Our 21-day detox plan

Hi guys! How’s the morning going? Hope you’re having a wonderful day! I’m off to Arizona for a fun adventure. I’m excited to share the details with you! I’ll be posting lots on pics on Instagram, too.

Head’s up: the rest of this post is about the 21-day detox I did with the Pilot. If you think this would be a sensitive or triggering topic for you, please skip the rest of this post and I’ll see you back here later today! What we read can affect our thoughts, and it’s up to us to be smart about what we choose to allow into our minds and hearts. Sending love to you all.

As you guys know, the Pilot and I finished up a 21-day detox together. The Pilot’s recap of it all is here! The Pilot was interested to see how changing his eats would affect his energy levels, and I asked to join in on the fun. For the most part (minus the whole “no wine or sugar” thing) this is how I like to eat anyway, and I think he probably enjoyed the support and solidarity.

Dinner  1 of 1 8

Here’s what the detox entailed:

-No refined sugar (small amounts of maple syrup and honey were NBD)

-No gluten

-No alcohol

-No cow’s dairy (we ended up skipping dairy entirely, with the exception of grassfed butter)

-No caffeine (this was the Pilot. I still had green tea and some coffee because toddler.)

-Focus on fresh produce, nuts, seeds, lean protein and smart carbs (emphasizing sweet potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice)

Since we started the detox (and finished this weekend, which corresponded perfectly with Superbowl Sunday), my comments and emails were full of requests to share the full details. I’m excited to post all of the info for you below!

(Tip: please do not make any fitness or nutrition changes without consulting your doctor. For help with eating plans specified to your unique needs, enlist the help of a local Registered Dietitian.) 

Every morning when I woke up and had a mug of hot water with raw apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple syrup. I used to do this religiously, but got out of the habit. It’s supposed to help with restoring the ph balance of the body. I think it tastes delicious, and is a nice way to wake up. I have to drink it before Liv is awake, though, or she’s saying, “I smell something! STOP THAT SMELL!” haha.

I started off documenting our days, but a lot of them were redundant, as we ate many of the same things for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Instead of mapping it out day by day, I thought I would share it in list form, as we mixed and matched for many of the same meals. The Pilot and I ate the same foods, but I made his portions larger or added additional protein or fat. Also, I tend to eat more during the day and he eats more for dinner, since I have so many active teaching classes. Even though the types of food changed a little bit, I would guess that my calorie intake was around the same as my usual intake, or maybe a little higher since I was consuming more healthy fats.

Here are the meals and snacks we enjoyed during the detox:

Breakfast: breakfast usually had two parts, starting off with a smoothie and finishing with a hearty egg or oats based meal, an hour or so later

Detox bfast  1 of 1 2

Part 1: smoothie with 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 scoop chocolate vegan Shakeology, 1 tablespoon Udo’s oil, handful of kale or spinach. For the Pilot’s smoothie, I added 2 tablespoons of almond butter and a banana

Part 2: two eggs scrambled with chopped veggies and topped with salsa and/or guacamole

breakfast cookie dough cereal

breakfast cookie

egg burrito with sautéed greens, chopped veggies, two eggs and a brown rice tortilla (for the Pilot, I would also add avocado)

egg oats: 1/3 cup oats cooked with water, with one egg added halfway through the cooking process. Just make sure to stir continuously until the egg is fully cooked. I stirred in some almond milk, cinnamon and topped with fresh berries and almond butter

Protein oats  1 of 1

Detox snack  1 of 1

Slice of Paleo bread with an egg on top


Morning snack

Apple and a pack of Trader Joe’s raw almonds

Two dates with almond butter

Egg burrito (egg wrapped in a brown rice tortilla)

Chia pudding (2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1/2 cup almond milk, set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Top with fresh berries, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey)

Brownie batter bites

Large green juice with apple, celery, cucumber, spinach, parsley and mint


Detox salad  1 of 1


Protein heavy salad with chopped fresh veggies and homemade dressing

Wrap with grilled chicken, mayonnaise, mustard and spinach

Paleo bread sandwich 

Leftovers from the night before, served on top of a salad

Nut, chicken, berry salad


Afternoon snack


Veggies with dip

An apple with almond butter and cinnamon

Small smoothie with almond milk, protein powder, and berries

Paleo granola

Bliss balls

Bliss balls  1 of 1 2


Dinner (this is where things got a little more exciting)

Slow cooker Greek chicken soup (minus the feta)

Slow cooker detox chicken with mashed cauliflower and grilled zucchini

Pesto grilled salmon with roasted veggies and sweet potato

Coconut-crusted mahi mahi with salad and roasted veggies

Potato-crusted salmon with Dijon sauce and lemon green beans

Seared scallops, bacon, baked potatoes, house salads with dairy-free Ranch dressing

