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The Daily Creative Food Co.: Fresh Breakfasts for Health-Conscious Folks

The Daily Creative Food Co.: Fresh Breakfasts for Health-Conscious Folks

When traveling, I’m still convinced that the hardest meal to find is breakfast, especially if you are looking for a healthy breakfast. It's true that most hotels will have some sort of breakfast buffet — most of them consisting of stale bread, fruit that’s probably not in season, and things that are supposed to represent eggs. (I’ve made a few hundred eggs in my life... they’ve never looked like those things that you get at a breakfast buffet.) So, before I go some place, I spend a lot of time looking for potential breakfast spots, searching menus, and finding something that will be acceptable. This time the place was Miami, and the spot was The Daily Creative Food Co.

Before going any further, I will say that I wish The Daily Food Co. was in every city I travel to. It catered to what I was looking for in such a perfect way, and I fully mean that. When I walked in, I knew this was the perfect type of place to relax and enjoy my breakfast the way I wanted. The walls had a newspaper décor. There was a flat screen showing Sports Center with plenty of seating. To the left was a case filled with drinks, the counter, and the cooking space stretched all the way back along the left wall. Above the counter was the giant menu board. And it was this menu board that had led me there in the first place.

The Daily features a variety of breakfast and lunch options — kind of your soup and sandwich type of place. But what got me is that there seemed to be a committed dedication not only to the healthy eater, but to the athletic eater as well. Items like The Ironman and The Boot Camp featured a variety of vegetables, turkey, and egg whites. There were a variety of all-fruit smoothie options. And on the counter was a vast selection health bars and snacks. Of course, there were the less athlete-conscious items like classic French toast or the Miami breakfast of Cuban-style pork hash. But even those seemed to be relatively healthy.

My choice for the morning was The Trainer, a breakfast wrap of egg whites, broccoli, peppers, onions, spinach, and tomatoes all bundled in a whole-wheat tortilla. To get a little fruit into my breakfast, I added a mixed berry smoothie, and topped it all off with a cup of coffee. I ended up with just enough time to pick out a place to sit with a good view of the TV, and add some Splenda to my coffee before my wrap made it to the table, and landed with a little bit of heft... let’s just say they don’t skimp on portion size. The wrap was bursting with vegetables and egg whites to the point that I could barely take a full bite. But I managed. The whole thing had a fresh feel to it, but the filling was lacking just a hint in the seasoning department. A little more pepper, a touch of salt, or even some type of sauce, like a fresh tomatillo salsa, would have pulled it completely together. As such it was good but a little bit on the bland side.

I ate most of my wrap, spent some time reading the paper and sipping my coffee, and then headed out to start my day feeling good, full, and ready to go. And while the flavors weren’t explosive, I enjoyed it well enough that I headed back the next day, this time going for The Boot Camp, an egg-white scramble with zucchini, onions, mushrooms, low-fat cheese, and spinach with whole grain toast and tomatoes on the side. This one definitely had more flavor to it, aided a little by the black pepper I added. Again, it was a nice large portion that I couldn’t completely finish, but was fresh and filling and a great way to start the day. I definitely recommend that if you are staying at any of the hotels along Biscayne Bay, do yourself a favor and get out of the hotel, away from the gross, unhealthy buffets, and check out The Daily. It is absolutely worth it, and you will feel so much better throughout the day... well, until you try and eat convention-center food. Blech!


The 32 Best Keto Breakfast Ideas to Power Up Your Morning

You've probably heard of the keto diet, the trendy weight loss plan that advocates for cutting down carbs and upping your fat intake. (That means no to pastries and pasta, and yes to meat, eggs, and heart-healthy oils.)

So if your morning routine of the past involved bagels, toast, or oatmeal, trying to come up with keto breakfast ideas can feel like a rude awakening. With so many carb-heavy a.m. foods, it's arguably the hardest meal to find ketogenic diet-approved substitutes for&mdashespecially when you're staring right in the face of a donut on your morning coffee run.

Sure, regular bacon and eggs are okay, but you can only whip them up for so many days before things start to feel repetitive. The good news? Due to the strong community of keto food bloggers out there, there are plenty of creative keto breakfast ideas in existence that'll help you add some diversity to your diet and give you something to look forward to waking up to.

More good news: Just because you're on a keto diet doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice flavor for the sake of meeting your macros. The recipes we collected all have one big thing in common: huge amounts of deliciousness. (And, fine, they'll help power you through your workouts too).

And, so, here's a buffet's-worth of keto-friendly a.m. recipes to inspire your keto breakfasts for days (and months) to come.

Loaded with protein-packed ground beef, sharp cheddar, vegetables, and everyone's favorite taco add-ons (salsa and sour cream, anyone?), this skillet from Peace, Love, and Low Carb is like eating nachos for breakfast &mdash minus the chips. The best part: It can be meal prepped ahead of time for a week's worth of breakfasts. (Just leave the toppings off and add them after you've heated up a serving in the morning.) Who says tacos only belong on Tuesdays?

Instead of a complicated keto bread recipe, this breakfast sandwich from Hey Keto Mama gets creative and simple by using spicy pork sausage patties in place of an English muffin or bagel. An egg plus a sriracha and cheese mixture are sandwiched in between, along with any veggies of choice (a slice of tomato and spinach would fit right in). To lighten it up, swap in turkey sausage patties and use just egg whites instead of the whole egg.

This is one of the speediest keto breakfast options around, especially if you mix the dry ingredients together ahead of time (Healthy Sweet Eats' recipe is made up of hemp hearts, almond flour, shredded coconut, flaxseed meal, and chia seeds). It can be made on the stovetop or in a microwave, and from there, the topping options are endless.

Put leftover pulled pork to good use with this hash creation from Cast Iron Keto &mdash after all, something about the combination of pulled pork and runny egg yolks just feels so right. Brussels sprouts, lacinato kale, red onion, and turnip give this recipe a boost of veggies for added fiber and nutrients.

Cinnabon's got nothing on these keto-friendly treats from Gnom-Gnom. With only two grams of net carbs and 102 calories each, they taste more indulgent than they really are. Crafting the dough (made with almond flour and coconut flour) is a relatively involved process, but you can whip it up and keep it in the fridge for up to five days before you're ready to make (and eat) the cinnamon roll knots.

Minus the salt and pepper, there are only four ingredients in this simple breakfast bowl from Keto Connect. It starts with radishes as a satisfying stand-in for breakfast potatoes, and sausage, cheddar cheese, and eggs are all layered on top. Since the egg cooks separately, you can fry it up exactly the way you like it.

Typically smoothies are out of the question for keto dieters. However, this one from Food Faith Fitness gets its sweetness from monkfruit instead of regular fruit. Plus it packs in plenty of fat with peanut butter and avocado.

This recipe from I Breathe I'm Hungry proves that corned beef isn't just a St. Patrick's Day standby. You can use leftover corned beef or canned corned beef, but either way, you'll end up with a crispy, unique breakfast. Pair it with eggs in the morning, and save the leftovers for lunch or dinner.

Let's face it: Eggs make a lot of appearances in keto-friendly recipes. And, hey, eggs are great! But every once in a while, you need a break. Enter this eggless breakfast bake from Kalyn's Kitchen. Red and green peppers give the recipe a colorful touch, and turkey breakfast sausage delivers a solid dose of protein to start the day.

If you miss traditional breakfast burritos, give this high-fat keto version a try. The Skinny Fork uses egg as the wrap, which is then stuffed with bacon, turkey, and cheese. Add avocado to up the fat intake.

Yes, you read that right. Meat. Bagel. It's basically ground pork cooked into the shape of a bagel (or a donut, however you'd like to think of it). After it's cooked, cut it in half and fill it with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onions for one hell of a breakfast sandwich. They also freeze up nicely. Meat lovers, you've got Ditch The Wheat to thank for this creation.

A stack of pancakes might sound like the opposite of a keto-friendly breakfast, but where there's a will, there's a way. These ones from A Big Man's World are made with the perfect combination of almond flour, coconut flour, and eggs for a result so fluffy, you'll hardly be able to tell they're low in carbs. The blueberries add a touch of sweetness (but they contain sugar, so be careful about the portions).

This is a classic breakfast for a reason: It's delicious, and the steak and eggs each pack a monster punch of protein to keep you fueled up till lunch. Next time you're grilling up steak at night, cook a little extra with incredible keto breakfast leftovers in mind. Tasteaholic's take uses sirloin, a leaner cut of beef, but feel free to use what you have on hand.

This creation from Health Starts in the Kitchen just might be the perfect brunch recipe. Made with coconut creamed kale, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, and a touch of mozzarella, these individual dishes demand to be savored on a weekend morning.

This filling bowl is so delicious even the most devout carb lovers will be a fan. My Health Delish tops spinach with eggs, tomato, bacon, and avocado for a tasty way to start the day.

You won't even miss potatoes in this hearty skillet. Cast Iron Keto substitutes turnips for the starchy vegetable, then loads on avocado, egg, and jalapenos. Serve with salsa for a spicy kick.

Hot pockets get a healthy, low-carb upgrade with these winning creations from Joy Filled Eats. Packed with ham, cheese, and egg, they're designed to be made ahead of time and then frozen. When you're running late, just pop one into the microwave and you've got a filling keto breakfast on the go.

