An Easy 1-Week Cleanse

Clean-eating guru Candice Kumai gave us an amazing one-week cleanse! Kumai shared a top-to-bottom guide for how to eat clean for the next week, all from her book Clean Green Eats. Go ahead, start your week of clean eating…

From Candice Kumai

The Clean Green Eating Guide

For the next week, I challenge you to start cleansing! Remove the processed and fast food from your life and start eating only clean, green and real foods. Give it a try! See how you feel, see how you look, see how your body reacts. It’s a fun and easy way to see if you can cleanse your whole body and mind! Try it with a friend and keep each other motivated and on track.

Cleanse Rules:

What to Eat:

  • Delicious and fresh greens and vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Whole grains, cracked grains and sprouted grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans and legumes
  • Sea vegetables
  • Herbs and spices

What to Drink:

What to Limit:

  • Limit meat intake
  • Limit dairy
  • No soda, no sugary drinks, no sugary-fatty-latte drinks at any café
  • Limit alcohol & caffeine (coffee and green tea are allowed in moderation)
  • Limit all sugar and excess sugar, no artificial sweeteners
  • No processed sweets, processed bars, cookies, crackers, chips and junk food

Foods to Avoid:

Soda: Just say no. Did you know that you may be drinking your way to an unhealthy, unhappy, and overweight self? Millions of Americans are hooked on sugary sodas and unhealthy beverages. Opt for delicious, natural unsweetened teas, lemon water or even seltzer water. I love my unsweetened Japanese green tea, jasmine green tea and seltzer water with lemon or orange.

Sugary Drinks/Sugars: Any drinks that contain zero grams of nutrition and are packed with sugar and fat. This may include your favorite order from your local coffee shop! Avoid all white sugars and sweets for these two weeks. Cutting down on the sugar will help you to cut down on calories and fill up with nutritious and cleaner food choices.

Processed Foods: This includes anything in a shiny, bright package that claims it’s “good for you” and made with chemicals, preservatives, sweeteners, dyes and junk. Cookies, crackers, bars, chips, spreads, dips, dressings, marinades, hydrogenated oils, margarine and frozen foods should be omitted from your clean diet.

Trans Fats/Hydrogenated Fats: Many processed, commercially prepped cookies, crackers, chips, cake, frozen foods and fast foods contain trans fats which may raise cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease and diabetes. Cut them out of your diet and life. Check packages for labels that say “No trans fats” or better yet, opt for whole foods that have no labels!

Fast Food: Again, fast food contains little nutrients and is full of fat, calories and trans fats. Now, why would you want to fuel your beautiful body with foods that may cause more harm to your body than good? Exactly.

Sweets, Junk Food, Candy: Eat all sweets and desserts sparingly. I recommend getting your sweet fix on with dark chocolate, or some dark chocolate covered almonds, or even try the Chocolate Banana Love Smoothie or Pineapple Horchata Green Smoothie (from Clean Green Eats) for a small treat.

**As with any change in diet, please consult your doctor before starting a new cleansing diet.

1 Week of Beautiful & Beneficial Habits to Pick Up

1. Beauty Sleep: It’s recommended that you commit to eight hours of sleep each night on this cleansing path, and beyond. Sleep can help you to relieve stress, ease fatigue and aids in mental health. Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, a weak immune system and even heart disease and diabetes. Sleep; it’s simple, easy to schedule in that day and best of all, it’s free!

2. Be Active!: Exercise is proven to help alleviate depression, boost brain health, keep your immunity strong and of course, helps you to stay lean and fit. Who doesn’t want to look and feel their very best? Try boosting that immunity with a workout like yoga, Bar Method class, a run through the park, surfing, shooting some hoops at the rec center, signing up for a race with a friend or playing a game of tennis together on weekends.

3. Meditate: Meditation is the new green. It’s a simple and easy way to clear your mind from stress, anxiety and a busy lifestyle. Meditation can also make for a clean and creative mind. And a creative mind is a brilliant and calm mind.

4. Get Happy & Social: Did you ever notice that your friends can help you to pick up your mood in a snap? My girlfriends (from high school and college) help me to get back on my feet when I am feeling a bit glum. Being part of a social group can give you a sense of community and help you feel more connected to others. Hang with your girlfriends more. Go take a yoga or spin class with friends, cook together for a social gathering and continue to be social with your circle.

Sample Clean Eating Menu:

Breakfast: Coconut-Almond Green Smoothie

From Candice Kumai’s Clean Green Eats

021_Coconut Almond Smoothie-2    Creamy, delectable almond butter is full of vitamin E and protein—and when paired with shredded coconut, frozen bananas, and almond milk, this creamy, delicious smoothie tastes more like a thick, dreamy green milkshake!

Serves 2; yields 16 ounces


2 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter

2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup baby spinach

1 teaspoon spirulina powder

1 frozen bananas (or swap for 1 avocado to reduce sugar)

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract


Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

*More recipes from Candice available here. Image: Evi Abeler, from Clean Green Eats 

Lunch: Cleansing Parsnip and Leek Detox Soup

From Candice Kumai’s Clean Green Eats


Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, iron, and even potassium. This is a perfect post-workout soup—just one bowl will give you the protein fix your body is craving! I like to use red lentils in this recipe, but feel free to use any variety you prefer. They are all delicious and nutritious!

Serves 6


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1⁄2 yellow onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 bay leaf

8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 to 4 tablespoons raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (add more if you love the taste!)

1 ½ cups thinly sliced lacinato kale leaves


In a medium stockpot, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion and sauté just until soft and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, carrots, celery, and bay leaf, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the broth to the pot and bring the soup to a light simmer. Stir in lentils and cook for another 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft.

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the salt, vinegar, and cook until kale is just slightly wilted. Serve with a clean green juice and enjoy that clean, lean protein fix!

*More recipes from Candice available here. Image: Candice Kumai 

Dinner: Roasted Sweet Potato and Avocado Bowl with Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette

From Candice Kumai’s Clean Green Eats

066A_Sweet Potato Avocado Bowl

If you want sparkling, beautiful, eyes, I’d dash to your local grocer, not the beauty supply store. No makeup, cream, or miracle salve will nourish your eyes like the vitamin A and beta-carotene you’ll get from sweet potatoes and carrots! I love to curl up with this warm bowl of grains and root vegetables in the winter months. If you have any leftover roasted vegetables lying around, like squash or Brussels sprouts, they are a perfect match, so be sure to toss them in!

Serves 4


6 cups cooked brown rice (about 3 cups uncooked)

1 cup shredded curly kale

1 cup roasted sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and cubed

1 cup leftover roasted vegetables (optional)

½ cup Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette


In each of four individual serving bowls, add 1 ½ cups brown rice. Top each with an equal amount of avocado cubes, sweet potato, shredded kale, and leftover roasted veggies, if available. Top each with 2 tablespoons of the Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette and mix with a fork, serve at room temperature, or heat as desired. Devour and appreciate every last bite!

*More recipes from Candice available here. Image: Evi Abeler, from Clean Green Eats 

Want more tips from Candice? Here are fourteen clean foods to eat or try one of these clean drinks