Since returning to school from break, I decided it was time to buckle down and actually start eating healthily. After late-night baking sessions and binge eating leftovers during the holidays, I decided to start the new year with a 10-day detox. My mom had done the same over the summer and sent me her “detox” folder, jam-packed with information on how to successfully cleanse your body.

This folder contains four parts. The most important were the “eat this” list, the “don’t eat this” list and the actual recipes. Both lists are pretty lengthy, but to summarize, I wouldn’t be able to eat red meat, dairy products, eggs or soy products. It was starting to look more difficult than I initially thought.

Here’s a play-by-play of the first two days of my detox experience:

Day 1

10:00am: I wake up ready to be healthy, get detoxified and determined to make the best kale smoothie ever. 


Photo by Janey Asher

10:27am: I take my first sip to discover the smoothie is disgusting. The combination of strawberries and kale tastes like disappointment and dissatisfaction.

11:58am: Tired, crabby and hungry, I sit through my first class of the day, restraining myself from strangling my annoying TA.

2:42pm: After two classes filled with starvation and anxiety, I race home for the comforts of a home-cooked lunch only to realize this lunch will be a mediocre salad. Great.


Photo by Janey Asher

7:05pm: I go out for sushi with my friends, and while they get the best specialty rolls dipped in the salty goodness that is soy sauce, I must settle for mere sashimi, sans soy.

10:27pm: I try to relax and distract myself from the detox by binging on my new favorite Netflix show, but I can’t ignore my empty stomach. I find my thoughts wandering to the sourdough pretzels and spicy mustard sitting in my pantry, but I must stay strong.

11:53pm: As I settle into bed, the score becomes clear: Detox 1, Janey 0. I fall asleep with a heavy heart and little hope for tomorrow and the future of my detox.

Day 2

8:30am: I wake up and decide with serious affirmation that kale does not belong in a smoothie.


Photo by Janey Asher

8:57am: I opt for a banana smoothie with almond milk, chia seeds and raw cacao powder (the stuff chocolate comes from before it gets sweetened; it’s really good for your health, too). Chocolate is my best friend so I’m hoping we can reunite happily today, even if it is in sugarless, powdery form.

10:23am: Upon the first sip, I can proudly say that this smoothie is a much better recipe than the day before. I am able to stomach the entire thing and I start to see a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.

1:03pm: I was able to get through my first class plus some library time without collapsing from hunger, so I know today is going well so far. I hope that lunch won’t ruin my newfound positivity.

1:23pm: I decide to make myself homemade vegetable soup and kale chips. My lack of culinary skills makes me nervous, but I know I need to press on if I want any chance at a successful detox.

1:31pm: I start the meal with the kale chips. I break up about 4 stalks of kale on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on the top. I let them bake in the oven (set to 350°F) for about 8 minutes, until the tips of the leaves are browned. They taste salty and delicious. As I munch on the chips, I regain some confidence; at least I was able to get one part of my meal right.


Photo by Isabella Neuberg

1:40pm: Now for the soup. I cut up about a fourth of a cucumber, a quarter of a yellow pepper and 6 or 7 carrots. I sautée them with olive oil, ginger, salt and pepper for about 8 minutes. I then add about half a box of organic vegetable broth. After the broth heats up, I stir in about 6 or 7 spinach leaves.

1:55pm: The soup is ready. It’s judgement time.


Photo by Isabella Neuberg

1:58pm: I sit down at my dining room table and take a deep breath. I take a spoonful and a smile spreads across my face. It’s delicious! It’s a miracle! I made soup!

2:14pm: Detox and I are tied 1 to 1. The miracle soup has lifted my spirits and I’m ready to take on the next 8 days.

6:00pm: I enter the kitchen confident that this meal will also be a winner. I am a pro at this now. I will conquer this detox.

6:08pm: It’s dinner time so I decide to make a stir-fry. I pour a little coconut oil onto the skillet and add a few pieces of chicken, chopped red peppers, zucchini and water chestnuts.


Photo by Isabella Neuberg

6:15pm: I let this cook for about 7 minutes, and then I add my new soy-free, gluten-free stir fry seasoning sauce. Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, my meal is ready.

6:19pm: I am less nervous this time when I try my stir fry, and upon the first bite, I know this was a successful meal. The non-soy sauce is sweet and gives a great Asian flavor to the dish.

6:50pm: Detox 1, Janey 2. I am officially winning.

So far my detox has proven that eating has a lot of ups and downs, but at the end of the day if you get it right, food (regardless of how healthy and unappetizing it may seem at first) is pretty much just an up. I end Day 2 content and optimistic about the rest of my detox. I will actually be able to do this…as long as my smoothies stay kale free.

Can’t get enough detox info? Check these out for more tips and recipes: