Everything you need to know about our Detox.
Do I have to eat everything on the meal plan?
No, you don’t.
As your metabolic needs decline and you adjust to cleansing over three phases, you will likely find yourself needing less food.
The raw food is the most important, although it’s okay to have less of it, as long as you aren’t eating other foods disallowed on the program.
The cooked food is the least important, so eliminate those foods first if the menu plan calls for more than you want to eat.
The cooked food is there for three reasons.
The least important one is that some people feel they need hot, cooked food for their sense of well-being, simply because of lifelong habit.
The second one is to provide enough calories to keep you comfortable while not slowing down your cleanse significantly like other refined or low-fiber foods would.
And the most important reason: the cooked food is included to provide lots of fiber, the bulk that drags and cleans the digestive tract, while the raw, fresh juices are “cleaning house” with phytonutrients and rebuilding tired organs.
You may eliminate any of the cooked foods. If you want to replace it, more Green Smoothies or vegetable juices are always allowed.
What should I do if I find I have some food sensitivities?
When you complete the detox, you should have a list of foods you eliminated and then added back in. For 8 hours after you eat a food you’ve added in Phase II or III, note any gastric disturbances (bloating, gas, discomfort, constipation, diarrhea) or other symptoms, like headache, fatigue, skin reactions, etc.
Some foods that are very good for you can cause a reaction. For instance, my experience working with thousands of people on whole-foods habits is that highly detoxifying foods—especially greens, vegetables, coconut oil, homemade granola, etc.—will cause people’s digestion to change, sometimes radically.
The obvious conclusion, for people who have not studied nutrition and for whom nutrition has not been a priority, is that this is a food that does not agree with them. It would be premature to make that conclusion.
If all green foods cause detox reactions, it would be a tragedy to eliminate the most important class of foods there is. It is, then, worth it to complete an extensive cleansing process and see if digestive disturbance caused by those foods calm down.
Grains causing sensitivities are another matter. You can eliminate them without causing significant deficits in your nutrition, since grains are nutritious but their properties are found in other foods. Probably due in part to genetically modified grains, most people have anywhere from a mild to a severe degenerative gut issue.
Unfortunately I cannot give you a definitive chart of answers related to specific foods and their reactions. People are highly individual. This will require the analysis of a naturopathic doctor, or another physician trained in diet/nutrition, food sensitivities, and holistic health. However, the food sensitivities chart in Appendix A is a good starting place for you to explore what foods to eat more or less of.
What if I know I have severe food sensitivities or allergies?
If you have digestive problems, skin problems, mood disorders, or known gluten or other allergies, I highly recommend you repeat Phase 1 on the detox. This will give you a longer period of time to rest the digestive system from all but a few non-allergenic foods.
I also recommend you add another week at the end, to add in more specific foods, one per day (or at least one per meal).
Document what your reactions are. Eliminating foods that are causing your problems for several months or longer as your gut heals will be critical to regaining your health.
What if I’m not losing weight?
Most Detoxers lose weight in the first phase of the detox.
(My daughter and I each lost 7 lbs. despite being in our “ideal” weight range. Those with a more significant amount of weight to lose lost 8-20 lbs.)
If you did not lose weight in Phase One, you should definitely go to a practitioner in natural (bioidentical) hormone solutions and have a workup done.
Not just a T3 measurement, but a full blood panel.
It is fairly expensive and many insurance companies won’t pay for the blood test, so ask your bioidentical practitioner if she knows an M.D. to write the prescription, if that works for your insurance.
But this is a must-have if you are not losing weight on 800 calories a day or less!
With severely depressed thyroid function, you cannot lose weight.
And this is a problem for a significant portion of the population, particularly women. Along with an inability to regulate metabolism, low thyroid will make you tired and irritable, among other symptoms.
If you haven’t lost any weight, or less than you’d like in Phase II and III, see the Changing Your Body’s Weight/Fat Set Point section in the manual on the importance of leveling-off periods.
These periods are normal in a sustained effort to change your body’s set point for weight and fat ratio.
During these two phases, you must be patient and focus on the detox benefits.
Then you should see another weight drop in the last five days of the detox. I personally lost 4 lbs. in the first phase, and another 3 lbs. in the last phase. I lost only 1 lb. in the two middle phases combined, and my weight bounced around during that period.
