There’s a misconception that a juice cleanse helps flush out toxins and waste in your system. Actually, your body does this cleansing on its very own—no juicing required. “If there are any bad things floating around in your body, your liver and kidneys work really well at excreting them,” says Natalie Rizzo, R.D. of Nutrition à la Natalie in New York City. Your digestive system takes it from there. Maintain a well-rounded, healthy diet and your body will operate as designed.
Soluble fiber will make it to your juice. Soluble fiber is 'soluble' in water. Soluble fiber (like gums and pectins) will partially dissolve in water and form a type of gel. Soluble fiber absorbs digestive bile made by cholesterol, which creates even more digestive bile, which then helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Soluble fiber also can help moderate your blood glucose levels because it helps sugar to be more slowly absorbed, which is why some diabetics report juicing to be helpful to them.
In this round up, we've got everything from Caprese Chicken bowls to Cashew Chicken, Thai Yellow Curry, Greek Chicken and even a few vegetarian options like Chickpea Bowls. You can make these healthy meal prep lunch ideas on a sheet pan, on the BBQ, in a skillet or choose a couple of the no-cook recipes to try out while you get used to meal prepping on the weekend.
Next, let’s get our lentils started. Add the dry lentils to a pot, followed by water. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring this to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the lentils are tender. For whole lentils, it should take about 15-20 minutes. Then, drain the lentils and set aside for later.
Between work and the gym, I’ve been getting home pretty late these days. Even though I love to cook, it’s usually just about the last thing I want to do when I finally walk through the door. I’ve been making a lot of healthy sheet pan dinners, and I really love how easy they are. Most of these healthy dinner recipes take only a few minutes of prep and then the oven does the work. And since everything for these easy recipes cooks together on one pan, cleanup is a breeze! Line your pan with foil or parchment for even easier cleanup.
You don't have to hunt and skin your supper, but if your chicken has been molded into a nugget, who knows what you're really chewing. And when you choose meat that's been processed into sausage, strips or slices, you're downing sodium and preservatives instead of healthy nutrients, says Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., director of the nutritional sciences program at the University of Washington at Seattle. Stick to unfussed-with cuts straight from the butcher.
Green Apples: Green apples are more sour than traditional red apples and contain less sugar and more acetic acid. The acid itself is a natural anti-septic and improves the function of the liver, gall bladder, stomach and intestines. This is the same acid that is the major component of apple cider vinegar. Green apples also have a strong alkalizing effect on the body and contain a unique anti-oxidant procydin that has anti-cancer benefits (2).
For many people, food is a chore, a challenge, even a source of dread, as they try to overcome poor eating habits. But eating should be a joy and a centerpiece of family life. Many cultures around the world emphasize the enjoyment of food, which includes cooking and eating with others, as an integral component of good health. The latest Dietary Guidelines say that eating healthfully involves “enjoying food and celebrating cultural and personal traditions through food.” According to some research, shared mealtimes, especially during childhood, may help protect against nutrition-related health problems as well as increase prosocial behavior in adulthood.
This is another big performance drain for athletes. A diet lacking in protein causes lean muscle tissue breakdown during exercise and low levels of blood amino acids during exercise, which leads to muscle fatigue, central nervous system fatigue, metabolic slowdown, fat tissue accumulation, decreased performance and lengthened recovery time. All of these issues are quite common (even with non-athletes), and the caloric deficits from most juicing diets lead to weight loss, but a “skinny-fat” look due to the low amounts of protein and fat. Science has shown that in the general population, and especially athletes and exercise enthusiasts, a steady consumption of protein broken into small portions throughout the day is necessary for lean muscle maintenance, appetite satiation and long-term health.
It's trendy to think "food should be fuel" or that food is something that helps you lose (or, ahem, gain) weight. But thinking only in terms of number on the scale takes away a huge part of what eating is about: pleasure. "If you think of eating as something enjoyable and something you do without guilt or without judging yourself, and you stay active, you're less likely to overeat, have a better diet, and maintain any weight loss for the long haul," says Zied. It's true: feeling guilty about your food choices can undermine weight loss—and even pack on the pounds—while a celebratory mindset gives you more control over your diet and can thwart weight gain, found a 2014 study in the journal Appetite.
During phase one and two of liver detoxification, your liver converts fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble substances. Phase three is when the toxins are excreted from the body — but your liver requires amino acids, normally made from protein, to excrete the toxins. When you are on a raw juice detox, you can’t make these amino acids as easily. This results in more toxins in your bloodstream, instead of fewer.

