Donatella Diaries: Donatella's Detox

Now that the New Year has begun, it’s time to take stock of my weight/diet. With my Iron Chef tapings, developing and cooking the new menu at Mia Dona, the holidays and a trip to Italy, I have about eight uninvited (and unwelcome) “friends” that came to my party and are currently sitting on my thighs.

Before Iron Chef taping starts again (which will mean a lot of eating), I need to take advantage of this time when I can control my diet. I’ve always had a healthy approach to food, but when I must consume an unnatural amount of calories (due to work), I typically try different remedies in my downtime to counteract all the eating. Over the past few years, I’ve gone on nutritional juice fasts before each “big-eating season.” Fortunately, my friend Jill Pettijohn—a natural and raw chef for many celebs—is a great advisor. I like her fasts because they aren’t as harsh as some of the others. During the fast you’re not only giving your digestive system much needed rest, but you’re filling up with wonderful enzymes and nutrients. Plus, her juices are all organic and natural. Take a look at

I do the fast for about three to seven days, followed by a diet where I completely eliminate wheat, sugar, dairy and meat. I have so much more energy, and it’s refreshing to see my palate come alive again. Detoxifying and juice fasts can be tough, especially the first few days, so here are some tips to get you through:

1.Be sure to do start on a weekend and don’t make any plans—you don’t want work or social temptations getting in your way.
2.Resting a lot is crucial on the first day; get a friend to join you on a fast and plan some pampering activities that don’t involve food.
3.Hide any tempting items out of sight.
4.Invest in a laxative tea: “Chocolate” Smooth Move works well; drink it before you go to bed.
5.Engage in light exercise like yoga, stretching or long walks.
6.Treat yourself to a massage or long baths with Epsom salt

The important thing is to go easy on yourself, and know that you’re doing something good for your body! I started this weekend and will keep you posted along the way.

- Donatella

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