1. Fill up on fiber
Eat at least 20 grams of fiber per day from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fiber helps keep you feeling full longer—a big benefit when you’re trying to lose weight.
2. Dial up your D
Strive for three servings of calcium-rich and vitamin D–rich foods a day to strengthen bones as well as speed weight loss. These nutrients often occur together in foods, especially dairy, like lowfat milk, and yogurt.
3. Feast on fat
You read that right: Be sure to eat three to four servings daily of good fats. These include monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, found in oils, nuts, avocados, certain fish, and yes, even chocolate.
4. Pack in protein
Aim for three servings of lean protein (such as fish, white meat chicken and turkey, pork loin chops, and lean beef sirloin) per day. In addition to being an essential nutrient, protein helps to keep you feeling full longer.
1. Shellac In Your Candy
Lovers of movie-theater concessions, beware. Nearly everything behind that glass case is steeped in, well, beetlejuice. The hard, shiny shells on candies are often made from shellac, a resin secreted by the lac bug. You may know shellac from its more famous work in varnishes and sealants, but it’s also a mainstay in pill coatings, candy, coffee beans, and even the waxy sheen on apples and other fruits and vegetables.
How to avoid it: Leave that candy in the case and grab a veggie brush for your produce—even if it’s organic. (That’s right: shellac can even be used on organic foods.) These waxes can be difficult to remove, so you’ll need to scrub.
2. Prozac In Your Poultry
Bad news for those of you who swear by the curative powers of chicken-noodle soup: the chicken may be sicker than you are. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University tested bird feathers and found a laundry list of feed additives, including banned antibiotics, antidepressants, allergy medications, arsenic, the active ingredient in Benadryl, caffeine, and other prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
How to avoid it: If you’re looking to plate a less-medicated piece of poultry, go organic instead. Organic regulations forbid the routine use of antibiotics (and all of those other drugs mentioned above) in chicken feed.
3. Sheep Oil In Your Gum
Not to burst your bubble, but there might be something rather unsavory in your chewing gum. It’s called lanolin, a term for the oil sheep produce in their wool. These greasy secretions are used as softeners in foods and masked with the vague food label “gum base.” Lanolin is also used as an emollient in beauty products, from skin and hair care to cosmetics.
How to avoid it: Luckily, there are vegan versions of all of these products. If you’re concerned about eating lanolin, go for those, instead.
4. Wood Pulp In Your Cereal
Wood pulp brings “plant-based diet” to a whole new level. Cellulose is usually made from nontoxic wood pulp or cotton, and the cheap filler is stuffed into shredded cheese, salad dressing, and ice cream to thicken it without adding calories or fat. Cellulose is fibrous, which is why it appears in so many high-fiber “healthy” snacks and breakfast cereals—and it’s even in organic products, according to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal.
How to avoid it: Checking your food labels is crucial and steer clear of terms like microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), cellulose gel, and cellulose gum, and carboxymethyl cellulose.
5. Cow Enzymes In Your Cheese
Cheese is often the last holdout for vegetarians: a decadent way to indulge without eating meat and a primary source of protein. Unfortunately, some cheese is anything but suitable for a meat-free diet. That’s because a lot of cheese is made with rennet , which contains an enzyme extracted from the fourth stomach of newborn calves. Rennet is used as a cheese curdler, sometimes in tandem with another enzyme called pepsin, which is extracted from stomach glands of hogs.
How to avoid it: Fortunately, some companies are using alternatives that result in truly vegetarian cheese. Check food labels, and be wary of ingredients listed merely as “enzymes.”
6. Duck Feathers In Your Dough
We were as shocked as you will be to learn that duck feathers are often packed into our favorite processed breads in the form of L-cysteine, an agent used as a dough softener. It’s in bagels, cookie dough, bread, pies and more. While there are other sources of this filler available, a 2007 investigation by the nonprofit Vegetarian Resource Group found that about 80% of L-cysteine was derived from our feathered friend.
How to avoid it: It might not be on ingredient labels, so you’ll have to check with the manufacturer to find out if they use L-cysteine. You can also avoid L-cysteine by eating products that are Kosher or gluten-free, or by baking your own bread.
7. Fish Bladders In Your Beer
Here’s some news that will drain the “happy” out of your happy hour: Widely used in the beer-brewing process is a form of collagen called isinglass, which is made from the swim bladders of fish. Isinglass clumps with the beer’s yeast and sinks to the bottom, allowing for a much clearer brew.
How to avoid it: Because isinglass combines with the dregs of the barrel, it usually can’t be detected in the final product. But if you’re still queasy at the thought, grab a case of vegan beer instead.
Determine what you’re really hungry for.
The next time you get a craving, ask yourself if you’re stressed, sad, or bored. If so, you may be eating to fill an emotional void. Keep a “desire diary” for a week or more, and note your mood whenever you’re hit by an irresistible urge to chow down. If stress is your trigger, exercise more to relieve the pressure. If loneliness drives you to the Doritos bag, call someone. Remember that true hunger is easy to satisfy; any food will do.
