Think that fast, healthy weight loss is impossible at 40, 50, 60 or beyond? Think again! “Regular doses of the right nutrients revive any metabolism, even if it’s been slow for years,” promises Roni DeLuz, R.N., N.D., Ph.D., author of 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox ($11.76, Amazon). “By next week, you can be down 10 pounds, your tiredness gone, health problems disappearing.”
Dr. Roni’s many devotees back her up, including Cynthia Bailey, M.D. “When I found this detox, my arthritis was severe and other diets, pain meds, and cortisone shots weren’t working. I was about to go on disability,” recalls the California dermatologist, 61.
Impressed by the regimen’s simplicity and anti-inflammatory ingredients, she gave it a go. “On day five, I woke up completely free of pain. It was astonishing.” She also lost 15 pounds, felt radiant, and hasn’t needed a cortisone shot since. Says Dr. Roni, “People say, ‘This is a miracle!’ I say, ‘No, it’s just really good nutrition.’”
This buzzworthy diet got its start years ago, when Dr. Roni was suffering with fibromyalgia that didn’t respond to traditional treatment. After finally getting relief from an alternative practitioner’s detox, she wanted to pay it forward.
“I went back to college to learn more,” she says. “The detox I prescribe today was initially designed to help people who are sick and tired, but I quickly found that it releases a lot of fat.” She’s even seen older women speed off up to 39 pounds in a mere 21 days! So how does a plan built around everyday foods like greens, berries, potatoes and olive oil work such wonders? The answer is likely collecting dust in your kitchen.
According to Dr. Roni, the secret weapons in her detox are ordinary juicers and blenders. You’ll use them to make her plan’s green drinks, berry smoothies, and creamy soups. “Nutrients in liquids and purees get into your bloodstream right away and then almost instantly start bringing down inflammation and healing your cells and organs,” she explains.
“You experience radical improvements from head to toe-better skin, less pain, deeper sleep, a faster metabolism and much more.” It actually makes sense when you consider that, per experts at NutritionFacts.org, we get roughly three times more nutrients from the exact same food if we blend it for 40 seconds. Such an easy fix!
Dr. Roni notes that improved nutrient absorption is a crucial advantage as we get older, citing studies from Harvard and elsewhere that show digestive systems weaken over time, struggling to extract vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from food.
“Blended food doesn’t have to be broken down, so a person with weak digestion gets as many nutrients as someone with powerful digestion,” notes Dr. Roni. “My plan also sticks to foods that are easy on all systems, so there’s no animal protein. Plus you eat smaller amounts more often, so your body can fully utilize the nutrients before you eat more.” The result? A scientific analysis of the approach found that, while low in calories, “it provides more nutrition in 24 hours than the average person gets in two weeks.”
A quick-slim bonus: As you flood your system with antioxidants, “it jump-starts your ability to expel toxins that have become trapped in your fat cells,” Dr. Roni adds. “The detox process makes your fat cells shrink!”
The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox Plan
To increase nutrient absorption, everything on this plan is juiced or blended. (No juicer? Swap in any low-sugar smoothie you like for juice.) Some drinks include a nutrient supplement; Dr. Roni offers kits, or you can simply use drugstore “super greens” and berry antioxidant supplements.
After 21 days, gradually resume eating healthy portions of solid natural foods. Always get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Morning Sips: Around 8 AM, blend and sip 1 cup frozen berries, 8 oz. water and 1 dose of antioxidant supplement. At 10 AM, sip 8 oz. water or veggie juice with 1 scoop green powder.
Afternoon Sips: At noon and at 2 PM, have 8 oz. veggie juice (ideally with cucumber, carrot and collard greens plus 1 scoop green powder). At 4 PM, have another berry drink.
Evening Sips and Soups: Around 6 PM, enjoy a generous 2-cup bowl of soup with iced or hot herbal tea (lemon and stevia optional); before bed, sip more herbal tea.
Detox Supper Soup Recipe
One nutrient-packed batch makes heat-and-eat meals for the week!
- 2 qts. low-sodium veggie broth
- 3 sweet potatoes, chopped, or
- 28 oz. canned beans
- 3 cups cabbage or kale, chopped
- 3-4 cups additional seasonal veggies, chopped
- 4 celery ribs, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1-2 Tbs. spices to taste
- Combine all ingredients in large pot; boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, 20-30 min.
- Strain veggies, reserving broth. Cool.
- Puree in batches, adding broth to achieve a smooth consistency (save leftover broth to reheat and enjoy any time you feel hungry).
- Drizzle each portion of soup with an optional 1 Tbs. olive oil before eating.
Makes about 7 servings.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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