Scallops  1 of 1

Veggie burgers with Brussels spout hash and twice-baked sweet potatoes

Slow cooker chicken coconut curry with brown rice

Steak (for the Pilot), teriyaki chicken (for myself) with roasted sweet potatoes and coconut oil broccoli

Turkey meatballs in marinara with spiralized zucchini and quinoa noodles

Ginger-marinated mahi with lemon green beans and brown rice

Regular ol’ chicken, sweet potato and veg

Chicken dinner


What I learned from the 21-day detox:

-I eat the way I do because I enjoy it and it makes me feel good. Over the holidays, I had been swimming in cookies, gluten, sugar, and while it was all delicious, I was feeling pretty lethargic and blah. My skin was dry and dull, and I noticed more split ends in my hair, which was a bummer since I’ve been trying to grow it to mermaid length. This detox was a good way for me to get back to basics and reduce the sugar cravings. The more I have sugary foods, the more I crave them, and the more they become habits instead of something I truly enjoy. Cutting them out cold turkey was a great way for me to get back to the lifestyle I enjoy, but I guess that feeling gross for a little while made me realize how good it feels to eat really well. I was really excited to see that the Pilot enjoyed this style of eating, and noticed significant differences in his energy levels. He had never eaten like this consistently, and was thrilled to see what a difference it made.

-It’s nice when you eat the same way as your partner. This is silly, but usually if I’m eating french fries or gooey dessert, it’s because the Pilot and I are eating them together. Without having this type of food around, I didn’t crave it the way I do when it’s easily accessible. Instead we had a bounty of fresh, colorful produce to choose from, prepped protein and delicious snacks. The only thing I really craved was wine, chocolate, and a manchego cheese board. 🙂

-We spent significantly more on groceries than we usually do, but also didn’t go out to eat nearly as much. Also, since we weren’t drinking a bottle of wine between the two of us each night, we saved a significant amount of money overall.

-I don’t think I had ever eaten this clean consecutively before. Usually, I like the treats and fun stuff in every here and there. For curiosity purposes, I took some before and after pictures to see if I’d notice any physical results, and I definitely did. (I’m not going to post them for the world to see though haha.) The biggest change was the decrease in stomach bloat. Gluten and dairy are delicious, but when I have large amounts or eat them consistently, the bloated stomach is no joke. 

-What I’m taking with me: wine will be an occasional thing instead of every night, and chocolate was definitely something I was ready to bring back. I’m still enjoying the apple cider drink and smoothie before breakfast, too. 🙂

Have you ever done something to bring your eating back to basics? How did you feel? Any weird detox-y foods you’ve tried? When I did a detox a few years ago that my homeopathic doctor gave me, I was ALL ABOUT eating socca bread (garbanzo bean flour and water). I think I burned myself out a bit… thinking about it now (and how the house smelled like chickpeas) makes me gag a bit. 



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  1. aubrey on February 8, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I really love you give a little heads up at the begining of detox posts. I think that is so amazing:)

  2. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on February 10, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I hear you on the sugar thing. I’m the same way-one I have more than a small amount, I start to crave it and will give into not because I want to, but because I feel like I have to. I hate feeling like something else is controlling my appetite and cravings! As soon as I reduce sugar, I’m back to feeling better.
    I’ve been feeling the mid-winter sluggishness. We’ve had so much snow here in Massachusetts the past three weeks. Add to that the plummeting temps and all I crave are warm carbs! I decided I was sick of it, so I logged back into MyFitnessPal to help keep me accountable. That’s all I need to get me back on track and within a few weeks, I don’t need to log my food and activity anymore as it becomes habit.
    Thanks for sharing your experience! Was wondering how it worked out.

  3. Jill on February 10, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Gina! I’m trying to clean up my (and my husband’s) way of eating and your blog is my go to and so helpful and easy to navigate. For the hot lemon water you mentioned, is there a certain recipe for that? I’m terrible at “throwing things together” and it would probably consist of mainly maple syrup;) Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on February 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      thank you so much!
      it’s about 10oz of water, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon of ACV (a little goes a long way!) and a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. sprinkle a little cayenne on top and stir

  4. Cassie @ Findley Fit on February 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Gina! I noticed a lot of diets/clean eating plans do not “allow” or recommend dairy. I love cheese and milk, I usually eat low fat mozzarella cheese sticks, 1.5% cottage cheese, and skim milk. Is it a good idea to avoid dairy to loose weight/cleanse?

    • Fitnessista on February 24, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      if dairy works for you and you like it, i would keep eating it!

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