You can control your consumption of any of the dishes in this week’s menu to no more than 1½ cups, to increase the likelihood of weight loss.
However, I would prefer you have a healthy helping of Lentil Soup, Hippo Soup, Black Bug Soup, oatmeal, or sweet potato to keep you feeling satisfied.
Long periods of hunger are deadly to any diet because we have only so much willpower.
Do not exceed quantities of avocado and nuts if weight loss is a goal for you.
In general, do not decrease your amounts of Green Smoothies or other raw food in favor of cooked food. As long as you’re following the recipe, they are not the reason you may not lose weight at some phases.
Besides plain veggies, they are the lowest-calorie, highest-micronutrient thing you can eat.
And because you can consume a lot of it in a short time, it fills your stomach quickly with nutrient density.
So, all the raw food quantities in this program are mandatory.
Cooked food is optional, and you can always eat less of it (though I highly recommend eating your full portion of breakfasts).
What if I’m losing too much weight on this program?
One of my beta testers was a 30-year-old woman, already underweight, with severe gut and endocrine issues. I checked in with her daily during the detox, making suggestions, as her weight fell, as it will with anyone.
As a new higher-calorie food is added into the diet, it then becomes okay for you to eat extra of that food. People who are underweight in the modern industrialized world are generally people with major food-digestion problems who are not utilizing nutrition.
They may be diagnosed or undiagnosed Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), colitis, leaky gut, etc.
All of these are variations on a theme: the gut has become inflamed or even progressively diseased and is not functioning to utilize nutrients to maintain health.
If this describes you, of course you need detoxification as much as anyone.
You also need to implement as much of Step 8 in 12 Steps to Whole Foods as possible, to begin to rebuild your gut with food.
(I have found that dried probiotics do not build a healthy population of microorganisms in the GI tract to heal and rebuild, although they may help support an existing colonization of beneficial flora.)
But to achieve as much of the benefit of the detox protocol as possible without losing too much weight, consider increasing calories in the following ways.
These ideas are highly nutritious and should not materially affect your detox in a negative way:
- Eat a couple of avocados every day.
- Eat a few tablespoons of good fats, including coconut oil, olive oil, and flaxseed oil. Add these to your salads, Green Smoothies, or on top of sweet potatoes or oatmeal.
- Eat extra bananas and other fruits.
- Eat extra nuts and seeds, or nut and seed butter (salt free).
- Eat more of anything and everything—larger serving sizes.
What if you only want to detox but not lose any weight?
Most of the participants do report quite a bit of weight loss, since the program has been known to reduce cravings and the food has fewer calories than what many are used to.
However, you’re welcome to eat as much as you would like while on the detox. My suggestion to you, if you don’t want to lose weight, would be to increase the quantity of food that you are eating so you can reach your ideal caloric intake.
Fortunately, there are so many benefits to this detox, other than weight loss.
One of our beta testers who was already underweight lost 7 pounds during the detox, but she gained it back after the detox was over.
As you go through the detox, higher-calorie food is reintroduced over time and you are then free to eat as much as you want of these foods (avocado, coconut oil, etc.).
If you are hoping to maintain your current weight, I would suggest eating a higher quantity of food, so that you can meet your ideal caloric intake.
What can this program do to un-stick my metabolism so I can lose weight?
I feel like I do everything ‘right’ regarding my diet & lifestyle.
I am looking for what is missing to lose this weight.
I suspect a thyroid issue. Don’t settle for the T3 test that an MD (endocrinologist, GP, or OB/GYN) will give you. Hormones are far more complex than that. Find a bioidentical hormone specialist (usually a nurse practitioner), if you can get a referral from someone in your area, or google that with the name of your city.
Most of us have hormone issues, over 40 in this toxic world.
Detoxing should be a major feature of your solution…..but you may need some bioidentical hormone support as well.
I’m frustrated with how much my weight seems to be fluctuating every day?
Try not to get so concerned with weighing yourself every day.
Maybe try every few days or just once per week. Keep in mind that your weight can vary significantly even as much as 5 pounds in a single day from water, food in progress of digesting, etc.
