Spring Cleaning: The Ins and Outs of Detoxing and Cleansing Week 1

“If you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you're done”

James Clear

Dr. Sumi Says: If you’ve decided to embark on a Spring Cleanse after reading our previous newsletter on the ins and out of a Spring Cleanse, we’ve got you covered with this article! The aim of this article is to help you prepare and execute a gentle cleanse that will help you feeling restored and rejuvenated.

By Dr. Sumithra Nadarajah, Functional Medicine/Holistic Healthcare Consultant


Preparing your body and mind for a Cleanse.

The key to being successful during a cleanse is to be prepared. Prepare well before you start on a cleanse, prepare well for when you are doing a cleanse and be prepared to come off a cleanse! 

 At least 1 week before your cleanse :  

  1. Hydrate well, drink plenty of pure clean water. Flavor them with slices of orange, lime, and lemon.

  2. Eliminate alcohol

  3. Reduce caffeine intake. If you cannot stop entirely, switch to green tea or limit to just one black cup of coffee early in the day.

  4. Eliminate processed sugars : Cakes, breads, energy bars, sodas, ice cream, milk chocolate.

  5. Increase sleep time and quality - if you are chronically sleep deprived, start going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each night.

  6. Move more - include a quick 10 minute walk after each big meal, if you are not moving much already.

By preparing yourself this way, you will see better results when you start on your 1 week Spring Cleanse.

detox fruits vegetables juice cleanse on table

Let’s Get Started : 1 week of Spring Cleansing 

The focus of this cleanse is to gently bring your body back into a more balanced state. We achieve this by eliminating processed foods and sugars and replacing them with nutritious foods. You do not have to reduce your caloric intake during this time. We are not removing any major food groups in this cleanse. We are only removing processed foods that come in boxes, bags or have multiple ingredients listed on them.

This week of the cleanse mainly focuses on food as it has a direct and noticeable impact on our physical health. You may also notice improved moods, sleep and energy, especially if you continue on this cleanse for longer than 1 week.

Next week, we will focus on other aspects of a spring cleanse that include the mind and movement.

se symptoms, you may want to consider a gentle detox.

List of Foods to Include During the Spring Cleanse

  1. Vegetables
    1. Colorful and bright, including one dark leafy green vegetable a day
      Serving size : 6 servings a day. 
      1 serve is 1 cup cooked or ½ cup raw
    2. Dark Leafy Greens (rich in vitamins like Magnesium and B vitamins) : Kale, Bok Choy, Spinach, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard
    3. Colorful vegetables (rice in antioxidants to energize) : Carrot, Beets, Pink and white radishes, Red Potatoes
    4. Cruciferous vegetables (to help with hormonal balancing) : Broccoli, Asparagus, Brussels sprouts
  1. Protein 
    1. Meat: Try to source high quality, clean meat that are not fed with antibiotics, growth hormones or any artificial feeds

      Eg organic free range chicken, grass fed beef, pastured eggs
    2. Vegetarian Protein: Organic tofu, tempeh, paneer, cheese, nuts & seeds, beans and lentils.
  1. Healthy Fats 
    1. Get an Oil Change: Swap out vegetable and canola oil for healthy Olive/Avocado/Coconut oils or Ghee/Butter.
    2. Dress your salads with Organic Flax Oil or Walnut oil as healthy Omega 3 rich alternatives.

      Other sources of healthy fat: Nut Butters, Whole minimally processed dairy like whole cream, cream cheese, avocados. 
  1. Fruits - Low carb fruits 
    1. Serving Size : Less than 1/3rd a day (or less if you are overweight)

      Pick fruits that have a lower sugar content: Berries, Kiwi, Grapefruit, Starfruit
  1.  Grains  - Minimize this group, limiting to 1-2 meals a day at most.
    1. Focus on whole grains that are Non GMO - quinoa, millet, buckwheat, blue corn, whole wheat. If you are adventurous, you can try eliminating wheat from your cleanse however this is optional.

      Eg Rice or Chickpea Pasta, Tricolored quinoa
  1.  Foods that come in a box or bag WITH added sugar, vegetable oils and more than 5 ingredients listed.  READ LABELS AT THE BACK OF PACKAGING.