On the other hand, often manifests itself in desires for specific things like ice cream and fast food.
Get off the energy roller coaster.
A second big cause of ravenous cravings is a diet that’s too full of refined carbohydrates, which can produce drops in blood sugar that prompt hunger. If you have a doughnut for breakfast, you’ll get a nice jolt of energy from the sugar and simple carbs, but by mid-morning, you’ll be craving more. To stabilize blood sugar and appetite, start eating more protein and fiber. Tomorrow, try eggs and whole wheat toast for breakfast or a bowl of fiber-rich cereal with nuts, and see how easily you make it to lunch.
Many people think they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty. Drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see if your craving subsides.
Taste buds have a very short attention span. Pop a mint, brush your teeth, check e-mail, call a friend, or take a walk. In many cases, you’ll find you weren’t really hungry.
Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.
I want to try something new as I have hit a plateau, I love this plan and hope you will too. :)
Vegan Detox Food Guideline
A vegan diet excludes all forms of animal products. A Guide to Eating Vegan Foods (see ) provides a detailed guideline of what foods you can eat while on a vegan diet.
Meat: All meat, poultry and seafood is prohibited while on the vegan detox meal plan. Substitutes permitted include products made from bean curds, tofu, soybeans, grains or nuts.
Plant products: Fruits and vegetables make up the majority of a vegan detox. Try to choose organic produce. You can eat the fruits and vegetables whole or have fresh fruit juices.
Beans, nuts and legumes: All beans, nuts, and legumes are part of a vegan detox meal plan, including peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or any other nut butter. Beans and legumes are crucial to a vegan diet to assure adequate protein intake.
Dairy and Eggs: Since veganism goes beyond being vegetarian, vegans cannot consume dairy products because it comes from animals. Soy and rice milk are good substitutes for milk and margarine is a common substitute for butter as it is made from soybean or sunflower oil.
Gelatin: Gelatin contains an ingredient that comes from a horse, and so should be avoided.
Sweeteners: Vegans differ on whether to avoid honey as it comes from bees, but others regard it as a “biological, animal-friendly product.” Refined sugar, which is made using cow or horse bone marrow is not part of the vegan diet. Vegans can have raw brown sugar, from either sugar cane or sugar beet.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day as part of your vegan detox meal plan.
How Long Does it Last
Some people set the vegan detox to a certain number of days, weeks, or months, while others have made it a steady part of their life by following it one day a week. You should follow the vegan detox until your body feels better and repeat as often as necessary. The vegan detox is safe to continue indefinitely as long as your body can handle it, as the meal plan is healthy and nutritious.
What to Expect During the Vegan Detox
The vegan detox meal plan will detox your body of toxins and chemicals that your body has collected over the years. The vitamins and minerals in the fruits and vegetables will provide antioxidant benefits and prevent your cells from damage from free radicals, improve your immune system and increase your energy levels.
Vegan Detox Sample Menu
For breakfast have a glass of soy milk, tea, a slice of wheat bread and a piece of fruit.
Breakfast is a crucial meal because it’s a chance to start your day with the necessary fuel you need. Choose breakfast foods that provide fiber to help you feel full. Stay away from sugary breakfast cereals that provide little nutrition benefit and guarantee an eventual sugar crash that will leave you feeling sluggish.
For a mid-morning snack, have some tea.
For lunch, have fresh fruit salad using as many fruits as you’d like. For example, a salad consisting of papaya, banana, pear, strawberries and grapes. For a dressing, use unsweetened fruit juice and maple syrup.
At mid-afternoon have a fresh fruit or vegetable juice.
For dinner, have one cup brown rice, with one ounce of tofu, a side of vegetables and a piece of fruit.
After dinner drink one cup chamomile tea.
* Don’t deny yourself snacks. They break up your long day physically and mentally. Going between meals for four to six hours can leave you feeling exhausted and moody. For nutritionally dense food items, choose fruits and vegetables. This ensures you are receiving adequate amounts of fiber, as well as meeting your required amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Regardless of the length of time you choose for your vegan detox, there are some safety precautions you should follow. Before starting a vegan detox plan, you should consult your doctor. While a detox diet can be safe, it can become unhealthy if you do not watch your vitamin and protein intake.
1. You dunk veggies into fat traps
While it may seem like a good idea to watch Parenthood with a plate of crisp crudités on the coffee table in front of you, that jar of peanut butter sitting right next to it can spell trouble. Sure, peanut butter provides healthy fat and protein, but it also has 94 calories per tablespoon—so this seemingly healthy snack can tip the scale in the wrong direction. And 2 tablespoons of creamy dressing can pack 145 calories and 15 g of fat. “Eating just one hundred calories more each day can translate to about a ten-pound weight gain over the course of a year,” says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.