So don’t be too concerned with the day to day of what the scale says.
Look to the end result and all the many other benefits.
What if I don’t like the plant based diet?
We aren't suggesting a long term plant based diet is what you should adopt.
This is just 26 days of not eating meat, which millions of Hindus do their entire life, all body types do. Every indigenous culture went at least 26 days eating plants only, when they couldn't hunt, for over a thousand years.
It's a Standard American Diet convention to worry about "getting enough protein." Now, coming OFF a meat diet can certainly cause discomfort, but make sure you read about common cleansing reactions (foggy brain certainly one of them)--you may be misreading "wacky brain" to be "so many carbs"--- it's far more likely that you're in the cleansing process and experiencing an adjustment.
Nothing better you can do, if you're prediabetic, than this detox. Eating meat is a BAD idea for diabetics and prediabetics, and carbohydrates have been 60-80 percent of humans' fuel source across cultures, forever.
These are all WHOLE carbohydrates which shouldn't spike your blood sugar, and there's a significant amount of healthy fats in your breakfast as well, and some great plant protein.
Animals are just animals---not protein.
Plant foods have much LESS protein, but lots of data shows that the S.A.D.'s excessive protein (20%) is the perfect cancer-starter diet. We're actually trying to help you detox from billions of undigested protein fragments in the blood and other tissues.
If we are to eat no dairy, meat, and nuts...Where is our protein source coming from?
If we are to eat no dairy, meat, and nuts, where is our protein source coming from?
How many grams of protein does the cleanse allow daily?
The dairy and meat industry may have you fooled into thinking that they, and only they, have protein!
Spinach, for instance, is over 40% protein.
The world health organization calls 5% protein in the diet “ideal.” You’ll be getting about 10% protein, which is what tens of millions of healthy vegetarians the world over get (the ones who eat whole foods, who are primarily in the middle east).
So, while this program is lower in protein because most of us have billions of protein fragments in our blood, colon, and elsewhere, that the immune / detox systems of the body need to CLEAN UP, so what we DON’T need in a cleanse is excesses of protein……if you feel you NEED more protein for sports or weight lifting purposes, or you’re so used to a high animal-protein diet that you see your energy drop, just get SUPERCLEAN protein sources.
You’re getting the healthiest proteins, fats, and carbs. The protein obsession is nothing more or better than the latest food fad invented by the diet and processed food industries.
We need to all let go of our obsession with maximizing protein, and just make sure we eat CLEAN protein.
After the detox, assuming you go back to eating animal proteins, be sure to get organic eggs, and free range, wild caught, organic sources of those animal products!
I don’t like carbs and need and want my meat. Why should I do this?
It's the current "diet fad" to vilify carbohydrates.
Watch and be patient. It will shift.
Carbohydrates are the main fuel source for the human liver, and THESE are the foods that contain all the fiber. We don't have the gut of a cat (straight from mouth to anus); we have the very, very long digestive tract of organisms who need TONS of fiber.
If you personally like more protein, use the GSG protein in your smoothies.
A detox diet is NOT a diet that involves animal meat (no fiber. virtually no micronutrients. usually steroids, hormones, antibiotics. also carcinogenic nitrites / nitrates in processed meats like bacon, hot dogs).
People who are schooled by people brainwashed in the cult (current cult: paleo and now ketogenic is bumping it out) obsess over macronutrients.
You are right now getting massively more micronutrients than you ever have before, in the most healing foods on the planet.
Sometimes, especially for meat eaters, you'll experience weaknesses of various kinds. Don't mistake that for "my body needs more protein." Any carnivore who shifts to a plant-based diet will tell you that is the way of it.
Again, we aren't trying to make vegetarians of you, but it would be dishonest of us to put you through a detox that rests and repairs the colon, kidneys, and liver, and feed you meat.
You can actually get IDEAL amounts of protein eating plants---and greens are high in plants. The most detoxifying foods are found in the carbohydrate class.
Robyn wishes everyone would get over what the diet industry taught them, that "carbs" are bad.
Donuts and bagels are bad.
Millett and blueberries are fantastic foods and resemble each other like a Hyundai resembles a Mercedes on the freeway (that is, they're both cars, and that's about it.)
