DETOX ….The Master Cleanse it is!

We all know how I feel about Food; I love eating it, I love cooking it, and I love shopping for it. Food is a big staple in my life as I am sure in most people’s lives.
However, lately I have been feeling kind of in a slump about it, I feel like I am so consumed with the many recent changes going on, with summer headed our way, the allergies I have due to the pollen and so on.
So after much consideration I have decided that I will do the ‘Master Cleanse’ a combination of water, lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I have done this cleanse a few times already and it always makes me feel fantastic it gives me that extra energy I need during times when I am not feeling so great.

The Benefits of a Detox

Besides the usual benefits of increased energy, clear eyes, skin and regulated moods, Detoxing has many other benefits:

  • Improves our Immune Function
  • Reduce the amount of toxins and pollution into our body to lessen the burden against the detoxification organs
  • Promote healthy eating, nutrition and supplementation to help our body effectively clear the toxins
  • Scavenge free radicals and eliminate toxins
  • Strengthen body’s fight against cancer cells and generate healthy cells in our body
  • Cleanse mucous, congestion, fermentation, inflammation in our digestive tract
  • Purify our blood
  • Reform our lifestyle addictions for sugar, salt, high glycemic carbohydrates, alcohol, junk foods, nicotine, etc

The first time I did “The Master Cleanse” was back in 2005 everyone had said that I would not be able to go without food for 21 days and it kinda kicked something in me to prove them wrong. I had started to smoke in 2004 and went from hating smoke to smoking about a pack or more a day, I never had it in me to quit and didn’t even want to.
So when I started the cleanse I hadn’t thought of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to smoke either. And, obviously after reading everything carefully and really soaking in the words “DETOX” I realized that I had embarked one tough journey. The first 3 days were torturous I had a horrible headaches from the caffeine withdrawal, I was craving my cigarettes, had muscle and body aches and I didn’t know if I would be able to complete it. However, although every single day I thought about quitting (sincerely only because I missed and craved the food), I started noticing how energetic and wonderful I was feeling, I would wake up in great moods, I had tons of energy (sexually as well, ha!) and felt like I was a new person; and the bonus was that I also lost a few lbs.

When I got off the cleanse I had no desire to put a cigarette in my mouth and felt so great. It was a way for me to push the button and start anew. I felt fantastic. I have consistently done the cleanse just about once a year, right when I start feeling sluggish and not so great, with the weather changes and my not so inspirational mood I know that I need to reset myself and this seems to work fantastic for me.

I only do it for 10 days, I have never re-done the 21 days I initially did. I don’t really know of any other detox because I generally stick to what I like. This one worked for me so I do it. However, you have to know that you are not allowed to eat anything at all, you can only drink the lemon mix, water and herbal teas. So, I don’t suggest everyone to do it because it is tough, there are other cleanses that are less drastic, I will list them below. I do however suggest an occasional detox, it’s good to give your body a break so that it can focus solely on you and help give that extra spark back in your everyday life. However, if you are doing this exclusively to lose weight I would suggest other things and always remember to contact your physician before starting any cleanse/detox. And remember to follow the guidelines carefully, you have to introduce the right foods back into your body slowly, I have attached the original link to the Master Cleanse for instruction.  Ciao

Master Cleanse:

  1. Nightly Laxatives (Herbal tea called “Smooth Move”) you can find it in any health store
  2. Salt Water Flush

Prior to your first day on The Lemonade Diet you should have taken your Nightly Laxative. On your first full day you do not need to do the SWF so you can start drinking your Lemonade immediately upon waking.

Lemonade Diet Recipe

Mix each of the following lemonade diet ingredients into a large glass:

  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1/10 Teaspoon of  Cayenne Pepper Powder – or to taste (as much as you can stand)
  • 8 ounces (250 milliliters of Pure Water)

Little tip: Roll each lemon firmly between your palm and the counter. Put sufficient downward pressure as you rock the lemon back and forth under your hand. You are softening the lemon to make the extraction of juice more efficient.

How much Lemonade should you drink during the day?

You will drink between 6 and 12 glasses of Lemonade each day (some people drink as much as 26 glasses per day). The more you can drink, the better. I try to drink at least 8 glasses each day. This will depend on how big or small you currently are (caloric needs), your tolerance to physical and psychological urges to eat, and your desire to to lose weight.

Here is the official Website: http://themastercleanse.org/

Here are some other types of Detox/Cleanses:

1) http://www.cleanprogram.com/

2) http://www.justcleansing.com/juicefasting.htm

3) http://detox-resource.com/10/fruit-flush-3-day-detox-diet-detox-made-easy/

 

 

 

Advertisements

Light Summer – Bavette alle Vongole (Linguine with Clams)

So, alright you all know how much I love to eat healthy and still enjoy life. This is the perfect dish for just that! You get anything better than this, I love this meal it’s one of my favorite dishes; I honestly could eat it every week. It’s light, gourmet and perfect for summer!

