The summer is the time where you finally feel as fresh as the outdoors. Shed off your winter jacket (and winter weight) with a one week detox to reboot your system and start clean, from the inside out. A detox is your chance to repent yourself for your sins of chocolate and cheeseburgers.
You know that feeling after days (or months.. or years) of consecutively eating junk? When you want to go back in time and remove all that nasty stuff you’ve put into your body which tasted so damn good at the time? Well since we don’t have time machines, a cleanse is the closest thing we’ve got! A week dedicated to kicking out the old and feeling fresh again. (And making it last.)
But where do we begin?
From Beyonce’s master cleanse to Gwenyth Paltrow’s juice cleanse, we keep hearing about celebrities dropping pounds from extreme detox plans. However, a cleanse is not about losing weight, but rather removing accumulated toxins that have built up in our bodies after months of poor eating.
At Eat Feel Fresh, we love good food but we know our bodies need a break from time to time to repair themselves from the over-indulging with the power of food. It benefits us all to take one week to transform our bodies and minds by reforming our lifestyle addictions to sugar, salt, alcohol, junk food, nicotine, high glycemic carbs, stress and anger. So not fresh.
Want to know if cleansing is right for you? Read the 16 Benefits of a One Week Detox Cleanse to see if they apply to you!
If so, let’s get started skinny girl!
Want to lose your belly bloat? Sit-ups aren’t gonna do it for you, girl. In Lose Bloat Instantly- Sneaky Sodium Hidden in Your Diet I discuss how the number one thing you can do for a flat stomach is kick the salt out of your diet. And not just in the salt-shaker, but hidden in sauces, cold-cuts, packaged foods, restaurant dishes, almost everywhere! Consider salt that frenemy who is secretly trying to make you fat, like Lindsay Lohan to Regina in Mean Girls.
Sorry suga, but the sugar has got to go. We have a cocaine-like addiction to sugar- in fact, researchers have found that the white powder is just as addictive as the other white powder! Read my article Sugar as Addictive as Cocaine so you can be weened off this drug for a more svelte bod.
In What to Know Before Gettin’ Your Drink On I break down the calories you consumed at the club last night while you were breakin’ it down. FYI: You may have well eaten two cheeseburgers with the amount of calories you consumed in vodka-cranberries.
Ever wonder why America is the fattest country in the world, with girls menstruating at a younger age then anywhere else? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we feed cows growth hormones, and then eat them. If they make cows big, imagine what they do to us. In Hold The Hormones: Why to Ditch Meat I tell you why our obsession with “getting enough protein” has actually made us turn massive.
Pretend you were a land-locked fish who was finally just released into the ocean (bad analogy?) Water helps flush fat, purify the body, relieve constipation, stimulate the kidney and digestive system and relieve dry skin. Drink at least 3 liters of water a day and try refilling your water bottle with filtered water from a Brita Water Filter (this is the one I use) rather than wasting all that plastic from individual water bottles. (It’s the environment people, we all share it!)
If you love anything salty or have an undying sweet-tooth, it’s actually your body telling you what vitamins you are deficient in. Instead of indulging in junk, get your body the correct nutrients it is deprived of. Not sure what your body wants (besides cheese fries?) Read What Your Cravings Mean to hear your body out.
Ordering a Pumpkin-Spice Latte does not mean you’ve just consumed a vegetable. And ordering a Chai-tea one.. actually has no real Chai in it. In Why Your Starbucks Drink Order Is Actually Making You Fat I bombard you with the difficult truth- no matter how cute you look with that Christmas Starbucks cup, you’re getting pounds away from your bikini bod. Starbucks isn’t the only culprit. Caffeine causes sugar cravings by triggering a surge in your insulin secretion, which stimulates cells in your body to absorb more glucose aka sugar. Caffeine also elevates your cortisol level, the stress hormone, which increases appetite, leading to weight gain. Trade in your coffee for organic green tea, which has much less caffeine and has been used to treat cancer, high cholesterol, tooth decay, weight gain and more.
This diuretic will detoxify your body, clearing your skin, aiding digestion, balancing your pH levels and stimulating your brain and nerve function. Start your day with hot water and lemon to remove accumulated toxins from the day before and clear out your system before you consume any products that day.
