THE SEVEN DAYS BEFORE THE CLEANSE

THE SEVEN DAYS BEFORE THE CLEANSE

Priming your body for your Cleanse is a smart move. If you take a few simple steps in the seven days before your Cleanse, it will be an easier, more powerful process and, ultimately, a more enjoyable experience. Some basic prep work will give you more energy during the ARC and reduce the risk of detox symptoms. Look, you prepare for most things in life, for a new job or a trip abroad. You prepare for a run by warming up. The week before the Cleanse is just another way to warm up.
In this case, it’s a hell of warm-up! It’s common for people to reach some of their Cleanse goals during the seven days before. When you focus your attention on just a few simple habits that help your body restore balance, your health lifts so rapidly, it’s truly amazing.
By the end of the “before” stage, you will have reduced cravings for foods and drinks that cause detox symptoms (caffeine-withdrawal headaches, for example), and you will have made giant strides toward scrubbing your liver, kidneys, and digestive system. Clean, detoxed organs mean your body is ready and eager to receive and make excellent use of the ultra-nourishment to come from the juices, soups, and smoothies.
Now, I should say that prep week is not mission critical. If you need to do the Cleanse immediately, today, then you could just dive into it now. But if you come in prepared—logistically and physiologically—you will get so much more out of it. Taking a week beforehand to test recipes, practice exercises, do your shopping, and start taking certain supplements will compound your positive results. If you can, follow these steps for more than seven days before, and you’ll be shocked how strong, vital, and ready you feel to take on the world!

 

Medical tourism in Iran

Gastric Bypass in Iran

Gastric Sleeve in Iran

 

 

BIG-PICTURE PLANNING

Generally, when it comes to getting from where you are now with your health to where you want to be, planning is everything. I have done pretty much all of the planning for you, including a full “seven days before” meal plan and shopping lists, available for free at rossbridgeford.com/arc. In this book, I’ve included a looser-form version of the meal plans. Beyond food, there are a few things to take care of to make your journey as effortless and enjoyable as possible.
Prep Step #1: Commit to a Saturday Start Date

There will never be a perfect week to do the ARC. Any seven-day period will have some event or conflict that could present a challenge. However, there are better weeks (and weekends) than others. Look ahead in your calendar at the next 90 days (not further out than that; things can easily change and you might run the risk of postponing your Cleanse even further into the future).
I highly recommend you start on a Saturday. This is important. This gives you the whole weekend, Saturday and Sunday, to get used to the process, and to go through any detox symptoms you might have. Come Monday, at the start of the workweek, you’ll be an old pro at juicing, and any fatigue or aches and pains will be behind you. Of course, if you don’t work or you work from home or your workweek begins on a Wednesday, adjust your start day accordingly so you basically have two “free days” to get into the swing of it before you resume your responsibilities in full. You also can spend the weekend (or whichever free days you choose) to make some of the soup recipes for the week ahead and put them in the freezer. Juices and smoothies should be consumed within a day of making them (ideally, within 12 hours), but you can get a jump on Monday by preparing the ingredients on Sunday.
Okay, so check your calendar right now. What one-week stretch in the next three months looks the emptiest right now? Can you reschedule some plans to make it even better? If you see a good week, block it out now. Commit to it.
Between now and then, you can start the “before” protocol, even if your start date is a few weeks away. Might as well!
Prep Step #2: Order Supplements

As soon as you have your Cleanse start date, order your supplements. You’d be surprised how long it can take for certain ones to arrive. If any supplement has not arrived by your start date, do not use this as an excuse to delay. On the ARC, you will be getting a huge amount of nourishment, and you don’t really need to have any supplements to get fabulous results.

Prep Step #3: Buy or Borrow Equipment

If you don’t have a blender or juicer, order online, borrow, or pick one up ASAP. Without these two items, you cannot do the Cleanse. In fact, you might as well go buy them today in a store (is shopping in person still a thing?) to guarantee that you have no reason to put things off.
Once you have an official start date, your supplements, and your equipment, you have pretty much done all the planning you need to do. I’ve taken care of all the rest. To make this as simple and easy as possible, I have broken down each day of the prep week and the Cleanse itself for you. Each day is as important as the next, and if you follow these steps, you will experience success. All you need to do now is follow along and get the radiant health it brings!
DAY-BY-DAY: THE SEVEN DAYS BEFORE THE CLEANSE

You can do the before phase for as long as you like. You don’t have to limit it to seven days! If your Cleanse date is scheduled for a month from now and you start the prep now, so much the better!
DAY ONE

Saturday (or Your “Saturday”)
Set Goals and Get Excited!
Today is all about feeling the excitement and the natural buzz you get when you do something amazing for yourself. That sense of accomplishment will give you a confidence boost, and you can take that momentum forward. By the end of today, I want you to feel empowered!
One way to feel that surge is by setting goals for your health—not just about what you hope to get out of the ARC, but beyond. Just around the corner, you’ll have new energy and a new body. What will you do with them? Day One of prep week is the perfect time to set your biggest, wildest health goals and start making them a reality.
I believe setting goals is one of the most powerful things you can do to transform your life. Of course, doing just that can be overwhelming (we all want

to do and be so many things!). The key is simplicity and understanding. Along with understanding what your goals are, you have to be clear on why you have them. If the what and why are solid in your mind, you’ll be far more likely to finish the Cleanse, and take your success forward.
Your Goal-Setting Plan
This approach is as simple as it gets, which is one of the reasons it works:
Write down your goals. Specifically, top the list with your immediate goals for the Cleanse itself, and then keep going with your long-term health goals for the rest of your life. You might write something like, “I have the goal of completing the Cleanse and making the most of it, and I hope to eat healthy and be active from now on.”
Write down what your life will be like if you reach those goals, for example, “If I stick to the Cleanse and a healthy lifestyle, I’ll live a long, disease-free, energized life.”
Then, put down what your life would be like if you don’t reach those goals, as in, “If I don’t stick with a healthy lifestyle, I might wind up sick and old before my time with a poor quality of life.”
Finally, make a list of the people you’re doing this for besides yourself—your partner, kids, parents, or friends. Link your goals to something outside of yourself to access the full power of goal setting.
If you reread (ideally, rewrite) your goals each night before you go to sleep, you will harness the incredible power of clarity.
Day One Meal Plan