The healthy move
If you’re dying to dip, mix fat-free plain Greek yogurt (it has about twice the protein of regular yogurt) with salsa or zingy seasonings such as horseradish or curry powder. Prepared hummus or black-bean dips coat raw veggies with protein, fiber, and flavor; just check the labels because fat and calories can vary among brands. Finally, beat boredom by introducing new vegetables into your rotation, such as crunchy jicama or radishes that offer a naturally peppery bite.
2. You go for the fried sweet potatoes
Besides the beta-carotene (a disease-fighting carotenoid that our bodies convert to vitamin A) that’s responsible for their vibrant color, sweet potatoes provide vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and fiber—all for about 100 calories in a medium potato. But when you fry these and other vegetables (hello, broccoli bites and zucchini sticks), the fat and calorie counts skyrocket. Not only that, but a study in the Journal of Food Science found that certain vegetables, like zucchini, actually lose some of their antioxidant power when fried.
The healthy move
A baked sweet potato is the worry-free choice (mash in 2 tablespoons of a creamy fat-free dressing for extra flavor); eat the skin and you’ll also get at least 4 g of fiber. If you’re just not satisfied with a baked spud, buy a bag of oven-ready frozen fries at the supermarket. Compare labels and choose ones that have no trans fat and no more than 0.5 g saturated fat per serving.
3. You drown foods in olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is high in “good” monounsaturated fat—the kind of fat that can help lower LDL cholesterol—but it also has about 477 calories and 54 g of fat per 1/4 cup. If you don’t measure the amount of oil you use to sauté, grill, broil, or roast, you can end up with way more than you need.
The healthy move
When grilling or broiling, use a pastry brush or nonaerosol pump to lightly glaze food with oil, says Jennifer Nelson, RD, director of clinical dietetics and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. If you’re making a stir-fry, wipe a paper towel dipped in olive oil around the wok before adding ingredients—or better yet, use a nonstick skillet. You can also make your sautés sizzle with wine, soy sauce, chicken broth, or 100% carrot, tomato, or vegetable juice. And try poaching your fish in low-fat broth or watered-down orange juice; the fillets will soak up some of the liquid, which will make you feel fuller,
4. Your salad is a high-cal landmine
The virtue of a salad starts to wilt when you add more than one calorie-dense topping, such as cheese, nuts, dried fruit, or croutons. Cheeses can register high in bad saturated fat, and though nuts have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that may help raise good (HDL) cholesterol, a small serving of walnuts (about 7 pieces) can add up to about 185 calories and 18 g of fat. Plus, some add-ons are high in sodium.
The healthy move
Nelson offers an easy-to-remember ratio for preparing main-dish salads: “Three-quarters should be fresh fruits and vegetables, and the last quarter should be a combo of lean protein, like chicken, plus a complex carbohydrate such as wheat berries or quinoa. Then allow yourself two tablespoons of calorie-dense items.” For major nutrition impact with minimal calorie load, forgo dried fruit in favor of fresh pomegranate seeds; they’re potent in polyphenols, and researchers at Case Western Reserve University found that pomegranate extract may be effective in reducing the inflammation that can lead to arthritis.
5. Your coffee is anything but “regular”
Sipping coffee or tea plain isn’t the problem. In fact, both beverages have been linked to a number of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry also suggests that drinking coffee may reduce your chances of type 2 diabetes. But major calories and saturated fat come with added ingredients such as sugary syrups, honey, whipped cream, and whole milk (1% and 2% aren’t much better). For about the same 450 calories in a large Iced Mocha Raspberry Latte at Dunkin’ Donuts, for instance, you can eat two slices of Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed pepperoni pizza. And while honey may seem like a natural, healthier alternative to sugar, the fact is it has 21 calories per teaspoon versus sugar’s 16.
The healthy move
For a low-cal, lower-fat drink that feels like a sweet treat, choose coffee beans in tempting flavors such as chocolate almond, hazelnut, or white chocolate, rather than using syrupy mix-ins after brewing, and lighten your coffee with fat-free milk. Teas, too, come in sweet vanilla, berry, and tropical fruit blends. And whether you use Splenda, sugar, or honey in your beverages, limit yourself to about a teaspoon.
6. Your marinades pack a big fat punch
You’re wise to choose skinless grilled chicken, but be careful with condiments. Barbecue sauce is filled with sugar, which equals calories (about 94 per 1/4 cup).
The healthy move
Ditch the high-sugar sauce and instead spice up chicken by marinating it with cayenne red-pepper sauce, or mix hot sauce with some fat-free yogurt and smear it on your sandwich for buffalo-inspired flavor. Another way to punch up the taste and nutrient power of grilled chicken sandwiches and turkey burgers: Try a topping of homemade slaw. Bagged shredded cabbage makes a convenient base; toss it with flavored vinegar or fat-free mayo and a little mustard. At 11 calories per 1/2 cup, raw cabbage offers filling fiber and vitamins such as C and B6, and as a cruciferous veggie, it contains cancer-fighting antioxidants.