What to Consider When Doing a Cleanse

1. Plan ahead. Planning is key to a successful health journey. The most common feedback I hear from my health coaching clients who struggle to stay on track is “I didn’t have time.” We all lead such busy lives, and also things beyond our control come up. Plan as much as you can, and then be flexible and creative to still meet your goals.

20140406-085823.jpg

2. Set goals you can keep. I know how this sounds, but this is not at all settling or having a low standards for health. Incrementally increase your goals to achieve success. Outright lofty goals can be so overwhelming. It’s hard to stick to them. Don’t set yourself up– set yourself up for success.

 

 

3. Consider your health. Your current status of health is crucial. If you are on medication or have any particular condition, you will need to consult your physician before doing a cleanse. Cleanses are good, but they are not one-size fits all. Doing a juice cleanse for instance, may not be enough.

blood oranges and white jean shorts

 

4. Don’t do it for weight loss. Weight loss is often a bi-product of doing a cleanse, but it should not be the objective. You don’t want to change a cleanse into a crash diet. You’ll put undue pressure on yourself and your body. A cleanse will help your body perform optimally by removing toxins and boosting metabolism. It can definitely jump start your weight loss journey, but I feel strongly that it should not be a weight loss technique.

 

Green smoothie cleansing drink

5. Don’t cheat. We can reason our way out of anything. We humans are crafty this way. This is why #2 is so important. Setting goals you can reasonably stick to instead of ones you will later disregard when they matter most. Take the raw/vegan challenge, for instance. I knew that I would not want to do raw food all day. I’m stuck in a ridiculously cold, over air-conditioned building for almost 10 hours each day. All I really want when I get home is warm meal, and not cold food. I felt it was much more reasonable to do what I’ve seen others do which is raw before 4pm. This gave me to opportunity to enjoy a warm, sensible vegan meal each evening.

 

20140108-231055.jpg

6. Get rest and lots of water. Sometimes as your body is adjusting to a cleanse and ridding itself of toxins, you may feel a bit tired. The tired feeling will not last, but it is good to plan for it and get to bed early the first few days. You should also consume lots of water, though I won’t tell you how much that is. Your water intake should be based on a lot of factors: your weight, level of activity, and the weather, to name a few. I’ve never been a fan of just blindly doing a gallon of water a day drinking challenge. For what? Not everyone needs that. I think the water intake needs a little more thought. But let’s just for now stick to a minimum of 8 glasses per day to be safe. 🙂

 

Stay tuned for a follow-up post and video next week of what I ate during the cleanse and more tips!

So that’s it! These are just a few tips and tricks that you might consider if you’re thinking of doing any type of cleanse. I hope it helps you decide if a cleanse is best for you, and makes you think more in depth about how you might need to customize your plan. If you have further questions, comment below!

xoxo,

Fifi

My Top Teen Chefs

About a month ago, I was given the wonderful opportunity to become the culinary coordinator for a chef internship for teens at a private school in the city. They are all levels of high school, and are all voluntarily a part of the internship based on their desire to learn to cook, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle.

This is a phenomenal school they attend; the school specializes in accommodating the learning styles of students who are brilliant, but who also face challenges in the classroom due to learning disabilities. An internship makes these teens more skilled and more well-rounded as they get ready to enter the work force and pursue higher education.

If you follow my Facebook fan page, you may have seen pictures of food taken in a big, stainless steel, industrial style kitchen from time to time. That’s when I’m working.

Now, to accommodate what I do with TDH, my full time engineering job and this– I have to be up between 4:45am and 5:15am most days. And I’ll tell you– it’s all SO worth it! It makes me appreciate my time even more and also forces me to be more organized about meal prepping, personal time, sleep, etc.

For the most part, I create recipes for them or pull recipes from this blog or my book, The Divine Hostess: A Guide to Cooking, Hosting, and Healthy Living. My students who claimed to be picky eaters now can boast of trying a myriad of colorful fruits and veggies, green smoothies, vegan and gluten-free baked goods, and fusion dishes.

