The liver is the largest organ of the body, and serves a multitude of functions. If your liver isn’t healthy, you’re tired, and on your way to developing a more serious condition. A liver cleanse is a good way to get the liver back to balance. This cleanse, based on the book “Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life” is excellent. It doesn’t require that you give up food, or buy a bunch of expensive supplements. It’s based on fresh juices, real foods, and teas. You won’t be hungry, because you can eat. It does, however, take a bit of planning. And a whole lot of lemons.
I did a liver cleanse because I was recently diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus, which compromises liver function. Since then, my body has developed a million sensitivities to foods, because my liver is inflamed and can’t process food the way it used to. I now understand first hand the importance of having a healthy liver, of taking care of oneself, and this cleanse was a part of that equation.
Doing a real food and juice cleanse can feel a bit overwhelming. You’ll need a juicer and a blender, or an immersion blender. The list of what you’ll do for the day looks like this:
1. Blended Citrus Shake
2. Beet and Cucumber juice, 2 tsp. Beet Salad
3. Gallbladder Juice
4. Beet Salad/Lemon Water
5. Detox Tea
6. Raw Salad
7. Green juice, 2 tsp. Beet Salad
8. Beet Salad/Lemon Water
9. Carrot or other Vegetable Salad or Raw Blended Soup
10. Detox Tea 11. Vegetable broth as needed
This is a lot of steps, and I didn’t follow them perfectly. I’m not a very structured person, so trying to fit in every single step felt like too much. One of the things you must follow for the cleanse to be effective is to avoid animal proteins for 5 days. The liver has to work hard at processing animal protein, and since you’re trying to give it a break, it’s best to stay away from it for the duration of the cleanse. You’ll want to make a big batch of beet salad to have throughout the cleanse. Grating beets isn’t fun, but if you can get through it, raw beet salad is delicious and feels cleansing.
Start the morning with the citrus shake. This shake is surprisingly delicious and gave me energy. When you start to get hungry, make the beet and cucumber juice, and eat a few teaspoons of raw beet salad. It’s a good idea to wait at least an hour between juices. Drink lots of lemon water. Drink detox tea if you feel like it. For lunch, eat a big salad of raw or lightly steamed vegetables, or an artichoke. Beet, artichokes, and avocados are liver supporting foods, so it’s a good idea to include them as much as possible.
Wait an hour after lunch, and drink the green juice. Take small bites of the beet salad. For dinner, have another plate of raw veggies, artichokes, or make a blended raw soup. Do this for 5 days.
Here are the recipes:
Blended Citrus Shake
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 8 oz filtered water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger
- 1-5 tbsp. good olive oil
Morning Beet-Cucumber Juice (first juice)
- 1 cucumbers
- 3 carrots
- 1 beets
- 2 celery stalks
- 1″ ginger
- 1 lemon
Juice all of these vegetables together. I typically peel cucumbers, but am too lazy to peel carrots or beets. I can’t tell the difference.
Mid Morning Gallbladder Cleansing Cocktail (2 hours later)
- 4 carrots
- 2 celery
- handful parsley
- half lemon
Juice all of these vegetables together. Make sure to peel the lemon, but feel free to throw in the parsley stalks.
- 5 medium beets
- 3 apples (optional, but this sweetens the salad and makes it so much more palatable)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp. good olive oil
Afternoon Green Juice
- 1/2 head of romaine
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 lemon
- handful greens of your choice (kale, bok choy, chard)
Grocery list for the cleanse:
- About 25 lemons
- 5 limes
- 10 beets
- 1 head garlic
- big 10″ knob ginger
- 2 5-pound bag carrots
- 5 cucumbers
- 3 heads celery
- detox or liver friendly tea
- 2 bunches parsley
- 3 heads romaine
- 2 bunches dark leafy greens (kale, cabbage, bok choy…)
- Small bottle decent olive oil
- enough raw veggies/lettuce for 10 meals. probably 5 heads of lettuce, plus veggies of your choice
- avocados, if desired. maybe 1 a day?
- artichokes, if desired. 1-2 a day, depending on your preference
- 5 green apples, if desired
- onions and extra celery if you want to make veggie broth
Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions!