Happy Spring Equinox! Sometimes the best way to start a new season is to give the body an overhaul — especially if you spent the Winter cozying up inside while eating comfort foods. If you've been a bit too indulgent or you want to start getting ready for bikini season, whatever the reason, there's a healthy way to go about recharging yourself. Skip the juice-only cleanses and colonics, and keep reading for our favorite methods to naturally detox the body to feel lighter and more energized.
Imagine heading into Monday morning refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle a tough week. You might not be able to commit to a full weekend cleanse to reboot your system, but it's easy to incorporate a few of these tips before Monday morning hits. Offer your body detox power it deserves.
- Drink lots of water: Staying hydrated is essential to keep your body functioning at its highest potential. Take things up a notch and spike your water with some fresh produce known for their detoxing powers. Lemon, cucumber, mint, or ginger can all do wonders.
- Try some chia: Chock-full of omega-3s and fiber, tiny superfood chia seeds have been revered since ancient Aztec times. Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters swears by her chia seed drink that helps clients debloat.
- Cook at home: Every meal out on the town might sound like your idea of a great weekend, but try to cook healthy, fiber-fueled meals at home. The main ingredient in each of these healthy detox recipes will aid in digestion and debloating.
- Limit booze consumption: It might be tough, but make your weekend about something other than the bar scene. If everyone's drinking, then order soda water with some citrus. But if you think the temptation will be too much, then just stay home and take it easy.
Keep reading for four more simple tips to take a quick detox break this weekend.
We simply cannot get enough of cold-pressed green juice! It's such a quick and tasty way to get in essential vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants — perfect for those times when you're coming off an indulgent period like Oscar weekend. Since we can't carry our juicers with us everywhere, here are some of our favorite national brands of cold-pressed juice. Each offers a wide variety of green juice to suit your needs. Best of all, you can find these brands in major retailers or online, meaning you never have to go without your green-juice fix!
This weekend's Super Bowl celebrations may have you thinking of your postparty detox plans. And while detoxing solutions abound, the best way to flush out toxins is simple: lots and lots of water. But you don't have to drink it plain; you can add a little flavor as well with these delicious detoxing additions. Add all of these to a large pitcher or bottle of water, and drink throughout the next day for an effective way to detox! It helps to let these pieces soak overnight in your fridge to let the flavors meld.
- Lemon: Lemon water makes for a powerful detox drink; lemon juice helps to cleanse and alkalize the body. Add one thinly sliced lemon to a large pitcher, or squeeze fresh lemon juice into your glass.
- Mint: Mint adds a touch of sweetness without the sugar to your water, and it also helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion as well.
- Cucumber: Cucumber water isn't just for spas. Adding a few slices of cucumber to your water makes for excellent rehydration, and cucumber contains anti-inflammatory properties, as well.
- Ginger: The spicy root helps cleanse out your system, aids in digestion, and settles your stomach. A little goes a long way, so start with a few thin slices, and add more as necessary.
Maybe you're still recovering from the holidays, or celebrated getting back to work with a series of happy hours. Regardless of what time of year it is, trainer Harley Pasternak told us there always seems to be an occasion to splurge when it comes to food. And since "there is no amount of exercise ever that can help an indulgent diet," Harley developed a simple detox for his clients to follow when they've had too much. "There’s no pills or potions, it’s not a juice, it’s not a cleanse, it’s just a reset."
Keeping true to form, the 5-day reset program Harley puts clients on closely resembles his program's 5-Factor Diet (three meals and two snacks per day), the only difference being that the meals are replaced by smoothies. Each of Harley's smoothie recipes are full of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and fruit- and veggie-filled nutrients, like this apple pie smoothie he developed, which he recommends for breakfast. Between the smoothies, crunchy snacks filled with fiber and protein are key: popcorn, turkey jerky, whole-grain crackers, hummus, and low-fat cheese all make Harley's list.
Of course, no kick-start is complete without exercise — "don't stop moving" is the advice Harley always gives his clients. Once the 5-day reset is over, make sure you go back to your healthy ways, with at least one meal a week for a good cheat, said Harley. Curious how a similar plan might work for you? Start with our 28 healthy smoothie recipes!
Just as her name implies, Amanda Bacon was not always all about health food. As a former chef and line cook who "drank too much wine and coffee, and ate steak and cookies all day long," Amanda turned to juicing when her life felt "a little out of control." Her LA-based juice bar Moon Juice has become a hot spot for healthy folks where she sees "miracle after miracle" as she helps people move through their first cleanse. We chatted about some tips to make the process less intimidating.
"You don't have to go all the way." Everyone doesn't need to go on a strict and lengthy cleanse to reap the healthy benefits of juice. While cleansing "one to four times a year" (for about three days) makes such a difference in your mind and body, just having one juice a day makes a big difference. For those interested in trying a shorter plan, Amanda suggested a one-day cleanse where you drink four or five juices. If your body is feeling like it needs food that day, commit to making a clean and healthy choice to complement your cleanse.