What about those who aren’t sold on drinking smoothies over chewing food?
Most of the food in the program is the kind that you chew.
As for smoothies that do play a part in the program, if you look at the quantity of green food and plant food you can get by blending, the answer to why they are part of our program will become clear.
However, you can always chop and eat the ingredients from a smoothie, if you prefer.
What is your feeling about macro counting and drinking too many carbs in smoothies?
I’ve been doing macro counting and have a nutrition coach. She advises not to juice or smoothies because you end up drinking a lot of your carbs for the day….What is your feeling about that?
I’m not sure what the background of your nutrition coach is, but carbohydrates are your main fuel source and they are perfectly legitimate and in fact very important macronutrients.
We don’t buy into food cults (invented by the processed food industry) that thinks that nutrition is explained by ratios or grams of protein, fats, and carbs. (It isn’t.)
The story is told in eating far more foods higher in fiber, and higher in micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes…..anti disease!). And guess what….the foods HIGHEST in all of those things? Are CARBOHYDRATES.
However, complex or unrefined carbs are the good ones, and we DO take you off all processed carbs (also processed fats and proteins, for that matter). Your body will thank you.
99 percent of dieticians, nutritionists, and health coaches just follow the fad of the day.
Currently that is an obsession with counting grams of stuff, and ratios of stuff……nature did not intend this.
You’re going to eat lots of carbs on this detox, but they are healthy, whole-foods, life-giving carbs.
Raw foods are painful for me. Will making into Smoothies break veggies down enough to decrease stomach pain?
I am concerned about a raw diet. I eat lots of veggies but steamed. Too much Raw hurts!
Will making into smoothies break veggies down enough to decrease stomach pain?
We use the most detoxifying foods available for the detox process. Many of the vegetables in the detox are cooked or blended to make it easier for your body to digest, and there is also a lot of raw food.
We are not qualified to give medical advice, since we aren’t familiar with your situation and medical history, but I would suggest you try the detox by sticking with the foods that your body agrees with, while skipping or modifying the recipes that your body can’t handle.
Does your product substitute food prep?
Our products supplement the detox but they don’t replace the food prep. The products are completely optional, although they do enhance the experience and provide many benefits.
However, the food prep is not optional.
We’ve really optimized the detox over the years and minimized the amount of food prep as we’ve improved the product based on past experience and feedback.
You can expect to spend about an hour or two of shopping and prep every couple of days. This is one reason why we suggest finding a buddy to do the detox with you, so that you can share food prep.
Unlike most detoxes, this is a food based program.
We are using the most detoxifying foods. You don’t need to take any supplements.
Our program doubles as a non-definitive food sensitivity test (it will give you very good clues, while medical testing is more definitive).
While we may recommend a few supplements, they are entirely optional.
What if I don't have time to cook?
There are a few main dishes in Phase IV that involve 30 minutes of food prep/cooking. The rest of the food on the menu is very simple to prepare. If you don’t want to do ANY food prep, consider two ideas:
- If you have more money than time, hire someone. I have help at $12/hour who juices for me and makes Green Smoothies and salads. I made my own everything for 43 years, so I did my time. Nothing to feel guilty about—think of a health-conscious homemaker who might be happy to have a job working several hours a week for you, where she can bring a little one along.
- Choose a “buddy” to do the detox program with you, who maybe struggles for cash paycheck to paycheck, and see if she will do the food prep if you pay for all the groceries. I have seen several symbiotic relationships with this arrangement, where everyone gets what they want most! Some people have more time, and some people have more money. Matching up one person from each of those categories can be a match made in heaven. Or share food-prep tasks with your buddy, as I describe in Phase I, and it’s easy! It’s best if your detox buddy is someone you live with, or who lives very close to you, or is a coworker. Then you can plan together and exchange food.
Another thing to consider, though, is that the most important thing in the menu plan is also one of the easiest. That’s the Green Smoothie. If you did nothing but Green Smoothies, you’d have a tremendously effective detox. (Most people prefer to chew some food, though!) Doing as much Green Smoothie, and as little other food as possible (or only the easiest things, like baked potatoes and oatmeal), is a brilliant way to rest your organs and give your body time and space to rebuild.
Why do I feel weak and have low energy while on the detox?
