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The Tastiest Cleanse You've Ever Done

Giada's whole foods cleanse is proof that eating healthy isn't a chore!


Every year, I get to the end of the holiday season full of joy, gratitude, and a whole lot of prosecco and white sugar. Between cookie swaps, cocktail parties, family feasts, and more, the month-plus from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve can feel at times like an eating marathon - only you finish it feeling a lot less healthy than when you began!
That's why I like to kick off the new year with a healthy eating reset. I actually do a version of this a few times a year; any time I feel like I've fallen into some bad habits or need to look my absolute best for a shoot. After just a few days on a cleanse, I feel and look lighter and find I have more energy during the day. But I don't believe it should feel like punishment, or come with a lot of impossible-to-stick-to rules. 
My whole foods cleanse focuses on real food - not just green juice - that just happen to be good for you. I stock the week with lots of veggies and fish, moderate amounts of olive oil and other tasty treats (even pasta!), and big, bold flavors. There's no dairy, alcohol, or refined sugar, but you'll find you barely notice they're gone because you're eating so well!
Since I do this every January, I like to try to incorporate some new recipes into my cleanse to keep things interesting. Here's what I'll be eating this week (and if you want more whole food ideas, check out my menu from last year!
Whole wheat spaghetti with swiss chard: Even on a cleanse, pasta is never off limits in my house! It's all about moderation. In this case, whole wheat spaghetti packs more protein and fiber than regular durum wheat pasta. Including the addition of swiss chard, tomatoes and garlic, this meal is a nutrient-packed superfood fest.
Broiled salmon with mustard glaze: A hearty main dish that provides crucial Omega 3s (healthy fats that boost brain function) and lots of protein without the calories. The sharp mustard glaze is a nice palate cleanser from all those rich, heavy holiday foods.
Lemon chicken soup with spaghetti: Soup is a great way to fill up at mealtime without getting weighed down. This bright chicken broth gets a rich flavor from parm rinds without adding high-calorie gooey cheese. 
Chocolate avocado mousse: Luckily, my all-time favorite, dark chocolate, is a health powerhouse! Packed with antioxidants, a square of ultra-dark chocolate is a great way to end a meal (the higher the percentage of cocoa solids, the better). Or, dress it up with avocado to add creamy texture and a dose of heart-healthy fats to this decadent dessert.
Don't forget the snacks! Managing hunger is so important to making good food choices; go too long between meals and all of a sudden you're ready to eat a loaf of bread with a pound of pasta for dinner! Popcorn is a fantastic low-calorie snack option - it even adds some much-needed fiber - and can be dressed up with so many delicious flavors. 

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