In The Juice on Juicing, I explain how pressed vegetable juices are filled with a cornucopia of minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes and fiber essential for our health. This changes our entire internal environment, cleansing stored wastes and toxins that prohibit proper functioning of cells and organs. Our bodies are finally able to do the job they are supposed to do when they are cleansed from toxins!
Lemon is basically a detox present wrapped in a yellow peel. Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting, lemon naturally detoxifies the body, stimulating digestion and cleansing the liver. Bet you didn’t know it also helps abandon acne, abolish anxiety and fight fatigue. Squeeze, please!
Ginger is also a superfood for its ability to stimulate circulation (no more cold hands and feet!), aid digestion and cleanse the body of toxins. Sipping ginger tea is a great way to relieve your belly after overeating, plus ginger’s spicy kick curbs cravings for other sweet additives.
Cucumber, a favorite of all beauty experts around the world. This green veggie is a fabulous diurectic, which removes bloat and puffiness from your belly, the same way it relieves inflammation when places on your eyelids. It aids in weight loss by encouraging the elimination of waste in your body and is favored as the perfect weight-loss snack due to its low caloric count and high water content.
Spas and health centers, which are focused on improving health and beauty, always serve spa water to guests, which you can make by yourself by infusing cucumber in water. (A fancy way of saying let cucumber sit in a pitcher of water so it obtains the flavor and vitamins.)Other ways to incorporate these detoxing foods into your diet
- Flavor your food with lemon instead of sauces. Squeeze lemon onto salads, into your drink, in your green tea, on your fish or turkey- the possibilities are endless!
- Munch on ginger as a side. Sushi always comes with a side of pickled ginger, which is great to have along with your Japanese food. Ginger can also be used to flavor chicken, eggplant, in dressings or wraps. You can also make your own ginger tea simply by steeping fresh ginger in boiling water.
- Snack on cucumber. Cucumber reduces water retention, which makes it the perfect snack to have before a night-out in your tight dress. Sip on cucumber-infused water while munching on sliced cucumber with lemon to get a flat belly, fast. Try bulking up your salads and sandwiches with cucumber slices, which will fill you up with minimal calories because it’s high water content, plus it increases the amount of time it takes you to finish since it’s so crunchy- not to mention, it doesn’t matter how much you eat! If only the same went with pizza..
- Try refreshing cucumber recipes like cucumber salsa, cucumber medley, one of my all time favorites Mast-o-khiar, which is fresh grated cucumber with yogurt and mint, and a similar, thicker recipe Tzatziki, where I explain how to make easily and fat-free.
- Eggs (Try my Egg in an Avocado recipe!)
- Beans (lima, kidney, garbanzo, lentils)
- Nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts)
- Fish (not farm-raised. Go for salmon, tuna, cod and other low-mercury fish)
- Soy, almond or greek yogurt
- Kefir (try it frozen!)
- Skyr (Not sure what it is? Check out My Latest Obsession: Icelandic (Thicker Than Greek) Yogurt)
- Lettuce/ mixed greens
- Sprouts (alfalfa, broccoli..)
- Green beans/snap beans
- Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries
- Avoid bananas and mangoes
- Steel-cut Oatmeal
- Sweet Potato
- Whole grain tortilla or pita
- Limit only to breakfast
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Flax or chia seeds
- Cinnamon, basil, oregano and other spices
- No teriyaki/soy sauce, bottled salad dressings or ketchup
- Sweet Potato Madness Smoothie
- Eggs and Spinach Florentine Bowl
- Sunshine Breakfast Beauty Salad with Greek-Yogurt Dressing
- Icelandic Skyr (Thicker than Greek Yogurt)
- Sugar-Free Peanut-Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- Why Eating Eggs with Yolk Will Make You Lose Weight
- Green Juice Recipes
- Elvis Presley Green Smoothie: Kale Peanut-butter Banana Honey!