A few things may be happening here.
Your body is working extra hard to get rid of all the built up toxins, so that may be one of the causes of your fatigue.
It is very common for our detoxers to report increased energy on the detox, but for some that doesn't show up until later phases.
Stay the course and you will notice the benefits later on. This is a common occurrence, but it passes with time.
Another reason might be that you're not eating enough calories. The foods we eat on this detox are very low calorie, so it's possible for you to be eating larger portions but still consuming fewer calories than you would during a normal meal.
Make sure you're eating enough to be sustained throughout the day.
Can I continue to exercise while on the Detox?
Yes you can and you should!
Exercising improves your body’s functions and increases the effects of detoxification.
Although there is a decrease in caloric intake during the program, many of our detoxers report increased energy.
However, if you are an extreme athlete, marathon runner, etc., you may find that the detoxing process “takes a lot out of you.” That’s because your body’s focus WANTS to be the cleansing process.
Running 26 miles, for instance, while also in a heavy phase of detox (such as week 1) probably isn’t a very good idea. You may feel weaker, as your body sloughs off lots of toxicity in a short time.
Gall Bladder Flush---Alternatives to Olive Oil
In the Gall Bladder Flush...What if I have a sensitivity to or can't tolerate Olive Oil? Is there another type of oil I can use?
We know that olive oil works for ease of elimination of stones, so we recommend you stick to what is “tried and true” if at all possible.
But if you cannot for some reason use Olive Oil then you can use macadamia oil, expeller pressed or cold pressed grape seed oil, sunflower oil, or other expeller pressed seed oils.
Do not use canola, soy, or similar processed oils.
Mixing the olive oil and lemon juice in a shaker bottle and shaking vigorously until it becomes almost creamy-like can really help the process of drinking it be a little smoother.
How is your detoxing affected if your gallbladder has been removed?
If you no longer have a gallbladder, it’s still important to do the flush in Phase 3 Day 5, and all the steps leading up to it. In fact, without a gallbladder, your liver has to do the job of both organs, so flushing becomes even more critical than for those who have gallbladders.
For one thing, your liver may have accumulated more stones, as a result of not having the benefit of your gallbladder. Also, your liver is full of ducts that could use a good cleaning. Holistic liver experts all over the world recommend the flush for those who’ve had their gallbladders removed.
Why am I experiencing so much bloating during Detox?
Bloating is a common sign of gut distress.
When someone who has a lot of inflammation in the GI tract starts eating a lot more fiber, imagine a broom is sweeping you out….you may notice all kinds of digestive changes, and not all of them will be comfortable.
Towards the end of the Detox, you’ll be invited to watch Robyn’s 12 Steps to Whole Foods video masterclass. And there’s a special video on Rehab Your Gut With Food that I’d love for you to watch.
Chronic bloating (and other GI disturbances, such as difficulty metabolizing foods, stomachache, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence) are the sign of a diseased gut. So detoxing is SUPER important for you, and we wonder if GMO foods, or antibiotic use, or other use of medications may be at the root of the issue.
Regardless the cause, learning cultured foods and taking a great probiotic made in small batches will be key to resolving it. I suggest you get some PreZyme Pro, which should help soothe that ASAP, taking it twice a day….plus it’ll help repopulate your gut with healthy micro-organisms. They are your defense against viral and bacterial cells that make you sick!
How am I to handle no sodium/salt?
Set your intention to stay the course and take careful note of the ways you notice your body healing, resting, and regaining energy.
And remember, try to eat salt free—or at least extremely low in sodium (10 mg or less/serving)!
If you eat more salt than that, your inflamed cells will stop their healing process and they will flare up and retain water. Not only will your detoxification be set back, but so will your emotional state as you suddenly “gain” 1–2 pounds!
Your body LOVES you for not feeding it salt, so keep it up! The longer you stay in extremely low-sodium mode, the more ability your body has to heal cells and burn fat stores.
Why is it okay to eat the protein powder with salt but not allowed to eat any other salt during the program?
There is an absolutely minute amount of unrefined salt in there, and we also say to keep salt under 219mg sodium if people can't find truly salt free sprouted bread at one point in the program....this keeps you way under that.
