Wellness

The Annual New Year Detox

The Annual New Year Detox

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.

BREAKFAST

  • Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie

    Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie

    Starting the day with a creamy bittersweet chocolate smoothie sure feels like a treat. Using frozen cauliflower is a nice way to sneak some veggies in first thing, and we like the changeup from typical greens—plus it adds creaminess when blitzed.

    GET RECIPE

  • Creamy Fonio Porridge with Berries

    Creamy Fonio Porridge with Berries

    Fonio is an ancient West African grain that nutritionist Maya Feller introduced us to. It wasn’t a hard sell—a gluten-free grain that cooks as quickly and easily as couscous or quinoa but has more iron, protein, and fiber than brown rice? Sign us up. We love it warm or cold in pilaf or salad, and it makes a speedy and satisfying breakfast porridge. Adding chia seeds and blending half the mixture before serving gives it a decadent pudding-for-breakfast vibe. Fonio might not be widely available in grocery stores in the US, but you can buy our favorite brand, Yolélé, online. If you’re following the 2021 detox and can’t track down the fonio, try this brown rice overnight breakfast porridge instead.

    GET RECIPE

  • Grain-Free Seed Bread

    Grain-Free Seed Bread

    We wanted to include a bread of some kind in our detox menu for everyone who became an amateur bread baker in 2020. Gluten-free and grain-free baking can be challenging, but we promise this one is a cinch. This loaf is dense and studded with many types of seeds, more like Danish rye than airy ciabatta. It’s great for dunking into our Everything Green Soup or topping with Curried Chickpea Salad, and it has endless breakfast toast possibilities (avocado + lemon, almond butter + dates, vegan ricotta + fruit compote).

    GET RECIPE

LUNCH

  • Everything Green Soup

    Everything Green Soup

    The idea behind this soup: how to eat a salad without eating a salad. We packed it full of green veggies and savory alliums. The combination of greens is totally flexible, so feel free to use up your leftover collard greens in place of the Swiss chard. The optional addition of miso and nutritional yeast adds a layer of umami that’s a little reminiscent of the broccoli Cheddar soups of our childhood, but it tastes delicious without, so choose your own soup adventure.

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  • Curried Chickpea Salad

    Curried Chickpea Salad

    This is a plant-based riff on one of our favorite deli-inspired lunch dishes. Chickpeas are hearty and serve as a nice earthy-neutral canvas for ginger, lime, garlic, and curry powder.

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  • Sweet Potato Hummus Plate

    Sweet Potato Hummus Plate

    Okay, technically this isn’t hummus (“hummus” translates to “chickpeas and tahini”) but this sweet potato tahini dip is made lovingly in its image. Cumin, garlic, lemon, and salt round out the sweet, creamy, earthy mix of sweet potatoes and tahini. Serve alongside crunchy raw veggies, Grain-Free Seed Bread, or crackers along with a few briny olives for a satisfying snack board lunch.

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DINNER

  • Miso Chicken Bowl with Cucumbers and Furikake

    Miso Chicken Bowl with Cucumbers and Furikake

    A lot of traditional Japanese marinades call for mirin or sake (delicious, but sugary and alcoholic, respectively, so not very detox-friendly). We’ve found that coconut aminos bring a similar sweetness that complements the salty miso. It’s worth noting that miso and coconut aminos tend to burn on the grill. We learned a tip from the Japanese food blog Just One Cookbook: Completely wipe the marinade off the chicken before grilling. Don’t worry, the marinade soaks in for twenty-four hours beforehand, so you won’t lose any flavor.

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  • Sheet Pan Haddock with Zucchini, Shallot, and Salsa Verde

    Sheet Pan Haddock with Zucchini, Shallot, and Salsa Verde

    Simply prepared fish, vegetables, and salsa verde makes the kind of satisfying meal that’s almost accidentally healthy. Serve this as is or over a bed of brown rice, quinoa, or fonio.

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  •  Sweet Potato Bowls with Cilantro-Lime Cauli Rice and Quick-Pickled Slaw

    Sweet Potato Bowls with Cilantro-Lime Cauli Rice and Quick-Pickled Slaw

    A sweet potato–black bean–cauli rice bowl might not be a revelation, but it always hits the spot. One new thing we’ve added to this bowl is quick-pickled slaw inspired by Salvadorian curtido, which is typically served as the fresh acidic foil to rich savory pupusas. The combination of vinegar, cabbage, onion, and oregano is next-level.

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  • Lentil and Chicken Sausage Stew with Kale

    Lentil and Chicken Sausage Stew with Kale

    This stew is super cozy. It’s our favorite kind of recipe to include in detox because we’d probably cook it the same way if this recipe were in a non-detox story (okay, maybe we’d add Calabrian chilies and parm).

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  • Veggie Fritters with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce

    Veggie Fritters with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce

    The last meal of detox week: You’re tuckered out, so you want it to be simple, and you’ve got random odds and ends left over that you need to make use of. A fritter, then. We took inspiration from our favorite fritters all over the world, including Jewish latkes, Japanese okonomiyaki, and Indian pakora. All of these include shredded veggies that are bound together and then fried until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. We served ours with a creamy avocado cilantro sauce, because a dip always makes it way more fun.

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IN BETWEEN

  • Super Seedy Apple Rings

    Super Seedy Apple Rings

    Yes, this is a deluxe version of the apple slices and peanut butter you had as an afternoon snack growing up. Slathering a center-cut slice of a tart Granny Smith apple with almond butter, sprinkling it with salt, then dunking it into a pile of mixed seeds and nuts results in the best crunchy-creamy-then-crunchy-again textural experience we’ve ever had in a snack. You can follow the directions and get all food-style-y on IG with a seeded ombré or you can fully just mix the toppings all together. It will taste delish regardless.

    GET RECIPE

  • Rooibos Almond Latte

    Rooibos Almond Latte

    If you’re missing the depth of coffee among decaf and herbal teas, then rooibos might be for you. This sweet and earthy African red tea has a distinct flavor but still plays well with others. For this latte, we steep it long for a concentrated tea that gets combined with a warm, frothy almond milk fortified with a bit of almond butter. Blending the almond butter directly into the almond milk gives it an extremely creamy texture. And it adds a good amount of healthy fat and protein, which makes this afternoon treat super satiating.

    GET RECIPE


We hope you enjoy the book recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external link on this page.

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