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Detox Diet Week: The 7 Day Weight Loss Cleanse

Detox Diet Week: The 7 Day Weight Loss Cleanse

If you’re a busy working person, it is easy to sabotage yourself at meal time because we are inclined to eat what is quick and easy, and most of the time, these are the highest-calorie options. Also, the last thing a busy professional wants to do at the end of a long work day is to cook a meal and clean dishes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines safe weight loss as being 1 to 2 pounds per week. Dieting alone can help people lose an average of nearly 1 pound per week if they cut 500 calories from their daily diets per day. Drinking about 20 onces of soda puts you at around 230 calories, so if you cut back on your daily soda intake and switch to skim milk in your coffee, you’re practically there.

The 7-day detox plan below is filled with easy, healthy, whole-food recipes. I did a Dr. OZ 3-day detox a few years ago, and the food was much more basic than this and quite frankly, not as tasty, but it worked. After three days, I felt great. The best part was that I was not just drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper or some sort of weird juice concoction. I am a big supporter of eating real foods especially, whole foods. If you are going to exercise regularly while you do this, which I highly recommend, you will want the calories and something other than juice in your stomach.

Ditch calorie cutting and resorting to juice-only detoxes for good. Woodson Merrell, MD and Mary Beth Augustine, MS, RDN, authors of The Detox Prescription, have a plan to detox in just seven days by eating whole foods. Whole foods offer the same benefits of detoxing (reversing diet damage, inflammation, and providing antioxidants to prevent further damage); plus, they provide you with a healthy diet you can maintain for a longer amount of time than when resorting to juicing.

Follow this two-phase plan to feel vibrant, younger, and refreshed in seven days.

Days 1–3: Eat Only Soft Foods

This is the best way to get the biggest health boost. You’re aiding digestion, which allows your body to absorb food better and floods your body with nutrients (anything that improves digestion will improve absorption of nutrients).

How Much Can I Eat?

You can eat three meals and two snacks. Calories don’t matter — this plan is all about colors, so eat as much as you want at each meal.

Meals

Breakfast: Sweet Potato With Fruit and Cinnamon
sweet-potato

    Find the original recipe here.

    Ingredients

    • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling potatoes after cooked
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • Add apples, berries or whatever fruit you like.

    Instructions

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    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    • Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.
    • Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter.

    Yield: 4 servings

    Lunch: Cauliflower Rice With Stuffed Avocado (With Hummus, Lemon, Salt and Pepper)

    8576501449_8ed970efd8_k

      Ingredients

      • 3 cups cauliflower florets
      • 1 lemon
      • 2 avocados
      • 1 cup diced tomato
      • hummus
      • salt and pepper to taste

      Instructions

      • Cut then blend chunks of cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of water in a blender to make “rice.”
      • Once finely blended, add juice from the lemon into blender.
      • Blend until mixed well.
      • Half the two avocados, scoop out a spoonful of the inside to allow for more stuffing. Stuff the avocadoes with blended mixture.
      • Top with ¼ cup tomato and hummus on each boat.

      Dinner: Savory Mushroom Soup

      1024px-Mushroom_Soup

        Find the original recipe here.

        Ingredients

        • 2 tablespoons butter
        • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
        • 2 1/2 cups Organic Chicken Broth
        • 4 cups fresh mushrooms, halved (about 12 ounces)
        • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
        • 1/4 cup light cream

        Instructions

        • Heat the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir the broth in the saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
        • Place the mushrooms and onion in a food processor. Cover and process until they’re puréed. Add to the broth mixture with the thyme and cream. Increase the heat to medium. Heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

        Snacks: nut butter and banana, berry sorbet

        Days 4–7: Eat C-C-A Foods

         What Are C-C-A Foods?
        ·         CRUCIFEROUS (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts)

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        ·         CITRUS (lemon, limes and mandarin oranges)

        ·         ALLIUM (onion and garlic)

        How Do These Foods Work?

        The CCA foods you’re incorporating into the detox are particularly powerful in helping further eliminate the toxins and dramatically increase the detoxification process.

        How Much Can I Eat?

        You can eat three meals and two snacks per day day. Like in the last few days, calories don’t matter in this phase, either.

        Meals

        Breakfast: Tofu Veggie Scramble

        Easy-Southwest-Tofu-Scramble-10-ingredients-simple-preparation-and-SO-delicious-vegan-glutenfree2

          Find the original recipe here.

          Ingredients

          Scramble

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          • 8 ounces extra firm tofu
          • Olive oil
          • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
          • 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
          • 2 cups kale, loosely chopped

          Sauce

          • 1/2 tsp sea salt
          • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
          • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
          • 1/4 tsp chili powder
          • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)

          For Serving

          • Salsa
          • Cilantro
          • Hot Sauce

          Instructions

          • Pat tofu dry and roll in a clean, absorbent towel with something heavy on top, such as a cast iron skillet, for 15 minutes
          • While tofu is draining, prepare sauce by adding dry spices to a small bowl and adding enough water to make a pour-able sauce. Set aside.
          • Prep veggies and warm a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and the onion and red pepper. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Cook until softened – about 5 minutes.
          • Add kale, season with a bit more salt and pepper, and cover to steam for 2 minutes.
          • In the meantime, unwrap tofu and use a fork to crumble into bite-sized pieces.
          • Use a spatula to move the veggies to one side of the pan and add tofu. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add sauce, pouring it mostly over the tofu and a little over the veggies. Stir immediately, evenly distributing the sauce. Cook for another 5-7 minutes until tofu is slightly browned.
          • Serve immediately with the breakfast potatoes, toast or fruit. I like to add more flavor with salsa, hot sauce and/or fresh cilantro. Serves 2.

