The idea of this meal plan is for you to focus on enjoying your food and having meals prepped for you that you know are well-balanced so you don’t have to worry about counting calories. I find calorie counting to be tedious and I get overly obsessive so I like to choose meals that are naturally healthy and nutritious to add into my meal preps like the recipes I’ve chosen for you today.

Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. You’ll eat fewer calories and avoid the chemical additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
Count carbohydrates – “ Carbs” are found in all kinds of foods, including breads, pastas, fruits, dairy products and sugary foods such as desserts. “Complex” carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread, provide more nutrition than others. Sweets such as cake aren’t as good for you as whole grains and vegetables, and often are high in fat and calories. That’s why it’s better to save them for a treat.

Much like planning out your meals, doing meal prep saves you a lot of time—which is super helpful when the going gets busy as hell. When it comes to meal prepping, there are a few things you'll need to get yourself started: The right storage containers (AKA a sturdy set of BPA-free Tupperware), a well stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer, and a couple hours to spare on Sunday night.

If you are not used to eating a healthy diet that promotes your well-being, making gradual changes can help you improve the way you eat in the long run. You can substitute water for high-calorie, sugary drinks, for example, and switch from full-fat to low-fat dairy products. Selecting lean meats instead of fatty cuts and whole-wheat grains instead of refined grains can lower your intake of unhealthy fats and increase your dietary fiber intake. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain less sodium than canned, and snacking on fresh, crunchy produce like carrots, apples and cucumber slices is healthier than the fats and salt in chips.
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.

Food containers come in all shapes, sizes and equally important – materials. Depending on your lifestyle, you can pick the ones that fit into your lifestyle (and your bag!) best. If you’ll be taking a lot of your meals with you on the go, the slimmer and lighter the container is, the better. Also, make sure the container is suitable for keeping in the freezer and/or microwave use, depending on what you’ll be using it most – that’s why I love these glass meal prep containers. There are plenty of options and after you’ve done your planning, it will be much easier for you to determine what kind of container is the best option.


-Fructose goes primarily toward replacing liver glycogen, not muscle glycogen. So – unless you happen to be at a huge calorie deficit (in which case your liver may actually get some glycogen storage from fruit juice) instead of replenishing the energy stores in your muscles, you are efficiently preparing your body to store body fat – which is of course the polar opposite of what most people are trying to accomplish when juicing.
Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. You’ll eat fewer calories and avoid the chemical additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
When the tongue recognizes the bitter flavor it sets off a set of reactions in the neuroendocrine system that is labeled the “bitter reflex.” This process is mediated by the hormone within the stomach called gastrin which stimulates the flow of hydrochloric acid. This reflex then goes down and helps with liver and gallbladder secretions of bile and pancreatic enzyme secretions.  Experts believe that the bitter reflex helps to improve the structure and function of all the digestive organs.

Also, before using juicing your desired fruit, you should wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt, pesticides or bacteria. Make sure your cutting board and utensils are clean as well. E. coli is a very dangerous bacteria that can live on your fruits and make you sick. The problem is that it can only be killed with heat, which can also damage the nutritional content of the juice. If you don’t want to boil your juice on the stove, you’ll have to wash the fruit thoroughly before juicing. Learn more about the best ways to wash your fruit.
Not all the nutrients and other substances that contribute to good health have been identified, so eating a wide assortment of healthy whole foods like fruits and vegetables helps ensure that you get all of the health-promoting benefits that foods can offer. If your diet, day after day, consists of the same half dozen foods, it could fall short. In addition, varying your food choices will limit your exposure to any pesticides or toxic substances that might be present in particular foods. 
This strategy is not only unhealthy — it nearly always backfires. If you don’t eat enough calories throughout the day, you’ll be more likely to overindulge at night. When you focus your efforts all day on skimping on food, you set yourself up for an eating binge later on. And instead of sitting down to a healthy evening meal, you’re more likely to reward yourself for being so “good” all day by reaching for a calorie-bomb like a pint of ice cream or piece of cake.
Detoxification is a process where your body removes waste materials. Most detoxification happens in your liver, where certain enzymes convert toxins to be excreted in urine, sweat and other bodily fluids. While juice cleanses can be detoxifying in the beginning, this is mainly due to the fact that you’re no longer eating processed food and you’ve given up caffeine and alcohol for the duration of the cleanse.
Changing your eating habits can be intimidating, I know. It may even feel like you’re leaving everything you love behind. All the midnight snacks, takeouts, sweets…  But, although it may seem like that at first, soon enough you realize that eating healthy will not only make you feel and look good but can also taste darn good!  The key is finding a lifestyle you love (not one you dread) so that you stick to it.
A better approach is to make a few small changes at a time. Keeping your goals modest can help you achieve more in the long term without feeling deprived or overwhelmed by a major diet overhaul. Think of planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.
Food containers come in all shapes, sizes and equally important – materials. Depending on your lifestyle, you can pick the ones that fit into your lifestyle (and your bag!) best. If you’ll be taking a lot of your meals with you on the go, the slimmer and lighter the container is, the better. Also, make sure the container is suitable for keeping in the freezer and/or microwave use, depending on what you’ll be using it most – that’s why I love these glass meal prep containers. There are plenty of options and after you’ve done your planning, it will be much easier for you to determine what kind of container is the best option.
Ditching the habit and instead focus on good-for-you foods, says Frank Lipman, MD, integrative and functional medicine physician, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and author of The New Health Rules. Instead of how many calories, ask yourself where the food came from and if it's nutritious. "Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimize cravings, and help your brain signal your belly when you're full," he says. In other words, you don't have to go through all the trouble of counting.
In addition to the quality of the foods you consume, the quantity matters when considering good eating habits. Taking in the same number of calories as you burn ensures your weight remains steady over time. Consuming more than you burn, on the other hand, results in weight gain as your body converts extra calories to fat tissue. When you accumulate fat tissue, you increase your risk of developing one or more health problems, including heart disease, hypertension, respiratory issues, diabetes and cancer. A healthy meal plan without excess calories helps you not only feel better but can prolong your life.
As an alternative to the USDA’s nutrition advice, faculty members at the Harvard School of Public Health created first the Healthy Eating Pyramid and more recently the Healthy Eating Plate. Just as the Healthy Eating Pyramid rectifies the mistakes of the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid, the Healthy Eating Plate addresses flaws in the USDA’s MyPlate. Both the Healthy Eating Pyramid and the Healthy Eating Plate are based on the latest science about how our food, drink, and activity choices affect our health.

