14 Days, 5 Rules, Epic Results: The Spartan Whole-Food Detox Challenge

14 Days, 5 Rules, Epic Results: The Spartan Whole-Food Detox Challenge

Feel like your usual healthy habits are slightly off track? (Yes, life stressors can jolt you off course and before you know it, your midsection is soft, you’re exhausted and you’re eating garbage.) It happens. And while we don’t believe in excuses, it’s a major win when you can recognize that it’s time to make changes to get you feeling—and performing—your best again.

That’s why Spartan CEO and Founder Joe De Sena crafted this simple 14-day whole-food meal challenge. "We can't be our best selves and perform at our best without starting in the kitchen," he says. This plan is for ALL Spartans who want to optimize their diet, beat brain fog, sleep better, build muscle, shed unwanted lbs and become battle-ready for OCR. (Think: salads galore = the fastest, most efficient total-body reset ever.)

Over the course of two weeks, you’ll fill up on veggies, skip booze, eat at specific times and ditch up to 10% of your bodyweight. Stick to these five rules and you won’t lose. 

Get Motivated for the Spartan Whole-Food Cleanse Meal Plan

Eating like this makes for a superior life experience all around. "I would love for you to do it forever, but once every three months would be great," says De Sena. Prepare for better sleep, exceptional sex, less stress, more productivity. Basically, prepare for better everything. "People have seen our blind spots as a species," he adds. "We are not taking care of ourselves and this results in exposing a weakness." 

It's time to fix that—starting with our diet.

Check out this short clip on doing hard things to put this detox into perspective (after all, this isn't hiking across the Arctic tundra... it's just reworking your eating habits).

Then, scour these motivational quotes from Spartans and other epic heroes to fire you up and keep you strong. 

Related: 5 Motivational Strategies to Prepare You for a Spartan Race

2 Helpful Hints to Crush this Challenge like the Spartan Champ You Are

THE BODY: STREAMLINE YOUR WORKOUTS

Other cleanses (like juice fasting) may have you dial back your workouts since you’re not getting much fuel. But this is no ordinary cleanse. In fact, we want you to eat plenty of real foods—just a hell of a lot more salad. And we also want you to stay active. The point isn’t to starve yourself or deplete your energy stores here. It’s to make changes and rewire your brain so you can continue being sustainably healthier even when the challenge is over.

De Sena recommends the following workout plan while you're on this detox:

  • 30 Burpees per day 
  • 1 Mile walk
  • 1 Pull-up at a time (or as many as you can) to get to 30

THE MIND: BEAT BRAIN FATIGUE 

At the beginning, your brain will play tricks on you. We’re talking about those second-guessing, “why did I do this”, crappy-type thoughts that only drag you down. Why? Because by days 3-5 your body will be craving sugar, simple carbs and a whole bunch of other junk as it detoxes. Trust us, you’ll get through it if you follow the rules. 

However, cater to those thoughts and you’re heading down a slippery slope. Remember this: your mind will quit long before your body ever will. (So, in other words, cheating = mental weakness.) That’s where your Spartan grit comes in. Power through the cravings and you’ll reap the rewards tenfold. Need help? "Have some accountability partners," says De Sena. "Or, email me!"

Related: The Joe De Sena Diet: 5 Favorite Foods for Eating Clean 

The Spartan Whole-Food Detox Rules

Now, enough talk—let’s get to it. Join more than 10 million other Spartans around the world who have transformed their health and fitness by following this simple whole-foods cleanse meal plan that WORKS. 

#1: Eat ONLY 3 Meals Per Day

No more. That means no sneaky cheat meals or accidental snacks. If you absolutely can’t make it to the next meal, grab a handful of raw nuts. 

#2: Eat at Specific Times

Schedule your meals for 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Do not eat large quantities any other time of day. (We stagger these to fire up your metabolism, maintain your energy and burn fat efficiently.) 

PRO TIP: If you're working nights driving ambulances, police cars, trucks, farming, packing shelves or otherwise kicking ass, flip the times around (night for day: 9 p.m. 1 a.m. 5 a.m.).

#3: Every Meal Must Have a Large Salad 

This salad must be prepared with "living" food a.k.a. fresh vegetables. You must eat 4X as much salad as whatever protein you add to it. For example, eating one serving of chicken? No problem. Pair it with four servings of salad. Two of beef steak? Match it with eight of salad. 

PRO TIP: You should feel full at the end of each meal. If you don't, increase the amount of salad you’re eating. 

What you put into your salad is up to you, but here are the non-negotiables...

Your salad MUST include:

  • A small drizzle of cold pressed olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Avocado
  • Sprouts
  • Fennel
  • Optional: organic lean animal protein like fresh tuna or chicken. If you include extra non-veggies, don't forget to multiply the greens by four.

Your salad MUST NOT include:

  • Other oils
  • Cheat ingredients (i.e. making your salad into a pizza)
  • Processed meat (i.e. pepperoni, sausage)
  • Other crap. You get the idea.

#4: Absolutely NO Sugar, Rice, Bread, Potato or Refined Carbs

At. Any. Time. Period.

Your body will be craving this stuff and it’s your job to think your way out of it. The point is to completely break your mental and physical attachments to these nutrients so you can reintroduce them post detox in a smart way. If you find yourself reaching for a cheat snack, drop and bust out 10 burpees

#5: Stick to H2O

Drink water. That means ZERO alcohol. You can have water-based beverages like black coffee or tea but we recommend skipping them. While caffeine is often beneficial in training, it’ll derail your metabolism reset and make this whole challenge much tougher. 

The Re-Entry: So, You Make It Two Weeks… Then What? 

Let's say, like the Spartan champ you are, you persevere. You conquer every craving, follow every rule and after 14 days you are sleeping better, trimming fat, and building healthier habits, a.k.a. living the Spartan Way. But, how do you avoid binging and maintain vitality?

Here's what De Sena says will keep the goodness rolling: 

  • Publicly commit
    Tell everyone and your mother that you are now eating clean. 
  • Ground yourself
    Don't let anything get in the way of your efforts. 
  • Don't buy junk
    Keep the crap food out of the house. (Hint: avoid grocery shopping while you're hungry.) 
  • Keep prepared
    Pre plan each week's meals moving forward. 
  • Find your tribe
    Get friends who align with your healthy lifestyle.
  • Stay positive
    Success perpetuates success. 
  • Treat yourself
    One (and we mean ONE) cheat day per week if you need it. 

For Spartans, community is key. Challenge a friend to do the Spartan Detox with you, and share and tag your wins @SpartanRace #SpartanDetox. Then, sign up for a 2021 Spartan Race near you. (We're back, AROO!)