If you feel like you're going overboard with animal products on the keto diet, this chia pudding from Julie's Lifestyle provides a change of pace &mdash it's vegan, made with coconut milk for creamy texture and decadent flavor. It's also incredibly satiating: Chia seeds are a great source of fiber, and protein powder and healthy fat filled-MCT coconut oil will keep you satisfied all morning.

These breakfast egg muffins from Hurry The Food Up just might be the ultimate meal prep food. They take only 25 minutes to throw together, and three muffins provides 20 grams of protein for under 300 calories. You can also change up your mix-ins with different cheeses, vegetables, and seasonings. Freeze them for later or keep them in your fridge for the week &mdash chances are, it won't be long before you need to make another batch.

Photos reprinted with permission.

If you can't shake a hankering for a good old-fashioned McDonald's Egg McMuffin, this keto-friendly take on the classic from Peace, Love, and Low Carb will scratch that same itch. Use mason jar rings to cook the eggs into perfect bun-like circles, then layer it up with sausage and cheddar cheese. To upgrade way past drive-thru status (and add a dose of healthier fat), throw some avocado in there.

Impress any brunch guest (whether they're low-carb eaters or not) with this keto Dutch baby, which is basically a big pancake, but better. Created by Cast Iron Keto, it's made in a cast iron skillet, and believe it or not, there are fewer than 10 ingredients (which can be rare when it comes to bread-like things on the keto diet).

Like chili, but with a fried egg on it. This recipe is also made with breakfast sausage patties instead of ground beef or turkey to give it a morning twist (and pack in the protein). Pair this recipe from I Breathe I'm Hungry with your usual favorite chili toppings, like sour cream or chives. (Hint: It's also a perfect recipe to break out for early morning football tailgates.)

Broccoli and cheese is a winning flavor combo, so there's no reason it should be confined to lunch and dinner fare. This breakfast casserole from Kalyn's Kitchen makes it A.M.-appropriate&mdashplus, it's a great way to get started on your daily veggie intake first thing in the morning. Prep it for breakfast on Sunday and enjoy it all week long.

This recipe is like having last night's cake for breakfast &mdash except it's fiber-filled chia seed pudding instead. This dessert-like breakfast from Healthy Sweet Eats is hardly a disappointing substitute, though. Fresh cherries add sweetness, while whole almonds add crunch (and more fiber). Plus, it's made with strongly brewed coffee to give you an extra jolt of caffeine with your usual cup of java.

Mmmm&hellippancakes. This stack by Peace, Love and Low Carb is keto-friendly, so you can whip these pancakes up anytime. There are only 8 grams of net carbs a serving, along with 5.4 grams of fat and 7.4 grams of protein. For added fat, include toppings like plain unsweetened Greek yogurt, cream cheese, ricotta, or nuts, like chopped walnuts or pecans.

If there&rsquos one thing keto dieters miss when they're trying to enjoy brunch, it&rsquos those damn roasted potatoes. Yet you can dig into these "potatoes"&mdasha.k.a. turnips&mdashby Cast Iron Keto. They have so much flavor from paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and only 4 grams of net carbs&mdashyou won&rsquot even miss the real thing. Pair with eggs, fish, or meat for extra protein, and you&rsquore set. (Though there is some bacon already!)

Everyone loves a bagel, lox and eggs for breakfast. While lox and eggs are keto-approved, bagels can cost you 48 grams of carbs or more depending on the seasonings or flavor. These keto bagels by Keto Connecthave only 3 grams of net carbs a serving and don&rsquot skimp on flavor, thanks to everything bagel seasoning. This blogger uses cream cheese, almond flour and cheese to provide good protein and fat, with 10 grams and 15 grams respectively.

If you&rsquore sensitive to coffee in the morning, swap it for matcha, which will still give you that caffeine fix in a milder dosage. Plus, matcha has a great flavor that works well with sweet and savory items, like nuts, fruit and seeds. This breakfast bowl by Gnom Gnom uses chia seeds, nut milk, and coconut to provide 10 grams of fat and keeps carbs low at 0.5 net grams. For a smoother texture, add avocado.

These portable egg muffins by Food Faith Fitness can be eaten on your morning commute, so you don&rsquot need to worry about finding enough time to sit down to breakfast. Each muffin has 109 calories, and there&rsquos 6.7 grams of fat and zero net carbs a serving. Plus, there&rsquos tons of protein from the ham, eggs, and feta cheese to hold you over for hours.

