Why are Certain Foods Not Allowed on the Clean Program?


Clean excludes certain foods from the Clean Program for several reasons:

  • they may cause food sensitivities and/or allergic reactions
  • contain toxic chemicals
  • some foods have an acidifying effect on the body
  • some are mucus-forming
  • others because they are pro-inflammatory
  • some foods are simply difficult to digest

By removing most allergen-causing foods, whether you are known to be allergic to them or not, the Clean Program Diet helps to relieve the burden on the immune and digestive system.

Many times we are unaware of the affects of certain foods (i.e. dairy and gluten) because we eat them often. Sometimes symptoms do not manifest for 24 hours or more after a food is eaten. For example, having dairy or gluten for breakfast and dinner may mask the actual effects of these foods.


  • Peanuts. A very common allergen. Nonorganic peanuts are full of chemicals and organic often have a mold called alfatoxins and even if you don’t have a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, many people are still extremely sensitive to them.

    Note:  All nuts have their fat content cut in half when they are soaked for a few hours (or overnight) before using. This also breaks down the enzyme inhibitors present in the skin of raw nuts so the nutrients and proteins can be accessed.


  • Nightshades. Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and sweet peppers are part of the nightshade family. Nightshades are often rich in alkaloids that can be mildly toxic to a fair number of people. They are thought to potentially decrease digestion and increase inflammation in the body.

    According to Ayurvedic thinking, nightshades are thought to cause sensitivity to the body, and when eaten in excess, they tend to suppress the strength of our digestion.  For example, some potatoes contain a neurotoxin called Solanine which many people are sensitive to. Typical symptoms of solanine sensitivity are joint paint and inflammation.

    Note: Dried peppers can be used as a spice. While cayenne, chili pepper and paprika spices are still in the nightshade family, we do allow them in cooking because in general a very small amount is used.

  • Canned Vegetables. Fresh is best, then frozen. Canned vegetables often have preservatives and are sitting in cans that leech into the food. We do like certain canned foods like pumpkin and squash without preservatives to use for cooking.


  • Oranges and Orange Juice. Can be highly allergenic.
  • Grapefruit. This fruit has been known to block certain enzyme processes in the body.
  • Citrus. All citrus is removed from the program because of its allergenic quality, except for lemons and limes. Lemons and limes are alkalizing and detoxifying and great on the program.
  • Bananas. This fruit is very starchy and very sugary. Many people normally use bananas in their shakes and smoothies. Instead, try using berries, nut milks, and a scoop of coconut oil or an avocado to create a similar consistency.
  • Bottled Fruit Juice. All concentrated fruit juice (anything that’s not fresh squeezed or pressed) is high in sugar and creates significant spikes in blood sugar. All bottled juices are pasteurized reducing and destroying most of the original available vitamins and nutrients.
  • Strawberries: Can be an allergen for some people, and currently one of the fruits covered with the most pesticides and herbicides, organic or not.
  • Grapes: Currently one of the top fruits covered with the most pesticides and herbicides.


  • Milk/Cheese/Yogurt/Butter. Often contains the carcinogenic mold aflatoxin (a mycotoxin). Mucus forming, a very common allergen and acidic to the body. Yogurt that has been pasteurized has many of its health properties destroyed and often contains sugar. After your program, follow the Reintroduction Process to test how dairy affects you.
  • Eggs.  A common allergen,  especially if they are from farm-raised, grain fed and non-free range chickens. No mayonnaise. After the program, seek out pastured-raised organic eggs.
  • Ice Cream. Contains dairy, as well as sugar. Also includes gums that can upset digestion.


  • Warm-water and tropical fish.  Higher risk of parasites and heavy metal contamination. Avoid African Butter Fish, Billfish, Bluefish, Carp, Catfish, Eel,  Warm-water Flounder, Hilsa, Tropical Mackerell, Mahi Mahi, Dorado, Monkfish, Pomfret/Butterfish, Sturgeon, Shark, Skatefish, Snakehead, Snapper, Tilapia, Tilefish, Tuna.

    Instead have Flounder, salmon, sardines, haddock, kipper, Herring.

  • Seafood. Higher risk of parasites and heavy metal contamination. Avoid Barnacles, lobster, crab, urchins, mussels, scallops, crayfish, langust, shrimp, prawn, abalone, cuttlefish, chiton, cockles, clam, geoduck, octopus, oysters, sea cucumbers, sea snails, squid
  • Red Meat. Contains harmful nitrates. Highly acidic to the body and taxing on all organs, especially detox organs. High use of hormones and antibiotics in animals raised for meat that are very harmful to humans. Grain fed animals have much less protein and the fats are not as healthy. After the program, choose organic and grass/pasture fed when possible.
  • Processed meats. Avoid pork, sausage, bacon, any processed meats like hot dogs or lunch meat, and smoked meats.
  • Raw fish, seafood, meat.  Avoid all. High risk of parasites.


