Clean Cleanse Part 1: A Healthy Detox?

cleanse, clean cleanse

It was November 2014. I was a typical dairy, egg and meat eating girl, albeit in a reasonably ‘healthy’ and unprocessed fashion. (Gluten reared its head the odd time but only as an occasional lapse of judgement. I had cut it out a few months previous). I was eating a low carb, high protein diet filled with the likes of lean meat, greek yogurt, whey protein, omelettes, vegetables, salads and smoothies. I drank tonnes of water everyday and ate a diet full of whole foods. Yet, for some reason, despite all my efforts, I was feeling bloated and my skin was dull and prone to break outs.

cleanse, clean cleanse
An omelette with tomato, spinach, parma ham and cheese – a typical lunch
Quest protein bar with greek yogurt and almond flour
Quest protein bar with greek yogurt and almond flour and coconut sugar – a ‘healthy’ treat?


It seemed like, apart from the odd cheat meal here and there, I was doing everything right. I wondered if I had a mild food allergy or was intolerant of something in my diet. I happened to see Gwyneth Paltrow on The Dr. Oz Show and liked the look of her cookbook; Its All Good. I ordered it and began reading about how she underwent a ‘Clean Cleanse’ which she claimed totally changed her health. She cut out certain foods and felt much better for it. I began to wonder if a similar detox might be worth a try.

I did a little more research by reading Clean Gut by Dr. Alejandro Junger; the doctor who designed Gwyneth Paltrow’s cleanse. Initially, I intended to try his cleanse in January 2015 to start the new year with a detox, but after reading Dr. Junger’s book and Gwyneth’s testimonials, I was excited to get started sooner.

Dr. Junger advocated a three week cleanse, however, at the time I only had a week until my birthday and I knew I would be celebrating, so I decided that for me the cleanse could only last seven days (before the wine and cake commenced!).

I hoped that the cleanse would be a quick-fix to reduce bloating and clear up my skin – I didn’t know what sort of results to expect, particularly as it was only a seven day cleanse, but I had nothing to lose and looked forward to trying it out. I also looked at it as a sort of test run before possibly commencing the full three week cleanse the following January. I was particularly curious as to whether the cleanse would be indicative of some form of food intolerance.

What did the Cleanse Involve?

As part of the detox I had to eliminate all of the following from my diet:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Sugar (including most fruits – only berries were allowed)
  • Grains (Small amount of quinoa was allowed)
  • Potatoes
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Tap water (Water had to be free of chlorine and fluoride etc)

I was also supposed to eat only organic, grass-fed meat – mostly to be chicken or turkey, along with fish. Unfortunately I didn’t have access to an organic butcher. Whenever I’m in Belfast I get grass-fed meat from an organic farmer in St. George’s Market, but there aren’t any organic farmers/butchers local to me (as far as I’m aware!).

The Shopping List:

Below you can see the shopping list I made before starting the 7 Day Cleanse…This will give you an idea of what I actually COULD eat!

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There were also a number of supplements I had to take as part of Dr. Junger’s cleanse. I had all but two of the supplements during the week. (The other two – Monolaurin and Berberine, I had to wait to arrive in the post – so I didn’t have them in time for the initial seven days.)

The supplements which I did have for the week were:

  • A Probiotic (At least 50billion microorganisms)
  • Digestive Enzymes (to include protease, amylase and lipase)
  • Saccharomyces boulardi (at least 5 billion strength – this is a probiotic yeast)
  • A B vitamin complex
  • Magnesium (400mg at night)

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I will do a follow-up post detailing how I got on over the course of my Clean Cleanse week so stay tuned 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

(Find part two my Clean Cleanse here.)

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P.S. Check out Dr. Junger’s website here.