"Make yourself comfortable." Before going on a cleanse, you have to start getting honest about the lifestyle you're leading. Amanda explained that "the majority of our clients are not women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, or coming from yoga class and look really fit and beautiful. That's the cliche. We get all walks of life." If you drink, smoke, are dependent on caffeine, and eat loads of light sugar, going cold turkey on a cleanse is always an option. However, if you want to make the process a little less painful, cut down on your unhealthy choices "one week to five days" before your cleanse.
"Follow your body." Every cleanse is different. By "opening yourself up to listening to your body and giving it the space and time to do what it needs to do," you're putting yourself in a perfect position for a successful cleansing experience. Amanda explained that sometimes you may feel full of energy and other times you might feel "detoxy and fluish." But however you feel, following your body will help you on your journey.
Source: Shelby Duncan
We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!
Peer inside the daily diary of a woman on a liquid cleanse. Plus: top nutritionists weigh in on whether these explosively popular diets help — or harm — your health
By Holly C. Corbett, Prevention
Nothing riles up health writers like the debate over the relative merits and perils of detox diets. In one camp, you have women convinced that cleanses are needed to flush harmful toxins from your body; in the other are people persuaded they're dangerous fad diets that deprive you of essential nutrients (and then trigger binges). I was in neither, so I decided to give one a whirl myself.
Now, I'd like to say my motivation was pure professional curiosity: a desire to use my body as a research tool so that I could better report on a trend that celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow to Beyoncé have sworn by, inspiring legions of women in their wake. But that wouldn't be completely true. When I volunteered to test a liquid cleanse, it just so happened I had a trip planned to a tropical island just one week later. If, in the name of journalism, I could also feel better in my two-piece, well, wouldn't that be nice?
There are countless trendy detox diets out there, but I opted for the Master Cleanse. Sure, subsisting on spicy lemonade for 10 days sounded like cruel and unusual punishment. But unlike other cleanses that cost hundreds of dollars, this one was super easy to follow, and it was cheap. In fact, the only ingredients required were laxative tea, organic lemons, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.
Ten days sounded like a bit much, so I tasked myself with trying it for five. Here is my daily diary of what happened. Warning: you'd best stop here if toilet humor isn't your cup of (laxative) tea.
See if the cleanse worked after the break!
Chowing down a big bowl of quinoa is a satisfying and delicious way to debloat. Not only is quinoa protein-packed and rich in fiber, but it's also chock full of potassium — all reasons why it's proven to be a bikini-friendly food! This ancient grain offers a bevy of fantastic benefits for a healthier you. For some creative spins on its ancient magic, here are four quinoa recipes.
No-Bake Trail Mix Cookies
A sweet treat with debloat power? Never say never! No-bake trail mix cookies come together in a mere five ingredients and offer a heaping helping of quinoa's magic.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is so versatile, and this ancient grain's power is shown off in this Southwestern-inspired dish. A lime-cilantro vinaigrette takes the flavor to the next level.
Keep reading for two more quinoa recipes.
Eating papaya helps encourage digestion, ease indigestion, and prevent constipation. But it's the tropical flavors that make it the perfect debloating snack to enjoy this Summer. While papaya is good and sweet on its own, here are four recipes to have you enjoying this natural debloating food.
Here's a doughnut that's definitely diet-approved! A drizzle of agave syrup and squeeze of lime enhance the natural flavor of papaya, and the sunflower seeds add protein, along with a nice crunch. A great addition to any breakfast or brunch menu.
Berry-Papaya Power Parfaits
Combine the powers of fat-fighting blueberries and debloating papaya into one satisfying snack. These parfaits are rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Make a few ahead of time and there's no excuse to not enjoy this healthy snack!
See papaya salad two ways after the break!
It's almost Summer — go tropical. And while a piña colada is one way to get your pineapple fill, all that sugar and alcohol strip away the detoxifying properties of the fruit. Because pineapple is high in the enzyme bromelain, it helps banish bloat by breaking down protein and easing digestion. Enjoy it on its own for a cool and refreshing snack or whip up one of these healthy pineapple recipes.
Pineapple Quinoa in a Boat
The presentation alone is enough to wow guests, but it's the recipe that will have them coming back for more. Made with protein-packed quinoa, this vegan dish is the perfect star for a tropical-themed meal.
Tropical Kale Salad With Creamy Pineapple-Coconut Dressing
Leafy greens like kale move the digestive system right along, but adding pineapple to the mix makes for a happy-tummy party. To achieve the creamy dressing, no dairy is needed — just some good-for-you coconut milk!
See a detoxifying smoothie recipe after the break!