Detox diets are all the rage these days. But between excessive juice cleanses and intense fasts, how can anyone know which detox diets are safe and healthy?
One international model turned healthy lifestyle expert says her new 5-day detox plan bridges the gap between extreme diets and healthy eating – while giving people a safe way to detox.
“I didn’t want to starve when I was coming up with this plan. It’s balanced on proteins, carbs and fats, which are all essential to keeping you full,” Nikki Sharp, author of the “Five Day Detox” told FoxNews.com.
Sharp’s detox allows you three meals and two snacks a day, and it offers 17 nutrient-packed vegetarian recipes to choose from.
Typical detox diets are very rigid and come with a lot of strict rules. In Sharp’s approach, she includes a few important guidelines like:
--Drink 2 to 3 liters of water each day and one glass with lemon as soon as you wake up.
--Drink green and mint tea at least four times a day.
--Stay away from all sugars and sweeteners.
Foods to incorporate
You won’t go hungry on Sharp’s detox menu; it includes tasty combinations of complex carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables.
“With other detoxes that don’t give you enough food, you’ll end up sitting there and thinking about food the whole time,” Sharp said. “My meals are very satisfying, and it’s about portion control and feeling satisfied.”
Even though Sharp’s plan is meat-free, your daily protein requirement (50 grams per day) is still met by eating plant-based proteins like beans, tofu, lentils and quinoa.
When using soy-based foods like tofu, Sharp suggests looking for organic and non-GMO certified soy products. Studies have shown that soy can help regulate cell growth, cholesterol levels and even lower cancer rates.
One of Sharp’s favorite breakfast recipes is her quinoa version of scrambled eggs.
Scrummy Veg Scramble
1 cup of spinach
1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
¼ cup of cooked quinoa
Small handful of basil
Small handful of cilantro
½ teaspoon of black pepper
½ teaspoon of cayenne
½ teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
In a pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook the egg either by scrambling it with turmeric, cayenne and black pepper, poach it, or lightly fry it. At the last moment, add your spinach; it takes only a minute to cook. Top with your pre-cooked quinoa and pumpkin seeds.
Foods to avoid
Unlike other detoxes, Sharp’s detox doesn’t restrict people from eating a laundry list of items. But she does encourage you to stay away from certain items like;
--Animal and dairy products
“I’ve had people say, ‘You know I had to have lunch or dinner out,’ but you can try to stick to the rules even if you’re going out,” Sharp said. “Order a salad and ask your waiter to take certain items out, and try to stick to the vegetables and fruits that are on my detox shopping list.”
Some detox diets promise to help you lose weight fast, but Sharp’s plan is designed to introduce you to clean foods and recipes so you can make healthy eating a habit – not just a 5-day trial.
“One of the best things about a detox diet is it introduces people to new foods that are not typically in their daily diets,” Deborah Enos, a certified nutritionist told FoxNews.com. “Since detox diets are usually 100 percent produce, you get to try a lot of new fruits and veggies that you would normally pass by without a second glance in the produce aisle.”
Sharp’s 5-day detox was clinically assessed by Helen Phadnis, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, but anyone considering a detox diet should consult with their primary physician first.
“At the end of the day, all I’m trying to do is get people to make small changes in their diets. I don’t want anyone to say I’m cutting out this for the rest of my life,” Sharp said. “Even if it’s detoxing for a day, a week, a month – no matter what you do it’s going to help cleanse your body, clean your skin, and give you more energy.”
For more information visit staysharpbestrong.com.