3-Day Post Holiday Plan to Battle the Bulge
The food festivities of Christmas and Hanukkah are passed, and for those living in China, get ready for the second hump of holiday food haven with the upcoming Chinese New Year. Few of us escape the over-consumption of alcohol and rich foods, which often are accompanied with bloat, weight gain and guilt. This annual routine usually follows the die-hard resolution to start afresh and eat clean for the rest of the year!
However, deprivation, denial and discipline only last so long. I find the “do not eat” list long, restrictive and no fun. Instead, empower yourself by adding these two easy-to-prepare survival recipes to your regimen and you may find your waistline, overall health, and controlled appetite making others green with envy. What’s a secret? Increase dark greens in the diet.
Why are dark greens so helpful in the battle of the bulge? First, leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens and spinach are abundant in minerals—not to mention light in calories. The nutritional bang with each green bite helps stop bad food cravings as the body’s mineral demands are met. Second, leafy greens help detoxify the damage and toxic buildup from over processed foods and chemicals, whether from food, water or air. Third, all those greens work to digest those holiday goodies and control sugar levels.
Follow these two green recipes. Both recipes can be used to (1) consume along with a meal, (2) drink as a snack in between meals, or (3) replace an entire meal whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. With all those heavy holiday meals one can afford—and even benefit from—replacing a meal with a green juice or green smoothie.
Basic Green Juice
1 big bunch of kale, spinach or romaine
2-3 green apples
Directions: Using a juice machine, juice all ingredients and drink immediately.
Basic Green Smoothie
1 bunch of kale, spinach or romaine
1 cup water
2 cups ice cubes (optional)
Directions: Using a blender, blend all the ingredients until smoothie and adding the ice cubes last. If you are new to green smoothies, start by adding more fruit until you are accustomed to the slight bitterness of the dark greens. You may soon find that fruit smoothies are way too sweet.
We were created to naturally remove waste through the bowels, sweat glands and skin. This process is known as detoxification. Due to the modern diet of too much refined, cooked, and additive-filled foods, the burden placed on the body’s system is heavier than it was created to handle. The solution lies in detoxifying the body. Follow these steps.
Day One: Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of living water, which helps flush toxins out. Once food is cooked, vitamins are either greatly reduced or destroyed. Tip: Start the morning out with a fruit or vegetable smoothie, transition to a salad for lunch, and then go light on dinner with another smoothie.
Day Two: Focus on Fasting. Fasting has been practiced throughout history in most cultures. A fast cleanses the body on a deeper level than just by eating raw produce alone. Consult your physician if you are contemplating a long-term fast. Tip: Drink a lot of liquids. While some do a water fast, many drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies. I have a recipe for a “Lemon Ginger Detox” beverage below. If you decide to eat during your fast, stick to fresh fruits or vegetables.
Day Three: Focus on Breaking a Fast. Starting a fast is a lot easier than ending a fast, and resurfacing from a fast is just as important as the fast itself. Tip: A good way to break a fast is to consume whole foods. Keep consuming plenty of liquids. Introduce cooked foods back in your diet by selecting steamed or boiled vegetables or grains.
Remember, detoxing and fasting are no diet plans. Quick-fix diets often involve consuming empty-calorie foods pumped with caffeine, chemicals, refined sweeteners and artificial flavors. In contrast, fasting is a lifestyle habit of cleansing the body and breaking oneself away from unhealthy food cravings or habits, and the foods consumed are nutrient-dense and vitamin-packed.
Lemon Ginger Detox
4 cups warm or hot water
¼ cup lemon juice
2 slices of ginger
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Directions: With all ingredients in a glass jar, pour warm or hot water and stir. Serves 2 to 4