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The Ultimate (and Easy) 4-Day Cleanse

By Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN

Ask Keri: I want to try a cleanse, but I’ve failed every juice cleanse I’ve tried. Any other options? 

Keri says: I get asked about doing a cleanse often. There can absolutely be a time and place to cleanse, re-set, re-group, jump start…whatever you want to call it. Plus there can be many benefits like improving your energy, skin, and sleep. But remember, not all cleanses are created equal and the term “cleanse” has a different meaning to each of us. 

When many of us hear the word “cleanse” we think only about liquid (or juice) cleansing like lemon water with cayenne or green juices with wheatgrass. But, there really isn’t a definition of cleanse. For some people it might be juicing, for others it may be eating raw food, and still for some others, it can mean (humorously) skipping the fast food drive-thru.

My kind of cleanse may be a little bit different than what you’d traditionally expect. Instead of starving yourself through a liquid diet, I believe in feeding and fueling your body with nutritious, natural and unprocessed, real foods that heal the body, combat bloat, settle the digestive tract and revitalize you from the inside out. The whole point is to empower you to feel in control and want to continue to eat healthier. 

To kick start a healthy habit, I often recommend beginning with my 4-day cleanse, which consists of whole foods, and plenty of them. It’s not only going to jump-start weight loss if that’s the goal, but more importantly set the foundation for healthy behaviors. I like to look at it as the framework of a lifelong plan. 

Yes, variety is important for long term maintenance of a diet, but in the short term little variety can be very helpful. No choices means no options, which means no veering off track. Limiting your menu makes it easy to shop and get you in the zone with what you are doing over the 4 days and what you are laying the foundation for.

The foods in the cleanse are composed of healthy fat, high quality protein, fiber and water volume and are loaded with antioxidants. And, of course, they are delish! Don’t forget to drink 8 glasses of water and 2 cups of green tea each day as well. 

The purpose of this cleanse is for it to be a foundation to build off of versus going “off” or “finishing.” You’ll create good habits like eating consistently through the day, loading up on greens and antioxidants and having healthy fat at each meal.

Ready. Set. Cleanse! 


Follow the plan exactly for four days.


2 scrambled eggs 

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 cup green tea

1 cup water with 1 ounce lemon juice


1 Granny Smith apple with 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Spinach (cooked or raw); eat as much spinach as you like. And have fun dressing the spinach with flavored vinegars, such as fig, raspberry, or orange. Any type of vinegar will do.

4 ounces of salmon or halibut (grilled, baked or broiled)* with 1 teaspoon dried spices, such as oregano

8 pecan halves

1 cup water with 1 ounce lemon juice


Steamed artichoke or ½ cup artichoke hearts in water (Monterey Farms makes an easy eat-right-out-of-the-bag variety.)

1 cup green tea


Large romaine lettuce salad with carrots, tomatoes, and red bell pepper; dress with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to taste

Steamed asparagus

4 ounces any lean protein (grilled, baked, or broiled) with spices such as 1 teaspoon oregano

1 cup water with 1 ounce lemon juice

1 cup blueberries

*If you don’t like eggs or fish, feel free to substitute firm tofu and/or fresh organic turkey. 

For the complete O2 Diet plan, check out: The O2 Diet: The Cutting Edge Antioxidant-Based Program That Will Make You Healthy, Thin, and Beautiful.

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