So, my Brother came over for a few days and I knew that he was really good at making this dish so we went to the fish market on the canal here in Cervia, Italy (where I live); we bought some live clams and decided that this was our dinner dish. It was a lovely spring day the sun was out but there was still a little breeze and so it was perfect weather for this dish. We accompanied it with a nice glass of Pinot Grigio and an evening walk after the delicious dinner. This is a dish I would suggest anyone to try if you haven’t yet, you’ll love it.

Here I explain how to clean the clams. https://mythineats.com/2012/03/04/low-fat-has-never-tasted-so-delicious-vongole-con-vino-bianco-clams/ In this recipe we actually removed the shells before making the sauce so that you don’t have to get your hands dirty while enjoying this dish but you can skip this step if you wish, I’ll explain in the recipe.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

500 gr. of Linguine

500 gr. of Clams (cleaned)

2 Garlic Cloves

Handful Parsley, fresh leaves (chopped finely)

4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup Clam water (How to in recipe)

Chili flakes, optional

Put your cleaned Clams in a small pot, fill with water and boil until the clams all open up; approx 10 minutes. Remove from heat and leave in pot. (Do not drain you will use this water in recipe)

Place a pot a water to boil for your Linguine and pour in about 2 tbsp. of salt.

Now get your clams and remove the meat from the clam shell with either a pairing knife or even a small teaspoon and place in a bowl, throw out the shells and save the juice.

Pour your olive oil in a medium saucepan, mince your garlic and add to oil allow to get golden, add the Clam meat and allow to cook for about 3 minutes, start adding your clam juice gradually. Add your parsley and chili flakes and continue to cook for about 5-8 minutes until sauce starts to thicken.

In the meantime your water should be boiling so throw in your linguine and follow cooking instructions on box. Drain and add your clams mix all ingredients together well and you can begin to serve. Buon Apettito

 

 

 

Yogurt Muffins with Lemon Zest and Almond topping

Sometimes a Muffin is just what you need. I made these for my brother, he was at the hospital for a few days and although the food they serve at hospitals here in Italy is delicious (strangely), the breakfast was not, it was the typical breakfast cookie or fette biscottate, which is a very common thing here in Italy to eat for breakfast, they are kind of like a mix of a toast and a cracker. However, not such a good breakfast option.
I decided that I would go home and bake him something delicious and mostly healthy so that he wouldn’t have to skip breakfast.

We are not a breakfast family really, besides the coffee, milk or tea; my Mother never really cared for breakfast, and barely any of my siblings care for breakfast either. We do eat something but not as soon as out of bed 1 or 2 hours may pass before we decide to eat something. So, of course with the stuff that they were serving at the hospital he would’ve skipped breakfast so in order for that not to happen I decided to bake muffins, that and also I thought that instead of bringing flowers, muffins would be a better option for a male. HA! I gave 2 to my Husband and the rest to my Brother and they both seemed to really enjoy them, so here I am posting them so that you can enjoy them as well. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Makes 6 large muffins or 12 small muffins (you pick)

1 1/2 cups of flour

2 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup non-fat Yogurt

1 cup sugar + 1 tbsp sugar

3 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat your oven at 350°. Grease and flour whatever size muffin pan you decided to use.

Mix together 1 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In a larger bowl mix together yogurt, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, eggs and the oil. Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix until completely incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly on top of each one your sliced almonds and sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cooking times may vary from oven to oven so make sure to check on it.

Cool and Enjoy!

 

 

My Go-To Healthy Dinner – Grilled Chicken and Asparagus

One of my favorite all time healthy, Low fat and Low Calorie Meals is the classic chicken and vegetables. I personally love asparagus so whenever in season they are always on my dish. The other thing that I love is to use the grill as much as possible it keeps the meal low fat but with amazing flavor.

My Husband is the one that grills he loves it and I love the fact of cooking together. It’s like our little time together and it makes us enjoy each other more. Most of the time it’s me cooking and him just waiting around pouring the wine, trying his best to stay out of the way; but when we do cook together it’s both of us doing the work and we both compliment each other in the part that the other one cooked. It’s nice and I particularly appreciate his help and enjoy the fun moments that come from it.

My husbands favorite meat is Chicken, he could honestly eat chicken about everyday or every other day so as soon as grilling season comes along (or even way before), we are definitely grilling chicken breasts. Accompanied generally by a vegetable and quinoa or cous-cous. The other night we had the delicious grilled chicken breasts with asparagus and it was so good I thought that I should share the simple recipe with you. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 Chicken breasts, sliced thin

1 lb Asparagus

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 sprig Rosemary, fresh (removed form stem)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Turn on your grill and let heat. Get your chicken and drizzle 1 tbsp. of olive oil on it, along with the rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix together and let sit.

Get your asparagus and wash, put it in a large saucepan over medium heat and drizzle remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil cover and allow to steam stirring occasionally; add salt and pepper to taste after about 5 minutes and cover. Should take about 15 minutes to be completely cooked.

Put your chicken on the grill and cook each side for about 10 minutes. In the meantime check on the asparagus if you can pinch with a fork it means that they are ready,* remove from heat. By now your chicken is ready so plate. Enjoy

*I like my Asparagus with just a little snap to them, not soggy but you cook to your desired doneness