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Amy Dirks

Guide For Detoxing From The Holidays For Soccer Players & Coaches With Menu Recommendations

Refresh your system and get ready for the pitch with a healthy detox created for soccer players by Amy Dirks, the former MLS Sporting Kansas City Nutritionist. A safe way to detox without missing meals for increased athletic performance.

Here we are in January of a new year feeling the indulgences of the holidays and wondering how we are going to detox from them and get back on track.

This pretty much happens at the beginning of every new year where people feel they have a fresh start and are more motivated to practice mindfulness and put effort into their wellbeing.

So, What Is The Best Way For Soccer Players To Detox?

The body is actually pretty amazing in that it has several ways it detoxifies naturally. Sweating, kidneys filtering blood, breathing, going to the bathroom/digestion, and through the liver. If you really want to detox, think about how you can support each of these detox mechanisms the body already does for us.

Here are my top 10 ways to detox without having to do a juice cleanse or follow a fad diet …

1) We all know that physical activity is good for us. Make sure you are getting some exercise that gets you sweating so your skin can detox. Another healthy way to sweat is through infrared saunas.


2) All of the following foods are excellent for the kidneys; cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, dark cherries, cranberries, apples, fish, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and eggs.

Adding in fiber and prebiotic/probiotic foods will help with digestion and going to the bathroom with ease.

3) Drink more water. Half of your body weight in ounces is just a general starting point. If you want to start somewhere, this is probably the easiest to accomplish if you have access to water and a stainless steel water bottle.

Add some lemon, herbs, or other fruit/veggie to flavor your water and help the liver detox even more).

4) Drink dandelion tea. It helps the liver with detoxification. In fact, drinking teas throughout the day can help you hydrate and detox.

5) Eliminate or limit alcohol. It is processed through the liver and the liver has a hard enough job processing the toxins we put in and on our bodies.

6) Switch to natural cleaning products and body care. All of the chemicals we expose our skin, lungs, and liver to add up and overload the system causing issues down the road.

7) Reduce sugar and processed foods. Just like chemicals we breathe and chemicals on our skin, there are chemicals in the foods we eat. Opt for organic foods that are not sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, detox your pantry by getting rid of all of the processed foods from boxes and bags, and rethink your drink to make sure you’re not getting in added sugars.

8). Get enough sleep. Your body heals and detoxifies when it sleeps so make sure you are giving it the proper time to do so.

9) Try adding in more herbs in your cooking. Cilantro and parsley are excellent for detoxifying and all herbs add a fresh taste to meals.

10) Try drinking a green smoothie a day. A smoothie is an easy way to get in tons of antioxidant-rich micronutrients. Adding greens to a smoothie can help with alkalinity in the blood or find a greens powder you like that includes spirulina and/or chlorella (both algae) to help with energy and detoxifying.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be all or none. Start with one thing and focus on that for the week. Once you’ve mastered one task, tackle another the following week. Below is a sample day using food, water, and tea as a way to kickstart your detox.

Simple Detox to Re-Set

Upon waking, drink 8 oz of water with lemon slices in it. If you are a coffee or tea drinker, drink it plain and don’t add sugar, creamer, etc. to it.

Nutrition for Soccer Players – Sample Day Menu:

A smoothie made from a handful of spinach, 2⁄3 cup frozen cherries, 1⁄2 banana, 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk, and vegan protein powder (Vega, Xymogen, or Garden of Life brand are all ok); add water and ice as needed.

Mid-Morning Snack: 1/2 cup of juice (organic/cold-pressed, preferably more green than all fruit) with handful of nuts. Another option: Have a cup of tea … use a dandelion tea or green tea, even chamomile tea is fine.

Lunch: Detox soup (Recipe below)

Mid Afternoon Snack: 1/2 juice with carrot/cucumber sticks … you can add a little hummus if you want. Add a cup of tea!

Dinner – Option #1: Baked or grilled chicken breast (organic) with steamed or roasted broccoli and or cauliflower. Try not to use too much seasoning/sauces for this time period; choose organic vegetables if possible.

Dinner – Option #2: Baked/grilled salmon (wild-caught) with a large side salad (spinach/romaine) but use olive oil or avocado oil and vinegar for dressing. Drizzle oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and squeeze a lemon on the salad.

Bedtime snack; 1 apple with 2 tbs. almond butter or handful of nuts.

Extra Nutrition Tips for Soccer Players:

  1. Put lemon, lime or orange slices in your water throughout the day.
  2. Take a multi-vitamin and probiotic for optimal nutrients and gut health.
  3. Add in fish oil and/or turmeric supplements.

Here is the soup recipe: Chicken Detox Soup

Many of the ingredients can be used to season the chicken/fish and veggies as your sides for dinner. You can also get the onions, celery, etc. already chopped up for you in the produce section so you don’t have to mess with that prep. There is a video with this soup recipe so you can watch it and follow along.

You got this.

What do you need to have in you kitchen? Here is the Soccer Players & Coaches Grocery List for Healthy Detox:

  • 3-5 chicken breast or 3-5 pieces of wild-caught salmon
  • 3-5 cold-pressed juices
  • 1 bag or box of organic spinach
  • 2-3 Lemons
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower (enough for sides and for soup)
  • 3-5 Apples (organic)
  • 3-5 Bananas
  • Cucumbers/ Carrots (organic preferably)
  • Celery (organic)
  • Onion
  • Romaine lettuce for a salad or use spinach
  • Nuts (raw almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts)
  • Frozen cherries
  • Frozen peas
  • Chicken broth (free-range or organic)
  • Vegan protein powder
  • Garlic/Ginger (can do fresh from produce or minced in a jar or use spices)
  • Olive Oil or Avocado oil
  • Parsley, Salt n Pepper, Turmeric, Crushed Red Pepper
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s is a good brand)
  • Organic Green Tea or Dandelion Tea (this will help detox but also make you feel full)


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