With a New Year comes lots of Resolutions pertaining to losing weight, going on a diet, dropping some weight. The covers of the magazines in the check out lines are full of lose weight headlines. Many of the articles spotlight doing a detox or cleanse to help meet those goals. I’ve recently had a couple of questions regarding cleanses and my opinions. Since losing weight and starting off the new year on a healthier foot is likely on a lot of folks’ agendas, I thought I’d look at what a cleanse is and what it is not.
Talk of cleanses has run ramput recently. Lots of talk from celebrities about cleansing, liquid diets and juicing. Folks look at cleanses in lots of different ways. I do not advocate following an all liquid type of cleansing diet. For some of the reasons I addressed in Do You Detox and Why I Don’t, I think a cleansing diet should be getting rid of the junk food, sweet treats, added sugar, fake sugars, processed foods and alcohol from your diet. Focusing on eating nutritious, whole, clean foods is a safe way to nourish your body while lightening up your diet. A cleanse should not be a diet to lose weight. I safe and natural way to cleanse your body is with food! Yes, I said food. Of course, not the foods you have likely been eating and drinking! Taking all of the non-nutritious foods from your diet and replacing them with wholesome, clean foods will get you back on a healthy track, which will then allow weight loss without leaving you headachy, lethargic, grumpy and hungry.
Thinking that one needs to enter a strict, liquid cleanse to remove toxins from the body is a myth. Our bodies are wonderfully made and know on their own how to flush unnatural toxins. Our kidneys, liver and bowels know just what to do without a crazy, drastic calorie cut and liquid only cleanse.
A good, nutritious, food cleanse is a great way to jump start a healthy way of eating. Eating clean for 4-7 days will give a real foundation for eating good foods and getting you in tune to your body, its hunger signs, energy levels and rest needs. There are wonderful cleansing foods that will naturally help reduce your calorie intake and help your body get rid of impurities to help your liver remain healthy. Getting a jump start with a food cleanse will not completely shock your body into holding onto calories and gaining even more weight back when normal eating is resumed.
I am a participant in The Nutrition School by Kerri Glassman, a registered dietician and well-known nutritionist. Last night I reviewed a webinar as part of the curriculum. It was perfect timing because the topic was Cleansing Foods. Here are some wonderful cleansing foods that you can use during your food cleanse:
Artichokes – they contain a plant compound that increases flow of bile. They are full of fiber, take a long time to eat so they are eaten slow and mindfully.
Avocados (my personal favorite!) – are a source of glutathione, a compound that blocks absorption of certain fats and is liver cleansing. They are a healthy fat that leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Broccoli – supports detoxification enzymes in the liver and helps rid the body of carcinogens and free radicals.
Crucifers – Other veggies that are cleansing and full of fiber are cabbage, cauliflower, busssel sprouts and kale.
Celery – has a high water content to add hydration to the body and is an antioxidant to help eliminate free radicals.
Cinnamon – can control blood sugar, destroy fungal infections, help with indigestion, help with urinary tract infections, also helps curb fatigue.
Eggs – full of protein to make you feel full, and a source of choline which is essential to brain function.
Lemons – help the liver detoxify and aid in digestion.
Lentils – full of fiber, B vitamins, iron and zinc. They boost metabolism with lean protein.
Green Tea – is rich in antioxidants called catechins which may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn more calories.
Onions and Garlic – rich in sulfur containing coonhounds that help toxins be cleared from the body.
Oregano – is said to be the most antioxidant-dense spice you can buy. It contains a substance that helps reduce inflammation.
Vinegar – is completely calorie free, but has components that aid in digestions and improves the absorption of other essential nutrients.
Salmon – a fish full of healthy fats, calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Organic and pasture-raised chicken – a lean protein with no pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and hormones.
Wheat grass – helps purify the liver and can enhance the breakdown of fatty acids and full of substances that act as antioxidants.
Water – of course! Lots and lots of water to keep you hydrated and keep your body flushing.
If you base your food cleanse on these natural, wholesome foods, then you have a great way to jumpstart a healthy eating habit. You will feel less bloated, see a few pounds lost and feel energized. If you are looking for a good and healthy way to get back on track after the holidays or to begin the new year, a good food cleanse built around these foods will help give you that jump start. So, if you are being lured into trying a liquid only cleanse please try a food cleanse instead. You won’t make your metabolism go crazy, you won’t yell at your family, you WILL feel great and you WILL have a healthy jump start to eating healthy.
Have you tried a food cleanse? Liquid cleanse? Are you looking to jump start your on healthy habits this year? Do you have weight related resolutions?
Enjoy Your Day!