    Eg : Chips made with vegetable oils, Cookies made with processed bleached flour and added sugar, flavorings etc.

    Sodas with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, coloring 

  1.  Alcohol  - all forms, including wine.

  1.  Caffeine  - 1 cup or less a day.

A Sample Day on the Spring Cleanse Protocol:

  1.  Wake up: Upon waking up, have yourself a clean glass of pure water with either a squeeze of lemon or a splash of organic apple cider vinegar. (You may omit this if you have reflux or stomach ulcers). It is important to hydrate in the morning before eating.

  1.  Breakfast:  Have a breakfast that will balance your sugar levels throughout the day. Savory breakfasts are best to stabilize your insulin and prevent sugar spikes and crashes.


2-3 Scrambled eggs with spinach, tomatoes and peppers, cooked in avocado oil. 1 cup of black coffee.


2 slices of keto bread topped with guacamole and pine nuts with a small side salad. 


A balanced smoothie - a favorite of many. 

1-2 scoops of a good quality whey/pea/rice protein with 1 Tablespoon of ground chia or flax seed (for omega 3), ⅓ cup of berries or less/omit, 4-8 ounces of preferred liquid (plain almond milk, coconut milk, water), add ons like avocado, cacao butter, nut butter (for added healthy fats and satiety).

  1.  Lunch: Include vegetables, protein and healthy fats.

A spring mix salad (dark green and red leaves for optimum nutritional profile) with sliced cucumber and avocado. Dressed with a homemade vinaigrette of Olive Oil, Lemon, Honey and Mustard. Pair with your favorite protein like smoked salmon or left over baked chicken, grilled tempeh. If you need it to be more hearty, add on a starchy vegetable like sweet potatoes.

  1.  Dinner:  Have it early in the evening so you can be done by 630-7pm.

 ¼ cup cooked quinoa with roasted vegetables, and a protein of choice.

OR A chicken stir fry with peppers, broccoli with a side of bok choy, served over brown rice. 

  1.  Snack:  A note on snacking.

Where possible, try to go without snacking between meals. This will help you to keep your sugar and insulin levels more stable and allow for better detoxification and fat burning. 

If you need to snack : ½ cup or a non starchy vegetable eg Celery or Cucumber. Have that with ¼ cup of hummus (that is made without vegetable oil) Or organic cream cheese.


Handful of nuts and seeds : Walnuts with pumpkin seeds and a few cranberries or raisins.


Small piece of 70% or more Dark Chocolate dipped in nut butter.

Coming Off the Cleanse:

After eating this way for 1 week, you will start to notice the benefits of fueling your body with clean nutrition. You may continue to eat this way and make it a part of your lifestyle. Since we have not removed any specific food group, only foods that are processed and unhelpful towards health and longevity, this way of eating is sustainable for long term health. 

However, it is often the case that life does get busy and derails us. When this happens, we might find ourselves in a bind - hungry and without healthy food options. Or we enjoy going out with friends and family on the weekend. As you start to integrate back into more “normal and conventional” ways of eating, try to find a balance that works best for you and your family.

Do you want to eat clean 5 days a week and allow 2 days for going out? Or would you prefer to have cleaner breakfasts and dinner because those are the meals that you can make at home? 

Keep It Up!

It is easy to find a plan to initiate good health and weight loss. The challenge is in maintaining this healthy approach over the course of our lifetime. Our mindset is the most important contributor to our success. 

Next week we will explore another important part of ourselves that deserves attention and some cleansing! 


Dr. Sumithra Nadarajah, a dedicated Functional Medicine/Holistic Healthcare Consultant, combines her medical expertise with a passion for holistic health practices. As a certified health coach, nutrition expert, and wellness advocate, Dr. Nadarajah is committed to helping individuals achieve their health goals through a balanced approach to nutrition, physical activity, and stress management. Her hobbies include playing the piano, meditation, exploring nature, and experimenting with healthy recipes, reflecting her belief in the importance of nurturing both the mind and body for a fulfilling life.