Upon Waking: Turmeric and Coconut Tea
Breakfast: Super-Nutrient Breakfast Bowl
Snack: Antioxidant Green Smoothie
Lunch: The usual (whatever you’d usually have)

Snack: Easy Bliss Balls
Dinner: The usual
Since this is prep week, you don’t have to follow the meal plan to the letter. But I’d like you to familiarize yourself with a couple of recipes that you’ll be making during the ARC and to break in your blender. This menu gives you a huge hit of nourishment, helps you fall in love with healthy foods, and builds the foundation of great habits.
The day starts with creamy Turmeric and Coconut Tea—a warming, filling, soothing, comforting yet powerfully alkaline and anti-inflammatory hot beverage. It’s one of my most popular recipes, and although it requires a tiny amount of prep, it will get easier every time. Some people report feeling a little queasy drinking a high dose of fats on an empty stomach (but only at first). If that happens to you, wipe out the nauseated feeling with a quick snack of any food you have at hand. If your diet has been unbalanced for a while, it might be a good idea to halve the fats in the recipe the first few times you make it.
TURMERIC AND COCONUT TEA

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۱ tablespoon fresh root turmeric, grated
۱۲ ounces filtered (preferably alkaline) water
¼ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
۱ tablespoon grass-fed butter
۱ tablespoon coconut oil or MCT oil

Pinch of stevia to taste (optional)
Instructions

Grate the turmeric into a pan with the water, garam masala, and cinnamon. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Pour the contents of the pan into a blender (straining out the turmeric bits). Add the butter and oil and blend at high speed until foamy and creamy! Add a pinch of stevia, if desired, to taste.

For breakfast, I’ve included my Super-Nutrient Breakfast Bowl, a colorful, cooked, protein-rich, alkaline-rich treat of a brekkie. It takes 15 minutes to make, and it’s a real gift for yourself—an antioxidant, alkalizing delicious start to the day!
SUPER-NUTRIENT BREAKFAST BOWL

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۱ large sweet potato
۲ tablespoons coconut oil, divided
۲ garlic cloves, finely chopped
۸ broccoli florets
۲ large handfuls of beet greens or kale
۴ large handfuls of baby spinach

۱ large avocado, roughly chopped
۱ tablespoon sunflower seeds
۱ tablespoon chia seeds
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Lemon & Tahini Alkaline Dressing

۴ tablespoons tahini (homemade or purchased)
۴ tablespoons filtered water
۲ tablespoons flax or olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
۲ teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
Himalayan salt and cracked black
pepper to taste
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). While the oven is heating, wash the sweet potato and slice thinly (more like a chip than a wedge). Put the slices on the baking sheet, coat them with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until crisp (keep an eye on these; they can go from perfect to burnt in a minute).
While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Prepare the veggies. Gently heat the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the broccoli, beet greens, and spinach. Warm through for 4 or 5 minutes until the greens are wilted and the broccoli is al dente.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and pat down with a paper towel. Line the bowls (one for now, one in a container to refrigerate and save for later) with the potatoes, then add the veggies and the avocado, sprinkle with the seeds, and top with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Next, a midmorning snack. Get ready to make your first smoothie. I call it my Antioxidant Green Smoothie. The first two recipes were heavy on the alkalinity and anti-inflammatories. This smoothie hits the third of the Triple As: antioxidants! This concoction will fill you up for hours. I like to have it after a workout or for breakfast, and it keeps me going for ages.
ANTIOXIDANT GREEN SMOOTHIE

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۱ avocado
۱ cucumber
Juice of ½ lemon
۱ handful of kale
۱ handful of spinach
۲ heads of broccoli
۱ tomato
۱ handful of lettuce
½ garlic clove
Filtered water
Instructions

Place the avocado, cucumber, and lemon juice in a blender and process to form a mushy paste, then start adding the other ingredients until everything is

evenly blended.
Relax and have a “normal” lunch—and dinner for that matter—of whatever you like. You can be healthy, unhealthy, it’s totally up to you. Think of prep week as a free-for-all. For a midafternoon snack, make a batch of my wildly popular Easy Bliss Balls. These will last for a few days in the fridge; they’re great to have whenever a “snack attack” strikes.
EASY BLISS BALLS

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۴ Medjool dates
¼ cup almonds
۱ cup almond meal
⅓ cup pistachios, divided
½ cup shredded coconut
⅓ cup coconut oil
⅓ cup cacao powder
۱ tablespoon chia seeds
Instructions

Remove the seeds from the dates. Soften the dates and the 1/4 cup of almonds in hot water for an hour. Ideally, you’d soak the almonds for 4 hours, but an hour is fine. (If you have a high-speed blender or food processor, no softening is needed.)