This savory frittata recipe by Ketogasm is loaded with nutrients to power your day.It&rsquos hearty and filling, without taking you past your carb limit. Each serving has 333 calories, 26 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, and only 1 net gram of carbs. This bloggers uses spinach, mushroom and uncured sausage, but feel free to play around with your vegetables of choice or swap sausage for chicken or steak.

Lasagna? For breakfast? Don't pretend like you wouldn't have a leftover slice if it was sitting in the fridge.

Especially a lasagna with only 11 grams of net carbs. This pizza lasagna by Food Faith Fitness is the perfect keto-friendly makeover on the classic recipe.


Strawberry & Cream Croissant French Toast For Your Weekend Brunch

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.

APPLY NOW

Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!


Meal-for-one recipes

Solo suppers don't have to mean beans on toast- treat yourself with an extra-special recipe.

Smoky bacon pot noodle for one

Who needs ready-made instant noodles when you can whip up your own low-fat, high flavour version in under 10 mins?

Super steak with cheat’s Bearnaise

The ideal solo supper - quick, easy, succulent and with a clever simple sauce

Kung pao cauliflower & prawn stir-fry

Rustle up this prawn and cauliflower stir fry in just 25 minutes. You can easily make it vegan if preferred – simply omit the prawns and double up on the veg

Flattened chicken with tomatoes, olives & capers

Eating on your own needn't mean beans on toast, as this 20-minute supper proves


The Daily Creative Food Co.: Fresh Breakfasts for Health-Conscious Folks - Recipes

For readers looking for a step-by-step guide to the 14-day Conscious Cleanse program, pick up the second edition of Jo and Jules’ The Conscious Cleanse book, which has been updated with even more delicious recipes, and their new and improved Low Sugar and 80:20 plans.

Daily inspiration, tips, meal plans, and action steps to help you achieve success every day on the Conscious Cleanse.

The Conscious Cleanse is a 14-day whole foods–based cleanse with a menu that includes delicious green smoothies fresh vegetables and fruits non- gluten grains, like brown rice and quinoa beans nuts and seeds wild-caught fish and organic, grass-fed meats. You’ll eliminate all the common allergens, including eggs, dairy, gluten, sugar, soy, shellfish, nightshades, caffeine, and alcohol. Learn to slow down and tune in to your body without counting calories, choking down expensive supplements, or starving yourself, and create a food lifestyle that works for you.


Peanut Butter Overnight Oats Full Recipe

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!
  1. Add in the dry ingredients—oats and chia seeds (if desired)—to the Mason jar first.
  2. Pour in the milk, then add in the peanut butter and maple syrup.
  3. Mix the ingredients together until the peanut butter has been evenly added to the oat mixture. Make sure all of the oats are submerged in the milk.
  4. Seal the lid, and place the oats in the refrigerator.
  5. The next morning, sprinkle in desired fruit toppers. Enjoy!

Eat This Tip

Overnight oats can last a few days in the fridge. However, keep in mind that the longer the oats sit in the milk, the mushier they will get. If you prefer a heartier texture, I highly recommend mixing a fresh batch every night before going to bed. Need some more breakfast ideas? These breakfast ideas only take five ingredients to make.

RELATED: 100+ healthy breakfast ideas that help you lose weight and stay slim.


Strawberry & Cream Croissant French Toast For Your Weekend Brunch

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.

APPLY NOW

Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!


17 Ways to Eat More Veggies at Breakfast (That Aren’t Omelets)

Breakfast is an awesome opportunity to sneak in some vegetables. Because, yada, yada, yada, like we’ve been hearing all our lives, most of us need to eat more of them, according to Mom, and reports.

The USDA recommends that an average male between the ages of 19 to 50 eat 4 cup equivalents of veggies per day. For the average female, it’s 3 cup equivalents.

What-the-what is a cup-equivalent? It considers the form of the food. Example: one cup of light and airy, raw spinach leaves, has a 1/2 cup equivalency.

And how many vegetables are Americans in these age groups actually eating? Males are eating between 1.5 to 2 cup equivalents, and females are eating between 1.3 and 1.75 cup equivalents.

We can do better, people. Here are 17 simple yet tasty ways to enjoy veggies at breakfast.

You might like

1. Smashed avocado toast and veggies

The avocado toast craze is real, and we’re not complaining, especially when it’s churning out varieties as veggie-rific as this one.

There’s so much goodness going on here, from the coconut-oil glazed onions, asparagus, and peppers to the creamy avocado and runny egg.

This is one trend we hope never dies out.

2. Veggie breakfast tacos

The breakfast taco varieties out there are endless. This recipe caught our eye because the tortillas are stuffed with colorful veggies, scrambled eggs, and crumbled cheese.

Use corn or whole-wheat flour tortillas. And if you like it spicy, shake on more hot sauce.

3. Healthy vegan breakfast burritos

If you’re vegan, or simply looking to switch it up from eggs for breakfast, the tofu filling in these burritos will not disappoint.

Sautéed with onions, meaty mushrooms, peppers, and herbs, these healthful wraps are so flavorful, they’ll convert even the most stubborn skeptics of soy.

4. Mexican breakfast pasta

If pizza for breakfast is a thing, why can’t pasta be?! Switch up your morning carbs with a serving of spaghetti. Make it whole-wheat pasta for extra fiber, too.

Three bell peppers, chopped, join a can of black beans, and lots of grated cheese for ooey-gooey goodness.

The eggs cracked over the top give the whole thing a protein upgrade along with that breakfast-y vibe.

5. Vegan Southwest sweet potato breakfast hash

There are four components to this breakfast (stay with us), and they’re all easy and quick to make. Together they create amazing textures, flavor, and health benefits.

Can’t you just taste it? Lightly caramelized vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes and tangy, lycopene-packed pico de gallo. Chunky fiber-filled guac (one avocado has 8 grams of fiber), and smooth-as-silk chipotle-coconut cream.

6. Homemade hash browns with spinach and carrot

Why make regular old hash browns when you can make this much prettier version of them? Adding spinach and carrots to potato certainly jazzes up these panfried cakes in the color department.

And carrot also gives you beta carotene, and zeaxanthin, which studies show could lower the risk of macular degeneration. Scripsema N, et al. (2015). Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin in the clinical management of eye disease. DOI: 10.1155/2015/865179

7. Roasted vegetable skillet for one

Skillets aren’t just healthy one-pot meals, they’re a great way to use up whatever produce you have in your crisper.

Throw in that last handful of kale, lone mushroom, quarter of green pepper, and breakfast is ready in minutes. And the crisper’s clean.

8. Sweet potato and kale veggie cakes

Sweet potatoes step in for the usual white shredded spuds, adding way more vitamin A and C.

We love the way the batter made of almond meal, brown rice flour, and flaxseed, binds the sweet potato, onion, and kale into toasty panfried cakes.


What are some healthy porridge toppings?

Honestly? The list is endless. You&rsquoll get a good feel for healthy porridge toppings when you scroll through our favourite porridge recipes, but a few examples include:

  • Fruits (berries, bananas, apples and plums &ndash basically all of them)
  • Nuts (see also: nut butters)
  • Seeds
  • Spices (like cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • Veggies (think: grated carrot or courgette)
  • Meat (yes, really)

So, what's best: cow, almond or rice milk? Honey, maple syrup or agave nectar?

Save you wasting time scrolling Google for 'best porridge recipes', we've compiled the ultimate list of quick and simple porridge recipe ideas for every mood with toppings that aren't a) boring or b) sky-high in processed sugar or saturated fat.


How to Detox the Healthy Way: 16 Recipes You Should Try


When the presents have been opened and all the treats are long gone, too many of us feel the need to “cleanse” or “detox” with a strict diet of fresh-pressed juices and hours of exercise. But before you ban all solid foods for the next week, hear us out — it’s entirely possible to clean out your system, learn how to detox and still eat.

“Detox diets that severely limit protein or food groups are too drastic,” says Bethany Doerfler, RD, LDN, and a clinical research dietician at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. “I am an advocate of people stripping back foods that they simply don’t need. That sometimes gets touted as a detox diet. But really, it’s a version of clean eating.”

How to Detox, Decoded

Let us explain: When we consume enough fresh fruits and veggies (at least five servings per day), we’re filled with nutrients that help the body function properly. For example, potassium regulates blood pressure, and fiber reduces cholesterol levels and helps us feel full after eating. “Fiber-rich diets also help us have regular bowel moments, which is one way our bodies rid themselves of excess waste and unwanted compounds,” Doerfler says.

To reap the most benefits, Doerfler says the length of the detox or cleanse should depend on how restrictive it is. If you choose to do a very restrictive diet or cleanse (such as a juice cleanse) — which Doerfler does not recommend — it should last no longer than three days. But, if you’re just trying to add more lean protein, fruit and veggies to your diet, and pull back on the alcohol and soda, you can aim to maintain those changes for as long as you want to. You just need to make sure you’re getting enough calories, protein, and carbohydrates for the body to function properly.

