Juice cleanses have become as popular as twerking – on second thought, maybe more popular. But, are cleanses for you? A vast array of factors come into play when determining whether a cleanse is right for you. The condition of your health, your weight, your health goals, how often you work out and the intensity, the type of cleanse and the length of the cleanse are some key points to consider beforehand.

Once you have decided that a cleanse is for you, do careful research on the products available. Many juice cleanses are so diluted they become flavored water. Others are filled with sugars like agave and honey. Consult your doctor if you are unsure about how long to stay on a cleanse. Many programs extend from one day up to five days or more. During a cleanse, drink plenty of water as the body will be flushing out toxins and water. Replenishing the water lost is essential to avoid dehydration. If intense exercise is part of your daily routine, consider including a whey protein shake in your cleanse program.

There are three cleanse days in my 30-Day Bikini Body Challenge, which includes eight recipes for cleansing smoothies as opposed to juices. Whether doing a full “cleanse” program or not, everyone can benefit from even one veggie smoothie a day. The featured recipe here is my Asian Antioxidant Cleanse made with napa cabbage, bok choy, cucumber, ginger root, citrus and jalapeno. For more information on my 30-Day Bikini Body Challenge or The Bikini Chef Diet, visit

Asian Anti-Oxidant Cleanse1393178152-detox
Makes 4 cups (make two batches if necessary)

3 cups Napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage), roughly chopped
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger root, roughly chopped
1 small to medium jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
½ cucumber, ends trimmed
3 cups bok choy, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lime
1 to 1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon chia or flaxseed (optional)

Blend all in a blender, working in batches if needed not to overcrowd blender, until smooth.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 25
Fat: 0.4g
Saturated fat: 0.0g
Sodium: 72mg
Carbohydrates: 4.5g
Protein: 2.0g
Fiber: 1.4g

A detox is very different from a diet. While the term “diet” sometimes indicates a short-term situation, a detox has a specific purpose: to cleanse, refresh, renew. A diet is a more long-term, lifestyle reference. There are diet plans that emphasize brief amounts of time, but in general, your diet is what you eat and drink on a regular basis.

The literal definition of detox, according to Webster’s dictionary, is “special treatment that helps a person to stop using drugs or alcohol.” For our purposes, detox means to change your eating and drinking habits for a period of time in order to cleanse the body of elements that are slowing you down in order to kick-start good health.

Antioxidants are essential in a healthy detox. The foods we eat, the atmosphere, our surroundings, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, all create oxidation (i.e. rusting and aging) in our bodies just like the air and surroundings oxidize elements like our cars and pretty much every material thing on earth. Oxidation causes us to age faster and lose our youthful appearance among many other health factors. There are elements within our control such as foods, drinks and our habits that act as “anti” oxidants and help ward off the rusting, aging oxidation in our bodies.

A simple detox may be what’s in store to help you renew and refresh. MS&F

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