          Cruciferous: broccoli

          Citrus: side grapefruit

          Allium: scallions

          Lunch: Lentil-Cashew Peppers
          stuffedpeppers

            Find the original recipe here.

            Ingredients

            • 1 tbsp curry powder
            • 1 cup raw cashew milk
            • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
            • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
            • 1 cup curly kale leaves, roughly chopped
            • 3/4 cup diced tomato
            • 1/3 cup unsulphured raisins
            • 1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped
            • 2 cups cooked brown lentils
            • 1 pinch sea salt
            • 4 bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, cored and seeded

            Instructions

            • Preheat the oven to 350º F. In a small bowl, whisk the curry powder into the cashew milk. Set aside.
            • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes or until soft and translucent.
            • Add the kale, tomato and raisins and sauté lightly for 4 to 5 minutes.
            • Reduce the heat to low and add the chopped cashews and cashew milk mixture to the skillet.
              Stir until the kale and raisins are evenly coated and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
            • Remove from the heat, combine with the cooked lentils and season with sea salt to taste.
            • Stuff the pepper halves with the lentil-cashew mixture, arrange in a 13″ x 9″ oiled baking pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the lentil mixture is heated through.

            Cruciferous: green beans & red cabbage

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            Citrus: lemon zest

            Allium: garlic

            Dinner: Three-Bean Kale Sauté With Brown Rice
            kalethreebean diet

              Find the original recipe here.

              Ingredients

              • 1 cup black beans
              • 1 cup red kidney beans
              • 1 cup white beans
              • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
              • 1/4 tsp sea salt
              • 1/4 tsp black pepper
              • 1 tsp crushed red-pepper flakes
              • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
              • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
              • 1 lb kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
              • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
              • 4 cups cooked brown rice, prepared according to directions

              Instructions

              • Cook the beans according to directions on label or use canned beans. Drain and rinse the beans, then drain again.
              • In a mixing bowl, combine beans with 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes and toss thoroughly.
              • In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft but not browned.
              • Turn the heat up to high, add the broth and kale and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
              • Add the beans, stir and cook covered for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the liquid is evaporated.
              • Remove from the heat, toss with the vinegar, top each serving with 1/2 cup brown rice and serve immediately, accompanied by a salad.

              Cruciferous: kale

              Citrus: lemon

              Allium: onions

              Snacks: oranges, red peppers, kale chips, nuts and seeds

              Featured photo credit: http://www.chiropractorshoustontexas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Healthy-Eating-to-help-prevent-illnesses-like-heart-colen-and-kidney-disease.jpg via google.com

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              Published on November 14, 2018

              Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

              Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

              With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

              For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

              In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

              Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

              Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

              It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

              For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

              Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

              Symptoms of Fatigue

              Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

              • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
              • mental blocks
              • lack of motivation
              • headache
              • dizziness
              • muscle weakness
              • slowed reflexes and responses
              • impaired decision-making and judgement
              • moodiness, such as irritability
              • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
              • reduced immune system function
              • blurry vision
              • short-term memory problems
              • poor concentration
              • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

              Causes of Fatigue

              The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

              • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
              • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
              • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
              • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

              Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

              Medical Causes of Fatigue

              If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

              Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

              Anemia

              Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

              Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

              There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

              Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

              Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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              This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

              Diabetes

              Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

              Sleep Apnea

              Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

              Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

              Thyroid disease

              An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

              Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

              • Lack of sleep
              • Too much sleep 
              • Alcohol and drugs 
              • Sleep disturbances 
              • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
              • Poor diet 

              Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

              • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
              • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
              • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
              • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

              Psychological Causes of Fatigue

              Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

              • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
              • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
              • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

              How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

              Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

              1. Tell The Truth

              Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

              To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

              Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

              The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

              One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

              • How you feel
              • What time of day it is
              • What may have contributed to your fatigue
              • How your mind and body reacts

              This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

              2. Reduce Your Commitments

              When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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              If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

              When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

              Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

              3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

              If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

              Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

              If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

              Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

              Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

              4. Express More Gratitude

              Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

              It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

              Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

              5. Focus On Yourself

              Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

              There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

              But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

              We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

              6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

              Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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              Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

              The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

              Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

              7. Take a Power Nap

              When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

              Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

              This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

              8. Take More Exercise

              The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

              Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

              The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

              You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

              9. Get More Quality Sleep

              To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

              Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

              My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

              10. Improve Your Diet

              Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

              Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

              On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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              To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

              Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

              Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

              11. Manage Your Stress Levels

              Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

              When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

              Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

              My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

              12. Get Hydrated

              Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

              Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

              If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

              The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

              The Bottom Line

              These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

              If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

              Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
              [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
              [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
              [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
              [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
              [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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