By now, we hope you’ve abandoned all notions of a juice cleanse, and your mouth is salivating over the prospect of all the yummy, healthy foods you’ll be chowing down on while your friends are sipping charcoal. Well, achieving a successful dietary detox is as easy as following these simple guidelines:

1. Pack in the Protein
“Getting enough protein and distributing it properly though the day is essential,” Doerfler says. “As a general rule, the body likes to consume about 20 to 30 grams of protein every four to six hours.” This is roughly equivalent to three extra-large eggs, a half-cup of diced chicken breast, a four-ounce fillet of salmon or a half-cup of black beans. Stick to lean proteins such as eggs, egg whites, poultry, fish, legumes or tofu, and include some at every meal. Women need at least 50 to 60 grams of protein every day, and may require up to 90 grams per day depending on exercise habits. Men can also operate in this range, but larger men may need between 70 and 110 grams of protein per day.

2. Don’t Banish Carbs
Carbohydrates are still very important. According to the Institute of Medicine, your diet should contain no fewer than 120 grams of carbohydrates per day. This can easily be achieved with a healthy balance of vegetables, whole grains and legumes. For example, one cup of oatmeal for breakfast (27 g carbs), a green salad with roasted winter squash for lunch (like the Fall Cleanse Salad below, 41 g carbs), and a bowl of lentil soup for dinner (54 g carbs) would be just over 120 g carbs for the day.

“Some people may think that does not sound so low, but consider that the average American eats 300 grams of carbohydrates per day,” Doerfler says. Some of those can come from whole grains, and from a limited amount of low-fat dairy (think yogurt or kefir), says Doerfler.“I like for people to make sure they’re including at least one, if not two, servings of whole grains per day,” Doerfler says. Experiment with sources that are not typically in your diet — try quinoa, millet and wheat berries.

3. Keep Calories Under Control
As a general rule of thumb, a low-calorie diet (aimed at losing weight) should consist of between 1,200 and 1,400 calories for women, and between 1,500 and 1,800 calories for men, says Doerfler. Aim for breakfasts of between 300 and 350 calories, lunches between 400 and 450 calories, and dinners between 500 and 550 calories. Snacks — up to two per day — should be around 150 calories.

Added sugar should make up no more than five percent of your daily calories, or no more than about 25 grams per day. Keep up that water intake, too, aiming for at least nine cups per day for women and 13 cups per day for men.

Remember that everyone is a little bit different — don’t be afraid to change things up after a few days if you’re feeling tired or hungry all the time. And of course, it’s always smart to consult with a doctor before starting a new nutrition plan.

Detoxifying Breakfast Recipes

1. Green Detox Smoothie
The Skinny: 264 calories, 1.9 g fat, 53.8 g carbs, 34.8 g sugar, 8.8 g fiber and 5 g protein per 16-ounce serving

This refreshing and nutrient-packed smoothie is full of heart-healthy fiber and potassium, thanks to the pineapple and banana mixed in. Spinach brings essential nutrients such as vitamin K (which helps keep bones and tissues in top shape) and vitamin A (which helps maintain healthy skin). While this smoothie may seem high in carbs, Doerfler says not to let that scare you away — just rein in your intake for the rest of the day. Craving something a bit more filling? Add a scoop of protein powder before blending. Photo and recipe: Ali Ebright / Gimme Some Oven

2. Baked Blackberry Oatmeal
The Skinny: 237 calories, 12.4 g fat, 25.5 g carbs, 10.7 g sugar, 4.7 g fiber and 8.6 g protein per ¾-cup serving

Blackberries and oats up the fiber in this breakfast bake, making it a great go-to to keep you full until lunchtime. The pumpkin seeds, pecans, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds also offer healthy poly- and mono-unsaturated fats and plenty of texture. A small scoop of this fruit- and nut-filled dish would make a great snack, too. Photo and recipe: Katie Morris / Katie at the Kitchen Door

3. Cherry Chia Seed Pudding
The Skinny: 260 calories, 11 g fat, 32 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 13 g fiber and 9 g protein per 1-cup serving

Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Soaking these tiny seeds in liquid creates a thick, pudding-like gel that is packed with fiber. Plus, its neutral flavor profile makes chia pudding the ideal canvas for whatever toppings you like. Cherries add a hint of sweetness, vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and even more fiber. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn

4. Pumpkin Papaya Superfood Acai Bowl
The Skinny: 306 calories, 9.1 g fat, 53 g carbs, 24.2 g sugar, 14.9 g fiber and 7 g protein per bowl

One surefire way to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet is to try and incorporate fruits and vegetables from every color family each day. Enter, the breakfast bowl. You’ll check off your orange and yellow produce requirements with pumpkin (packed with 245 percent of the daily recommended vitamin A per cup!) and papaya. Photo and recipe: Ksenia / Breakfast Criminals

5. Antioxidant Fruit Salad with Bee Pollen
The Skinny: 106.5 calories, .5 g fat, 27 g carbs, 22.5 g sugar, 4 g fiber and 2 g protein per 1-cup serving

