Clean Program: How to Follow the Elimination Diet

The Clean Program, the brain child of Dr. Alejandro Junger, is a 21-day detoxifying program which is supposed to cleanse your body, thus revitalizing its immune system to start self healing processes.

After Dr. Junger moved to the US from Uruguay, he suffered from irritable bowel syndrome. As a response to traditional treatment options which did not work, he created his Clean Program. While on the Clean Program you will have two shakes and one solid meal (preferably lunch) daily. You make your shakes using the supplements which are provided to you by the Program. The Clean Program starts with the Elimination Diet, which helps prepare your body for the detoxifying effects of the Program.

The Elimination Diet

On the Elimination Diet you are allowed three square meals a day. You can compose allowed foods any way you like, but you need to quit eating when you are about “80% full”. Depending on your previous food preferences, you need to stay on the Elimination Diet for a different length of time:

  • “Healthy” eaters (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lot of fiber, small amount of meats): 3-4 days
  • “Normal” eaters (some packaged foods, dairy, coffee, alcohol, sweets): a week
  • “Junk” eaters (fast food, soft drinks, highly processed foods, alcohol, coffee): 2 weeks

Allowed Foods

  • Fruits: all besides oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, bananas. Those fruits have high allergy and mucus forming qualities as well as possible contamination with pesticides.
  • Vegetables: all (preferably raw) besides corn, white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Most of these vegetables are known in Aurveda as nightshades and believed to interfere with digestive abilities.
  • Grains: buckwheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa. Those grains are gluten free and gluten is known to interrupt digestion.
  • Meats and fish: salmon and trout, game, lean lamb, duck, turkey, organic chicken.
  • Nuts and legumes: all nuts and legumes besides peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, soybean products. Soybean products were shown to increase hormonal activities and peanut allergies are common in modern times.
  • Oils: olive (cold pressed), flax, sesame oils.
  • Drinks and sweeteners: green and herbal teas, water, club soda, brown rice syrup, agave nectar.
  • Condiments: vinegar, all spices and herbs, sea salt.

Forbidden Foods

  • Dairy: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, non diary creamers, eggs. All dairy products are highly allergenic and may cause digestive problems.
  • Meat and fish: raw fish, pork, beef, veal, all processed meats. Livestock is often treated with antibiotics and growth hormones which are dangerous to consume.
  • Oils: butter, margarine, shortening, canola oils, salad dressings, mayonnaise. Saturated fats increase cholesterol and salad dressings have preservatives and sugar in them.
  • Drinks and sweeteners: alcohol, coffee and caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, sugar (white and brown), high fructose and maple syrups, honey, chocolate, artificial sweeteners. Alcohol and coffee are highly addictive and simple sugars cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar.
  • Condiments: ketchup, relishes, chutney, soy sauces, barbecue sauce. Ingredients in those condiments can be allergenic and/or contain sugar and preservatives.

While following Clean Program you will continue eating allowed foods from the Elimination Diet for your one solid meal a day.


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