Jazz Fest is behind us, and if you’re looking to get back on track with diet and exercise, you may be tempted to do a strict cleanse or detox program. But these can be so restrictive that they’re nearly impossible to stick with, plus they often focus more on what you can’t have, rather than what you can.
Instead, here are 5 things to add to your diet that will not only help to edge out the bad stuff, they’ll also help to optimize energy, curb cravings, and leave you feeling balanced and rejuvenated.
- Eliminate the obvious: Added sugar, white carbs, deep-fried foods, processed foods.
- Center diet on lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, fruit (particularly berries), and plenty of fluids (e.g. water, sparkling water, tea, coconut water, etc)
- Coffee and wine are fine (as long as coffee isn’t sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners), and not more than one glass of wine daily.
1. Apple cider vinegar
Why: Reduce fluid retention, stabilize blood sugar levels, and possibly lower triglycerides levels. Apple cider vinegar can also help to neutralize acidity in the body, which may help reduce joint pain and improve energy.
How: Add a tablespoon apple cider vinegar and a squeeze of lemon to one cup of warm water.
Why: These ‘good’ bacteria can aid in digestion and boost immune system, and are linked to a lower risk of certain types of cancer.
How: Add at least one source of probiotics daily (think plain Greek yogurt, kefir, Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi).
3. Healthy fats
Why: They keep us feeling fuller, longer, plus they’re necessary for healthy skin, hair and nails, hormone production, good ‘HDL’ cholesterol, and nutrient absorption.
How: Add healthy fats to each meal and snack (to keep calories in check, a ‘serving’ is ¼ avocado, ¼ cup nuts, 1 tbsp of olive oil, nut butter, or coconut oil), or 3-6 ounces of omega-3-rich fish like salmon.
Why: They’re packed with nutrients, low in calories, and rich in belly-filling fiber.
How: Aim for at least 4 cups a day, whether fresh, frozen (with no added sauce/seasoning), or freshly-juiced.
5. All-natural fluids
Why: Maintain energy levels, necessary for nutrient absorption and proper metabolism.
How: Aim for at least half of body weight in ounces. Can be any all-natural, calorie-free liquid – not just water. Sparkling water, tea, water with flavors infused, juiced vegetables, & Kombucha all count toward fluid intake.