It's a new year and lots of people are looking for a way to recover from holiday overindulging. Cleansing is popular, but is it good for you? Registered Dietitian Karin Hosenfeld of North Dallas Nutrition clears that up.
1: A better "juice" cleanse
The most popular cleanses are juice cleanses. This can do more harm than good for your body. Why? Juicing can remove vital nutrients like antioxidants and fiber. If you want to get healthy by increasing fruits and vegetables, great! But, do yourself a favor and follow these simple rules:
1) Choose smoothies instead. This leaves the produce intact
2) Add some protein to your smoothie for a metabolism boost
3) Don't follow this plan longer than 1 week
4) Don't follow this plan if you are on medications that require you avoid high levels of potassium
Kale Coconut Smoothie with Pineapple and Banana
· 1/2 cup coconut milk
· 2 cups stemmed and chopped kale or spinach
· 1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple (about 1/4 medium pineapple)
· 1 ripe banana, chopped
· 1 scoop protein powder
1. Combine the coconut milk, ½ cup water, the kale, pineapple, banana and protein powder in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute, adding small amounts of water to reach the desired consistency.
2: Fiber cleanse
A high fiber diet is one of the best ways to cleanse the body as it remains relatively intact as it travels through the body and removes waste easier. Adding fruits and vegetables is a great way to get in fiber as we mentioned, but the easiest way is to switch from white refined flour products to whole grains. We are looking for BROWN: whole wheat breads, brown rice, whole grain pasta, etc.
The recommendation for fiber is:
Men: around 40 grams per day
Women: around 25 grams per day
The following recipe provides 5 grams of fiber. That's 20 percent of your fiber for the day if you are a female!
Southwestern Bagel Thins Bagel
SERVINGS: Serves 2
· 2 bagel thins
· 1 teaspoon olive oil
· 1 tablespoon red onion finely chopped
· 2 tablespoons roasted red pepper finely chopped (jarred-packed in water)
· 2 large eggs, beaten
· 2 slices reduced fat pepper jack cheese
· 1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped
· 1/4 avocado sliced
· 2 tablespoons red or green salsa
Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add eggs and tilt skillet to distribute evenly. Cook for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle onion and pepper evenly over eggs. Cook for about 30-45 seconds or until eggs have set up. Place 2 slices of cheese in the upper half of the egg mixture on the right and left sides evenly spaced. Using a spatula fold the bottom half of the egg mixture over the top, covering up the cheese. Remove from heat. Toast 2 bagel thins bagels. Cut omelet in half and place 1 piece per bagel. Top egg with avocado, a tablespoon of salsa and a pinch of cilantro.
3: Water cleansing
This is last because it's the most important. Water should be included to your daily eating regimen no matter what. Here's what we might not think about when we forego that glass of water:
1) Water flushes out toxins from virtually every cell in your body.
2) Water is necessary for thousands of processes in your body- some we don't even know about yet.
3) Drinking water can help you lose weight by keeping your feeling full.
"Drink 8 glasses of water per day" is a myth!!
Simple recommendation: Drink HALF your body weight in ounces of water daily.
This means about 100 ounces for men and 75 ounces for women
If you aren't doing this (and most people aren't!) then you can save your money on expensive cleanses and grab a glass of water instead.
Water flavorings: Mio, Crystal Light Natural, True Lemon/True Lime
Carbonated water (no calories, no sweeteners): La Croix variety of flavored water in cans.
Bonus: Keep in mind that if you indulged too much at your New Year's Party last night, you should be flushing out your liver with plenty of water today. Make it your #1 New Year's resolution.