Hello, Summer! If warm weather inspires you to give your body some fine tuning, you can do more than sip on detoxing green juice. Hop on your yoga mat and do these eight poses designed to detox the body. You have your circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems to thank for getting rid of toxins and waste, and these poses stimulate those systems. Pick out the poses your body needs or practice them all, and you're on your way to feeling like a new you.
Spring's arrival this week means that the farmers market is getting a brand-new makeover in the form of produce. While fresh veggies are the cornerstone to any clean diet, there are a few Spring foods with the added benefit of having natural detoxing properties.
Besides being an antioxidant powerhouse, asparagus provides digestive support to the body. Like chicory root, asparagus contains inulin, a type of prebiotic that encourages colon health while also stimulating the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the body. All in all, this is a major win for your digestive system! Enjoy asparagus roasted with a little olive oil, or maximize Spring's bounty by making this recipe for fava beans and asparagus with polenta.
The positive effects that artichokes have on the digestive system are many: studies show that the leafy veggie promotes healthy liver and gallbladder function because they are loaded with cynarin, which helps increase bile production (helping to get nasty stuff out of the body!), protects against indigestion, and stimulates healthy digestion. We can't think of a better way to enjoy this Spring vegetable than YumSugar's recipe for simply, steamed artichokes.
Keep reading to see what other Spring vegetable can help detox you this season.
These seasonal ingredients not only taste good, but they also have natural detoxing properties. Learn which Winter ingredients can help cleanse the body and how to incorporate them into your next meal.
My doctor always recommends beets for times my body feels heavy or weighed down. Their fiber increases the production of antioxidant enzymes in the liver, helping the body eliminate bile and other toxic substances. Sometimes simple is best, like this recipe for roasted beets.
Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and chicory are full of essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, but it's the chlorophyll levels that help the body detox and alkalize. To take in all the cleansing properties of leafy greens, it's best to enjoy them raw; try YumSugar's recipe for a shredded kale and brussels sprouts salad.
Keep reading to see what other Winter ingredient can help detox you this season.
Here's a fresh juice recipe that will help you shake off holiday indulgences and start clean. This recipe is made from an array of ingredients that have natural detoxing properties: watercress helps energize cleansing enzymes in the liver, and, like celery, it's a natural diuretic. Antioxidant-rich spinach boosts chlorophyll levels in the digestive tract, which helps the body get rid of environmental toxins. Lemon is a great source of vitamin C and helps alkalize the body. Spicy ginger aids digestion. And besides giving a boost of vitamins, apples add just enough natural sugar to mask the earthy taste of the greens. This juice is bound to become part of your daily ritual.
Get the green detox juice recipe after the break!
Feeling tired, bloated, and lethargic from the holidays? Many people think going on a cleanse in January is a good post-party solution for dropping unwanted pounds fast. But going on an elimination diet — where you remove certain foods, like anything with gluten, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol and focus on eating only fresh, whole foods — is more than about fitting into smaller jeans. While all-juice cleanses can be calorie restricting, a proper elimination diet ensures you eat enough of these nutritious foods to stay healthy (read more about what to expect on an elimination diet here). So if it's not about weight loss, why should you cleanse? Read on for reasons to try an elimination diet!
More than ever before, the people in my life are all about juice cleanses. From friends to colleagues — even family members — it seems like everyone I know is on a juice cleanse, has done a juice cleanse, or wants to try one. (This was especially true after the Thanksgiving holiday.) Their reasons range, but most often it either has to do with weight loss or wanting to detox after a long streak of overindulging.
I've never committed to a juice-only diet, but, in general, I am pretty fanatic about pressed juices and try to start each day with one. Still, I don't know that I would commit to a cleanse, especially since the evidence is out on whether or not juice cleanses are good for you.
Going on a juice cleanse, or drinking nothing but pressed juices extracted from fruits and vegetables, has been all the rage lately. The idea sounds like a good one — combat the effects of a wild night out or a life of indulgent eating with a few days or weeks of "detox" to rid your body of lurking toxins. Backed by celebrities and celebrity doctors alike, it's no wonder that drinking your diet has been gaining popularity. But is following a juice cleanse safe? Read on to learn more.
What's the Appeal?