Meal prep is a once or twice a week large batch preparation of meals to last for 4-5 days. Meal prep is a great way to save time because you only cook a few times a week as opposed to cooking every single day. It’s also a great way to eat healthier – you’ll be a lot less likely to hit the fast food drive through if you have a meal ready to go in the fridge. You’ll also save money because cooking in bulk tends to be cheaper, and it’s way less expensive than going to a restaurant for lunch.
Meal prep is a once or twice a week large batch preparation of meals to last for 4-5 days. Meal prep is a great way to save time because you only cook a few times a week as opposed to cooking every single day. It’s also a great way to eat healthier – you’ll be a lot less likely to hit the fast food drive through if you have a meal ready to go in the fridge. You’ll also save money because cooking in bulk tends to be cheaper, and it’s way less expensive than going to a restaurant for lunch.
Excess sodium, found in many processed foods and restaurant meals, raises blood pressure in some people and can have other adverse effects. The Dietary Guidelines recommend a limit of 2,300 milligrams a day for the general population; people with hypertension or prehypertension can benefit from a further reduction to 1,500 milligrams per day. As you cut back on sodium, eat more potassium-rich foods, which help lower blood pressure. These include citrus fruits, bananas, beans, avocados, some fish, and dairy products.

When your body realizes it’s not getting enough protein, it begins to extract it from your muscles. This results in you beginning to lose muscle mass. Losing muscle mass is not the same as losing fat — you may feel weaker, struggle with your balance, and feel aches and pains. Losing muscle mass is not good for anyone, but it has worse consequences the older you are.


Did you know that above ground vegetables, particularly greens, contain anti-nutrients that can be potentially harmful at large doses. If you think about it, it makes sense. Plants want to survive so the parts that animals can see (above ground) contain some toxins to make them less appealing. This includes goitrogens, polyphenols, tannins, lectins, oxalates, etc. In small quantities, these are absolutely fine and even beneficial. However, when we juice, we need to use large quantities of these greens to actually create juice which can cause problems in some people.

In comparison, scores on the Alternate Healthy Eating Index created at the Harvard School of Public Health did appear to correlate more closely with better health in both sexes. Men with high scores (those whose diets most closely followed the Healthy Eating Pyramid guidelines) were 20 percent less likely to have developed a major chronic disease than those with low scores. Women with high scores lowered their overall risk by 11 percent. Men whose diets most closely followed the Healthy Eating Pyramid lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease by almost 40 percent; women with high scores lowered their risk by almost 30 percent.
Juice is filled with vitamins A, C, and E, which act as antioxidants—a.k.a. substances that counteract pesky molecules in our bodies known as free radicals that can do cell damage. “We accumulate free radicals in the body as part of normal bodily processes,” explains Sharp, “but they can build up in excess thanks to pollution, sun damage, and smoking. An overabundance of free radicals has been linked to heart disease and cancer.”

Milk Thistle: Milk thistle was used by medical herbalists in the late nineteenth century to treat varicose veins and liver, spleen and kidney disorders.  Today, it is primarily used to improve the function of the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal system.  Many individuals have seen dramatic improvement using milk thistle for health issues such as psoriasis, menstrual problems, jaundice and poor circulation (19) .


Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. The cornerstone of a healthy diet pattern should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.
Rough skins, such as pineapple and avocado, and any pits and seeds should be removed. But apple skin and citrus peel are edible (except the orange) and full of nutrients. Also the pith, that soft white material just under the rind, also has nutrients. As for pulp, add mayonnaise to it for a delicious mock tuna salad. Or add pulp to pancakes, cookies, and even hummus. Some seeds and greens will upset your stomach, so make sure you are knowledgeable about that before starting your smoothie adventure.
Once you’re done with your meal prep, make sure you let your meals cool down before transferring them to airtight containers and storing them in the fridge, but make sure you don’t keep your food in room temperature for more than two hours. If you are using meal prep containers and have stored your cooked meal prep well, it can last in the fridge for up to 7 days.  Some foods will keep longer than others, which is something to consider when prepping 7 days at a time.
I'm a fun-loving, 20-something girl about town living in the heart of the city, planning my life one meal at a time. Case in point: I'm obsessed with coffee, coconut and anything spicy, and consider a weekend well-spent if there's lots of good food and drink to go around. A proud Torontonian at heart, I'm a lover of all things lifestyle, am a University of Toronto graduate, and have a Masters degree in Journalism from Ryerson University. My favourite hobbies include listening to CBC radio, and cooking up a storm in my tiny city kitchen!
The latest Dietary Guidelines no longer give a daily cap for dietary cholesterol (previously it was 300 milligrams), because there’s abundant evidence that dietary cholesterol (found only in animal foods) has little if any effect on most people's blood cholesterol. Rather, saturated fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol more than dietary cholesterol does. But don't go overboard with cholesterol-rich foods, since many of them are also high in saturated fats. And if you have cardiovascular disease or diabetes, ask your doctor if you should limit dietary cholesterol.
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