Archive for March, 2010

Ready to ‘Detox’ But Not Ready for a Juice Fast?

Ready to 'Detox' But Not Ready for a Juice Fast?  Everywhere I turn these days someone is on a juice fast from Blue Print, the Master Cleanse or some other “detox program!” We are all bombarded by toxins in the food we eat, the air we breathe and even in the chemicals we put on our skin and clean our houses with, and every once in a while it is necessary to give our bodies a break and allow the detox process to take place for long-term health. There are many ways to detox, however, and it is important to find out the path that is right for you!

Have a demanding career? Juggling a go-go-go schedule as a mother? Then, perhaps a juice fast is not right for you! Last week I did a workshop with Dr. Alejandro Junger on cleansing with blended smoothies and certain pure foods. If you would like to cleanse yet think that juice fasts are too radical for you then I would suggest that you pick up Clean by Alejandro Junger, M.D. Dr. Junger, a a medical doctor with his own practice in New York City and the director of integrative medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, attributes many common ailments such as colds and viruses, allergies, insomnia, PMS, headaches, IBS, excema, depression, fatigue and weight-gain with the toxicity of our systems.

Dr. Junger’s ‘Clean’ fast is a 21-day detox program that eliminates caffeine, dairy, alcohol, gluten (wheat, rye, corn), red meat, soy-based products, sugar, and of course, processed foods. Dr. Junger program begins with a smoothie in the morning, a meal at lunch to include alkalinizing foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, non-gluten containing starches such as brown rice and quinoa, nuts and seeds, and cold water fish and chicken, and then the day ends with another smoothie. The smoothies enable the digestive system to take a break and cleanse. For those with an evening social obligation, the lunchtime meal can be exchanged for the dinnertime smoothie. Dr. Junger also gives you menus and recipes, and you can even buy the smoothie powder and supplements from his website! In 21 days, you will feel like a new person without all the self-sacrifice of a complete juice fast!

Cucumbers: Your Answer to Strong Nails and Shiny Hair!

Cucumbers: Your Answer to Strong Nails and Shiny Hair!  Have your nails been peeling or cracking or does your hair look dull after a long, cold, dry winter full of lots of late nights out and too many glasses of wine? With two children and a household to maintain (not to mention work), I am constantly washing my hands, helping with art projects, cooking, and the like. I also like to run outside (yes, even when it is cold!) By February my hair looked dull and my nails were peeling- I had officially become a mess!!! Aside from slathering lotion on your hands, putting conditioner on your hair and taking a multi-vitamin, just what did I and can you do to get the glow again? You won’t believe it but the simple answer is add cucumbers to your diet!!!

Cucumbers are very high in silicon, which is essential for building and maintaining strong nails, bones, teeth and promoting hair growth. Cucumbers are also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin K, the vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid and last, but not least potassium!

Because cucumbers are high in water, which helps replenish lost fluids, they are an ideal food to have before or after a workout and on very cold, dry days. Cucumbers are also the ideal hangover food, not only replenishing the fluids you have lost during drinking but also the potassium and B-vitamins. Cucumber juice is like healthy Gatorade! Cucumbers are also a good pick-me-up in the afternoon due to the carbohydrate content and B-vitamins. And, at 45 calories per cucumber, they won’t break your diet!

So, when I saw my tired, peeling nails and dull hair I went to work. For a few weeks, every day I would have cucumber in salads, in juices (my favorite was celery, cucumber and pear), and even sliced in my water. By the end of the two weeks, my nails are not peeling, my skin is much more supple and my hair definitely has improved its texture. Try adding cucumber to your diet and see an immediate difference!