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.
- 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!
No matter what the day, Twilight actress Nikki Reed makes sure she stays active. "I try to stay fit and healthy and do things that I think will improve the functionality of my body," she told me at a recent Adidas Energy Boost event. That means doing something active every day, whether it be running, hiking with her dogs, kickboxing, Pilates, or yoga. "I do everything you possibly can," Nikki says.
So how does the actress stay energized for her workout routine? She makes sure to eat a snack like toast and nut butter before exercise, "I feel really drained if I don't eat before [a workout]." Besides food, Nikki also energizes with what she calls a booster shot: a version of the following recipe, which includes detox powerhouses lemon juice, cranberry juice, and apple cider vinegar. It came to her from healthy foods takeout service My Fit Foods.
- Prevent kidney stones: Drinking one half-cup of lemon juice every day raises citrate levels in the urine. Studies have shown that this could protect against calcium stones in the kidney.
- Soothe a sore throat: Mixing lemon juice with honey can help alleviate the discomfort that comes from a nasty sore throat.
- Support weight loss: Beyond the old notion that the Master Cleanse was the only way lemons could help you lose weight, new studies have shown the ways lemon juice supports your goals. Lemon juice contains pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to aid in weight-loss struggles.
- Start your day right: Leave caffeinated drinks behind, and start your day off with hot water and fresh lemon juice to stimulate your digestive track and add vitamin C.
- Stop an itch: When it comes to poison ivy or insect bites, the combination of lemon juice and cornstarch can help relieve some of the sting.
Keep reading for five more ways lemon juice is super.
Sometimes nights out lead to mornings filled with dietary regret. If that's the case, then you'll want to help undo the bad with a healthful breakfast made with detoxifying foods. With chilly mornings a near certainty for the next few months, a breakfast that warms you while helping you get off to a good start is in order, so here's a warming detox breakfast to make the next time you feel bloated and blah from the night before.
Oatmeal with fresh fruit: Whole grains help regulate your digestive tract, a major key in a detoxifying diet. Choose a bowl of natural, plain oatmeal — not the prepackaged sugary kind — and add slices of apple or another fruit. Fresh fruit contains high levels of antioxidants and fiber, which help flush toxins from your body. Get more healthful oatmeal recipes here.
Green tea with lemon: Green tea contains high levels of catechins, which speed up liver activity and promote the production of detoxifying enzymes. Add a squeeze of lemon for an alkalizing kick.
Ginger green juice: Need extra detoxifying help? Whip up this spicy green juice; while it's served cold, the addition of ginger to the simple recipe warms your body, and the lemon, ginger, and parsley in the juice all help your body detox. Make this in the morning, and take it along with you to work in a mason jar for a midmorning pick-me-up.
See the recipe after the break
After a long night out of fun, food, cocktails, or all of the above, you can wake up feeling like a giant marshmallow. Although eating or drinking anything else might be the last thing on your mind, certain foods or liquid can cut your symptoms in half. Try one of these items for breakfast the next time you wake up feeling bloated, and see how quickly they shrink you back to normal.
Drink the right fluids: Why not hydrate and de-bloat at the same time? Pineapple juice and peppermint tea are tasty liquids known to help reduce inflammation, as well as coconut water and chia seeds. Try this chia seed drink first thing in the morning to begin the de-puff process instantly. You can incorporate this one on a daily basis to feel more energized in the mornings.
Add fruit to your menu: Papaya is one fruit that helps to move the digestion process along. Slice some as a side to your breakfast or make it the main attraction with this papaya doughnut recipe. These doughnuts have the look you may be craving without risking the possible constipation that comes from the real thing.
Throw water-soluble veggies in: It's no secret that hydration can counteract the effects of a sodium binge or long night out. Throw some fluid happy veggies like tomato or zucchini into your meal to get the ball rolling. This veggie frittata contains asparagus, which eases gas and flushes waste from your system.
Eat foods known to de-bloat: Instead of reaching for that easy bowl of cereal, opt for a de-bloating star like yogurt or quinoa, which can double as your oatmeal. You can even add them together with a breakfast quinoa parfait recipe. By making your main meal one that can shrink the puffiness, you'll be able to feel lighter by lunch time.
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!
Whether it was a string of holiday parties or just too much of a good thing, sometimes the body needs a break. Banish feelings of bloat, fatigue, and constipation with these 24 healthy recipes. The main ingredient in each dish is known for having detox properties that help the body's digestive system do its job even better. In no time at all, you'll be feeling lighter and more energized!