The Annual New Year Detox

Doing a detox can be a challenge. It requires some planning, tracking down potentially unfamiliar ingredients, and cooking every single meal for the better part of a week. There’s also the fine print about temporarily abandoning caffeine (oof). Normally we’re excited to start the new year with a bit of a challenge, but this year, we thought, let’s take it easy.

The 2021 five-day detox includes recipes that are simple, adaptable, wholesome, and delicious. And yes, they are still aligned with Dr. Alejandro Junger’s elimination guidelines from the Clean Program: free of caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten, corn, nightshades, soy, refined sugar, shellfish, white rice, and eggs. As always, we look forward to seeing how you make it your own.

We’ve included substitution ideas throughout the recipes—none of this is scripture, and riffing is highly recommended. Embrace the swaps and tweaks that make sense for your tastes, your body, and your lifestyle. Opt for some store-bought shortcuts and let them bring you joy. Eat more if you’re hungry. Eat a little less if you’re full. Listen to your body. Maybe eliminating all of the above is too much and you just want to see what happens when you remove dairy from your diet for five days. Maybe you’re here only because you need a little recipe inspiration. Either way, we’re glad to have you. We hope this recipe map makes for a fun reset.

THE PLAN

SUNDAY

Prepping the Sunday before will absolutely help you start your detox on the right foot. This list looks long, but none of the recipes are terribly involved, and there’s enough hands-off time that you should be able to multitask.

Sunday prep is usually designed so that your lunches are ready to pack in the morning to take with you to work. If you’re working remote, you can still benefit from having lunch ready to go when you want it, but if you’d rather cook your lunches the day of, feel free to skip those prep steps.

  1. Grocery shop—or have it delivered!

  2. Make the Grain-Free Seed Bread (or buy a loaf of grain-free bread from a local bakery).

  3. Make the Everything Green Soup.

  4. Make the Curried Chickpea Salad.

  5. Make the quick-pickled slaw for the Sweet Potato Bowl.

  6. Marinate the chicken for the Miso Chicken Bowl.

MONDAY

First thing: warm water with lemon

Breakfast: Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie

Lunch: Everything Green Soup and Curried Chickpea Salad on Grain-Free Bread

Snack: Super Seedy Apple Rings

Dinner: Miso Chicken with Cucumbers and Furikake

TUESDAY

First thing: warm water with lemon

Breakfast: Grain-Free Seed Bread with avocado or almond butter (or both)

Lunch: Leftover Miso Chicken with Cucumbers and Furikake

Snack: Rooibos Almond Latte

Dinner: Sheet Pan Haddock with Zucchini, Shallots, and Salsa Verde

WEDNESDAY

First thing: warm water with lemon

Breakfast: Creamy Fonio Porridge with Berries

Lunch: Everything Green Soup and Curried Chickpea Salad on Grain-Free Bread

Snack: Super Seedy Apple Rings

Dinner: Sweet Potato Bowls with Cilantro-Lime Cauli Rice and Quick-Pickled Cabbage

Prep for tomorrow: Roast your sweet potato for the hummus.

THURSDAY

First thing: warm water with lemon

Breakfast: Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie

Lunch: Sweet Potato Hummus Plate

Snack: Rooibos Almond Latte

Dinner: Lentil and Chicken Sausage Stew with Kale

FRIDAY

First thing: warm water with lemon

Breakfast: Creamy Fonio Porridge with Berries

Lunch: Leftover Lentil and Chicken Sausage Stew with Kale

Snack: Leftover Sweet Potato Hummus with veggies and Grain-Free Seed Bread or grain-free gluten-free crackers

Dinner: Veggie Fritters with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce

FOR PLANT-BASED EATERS

Since the Clean Program recommends eliminating soy products, sometimes plant-based adaptations for our annual detox can be tricky (though you might be surprised what you can pull off with cauliflower, chickpeas, and butternut squash). Our senior director of science and research, Gerda Endemann, recently wrote about soy misconceptions and benefits, so we’re pleased to recommend good old-fashioned tofu as a sub if that’s something you enjoy in lieu of meat.

Tofu would be brilliant marinated in miso and coconut aminos, then grilled like the chicken in the Miso Chicken Bowl.

If seasoned with some extra salt and pepper, tofu would be nice roasted on a sheet tray and topped with salsa verde in place of the haddock (though you’ll need to cook it quite a bit longer to get a crispy exterior).

As for the third carnivorous recipe in this year’s detox, the Lentil and Sausage Stew, we think you could omit the sausage altogether. The lentils alone are plenty hefty, and you might consider upping the amount of garlic and fennel to compensate for the added seasoning you get in sausage. Or if you have a favorite plant-based sausage, this could be a good place to try it out—Beyond Sausage is one of the rare gluten-free meat alternatives, and it would work nicely here.