Fire Life

Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out: 21-Day Detox … the Yoga Way!

By Claire Diab and Dennis Boyle

Spring is here! It’s time to clean out the closets, put the winter clothes away, and get rid of unnecessary stuff so new things have room to spring up! It’s also a good idea to clean out your body. There’s a powerful yet simple detox you can do that will keep you strong and healthy and keep your intestines in great shape. You will feel energized, your skin will look good, and your eyes will sparkle. Health and wellness will be yours from the inside out!

Food is medicine, and we can use it to keep us strong and healthy. Your body is a magnificent machine that carries you around all day. Your body is truly a miracle. It is good to clean out and purify your body once or twice a year–nourishing all the systems of your body, your muscles, bones, respiratory and circulatory systems, organs, and glands and so much more! With awareness of your magnificent body and daily care, you will add life to your years and years to your life.

Remember “yoga” is a Sanskrit word that means union. Yoga is the union of your body, mind, and spirit. These are three aspects of who you are. We have a body that allows us to enjoy this life and to go from place to place. We have a mind that helps us make decisions and allows us to be creative and open to new ideas and thoughts. And we have a spirit that shines through our eyes. “The eyes are the mirror of our soul,” and when we take care of our body and mind, then our spirit shines brightly through our eyes and we feel good.

Food is your friend. No more diets and no need to step on a scale! We are going to have union with our food, celebrating food and enjoying every bite. This detox allows you to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No need to be hungry; and remember, a good appetite is a sign of good health!

During the 21 days, you will notice the difference in how you feel, how you look, and how you live your life. I will be starting my detox on my birthday, May 4, and ending on May 24–perfect timing, right before the summer fun! Change up what you may be used to eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For example, breakfast could be steamed rice with almonds; lunch, a big salad with beets, carrots, beans, and walnuts; and dinner, steak on the grill with zucchini and broccoli.

Remember, you have choices at home or at the firehouse. Choose the healthy way! Enjoy!

– Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. This will cleanse your lymph system and kick start your metabolism.

– Drink water throughout the day.

 – If you drink coffee, only 1 cup of coffee per day.

Here is a list of foods to omit during your detox and another list of foods to pick from:

Things to omit during detox:

Most Important:  Alcohol, Dairy, Bread, Pasta that have wheat or gluten
Sugar (Alternative is Maple Syrup)
Fried Foods
Cake, Cookies, Candy

Foods to eat during detox:

Rice and Rice Pasta
Rice Milk, Almond Milk
Nuts, Seeds (avoid peanuts)
Lots of Steamed Vegetables: Broccoli, Kale, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots
Corn, Peas
Gluten-free bread, bagels
Apples, Grapes, Berries, Watermelon
Yams, Sweet Potatoes
Carrots, Celery
All Beans
Grilled Steak, Chicken, Fish
Salads (add Nuts, Beans, and Chopped Steamed Veggies)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon on Salads and Veggies
Gluten-Free Cereal
Rice Mozzarella Cheese
All Soups (Low Sodium)
Chinese Foods (Steamed, no sauce) 


Claire Diab is an internationally recognized Yoga therapist. She is the director of the Yoga Program for the Chopra Center founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon. She is an adjunct professor of Asian Studies at Seton Hall University. She is the author of several books and DVDs on Yoga including “Yoga For Firefighters.” 




Dennis Boyle is a retired fire director and acting chief with the West Orange (NJ) Fire Department. He was the recipient of the 1999 New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs “Fire Officer of the Year” award.