You've heard me talk about antioxidants a lot, but, I have yet to explain what exactly an antioxidant does. The simplest way to explain it is this... as we age... cells die and form "Free Radicals", tiny bits of oxygen that have no home and decide to camp out wherever they want in your body and on your skin, disrupting cell function.
Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and protect our bodies from them. Free radicals have been linked to wrinkles, heart disease, poor immune function, and cancer. I try to consume as many antioxidants as possible and I learned all of this from a book I read a couple of years ago by Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN and contributor to Women's Health Magazine (photo of her book below). She grades foods on an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbence Capacity) scale. I'm not going to get into her list (she can do that), however, I will talk today about my antioxidant salad and how I 'detox' during the week.
This is what I bought today at the grocery store: Red and orange peppers, tomatoes, granny smith apples, romaine, sundried tomatoes, fage, frozen berries, pecan halves, stevia and Real Simple ;)
As you know by now, I eat very healthy and CLEAN (no preservatives, additives, high fructose corn syrup, etc. etc) on a consistent basis. I eat the above foods all the time, but, sometimes I take a week and dedicate it 100% clean eating and a lower calorie intake than usual. I challenge you to join me this week! I know one person who is already going to join me, you know who you are!
Anyway, during these choice weeks I eat as many antioxidants (consisting mainly of fruits/veg) as possible, drink a lot of lemon water, say no to booze (yes even wine) for a few days, and steer clear from sugar and my favorite, frozen yogurt. It detoxifies and re-charges my system. Plus, these foods are amazing for the skin. (Keri has a whole plan in her book that includes a 4 day cleanse and then a week by week meal plan) I'm doing the 'cleanse' this week, but, with modifications!
Antioxidant salad! Romaine, spinach, tomatoes, red peppers, orange peppers, avocado.
How to make the above salad: Chop up all of the above listed ingredients and toss with my Greek Yogurt dressing from the Greek Yogurt post. Cook the preservative free, no hormone chicken in low sodium chicken broth, oregano, pinch of salt, crushed red pepper, and garlic.
For dessert, I heated up frozen berries with cinnamon. Now, I'm having peppermint tea w/ stevia as I type.
Here's my plan for the rest of the week
Bfast - 1 egg w/ 3 egg whites OR Fage greek yogurt w/ berries
Snack - Granny smith apple
Lunch - Chicken and spinach OR Fage greek yogurt with berries; 8 pecan halves
Snack - Celery and carrot sticks w/ apple cider or balsamic vinegar
Dinner -Antioxidant salad OR Lean Protein with artichokes or another veg
Dessert - Berries with cinnamon and peppermint tea with stevia
*Sip green tea and lemon water throughout the day
What is this nonsense you ask? Ever take celery out of the bottom drawer and think it's bad because it's gone a little, uh, limp? Cut off the bottom and stick it in a glass of water (thanks mom, for this tip)
Keri Glassman's O2 Diet book allllll about antioxidants. I have found this one of the most informative and educational books on health that I've ever read. This and Jillian Michaels' "Master your Metabolism"
HAVE A FABULOUSSS WEEK, EVERYONE! And, let me know how the detox is going! I'd love to hear about it!