Detox Diet Meal Plan
by Christine Margiotta
Detox diets are designed to help people ready their bodies for weight loss and overall good health. Detoxifying foods encourage the body to rid itself of damaging chemicals from food and the environment that may be preventing weight loss. While not recommended as long-term eating lifestyles, detox diets do help "reprogram" your body for healthier eating choices that can lead to significant, healthy weight loss.
Buy fresh, unprocessed, preferably organic foods to begin your detox-diet journey. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with fresh fruit and vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes, beets, garlic and other green and red vegetables. Citrus fruits such as lemon, grapefruit and orange are especially good detoxifiers, but keep fruit choices diverse with apples, berries and bananas. Beans such as garbanzos, lentils, pintos and kidney are allowed for their high-protein and high-fiber content. Also include brown rice, nuts, seeds, olive oil and whole grains such as quinoa and millet.
Change your drinking habits. Consume plenty of water, lemon water and unsweetened vegetable or fruit juice. Drinks like these flush your body of unwanted toxins and chemicals as well as hydrate cells to keep them functioning properly. A minimum of eight glasses of water (about 64 ounces) per day is recommended.
Preparing Your Meals
Prepare foods in advance and portion them out in containers for the week. There won't be much cooking involved: Most detox-diet foods (particularly fruits and vegetables) are best served raw for optimum nutritional absorption. However, you can also cook your vegetables by steaming, boiling, blanching, microwaving or grilling with a bit of olive oil. Steam or boil rice and grains, and soak beans before boiling them until tender. While vegetable intake is unlimited, stick to the following portion rules: 1/2-cup to one cup of rice per serving, one cup of beans per serving and no more than two tablespoons of olive oil per day.
Consult your doctor before starting your detox diet. Detox diets are temporary diet regimens, even for healthy people. Some individuals shouldn't go on detox diets because of certain health considerations. For example, pregnant women, people with eating disorders and those with cancer typically should avoid detox diets. In addition, people with certain medical conditions, such as anemia, diabetes and other genetic or autoimmune disorders may not be able to follow a detox-diet regimen without the strict supervision of a health-care provider.