- Peanut-Butter Grape Panini
- Practice mindful eating. Simply taking the time to sit down and savor your food may be the key to your weight loss. Do not multitask while eating, sit in front of the TV or even on our laptops (we all do it!) When we lose focus and no longer pay attention to what we are, we become out of touch with our bodies. This makes us over-eat and feel less satisfied from our meal. Please read Mindful Eating- How Thinking About Your Food Will Change Your Life to take the first step towards mindful eating!
- Listen to your body- even if it means holding off breakfast! Many nutritionists may shoot me for saying this, but I believe some of us aren’t hungry in the morning for a reason, as I explain in Why Skipping Breakfast May Be Good For Your Health. We shouldn’t force food into our bodies when we do not want it. Some of us, myself included, need an hour when we wake up to allow our bodies to slowly wake up before putting food into it. Unfortunately, work makes it difficult for people to snack during the day, but if you can, bring breakfast to work so you can eat it when you feel ready, not just stuff a granola bar in your face on your way out of the house. This neither leaves you satisfied or skinny.
- Eat every 2-3 hours after waking up. Never let your body starve during a detox, which will slow down your metabolism and encourage you to make an unhealthy decision when you’re starving and just need to eat something filling, fast.
- Take your vitamins. A multivitamin based on your dietary needs, plus additional ones such as Iron (for hair and anemia), Biotin/ Biosil (for hair and skin) and Magnesium/Acidophilus (for digestion) can make up for gaps in your diet.
- Fill up on free-foods. Foods with high water and fiber content with low calories, such as lettuce, celery, cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes and peppers, can be eaten in an unlimited amount! Try sautéing veggies in olive oil or having some with fresh lemon or salsa!
- Know your goal in the cleanse. Are you looking for weight loss or to flush out toxins? If you just want to drop a few pounds fast, then cut out fruit. Though it is chock-full of vitamins, it also has a high sugar content. However, fruits should be part of your daily diet because you want your skin to look radiant and healthy, which is only possible with a diet rich of fruits. No one wants to be skinny and unhealthy looking! If you want to cleanse out your system, then fruits will be your best friend. With their high water content, they help flush your system out, releasing accumulated toxins from within. Papaya with lime is a great detoxifying breakfast, while tofu-veggie scramble is a great one for someone who wants to lose weight; both make great healthy breakfasts that you should continue to have after the cleanse!
- Keep working out! Exercise is crucial to a cleanse, as sweat releases toxins from your body. Just make sure you are not working out more than the amount of calories you are consuming to avoid fatigue, blood pressure or blood sugar drop. If you feel dizzy when working out, then stop. Try toning, low-impact activities like pilates and yoga during the cleanse. After the cleanse check out my 30 Best (and Most Creative) Post-Work Out Snacks.
- Consume the right proteins! In article Protein Misunderstood: But It’s Still All Good I break down the facts about this misunderstood nutrient. We need protein for our muscles to stay in shape, which is why it’s important to keep eating protein during this cleanse so all your hard-work at the gym doesn’t melt away. (Think Jessica Biel not Mary-Kate Olsen.) Tofu, seitan, tempeh, soy/almond yogurt, kefir, skyr, quinoa are all wonderful vegan ways to get protein in, making you feel fresher than ever before, as you are lessening your exposure to all the hormones that animal-products contain. You may be thinking “What’s wrong with animal products? I could never go veg!” Well just read my article Hold the Hormones: Why To Ditch Meat and you may realize that those extra pounds and bloat you are rockin’ is because of the hormonal animals you’re eating! (If cows are fed steroids and we are eating cows, then imagine what those steroids are doing to US!)
- Don’t late night eat! People who sleep later tend to weigh more simply because they are awake more hours! At midnight, we aren’t exactly running to the refrigerator to make a salad.. Late night eating ends up being unhealthy just because it’s much more convenient to stick your spoon into that ice cream then to cut up some cucumber. I recommend reading WHEN You Eat is As Important as WHAT You Eat to learn about how timing our eating can lead to weight loss. Sleep and wake up early so you avoid making bad food decisions late at night.
- In a blender, combine sliced cucumber, grated ginger and juice of two lemons.
- Blend until smooth and pour into glass, topped with sparkling water. You can also blend with ice for a smoothie.