Also, protein isn't necessary for all....it just helps support those coming off a diet where they ate a lot of animal protein.
Some of those folks detox harder so this all plant based vegan protein helps them transition.
You may also wait and use the protein after the cleanse if you don't want to bolster your protein. This protein powder has a much lower sodium content than most others on the market and helps you stay full while on the detox. That's why we recommend it.
What about people with low sodium levels or who can’t go without salt?
They would need to take sodium supplementation.
My favorite would be original crystal Himalayan salt mixed in water, because it has a fantastic vibration with that sodium. It has every mineral and trace mineral in the unrefined salt.
Everything else about the detox should be fine, but as always let me say that you should consult with your trusted practitioner for specific issues versus any detox program.
Why am I getting cramps in feet / toes / calves and what can I do?
It's a shifting of cell salts issue, super common.
Double up on the minerals, and do a dropper pull in water you sip on during the day.
Also if you have a bottle of magnesium, and you take some for a couple days, your cramps will be gone.
Can't I just do a water only enema? Why do I need coffee enema?
I wouldn't say that a water-only enema is going to give you the positive experience we've written about.
The coffee creates a glutathione production rush, as well as dilates the hemmorhoidal vein and the bile ducts in the liver, allowing the liver to dump toxic materials and it evacuates the body.....causing a feeling of euphoria and energy for most.
However, it's a good toe in the water, and way to adjust to the practice. Make sure you eliminate all the water. Get up and massage the colon while making sure to expel it out. You do that step to clear the lower colon of debris. Depending on what's in there at the moment, you might have a hard time getting the coffee in sometimes.
Remember that people all over the world do high-power professional colonics with great results.
This is really a small step that direction.
By the way, I'm NOT a fan of healthy people doing this for longer than this detoxification period, twice a year. The colon should work on its own, given a period of rest, cleaning out.....then a high-fiber diet rich in nutrient-dense foods.
It's normal that it's different, day to day--depending on what's in your colon and where! (pretty hard to predict it, right?) 4 minutes is a bare minimum but very worth doing! Remember your liver filters your entire blood supply every 4 minutes! So the longer you can hold it in before expelling the better.
Make sure you get a good clean organic coffee. Coffee is one of the worst pesticide laden foods there is.
Gas is normal, after an enema, it's just air in there, don't worry about that.
And if you get slight bleeding don't worry, you didn't perforate your colon--it's an EXTREMELY strong muscle. Probably just scratched the anus a little. Just go 1” to 2” deep
How come I’m experiencing hemorrhoids? Could it be because of the enema?
Enema doesn't cause hemorrhoids; low fiber diet does.
If hemorrhoids popped out, they were already there. Continue with a high fiber diet AFTER the detox and you'll never see them again!
Robyn had hemorrhoids with her first pregnancy when her diet was burgers, fries, soda, and 7/11 nachos. After cleaning up her diet, she hasn't had one in 22 years.
It's just a sign of beginnings (or worse) of inflammatory colon issues, so lots of nutrient dense foods and fiber are the answer! (not Metamucil, which is fake and harsh.)
Just good fiber in plant foods. Green smoothies for life!
How often can you do the enemas after the Detox?
We recommend only doing enemas while detoxing twice a year.
If you use enemas too much, the colon may become dependent on the enema and stop eliminating on its own.
Plus, enemas are rather invasive. They do wash out the healthy flora in that lower colon, to some extent.
Let’s do it twice a year as we detox. We weren’t meant to have to be so invasive, on a regular basis.
How much juicing do I need to do on Level 2?
For Level 2 it is up to you how much of your food or smoothies you will replace with juices.
You can do just one or all!
If you go extreme you can do an entire day or even multiple days of just juice.
You don't have to use the berries for your juice - ANY produce is fine, but be sure to make juices that have veggie juice in them and not just fruit!
Put as much veggies into juice as you can and only as much fruit juice as is needed to make it palatable to you.
Can I do the Detox successfully and remain on my medication?
We cannot diagnosis nor prescribe and would never advise you to stop taking any medications of which you are under the care of a physician for.
A proper and comprehensive detox such as we offer should not be affected by other medications and in fact will most likely help increase the effectiveness of medications as the body systems and organs are thoroughly cleansed.