So…What CAN I Eat?

Doesn’t that look scrumptious?

It’s one of the many discoveries I made during the 28-Day Detox that is in its final days. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts now, and pass on information for any of YOU who are interested in taking part in the July launch.

First, a quick update. We’ve been slowly removing items from our diet (to see how our body reacts to them — the only way to know how we really feel ON them is to see how we feel OFF them) while at the same time, adding in things like commitments to “me” time and meditation, drinking plenty of water and de-cluttering our physical and mental spaces. So on this final week, I am doing my best to avoid:

  • caffeine
  • sugar / artificial sweeteners
  • alcohol
  • gluten
  • dairy
  • meat (*I’m already vegetarian so I instead tried to cut out eggs)

Yes, it looks like a lot. And, like you, I started out by saying — what will be left to eat?!

The answer is PLENTY. And for me, the detox forced me to go back to what I really love about eating — discovering new foods (buckwheat! ohhhh how I love this non-wheat grain) and finding creative ways to plan ahead and prepare for eating in a variety of situations.

And I’m very proud to say that despite a lot of obstacles (um, hello Fitbloggin’) I was committed to the plan 100% and the only time I deviated was during a very mindful, very conscious decision (more to come).

So, what have I been eating?

  • Oats (*some people who are gluten-free avoid oats unless they have been processed completely separate from other grains and wheat sources; I just ate regular oats after consulting with the Detox coaches)
  • Healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil/butter, nut butters
  • Gluten-free pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Beans (I buy in bulk and soak/cook ahead for easy access)
  • Lots and lots of vegetables (my favorites: kale chips, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots)
  • Lots and lots of fruits (bananas, berries, tart apples)

Of the foods that we cut out, I struggled most with caffeine, although only immediately — after 2 days of intense withdrawal headaches, I felt GREAT and really noticed more energy when I didn’t have coffee. Gluten came next, and only because I feel less prepared for cooking gluten-free. I had some Bob’s Red Mill GF-Free baking mix, as well as chickpea flour (great for socca), almond meal and more, so once I took a step back and assessed my pantry, it was just a matter of actually finding and making recipes.

I didn’t do anything too work-intensive … no baking (even my buckwheat “bakes” were made in the microwave) and I ate a lot of stuff raw that I normally would cook.


The only time I went off-plan was the Saturday I spent in Baltimore, when we met a college friend for drinks and an incredible dinner, and I really wanted to enjoy the experience. Because I told myself that it was a special occasion, I enjoyed every bite more than I would have, and was truly excited to get back on plan the next morning (as I tweeted to my coach):

[blackbirdpie url=”!/kwidrick/status/72075270772899840″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/kwidrick/status/72306077919739904″]

So, if you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably wondering — can I recommend it?

YES. With a few bullet points.

  • I was given the opportunity to try the 28-Detox free of charge so I could honestly evaluate it for readers and potential clients. That’s a blessing. This is not inexpensive (although I am big on spending money on HEALTH and HAPPINESS, and this leads to both).
  • I came into it as a pretty clean eater already, so the detox part of it was probably less impactful on me than others. However, I did get a lot out of it, including a much better idea of what my body craves when it comes to fuel (fewer carbs, more fruits and veggies) and how it reacts to a lack of certain things.
  • The best part of the Detox was probably the community — we had weekly phone calls, journaling, email listservs and more. I loved hearing about other people’s struggles and achievements, and it also reminded me to reset once a week and evaluate how I was feeling.

The main coach is Paige, who many healthy living and food bloggers know from The Gravy Boat Blog, and she is WONDERFUL. Calm, understanding — and not preachy. When people would share struggles, she would talk them through it and, in many cases, tell us that it’s OK not to be on plan 100%. If we found that our bodies did well with gluten, we could have it in moderation. It was always OUR challenge, not hers. And there was no judgement.

If you want to give it a try yourself, there are brand new details on the Healthy Spirit Wellness Detox Challenge page. It will start in July, and it’s all online and over the phone. There’s a special early bird discounted rate of $195 for anyone who enrolls by June 10th. To take advantage of the deal, use the discount code JDETOXEB at checkout. After June 10th, the rate will increase by $100.

I don’t make any money if you sign up, so just ask yourself if you need help, and if so, consider the Detox Challenge for yourself.

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment or drop me an email. I’ll give you completely honest feedback!

P.S. I never looked at this as a weight loss challenge — more of a reset — but I did drop about 3.5 pounds. Which is funny because that’s better than I did on 4-Hour Body (although I did put on some muscle then).

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  1. says

    Great post Katy. Did you learn about how to incorporate the family if they are not yet ready to do the detox? Also anything about doing it without the rest of the fam? Thanks for the great info!


    • says

      Hey Rob — great question! I’ll do a follow-up with answers to some of the questions that people are asking me here and on Twitter.

      Short answer? I only really had to worry about my husband, but for the most part, he either ate what I was eating but supplemented (if we were having tofu, brown rice and veggies, he might add a side of bread or some meat) OR we’d have the same thing but his/hers version (he had regular pasta; I made gluten-free and we had the same homemade tomato sauce).