  • Soybeans. A major allergen. Often contains the carcinogenic mold aflatoxin (a mycotoxin). Very common allergen, often genetically modified, and may disrupt hormones in both males and females. Avoid tofu, soymilk, edamame, soy-based ice-creams, soy-sauce.


  • Wheat (Gluten). Gluten is the protein found in wheat and other cereal grains, such as barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. The list of syndromes and diseases associated with gluten sensitivity seem to be endless. It causes irritation and direct damage to the gut, contributing to a host of problems in the body. Gluten triggers autoimmune responses and thyroid issues and creates the conditions for leaky gut. Gluten sensitivity has been associated with chronic headaches, cancer, type 1 diabetes, neuropathy, and increased mortality rates.

    With our clients at Clean, we see gluten contribute directly to indigestion and bloating as well as fatigue and brain fog. While some people may have a serious allergy to wheat, nearly everyone has an immune response to it. This immune response can create a cascade of negative reactions that we are only beginning to understand. As opposed to foods like fish and vegetables, gluten-containing foods, such as cakes and cookies, are also more likely to be highly processed and contain chemicals, preservatives, and sugar.

  •  Oats. Often contaminated with gluten. Also the protein in oats often functions like gluten proteins.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Fake Foods. Avoid processed vegetarian/vegan food such as tempeh, seitan, and textured-vegetable protein (TVP). All contain gluten.
  • Corn. Common allergen. Often genetically modified. High in sugar, spikes insulin levels, high on the glycemic index. Often contains the carcinogenic mold aflatoxin (a mycotoxin), linked to liver cancer and a large number of people have sensitivities.
  • White Rice. High in starch, sugar and highly processed. High glycemic index food.


  • Caffeine. Highly acidic and taxing to detox organs (liver and kidneys), dehydrating and a stimulant that forces surges of adrenaline and puts us in fight or flight mode unnecessarily. Addictive and disrupts natural rhythms in the body (sleep, hormones, etc.).
  • Soda. Contains sugar and caffeine. Highly processed. Zero nutritional value.
  • Alcohol (beer, mead, wine, liquor).  High in sugar and taxing on detox organs. Beer and hard liquor contain gluten, wine contains sulfites (both common allergens).


Artificial sweeteners provides a false sense of energy without any nutrients, which leads to a crash, food cravings, weight gain and a list of unpleasant side effects since they are chemicals and toxic to the body.


  • Splenda. A chlorocarbon that causes swelling liver and kidney and shrinking thymus gland, along with a whole host of horrible side effects.
  • Aspartame. Many side effects, some very dangerous including brain damage and inflammation, a definite poisonous toxin.
  • Saccharin. Believed to be a carcinogen, leads to carbohydrate cravings.
  • Sweet n Low.
  • Equal.

Natural sweeteners are mostly removed on the program.


  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cane Juice (Evaporated as well)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Refined White Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Concentrated Fruit Juice
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Erythritol
  • Agave
  • Brown Rice Syrup

Use fruit, dates or date paste, coconut Nectar, and stevia.


Many vegetable, nut and seed oils are highly processed and are often rancid causing free radicals in the body. Removing poor quality oils is one of the most important things you can do for your health.


  • Vegetable
  • Canola (rapeseed oil)
  • Peanut
  • Cottonseed
  • Partially hydrogenated oil
  • Margarine


  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Flax Oil (do not heat)
  • Pumpkin Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Red Palm Oil


  • Salt.  Use sea salt, Atlantic salt or Himalayan salt instead.
  • Ketchup.  High in sugar and contains tomatoes.
  • Mustard. Make sure it’s without sugar or dyes.
  • Soy Sauce.  Processed soy product, not allowed on program. Use gluten-free tamari instead.
  • Chocolate. Small amounts of dark chocolate (70% or higher) without dairy is okay. Also cacao nibs, beans or powder, or carob is fine.


  • Tobacco/Nicotine.  Even organic tobacco, which is free of chemicals and pesticides, causes inflammation in the lungs and arteries, stresses adrenals and the heart and upsets the natural blood sugar levels.  Addictive behaviors warrant looking into the emotional causes behind them for a full body/mind Clean Program.