Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Detox, Cleanse, or Clean Eating?

I've been hearing a lot about cleanses and detoxes lately.  So, what exactly is a detox or a cleanse and should I be doing this?  Due to the antics of my 17 month old twin boys, I feel exhausted most of the time.  I am starting to feel that my skin looks sallow, old, and tired.  I want more energy to keep up with my 2 little monkeys, want my skin to be glowing, and just want to feel better all around.  

So...is a cleanse or detox for me?  There are so many different options available.  I have researched several and have come up with my own way of cleansing or detoxing.  I have decided that for my lifestyle a clean eating plan is the best way to go.  I am choosing not to drink only juice or to not eat at all because it wrecks your metabolism which leads to weight gain in the end.  Also, I want to avoid paying the exorbitant prices for these "so called" cleanses or detoxes.  I also need a certain amount of calories and food just to be able to keep up with my boys.  So having said that, here is what I have found works best for me.  

Let me just say (and you may not agree with me and that's ok) all you need to "detox", "cleanse", or lose a few lbs can be found naturally (at the grocery store, produce stands, farmers market or from your own garden).  I don't buy into all these gimmick programs.  Plus, do you really know how safe these shakes, juices, and pills are?  Starvation or leaving key nutrients out of your diet could cause other problems.  Your body requires certain carbs, fats, protein, sugars, and vitamins.  God provided us with all we need by giving us fruits, veggies, grains, and meats.  It's what you do with these that makes the difference!  Here are some ways I've found to be healthier. I try to incorporate most of these, if not all, into my diet daily.  Of course sticking to it is the hard part.  I will be the first to admit that I know how to eat clean, but it is hard to stay on track all the time with 2 little ones.  When I get run down, it's easy to grab fast food or foods that aren't as healthy.  Plus it takes time to shop and prepare. Sometimes those kiddos throw you for a loop and you have to grab whatever is there and easy just to survive.  When I do stick to my clean eating diet, I feel so much better and feel like I look better too. 

Here are a few things I eat and drink that help keep me eating clean and feeling good.

No matter what, I start my day by filling up my Tervis Tumbler with water and  freshly squeezed lemon.  I LOVE water!  Do I even need to mention how good water is for you?  I am never without my Tervis Tumbler of lemon water.  I can't keep count of how many times I refill it during the day.  I seriously can't go more than a few minutes without having a sip.  I am lost without it!  

Lemon is my favorite fruit to add to my water.  Of course you can infuse water with any kind of fruit you want, but I love the taste of lemon and it has a cleansing effect on the body.  It also helps give your metabolism a little boost and clears the skin.

Cayenne Pepper
If I want to add an extra kick to my water, add a little more cleansing power, and give my metabolism a boost, I add a dash of cayenne pepper.  I know it sounds crazy, but I love my "spicy lemon water".  Try it!

 Organic brown eggs
I honestly don't know if it makes a difference whether or not you buy organic, brown, or white eggs, but I love Whole Foods brown eggs.  I am not much of a breakfast eater, but it's so important to get a good protein filled breakfast.  I usually use 3 eggs (3 whites and half a yolk).  I either scramble them with a splash of milk or make a spinach and low fat ham omelet.

Next on my breakfast menu is grapefruit.  I used to not like grapefruit but can't live without them now.  They are so good for you!  Belly fat burning properties, great vitamin C source, and the list goes on and on.  I try to have one every morning if possible.  Add a little sweetener and you're good to go.  
Agave nectar is amazing on them! 

Agave Nectar
My new sweetener of choice.  I have been trying to cut back on my Equal and Splenda intake.  I  have been known to use 3-4 Splenda packets in my tea, so not good.  I have recently discovered agave nectar which is so yummy and not as bad for you as pure sugar and all that chemical crap.  It is very sweet, so you don't need much which saves calories.  Side note: It is amazing in a margarita, which is a post for another time.

I have always been a fan of oatmeal.  This is my go to breakfast of choice.  If I don't have time to scramble some eggs, I quickly heat up some oatmeal.  My favorite way to eat it is to add a little sweetener, cinnamon and milk.  A great way to get a serving of fruit is to add some blueberries which is a great source of antioxidants.  I don't get too creative with my oatmeal, but there are so many healthy add-ins you can use.

Strawberries and Blueberries
Hello antioxidants!  I am personally not a huge fan of blueberries, but I know they are so good for you.  Since it is strawberry season, my favorite time of year, I have been adding some blueberries in with my strawberries and they taste great!  Another option is to throw them into a salad or smoothie.  Strawberries are my favorite fruit, and I wait all year for the fresh picked local berries.  They make a great healthy dessert.  What a great alternative to all the sugary crap I love so much.

