Fruit and vegetable juice can be part of a healthy diet and a way to get in additional servings of fruits and vegetables. Clinical research on juice cleanses, however, is limited. A juice cleanse typically involves lack of solid food and a low calorie intake. Long term, drinking just juice is not healthy since juice lacks protein, which could make it difficult to maintain muscle mass. Cleanses also could put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies since they lack fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.
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.
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.
Juicing removes the fiber content of the fruit or vegetable, and the full benefits of the plant is thus not experienced.[4] Re-adding fiber to the juice cannot be equated to whole fruits.[5] There is a loss in non-extracted polyphenols, a class of phytonutrients, in fruit juice compared to whole plant foods.[6] Most polyphenols are bound to the plant fibers, and constitute the major portion of dietary polyphenols.[7] There is therefore a marked loss of phytonutrients in consuming fruits and vegetables through the juicing process alone.[8]
The Dietary Guidelines state that that intake of at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits per day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain more fiber when eaten whole, which may reduce your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Fiber can also play a role in providing a feeling of fullness, and promoting healthy laxation. Most Americans don’t consume enough dietary fiber, and should increase their consumption of whole fruits and vegetables to help meet the recommendation for fiber. Since juicing fruits and vegetables can sometimes remove some of the fiber, it is not clear what the relationship is between juicing and health. If you choose to juice, try adding the leftover pulp from your juice to soups or muffins to help add the fiber into your diet.
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Nutritionists are always saying to eat more vegetables, so cook them in a way that takes them from ho-hum to yum. "I even think that steamed veggies can be very boring!" says Ilyse Schapiro, a greater New York City-area registered dietitian. Always incorporate high-flavor add-ons to jazz up veggies, like sautéing with olive oil and garlic, or spraying them with olive oil before throwing them in an oven with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. That way, you don't equate "healthy" with "tasteless," a mindset that will knock you off the veggie bandwagon fast. Another tip: buy a spiralizer and make zucchini noodles. Topped off with a rich tomato sauce, you'll feel like you're eating pasta.
In between meals, go ahead and have a snack. "When you go too long in between meals without eating, it is difficult to go into your next meal in control and avoid overeating,” Julia Levine Axelbaum, R.D., L.D., Bariatric Dietitian at NewStart Clinic, tells SELF. Of course, you'll want to be thoughtful about the kind of snacks you opt for. She explains that those that are high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates will give you the energy you need to get through the day and keep you satiated from one meal to the next. On the other hand, those that are high in refined carbs and sugar will give you a sudden blood sugar spike that will eventually cause you to crash and feel even more tired.
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.
Not all calories are created equal. People eat those 100-calorie packs of cookies or other snacks and focus on the fact that it’s only 100 calories, but they don’t pay attention to what else they’re getting, especially in terms of sugar and fat. The better approach: Focus on healthy, nutrient-dense foods that are naturally low in calories and rich in essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.
If you want to lose weight and feel better, you need to eat nutritious food that will keep you full for longer. Protein and fiber take longer to digest and therefore keep you feeling full for longer than simple carbohydrates and sugars. Whether you eat three bigger meals or five or six smaller ones throughout the day is entirely up to you, as long as you keep in mind the number of calories you consume.  Typically, a woman should eat approximately 1400-1700 calories each day to lose weight, depending on their specific bodies and nutritional needs.

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.
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.

Brimming with vitamins! Bursting with energy! Store shelves are exploding with colorful, cleverly named drinks that sound healthy but are actually just sweetened water. Don't let the labels fool you, Berman says. If it's not plain H2O or regular coffee or tea, it's a treat. For a healthier sip, try lemon or mint iced tea or sparkling water with a splash of juice.

I divided this recipe collection by type (chicken recipes, fish and seafood recipes, meat recipes, and one lone vegetarian recipe at the end) and, where appropriate, I’ve made a note about any special diet they fall under (paleo, whole 30, dairy free, gluten free.) As always if you follow a special diet, please check your product labels to ensure there are no hidden ingredients.
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).
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).
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. 

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.
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.
High-speed juicers process fruits and vegetables at a higher speed through contact with a spinning shredder against a mesh filter, creating a "centrifuge" force. With nonejection types, the pulp remains in the shredder basket; with automatic-ejection types, the pulp is discarded into a separate waste basket. High-speed juicers tend to be less expensive, however proponents of the raw food movement say the heat produced along with the high speed may break down some of the nutrients as the juice is extracted.
Putting down the salt shaker and skipping sugar in your coffee is a step in the right direction, but that’s not where most people get the majority of their salt and sugar. Sodium and sugar are rampant in most packaged foods from pasta sauce and mac and cheese to rice mixes and soups. Start by checking the nutrition label on your breakfast cereal (some pack up to 20 grams of sugar per serving!).
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.

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. 


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).
The Dietary Guidelines state that that intake of at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits per day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain more fiber when eaten whole, which may reduce your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Fiber can also play a role in providing a feeling of fullness, and promoting healthy laxation. Most Americans don’t consume enough dietary fiber, and should increase their consumption of whole fruits and vegetables to help meet the recommendation for fiber. Since juicing fruits and vegetables can sometimes remove some of the fiber, it is not clear what the relationship is between juicing and health. If you choose to juice, try adding the leftover pulp from your juice to soups or muffins to help add the fiber into your diet.

Yes. Juicing is not appropriate for everyone. For example, if you have diabetes or kidney disease, you may need to limit, or monitor your intake of certain nutrients such as carbohydrates, potassium or phosphorus, and adding certain fruits or vegetables may not be recommended. For example, fruits such as melon and banana are high in potassium, and someone with kidney disease may be instructed to avoid these foods. Also, a juice made of mostly fruits can be high in carbohydrates, and could cause a rise in blood sugar, which could be problematic, especially in diabetics. In addition, juicing may also be a source of considerable calories, depending on the size, and content of the juice you make. Consuming excess calories can lead to weight gain, which can increase risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Talk to your doctor, registered dietitian, or other healthcare professional to help you determine if juicing is a healthy option for you.
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.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers are loaded with the mineral silica, which is an essential component for healthy connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, cartilage, bone, & skin).  It is also full of ionic potassium, magnesium, & vitamin C which give it a powerful alkalizing effect within the body.  Additionally, cucumbers are particularly rich in fluids that hydrate the skin, joints, and tissues (3).
For a 2,000-calorie daily diet, aim for 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day. If you consume more calories, aim for more produce; if you consume fewer calories, you can eat less. Include green, orange, red, blue/purple, and yellow vegetables and fruits. In addition to the fiber, the nutrients and phytochemicals in these foods may help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases. Legumes, rich in fiber, can count as vegetables (though they have more calories than most vegetables). For more fiber, choose whole fruits over juice.
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.
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.
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