Arts & CultureFoodHealth

Enough with the juice cleanses — there are healthier options to help you look your best

The stress of getting into shape always begins with a New Years resolution and ends with unrealistic plans to achieve that “bikini bod” before spring break.

By changing your routine too drastically, or setting your goals too high, you’re more susceptible to failure. Starvation, juice cleanses, cutting out carbs and endless hours at the gym will do nothing more than derail your entire system. But there are simpler ways to naturally cleanse your body on a daily basis to look and feel your best.

CrossFit instructor Chantelle Russell is the Assistant Director of Fitness for PE & Recreation at the University of Oregon. Her suggestions for healthier, but effective alternatives to cleanses was: “The number one thing that I always focus on with students who are looking to eat healthier is to plan and prepare. Healthy eating doesn’t just happen by luck or willpower. It’s important to plan meals and snacks in advance and then prepare by getting groceries, making food and snacks in advance, and knowing your healthy options at your go-to food establishments (for when you’re in a hurry). Also, getting your roommates and friends on board with healthy eating will increase your likelihood of success and making the choices you want; as we are strongly influenced by those around us!”

Chantelle also advised making sure there’s a lot of color on your plate by loading on the fruits and veggies (plus more fiber makes you fuller, longer). Never skip meals, skip out on empty calories (soda, fancy coffee drinks, sweets) instead and ensure that all meals stay balanced with adequate portions of protein, carbohydrates (fruit, veggies, whole grains) and fats.

For all of us who are guilty of skipping breakfast once in a while, Chantelle shared her favorite and most efficient morning meal. Making oatmeal or “overnight oats” can keep you full and focused all morning. The Oatmeal Artist has a recipe for everyone’s liking.

Another bookmark recommendation comes from My Whole Food Life, your new favorite food blog for planning your meals. Reading insightful advice and even a few juice recipes (optimal from a full juice cleanse) are thrown in for good measure too.

Here are a few more favorite recipes you can use to plan your meals ahead:

Simple Spa Water: I always love having water with big slices of fruit waiting for me in the fridge. My current combination of choice? Water, lemon, lime, cucumber and mint.

Afternoon Pick Me Up Juice: Try this as a mid afternoon boost instead of a white mocha from Starbucks or my guilty pleasure, Diet Coke.

Zucchini Chips: Yes, there is still such a thing as chips outside of the Lays brand. Just add a little salt and oil!

Chia Seed Fruit Salad: Not your usual chia seed pudding, as it is combined with a varietal fruit salad for a delicious breakfast or dessert treat.

Healthy Burrito Bowl: Talk about getting all of your colors into one bowl that contains far less salt than something you’d pick up at Chipotle.

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Audrey Bittner

Audrey Bittner

Audrey writes for the Film/TV section of the Arts + Culture desk. You may have seen her writing previously published on Quack'd. On the side, she is the current editor in chief for The Odyssey- University of Oregon. She also thinks that there is no wrong time for breakfast burritos.