Blend together the dates, almonds, almond meal, half the pistachios, the shredded coconut, coconut oil, cacao, and chia seeds.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let stand for a few minutes to allow the chia to soften and expand.
Smash the remaining pistachios. Roll the date mixture into small balls and then roll them in the crushed pistachios to coat.
Day One Checklist

Familiarize yourself with the foods and meals coming up. Are there any foods you’re allergic or intolerant to? Swap these for similar ingredients.
Look ahead in your calendar. Are there any events that could make it difficult to stick to the plan? Sort out a Plan B to get around these hurdles. Preparation and awareness are the key to making things easy.
Write out your goals! Put pen and paper next to your bed so you can rewrite them before sleep or as soon as you wake up.
DAY TWO

Sunday (or Your “Sunday”)
Build on Positive Momentum
Today I want you to build on the success of yesterday. Sometimes, because they’ve had a successful Day One, people relax too much on Day Two. So focus and stay present in your goals. I’d also like you to practice your preprep skills and get some of tomorrow’s hard work out of the way. For most of you, Day Three will be on a Monday, your first day back at work and, most likely, out of the house. You’ll have to do double the cooking on Sunday to make enough to bring to the office on Monday for your lunch and snacks. Cooking on Sunday for Monday is a habit that will transform your life.
Speaking of habits, give some attention to perhaps the most powerful health habit you can make: your water consumption. Many people who come to me for help with health issues have been chronically dehydrated for years. Don’t be one of those people! It’s a free and easy fix; it just takes forming a new small habit.
Hydration has to become an important part of your life from now on! Being dehydrated is damaging to practically every area, system, and process in your body. It creates massive imbalance, inflammation, digestive clogging, and acidity. It takes two minutes per day to drink enough water. There are really no excuses!
If you have less than a liter of water per day—especially if you drink coffee, regular tea, or alcohol daily—you really need to prime your body for the Cleanse by getting a minimum of two liters of water per day right now, building up to three by Day One of the during stage. Getting up to three liters by Day Five of prep week would be fantastic, with two being your minimum target. If you do that, hydration will do a lot of the early heavy lifting of the Cleanse, allowing the nutrients to go straight to work.
Your Hydration Plan
It’s all about awareness! Ask yourself:
What is my daily water intake (water, herbal teas, green juices) now?
What is my intake of diuretic, a.k.a. dehydrating liquids (coffee, alcohol, black tea, soda)?
What is my hydration goal by Day Five of the before week?
What is my hydration goal by Day One of the during week?
What is my hydration goal for the rest of my life?
Commit to counting your water intake every day. Start writing it down, use an app like Daily Water, or manually set alarms on your phone to remind you to drink.

Day Two Meal Plan

Upon Waking: Digestive Tea
Breakfast: The usual

Snack: Easy Bliss Balls
Lunch: The usual
Snack: Celery and Almond Butter Boats
Dinner: Lentil and Quinoa Stew

Today’s meal plan is really simple. You already have the Bliss Balls premade from yesterday, and you’ll have a “normal” breakfast and lunch. Start the day with my Digestive Tea, a simple, super-clean and fresh-tasting anti-inflammatory.
DIGESTIVE TEA

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۲ cups filtered water
۲ teaspoons fennel seeds
۲ inches fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped or thinly sliced
۱ tablespoon peppermint leaf or regular mint
Instructions

Add the water, fennel, ginger, and mint to a pot.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a very gentle simmer. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and steep the tea for 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve warm.

For an afternoon snack, you’ll have one of my favorite alkaline treats, a Celery and Almond Butter Boat, legendary for how fast and easy it is to make and how it keeps you going!
CELERY AND ALMOND BUTTER BOAT

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۱ celery stick
Almond butter (or any nut butter except peanut)
Instructions

Chop the celery stick into 2-inch pieces, then spread the almond butter liberally down the middle. Easy!
Dinner tonight (and lunch tomorrow) is Lentil and Quinoa Stew, hearty and delicious, super-alkaline, and anti-inflammatory. One of the tricks of food preparation is to make more than you need. If you have the equipment out, the vegetables ready, and the time put aside to cook, why not make a little more for later? If you wind up with too much for dinner and lunch, put it in a freezer bag and mark it with the date. You can eat it anytime within three months.
LENTIL AND QUINOA STEW

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

۱ cup dry lentils
۵ cups filtered water, divided
۱ tablespoon coconut oil
۱ yellow onion, diced
۳ carrots, diced
۳ celery stalks, sliced
۴ garlic cloves, crushed
۱ ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
۲ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
½ cup dry quinoa
۲ cups chopped kale, tough stems removed
One 12-ounce can chopped tomatoes or 6 fresh tomatoes
Instructions

Put the lentils in a pot and cover with 2 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the liquid is gone and the lentils are tender (check regularly). This will take approximately 30 minutes.
When the lentils are done, set them aside in a bowl. Wipe down the pan and warm the coconut oil in it. Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery for 5 or 6 minutes. Then stir in the spices and salt.
Stir in the quinoa, remaining water, kale, and chopped tomatoes (if using fresh, blend first) and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and cook until the quinoa has uncoiled and is tender, about 12 minutes. Add in the lentils and stir until evenly mixed.

