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Food & Drink

How to eat clean without wanting to die

Detox your body but keep your sanity in 2014

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Drink water and green tea. Keep water on you at all times. If water gets boring, add a squeeze of lemon or try infusing with cucumber, berries or herbs. As an alternative, opt for green tea (no sugar!). Just watch out for the “mean greens” … there’s caffeine in that stuff, so don’t guzzle.

Eliminate refined sugar and salt. This sucks. However, it’s one of the best ways to banish bloat and lose poundage. Instead of sugar, honey or agave is fine, just in very small quantities. In place of salt, season well, and splash around some vinegar or lemon juice. It’s not the same, but it’s clean.

Eat good fats. Monounsaturated, that is. Olive oils, salmon, nuts – get at least a little bit every day. This kind of fat keeps you fuller longer, and does a body good by cleaning out the bad cholesterols and fats you’ve been storing since forever. Animal fats should be avoided, including butter and (sniff) cheese.

Eliminate refined grains. If you’ve already banished the Barilla for other reasons, keep at it. Oust any grain that isn’t a whole one, including bread (sad trombone), pasta and processed rice products. Consider awesome alternatives like bulgur, quinoa, farro and brown rice. The soluble fiber in whole grains means you won’t have to eat as much to feel twice as full.

Be prepared. Whether it’s keeping a bag of roasted unsalted pistachios at your desk or making a pot of butternut squash soup for weekday lunches to go, being prepared will be your bestie. In a pinch: Larabars. Most of them have five or fewer all-natural ingredients, and they work as a sweet treat after dinner, too.

RECIPES:

Apple, Ginger and Carrot Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 pound carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 sweet apple, like Gala or McIntosh, peeled, seeded and chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 quart low-sodium vegetable stock or water

In a large pot, sauté the onions, celery, carrots and apple in olive oil over medium-high heat, five to seven minutes. Add ginger and five-spice powder and cook until very fragrant. Add stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 20-30 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remove from the heat and puree in batches in a blender until completely smooth, using a towel and pressure from your hand to keep the blender cover secure. Add stock or water until desired thickness is reached.

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 bunch lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale), washed, massaged and torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
For vinaigrette:
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

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