Many of juicing's benefits are more anecdotal than scientifically based, but proponents of juicing are enthusiastic about it. Many claim that juicing vegetables and fruits allows you to absorb the nutrients easier than eating them since less digestive work is needed. Proponents also claim that following a juice-only diet can help your body detox, which may lead to more energy, clearer skin, and fewer digestive and other health issues. With high-profile juicing fans like Nicole Richie, Salma Hayek, and Gwyneth Paltrow and filmed testimonials like Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead — a documentary about a man's 60-day all-juice diet and his subsequent healthy transformation — the popularity of going on an all-juice diet has only grown.
Does It Work?
The lack of peer-reviewed studies on the effects of juicing has led to conflicting information about whether it's a do or don't. Most scientists, however, agree that going on a juice fast is unnecessary for ridding your body of toxins. Our liver and kidneys are already effective at eliminating any unneeded waste, so following a liquid-based diet won't help any more than normal.
Find out more about going on a juice fast after the break.
This post is from the OnSugar blog An Outside Eye. Read her thoughts on doing a three-month elimination diet.
I just finished up three straight months of a fascist eating program courtesy of my insightful and talented acupuncturist, Caylie See. As I wrote about in the beginning, I went cold turkey off coffee and tea, sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, vinegar, soy, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, among other things. I also took Chinese herbs three times a day for three months, swallowed a handful of acidophilus pills every morning, got needles stuck up in me weekly, did yoga regularly (yup), started hiking more, journaled every day, and just generally took immaculate and spectacular care of myself.
Now that I am wrapping up this program, people in my life are asking me how I feel. "You must feel amazing," they say.
The truth is, I don't feel that much more amazing than I did before — which was far from amazing. (What is the opposite of "amazing"?) My size six jeans still don't fit by a long shot; I still get a stomachache every single time I get anxious (which is always); yoga still feels like torture; I still can't walk straight up a hill without getting winded and really irritable. I still need 10 hours of sleep a night and feel like I have the flu if I don't get it. I still get nasty PMS and I still feel mildly congested and sinusy most of the time.
To find out what positive things came from the diet, read more
At the beginning of the New Year, I decided to try the Paleta Cleanse. As I read on the SF Foodie blog, January is the new Lent, and I was prepared to give up caffeine, alcohol, dairy, corn, soy, wheat, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. I wanted to see how I would feel and look living so vice-free.
Paleta delivered meals to my home, and the food was all very good. Lean cuts of meat with vinegary sauces, oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, and sliced mango with pumpkin seeds were just a few of the detox meals and snacks. The cleanse included a series of shakes fortified with vitamin, minerals, and amino acids. The shakes come in four flavors and were grainy though not really unpleasant tasting. Ultimately, I found that liquid diets are not for me, and I don't really recommend them for anyone even for short durations. I do think that eating cleanly increased my energy and my skin looked great a few days into the cleanse. Along with a predictable lesson or two, I learned a a few unexpected things.
- I like food. When I looked at the meal plan before starting the cleanse, I was concerned about the three days of just shakes. I have never thought just living on shakes was a good idea, and this experiment proved me right. After one day of eating only cold shakes on cold January days, I was tempted not by a plate of pasta, lemon meringue pie, or red wine, but unadulterated broccoli. I decided then and there to never feel bad about eating broccoli. I continued to follow the rules of the cleanse for the remaining six days, but I ate. I made Gwyneth's Goop soup, quinoa salads, and veggies galore. After not cooking for four days, I was excited to be back in the kitchen.
- Gluten is not my BFF. Gluten has gotten a bad rap, and living without it for 10 days taught me that some of its rep might just be deserved. I noticed that once I brought bread back into my life, I felt a little more lethargic after meals and downright sleepy in the afternoons. Oats beat toast for breakfast in my book.
I've never been a fan of cleansing. Drinking nothing but pumped-up lemonade for 10 days seems crazy, and the plethora of all-juice cleanses with their celebrity backing aren't appealing either. I like chewing my food; I also believe in the body's ability to cleanse itself. And despite any substantial medical evidence validating the benefits of cleansing, the market is saturated with detox programs. It's clear that people believe their bodies are loaded down with crap, and they want it out.
Even though I was a doubter, I decided to try one — maybe Gwyneth, Salma, and Demi knew something I didn't. Could I end up with more energy, glowing skin, and a cleaner colon? Maybe. After careful consideration, I settled on Dr. Frank Lipman's 14-day Remove program ($199). Dr. Lipman is an actual MD, and you eat solid food on his program — win! The idea behind the Remove diet is to get rid of foods that people commonly show sensitivity to with hopes of seeing how your own body is affected. What's left is a diet rich in unprocessed foods and a promise of more energy and mental clarity: "expect to feel like you just hit the restart button."
But did it work? Find out when you read more