Day Two Checklist

Make your hydration plan! Planning and mental preparation is key to making this happen. Hydration can easily slip by unless you consciously make a plan and put in the effort. After a few days it will become an effortless habit, but for the first few days or a week, it will need focus.
Rewrite your goals.
Order any supplements you might need for the during phase.
Get out your juicer and make sure it’s in full working order!
DAY THREE

Welcome to the Workweek
Fix a Major Nutrient Deficiency
Day Three of the before week is a tricky one. It’s the first real hurdle because, if you’re like most people, you’re out of the house and on the go. Ninety percent of the time, outside-the-house snacks are acidic and inflammatory (they don’t sell Bliss Balls at the corner store). It’s so important today to be prepared and to have your goals on the forefront of your mind. Think ahead: Can you bring a smoothie or soup to work with you? Is there a juice bar nearby that makes organic green drinks and smoothies? Now is the time to look around for options and figure out your plan for transporting your snacks, soups, and smoothies to work with you.
Most people are chronically deficient in healthy fats—omega 3 (we tend to get enough omega 6 and 9; often too much of them) and saturated fat from coconuts. Many wrongly believe all fats are unhealthy and try to avoid them. The truth is, good fats heal, repair, and restore your body, speed your metabolism, reduce inflammation, support weight loss, lower LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and protect and fortify the brain. What substances do make you gain weight? Sugar, refined foods, fast foods, toxic foods, additives, chemicals and preservatives, gluten, and cheap junk food. Starting today, to help prevent hunger between meals and keep your blood sugar balanced, you will up your consumption of healthy fats.

Your Healthy Fats Plan

Add three tablespoons of omega 3 per day.
Add one tablespoon of coconut oil per day.
It takes less than a minute a day to swallow a few capsules, but that small action will instantly reduce inflammation, support your liver, and unclog your small intestine where the nutrient absorption takes place.
It’s hard to get enough of these fats consistently from diet alone, especially omega 3, and particularly on the Cleanse, despite eating foods that are high in it like flaxseed, chia seed, beans, greens, and cabbage. Before and after the ARC, oily fish is not disqualified from your diet. But just to make sure you get enough every day, add these fats for a huge uplift in your health and energy, for basically almost no work required.
Day Three Meal Plan

Upon Waking: Turmeric and Coconut Tea
Breakfast: Simple Alkaline Oats
Snack: Celery and Almond Butter Boats
Lunch: Leftover stew from yesterday
Snack: Easy Bliss Balls
Dinner: The usual
Today your main assignment is to make sure you don’t skip an alkaline breakfast! Start with the Turmeric and Coconut Tea and follow up with Simple Alkaline Oats. These two recipes together give you all three Triple As, as well as a healthy hit of fats, fiber, and protein. You will be full for hours. Oats, by the way, are gluten-free, and make it quick, simple, and easy to tick the alkaline box at breakfast.

SIMPLE ALKALINE OATS

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

½ to 1 cup oats (depending on how hungry you are)
۱ to 2 cups filtered water (depending on how many oats you prepare)
۱ teaspoon chia seeds
A splash of nut milk
۱ teaspoon coconut oil
۱ teaspoon cinnamon
A dollop of coconut or nondairy yogurt
۱ handful of mixed nuts and seeds
Berries of your choice, optional
Instructions

Bring the oats and water (not milk!) to a simmer in a pan, then add the chia seeds. Cook until the mixture is a touch too dry for your liking, then stir in a splash or 2 of the nut milk. (I love coconut milk, but any other nondairy milk is fine.)
Remove the oats from the heat and stir in the coconut oil, cinnamon, and a dollop of nondairy yogurt. Top with the nuts and seeds and then finish with blueberries or strawberries, if desired. (I recommend keeping your fructose intake down to 1 or 2 servings of in-season fruit per day.)
If you do get a little hungry before lunch, snack on Celery and Almond Butter Boats (the ones you brought to work with you) to fill up on fiber, fats, and protein.

Go ahead and have your regular dinner—whatever you choose, it’s up to you—but I do urge you to take your leftover Lentil and Quinoa Stew from yesterday to work for your lunch. If that’s not possible, choose a healthy option today like a salad. Every positive decision you make for your body builds momentum going into the Cleanse.
Day Three Checklist

Follow your hydration plan.
Rewrite your goals.
Starting today, add supplements with healthy fats. If you still don’t have them, make a trip to the store today. Just about any grocery store will have organic coconut oil and omega-3 capsules. No excuses!
DAY FOUR

