Photos by Tina Rupp

After an overindulgent episode
To detox your system, think antioxidants, vitamin C, and volumetrics: foods that are more fluid-filled and less dense. Great liver-supporting and hydrating foods to eat when coming off a binge (or just a day of poor eating) include lettuce, spinach, broccoli, grapefruit, carrots, celery, apples, and yogurt.

Cleanse your system
  • Eat foods with a high fluid content, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat simple: no sweets and no fried foods, which are hard on your liver.
  • Consider supplementing with a vitamin B complex.

Chunky Gazpacho
Serves 4–6 / This soup provides loads of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fluids—plus it tastes great. Cilantro is an excellent detoxifier; studies have even shown it to be effective in eliminating heavy metals from the body.

3 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup peeled and seeded chopped cucumber
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon horseradish
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or tomato juice
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 avocado, roughly chopped

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except yogurt, cilantro, and avocado. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon each of yogurt, cilantro, and avocado.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 133 calories
% fat calories: 38
Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 1mg
Protein: 3g
Carbohydrate: 19g
Fiber: 5g
Sodium: 353mg
Post-workout tips
  • Refuel within 45 minutes of exercise.
  • Antioxidant vitamins C and E help prevent free radicals from attacking cells after exertion.
  • Calcium and magnesium, found in dairy and dark green leafy vegetables, assist muscles and energy metabolism. If you're not getting enough in your diet, consider supplementing.

After a workout
Up to about an hour after exercising, your body is primed to absorb nutrients; what you eat needs to replenish energy, repair muscles, and restore immunity. This is really the only time when high-glycemic carbs are superior to low GI carbs (to replace glycogen stores) ... but don't be tempted to scarf doughnuts or other junk that would sabotage your hard work with unhealthy fats. Go for whole-grain carbs, like this pasta dish.

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Smoked Trout and Mozzarella
Serves 8 / This recipe supplies ample carbohydrates to replace glycogen stores, but it is also well balanced with protein and calcium. Tomato sauce provides vitamin C, useful in muscle recovery.

12 ounces whole-wheat penne or rotini pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons capers, drained
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 medium zucchini, halved and chopped
1/2 cup tomato sauce
8 ounces smoked trout
6 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into strips or cubes
4 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Pepper, to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté red onion over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic, capers, and broth and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and tomato sauce and simmer over low heat, uncovered, for another 4 minutes.

3. Pull apart smoked trout with a fork or your fingers. Add trout and sauce to drained pasta and stir gently. Add mozzarella and fresh basil to pasta combination and season with pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 294 calories
% fat calories: 29
Fat: 9g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 26mg
Protein: 22g
Carbohydrate: 29g
Fiber: 5g
Sodium: 869mg
Lift your mood
  • To boost serotonin levels naturally, eat whole-grain pasta, figs, bananas, shellfish, whole grains, dates, nuts, poultry, rice, and cheese.
  • Consider supplementing with 5-HTP, or tryptophan. (Talk to your doctor first.)
  • Be sure to get enough sleep; most people need at least eight hours.
  • Exercise! Moving increases serotonin and boosts endorphins throughout the body.

When you're feeling the blues
Nutritional strategies can help support a healthy mood. These include B vitamins; the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine, both precursors to norepinephrine; and tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, the "feel good" neurotransmitter. (Note: If you've noticed a mood change that has lasted more than two weeks, speak to a health care professional right away.)

Pineapple-Berry Parfait
Serves 4 / In this refreshing snack, pineapple and nuts naturally boost serotonin levels, while cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar and promotes a sense of well-being. The berries also provide fiber and antioxidants.

1/2 cup raspberries or sliced strawberries
1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt
3/4 tablespoon honey
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1. Divide fruit among four goblets or parfait glasses.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, and cinnamon until smooth.

3. Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt mixture over each glass of fruit. Garnish each serving with 1/2 tablespoon chopped walnuts.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 84 calories
% fat calories: 26
Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 3mg
Protein: 4g
Carbohydrate: 13g
Fiber: 2g
Sodium: 384mg
Bright beginnings for starting your day
  • Begin the day with green tea instead of coffee to reap the benefits of more antioxidants and less caffeine in your system.
  • Think about starting your day with movement, such as tai chi or yoga stretches, to get your circulation going.
  • Make sure you eat something before you walk out the door.

When you're starting your day
Begin with breakfast for your brain—an organ that's very sensitive to nutrient deficiency. A lack of B vitamins, for example, can cause mental dullness and mood swings. A balanced, long-lasting breakfast should contain B's, complex carbs, potassium, protein, unsaturated fat, and fiber.

