Posts tagged ‘detox’

December 11, 2015

Holiday Detox Series: Baked Avocado Egg Baskets

by ashley

  Trying to keep your diet in check during the holidays? Want to impress guests with a healthy, delicious and fun vegetarian breakfast alternative? This recipe is ridiculously easy, yet the results will amaze guests who’ve never had avocado egg baskets before.

Avocados are one of nature’s superfoods, full of vitamins and antioxidants it is a perfect detox food. My approach to detoxing is relatively simple, instead of worrying about juicing or expensive supplements, instead fill your detox diet with real foods that are low calorie and nutrient dense. Forgo anything processed or with refined sugars. Of course, the point of the Holiday detox is to work these foods in around your holiday celebrations. Plan your cheat meals wisely, keep the “cheating” to a minimum, but enjoy yourself. You only live once!

Baked Avocado Egg Baskets

Serves 2

One hass avocado

Two eggs

1 tbsp coconut oil

Optional: caramelized onions, chives, basil, fresh pico de gallo, etc. for topping once out of the oven

Preheat oven to 400F.

I like to use a muffin tin to bake the avocados as it keeps them in place better. Use the coconut oil to grease two openings in the muffin tin to prevent any egg white spillage from sticking to your pan.

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Use a spoon to create a slightly bigger hole in each avocado half to allow an egg to sit in the hole. (I like to eat the extra at this point! You can also reserve for another recipe later in the day, just remember to squeeze some lime or lemon on it to keep it from browning.)

Place the halves onto the muffin tin, skin side down, resting in one of the openings you greased with coconut oil. Carefully crack one egg into each avocado half, trying to avoid spilling the egg white.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the egg white is set but the yolk is still soft.

After removing from the oven, this is where I like to get creative. Work with your own tastes and whatever you have on hand at the time. Top with chopped fresh basil or chives. Add some caramelized onions. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh tomatoes, pico de gallo or salsa. There are so many things that pair nicely with this!

***If you are allergic to latex, talk to your doctor before adding avocado to your diet. People with a serious latex allergy may experience symptoms after eating avocado.

 

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December 3, 2015

Holiday Detox Series: Publix Edamame Steam-in-Bag

by ashley

 Like most of the country this past week, I ate waaaayyy too much over Thanksgiving. Too many desserts to count – who can say no to ricotta pumpkin cheesecake? I learned I definitely cannot! And so many savory carbs like bread, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, rice and gandules, russian potato salad….ehhh. Needless to say, it’s only the beginning of December and already the holiday pounds are starting to creep up on me. I don’t want it to get out of hand so I’ve decided to start my “new year’s resolution” early – instead of January, why don’t we start in December IN BETWEEN all of the horrible eating that accompanies this time of year? This will be a mini-series of posts as I go along my holiday season natural detox diet. There will be cheat days, of course, on the days that I have a party or family gathering, but I will limit them and also keep portions in check. Everything in moderation!

This time of year is also one of the busiest, meaning that I don’t have a lot of prep time for my healthy meals. I’m looking for quick, cheap and healthy meals and snacks. So far I raided my local Publix who had a sale on their steam-in-bag vegetables. I love edamame, but had actually never made it at home. Typically in restaurants it comes covered in salt or sauces, which are not part of my holiday detox plan, so the Publix brand edamame is a perfect snack or side dish being that the ingredients listed are just: edamame!

Since I’m a glutton, I need these nutrient dense, low calorie options so I can eat large quantities. I ate the ENTIRE BAG as part of my dinner yesterday and it came out to only 275 calories, 8.8 grams of fat, 27.5 carbs and it gave me a whole 12.5 grams of protein. A great way to add bulk to your diet without packing on the calories. It’s super easy to make: pop in the microwave for 5-6 minutes, let sit for a minute or so to cool and then eat. For the holiday detox, make sure not to add any salt or sauce. The more you eat veggies on their own, the more your taste buds will become accustomed to not needing as much salt. Also make sure to drink as much water as you can throughout the day. I try to drink about 16 oz an hour, sipping constantly. Your body will adjust to the increase in your water intake after a few days, but the first couple of days you will go to the bathroom a lot more often. This is great for your whole body, giving your skin a great glow and also cleaning out your organs.

You don’t need to do an expensive juice cleanse or detox pills to really clean up your body and your nutrition. Focus on lots of water, cutting back on refined sugar and sodium, as well as eating lots of whole foods. If you’re struggling with flavor, try adding fresh garlic or herbs to your food. Make sure you don’t use any mixed seasonings that have sodium. You’ll want to limit your sodium intake on your “clean” days as much as possible!

January 2, 2013

100% Natural Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit Chips

by ashley

Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit ChipsI’ve never been a huge fan of commercially made dehydrated or freeze dried fruits. Usually they taste like cardboard and are loaded with preservatives, which completely negates any health benefits. So I was torn as to what to snack on while at my conference next week (will be flying off to Denver), while still maintaining my diet. Yes, I know – so cliché, I’m dieting in January LOL. Wandering the crowded aisles of my local Walmart (tough times call for budgeting!) I was super excited to find these cute, individual 45 calorie packets of Chiquita Fruit Chips. The ingredients are so simple, literally just pineapple. Yup, that’s it. No chemicals, no oils, no sugar. Just the fruit of choice.

Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit Chips - PineappleThey have three varieties: pineapple, mango and banana. I grabbed a pack of six individual baggies: three banana and three pineapple. So far I’ve only tried the Pineapple, but they were so tasty I knew I wanted to share it with our readers. Chiquita says on the package that they are “100% air-crisped fruit, never fried or freeze-dried”, and the end product definitely shows the care they took in preparing them. While not quite like dehydrated fruit, which I love when executed properly, these are crispier. This makes them a great alternative to fat-laden chips, and also healthier being that there are no added ingredients. There is the obvious sweetness of the fruit, mingled with the satisfying crunch and the fruit “re-hydrates” in your mouth while chewing, giving a great finish. The 45 calorie snack bags are also unbelievably satiating, even for heavy appetites like mine!

Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit Chips - Pineapple Nutrition FactsIf you can’t find them in grocery stores, you can also purchase them on Amazon (albeit larger containers):

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_16?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=chiquita+super+crunchy+fruit+chips&sprefix=chiquita+super+c%2Caps%2C177

Healthy, delicious and 100% natural – a wonderful pre-packaged snack! Great for kid’s lunches, road tripping and even detoxing!

August 29, 2011

The Real Fountain of Youth

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Photo by: Images by John 'K' on Flickr

Water is the giver of life – so why do so many of us deprive ourselves of this resource, especially when there are thousands that live without it for reasons outside their control? Most of you reading this live in places with abundant clean, refreshing water. Instead of reaching for that soda or “power” drink, try fueling your body with water. Not only will your internal organs thank you for it, but your skin will literally glow with satisfaction.

 

At the age of 21 I was hospitalized for four weeks due to kidney troubles. A combination of kidney stones and an inflamed kidney made me writhe in pain, requiring surgery and weeks of medication. After it was over, I visited my urologist for a follow up and he told me my number one problem was simply water intake. They couldn’t find any other answer. Fast forward two years and I am still learning the hard way that water really does have a huge impact on health. While I have never been a soda drinker, I love fruit juice and teas. I thought that I was healthy, but in reality everything I was drinking is a diuretic, making my body lose liquid and slowly dehydrating myself. I would still have sharp kidney pains, especially when running (I was training for my first half marathon). I drank water, but only when tea or juice was unavailable, and sometimes would go days on only tea or juice. I would sometimes feel so sick without knowing why, but I now realize it was the days that I drank the least water.

 

I cannot say I’m perfect now, far from it, but I have been drinking much more water than before. I don’t drink fruit juices at all anymore and have limited my tea intake to one or two glasses every couple of days. Other than that, I’m on 100% fresh water. While thinking of writing this, I decided to do a little research about other benefits of drinking water. And while I haven’t found great resources, it seems to be a general consensus on the internet that water also has a lot to do with clearing acne, weight loss and general overall health. I completely agree, as I have had first hand experience with all of those things. I notice I have less breakouts the more water I drink, it does help me feel fuller and therefore assist in weight loss efforts, and I certainly feel much better overall when drinking more water.

 

I recently went on vacation, and after losing 13 pounds, have fallen off the healthy eating bit a little. Thankfully I haven’t gained more than a couple of pounds, which really could just be natural weight fluctuation, but today I, along with Jessica, have started over our healthy eating plans with another detox jump-start. Just as before, no pills or scary powders involved; just lots of fresh water (11-12 glasses, or 88-96 ounces per day), fresh steamed veggies on days 1-2 and all-natural smoothies on days 3-5. Focusing on fresh, healthy and under-seasoned foods helps my body rejuvenate itself and to curb cravings for refined sugar and fat. Slowly adding in whole grains and healthy protein after the fifth day really makes the difference in the way you look at food. It works, I’ve already done it once and that’s how I lost the first 13 pounds in about five weeks.

 

This is a plan that anyone can follow: vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, flexitarian…it doesn’t matter. All you need is a willingness to let your body rest, focus on yourself and your long-term health. This is no quick-fix plan, as you can see I only lost an average of 2.6 pounds per week, but this is the type of life change that will really make a difference in your body. The moral of the story is: listen to your body and drink LOTS and LOTS of water! Stay away from processed foods, refined sugar and unnecessary fat. Water is essential to life, any other liquid just cannot hold up to it. The fountain of youth is all around you, and in most places it won’t even cost you more than your water bill.

June 27, 2011

Super Antioxidant Detox Smoothie: Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry and Spinach

by ashley

by Ashley MorganThis detox has certainly kicked my butt – but it’s been good for me. While I may never again look at a fruit smoothie the same way, I’ve learned a lot about the way that I think about food and what hold it really has on me. The most important thing I’ve learned is that I can control my cravings, I don’t have to give in to my addictions. It takes a lot of energy and dedication at first, but believe me, you will learn to not even think about other foods.

I also learned that it’s okay to cheat every now and then. Just cheat smart – if you’re starving and craving something big, first drink a big glass of water. If after a few minutes you still feel hungry, cook up some portobello mushrooms and onions. If you’re craving something salty, grab some olive hummus and seed crackers. And if you’re feeling especially guilty: vegan dark chocolate certainly hits the spot 🙂

For my last day of the detox, I wanted to share my smoothie that I’ve eaten almost everyday. It really is tasty, especially when you’re not dreading eating it three times a day for a week!

I freeze my own fruit, I just feel more comfortable knowing the state of the fruit before being frozen. That is just a pet-peeve of mine, and it’s perfectly acceptable to buy flash-frozen fruit (and usually it is much fresher).

Here is a simple detox smoothie recipe, using on fresh fruits and spinach, that will keep your body nourished and healthy, without any preservatives or added sugars.

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup fresh strawberries

1/2 cup fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup ice-cold water

Simply toss in a blender and blend until smooth. Nature’s tastiest concoction!

Do you have any favorite smoothie recipes, using only all-natural ingredients? Share them below!

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