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The Clean Program is a 21-day detox diet that was designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger, a New York City cardiologist, and leader in the field of integrative medicine.
Junger developed his program to treat chronic symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, headaches, depression, fatigue, weight gain, and insomnia. He says these problems are due to a build up of toxins and that his plan addresses this factor so as to restore the optimal functioning of the body.
Clean Diet Basics
The Clean Program helps to restore the ability of the body to heal itself by several methods.
- Reducing the load on the digestive system.
- Protecting you from the damage of circulating toxins.
- Delivering specific liver detox nutrients.
- Promoting gut repair.
For each day of the 21-day program, you will have a liquid meal for breakfast, a solid meal for lunch and a liquid meal for dinner.
A special meal replacement shake is recommended for the liquid meals, however, it is possible to substitute this with fresh juices and blended smoothies or soups if desired.
Junger states that there is an option to switch lunch and dinner so that you have a solid meal in the evening, however, this will result in less efficient detoxification so should preferably only be done occasionally.
Dieters are also advised to make sure there is a twelve-hour window between the last meal of one day and breakfast the following day because this gives the digestive system a rest and enhances the detox process.
There are three central pillars of the Clean program:
1) REMOVE toxins:
- Avoid processed food.
- Buy organic when possible.
- Remove bad bacteria in your digestive system.
2) RESTORE what is lacking:
- Consume nutrient-rich foods (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes).
- Use supplements to boost availability of depleted nutrients.
- Get 15 minutes of sunlight exposure each day to ensure better levels of vitamin D for bone strength and protection from cancer and depression.
3) REJUVENATE your life:
- Make time for “detox-enhancing” habits such as saunas, massage, and skin brushing.
- Meditate, even if for only five minutes a day.
- Dieters are told that they should have a bowel movement every day and if this does not occur spontaneously then they should take a laxative. Colon Cleanses are also encouraged and can be undertaken on a daily basis if desired.
Mango, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries, apples, watermelon, leafy green vegetables, zucchini, cucumber, carrot, butternut squash, broccoli, asparagus, rice milk, almond milk, brown rice, millet, quinoa, lentils, beans, raw nuts, cold pressed oils, agave nectar, cold water fish, wild game, lean lamb, duck, chicken, turkey, herbs and spices, green tea.
Sample Diet Plan
Kale pineapple and chia smoothie
Warm salmon and asparagus salad with pesto
Blueberries, raspberries and cucumber
Butternut squash bisque
Dieters are advised to increase their daily lifestyle activity by walking as much as possible and taking the stairs instead of the lift, for example. More deliberate exercise activities are encouraged but are not an essential part of the program.
Costs and Expenses
Clean: A Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself retails from $10.
In order to do the program as recommended in the book, it is also necessary to purchase a variety of supplements at a cost of $250 to $425.
- Gentle approach to detox that should produce very few uncomfortable symptoms.
- Dieters should be able to maintain their energy levels and normal daily activities.
- Provides extra nutritional support that improves the effectiveness of the detox.
- Provides adequate protein, which will reduce appetite and maintain muscle mass as calories are reduce.
- Includes recipes and menu suggestions.
- Recommends the use of meal replacement shakes and supplements which will increase the expense of this program.
- Recommends the use of colonics and laxatives, which may potentially have adverse effects such as electrolyte imbalances.
- May require more time for food preparation, especially if dieters opt to prepare their own liquid meals rather than using the meal replacement supplements.
- A high-speed blender is necessary for some of the recipes.
A Detox for Busy People
The Clean Program gives dieters the opportunity to undertake an effective detox program without causing any major disruptions to their regular lifestyle.
The cost of the program including supplements may be beyond the reach of many dieters, however, it is still possible to follow this plan and achieve good results without them.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Kim, J. H., Na, H. B., Kim, M. J. (2014). Effects of the lemon detox program on body fat reduction and detoxification in Korean overweight women (LB354). The FASEB Journal, 28(1 Supplement), LB354. link
- Genuis, S. (2010). Elimination of persistent toxicants from the human body. Human experimental toxicology. link
- Ravichandran, S. (2011). Possible Natural ways to eliminate Toxic Heavy Metals. International Journal of Chemtech Research CODEN (USA), IJCRCC, 3(4), 1886-1890. link
Last Reviewed: January 21, 2018