If you’ve never tried bee pollen, consider giving this recipe a shot. Bee products are thought to help boost energy, provide essential nutrients, bolster the immune system, and even treat allergies. Blackberries, blueberries, plum, and nectarine make up the base of this hydrating and fiber-rich fruit salad. If you’d rather stick with seasonal fruits, feel free to sub in any variety you like. Add a scoop of plain low-fat Greek yogurt or a cup of plain kefir to boost the protein content. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn

6. 5-Ingredient Detox Smoothie
The Skinny: 181 calories, 1.6 g fat, 41 g carbs, 29 g sugar, 4.7 g fiber and 2.5 g protein per 2-cup serving

Antioxidant-packed berries and iron-rich kale make a nutritionally sound base for this easy detox smoothie. The ground flaxseeds in this recipe are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, and studies suggest consuming them may even help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Don’t skip the tofu either — it adds a bit of protein, but also helps create a nice silky texture. Add a scoop of protein powder or Greek yogurt to make this feel more like a complete meal. Photo and recipe: John and Dana / Minimalist Baker

Detox Lunch Recipes

7. The Ultimate Detox Salad
The Skinny: 442 calories, 38.7 g fat, 20.4 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 5.7 g sugar and 9.2 g protein per serving

This healthy salad packs in all of the fruit and veggie color families. Kale and broccoli provide vitamins A, C, B6, calcium and iron. Red cabbage is full of antioxidants and vitamin C, helps lower cholesterol and may also help lower the risk of some cancers. Carrots carry plenty of vitamin A, a nutrient essential for maintaining good vision. On top of that, avocado, walnuts and sesame seeds store a source of poly- and mono- unsaturated fats. Photo and recipe: Julia Mueller / The Roasted Root

8. Green Monster Detox Salad
The Skinny: 347 calories, 21.5 g fat, 37.9 g carbs, 13.7 g fiber, 12.7 g sugar and 11.2 g protein per serving

Cruciferous vegetables, which Doerfler says we should get at least three to four servings of each week, are the stars of this dish. Together, green cabbage and broccoli offer heart- and gut- healthy fiber, as well as compounds that have been linked to a lower risk of cancer. But that’s not all the green that this salad brings to the table. Celery and cucumbers also carry some added crunch as well as hydration. Photo and recipe: Consuelo / Honey and Figs Kitchen

9. Cleansing Spring Salad Recipe
The Skinny: 185 calories, 12 g fat, 20 g carbs, 6.4 g sugar, 6 g fiber and 3 g protein per 2-cup serving

With their earthy flavor and luscious texture, beets are a great way to add some heft to salads in addition to health benefits such as inflammation- and cancer- fighting properties. If you can find them in your local grocery store, spring for the microgreens over their normal-sized cousins — studies have shown that some microgreens can contain up to 40 times more nutrients than more mature versions. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn

10. Sweet and Savory Detox Salad
The Skinny: 186 calories, 3 g fat, 38.4 g carbs, 23.3 g sugar, 7.2 g fiber and 6 g protein per 2-cup serving

Don’t be turned off by the interesting combination of ingredients in this mix. Chopped broccoli and cauliflower (two points for cruciferous veggies!), sunflower seeds, currants, raisins and parsley combine to create a crave-worthy salad packed with nutrients. The dressing is simple, too — just vitamin C-packed lemon juice, a drizzle of maple syrup and salt and pepper. Photo and recipe: Angela Liddon / Oh She Glows

11. Fall Cleanse Salad Recipe
The Skinny: 427 calories, 29 g fat, 41g carbs, 6g fiber, 9g sugar and 12g protein per 2-cup serving

When in season, fall squashes, such as delicata, are a creative way to add orange produce into your diet. In the off-season, look in your local freezer section for pre-cut frozen winter squash, Doerfler says. It’s simple to prepare (just steam or roast!) and will boost any salad effortlessly. Fennel is a great way to add some crunch and it’s a good source of tons of nutrients that support better skin (thanks, vitamin C!), improved bone and heart health, lower blood pressure and better digestion. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn

Detox Dinner Recipes

12. Roasted Beet Noodles with Pesto and Baby Kale
The Skinny: 263 calories, 25 g fat, 10 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 3 g fiber and 3 g protein per serving

News flash: Beets make a great substitute for pasta! All you need is a spiral vegetable slicer, which uses a special blade to cut vegetables (or fruit) into thin, noodle-like pieces. Beets are packed with heart-healthy nutrients including fiber, folate and betaine. They’re also a great source of potassium, which helps many vital organs operate properly. Plus, research suggests that betalains, the pigments that give beets their color, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers and may even help protect against some cancer-related issues. Add some grilled protein or white beans to make it more satiating. Photo and recipe: Ali Maffucci / Inspiralized

