thebettyrocker.comDo You Ever Overindulge In Sugar, Alcohol Or Junk?
I know I do – holidays and weekends being a fine example – it happens, and I would argue those occasional indulgences are an important part of living a healthy, balanced life.
If you are focusing primarily on healthy, whole food eating, those occurrences won’t derail you from your goals.
They can leave you feeling a bit depleted though, and in those cases I personally spend a day including very specific detoxifying foods to get my body back on track.
Here is my simple formula for a one-day detox –
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I’ve added some reference links to other articles I’ve written that you can click to get more information – and they will open in a new window so you can keep reading this.
Step 1: Ginger, Lemon, ACV Tea all Day
Citrus fruits, lemon especially, are well known for their ability to flush toxins from your body, as well as their numerous antioxidant benefits. Ginger is a great detox food that stimulates your digestive tract, speeding up digestion.
ACV – or Apple Cider Vinegar – is naturally detoxifying and contains malic acid, which gives it anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
- Boil a large pot of hot water. Pour into a thermos or fill a large mug.
- Cut up a lemon and remove the seeds.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the hot water, and throw in the rinds (only if you have organic lemons – and be sure you’ve washed them).
- Remove the skin from a chunk of ginger root (about 1/2 inch to an inch depending on how much you’re making), or scrub it well. Grate or chop it into the hot water. With organic ginger I often leave the skin on, but it’s personal preference.
- Add 3-4 Tablespoons ACV. 1 T per cup of liquid is a good rule of thumb.
- Put this into a thermos and drink it throughout the day.
Step 2: First meal of the day: Include Garlic and Greens
Focus your first meal of the day on 2 foods that are well known detoxifiers: greens and garlic.
- Dark leafy greens have an abundance of phytonutrients and their fiber speeds up digestion.
- Garlic contains a highly beneficial compound called allicin, which has potent antiviral, antibacterial and anti cancer properties.
- I like to lightly sauté some swiss chard, kale or dandelion greens and garlic with a little olive oil, and have it with a couple egg whites.
Step 3: Detox Green Smoothies
For detox purposes, I specifically go super simple with what I put into the green smoothie, only including organic fruits and veggies, and super detoxifying greens like dandelion greens (kale is a good alternative too), just water, and no protein powder or seeds.
You could make one or two green smoothies on a detox day.
Detox Green Smoothie Recipe 1
2-3 cups dandelion greens and/or kale
1 cup water (more as needed – and coconut water is wonderful to use here as well)
1 chunk fresh ginger
Detox Green Smoothie Recipe 2
1 red grapefruit (peeled)
1 banana (peeled)
2-3 cups dandelion greens or kale
1 cup water (more as needed – and try coconut water also if you like)
Simple, easy and maybe a little spicy (especially if you use dandelion greens)! They will make a good-sized amount, just drink it all.
If you’re looking for more Green Smoothie recipes, visit this page.
Step 4: The rest of your meals
Focus the rest of your meals on simple, clean carbs like quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, yams or sweet potatoes, and simply prepared (broiled, steamed or baked) lean protein like organic, free-range chicken or turkey breast, or wild-caught fish.
Top your protein with a simple medley of fresh herbs like basil, and garlic with just a little oil – a very light pesto like this will add flavor and the wonderful antibacterial benefits of the fresh basil.
Step 5: Beverages
The only beverages you should include on your detox day are the ginger-lemon tea, and lots of water.
Enjoy your espresso or cappuccino even more tomorrow when you’ve gone without it for a day!
That’s it, simple and easy – don’t beat yourself up for enjoying special occasions – just get back to your daily plan and give your body a little extra support with these easy to follow steps.
Your Follow-Up Plan
Supporting yourself with a plan that allows for occasional indulgences and special treats plus includes variety, all the nutrients you need to be active and keep your body fat to a level you’re happy about is super important!
I posted the picture to the right here on my Instagram recently (it’s an egg sandwich on Ezekial sprouted grain bread with avocado, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and a little grass-fed butter) and one of the comments was “I’d love to eat that, but doesn’t that contain like 600 calories?”
Counting calories is very restrictive…and often causes us to CRAVE junk food and binge on sugar.
It puts our focus on the wrong part of eating. We miss the pure human pleasure of eating and the joy of cooking when we’re constantly tracking calories. I’ll be the first to tell you that understanding calories and the nutrients as components of our food is an important part of learning about the body. But don’t let a restrictive diet where you’re tracking your meals all day catch you limiting your food intake, and avoiding nutrient-dense whole foods because they have “too many calories.”
A Detox Should Be Followed Up With Whole Food Eating.
A lot of the cleanses I see on the market are a ploy to sell supplements to people who haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to eat nutrient-dense and balanced meals.
How do you regulate your portions when you’re not measuring them by how many calories they have?
Your body knows it’s full by 2 important measures: volume or nutrient density.
That means your feelings of satiety (fullness) will be triggered when the nutrients you need have been taken in, OR when there is so much food in your stomach that it can’t take anymore.
Ever notice how you can eat Oreos (or chips or some other kind of snack) until your stomach hurts, and you just can’t stop eating them? That’s because they don’t contain much nutrient density – so your body has to get full by volume before it tells you to stop eating. This explains the reason a small plate composed of sweet potatoes with a little butter and cinnamon, 4-6 oz of roasted rosemary chicken and sauteed asparagus and garlic is going to fill you up by nutrient density more quickly than an entire bucket of KFC.
So if you KNOW what nutrients to put in your body, it becomes more of an enterprise of abundance and creativity – for example, I am just constantly coming up with fun easy recipes, meals and even desserts that include healthy protein, healthy fats, complex carbs and yummy ways to eat greens (think smoothies) so I can fill my body with nutrients as efficiently as possible – and really enjoy the process of eating too!
What happens when you do this is your body regulates your fat storage, eliminating excess and gives you steady, long-lasting energy to fuel your workouts.
This kind of nutrient-based eating supports the production of the lean, sleek muscle that you want to carry – it will not bulk you up, it will simply define and sculpt the shape of your body, and burn more calories at rest than fat.
You can find many, many examples of meals I put together to create and maintain my physique and feel my absolute best on this blog – that have helped me and thousands of other readers, and I encourage you to browse through these pages to find some ideas.
If you want a more structured approach to putting this together with meal plans and daily menus, grocery lists and recipes to use, I suggest reading the Body Fuel System and using the 30 day meal plan it includes as a template to learning this stuff and making it a lifestyle.
For those of you who are tired of constantly eliminating food, worrying about how much you’re supposed to eat and wondering why you’re not seeing your waistline shrink this is the most important information I can give you.