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Because you keep asking…Reboot/Juice Cleanse Final Conclusions!

Because you keep asking…Reboot/Juice Cleanse Final Conclusions!

So, what’s my final pronouncement/opinion about the Reboot with Joe, and similar juice cleanses? You keep asking, so here it is. Sorry for the delay, but I really wanted to make sure I had all the information I needed and time to think before attempting to guide others.

First, if you haven’t already read my previous posts about my own Reboot cleanse, you can read the first one here (my invitation to cleanse and a cleanse 101), my Day 1 post, and my Days 1-5 post.

Island Green Smoothie

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The concept of the Reboot cleanse is to drink only fruit and vegetable juices for 3, 5, 10 or 15 days to reboot your system and start fresh and healthy. They do recommend adding a protein powder to your juice if you’re going to reboot longer than 15 days and also have plans that combine food (again, only fruits and vegetables) with juicing.

2. Juicing takes the fiber out of fruits and vegetables. Fiber helps keep us full and regular. Many people who go on juice fasts have problems with constipation. Smoothies, which contain fiber, will fill you up more than juice. However, it still doesn’t replace the chewing function that signals our brain that we’ve eaten.

3. My experience: I tried the 15 day fast that starts out with a combination of food and juicing and culminates in only juicing. I felt fantastic the second and third days. Then I started to get dizzy from a lack of protein. I added some nuts here and there and that helped. I lost 7.5 lbs in 10 days and then didn’t really keep to the cleanse for the last 5 days (although I continued to eat well and didn’t gain any weight). I missed food! I like chewing. I like enjoying my food! I also turned most of the juices into smoothies using my Vitamix (once you’ve bought a Vitamix, you’re not going to spend money on a juicer too!). I did strain some of them into juice to make them more palatable. I’ve cleansed eating only whole foods and lost the same amount of weight in a much more balanced and enjoyable manner. In fact, I’ll probably recommend a specific cleanse to you shortly.

carrot Apple Ginger

4. Cleansing in an extreme Reboot manner can be appropriate for people who can’t trust themselves to eat only what they should if they even open up that door to chewing or eating anything other than fruits and vegetables. In addition, some people really need to give their digestion a rest. Juicing can help with this. In addition, for people who don’t like fruits and vegetables, gulping down a juice may be a helpful way for them to get those nutrients.

5. I don’t see any reason a person would need to (only) juice for more than three days. That’s a terrific reset time to get focused on eating mostly fruits and vegetables and realize how much snacking and recreational eating most of us do on a daily basis. When I realized how much food I’d be eating if I actually CHEWED the fruits and vegetables in the Reboot juices/smoothies, I realized that there was truly no reason to limit myself to juice, so I didn’t! If I want to eat well and feel better, I can do that eating mostly fruits and vegetables, with some seeds and nuts thrown in for protein and healthy fats. Of course we should all be eating this way most of the time!

Green Detox Soup

It just so happens that today’s Washington Post featured an article by nutritionist Ellie Krieger, Why Chewing is Underrated. Check it out!

6. And finally, if you have a very hard time limiting what you actually eat, you can still give your digestion a rest through intermittent fasting. Click on the link for more information about how to lose weight without restricting your diet.

If you have a cleanse or juice fasting experience to tell us about, head on over to the Healthy Family, Healthy You Facebook page and share!

Women, Food and Desire -15 Minutes to Feeling like a Super Hero!

Women, Food and Desire-15 Minutes to Feeling like a Super Hero!

Give me 15 minutes (including the time to read this blog post!) and I’ll give you back a super hero – YOU!

Product Details

Bet that headline got your attention, huh?! The new book, “Women, Food and Desire,” by Alexandra Jamieson arrived (I think End of Dieting by Dr. Joel Fuhrman is the only other book I’ve ever pre-ordered!) two days ago. The only time I’ve been taking to “read” lately is listening to audio books while I do dishes – which is great – because it’s better than nothing. However, at the end of the day, there’s almost nothing in the world that decompresses me like reading. And we all know how much better we sleep when we read for an hour before bed vs watching TV.  The point is – apropos to this book – I couldn’t wait to sit down and savor it. So I did. In a couple of hours (with a few kid interruptions) I was at page 88. And I hope to finish it tonight! I can’t put it down.

If you don’t know who Alex Jamieson is, you may remember her as the (then) wife of the Supersize Me guy, Morgan Spurlock. She made the movie with him and is in it. At the time she was a vegan chef. She’s no longer vegan, but she is a holistic health coach, with a lot of experience and wisdom. This book seems to bring together so much of what I’ve been reading (um…I mean…listening to) about forming and breaking habits, such as The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

In my upcoming Healthy Family Healthy You book, I say, “Substitution is your strategy.” So far, Alex’s tips, along with the social science information I’ve studied, back that up. Most of what we do every day is pure habit. There are three aspects to a habit, which can be called by different names. This is what Jamieson writes: “Urge felt, action taken, need met. Impulse. Action. Satisfaction. Where we have a choice is at that middle place, the place of action.”


I love this and suggest you read the book as I am only giving you a tiny tidbit of its fantastic revelations. My point is this: Don’t make yourself wrong for choices you don’t love. When you beat yourself up you think you’re not good enough or don’t deserve to change.  Most choices are actually habits, not choices. Most of our habitual choices don’t actually help us, at least not for long. We eat the cookie to reward ourselves at the end of a tough day and, after the 5 minute sugar high, all it does is contribute to more stress.