      He still had coffee, dairy, etc. — I just tried to do some basic meal planning that fit us both.

  2. says

    This totally intrigues me, and I still have some protein concerns. You know, some reputable sources say we need just 40gm per day, while other reputable sources claim we need 80 – 90gm (Dr. Weil might even argue a little more than that). So I have real concerns about replacing my beloved Greek yogurt with a ton of beans or quinoa. I’m so intrigued by committing to something for a period of time. The coffee-free part scares me. I just drink it in the mornings and on an occasional SBUX afternoon, but I so love it. I wish I could drink green tea, but it’s really rather gross.

    You’ve got me thinking again…

    • says


      You’re not alone — several people on the Detox had the same questions and concerns. The nice thing about the group calls and emails was that we could give each other ideas.

      For example — I eat (and ate) a TON of beans, nut butters, leafy greens, some tofu and (until the last week) eggs. And I had greek yogurt (lots of it!) until we got to the no-dairy step.

      I hate green tea, too, but found some really great caffeine-free options from Tazo. After a couple of days off caffeine, I really did notice a huge burst of energy, especially right after I woke up.

    • says

      Oooh, good questions!

      Most valuable: Just feeling like I was getting back to basics. I’m excited (believe me) to build some things back in, like caffeine (although much less) and gluten (although much more consciously) now that I have reset my body. When I had such a tough reaction to getting off caffeine, I knew I really *needed* to get it out of my system.

      Biggest surprise: I guess I was most surprised at how much I enjoyed the challenge of avoiding gluten, because it introduced me to foods I have on hand but rarely use (buckwheat, mint tea). The biggest negative surprise was realizing how much sugar is in products that I regularly eat…and never knew! Ketchup, pickles, refried beans (!!!). So those were off limits from Week 1 on.

  3. says

    I would love to try a detox, but I think I would need to do one for a shorter period of time. I don’t think I could go a month without coffee or caffeine – I need it as a post-grad student!

    I’ve recently come across your blog, and it is so informative. Thank you.

    • says

      Cindy — that is so sweet! Thank YOU for coming by, and if you ever have questions, please let me know.

      I was a caffeine addict, too (that’s why the withdrawal was so painful) but I truly think I have more energy after the detox, ESPECIALLY in the morning. Might be worth a shot, although I don’t blame you if the idea of going cold turkey is overwhelming :)

      P.S. Just saw you answered the #Fitblog questions on your blog — that is so, so cool.

  4. says

    This peaked my interest! However, what do you do after the detox? Do you go back to your regularly scheduled clean eating habits or is there a maintenance program to keep you eating this same way, but long term?

    I would sign up but just don’t have the funds for it. I can’t do much of anything that costs money right now. That was disappointing. I will keep the info on hand though! Never know when things will change!

    You always find the most interesting things to try! Thanks for all the great reviews!

  5. says

    Hey girl!

    In reverse — yes, it is expensive. And I totally get that it’s not an option for everyone (not sure it would have been for me if I were paying). Like I said in the post, I really do encourage people to spend any disposable income they have on HEALTH (gym memberships, healthy travel, good foods, etc.) but I’m sensitive to people who just don’t have a dime to spare. I was there just months ago and STILL pinch all my pennies.

    I think there are some great free resources for learning about health and fitness (hello, blogs?) and I’ll try and put some ideas together.

    As for what’s next, you go back to normal BUT if the other participants are like me, the new normal is a more conscious approach to food. So I’ll still try and limit my caffeine levels because it was so hard to get off it (meaning: I was addicted). Same with dairy — I’d like to make better decisions about where it comes from and ask myself if I really *need* it. Basically, go back to my commitment to thoughtful, clean wating.

    • says

      I do spend what I can on workout DVDs and equipment. I work out at home, run and bike. I also have Tosca Reno’s book which turned me on to clean eating. I try to read as many blogs as I can, articles and follow many healthy foodies and fitness people on Twitter and FB! You might say I”m totally addicted to it all! lol

  6. says

    I have no problem leaving caffeine behind! My coffee maker died many months ago (it wasn’t a cheap one and it didn’t last long) and since we weren’t in a financial position to replace it with another good one, I opted to switch to tea during the week and french press only on weekends due to the time it takes to make. I didn’t have any symptoms off of caffeine and I switched to a lovely green tea by Gevalia, Ancient Cherry. The problem I would have would be the sugar! I don’t eat a lot of sweets any more since I follow a clean diet, but I do use it in my breads – pancakes, muffins, etc. I also love beans! So my protein intake wouldn’t be a problem. The alcohol might be an issue though. I do love my wine!

    Thank you for your added insights Katy!

  7. says

    I think the community aspect would be key for me – I’ve been wanting to do a detox for a while now and this sounds like an easy enough step by step program! I’m starting close to where you started, I already eat well there are just a few things (though key things!) I could nix in order to hear my body better. Great post, thanks!

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