We’ve made raw tacos using large collard leaves and ground walnuts as meat.

20140312-073948.jpg

The students also enjoyed a lesson on how to supreme citrus fruit and then used those to make a delicious arugula salad with lemony vinaigrette, citrus, and fresh herbs.

Most recently, the students used my chana masala tacos recipe and then had fun arranging these tacos with cilantro, colorful cabbage, and spices.

20140312-074807.jpg

I cannot express enough how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to share my passion with young people! I think I am learning as much as they are. Stay tuned for more updates!

Xoxo,
Fifi

Easy Turkey Rollups

In my last post titled, “Lean Abs“, I mentioned making good choices for meals and snacks. My easy turkey rollups are perfect for snacks, lunches or picnic finger foods. Not only are these rollups great for children, they are great for children to assemble. Fun, easy, and healthy? What is there to lose? I used Tofurkey for the demo, but feel free to use carved turkey, or any other sliced meat. They can also be wrapped in lettuce. Check out this quick video on how to put them together:

3 Easy Gym Tips

Staying fit and keeping active for many is no easy feat. With work, children, travel, and catching up with friends and loved ones– it is sometimes hard to lock down a set schedule to head to the gym or get outdoors and be active. An active lifestyle helps relieve stress and maintain weight, but it works best in conjunction with a nutritious diet and plenty of rest. When I think of all the reasons I have skipped physical fitness, it mostly comes back to being tired or being too hungry. To remedy this, I have learned to snack. Snacking between meals should not be out of boredom, but out of purpose. It should hold a person over till their next meal, and it can also fuel a person before a tough workout. In these summer months, I will periodically blog about easy snack ideas so that we can all stay on track with our fitness goals. Here are a few things that consistently keep me feeling energized and light and ready to tackle a tough workout:

3 Easy Gym Tips
1.Smoothies and shakes:Add protein powder, fruit and any green and you instantly have a high protein, low calorie drink that helps you stay on track with your daily fruit and vegetable intake. Click here for a great shake recipe.

2. Nuts: You need only a small handful to provide you with fuel from protein and fat. These are very easy to store in the office or in your gym bag for emergencies.Does anyone else get cranky when they are hungry??

3. Water: spend a little money on a good refillable water container. It’s worth it. If you are feeling thirsty, you are probably already a little dehydrated!
4. Greek yogurt: Low calorie, high protein, and delicious.
5. Berries: These are full of antioxidants and they are brain food. If you are sharp and alert, you will have the mental power to PUSH during your workout!

Here is a link to my video pertaining to fitness and food tips:

Sweet Potato Steak Fries

I have a confession to make: french fries are definitely a weakness of mine! Most of the time I just steer clear altogether, but I get really excited when I get the chance to eat them. Fries are unhealthy because of the high amount of oil they are cooked in, and the sodium. Also, white potatoes  aren’t as packed with nutrients as say, a sweet potato. One cup of cubed sweet potatoes has 377% the daily intake of Vitamin A, 448 mg potassium, and 4 grams of fiber. As the rule goes, the more vibrant the color, the higher the nutrients. I decided to use a sweet potato to beat my craving, and get a healthy dose of nutrients to boot!  My sweet potato steak fries are super fast and easy to make. They are great with a wrap, topped with chili, or with a burger. Below you will see that the measures for this recipe are given for an individual serving. Increase as needed.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 to 1 sweet potato per person, depending on size
  • 1 tsp Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBSP 21 seasoning salute
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp grapeseed oil

 

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise, and then into large 1″ wedges.  In a large mixing bowl, toss wedges with 2 tsp oil per potato. Add curry powder, ground cumin, 21 seasoning salute, and coarse sea salt and make sure all wedges are coated evenly. Spread wedges out on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning over wedges halfway through baking time.

 

*Baking time may vary depending on oven.