I just finished a 28 day detox cleanse and weight loss program. First off, let me suggest that if you decide to do something this long, go with a program monitored by a nutritionist or dietician or doctor. Don't radically alter your food intake all on your own.
The detox consisted of getting rid of dairy, gluten, alcohol/sugar, and caffeine. The first week I ate only lean protein and lots and lots of vegetables.
I'm an all or nothing kinda gal so this approach worked just fine for me, maybe other people need to ease into it, eliminating one thing at a time. The one thing you can have is oil. Healthy oil, ie. Walnut, Flax, Olive, but you don't have to skimp on your homemade salad dressing.
You learn interesting things about yourself when you undertake a program like this. What I thought would be the hardest (the caffeine) turned out to be a non-issue. (however day 30 I started drinking one cup of coffee in the morning again) I don't think of myself as eating a lot of sugar however, I *craved* something sweet by mid-afternoon. And honestly, I cheated on the alcohol on the weekends, having a cocktail or glass of wine while out.
Nowadays I try to limit my wine/cocktails to weekends only. I'll let you know if I can sustain it. ;)
The basis for the detox program is that we need more fruits and vegetables. What the program did do for me, was give me the impetus to start sneaking more healthy things into my family's meals.
So yesterday I made chili for dinner. I chopped up a little spinach and added it to the crockpot. Last week I made lasagne, I already put spinach in the cheese mixture but I chopped up mushrooms (which are chock full of good nutrients) into really, really small pieces and added them to the meat mixture. No one noticed.
When I make a salad I use romaine and spinach plus sometimes I add just a tiny bit of shredded carrots. I throw in sunflower seeds (lots of health benefits to these buggers http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=57) instead of croutons. My kids complained about the seeds the first few times but then they got over it.
So now every day I sneak in good stuff and we're all living healthier because of it.
ps. a great rule of thumb which I recently saw several places: if it can go bad in your refrigerator, it is good for you. Happy, healthy eating!