13. Raw Spicy Zoodle Bowl
The Skinny: 364 calories, 16.2 g fat, 54.7 g carbs, 18.1 g sugar, 14.2 g fiber and 9.7 g protein per serving

Here’s a comforting meal to brighten a dark and wintery day. Zucchini and carrot noodles are the foundation, but the rainbow of nutrients doesn’t stop there. This dish also contains antioxidant-packed red cabbage and red bell pepper, plus a bevy of other flavor-packed fresh ingredients such as celery, cilantro, ginger, avocado and sesame seeds. Photo and recipe: Shannon / The Glowing Fridge

14. Coconut Lentil Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger
The Skinny: 497 calories, 15.5 g fat, 54.5 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 21.5 g fiber and 24.6 g protein per serving

This soup is a heart-health powerhouse. Lentils and butternut squash contain a healthy dose of soluble fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol levels. Lentils are also a great source of lean vegan protein, offering about 18 grams of protein per cup (cooked). Because this recipe is relatively high in carbohydrates, make sure to limit your carbs for the rest of the day, aiming for around 120 to 130 grams total. Photo and recipe: Lindsey Johnson / Café Johnsonia

15. Macro Bowl with Sesame Tofu Recipe
The Skinny: 379 calories, 23 g fat, 29 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 6 g fiber and 16 g protein per serving

Macrobiotic meals are dense with essential nutrients thanks to a mix of whole grains, vegetables, lean vegan proteins, greens and seaweed in each serving. This flavor-packed bowl is low in saturated fat and high in fiber and protein. Brown rice brings fiber and magnesium, which helps keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy and seaweed adds a wealth of iodine, a nutrient that is crucial in maintaining thyroid health. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn

16. Grapefruit, Avocado and Shrimp Salad
The Skinny: 288 calories, 22 g fat, 23.4 g carbs, 12.5 g sugar, 8.9 g fiber and 3.6 g protein per serving

Shrimp makes a great (and quick) addition to any salad. Four large shrimps contain just 22 calories, while also offering five grams of protein and zero grams of fat. Fit in a serving of whole grains with brown rice, or sub in another option such as quinoa or wheat berries. Avocado adds creaminess while grapefruit delivers a hefty dose of vitamin C. Photo and recipe: Mary / The Kitchen Paper


Banting dinner recipes

This third part of this list of low carb diets focusses on easy banting dinner ideas. We’ll highlight two easy recipes that you can follow the next time you prepare supper.

1. Lemon chilli chicken

This recipe can serve four people and take you a combined 35 minutes to prepare and cook.

Ingredients required:

  • 2 lemons
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 200 grams of cherry tomatoes
  • 10 grams of fresh mint
  • 12 courgettes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 fresh chillies
  • 4 fresh garlic

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Preparation steps:

  1. While pre-heating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, slice the fresh mint and onions finely.
  2. Squeeze the lemon and set aside the juice.
  3. Place the cherry tomatoes in a roasting dish, drizzle some olive oil, scatter with mint, then roast for 15 minutes.
  4. Shave the courgettes lengthwise using a tomato peeler.
  5. Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise into 4 strips per breast then sprinkle some pepper and salt.
  6. Spray some olive oil on a non-stick pan over medium heat and when the oil is hot, add the chicken strips, half of the lemon juice, chilli and garlic, and cook for 4 minutes on each side until brown.
  7. Use a large pan to prevent the strips from overlapping and once the strips are done, set them aside and cover using a foil paper.
  8. Add the onions and oil into the pan from the previous step and cook for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add extra olive oil (if necessary), pepper, salt, and the remaining lemon juice.
  10. Add the prepared courgette strips and cook for two minutes until they soften.
  11. The best way to serve is to place the chicken and tomatoes on the bed of courgette ribbons on individual plates.

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2. Bacon and mince meatballs

If you’re still looking for banting supper ideas, then these meatballs could deliver what you want. Just like the banting recipes described above, it is very easy to prepare this meal.

Ingredients required:

  • 1 large egg
  • 250 grams of shredded bacon
  • 500 grams of mince
  • Rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation steps:

  1. Evenly mix all the ingredients in a bowl then divide into balls that fit in your palm, and place on a plate.
  2. Place the plate with the balls in the fridge for half an hour.
  3. Bake in the oven or fry in two tablespoons of coconut oil.

READ ALSO: Vegetable banting recipes


Watch the video: The Daily Creative Food Co. (December 2021).