When you hear the word, “detox,” what are the first things to come to your mind? Juice cleanses? Strict diets composed purely of vegetables? Hunger and restrictive eating? A quick way to lose weight?
So called detox diets and cleanses are undoubtedly popular, as more and more people look for ways to look and feel their best. New over-the-counter supplements and online diet plans are popping up every day, but the truth is that there is little evidence to support their effectiveness.
We know that food has the power to make or break our health, and that our bodies have a natural detoxification process that is quite effective. We know that a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables – one that limits highly processed junk food – can dramatically affect how we think and feel, as well as how we look. And we know that changing habits for the long haul is key to long term health.
In honor of the end of winter and the coming of spring in just a few weeks, were sharing with you our three week, three easy step “detox” plan. This week, we’re focusing on the idea of resetting, or clearing your diet of things that don’t serve you.
Spring Clean Your Diet with Amie Valpone Part 1: The Reset
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word “detox” means:
A process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.
Detoxing doesn’t necessarily mean consuming foods to remove the body of toxins, it can also mean choosing to not consume certain foods or substances. In other words, you can “detox” by removing unhealthy foods that don’t serve you.
To celebrate the launch of her new book Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation and Reset Your Body, we asked up with our friend Amie Valpone, creator of theHealthyApple.com, to provide us with some of her favorite, easy tips to detox not just your diet, but your lifestyle as well. Here’s what she had to say:
The first step is always to start small. Completely changing what you eat and your lifestyle might work for some people, but for others it’s a recipe for burn out. Choose instead to start incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, start your day with a glass of probiotic kefir, or remove one or two take-out meals during the week.
Take Stock and Restock
The best way to make sure you don’t chow down on that bag of chips when hunger strikes is by not having that bag of chips in the first place. Go through your fridge, pantry and freezer and make a note of your trigger foods. If you can, toss them, and replace them with healthy treats you and your family will love. Try Lifeway Frozen Kefir Bars and Pints instead of ice cream, Protein Kefir for when afternoon hunger strikes.
Drink More Water
The easiest tip ever. People too often confuse hunger with thirst. Start by drinking a glass of water as soon as you get up, and by committing to finishing a glass of water with lunch and dinner.
Take a Walk or Sweat It Out
Exercise, like eating good food, helps you look and feel great, but don’t try to go from a couch potato to a marathon runner in a month. Start by taking a short walk after meals with your family, or taking an exercise class with your friends. Find something you like and you’ll be far more likely to stick with it.
Learn to Cook
Cooking your own meals is the easiest way to not only be aware and in control of what you eat, but to save money, too. If you’ve been in the habit of choosing take-out or frozen dinners for the past for years, or are unable to locate your pots and pans, fear not! You can find tons of easy, healthy recipes here and here. In fact, we think you’ll love this Magical Arugula, Peach and Farmer Cheese Salad, adapted from my new book Eating Clean!
Magical Arugula, Peach and Farmer Cheese Salad
It’s a dish that provides a big payoff for very little effort. It takes about five minutes to throw this salad together, and the combination of peppers, peaches, and arugula is simply beautiful. Serve it in a wide bowl to show off its good looks
- 10 cups arugula
- ½ cup Lifeway Farmer Cheese
- 5 medium ripe peaches, pitted and diced
- 2 yellow or orange bell peppers, diced
- 1⁄3 cup finely chopped raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine the arugula, peaches, bell peppers, and walnuts.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the arugula mixture, toss, top with dollops of Farmer Cheese and serve.
SERVES 6 T O 8
Let us know what you think and be sure to check back next week for part two of the series!
Meet Amie Valpone
Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP, author of the new book Eating Clean, is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple Gluten-free, ‘clean’ recipes for the home cook. A long-time Lifeway Kefir fan, she has continuing education certifications from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University as well as the Drugless Practitioners of America. Learn more about her by visiting TheHealthyApple.com
A brief disclaimer: we’re not doctors and we don’t know you personally. These tips, suggestions and ideas are what work for us, but you know yourself best. Be sure to speak with a medical professional or nutrition expert who knows your history before undertaking a new eating plan.