Jamieson suggests that when those types of urges hit, instead of doing what we always do, we sit with our feelings and write them down. First, you’ll find out what you are really feeling so you can figure out a way to actually address those feelings, rather than stuffing them down with food. Second, you’ll see that the feeling will pass, even without the cookie. And finally, you’ll feel so good about yourself when you resist your usual impulse. You don’t even have to grin and bare it. You can simply make a new choice, and, with playful curiosity, see what happens. The next day you can choose something else and figure out what will work best. If you miss lots of sugar and cream in your morning coffee, maybe there’s a specific smoothie or tea that will replace the feelings you’re looking for from the coffee. You won’t know unless you try!

That’s what I mean by 15 minutes to feeling like a super hero. You don’t have to lose 50 lbs in the next two weeks to make yourself feel good. You will feel mentally and physically fantastic, literally in 15 minutes, by changing what you do in that middle place of action.

What habits make you feel like you’re always making the wrong decision? Maybe it has the opposite effect of your intention? She suggests starting there.

So, where does the sex come in? Come on, I know that’s what you were waiting for! Well, I’m not quite up to that chapter, but I would imagine from I’ve read so far, that a woman who feels terrible in her own body won’t feel a great connection to her partner, or feel confidence in or ownership over her body (and its desires). But we’ll see what she says in the second half of the book. Maybe I’ll tell you. Maybe I won’t!


The Healthy Mama’s recipe for peace, love and health… in the kitchen…and beyond!

When the new year is not (only) about you!

My friend overheard her (awesome!) kids telling my daughter how everything I make at my house is healthy (and fun!), so they always know they can have it. Unfortunately, I don’t know if that’s exactly true…I feel like when they say everything at Subway and Whole Foods has a “health halo” around it – even if it is
full of sugar, white flour, red meat and fat.  Not that I sit around cooking those things, but still…I’m not perfect. I do give in and give my kids mac and cheese sometimes, although I make it from scratch, not from a box with food coloring.



I was so happy to hear that they felt positive about my healthy food. Maybe it’s because they know I’m always trying and developing new recipes and that I genuinely value their opinions. I don’t offer new foods to guests and ask for a compliment. I really ask for feedback, nothing personal involved, especially with kids. I’m also always very positive about it myself.

I can’t wait to share the POSITIVE strategies from the Healthy Family, Healthy You book with my dear readers. It’s been a long, but rewarding journey. I now have only one and a half chapters left to edit. Of course, one of those is the recipe chapter (my book will include approximately 75 recipes), which is the most difficult to edit. (It’s because I’ve been hard at work on the book that you haven’t heard from me in a few weeks…).

If you would like to participate in the recipe testing process, please do let me know at or on my Facebook page!

You must read today’s Washington Post (Food Section) article by Tamar Haspel, “Why home cooks don’t cook: Everyone’s a critic.” She makes a number of fantastic points that will leave you feeling so validated and supported as a hard-working parent, it is worth reading, just for that! Bottom line: Everyone tells busy working parents that the key to a happy and healthy family is to cook at home. However…the reward for that is often your children throwing a tantrum and demanding “kid food,” such as chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and pizza. Multiple industries are devoted to convincing your children that this is their food and they’d better make their parents buy it. Couple the marketing with the science of targeting your taste buds with just the right combination of salt, sugar and fat, (Haspel cites Michael Moss’s game-changing book, “Salt, Sugar, Fat“) and no wonder busy parents feel defeated before they start.

She also mentions the “health halo” around home-cooked food, although it is usually true that home cooked food is lower in calories, salt, sugar and fat, than processed and restaurant meals. However, with so many convenience products on the market, it’s hard to even know what “home-cooked” means any more.

This article points out many of the challenges today’s parents face when trying to feed their family in a healthful way. Some of her suggestions, such as involving your children more in meal planning and prep, are part of the Healthy Family, Healthy You system. However, the system I provide is different than what you’ve heard before and can produce greater family transformation.

Avital's Frozen watermelon cupcakes 2

My son enjoying his sister’s recipe creation!

I can’t wait to share it with you and I thank you, now and for the future, for your patience, ideas and support.

At the beginning of 2014, I declared that I wanted to focus on SERVICE to others. I thought that would start with publishing the book. Instead, I spent the year continuing to write the book, counsel individuals, and develop my strategic system for helping others.

Many of you know how hard of a time I’ve given myself for not having finished the book as quickly as I wanted to. I am now declaring 2015 the year of HARMONY! After all, harmony is what I’m attempting to give my readers, right? Using food to bring harmony to your body, mind and your family. So I am going to declare a harmony between my work as a writer and health coach and my chosen role as a mom and wife. They all complement one another, especially because of the topic I’m writing about. I’m going to focus on that more than the competition between the two. It’s that “competition” that has “slowed” my writing process and why I had no idea how long it would take me to finish. I’m also changing slow to harmony. It’s taken me longer as my home life has positively influenced the book and my suggestions for other families.

So, as you (and I!) eagerly await the Healthy Family, Healthy You book, I wish you a harmonious year! Dream of it now, as you read the working title for the book.

Healthy Family, Healthy You: The Healthy Mama’s recipe for peace, love and health… in the kitchen…and beyond!

Heart Healthy Pumpkin Pie