Kale: Some of the hottest nutrients present in kale include the glucosinolates and methyl cysteine sulfoxides (11). These super-nutrients help to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver that play an important role in neutralizing carcinogenic substances. One such glucosinolate, sulfuraphane, is formed when kale is either chopped or chewed. Sulfuraphane has been shown to alter the genetic expression of the liver allowing to more effectively use its detoxification enzymes (12).
There is more than one way to eat healthfully and everyone has their own eating style. Make healthier choices that reflect your preferences, culture, traditions, and budget. Choose fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods to get the most nutrition and meet your personal calorie needs. Aim for a variety of foods and beverages from each food group and limit saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
SS: Ask yourself why you’re doing an all-juice diet. Is it for a reset? To detoxify? To lose weight? Remember, the body is designed to naturally detoxify itself with the help of the liver, skin, through sweating, kidneys, and through breathing. A three-, five-, or seven-day juice cleanse is not the answer to rid your body of toxins, especially if you go right back to the toxic exposures and habits you were engaging in before a cleanse, such as overconsumption of fast or fried foods, refined sugars, and artificial ingredients. The answer is to fuel your body daily with the key nutrients that support proper detoxification, like antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber, high-quality proteins, and herbs and spices that have anti-inflammatory properties. A fruit/vegetable juice can be a part of this healthy diet. You will reap far more health and weight benefits long term by partaking in eating and lifestyle habits that aid natural detoxification versus a juice cleanse.
These foods—notably vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains—should supply about 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber a day, depending on your calorie needs. (Aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories, as advised by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.) Fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates, so they have less effect on insulin and blood sugar, and it provides other health benefits. Try to fill three-quarters of your plate with produce, legumes, and whole grains—leaving only one-quarter for meat, poultry, or other protein sources.
Food processing isn’t always a bad thing: Cooking and preparing raw ingredients at home is also processing them. But the word “processed” is almost always reserved for commercial foods, usually packaged. Highly processed foods are industrially formulated mixtures that are no longer recognizable as their original plant or animal sources—everything from hot dogs and margarine to ice cream, candy, and many packaged snack foods. Such foods, which supply more than half the daily calories in most U.S. households, lack key nutrients and fiber and are high in sugars and sodium.
Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.
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.
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.
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.
The nutrients in the foods you eat support the activities of day-to-day living, protect your cells from environmental damage and repair any cellular damage that might occur. Protein rebuilds injured tissue and promotes a healthy immune system. Both carbohydrates and fats fuel your body, while vitamins and minerals function throughout your body in support of your body’s processes. Vitamins A, C and E, for example, act as antioxidants to protect your cells against toxins, and B vitamins help you extract energy from the foods you eat. Calcium and phosphorus keep your bones strong, while sodium and potassium help to transmit nerve signals. Without a healthy diet, you might compromise any of these essential functions.
This meal prep is designed so you spend 60-90 minutes cooking on sunday or monday, and you have at least 5 healthy meals done for the week. I say at least, because the breakfast meal prep recipes can last 2-3 days, especially the frittata. There is nothing like finishing your weekly meal prep and knowing that you have a bunch of healthy and tasty meals to help you lose weight.
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.
Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, photographer, videographer, clean eating expert, and mommy of four. I also run the awesome free Take Back Your Health Community, am the healthy and clean weekly meal planner behind No-Fail Meals, and a little bit in love with Clean Eating. Be sure to check out my free beginner’s guide to eating clean and follow me on YouTube and Instagram to get my latest recipes and healthy eating inspiration.
However, beware claims that juicing is the only way to stay healthy, that you should avoid solid foods, or that juicing is a substitution for a medical diagnosis or treatment. There’s not much research out there that proves that juicing is healthier than eating the whole fruits and vegetables; however, juicing does makes them easier to consume on a regular basis.
Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled salmon) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
The saturated fats in animal foods generally boost levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and have other adverse effects. To limit your intake, choose lean meats, skinless poultry, and nonfat or low-fat dairy products. It’s also a good idea to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats (see next slide). Keep in mind, though, that not all saturated fats are bad for you; those in chocolate, milk, and cheese, for example, are more neutral in their effect on blood cholesterol. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are even worse than saturated fats, but FDA regulations have now nearly phased them out of the food supply.