Work on an Acid Addiction.
You’ve reached the halfway point of the before phase and maybe you’re starting to feel some benefits already. I’m sure you’re full of positivity and anticipation about the during phase, the real deal of the ARC, coming up in just a few more days. There’s still some priming to do, though. For the next four days, you’re going to ramp up your alkaline meals and get your body ready for the big week ahead.
Today’s focus is on transitioning away from acids. So far, you’ve been upping your alkaline, and it’s been pretty easy. Just add water, fats, and turmeric (so much turmeric!). Superb. But now it’s going to get just a touch harder. Now a little tough love comes in.
You already know that the ARC is not only about upping the good stuff in your life, like Triple A foods, bouncing, and breathing. It’s also about eliminating the bad stuff. You already know when you’re consuming something that isn’t alkaline or cleansing—coffee, chocolate, sugar, wine, ice cream, white bread, junk food. I need you to begin moving away from that stuff, starting now.
In an ideal world, you’d cut all the acid-forming foods and substances before the Cleanse, so that you’re 100 percent over your detox symptoms and cravings on Day One of the during stage. But I know that’s not entirely realistic, nor what you’re inclined to do in the before stage. It’s daunting to be so strict, so suddenly. Only a few days ago, it’s possible you were having coffee, bagels, and bacon for breakfast every day. And now, you’re having turmeric tea and almond milk oatmeal. You’re already making huge changes! I’m not going to ask you to give up everything acidic until you start the Cleanse itself. But you’ll do yourself a huge favor by starting to cut down as much as you can now.
View the week before as a runway, where you get up to speed before you take off into the Cleanse. It’s an opportunity to lower your intake, one day at a time, one substance at a time, before you hit altitude on Saturday (or whichever day you will start the ARC). It’ll be easier for you then, and honestly, cutting back won’t be as hard as you think it will be now. All you need (and this will shock you, coming from me) . . . is a plan.
Your Acid Elimination Plan
The easiest way to cut back is to reduce in increments. For instance, if you’re currently having three cups of coffee a day, tomorrow, make it two cups. The day after tomorrow, make it one and a half. The day after that, one cup, and so on, until coffee is replaced by one of the turmeric teas.
If you’re used to putting sugar and syrups in your lattes, perhaps tomorrow you could have the latte with just sugar. The day after that, a latte with no sugar. The day after that, a medium unsweetened latte instead of a large. Then a small instead of a medium. You get it. Wean yourself.
The same goes for wine and beer, too. Gently reduce the number of glasses until all alcohol is replaced with filtered water. And bread: If you usually have a whole bagel a day, can you make it a half tomorrow and a quarter the day after? If you’re having a lot of sugar, how can you taper it down so that you’re sugar free for the 24 hours before the Cleanse?
It helps to write down your daily goals for tapering off sugar, gluten, coffee, regular tea, alcohol, and processed foods. Between today and Saturday, what increments of acid foods and drinks will you have with the aim of halving or quartering the amounts down to zero?
This does bring up the point of not being aware of how much of a substance you’re consuming. There are hidden chemicals in a lot of foods, even allegedly “healthy” ones. Assume anything in a wrapper has chemicals and additives—and sugars!
In my experience, most people’s sugar intake is coming from just a small number of big offenders. By working out what your biggest sources of sugar are, you can easily swap these for sugar-free alternatives and get your sugar intake down by 80 percent overnight.
First, write down everything you’ve had to eat and drink over the past three days.
Next, go to nutritiondata.self.com, plug in your info, and you’ll see the total sugars in each food, meal, and ingredient. Usually the 80/20 rule applies; you’ll probably see that 80 percent of your sugar intake is coming from 20 percent of the foods and drinks you’re having.
Then, cut out the top offenders, and replace them with sugar-free or low-sugar, nutrient-dense alternatives. (Watch out for sugar substitutes, though; they are just as acidic, inflammatory, and oxidizing as the real thing.) For example, if your store-bought jar of tomato sauce is packed with sugar, replace it

with a can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes. Heat some chopped garlic and coconut oil in a pan, add the tomatoes, some sea salt, some basil. It’s got just as much flavor as the stuff in a jar with zero added sugar, and it’s less expensive.
There is always a healthier way. It might take a little more effort, but you can find it and will benefit from it.
Replacing Bad with Good: The Swish Method

No, this is not about how to sink a basketball.
Swish is a method of neurolinguistic programming (like self-hypnosis) that can help you change anything in your life—any response, reaction, craving, addiction, emotion, fear, and frustration. It’s fast, and powerful, and you can do it right now.
The basic idea behind Swish (a.k.a. Visual Swish) is to replace one image (addiction, thought, emotion, behavior) with a more useful, positive one. It’s telling the brain, “Don’t do that, do this!” so that, over time, your old unproductive thought or behavior is automatically switched to the better one.
To try it, pick one thing you want to change. For example, what food or drink do you want to eliminate before the Cleanse? Many people really hate to give up coffee, so let’s go with that.
The next step is to identify the cue or trigger. Perhaps it’s the idea of sitting down for breakfast with your mug or the aroma of coffee brewing. Maybe it’s walking by Starbucks. What stimulus makes your brain think coffee? Make a list.
Once you know your triggers, create your ideal response to them. What response would you prefer your brain to have instead? How about a detailed image of you, happy, confident, free of addictions, and smiling as you walk down the street with a green juice in your hand? The idea is to train your brain to swap the coffee craving for something different, so every time you’re triggered for the acid food, your mind brings up a happy alternative, not a replacement substance (green juice for coffee) or a negative message (“Don’t drink coffee!”), but an ideal version of yourself, successful in every area of life.
Can you picture it? Good. Take it up another level. Close your eyes and add details about where you are and what you’re wearing. If this makes you smile and feel good on the inside, you’ve got it! If not, keep adding and adjusting and brightening until it does. Picture it vividly. Don’t just see it. Feel it, too. Memorize every detail, and congratulate yourself. You have created your ideal response.
Just for a minute, think about something completely off topic. Your pet, your garden, anything. You have to briefly reset your brain off the subject at hand to break state, or reset your brain back to normal thinking.
Now the magic happens. You are going to program your brain to automatically replace an old thought pattern or behavior with a new, awesome one whenever it receives a trigger or cue. Here goes:

Retrigger coffee. Picture a hot mug of it in your mind. Make that mug bigger and see every detail. See yourself drinking it.
Now see a small picture of your ideal response image (you, radiating energy, happiness, and success) and put it down in the bottom right-hand corner of that giant coffee cup image. Make it small, dark, a bit fuzzy.
And now, the Swish! Move the small ideal response image of you farther and farther into the background until it’s a tiny dot. Some people like to imagine it is being pulled back on an elastic band or slingshot. Then, fire the new tiny image at full power, back toward you. As it comes hurtling toward you, getting brighter, bigger, and more powerful, send the old trigger image (that steaming mug) flying back in the opposite direction until it becomes darker, smaller, and less powerful.
Optional: Make an audible “swishhhh” sound while you do it!
After you’ve done this a couple of times and really feel the joy of your idealized response image, quickly break state and think of something unrelated.
Consider yourself swished.
To embed the change, or lock it in, repeat this Swish pattern 10 times. It won’t take long and it is so worth the mental effort. The results will last you forever and make it dramatically easier to choose healthy.
Day Four Meal Plan

