Detoxing

I often hear friends talking about going on detoxes.  Juice cleanses, Protein shake cleanses, water + lemon cleanses, you name it.  While the intentions are GREAT, the process is not always the most beneficial.

 

This post will touch on the benefits of detoxifying your body, as well as healthy detox protocols.

How to know if you need to detox?

Simple answer- if you’re feeling YUCK.  You could probably benefit from one. The most common symptoms are chronic digestive complaints, joint problems, skin conditions, persistent allergies, frequent colds or flu, head and body aches, lethargy, weight gain, irritability and mental fog (SOURCE).  But I will have mental fog no matter what kind of detox I do (thank you Gentry and Sutton).

 

Why detox?

To clear the body of toxins, contaminants, and heavy metals that can accumulate in joints, organs, tissues, cells, and in the bloodstream. A true detox will not only take nutrition into account, but also the environment (household cleaners, packaging agents, OTC antibiotics, etc.).  The right kind of detox can even help improve mental and emotional clarity, reduce cravings, increase energy and balance blood sugar.

How to detox?

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Juice Cleanse- There are many detox plans to choose from out there.  Juice cleanses have you drinking ONLY juice for a certain amount of days.  I’ve had several friends do this with success, but need to KEEP redoing it every few months.  Here’s my personal thoughts on these types of cleanses.  Your body has 4 “detox” pathways.  Three out of these four are protein-dependent, meaning when you don’t feed them the amino acids they need, they suppress.  Pure juice cleanses are generally low in protein… so while you are drinking healthy things, you’re really not detoxifying, you’re just eliminating 3 pathways.

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AKA oops!

Not to mention fruits contain high amounts of fructose.  Fructose is sugar, and while fruit fructose is FAR better than this fructose

 

It is still fructose. A whole separate post can be devoted to this topic, but basically, the liver is the ONLY organ that can metabolize fructose in significant amounts.  When people consume high amounts of it, the liver can get overloaded and turn fructose into fat (SOURCE).  This doesn’t mean to avoid fruit… it’s a whole food and has many other GREAT nutrients for you.  It just kind of puts a buzz kill on the whole juice cleanse theory (in my opinion).

Detox Supplements- Many companies sell “Detox Phase” products.  While they all probably mean well, and can be a great asset to newbies, there is a much simpler (and cheaper) way to do this. I bet you can even guess what I’m going to say- EAT CLEAN.  By eating non-processed foods, your body will naturally rid itself of dietary toxins, it will start feeding the good bacteria in your body, which will in turn fight off the bad bacteria… and before you know it YOU’RE SAVED!

 

My Healthy Gut Group is learning about all sorts of toxins that can creep into your foods.  They’re learning what foods feed our good bacteria.   I emphasize the word FOOD in that sentence.  I’m not putting these ladies on a liquid cleanse, they’re eating REAL, regular meals.  By doing so, they’re ridding their bodies of these reasons for which you may be looking to detox.

One too many Cinco de Mayo Coronas?!

There are many other factors that can also lead to a need to detox- stress, lack of sleep, adrenal fatique, etc.  While nutrition can very much help MANY problems, it’s a bigger picture!

Ever had success with a detox?

Sweet Yellow Muffins

 You’ve heard of zucchini bread, well why not use yellow squash as a substitute?

Here’s what you need to make a dozen Sweet Yellow Muffins:

 
2 apples

2 squash

2 eggs

cinnamon (can be ground)

1.5 cups flour

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp baking powder

First step:  Preheat oven to 400F.  Chop the apples and add to a food processor.  Blend until smooth.

 

Add applesauce to a large bowl.

Next step:  Bring about 1 inch water to a boil.  Slice squash and  place in boiling water.  Cover and turn heat down to low.  Let cook for 10 minutes.

 

Step three: Drain squash and pour into colander.  Smash them and let sit for 10 minutes.

 

Step four:  Add all ingredients to the applesauce bowl and mix well.

 

Step five: Spray muffin tin and fill each 3/4 full with the mixture.  Let cook for 20 minutes.

 

The final product…

Cucumber Pasta

Here is (almost) all of what you will need for this week’s Cucumber Pasta.

 

1 large (or 2 medium) cucumbers

1 stalk of asparagus

2 spring onions (from last week’s box), chopped finely

2 TBS melted coconut oil

1 inch of grated ginger

1.5 TBS Low-sodium tamari sauce

2 sweet potatoes, shaved and diced

1 TBS sesame seeds

1 tsp red pepper flakes

(I decided to add the sweet potatoes post picture).

Wash all your vegetables first.  Slice the ends off the cucumber(s) and put through a spiralizer or use a julienne knife to cut into noodles.  Take the cucumber “noodles” and place in a colander.  Squeeze the noodles to get extra liquid out.

 

In a large bowl, combine the onions, tamari, ginger, 1 TBS oil, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.  Mix.

 

Add the cucumbers and coat with the dressing.

 

In a large skillet, add 1 TBS oil and the sweet potatoes.  Cook until almost soft.

 

Add the asparagus to the sweet potatoes and cook until almost soft.  Finally, add the cucumber noodles and cook 1-2 more minutes.

 

Remove from heat and enjoy!

 

Holistic-ness

Ever since I received my AASDN-Nutrition Specialist certification, I’ve been craving more knowledge.

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I thought I wanted to go back to school and get some sort of post-graduate nutrition degree.  I thought I wanted to become a Registered Dietitian.  I thought I wanted to go work with people to overcome diseases and ailments through nutrition.  I was ready to commit the next 5+ years of my life going back to school and getting this done.

I looked up college program after college program.  I researched scope of practices for just about every “nutrition” title out there.  I wanted something that would give me the knowledge I needed to help people through nutrition.

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And then I had a realization.  I didn’t want to TREAT sick persons, I wanted to PREVENT them from getting sick in the first place.

I had always heard about the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, but thought it was just some hyped up, expensive certification.  I had met several people that had gone through the program and loved it, just never thought it was for me.

But then, I started listening more and more to them, and thinking more and more about the reactive vs the proactive approach.  I took a sample class, I stalked them on just about every media outlet possible.  And I found HOLISTIC-NESS.

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My definition of HOLISTIC-NESS, since I am pretty sure I just made up the word, is working towards happiness EVERYWHERE.  Even in bipolar toddlers and babies 😉

Because, think about it…

Very healthy eaters can still be unhappy.

Hard-core exercisers can still be overweight.

Successful business people can still feel like yuck.

HOLISTIC-NESS.  Getting it all on track.

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Because clearly we got it all figured out right?!


And then, I signed up for the program.

I start May 11th and I could NOT be more excited to complete the Holistic Health Coach Program next May and share what I learn with my clients as I go.

*Disclaimer- Registered Dietitians are wonderful people doing AMAZING work.  They know their stuff medically, nutritionally, scientifically.  I would be thrilled to have that degree under my belt.   And may still go there one day.  For now, I know this approach is going to work better for my personal beliefs.

What do you think of the proactive vs reactive approach?


Speaking of HOLISTIC-NESS… these ladies start so soon!  Woot woot!

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Not too late to join!  Comment below if interested, or if you just have something fun to say!

Running

Been consumed with this lately

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so thought I’d touch on this today

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I have my last half of the spring next weekend- The Race 13.1 Richmond Race.  Not too late to sign up HERE!

In honor of this last attempt, I thought I’d hit on some of my favorite running gear.

#1 My Garmin

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I admit, I tell clients to go by feeling on some runs, but I just can’t.  I’m a numbers girl.  One day!

#2 Running Skirts

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My fave- lululemon’s track skirt

#3 Newtons

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I’m currently running in the Gravitys.  I’ve been a Newton girl for 2 years.  Many stores are doing away with this line (at least around here) because they’re such a niche group of people that buy them.  So, go buy them please!

#4  Compression socks!

 

I run every race in these, and didn’t do it for the Monument 10K this year.  I was in a world of hurt the next day.  I recently received a pair courtesy of Champion CSX.  I was hesistant to use them because of my love for ProCompression and their fun designs.  I have to admit, I dig CSX (and not just because I got a complimentary pair).  I noticed they aren’t just one tight sock all over, but that it was tight where it needed to be.  Anyone ever have numb toes after wearing most compressions socks?

So, why should you wear compressions?

Well, for me, I notice a considerable difference in my running when I wear them.  Is it a placebo effect?  Who knows.  I’m on team compression.

The theory behind it is if increased venous blood flow can occur, more by-products that are transported by the blood can be flushed out and cleared better. So, get rid of fatigue causing products and voila, better performance.

Here is a great video from CSX’s website

And, check out this article for more insight.

My only complaint- would love more patterns!

Maybe that’s to come!


Whether they work for you or not, I am happy to provide a discount code to all my readers for a pair of Champion CSX Compression Sock.

15% Off Discount Code: MOMSTRONG2015
Valid Until: May 31, 2015

Do you wear compression socks?
What’s your favorite race gear?

KABB Salad

As part of a new project, I’m working with The Farm Table, a local CSA to help develop recipes based on the boxes that go out each week.

If you live near me and aren’t part of a CSA, be sure to check them out HERE.  I have been getting the Garden Box and love looking forward to Thursdays when my box of fresh, local goodies shows up at my doorstep!

This is the post I recently wrote for them, so thought I’d share…


Two recipes to try out with The Farm Table box this week!

 

The first is a big twist on the Cobb Salad.  Bring out your thickest Boston accent and try a KABB (Kale, Apple, Beet and Bacon) Salad!

 

Dressing Ingredients

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

1/2 juice from a lemon

1 TBS honey

1 tsp. Dijon

2 TBS olive oil

Add all ingredients to a mason jar (or container with lid).  Shake until completely mixed.  Taste and add more honey or Dijon to your liking.  Set aside.

Salad

 

Makes 2 servings

1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped

2 apples, washed and diced

3 small beets, washed, skinned and diced

2 spring onions, washed and chopped

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 tsp turmeric

8 pieces bacon

 coconut oil

 

Preheat oven to 425F.  Cover beets in oil and lay on baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 Cover apples in oil.  Remove beets from oven and stir.  Add apples to baking sheet, or on a separate one.  Bake both for another 10-20 minutes, or until both are tender.  Remove from oven.

Turn the oven to broiler.  Lay the bacon on top of a grilling rack and lay that on top of a shallow baking pan to catch the drip (I cover that with aluminum foil to save some clean up time).  Cook bacon for 6-8 minutes before checking.  Put back in oven for a few more minutes until cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile, in a pan, add 1 TBS coconut oil and let melt over medium heat.  Once melted, add the spring onion, garlic and turmeric.   Stir continuously until it starts to brown and remove from heat.

 

Place chopped kale in a large bowl.  Add the dressing ingredients and massage so that every kale leaf is covered with the wet ingredients.  Add the onions, beets and apples (once cooked) and continue to massage.  Once bacon has cooked and cooled, chop into bite-size pieces.  Add to the salad, stir once more and serve.

 


The second recipe is perfect timing for the upcoming warmer weather.  Enter The Happy Cucumber Smoothie.  This drink will make your body happy with every ingredient benefiting some part of you!  And why wouldn’t this drink on a sunny day make you smile?

 

The Players:

1/2 a cucumber

1 apple

Juice from 1 lemon

1 inch of grated ginger

2-3 leafy greens (from your box)

handful of ice

 

How they make you happy

Cucumbers- clear the body of toxins, purify blood, aid in digestion and make skin glow, to name a few

Ginger- a LONG list, but we will focus on the anti-inflammatory properties

Apples- regulates blood sugar and alters your gut bacteria for the better

Leafy greens- their vitamin K component prevents certain age-related conditions.  The fountain of Youth- now that’s happy!

 

Combine all in a Vitamix, or start with ice, then cucumbers, apples, then the rest in a blender.  Mix until it reaches the consistency you’d like.  Pour in a glass and enjoy!

 

The Happy Cucumber Smoothie

Feel free to add 1 tablespoon of healthy fats like chia, flax or hemp seeds to boost the happiness of this drink even more!

What would you do with this box of goodies?

What a Nutrition Specialist Eats

Have you seen this site floating around social media?

It’s got some great graphics.  I definitely learned a few things.  And, if you are new to clean eating, this is a perfect starting point.  I don’t mean to knock this too much with this lengthy post, but, as with everything, I have some suggestions to make it even better.


EGGS + SPINACH + BEANS

Good fats + nutrient-dense, yet low calories + protein

However, beans tend to cause all sorts of digestive issues with people.  Beans and legumes have phytic acid.  This substance binds with calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc, making it hard to impossible for you to absorb those nutrients from other food sources.  The Paleo World cause it an anti-nutrient.  It can also be irritating to your digestive system.  By soaking and sprouting these, you are neutralizing phytic acid very effectively. .

I have just started experimenting with soaking sprouting beans and will let you know if it helps the situation.  What’s sprouting?  Check out this tutorial.  Yes, it takes extra time, but I’m already learning that if you keep the system going (each time you finish one batch, start another) it’s much easier.  Plus, it’s basically just putting beans in water and letting them sit.

 


BLACK BEANS + BROCCOLI + BROWN RICE

Protein + nutrient-dense, low calorie + complex carbohydrate

Again, not a bad combo.  But, the beans have the same issue as above and so does the rice.

WHITE OR BROWN RICE?  You’ve always heard brown rice is the way to go because of its higher fiber and nutrient content than white rice.  Well everything eventually gets overturned right?   Don’t judge white rice just because of its color.  Remember it’s a NATURALLY occurring color.  But, overall, rice is NOT a good source of vitamins or minerals. It is an easily absorbable form of glucose, which is why you will see elite athletes consume it after a workout.  Other than that, it’s really just a filler.  My suggestion:

SOAKED AND SPROUTED BLACK BEANS + SPINACH + SWEET POTATOES

 

Sweet potatoes (when cooked and cooled) are a resistant starch.  Catch up on that term HERE.


WAFFLE + PB + BLUEBERRIES

Carbohydrate + good fats/protein + fruit

How to make it better- try

EZEKIEL SPROUTED GRAINS BREAD + ALMOND BUTTER + BLUEBERRIES

 

 Gluten keeps showing up in my research to be detrimental to just about everything.  Check out this post I recently wrote.  Waffles typically are made from wheat and therefore contain it.  Try Ezekiel brand because they sprout their grains (think above why I recommended sprouting your beans/legumes).  Or, make your own waffles:

1 banana

1 cup oats

sprinkle of cinnamon

Place all in blender.  Mix well and then cook as regular waffles.

Peanuts… they have that phytic acid too (can’t get away from it).  That’s why I opt for almond butter.  Plus, almonds are one of the nuts that keep you full longest.  Read this great post by Laura about almond butter.


 

FISH + CARROTS + GREEN BEANS

I love this combo.  Healthy fats and omega 3s +  nutrient dense, low calorie vegetables.

I would possibly add a starchy vegetable for some satiety (plantains, taro, potatoes or sweet potatoes).

 

And, get a cold-water, wild-caught fish like Atlantic mackerel, cod, haddock, herring, mahi mahi, salmon, anchovies, pollock, trout, whitefish, canned light tuna and sardines.  They have the most omega 3s and healthy fats!


 TOMATO + BASIL + MOZZARELLA

Yummy combo, yes.  And not a bad choice of nutrient-dense, low calorie veggies + healthy fats and protein.  I would just spruce it up with even more good fats (avocado, coconut or olive oil and sunflower seeds) and veggies (eggplant, summer squash, parsnips, brussels) to make it pack more of a  punch.

 

Go full-fat, UNpasteurized, raw, organic dairy products whenever possible.  RAW MILK?  Yes, read all about it’s benefits and if it’s actually harmful HERE.  While this kills the harmful bacteria, it also kills the good bacteria.  Read Chris’s article to get the full scoop.


In an effort not to make this a novel… to be continued.

What would you add to this chart?