Detox Day 4: Calories

Broccoli Leek Soup, SKINNY DISH!

No doubt you’re feeling pretty jazzed that it’s Day 4. Afterall, you’re a Detoxing star! You’ve got your little ziplocks, you’re all smiles, and hopefully the days have gotten easier, the cravings for unhealthy foods are dissolving, and you’re feeling lighter and freer (but restraining from bra-burning…). Someone said the other day that this Detox is downright easy. Not just “not bad,” but simple! Well that’s exactly what I was hoping for. While challenging at times, it is completely doable and perhaps even enjoyable.

Alright, so what’s the deal with calories on this plan? Are you feeling lighter and freer because of the magic plant foods that raise your metabolism, the lower calories, or just because I keep saying that you’re feeling lighter and freer…. yoooou’rrree getttting skiiinnnnyyyy…? A little bit of all that!

Each Detox day has about 1500 calories at a minimum, 60-80 grams of protein, and around 50 grams of fiber. Adding extra servings of nuts, seeds, avocado, fruit, etc. increases all those numbers. This is not a starvation diet, juice fast, or air diet. It’s plentiful, nourishing, and reboots your body. It can be short-term or long-term. Either way, it should include supplemental vitamin B12 and vitamin D (the amounts in a common multivitamin are perfect). Both vitamins are needed because you’re not eating many–if any–foods that are fortified with these little dudes. Vitamin B12 is actually a bacteria found in animal-derived foods and dirt. I imagine you’re washing the dirt (and B12) off your produce (a wise move). Vitamin D is made in the body after sun exposure, and many latitudes aren’t getting adequate sun this time of the year. Foods that ARE typically fortified with B12 & D are non-dairy milks, cereals, and fake meats. So, not a bad idea to supplement when you’re relying heavily on raw foods.

As an example, Today’s Plan including a 2-cup serving of Purple Nurple, a 2-cup serving of Curried Lentil Stew, and all the other recommended serving sizes has 1459 calories, 61 grams of protein, and 49 grams of fiber. The average American gets about 12 grams of fiber a day. You may or may not have been the average American prior to this Detox. Regardless, you are moving some serious crud out of your system. Cheers to crud movement!!

So, March On!, and clean, cleanse, and recharge your core some more. Just a few days left!

Thanksgiving Countdown: Sesame Greens

Sesame Greens from Skinny Dish!

Looking for a fatback-free (and back-fat free) greens dish to go with your big meal next Thursday? Here’s my FAVORITE, straight out of Skinny Dish! Stay tuned this weekend for more stellar Thanksgiving recipes your body will thank you for. (And don’t forget the incredible pumpkin pie from last month…)

Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Dark leafy greens such as mustard greens, turnip greens, and collards are incredible sources of calcium with double the absorption of dairy calcium. And with the Popeye powers associated with eating dark greens, this recipe couldn’t be an easier or tastier way to energize you. Need an extra kick? Enjoy a double serving for just 175 calories!

½ cup filtered water
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
½ bag (5 oz) Prewashed and Rinsed Shredded Carrots, or 2 medium carrots, shredded or cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (preferably organic)
1 (16-oz) bag Trader Joe’s Southern Greens Blend, or 1 bunch kale, collards, or other dark leafy green, ripped into pieces
1 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame seeds
3 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 In a large pot, steam carrots and red bell pepper in water and sesame oil over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add greens, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds and cover, continuing to steam for another 5 minutes until greens are tender. Remove from heat.

2 Mix through using a pasta grabber or tongs. Just prior to serving, add soy sauce—it will turn the greens from bright to blah if it sits on them too long.

3 Store Leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Per Serving: 88 calories, 3 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 403.5 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 4 g protein, 113% vitamin A, 99% vitamin C, 18% calcium, 13% iron

*Alternate option: Reserve the sesame seeds and top each serving with ½ tsp.

Gluten-Free: Use tamari instead of soy sauce

Top 3 Meatless Meats for Meat-Lovers

Are you digging plant grub but can’t get full on tofu? Or maybe you just don’t want to get full on tofu. YET. So until you’re there, here are 3 of the BEST plant-powered meatalicious products around. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with good ole beans and rice or pasta fagioli, but these dudes are perfect for vegetarian flirts and XL appetites.

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1. Soy Chorizo. The package and casing scared me at first. But, once I stabbed through it, I realized the possibilities were endless. It’s spicy, has a great chewy and meaty texture, and is super filling. There are lots of brands, but the Trader Joe’s 2.5-ounce serving has 140 calories, 9 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 8 grams carbohydrate, and just 1.5 grams saturated fat. Add it to soups, chili, nachos, potatoes, tacos, or potatoes for a hearty Mexican hash dish. Normally, I panic with processed foods and their list of 900 chemical ingredients, but the one at TJ’s tastes incredible and has just 8 completely identifiable ingredients (1 being water): textured soy protein, water, soy oil, distilled vinegar, salt, spices, red pepper, garlic. Whats Good at Trader Joe’s?–unrelated to Trader Joe’s or Bitchin’ Dietitian–has a cool review of it.

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2. Field Roast’s Frankfurters. These grain-based (compared to soy-based) veggie hot dogs are THE BOMB. I knew it last night when my soy dog UNenthusiastic husband had a second one. They have a mildly spicy taste, but still made it past my anti-spicy child’s taste buds. The ingredient list is longer than the chorizo’s, but contains all recognizable items: filtered water, vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, naturally flavored yeast extract, organic expeller pressed palm fruit oil, barley malt, natural liquid smoke, garlic, onion granules, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, spices, paprika, sea salt. Each frank has 190 filling calories and 21 grams of protein. The rest of the nutrition info is here.

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3. Trader Joe’s Beef-Less Ground Beef. Another wheat gluten concoction, this stuff is incredible mixed with brown rice, black beans, and salsa and then stuffed into cooked peppers. Or, add it to marinara sauce with frozen chopped spinach atop elbow macaroni for a healthy spin on Hamburger Helper. It’s basically fat-free with a 1/3-cup serving containing 60 calories, 10 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, and 0.5 grams fat. Check out another review and more ideas here.

Serve these up with gobs of veggies for maximum nutrition. Recipes here or in Skinny Dish.