThen I enjoy lunches that are filling while being healthy, like a salad made of combining chopped lettuce with cooked quinoa, pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds, black beans, avocado, cilantro and topped with Wild Rose’s lemon tahini dressing:

photo-13Or, on weekends, treat yourself with a fried egg and fried potatoes (I only used 1 tsp butter to fry the whole lot, so don’t go too overboard!):

photo-15For snacks, I rely heavily on herbal teas. Luckily I got a few for Christmas – including my all-time favourite Aveda tea and my new favourite David’s Tea flavour, an organic African spice mint tea…yum! If hungry, I pair the tea with a brown rice krispie recipe I found on another blog – it involves combining organic puffed brown rice (I bought Nature’s Path brand) with brown rice syrup (the only sweetener allowed on the cleanse), almond butter, goldenberries and cinnamon:


Another great, cleanse-friendly snack is kale chips. I bought a bunch of organic kale, cut out the stems, tossed the leaves with a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and baked at 400 F for 20 minutes.

kale chipsFor dinner I have had some fun! I made homemade sushi for the first time ever, though because no fermented foods are allowed, I couldn’t put any vinegar on the rice for flavouring, and I used Bragg’s Amino Acids for dipping instead of soy sauce:


I stuffed mine with avocado, baked yam fries (just cut yam into strips, tossed in a bit of oil and baked!) and cucumber. So good! I was really pleased my first homemade sushi attempt went well and I look forward to making it again when I can flavour the rice with some vinegar (by the way, I found brown rice just fine for sticking together!).

I also have had some fun eating salad rolls (thanks to my friend Erika for showing me how to make these!). Rice paper is safe and you just dip a sheet in a pan of boiling water to soften it, then I stuffed mine with cashews (peanuts aren’t allowed, but they would be great usually!), avocado, green onions, herbs like cilantro, parsley and mint, and cucumber. I then dipped it in Bragg’s again (hoisin sauce with lime juice is the best with these but also not allowed!).

salad roll setupHere’s what a rolled salad roll looks like (mine aren’t the best rolled that I’ve ever seen…!):

salad roll rolledOther (unpictured) dinners have included a vegetable biryani dish over brown rice, and a root vegetable curry. I have also made a fabulous butternut squash/yam soup that I adjusted to make cleanse friendly. Delicious!

For those sweet cravings, which haven’t bothered me much this time around but I know they got to me badly last year – especially around Day 4 or 5 – Dr. Willard has said that raw cacao powder is allowed, so fulfill those chocolate cravings the right way! I’ve made a chocolate ‘shake’ from cacao powder, brown rice syrup, Mori-Nu silken tofu and unsweetened almond/soy milk with some vanilla powder:

choc shake

And I also made my favourite healthy sweet snacks from Chocolate Covered Katie – her no-bake pumpkin oatmeal cookies – and just made them cleanse friendly by increasing the oat flour by 1/2 cup, eliminating the dry sweetener and using just 3-4 tbsp of brown rice syrup instead (I also used rolled oats, not quick oats, but I always do that with this recipe and it still works great). They do the trick when you’re needing a sweet bite!

no bake pumpkin bitesI hope this gave you a glimpse into life on a cleanse and made you realize that healthy eating does not have to be miserable! I’ll look forward to bringing back in my soy sauce and bananas in my smoothies, but otherwise I like to keep this food up. It’s just clean eating!


  • Are you doing a cleanse this New Year?


  1. wow this cleanse looks delicious! i applaud you for sticking with it – but i must say you are really doing delicious things with your options here. i especially love the shakes you created (although i would miss bananas too!) keep up the good work and i enjoyed the update!!!

  2. I tried a cleanse ONCE… I lasted about half a day before I gave in and ate cheetos.. I guess they just aren’t for me, but good for you!! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing all these good ideas!!! Everything looks really delicious. I am on a detox right now too, but very relaxed. I do want to lose some weight, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on it. Your sushi look great, my first one was a complete fail 🙂

    • I did not expect to lose any weight on this cleanse but I had gained 2-3 lbs over Christmas and I have already lost that! It may be mainly water weight of course, as I have only been on this for 6 days, but I probably only gained water weight- you have so much sugar and salt over Christmas that you can really start to retain water more. So it is worth doing because it usually has the desired effect! I totally did not think of weight loss though when starting this, so it is a nice way to focus on other goals and not, as you say, put any pressure on it!

  4. I have never made sushi rolls although I do cook the rice and make sushi ‘bowls’ occasionally.

    Right now I am doing the Whole30 Paleo challenge for the month of January so no grains, sugar, alcohol, legumes, or dairy. !! it is good so far.

    • Sushi bowls sound wonderful! Good for you, I think no grains whatsoever (the Wild Rose allows you to have as much millet, rice and buckwheat as you want, and 20% can be oats) would be really tough for a vegetarian like me! But well done, and good for you!

  5. This is such a great post, thank you so much for sharing. It looks like a great cleanse, lots of healthy foods, nothing ‘faddy’ and room to experiment with new foods and flavours. Your sushi looks great!

  6. Loving the creative meals!! You’ve inspired me for the detox I’m doing at the moment! I’m going to do some cooking this weekend so might try some of your recipes.
    and..umm…laxaherb?? Does that do what it sounds like it does??
    Hope you’re feeling light and energised!
    oh, and with the kale chips, they taste amazing cooked with coconut oil and that’s a more stable oil at high temps.

    • Hahaha it does help the elimination process but it’s not really like a laxative. Having said that, I’ve never had a laxative, but what I mean is – it doesn’t make you need to go all the time! It just helps to ensure that you’re fully cleansed out ;).

      I love roasting my veg with coconut oil – I was all out this time but it’s on the shopping list! Thanks lady!

  7. I’m done with my cleanse, and I’m actually feeling better! I *adore* making my own spring/salad rolls too. I could eat them all day everyday for the rest of my life!

  8. All of this food looks amazing! 🙂

  9. I’ve never done a cleanse like this before. But it sounds interesting!

  10. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I was wrong about the brown rice crispies. I’ve amended the recipe, but I haven’t tried it yet. Sorry. I’m prepping for another Wild Rose soon, so I’ll be sharing new recipes (with more research).

    • No worries – there wasn’t anything wrong about them! I omitted the dried fruit because I knew that was allowed, and I contacted the Wild Rose centre who confirmed brown rice syrup is allowed. So all is good! Definitely make them if you do it again – they were a necessary sweet treat with my tea that kept me going!


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