Upon Waking: Creamy Coconut, Turmeric, and Ginger Warmer
Breakfast: The usual
Snack: Piece of fruit (your choice)
Lunch: The usual
Snack: Turmeric Roasted Nuts
Dinner: Anti-Inflammatory Soup
Today we’re increasing your intake of the powerful anti-inflammatory turmeric, giving you two to three servings a day to help your body set the wheels in motion to soothe your inflammation before we even start the during phase. There are other amazing anti-inflammatory foods—ginger, garlic, bell

pepper, beetroot—but turmeric is by far the strongest. Taking in one centimeter of fresh root turmeric and/or a teaspoon of powdered, organic turmeric every day will make a noticeable, significant impact on your life, health, and energy within days. So many in my ARC coaching program have seen dramatic improvements of their inflammation-based conditions—pain, swelling, arthritis symptoms, sleep problems—just from adding daily turmeric to their diet, which is why I’m asking you to add it to yours, too.
Start the day with comforting, delicious Creamy Coconut, Turmeric, and Ginger Warmer. Have Turmeric Roasted Nuts as a flavor-packed midafternoon snack. Then, for dinner, enjoy Anti-Inflammation Soup with turmeric and lentil. In one day, over three meals, you’ll learn just how easy it is to sneak anti-inflammatories into your daily life—and just how tasty they can be.
CREAMY COCONUT, TURMERIC, AND GINGER WARMER

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۱ inch fresh turmeric root
½ inch fresh gingerroot
۱ cup full-fat coconut milk (don’t worry,
coconut milk fat doesn’t make you fat)
۲ teaspoons coconut oil
۱ cup coconut water (or filtered water)
۱ teaspoon cloves
۱ vanilla pod, optional
A pinch of black pepper* (optional)
*Note: Black pepper is reported to help absorption and bioavailabiliy of the curcumin in turmeric.

Instructions

Peel the turmeric and ginger and grate into a mortar.
Add the coconut oil and using the pestle, turn it into a beautiful orange-yellow paste.
Pour the coconut milk and water into a pan and spoon in the turmeric-ginger paste. Add the cloves and the vanilla pod. Add a pinch of black pepper, if desired.
Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
Serve warm, straining if you wish.
TURMERIC ROASTED NUTS

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients

۲ teaspoons coconut oil, melted
۱ teaspoon turmeric powder
۳/۴ teaspoon chili powder (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
A good pinch of cracked black pepper
۲ cups raw cashews

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180° C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the coconut oil, turmeric, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add the cashews and coat well with the spice mix. Have a taste and feel free to add a little more of whatever you need.
Spread out the mixture in an even layer on the baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Halfway through, stir the nuts, then pop them back in for another 5 minutes or until they’re beautifully golden.
Cool and serve. Once they reach room temperature, place any remaining nuts in an airtight glass jar. They’ll keep well in the pantry for weeks.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SOUP

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۴ carrots
۱ inch fresh gingerroot
۱ inch fresh turmeric root
۱ tablespoon coconut oil
۱ red onion
۸ ounces pumpkin
۱ sweet potato
۴ tomatoes
½ red pepper
۳ garlic cloves
۱ teaspoon mustard seeds

۱ cup organic low-sodium vegetable stock
۱ cup dry lentils
۱ cup coconut cream
۱ handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
۱ thinly sliced red chili pepper, optional
Optional Topping

½ cup cashews
۲ tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Coconut oil, to taste
۱ garlic clove, minced
Instructions

Peel the carrots, ginger, and turmeric. Roughly chop all the vegetables and the tomatoes. (A lot of chopping. It’ll be worth it!)
Gently heat the coconut oil in a pan, then add the onion. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, then add the turmeric, ginger, mustard seeds, and garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, red pepper, and tomatoes, and stir to coat the veggies in the oil. (You should be able to smell that delicious turmeric now.)
Add the stock, then add the lentils.
Turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes while the veggies soften and the lentils cook. Once everything has softened, add the coconut cream and cilantro.
Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth, or transfer the mixture to a blender in batches. If using a regular blender, allow the soup to vent or the steam will make the top explode and you’ll have soup all over your walls and ceiling.

To make the optional topping (which I’ve found really nice for adding a delicious extra texture to the soup), smash up the cashews under a knife and cook with the pumpkin seeds in a little coconut oil with the minced garlic until it’s warmed through and slightly browned.
Serve the soup in bowls with a sprig of cilantro, a drizzle of coconut cream, and the cashew topping (plus the chili pepper, if using) and enjoy!
Day Four Checklist

Create your plan to eliminate acid addictions between now and Day One of the during phase.
Try the Swish Method!
Follow your hydration plan.
Rewrite your goals.
Consume three tablespoons of omega 3 and one tablespoon of saturated fats.
DAY FIVE

