The Clean Gut Diet: I Tried It! post image

The Clean Gut Diet: I Tried It!

I came home one day to a stack of books, tons of fruits and veggies, and a new Vitamix on my kitchen counter. My mother had decided to become fully immersed in this new “clean gut diet.” Now if you knew her like I do, you wouldn’t be surprised. She’s tried every diet under the sun, each time encouraging me to do them with her.

The diets are usually meant for fast weight loss and are either impossible to keep up with, or just involve some crazy concoction that doesn’t seem fit for consumption. After questioning–and a little mocking–I realized this diet sounded different. It wasn’t about about a quick fix, it was about a cleanse. And it wasn’t the kind of cleanse that comes in all the pretty bottles (and leaves you completely starving for the week) it was genuinely about cleaning out your body and getting your digestive system to work optimally.

My skepticism soon gave way to curiosity (and the chocolate flavored morning shake looked pretty tasty!) and I decided not to dismiss this one so quickly. I skimmed through the book, learned a lot about Doctor Alejandro Junger M.D., and realized this guy knows his stuff. He studied internal medicine at NYU, completed a fellowship in cardiology at Lenox Hill, and after he was done with all the medical training, he went to study Eastern Medicine in India. Feeling incredibly intrigued (and a bit smitten by this incredibly intelligent, green-eyed doctor) I embarked on a  journey to a spotless gut.

How it Works
clean-gut-diet-tipsThe diet is aimed at cleaning out your gut layer by layer. I know it may sound a little disgusting, but I learned that a clean gut is essential for an all around healthier body and lifestyle.

The first layer to be repaired is made up of intestinal flora, which is just a fancy term for bacteria that helps your body fight off toxins. The problem is, most of the things we eat contain elements that interrupt this flora. As Doctor J explains, one of the many ways to a healthy digestive system is to create a healthy flora.

MORE: Eating For Beauty

What to Eat
To start your day, Doc suggests beginning every morning with a protein shake. We bought the mix at our local health market (you know the one where the employees are hippies and the snacks always look delicious?). It comes in a big tub, but you only need one scoop per shake. Along with the powder you throw in a fruit of your choice (my favorite is the banana, strawberry, blueberry combo), a handful of spinach (for the flora), some apple cider vinegar (it helps encourage the digestion), and some almond milk (for taste, consistency, and protein).

You just mix all these ingredients together, give it a whirl, and in seconds you have a delicious shake that surprisingly leaves you satisfied until lunch time. The biggest hurdle for me in previous dieting efforts was feeling starving after each meal….which would lead me to pig out at the next meal. Not the healthiest way to live….

This shake actually did keep me satisfied until lunch time, and I was able to get through my mornings without counting the minutes until the next meal. Lunch and dinner are essentially made up of the same thing: proteins and veggies. I know, I know, it’s extremely similar to the infamous Paleo Diet, but it’s less restricting and honestly easier to follow. There is a list in the book of what to eat and avoid (you can also find the list here. I printed out a copy and hung it on my fridge), eliminating the guesswork so you know exactly what to eat to keep your gut happy.  Easy peasey! The diet eliminates carbs completely, but allows for some specific grains in moderation. I was also relieved that it allows me to further my obsession with almond milk, something that Paleo frowns upon.

For lunch, I’ll usually make an everything-in-the-fridge-salad chock full of approved veggies, some grilled chicken for protein, tossed with some olive oil and salt and pepper.  Dinner is usually a creative salad thanks to my amazing cook of a mother, a yummy protein (my latest fix is Salmon on the grill), and a veggie on the side. And to curb my horrible sweet tooth, Ill have a piece of watermelon afterwards.

Sounds totally easy right? It is.

The Results
I started the diet about a month ago and have lost five pounds. Now I know that’s not earth shattering, but it’s something! I’ve also been feeling a lot lighter, cleaner, and healthier. My energy levels are up and I no longer feel an overwhelming urge for an ice-cream night cap, or a side of fries.  I love the way I feel and sincerely don’t want to consume anything that will disrupt that.

The Clean Gut Diet is a slower weight loss process for sure, but its easy to do and makes you feel better inside and out. I don’t look at it as a diet, but rather, a new and improved lifestyle that I can maintain.

Want to give it a try? Buy the book here. You can also get it on your kindle.

MORE: Easy Weight Loss Tips For Lasting Results

2 comments… add one

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To the previous comment I want to say. I am Russian and when I moved to US 6 years later I struggled with wait and acne. Those things I have never had problems with. The reason is US foods are regulated differently then other countries. US allows foods, pesticides/herbicides that should not be allowed. The biggest one is genetically modified foods “GMO”. Until Clean gut diet I had to work out 3 times more (6 days a week) and eat less then half of what my usual portion is. My skin would not clear up no matter what I did. Until clean gut diet book. I dieted for 3 months and my skin is back to normal and I not working out 6 days but only 3 and got better results. My hormones are normal again. And also my husband struggeled with high cholesterol and took meds , not anymore. So it works.

Reply March 20, 2015, 8:30 pm


I think all of these diets are a shame. Obesity is really only a huge problem in the US. Think about it.. many people from other cultures consume food on the “exclude list” are still healthy and slimmer. Odd how the doctor went to India to study Eastern Medicine and yet many of the foods on the exclude list are staples. For example, rice is a staple in almost all Asian countries and their obesity rates are far less than what it is compared to the west. It’s customary to consume alcohol (another item on the ‘exclude list’) in many European countries and they still have a lower obesity rate. Not sure why PB is on the exclude list, it’s packed with protein.

The real secret to lose weight? Having a caloric deficit and regular exercise. There isn’t a crash diet that will give long term results. It’s a lifestyle change. You can still eat what you want but in moderation.

Reply July 13, 2014, 2:26 am

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