The One Day Cleanse:
How to Rapidly Purify, Detox and Rejuvenate Your Body and Mind


one-day-cleanse-detox-fruitsthe one day cleanse is a powerful way to quickly rejuvenate, detox and purify your body without significantly interrupting your normal flow. photo: suze

Cleansing isn’t about starving your body for an extended period of time to drop five pounds before the weekend. (Which is what I used to think it was for, and it worked, but it wasn’t very healthy.) It’s about

giving your digestive system a break while attempting to clean your colon out, for the purpose of increased nutrient absorption. There are many reasons why people feel the need to cleanse.

The Question of Why

1. You’re chronically exhausted. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the second reason on this list. If you’re tired all the time, chances are high that your digestive system is being sluggish or you’re not absorbing the necessary nutrients you need for sustainable energy. If the gut is slow, you’ll be slow, too. A one or two day cleanse can help this problem.

2. You’re beyond constipated. So many people fall into this category. If you’re not moving your bowels at least once a day, then you’re harboring waste that needs an exit strategy, pronto. A one day cleanse can help loosen debris and clear your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

3. You’re always getting sick. Since most of our immune system is in our gut, an inefficient digestive system equals compromised immunity. By cleaning out your intestinal tract, you will give your immune system a much-needed boost.

4. You’re exhibiting a variety of ailments that aren’t being controlled by other means. Seemingly unrelated health issues, such as skin breakouts, depression, insomnia, and inflammation can all be traced back to GI health. A one day cleanse can help clear your system, and resolve many of these ailments without the need for medication.

5. You had too much fun in Mexico. Or Vegas. Or during the holidays. Or just in general. (Been there, done that—all of it.) A week or month or any extended period of over-indulgence can contribute to the need for cleaning out your digestive system, and giving it a wake-up call.

How Does the One Day Cleanse Work?

You may think that abstaining from solid foods for a day might be enough, but it’s not. Cleaning house from the inside out involves removal of anything that contributes to a clogged tummy, and the malabsorption of necessary nutrients. If you just remove everything, you’re not helping your body. You might be giving it a break, but your goal should be to remove the crap (literally) while simultaneously injecting the necessary micro-nutrients that are responsible for restoration. Keeping this in mind, here’s what you should be mindful about consuming while you do your one day cleanse:


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1. Water. It can come in the form of fresh-pressed juice or herbal tea, but you’re going to need a decent amount of clear fluids.

2. Vitamins. A huge injection of various vitamins and antioxidants will be better absorbed through liquid than through solid foods. If you’re going to be consuming a lot of liquid, why not make it the most nutritious liquid you can? This is where fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices come in. That is, juice you press yourself and drink immediately. Again, you’ll need a juicer for this, folks. Bonus shots of wheatgrass are also great to incorporate.

3. Electrolytes. So… salt. But not table salt. You shouldn’t even have this highly processed version in your home. Drinking filtered water with a pinch of sea salt will do the job, or better yet, drink organic miso broth. It’s better because it’s super high in electrolytes, and also digestive enzymes. You can also get electrolytes from pure, unsweetened coconut water.

4. Sugar. Again, I’m not suggesting you throw back tablespoons of sugar. The sugar you need will come from fresh-pressed juice you’ll drink on the one day cleanse, and you need it for the carbohydrates (energy) that it provides you with.

5. Variety. Don’t just drink water and juice carrots. You need a large variation of fruits and vegetables on the day of your cleanse.

Tips For a Successful One Day Cleanse

1. Choose a day when you will be home, especially if you’ve never done this before. Your body may react in an unexpected way—it’s kind of like Christmas for your bowel. (So exciting! Anything could happen! Lots of surprises!)

2. Plan ahead. Buy your groceries the day before, and make sure your juicer is clean and ready to go.

About a week before your one day cleanse (even if you’re only doing one day), begin weaning your body off alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, meat, dairy, sugar, and wheat. Your body will have an easier time adjusting to liquids for twenty-four hours if you prepare it for purity.

3. You will have better success if you drink a lot of water and tea throughout the day while you’re cleansing. It will help keep your stomach full, and your skin detoxing.

4. Buy organic produce. The idea is to have as much nutrient absorption as possible by consuming only liquids, so why buy produce that is covered in pesticides? Try and stick to organic stuff only.

5. Have planned activities at home to keep you busy (like a giant puzzle or a fabulous book), but don’t do anything strenuous that will make you extra hungry (like working out). Walking is good; just don’t stray too far from home.

6. Don’t make food for other family members if you can avoid it. The temptation to chow down has proven too great for me many, many times.

7. Don’t worry about protein. This is a low-protein day, but that’s okay. You can fill up on protein-rich foods after your one day cleanse.

8. If you feel shaky and cold on the day of your cleanse (which is totally normal, especially if you’re doing this during the winter), try taking a bath with Epsom salts. The salt will help your body to detox further and the warm water will feel really good and calm your confused nerves. Remember, your body becomes addicted to things like caffeine and sugar just like it would any other drug. You’re going to go through withdrawal, and it might be tough. But you can do it!

The One Day Cleanse Plan

7:00am: Eight ounces of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it.

8:00am: Juice (in the following order): one chunk ginger, four carrots, and one peeled grapefruit.

10:00am: Juice (in the following order): two green apples, four fennel fronds, six romaine lettuce leaves, handful of parsley, and one large cucumber.

12:00pm: Eight ounces of organic miso broth.

2:00pm: Juice (in the following order): one chunk ginger, one small beet, two large carrots, two red apples, handful of basil, and one large cucumber.

4:00pm: Eight ounces of unsweetened coconut water.

6:00pm: Blend (in the following order): one cup water, one banana, four kale leaves, one cup spinach, one cup frozen pineapple, and a half cup of rolled oats.

In addition to everything above, try to drink extra water or herbal tea throughout the day during your cleanse if you get hungry or thirsty. The last “meal” is more solid, because it will help you to sleep better on a fuller stomach, and create a bit of bulk for a good bowel movement in the morning.

The One Day Cleanse Shopping List


+ One lemon
+ Six carrots
+ One grapefruit
+ Two green apples
+ Two red apples
+ One banana
+ Two thumbs ginger
+ Two cups frozen pineapple


+ Fennel (with at least four fronds)
+ One small bunch romaine
+ One small bunch kale
+ One small bunch spinach
+ One small bunch fresh parsley
+ One small bunch fresh basil
+ Two cucumbers
+ One beet


+ One cup rolled oats
+ Eight ounces miso broth
+ Herbal tea
+ Eight ounces unsweetened coconut water
+ Epsom salts (for a bath)

Note: Repeat this for up to two days if you want, but I don’t recommend detoxing for longer than that, unless you have prior experience with cleanses.

This article on the one day cleanse is excerpted with permission from Vegetarian Comfort Foods by Jennifer Browne, published by Skyhorse Publishing.

About The Author

Jennifer Browne completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature at the University of the Fraser Valley, and has a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Although diagnosed with IBS in 2001, she has been symptom-free since the fall of 2010, which coincides with her adoption of a plant-based diet. Jennifer is an advocate for nutrition education, an award-winning member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP), and a volunteer for Earthsave Canada. She freelances for a variety of health and wellness publications, and lives with her husband and three children just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. Visit her website at