Went to Hawaii and all I got was 2 lousy pounds…

Eating this pineapple lamp is not the same as eating an actual pineapple.

You may have noticed that I managed to go the entire month of June without publishing a post. “Nicely done!” you’re thinking, unless it’s “Slacker!” Yeah. June = on holiday. The BF and I packed up and left Colorado for the garden island on June 15. Our dear friends who live in Kauai got married on the summer solstice.  So, I spent the first part of June planning and prepping for the trip and the later half being on said trip. But you can still think I’m a slacker. I know I do.

I ATE SO MUCH FOOD in Hawaii. And to be honest I ate so much meat! I may have eaten my weight in meat. Not joking. Seriously. There were two luaus, several days of tacos for breakfast, the rare times I remembered to eat fish, followed up by more meat in the form of flank steak, additional servings of pork shoulder straight out of the pressure cooker, and so on…

I did manage to work in some fresh papaya and mango, a few pieces of watermelon, delicious bananas straight off the tree and a lot of coconut. At the rehearsal dinner the officiant even grabbed a fallen coconut and hacked it open with a machete. Fresh coconut and the water inside puts a whole new light on “straight from the source.” But mostly, I ate a lot of meat. After conferring with Christopher Flower, a personal trainer at Form Fitness, my lean muscle mass is the same as it was pre-trip (must have been all that hiking and sea-kayaking) but I’m carrying a few new pounds that are either fat or water. I’m also jet-lagged and puffy and generally annoyed at having to come back to real life.

We’re at a luau! Pit-roasted pig! Yessssssssss!

So now I’m trying to do some detoxing and getting back on the lots-of-fruits-and-vegetables-wagon along with adding other foods that help the body and are great for me (and, ahem, my colon). I don’t subscribe to fasting for prolonged periods of time and a lot of doctors and nutritionists will back me up. However, some of the foods involved in those so-called cleanses—like lemon and cayenne—do assist the body’s natural detoxification systems. One easy way to incorporate lemon is to add it to your daily dose of water.

Since returning to the mainland earlier this week, I’ve started every day off by squeezing a fresh lemon into a cup of green tea. It’s a good temporary caffeine replacement for my morning coffee and, as a bonus, a 2000 study in the International Journal of Obesity also linked green tea to boosting metabolism and weight loss. As I’m both jet-lagged and retaining water, I’m avoiding salt and continuing to hydrate. Because I can only drink so much water, fruits and veggies that have a high water content are helping me to rehydrate after the long plane rides and days upon days of eating too much salt and heavy rich food.

Neutralizing excess salt in the body uses 23 grams of cellular water (science!) which is why after a savory binge you might feel a bit bloated. The highest concentration of water in produce is in watermelon and cucumber, which are 97% water, followed by tomatoes and zucchini which are 95% water. While salt is a heavenly food seasoning, other seasonings add taste without calories and also add extra body benefit. Ancho chile powder reduces inflammation, turmeric boosts liver function, and black pepper aids digestion. Veggies + these spices = detox dinner.

Spiced Grilled Veggie Kabobs
–Summer squash, sliced or cubed
–Zucchini, sliced or cubed
–2 nectarine, sliced away from pit and quartered
–TBSP Olive oil
–Black pepper
–Ancho chile powder

In a small bowl mix together the olive oil and spices (amounts to your taste). Coat the grillables in the mixture. Skewer the veggies/fruit, alternating, until all items are used up. Grill, turning as needed, until veggies are tender.

Note: If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water 10 minutes before skewering.

Kale, my other true love.

Other detoxifying foods and spices that are easy to incorporate into your regular diet?

  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Artichoke
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Chili peppers and powders
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
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  1. Sarah Espinosa
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Hey there Leah! Didn’t I tell you it was just salt? 🙂

    Great tip with the lemon in green tea, I’m going to try that.

    • leah
      Posted July 5, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, salt. It’s also been hard to adjust to not waking up and drinking beer all day long. I’m pretty sure my liver is like “YES. MORE GREEN TEA. THANK YOU.” Sorry liver, I like you, promise!

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