Oh prunes.  What would I do without you?  I have been eating these for years.  My boys now love them too.  We start our day with a couple of prunes. Such a great way to get potassium, fiber, and keep things on track.  Warning: don't eat the whole bag! ;)


 Vitamin B-12
I need energy to get through my day...A LOT of energy!  Besides my morning cup of joe and the amount of caffeine in the occasional cup of oolong tea I drink, I don't get a whole lot of caffeine in my diet.  B-12 gives me the extra kick of energy I need to get through my day.  

  Zesty Lemongrass Oolong Tea
I have currently discovered the wonderful world of tea.  I've always loved iced tea and the occasional cup of hot tea, but I had no idea how many different types and varieties of tea there are.  The benefits of certain types of tea are endless. One of my current favorites is oolong.  Oolong specifically helps burn fat, increases metabolism, aids in lowering cholesterol, and supposedly suppresses appetite.  My seasonal favorite flavor is zesty lemongrass.  There is a small amount of caffeine, so I like to drink this early afternoon for a little pick me up.

 Green Tea
My go to tea is always green.  Most types don't have a lot of caffeine, if any, so I can drink it anytime of day.  Green tea is so good for you because it's high in antioxidants, has cancer fighting properties, improves mental alertness, helps remove toxins, and aids in regulating blood sugars.  I love Tazo's Zen because it has a minty flavor and isn't too pungent.  So refreshing!

Probiotic Drinks
A new trend that has emerged is Kombucha or probiotic drinks.  I have to admit, I have jumped on board.  They have live probiotics in them, which are the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut. You need to have a good supply of these bacteria in the digestive tract in order to maintain intestinal health.  Probiotics also support immune and digestive health.  It helps cleanse in other words.  I drink one every so often just to keep things running smoothly.   

Kashi Bars
I could not live without these!  I eat one just about every day.  The dark mocha almond is my favorite flavor.  These are the perfect snack with 140 calories, 3.5 fat grams, 6 protein grams, and only 6 grams of sugar. 

Another great snack is hummus.  It contains plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids, has iron, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, folic acid, and amino acids.  Of course it goes great with pita chips or bread but just make sure you don't eat a pound of pita with it (note to self).  
Other healthy options are to add hummus to veggies like carrots and celery. 

This really is the perfect snack.  It's so easy to make if you happen to be at home and have a few minutes to boil it.  Another great snack option for the kiddos.  My boys love it!  For 1/2 cup of shelled edamame, there are 120 calories , 9 grams of fiber (what?!!), 2.5 grams of fat, and11 grams of protein (insane!).  Add a dash of salt, soy, or for a different twist, a dusting of Parmesan cheese and you have a wonderfully healthy snack option.

This is a great way to get good fat into your diet.  It is mostly monounsaturated fat which is a healthy fat.  Avocados are considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet because of all the essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Avocados also contain fiber, protein, and several beneficial phytochemicals which may protect against various disease and illness.  I like to slice them and add to a salad or turkey sandwich.  Of course my fave way to eat avocado is in guacamole!  Yum! 

Another super food is spinach.  We all know Popeye told us to eat our spinach, but there was definitely a reason for that.  A single cup full of spinach will give you adequate amounts of vitamin A and vitamin K. It will also give you lots of folate and manganese in addition to magnesium.  Spinach also has a lot of antioxidants.  So load up!  I use fresh spinach to make salads, saute with some vinegar, or throw some in the juicer with some banana or pineapple for a green super juice.


 Romaine Lettuce
I can't have a salad without romaine.  This is my go to lettuce.  My favorite is to mix spinach and romaine for my salad greens.  Add some protein, veggies, and a light vinaigrette or just lemon juice and you have a healthy salad ready to go. 

Fresh Fish
Sushi is my favorite way of getting my Omega-3s.  Of course you have to be careful to avoid the fried or tempura rolls.  There's also nothing like a good piece of fresh, grilled fish.  Pair that with some asparagus and add a fresh salad if you want.  One of the healthiest meals you can eat.

And the best part...
Let's be honest though. Everyone needs a cheat meal or even a whole day. Indulging in some of your favorite foods will help keep you on track, and you have something to look forward to every week. A meal or even a whole day won't wreck your progress. In fact it may even help shock your system and metabolism.

And finally...
Never underestimate the cleansing power of a good sweat!! 

1 comment :

  1. This may surprise you but instead of going through all the trouble and discomfort of getting a colonic to clean you out just get a Hand Held Bidet Sprayer. That's right, because not only does it provide superior hygiene but you can use it to shoot a blast of water up the pipes to really get cleaned it out. Fast and convenient and so refreshing, it really feels great! See www.bathroomsprayers.com.