As we spend the last day of 2013, I bet many people are pondering about the changes they will make in 2014, and they will surely include some sort of health goal. For some, it can be easy to wake up tomorrow and start off on the right foot. But for others, it can be daunting to take that big leap.
Although one of the big reasons the Core Diet is so successful (besides the fact that we focus on real, nutrient dense foods) is that it is realistic. We allow “windows” for those foods that are not on the top of the “eat this” list, as well as a non-Core meal every once in a while (determined by your RD). However, some individuals can go a bit overboard during the holidays!
If you feel you fall into this category, or want to jump-start your 2014 journey to clean living and eating, follow these guidelines for 3-7 days to help detox or re-fresh your mind and body.
What does the word “detox” even mean?
Definition: The process, (real or perceived), of removing toxins from the body.
What are “toxins”?
There are two basic forms of toxins, external and internal toxins. External toxins are those that we are exposed to on a daily basis. They are created outside of the body and then absorbed into your system. Polluted air and water, car exhausts and chemicals in household products including cosmetics are included. Internal toxins consist of waste products created by normal metabolic processes within the body but most are byproducts of the air we breathe and the food we eat.
3-7 Day “Detox”:
Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day + 10-20%. For example, a 150 pound person needs 75 oz + 10-20% (7.5 - 15 oz) = 82 - 90 oz every day. If you are exercising at all, don’t forget to drink a little extra! You need to replace what you sweat out during those workouts. Track yourself each day – most people overestimate how much water they drink. Check out thesetop 10 cool and “green” water bottles from Real Simple. Add
cucumber, mint and lemo to your water for an added hydration, detox and taste!
Eliminate all other liquids such as coffee, soda (including diet!), juice, milk and energy drinks. Nothing with sugar, agave and stevia, or any dairy or even nut milks. The only exception would be in the next bullet below.
If you own a juicer at home,start your day with a real “juice”. This is not the pre-package or store-bought kind. The only rule I have is to make it green-based. Use a dark leafy green such as kale, and add a vegetable like beets. Try to skip the fruit, except a few slices of apple or orange to cut the “bitterness” of the greens if desired. If you do not have a juicer at home, your local gym or health food store might offer this. Only have one juice per day max.
Fruits & Vegetables
Eat a MINIMUM of 2-3 servings of fruit and 4 servings of vegetables each day. Think of a serving as about ½ cup (fruit and cooked veggies) and about 1 cup for leafy greens (non-cooked). Eat your veggies raw throughout the day such as a salad for dinner, or a mix of veggies dipped in ¼ cup of hummus as a mid-afternoon snack. Save those that need cooking for dinner. Try lightly steaming rather than sautéing to keep all those phytonutrients IN the vegetables. Try to choose different fruits and vegetables from all color groups daily. It’s the best multivitamin on the market! Use all sorts of herbs and spices too. Here is aGuide For Fresh Herbs from the Food Network.
Keep your animal protein intake to a minimum during this time period. Keep it to no more than 2 servings of about 4 oz each day. The average individual tends to overeat protein on a daily basis, especially during the holiday season. Have some protein at breakfast such as 2-3 eggs, and choose vegetable proteins with your lunch such as beans and legumes on a big salad. For dinner choose a fish such as 4 oz wild Atlantic salmon.
Eliminate ALL processed foods, refined sugars and most everything comes pre-packaged. This included items like salad dressings, sports bars, frozen entrees, cereal etc… no matter how “healthy” they claim to be. This also includes anyCore Diet Approved items. You can make your own salad dressing from scratch though. Try one of thesemouth watering salad dressings.
Say no to ALL pasta, breads, cereals, rice, and potatoes! (Even gluten free ones!) If you are following the Core Diet, your intake of these items are already minimized, but be sure to exclude all grains for windows as well. If you are training during these 3 days fuel your training by using sweet potatoes or dates.
The primary goal is to get your nutrients from food first. However, it can be challenging at times and there is one supplement I recommend to most of my clients = omega 3 fatty acids. They are necessary for human health because they play a fundamental role in several physiological functions, but the body is unable to manufacture them on its own. The two most important Omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). When buying a supplement, make sure the omega-3 that is advertised on the label is mostly coming from these 2 sources (at least 60%), comes from cold water fish and has no sweeteners, dairy/soy or artificial ingredients.
Now get going!