Enjoy the holidays too much? Need some help to kickstart your New Year’s resolutions and trim those extra pounds? Here’s an answer that might help.
Detox programs are in the news. Detox, or detoxification, is the body’s natural process of eliminating toxins. Some research suggests that we ingest many chemicals through food, water and air, and that our bodies need some help in excreting them.
There are many liquid detox programs, like juice cleanses and water fasts. I was intrigued by a program from Oakland Park-based DeliverLean, a meal-delivery company with menu plans for vegan, vegetarian, organic, paleo and other dietary considerations. DeliverLean’s five-day, food-based detox program is called DL revAMP, and it includes all sorts of fresh, not frozen, organic foods, in addition to healthy juices.
I learned more about it from Lisa Hochstein, of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Miami fame, as well as from Alina Zhukovskaya, Deliver Lean’s detox specialist and vegan chef who helped develop DL revAMP.
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We spoke in the Star Island home of Hochstein, a native of Toronto who, along with her husband, Dr. Leonard Hochstein, is one of the program’s celebrity spokespeople. She also shared some recipes for typical meals in DL revAMP’s menu.
Q. How did you land in Florida?
Lisa Hochstein: When I was 20, I decided to move to the United States, and had targeted California, where healthy eating and keeping fit is part of the culture. With my visa in hand I made a stop in Miami to visit a friend before going on to California and hit a fork in the road. I met and married Dr. Leonard Hochstein and stayed in Miami.
Q. You’re trim and fit, so why do you need a detox program?
LH: I travel, eat out a lot and who can say no to desserts? So a few times a year I use a detox program. I like this one because the food is fresh, organic and is delivered to my door every two days.
Q. So what happens after the detox? So many of us just go back to our old eating habits.
LH: When I finish the detox, I basically go back to watching what I eat. But, I do have a cheat day once a week on Sunday where I eat whatever I want. But then I get right back on the straight and narrow.
Q. Starting a detox program can be a challenge. What are some of your tips?
LH: Start slowly and add a healthy supplement, if you’re hungry, such as organic fruit. The first two days can be difficult. Get through them and then its easy sailing.
Zhukovskaya grew up in St. Petersburg and came to the United States by herself at age 15 to follow her dream of working in advertising and marketing. After going to college and earning a master’s in public communications, she went to work for a large catering company.
Q. From marketing to detox, how did you become interested in nutrition?
AZ: I ate a lot of the food I was promoting, gained weight and tried diets that didn’t always work. I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, graduated from Graff Raw Food Academy in Atlanta and got certified at the International School of Detoxification in Sarasota.
Q. Our bodies are designed to naturally detox from pollutants. Why do we need an extra detox?
AZ: Many people eat foods that are full of chemicals, drink water with chemicals, take medicine with chemicals and inhale polluted air. Our organs are over-worked with these toxins, pollutants, chemicals — and they need a break so they can detox naturally. I created recipes using foods the way we should be eating. There is no gluten, grains, dairy, onion, garlic or nitrates.
South Florida doctors weigh in
Dr. Fleur Sack, a Kendall family practitioner, said she was OK with such a program so long as the foods consumed had no added chemicals. “Based on a drink- and food-based detox that contains no chemicals or other additives, it can help jump-start a healthful eating lifestyle.”
Dr. Islon Woolf, a Miami Beach internist, warned that “extreme detox can cause dehydration, electrolyte abnormalities, bloating and diarrhea. It is better to eat a balanced, healthful diet and let your body’s natural systems work for you.”
As is always true, consult your doctor before starting any health treatment and if any problems arise.
About the program
DL revAMP is a three-, five-, seven- or 10-day detox program that provides three meals and several snacks throughout the day, with a rotating menu throughout the week. Plans start at $100 a day.
Each day starts with a chia flush drink made with organic cranberry and lemon juices and whole chia seeds. The breakfast I liked was the Fruity Breakfast Crunch Buckwheat Cereal with Coconut Milk. Mid-morning brings another juice drink and then lunch. When I visited Lisa Hochstein’s home, she was happily enjoying a delicious-looking Oriental Noodle Bowl for lunch containing buckwheat noodles, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, celery, toasted sesame oil and coconut aminos (a soy-free seasoning made from coconut tree sap). By 2 p.m. it’s time for a power shot of grapefruit juice spiced with cayenne. An hour later, another snack such as ginger-kale chips, and then supper, like a very filling vegetable soup.
More info at DLreVAMP.com.
Superfood Chia Pudding
1/3 cup chia seeds (look for Nutiva brand)
3 1/2 ounces coconut water (look for Harmless Harvest brand)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon coconut nectar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon dried currants
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 tablespoon large coconut flakes
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Mix chia seeds with the coconut water and coconut milk and let sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken, making an Omega 3-rich pudding. Stir in coconut nectar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and ginger, then garnish with remaining ingredients as desired. Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 210 calories, 13 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrates, 11 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar, 5 g protein.
Raw Cacao Truffles
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup plus 1/8 cup organic raw cacao powder
1 cup organic Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup organic coconut butter or manna (not oil) by Nutiva
1/2 tsp high-mineral sea salt
3/4 cup organic coconut nectar
Place vanilla bean in food processor (or Vitamix) with 1 cup cacao and blend until the bean is chopped. Add the rest of ingredients except coconut nectar and process until chocolate mass if formed. Slowly add coconut nectar and process to mix well. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes. When cooled, roll a small amount of the mixture into a ball in your hand, then brush with the reserved cacao powder so the truffle is not sticky outside. Makes 14-15 servings of 1-ounce truffles.
Per truffle: 150 calories, 8 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 45 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 11 g sugar, 2 g protein.
Oriental Noodle Bowl
1 cup cooked 100 percent buckwheat soba noodles by Eden Foods
3 cups purple cabbage, shredded
3/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup celery, shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 ounce lime juice
5 teaspoons coconut aminos (available at many stores including Walmart)
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients together. Garnish with additional sesame seeds, shredded carrots and cilantro. Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 520 calories, 19 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 955 mg sodium, 81 g carbohydrates, 8 g dietary fiber, 9 g protein.