Get Some Sleep!
There are a lot of things we do for our body, things we put in and things we consciously leave out. But there is another quietly cleansing, resetting, detoxification tool that we take for granted and rarely consider as a part of our armory: sleep.
Like hydration, we generally just leave sleep to chance, where sleep quality and quantity are due to circumstances. You get as much as you can and just deal with fatigue if you can’t. That needs to change. You must make adequate, good rest a priority. It’s an absolute necessity for optimal health.
While you’re venturing through the before phase, it is a great time to assess how long and how well you’re sleeping, with the aim of getting at least seven hours per night during the Cleanse itself. Done right, sleep will greatly enhance the benefits of the ARC. Done wrong, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Your health goals will be a hundred times harder to reach if you neglect sleep or take it for granted.
As you recall, the endocrine system’s organs and glands regulate hormones such as cortisol, insulin, leptin, ghrelin, testosterone, estrogen, thyroid hormones, progesterone, adrenaline—and melatonin, a.k.a. the sleep hormone. Hormones influence practically every important process in your body: fat use and storage, appetite, satiety, cognition, when to feel tired, and when to wake up. It’s sort of a chicken-egg situation, where poor sleep imbalances your endocrine system and an imbalanced system interferes with the duration and quality of sleep. You can’t consciously balance your endocrine system. But, you can certainly plan to get more rest each night. If so, you’ll use more fat for energy, have better appetite control, and have less stress.
Along with hormonal regulation, sleep plays an essential role in your body’s ability to detoxify and cleanse. In a University of Pittsburg study,1 researchers discovered that people who awakened during the first sleep cycle of the night tended to have lower levels of “natural killer cells,” a.k.a. the ones that hunt down germs, bacteria, and free radicals. The conclusion: Interrupted sleep means a diminished immune response. Just one disruption is enough to do it.
Other studies have found that disturbances and poor-quality sleep increased one’s risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.2 The explanation is that digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food requires a great deal of energy. Adequate, quality sleep ensures that your digestive organs have time for rest and repair from their hard day’s work. Lack of sleep also makes us more susceptible to stress, which can significantly influence digestive symptoms as well.
You might have heard that sleep flushes out brain-degenerating toxins. I’m sure you’ve personally experienced what your head feels like the day after a rough night. Using state-of-the-art brain imaging, researchers from New York University found that during sleep, the brain clears out twice the amount of metabolic wastes, including amyloid beta, the proteins that form the plaque associated with Alzheimer’s patients.3
I could go on. The point is, we need quality sleep, just as we need quality nutrition. If you combine the two, you are well on your way to optimal health.
Your Sleep Plan
Find 15 more minutes of sleep, either at the beginning of the night or at the end of it, working up to seven hours per night minimum. My sleep-expert friends recommend turning off all electronics an hour before bed. The blue light from computers and phones delays the release of darkness-activated melatonin. Good sleep hygiene habits include not exercising or eating three hours before bed, no caffeine after 3 P.M. (or at all!), not doing anything in bed besides sleep and sex, keeping regular sleep hours (bad idea: sleeping super late on the weekends; that’s how Sunday night insomnia happens), and, if you have trouble falling asleep, not napping during the day.

Day Five Meal Plan

Upon Waking: Turmeric and Coconut Tea
Breakfast: Alkaline Immune-Boosting Juice
Snack: The usual
Lunch: Leftover Anti-Inflammatory Soup from last night
Snack: Leftover juice from this morning
Dinner: The usual
Your first planned juice of the before phase. I hope you’ve already started making juices and smoothies throughout the week, but if not, today’s the day! I strongly recommend you make twice as much as you’ll need so you can have another serving ready to go for your midmorning or midafternoon snack. You’ll also see that you’ll have a second serving of last night’s soup as your lunch today. I’m big on twice the goodness for half the time and effort on the ARC. People often stress that cooking from scratch and “living healthy” takes too much time, but simply making double what you need (where it makes sense) cuts your kitchen cooking and cleaning time in half.
ALKALINE IMMUNE-BOOSTING JUICE

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

۱ cucumber
۲ celery stalks
۱ tomato

۱ bell pepper
۱ beetroot
۱ handful of cilantro
۸ ounces filtered (preferably alkaline) water
Instructions

Wash all the vegetables and place in a juicer. Add the water and juice!
Day Five Checklist

Add 15 minutes to your total sleep.
Continue weaning off acids.
Repeat the Swish Method.
Follow your hydration plan.
Rewrite your goals.
Consume three tablespoons of omega 3 and one tablespoon of saturated fats.
Get into juicing and the philosophy of abundance.
DAY SIX

Do a Mini Assessment

You’re almost up to the main event now. Everything you’ve done this week has given your body a massive boost and a big helping hand toward making next week as powerful and easy as it can possibly be. You should be incredibly proud of yourself for the effort you’ve made and the nourishment and goodness you’ve given your body already. Well done!
Today I want you to do an assessment of your progress so far. Think about what’s worked for you, and any particular challenges. Were those challenges overcome, or are you worried about them for next week? How can you smooth the logistics of meal prep and planning? Transport food to work? Get in your fats and anti-inflammatories with consistency?
One of the reasons I ask you to do a prep week is to figure all this out. The week before serves as a dress rehearsal for opening night. Of course, you’ll likely have some issues. But the beautiful thing is, now that you know what they are, you can work toward fixing them.
Your Assessment Plan
If you’re like most people, you had a slipup at some point this week and were knocked completely off track. Awesome! Better to have done it this week than next week. The most important thing is that you do not beat yourself up over it. A slipup, like everything, is a huge learning opportunity, and I really want you to focus on it for a few minutes.
The plan is to have a little therapy session with yourself. Ask yourself:
What happened before, during, and after the slipup?
What was the trigger? (There usually is one.)
How did I react?
How would I have reacted in a perfect world, if I could turn back time?
What will I do differently next time?
Just thinking through the situation and asking these questions gives you so much more self-awareness and you’ll be less likely to repeat the same slip in the near future. Every small mistake and rebellion, once understood, is a huge step forward.

