Image by Wolfgang Lunien
Every holiday season is a time for fun, joy and, last but not least, food. In the midst of laughter, music and joyful conversations, you are likely to chew more than our stomach can digest. Or, you simply eat in a way that is hard for the body to digest. Think about eating mac and cheese and some slices of ham at the same time, immediately followed by a slice of cheese with some fruit toppings.
These combinations create loads of burden to the stomach as you put hard-to-digest fat, protein and carbohydrates altogether in one meal. In return, this may be what you experience the next morning: bloating, constipation, a few breakouts, tiredness and drowsiness.
At this moment, a detox diet comes in handy, as it sends out a signal for us to stop overeating. As well, this is what the body needs to do some internal cleanup, rebalance itself and regain energy, so that you can not only look good, but also feel good.
No Juice Cleanse right after the Holiday
Image by Marc Falardeau
I totally understand you: with all these indications mentioned above which make you feel sick, and with a few more breakouts on your face which probably brings down your holiday mood, you probably cannot wait to start to a post-holiday detox diet plan right off the bat. But, watch out for any extreme detox plans you might be thinking about, as an extreme form of detoxification is not what your body wants or needs either. Here’s why:
You cannot start a juice cleanse right after a big meal….
From my three-day juice cleanse experience; I have learned that getting into any form of extreme detox plan should not take place immediately. Instead, we should give our body some time to slowly pass one stage to another. That way, we’d give time to our body to adjust each minor change and minimize detox symptoms. Again, take the example of my juice cleanse experience: even though my actual juice cleanse only took three days, the entire journey from preparing for a juice cleanse and getting off it actually took me 16 days to complete!
From my experience, to prepare for a 3-day juice cleanse, I went on a plant-based diet for at least 5 days and a detoxification diet (100% raw vegetables, fruits and nuts) for another 2 days; to get out of juice cleanse, I was on a more intense detoxification diet (100% raw vegetables and fruits without nuts) for 2 days and back to plant-based diet for another 4 days. That was a total of 16 days. — an excerpt from “Acne Diet Program – Three-Day Juice Cleanse Experience”.
…and what’s more, you don’t need a juice cleanse immediately after any way.
According to Lynn Allen, M.D., an endocrinologist from the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, when our body is stuffed, we build up inflammation in the body, which can result in swollen ankles and ingestion. Yet, we should feel better the day after, as our body will “completely process all of those extra calories within 24 hours, and the inflammation will go down.” So, you see, overeating on rare occasions should not be a problem, “as long as you don’t continue overeating”, added by Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., a research associate at New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center.
Two Detox Diet Suggestions
By now, you have understood the important of a detox diet. And, equally important, you also know that detoxifying the body should not come in an extreme form, nor is it necessary to do so. Now we will jump right into the two diet plans I have discovered for you: one from Dr. Oz Show and the other from Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.. Both diet plans both aim to rid of bloating, rebalance blood sugar, remove toxins, recharge metabolism and give the liver a time for rest as well.
While Dr. Oz’s plan has thoughtfully taken care of those who still have a little sugar craving right after the holiday, I found that Joy Bauer’s plan is more strict than the one designed by Dr. Oz, as she recommends we cut out sugar and salt. What I like about her plan is that it is also full of antioxidants-packed suggestions, which helps deal with inflammation and clear up our skin. Why don’t we use Dr. Oz’s plan first, immediately followed by Joy’s diet plan ; ) So, in total, treat our body to a five-day detox. How does that sound?
Two-Day Detox Diet Plan from by Dr. Oz (download a sheet of the whole plan here)
Breakfast A: 5 cups of fast flush water each day
- 3 cups melon
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 cups water
- Blend everything together.
- Can replace 8 cups of water you normally drink everyday.
Breakfast B: Peanut butter oatmeal
- 1 packet plain oatmeal
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
Lunch: Lentil soup
- 1 cup lentils
- 3 cups chicken broth
- ½ onion
- ½ cup tomatoes
- ½ cup celery
- Mix ingredients in pot over medium heat.
- Stir until well-heated.
Dinner: Cabbage salad
- 2 cups purple cabbage
- 1 chicken breast, cooked
- 1 oz pumpkin seeds
- 1 orange
- 3 tsp olive oil
- Chop chicken into strips or small pieces.
- Toss ingredients together.
Snack: Chocolate tea
Three-Day Detox Diet Plan from by Joy Bauer (added with my personal suggestions)
Below is a set of rules we need to follow before we dive into the detox plan:
- Follow the same daily menu for three days in a row.
- Eat only what is listed on the menu–no added sugar, honey, sugar substitute, salt, salad dressing, condiments, etc.
- Drink only what is listed on the menu—no soda, fruit juice, alcohol, or diet beverages.
- Enjoy black coffee or tea at breakfast (regular or decaffeinated).
- Drink two 8-ounce glasses of water within 30 minutes of eating your lunch and dinner meals. Drink as much additional water as you’d like throughout the day.
- Drink one cup of regular or decaffeinated green tea after your lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner.
- The plan is vegetarian, but if you’d like to make it vegan see simple substitutes at breakfast and dinner.
Breakfast: Joy’s Protein Power Smoothie
- ¾ cup soy or almond milk (Joy also recommends skim milk. Yet, I personally do not recommend milk, as I see how it does harm to my skin; and I don’t want that to happen to whoever has acne-prone skin)
- ½ banana
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (for vegan plan, substitute soy, rice, or pea protein powder)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 ice cubes
Instruction: Blend until smooth and frothy.
Lunch: Spinach salad
Drink two 8-ounce glasses water (with optional lemon) within 30 minutes of eating.
- Antioxidant-rich produce (Best choices include bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, red onions, broccoli, and sliced beets. You may also add cucumbers, mushrooms, celery, and cauliflower.)
- ½ cup red kidney, pinto, or black beans
- 1 tablespoon toasted, chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Balsamic or red wine vinegar, to taste
Instruction: Mix everything together and serve immediately.
- ½ cup unsalted pistachio nuts (in shell)
- 1 cup green tea
Drink two 8-ounce glasses of water (with optional lemon) within 30 minutes of eating. Steam broccoli with optional fresh lemon juice and black pepper. Baked, grilled, broiled, or poached fish (Good choices include cod, halibut, haddock, and wild salmon, seasoned with fresh lemon and black pepper. For a vegan plan, substitute Sautéed Tofu—see recipe below)
- Oil spray (canola or olive oil)
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed for at least 30 minutes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
Instruction for making Sautéed Tofu:
- Liberally coat a large nonstick skillet with oil spray; and preheat the skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes; and add the tofu cubes to the skillet in a single layer and cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Toss the cubes and cook for 6 minutes, stirring every few minutes to brown the tofu evenly on all sides.
- Add additional oil spray as necessary to prevent the tofu from sticking to the skillet.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds (watch the pan closely to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn).
- Transfer the tofu to a plate and dress with unlimited fresh-squeezed lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
Become a Smarter Eater
Image by Davide Restivo
I am not sure about you. But, I feel that starting to look for a detox plan after Holidays is a bit passive, as we are driven to solve problems when they occur. Instead, wouldn’t it smarter if we could avoid a problem before it occurs? Next week, I will share with you some basic food combination theories. That way, when you prepare your own meal and eat outside, you will minimize the chances of suffering from bloating, constipation, and more. Stay tuned.
…in the meantime, I hope enjoy these two healthy detox diet plans!
- Post-Holiday Detox Plan from Dr. Oz Show
- Post-Holiday Detox Plan by Dr. Oz Team
- Holiday Detox Plan by Joy Bauer from Yahoo Health
- SHAPE Magazine from Yahoo Shine