Low-speed juicers process fruits and vegetables at a lower speed, thereby producing less heat and noise and extracting more juice than high-speed juicers. For leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, low-speed juicers are best. There are two types of low-speed juicers: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal and vertical low-speed juicers differ mainly in shape, with the vertical juicer being more compact and the horizontal juicer requiring more counter space. However, horizontal juicers have more versatility because they offer the ability to create homemade nut butters, pasta and baby food. Low-speed juicers are more expensive, but ideal if you want to make juices that include a lot of leafy greens.
Ginger: Ginger is classified as a carminative (reducing intestinal gas) and an intestinal spasmolytic (soothes intestinal tract) while inducing gut motility. Ginger is known to reduce fever related nausea, motion sickness, and feelings of “morning sickness.” Additionally, it helps aid in the production of bile, making it particularly helpful in digesting fats (16, 17).

Healthy eating should be about positive choices, focusing on foods that provide the nutrients you need to maintain good health. Unfortunately, much of the dietary advice available today focuses on what you “cannot” or “should not” eat. Our nutrition education resources and healthy eating articles will help you determine what you can do to make healthy eating decisions.
“Juicing may be the fastest and easiest way to get in nutrients from the vegetables you’d rather skip at dinner,” Sharp says of the kales, celeries, spinaches, and other often-dissed veggies. “If you have a juice with a meal or otherwise, make sure you supplement with fiber to make up for what’s lost in the juicing process if you don’t leave the peel on.” (May we suggest a nice bed of lentils?)
SS: Personally, I do not recommend a juice cleanse for long-term sustainable weight loss for my patients. I actually don’t recommend it even for short-term weight loss. If you have a health condition such as diabetes, I would not recommend juicing due to its concentrated sugar content and ability to trigger an increased insulin response. If you have renal disease you may need to limit your fluid intake and avoid certain nutrients filtered by the kidneys, like potassium, which is found in many fruits and vegetables (oranges, bananas, tomatoes, and spinach). Also, some juices high in vitamin K, like those with kale or spinach, may affect anti-blood clotting medication.
There are endless combinations you can make and they all really depend upon what is available to you. It may be challenging for you to find some of the above mentioned vegetables so you have to go with what you can get. Be sure to check out local farmers markets where you may have access to fresh veggies you have trouble finding in your health food stores.
There are many health benefits of drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, and it’s a great way to add nutrients from the fruits or vegetables that you normally wouldn’t eat. Fruit and vegetable juices retain most of of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that would be found in the whole versions of those foods. These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which comes from everyday cellular maintenance and is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution.
SS: A juice cleanse may result in short-term weight loss, which may be due to diuresis [the increased production of urine] versus true weight loss. I would not recommend it as an effective, long-term way to lose weight because drinking solely juice is not sustainable. Additionally, when you deprive the body of its favorite foods for an extended period of time you’re more likely to overeat and overindulge — and as a result regain the weight — once you return to your everyday eating habits.
Ditching the habit and instead focus on good-for-you foods, says Frank Lipman, MD, integrative and functional medicine physician, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and author of The New Health Rules. Instead of how many calories, ask yourself where the food came from and if it's nutritious. "Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimize cravings, and help your brain signal your belly when you're full," he says. In other words, you don't have to go through all the trouble of counting.
Parsley: Parsley is super rich in chlorophyll and also contains about three times the amount of vitamin C by volume as an orange.  Vitamin C is extremely important for healthy immune function and youthful skin & joints.  Additionally, it contains carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which enhance eye function and help the body neutralize damage from UV radiation (14).

Supplements can't substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies other potentially beneficial compounds besides vitamins and minerals. Foods also provide the synergy that many nutrients require to be efficiently used in the body. Still, for many people a basic multivitamin/mineral pill can provide some of the nutrients they may fall short on. Certain people may also need supplements of folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D (see next slide).
You've heard to make breakfast the biggest meal of your day, but you may not be that hungry when you wake up. In fact, "your biggest meal should be around noon when your digestion is at its peak and you can feed your body when it actually needs fuel," says Dr. Lipman. That means you don't need a huge meal at dinner only to sit and catch up on True Detective and then go to bed. But "big" doesn't mean burger and fry big. At lunch, emphasize protein and greens, like a hearty bowl of lentil soup and kale salad. Another bonus: after dinner you won't have the feeling you need to unbutton your pants.
Juicing should not be used as a quick way to lose weight. Consuming only fruits and vegetables, even though they are nutritious, is not considered a balanced diet. A healthy weight loss goal is ½ to 2 pounds per week, and can be achieved with healthy eating and activity habits. Talk with your doctor about safe and effective ways to control your weight. You can also visit the Weight and Obesity page of the FNIC website for more information and resources.
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