Day Six Meal Plan

Upon Waking: Creamy Coconut, Turmeric, and Ginger Warmer
Breakfast: Simple Alkaline Oats
Snack: The usual
Lunch: Superfood Salad
Snack: Turmeric Roasted Nuts
Dinner: The usual
You will be getting turmeric into two of your meals today already, but see if you can sneak it in a third time. Perhaps grate some into the Superfood Salad you’ll be preparing to take to lunch at work today.
SUPERFOOD SALAD

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients

½ inch gingerroot, grated
۱ small garlic clove, minced
۱ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
۱ carrot, grated
۱ small beetroot, grated
۱ handful of kale, finely chopped

۱ small celery stalk, sliced
½ ripe avocado, cubed
¼ cup olive oil
۱ teaspoon coconut oil
¼ lemon, juiced
Sprinkle of sea salt
Instructions

Combine the ginger, garlic, parsley, carrot, beetroot, kale, and celery in a bowl and toss.
Blend the avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, lemon juice, and salt in a blender or food processor to make a creamy green dressing. Adjust the lemon and salt to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and enjoy.
Day Six Checklist

Brainstorm five different ways to add turmeric and ginger to your daily diet.
Think about your successes and mess-ups this week, and figure out how to do even better next week.
Add 15 more minutes to your sleep tonight.
Repeat the Swish Method.
Follow your hydration plan.
Rewrite your goals.
Consume three tablespoons of omega 3 and one tablespoon of saturated fats.

DAY SEVEN

Hit on All Cylinders!
Wow, you’re starting your official Cleanse tomorrow! Today is the day to get in your prep-week goodness, priming your body to do amazing things next week. The more you can prep, the easier and more powerful your Cleanse will be. Have some extra water, extra greens, a big juice, loads of quality sleep, and follow these final steps.
Do NOT Have a Last Hurrah
It’s so tempting to have a “last hurrah” meal, but this is an awful idea. Loading your body with acidic toxins the day before the ARC is pretty much the most counterproductive thing you can do—and really, for what? Instead, have a meal that is going to leave you feeling happy and nourished, but don’t go crazy.
Revisit Your Goals
A great way to make sure you’re feeling positive, motivated, disciplined, and ready to go is to remind yourself of your whys. Get clarity on the reasons you’re doing the Cleanse, what your goals are, and what life will be like when you achieve those goals. Take some time today to relax into the right mind-set for the seven days ahead.
Shop!
With your Cleanse starting on Saturday morning, it is critical that you go shopping for your first three days of groceries on Friday evening. The very worst thing you can do is kick off your Cleanse by realizing that you have to run to the market for missing ingredients before you make your morning juice. Nothing feels quite as motivating as filling your cart with all the goodness you’ll consume. Seeing just how much food it is will reassure you that you won’t go hungry. If anything, you’ll think, How am I possibly going to get all this in? If you live in a city and walk to the store, you will need to bring what my New York friends call an “old lady cart,” or plan on taking a taxi or Uber ride home. Check the shopping list below for items that might not be at your local store (like galangal, a root). If you can’t find something, don’t worry about it. The (very) few obscure ingredients are good to have, but it’s not a tragedy if you can’t find them. Remember, we are anti-perfectionist on the Cleanse!

The shopping list is for Days One, Two, and Three of the ARC. In the next chapter, on Day Three of the Cleanse, I’ll give you the shopping list for days Four through Seven. Shopping for only three (or four) days at a time ensures that your ingredients stay fresh and that you won’t feel too overwhelmed. Still, it’s a lot of food, so be prepared to fill up your car trunk. All those cucumbers and bags of spinach are bulky! Once you get it all home and loaded into your fridge and pantry (you’ll have to make some room!), you will stand back, look at it all, and feel so inspired to get started.

The Night Before
The night before you start, get everything ready in the kitchen. Make sure you make it as easy as possible to get rolling the minute you wake up. Lay everything out and be meticulous. The more effort you put in the night before, the more likely you are to stick with it the next morning. If you’ve gone to a lot of effort to get everything prepared, you won’t have any reason not to start the next day.

Get the Logistics Out of the Way
My final recommendation for the day before you start your ARC is to get the logistics done. Print out the recipe cards (available at www.rossbridgeford.com/arc) or copy or tag the pages in the book. Read over the recipes so you know what to expect. If you need to make any substitutions, change the ingredient list to your personal taste. If there is a particular juice, soup, or smoothie you loved during the week before, substitute it in. You’ll find the shopping lists can be a little adaptable, so if you’ve already done your shopping and want to change the meal plan, don’t fret, you’ll still have 95 percent of what you need and you can always adjust in a few days’ time when you next shop.
If you can launch your ARC with everything done and dusted so that all you have to do is implement it, no thought required, you’ll find it much more easy and enjoyable. A little preparation really does go a long way.

Set the Alarm
If you have any commitments the morning of your first day, you will need a few extra minutes to get ready before you leave the house. Allow yourself an extra half hour so you can get all of your juices, smoothies, and turmeric teas made in a relaxed environment. Stress is banned during the next seven days!
Day Seven Meal Plan

Totally up to you!
Just follow your instincts and let your new habits guide you to your new favorite flavors, the recipes you’ve loved most this week, or any that intrigue you as you look ahead to next week.
I recommend having a juice and a smoothie today to get that extra goodness in and to practice your skills one last time before the big event. But most important, rest up and get prepared, because tomorrow is going to be amazing.
Day Seven Checklist

Do your shopping!
Repeat the Swish Method!
Follow your hydration plan.
Revisit, refine, and rewrite your goals.
Consume three tablespoons of omega 3 and one tablespoon of saturated fats.
Have a juice or smoothie.

Get to bed nice and early to relax and get ready.
As I mentioned right at the start of this chapter, these seven days of preparation before the Cleanse itself are not mission-critical. You don’t have to do this if you need to start the ARC immediately. However, if you can take these simple steps during this “Before” week, you will see a huge difference. So many of my clients reach their initial goals during these seven days, even before the Cleanse has started!
These seven “Before” days are enjoyable, they’re fun, and they get your momentum going and build your confidence, where you will feel such a lift in your energy and your outlook. It works like magic.
Plus, once you’ve completed this “Before” week, you will have so much gusto and excitement, you’ll be buzzing with anticipation to jump into the ARC! So let’s get into it.

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *