Surviving on juice isn’t the best way to give your system a boost. Hit your system’s reset button healthfully with this plan.
These days, you can’t swing an organic celery stalk without hitting someone on a juice cleanse. Touted as a natural way to detox your system, jumpstart weight loss, and inoculate yourself against disease, the gemcolored beverages have expanded beyond Whole Foods to places like Safeway, Groupon and even the Williams-Sonoma catalog. According to industry data, the kale-and-whatever cocktails make up a $5 billion business, expected to grow by 8 percent this year.
Your meal plan
Forget the cleanse: Lose weight, keep it off, and feel refreshed with these miracle meals designed by Jen Sacheck, Ph.D., coauthor of Thinner This Year. The plan follows the 50/20/20/10 guideline: 50 percent produce, 20 percent grains, 20 percent protein and 10 percent healthy fats.
Fruity Crepe Prepare a 3-egg-white omelet stuffed with ¼ cup each blueberries and sliced strawberries; top with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Serve with 1 slice whole-grain toast and 1 teaspoon all-fruit apple butter.
Mushroom Barley Soup Bring 2 cups vegetable stock and ½ cup barley to a boil. Sauté ½ cup mushrooms for 4 minutes over high heat in a drop of olive oil and add to broth with 2–3 chopped kale leaves. Simmer 10 minutes and serve.
Tropical Cod Cover 6-ounce cod fillet with mixture of 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon flaked coconut and ½ teaspoon ground almonds; bake 15 minutes at 350°F. Serve with black-bean mango salsa: ½ cup black beans with ¼ cup corn kernels and ¼ cup diced mango dressed with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and ½ tablespoon olive oil.
Secret Smoothie Combine 1 medium banana cut into chunks, 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries, 1 handful baby spinach leaves, ½ cup cranberry or pomegranate juice and 3–4 ice cubes. Blend until smooth and serve.
Tuna, Avocado and Tomato Salad Toss 5 ounces chunk light tuna packed in water with ½ small cubed avocado, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, ½ tablespoon freshly chopped dill, 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese and juice of half a lemon. Scoop out a medium-size tomato to create a shell and stuff with tuna mixture. Serve with 1 cup red and green grapes.
Vegetable Stir-Fry Sauté 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup sliced white mushrooms and ½ cup shelled edamame with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 3 tablespoons tamari over medium heat. Serve with 1 cup steamed brown rice.
Sweet Grits Mix 1 cup yellow grits (or farina) with 1 teaspoon real maple syrup and 1 tablespoon raisins. Serve with ½ pink grapefruit.
Waldorf Lettuce Wraps Toss 4–6 ounces cooked cubed skinless chicken breast with ¼ cup low-fat plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon raisins, ½ cup diced apple and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts. Fill 2 large romaine leaves with mixture and serve.
Asian-Inspired Chicken Slaw Shred 4–6 ounces cooked skinless chicken breast into a bowl. Toss with ½ cup thinly sliced red pepper, ½ cup shredded carrots, 1 cup shredded napa cabbage, 1 tablespoon chopped cashews and ¼ cup mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed. Mix 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar and ½ tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil; toss with slaw to coat and serve on top of ½ cup steamed brown rice.
Easy Oatmeal Heat up 1 cup oatmeal and top with ½ cup blueberries. Serve with 1 medium banana.
Curried Sweet Potato Bake a medium sweet potato for 45 minutes and top with ¼ cup nonor low-fat plain Greek yogurt, ½ teaspoon curry powder and 2 drops hot sauce. Drizzle with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and serve with a side of mixed greens.
Dill Salmon In a sauté pan, poach 4–6 ounces Alaskan wild-caught salmon with ½ cup veggie broth and ½ cup good dry white wine (the alcohol cooks off), 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves and 3–4 whole peppercorns, uncovered, for about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with 1½ cups roasted halved Brussels sprouts (toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil and roast at 425°F for about 20 minutes) and ½ cup brown rice.
Southwest Tofu Scramble Sauté ½ small onion, diced, in 1 teaspoon olive oil until just soft. Add 4 ounces light-firm or extra-firm tofu, crumbled, and ⅓ cup veggie salsa and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until heated through; season with pepper and serve.
The Big Salad Toss 3 cups mixed baby greens with ¼ cup each shredded carrots, diced celery and chopped broccoli, 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, 1 ounce crumbled feta and 1 tablespoon chopped nuts of any kind; drizzle with ½ tablespoon olive oil.
Cauliflower-Millet Mash With tomato sauce (2 maincourse servings) Bring ½ cup millet and 2 cups cauliflower florets to a boil in 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth for about 12 minutes until millet looks fluffy. Remove from heat and let stand 12 to 15 minutes; then mash until airy. Top with ½ cup sugar-free tomato sauce. (One easy option: Simmer one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and 1 tablespoon capers in brine until heated through.)
SIP ON THESE Flat or fizzy water with lemon Unsweetened iced tea Decaf green or black tea Decaf coffee
Enjoy 2 Snacks a day
Small apple; lowfat cheese stick 1 cup baby carrots; 3 tablespoons hummus 1 banana; 1 tablespoon peanut butter 23 raw almonds ¼ cup black beans; 1 tablespoon each salsa and cottage cheese and ⅓ cup diced avocado; 4 celery stalks 20 frozen grapes.