Fear not! The New Year is your chance to hit the reset button and go healthy. One study showed that people gain weight between October and December and another one to three pounds between Christmas and New Year. About half the weight was lost quickly, but the other half hung around for a while.
One way to quickly lose weight is to try a fast, says best-selling author and nutritionist Cherie Calbom, known as “The Juice Lady,” whose latest book is The Juice Lady’s Guide to Fasting (www.juiceladycherie.com). You can lose at least a pound a day and recharge your energy, she says.
Sugar, fat, and alcohol damage the body in more ways that just adding on pounds. Studies show that alcohol and sugar contribute to fatty liver disease. Other studies show that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. No wonder we find it hard to stop eating sweets once we start. And according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, eating too much animal fat may damage your hypothalamus, the area of your brain that regulates energy balance.
If wellness is your New Year goal, juice fasting gives your immune system a boost with its abundance of antioxidants such as vitamin C and carotenoids that strengthen the immune cells. It’s also a great way to look younger and more refreshed.
The juice fast is the best post-holiday detox diet. With a juice fast, you give up solid foods, and enjoy delicious, nutrient-rich beverages. Juicing is particularly beneficial because it’s broken down like a predigested food. It’s very easy to absorb the nutrients, which get right into your system.
Start with Calbom’s 3-day cleansing juice fast for a quick detox and reset. Juices flush the system and their antioxidants bind to toxins and carry them out of the body so they don’t damage cells. The only thing to watch is fruit if you have diabetes or hypoglycemia. Although you can add a small amount of low sugar fruit like green apple or berries for flavor.
If you aren’t sure you can hack a liquid fast because you’ll crave flavor, think again. Here are three of Calbom’s favorite recipes, designed to taste great while cleansing out the holiday junk.
Weight Loss Buddy Cocktail
Jerusalem artichoke juice combined with carrot and beet is a traditional remedy for sat-isfying cravings for sweets and junk food. The key is to sip it slowly when you get a craving for high-fat or high-carb foods.
1 Jerusalem artichoke, scrubbed well
3-4 carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
1 green apple (lower in sugar than red or yellow)
1-inch chunk ginger root
Cut produce to fit your juicer’s feed tube. Juice ingredients and stir. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible.
Beet- Berry Liver Cleanse Juice
Beets have been used as a traditional remedy for liver cleansing by many naturopathic doctors and nutritionists.
2 medium beets
1 cup blueberries
1 green apple
1 large carrot
1 broccoli stem
1 lemon, peeled
1-inch chunk ginger
1/2 cup coconut water
Juice all ingredients. Add coconut water, stir, and enjoy!
Green Muscle Mender
Are you strength training? Spinach helps your muscles recover due to its high magnesium content—157 mg per cup.
1 large handful spinach
1 green apple
1-inch chunk ginger root
2-inch piece fresh turmeric root (optional)
Juice all ingredients, stir, and enjoy!
Ready to Take Action?
- Get a juicer that’s easy to use or find a good juice bar. You can also use freeze dried juice powder in a pinch.
- Drink 3-6 glasses of juice a day.
- Drink 8 glasses of water to flush your system.
- Check out the Dirty Dozen at ewg.org. You’ll want to avoid the most heavily pesticide-sprayed produce and get organic when it comes to these twelve.
- Pick the best day to start and get all your produce assembled in advance unless you’re going to your local juice bar.
- Many people find it easiest to start on a weekend day.