Often times, a new year brings a desire to detox from all our holiday indulgences and drop some unwanted pounds. But we all know that lofty New Year’s resolutions rarely adhere to the long term. So, what’s the key to starting the year off on a healthy foot in 2020? Read on to learn some tips!
- Avoid extreme diets and detoxing. Not only are these unrealistic to stick to long term, but crash diets and detoxes can do more harm than good. The majority of any quick weight loss diet will be water weight. And if you consume too little calories for too long, you actually can slow your metabolism, cause muscle breakdown, fat storage, and possible rebound over-eating.
- Nourish to help your body detox daily as it is made to do. A “detox diet” is kind of a misnomer, because food cannot detox you or “flush your system.” It’s your liver, kidneys, colon, skin, and other organs in your body doing the detoxing— not the food itself. So the key is to provide your body with the right nourishment by eating well to support your body’s natural detoxification processes.
- Consider a “reboot” of focused clean eating. While extreme crash diets aren’t smart, there are times where more intentional eating plans are beneficial. A balanced “reboot” can help you form new eating habits that support your body and help you stay healthy for the long haul. Also, by eating or drinking only clean, whole foods, you can reboot your taste buds and decrease cravings for salty, fatty, or sweet foods.
Steps to Reboot Your Health
- Drink up: Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day (or more, if sweating in excess, etc). You can even start your day with a glass of (warm or cold) lemon water. The pectin from lemon aids in digestion and lemon also has been shown to curb appetite and boost satiety.
- Eat Balanced: Focus on quality of food, and stabilize your blood sugar with plenty of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Load up on veggies (starchy and non-starchy), fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
- Get Sweating: Not only with daily exercise help burn calories, rev your metabolism, but you also get the added benefit of feel-good endorphins and releasing toxins through a daily sweat session. Try these 5 explosive moves to improve your fitness this year. For other ways to sweat, try the sauna or Epsom salt baths.
- Enjoy Some Probiotics: So much of our overall health is rooted in good gut health, and ample probiotics (“good bacteria”) are needed to help our bodies properly absorb nutrients, fight infection, and much more. Live-culture yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, fermented food, and probiotic supplements are all easy ways to keep your fighting flora thriving and happy.
Foods to Enjoy
The key to a successful eating plan is to enjoy healthy foods for the long term. Consume a variety of these foods on a daily basis, not just to “detox” following an indulgent holiday season.
- Vegetables: any and all fresh vegetables
- Fruit: any and all fresh fruit (limit to 2-3 cups daily)
- Fish: fresh and canned in water or olive oil
- Protein such as lean red meat, pork, and chicken without the skin
- Legumes: dried or canned such as kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils
- Whole grains
- Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and MCT oil
- Green or white tea, white tea
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, unsweetened coconut kefir yogurt, kombucha, kimchi
- Herbs and spices: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, etc
- Below are some recipes that will help your 2020 reboot and check out these healthy snacks on the go!
Ginger Spice Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. stevia
- 2 cups cold water
Creamy Berry Smoothie
- 1/2 large ripe banana (previously peeled, sliced, and frozen)
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 2/3 cup sliced zucchini (fresh or frozen)
- 1 handful greens
- 2 scoops collagen powder or protein powder
- 1 Tbsp. flax, hemp, chia seeds or nut butter
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup nut or coconut milk
- Ice to desired consistency (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
- ½ medium sweet potato, cooked
- ½ Tbsp. grapeseed or olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 handfuls baby spinach or green of choice
- 2 eggs and 4 egg whites (fried, scrambled, or poached)
- ½ large avocado, sliced
- Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Cook sweet potato as desired either steamed in microwave or roasted in the oven. In a large skillet, add the oil and heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped greens and cover the skillet with a lid. Allow greens to cook until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place all elements in a bowl. Serve with freshly cracked pepper, hot sauce, or sesame seeds.
For the tuna salad:
- 1 small shallot or 1 Tbsp. red onion, minced
- 1 Tbsp. capers
- 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
- 1 6-oz. tin of good quality tuna (like Wild Planet or Safe Catch)
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
For the dressing:
- 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
For the salad:
- 1 cup arugula leaves
- ¼ cup green beans, blanched
- 1/3 small avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 hard-boiled egg, quartered
- 2 Tbsp. pitted oil-cured black olives (or your favorite olives)
Combine the shallot, capers, parsley, and tuna with lemon juice then set aside. To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. To assemble, toss the arugula and green beans with half of the tuna mixture. Arrange the avocado, olives, and boiled egg on top and finish with the remaining tuna salad.
Immune Boosting Chicken Soup
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 large celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups bone broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas (no salt added), drained and rinsed
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 2 cups baby kale leaves
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion, celery, and carrots, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the bone broth, bay leaves, turmeric, crushed red pepper, salt and chickpeas; bring to a boil. Mix in shredded chicken, cover and turn down the heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add kale, cover and simmer an additional 5 minutes.