Banana Hazelnut Muffins
Makes 12 / Prepare a batch and then freeze some for an easy grab-and-go breakfast. Bananas provide potassium, magnesium, and niacin, all energy enhancers. Added protein powder balances the carbohydrates and allows for lasting energy.

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup hazelnuts, ground
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons whey protein powder or other protein powder
2 small eggs
1/4 cup canola oil or rice bran oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe, medium bananas, mashed
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Mix all dry ingredients (pastry flour through protein powder) together in a medium bowl.

2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, honey, vanilla extract, mashed bananas, yogurt, and milk. Gently fold in dry ingredients. Do not overmix.

3. Divide mixture into muffin pans. Bake for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° and bake an additional 10–12 minutes.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 172 calories
% fat calories: 36
Fat: 7g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 27mg
Protein: 5g
Carbohydrate: 25g
Fiber: 3g
Sodium: 84mg
Anti-anxiety tips
  • Keep blood sugar balanced throughout the day by eating small meals; don't skip meals.
  • Get some exercise every day.
  • Eat colorful (think: vitamin-rich) fresh fruits and vegetables, which provide essential nutrients.
  • Sip chamomile tea about an hour before bedtime to help calm the nerves and promote a peaceful night's rest.

When you're stressed
People struggling with stress often sabotage their own well-being by choosing "comfort" foods—coffee, soda, candy, or anything that provides a quick pick-me-up. A better approach: Aim for foods that help balance blood sugar and overall physiology, including foods rich in magnesium, which is depleted by stress. Amaranth, sunflower seeds, quinoa, spinach, almonds, brown rice, white beans, and avocado all contain magnesium. Tryptophan-rich foods may also help calm the brain; best sources include fish, meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and wheat germ.

Turkey Burgers with Avocado Salsa
Serves 4 / Turkey and egg both provide tryptophan, and you'll find much-needed magnesium in the greens and sunflower seeds. Turkey tends to be more fragile and may stick to the grill due to its low fat content, so oil the grate before heating, or use foil. (Recipe by Karin Lazarus.)

Avocado Salsa
1 ripe avocado, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 tablespoon plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash of hot pepper sauce
Salt, to taste

Turkey Burgers
1 pound ground turkey breast
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 medium egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 large red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
4 cups arugula or mixed greens
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted

1. Thoroughly mix all avocado salsa ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. In another medium bowl, combine ground turkey, wheat germ, lemon juice, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper; mix well. Form mixture into four patties.

3. Oil grill grate (or lay a piece of aluminum foil on grill) and heat. Cook turkey burgers and red pepper quarters for about 4 minutes on each side. Remove; cut grilled red peppers into thin strips.

4. Toss arugula or mixed greens with olive oil and lemon juice; divide among four plates. Top each with a burger and avocado salsa; garnish with grilled red pepper strips and sunflower seeds. Serve right away.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 342 calories
% fat calories: 48
Fat: 19g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 102mg
Protein: 32g
Carbohydrate: 15g
Fiber: 6g
Sodium: 397mg
New mom toolbox
  • Eat frequently to maintain energy.
  • Nap when baby naps.
  • Continue taking a prenatal vitamin for at least six months postpartum, especially if breast-feeding.
  • Consider an electrolyte or energy replacement drink or a vitamin C packet to provide this necessary nutrient.

Nutrition for a new mom.
Caring for a baby is a bit like being on nonstop, red-alert overdrive. You need to be able to draw on energy stores constantly. If you are breast-feeding, you need extra protein and calcium; on top of that, you need meals that don't require a lot of time in the kitchen. Protein smoothies are wonderful (and easy to drink while nursing), but you can't live on smoothies alone. This grain-based salad can be eaten warm or cold and doesn't take a ton of time to prepare.

Quinoa, Chicken, and Currant Salad
Serves 4 / Quinoa, a high-protein grain, is perfect when you need to cook up something fast and healthy. This dish has a balance of protein, carbs, and fats to provide much-needed nutrition for a busy mom. Use any kind of leftover chicken, or buy a preroasted chicken at your natural foods market. If you prefer, substitute fresh blueberries or sliced red grapes for the currants.

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients to pot and stir to combine. Let mixture sit for a few minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve warm, or refrigerate and eat throughout the day as a quick snack.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 474 calories
% fat calories: 35
Fat: 19g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 63mg
Protein: 32g
Carbohydrate: 47g
Fiber: 6g
Sodium: 292mg