• In addition to ridding your body of toxins, a juice cleanse can help reset yoursystem so you crave good-for-you-foods like fruits and vegetables.
    Courtesy photo
  • Roots Juices offers individual juices and kits for cleanses, hangover recoveryand cocktail mixers.
    Roots Juices/Facebook

After months of getting this website off the ground and a gluttonous holiday season, my eating habits had, shall we say, deteriorated. I was making poor food choices, so I was tired all the time. Even worse, I simply didn’t feel good.

After reading our roundup of Dallas juice bars, I was inspired to do a cleanse — to reset my system so I would start craving good-for-me fruits and vegetables and boost my energy level. I fretted over the decision, mainly because I live to eat. But, to be honest, I wasn’t even enjoying food anymore, no matter how delicious.

I chose Roots Juices mainly out of convenience, because the Dallas-based online juicer provides free delivery to certain area codes, including mine. Roots offers cleanses ranging from one to five days, for $50 a day. (Roots also does an 11-day program, which includes mostly raw foods in addition to juices.) A five-day juice cleanse is recommended, but I decided on four, simply because I didn’t think I could hang for a full work week.

I had done a three-day juice cleanse once before (with BluePrint Cleanse), and it made me feel alert and energized. So I knew this was just the jumpstart I needed to get back on track with my health and wellness routine. I placed the order and within hours a representative called me to schedule delivery for the next day, as well as a second delivery two days later.

The program includes six daily juices, plus chlorophyll- and aloe-infused waters for added hydration. I also downloaded some information about how to prepare for the cleanse — hydrate, don’t eat heavy proteins (oops) or highly processed foods, give up alcohol (double oops) — and how to ease yourself back into your regular routine. Eating raw foods for a couple of days following the cleanse is encouraged.

The juice assortment includes the following, to be consumed in this order:

  • Wake Up, with carrot, apple, ginger and watermelon
  • Refresh, with cucumber, lime, mint, apple and ginger
  • Lean & Fit, with watermelon and mint
  • Go Green, with celery, kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber and lemon
  • Restore, with beet, carrot, apple, aloe and ginger
  • Health Nut Almond Milk, with filtered water, almonds, dates, vanilla bean and sea salt

Every juice fulfilled my needs for taste, nutrients and satiation. Day one was fairly easy, because I was eager to start craving something fresh and green. I was hungry, yes, but I didn’t fantasize about cheating with a cheeseburger. In fact, I declared to my co-workers that I was dreaming about eating half an avocado — an acceptable supplement from my previous cleanse. (Full disclosure: That night I did.)

Day two was a little different. I didn’t wake up with a headache, which I feared — not only because it was among the listed side effects, but also because I am prone to them. Instead I spent most of the day rather lightheaded and loopy, wondering how I would survive another 48 hours or do my job effectively.

To get my mind off eating, that night I treated myself to a mani/pedi, but I did stop at Whole Foods on the way home. If I was going to cave, I figured I better have suitable backup sustenance. I filled my basket with raw foods such as Larabars, Hail Merry macaroons and Go Raw “real live food” bars. I also loaded up on fresh kale, broccoli and cauliflower at the salad bar.

When I got home, convinced I needed to eat solid food, I dove into my box o’ veg. Interestingly, I had about four bites and decided I was done. So I popped the top on the vanilla-infused almond milk — a delightfully decadent nightly treat — and headed for bed.

Day three was no big deal, and I figured day four would be smooth sailing as well. I admit to eating a Larabar on days three and four, if only to give my blood sugar a boost as I dove into my editing duties. I had stopped thinking about what I wanted to eat, because I was elated to be feeling better.

But the real revelation came in how alert and awake I was every day. I had no trouble getting out of bed, I tackled my work with enthusiasm and I didn’t hit a wall come mid-afternoon. In fact, on Friday night (the day after I completed the cleanse) — when I’m normally half-comatose on my couch, fondling the remote control and wondering how I’ll find the strength to walk the few steps to my bed — I was energized enough to clean my bathroom, do a few loads of laundry and write this story.

(Hey, do not judge me for my Friday-night activities.)

In the end, this four-day “sacrifice” felt like a small price to pay for what I gained. Aside from a little lightheadedness on day two, I experienced no real side effects; the only downside, if you can call it that, was that I had to pee every 30 minutes. Instead, just as I’d hoped, I had a real desire for whole, fresh foods, and I couldn’t wait to “indulge” in the raw vegan “pizza” I had ready and waiting for me my first day back to eating in the real world.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Will I still eat cheeseburgers? Absolutely. But, for now, I’d rather have the raw zucchini pasta and fresh fruit salad that currently sit in my fridge.

  • Pick up your meals at My Private Chef's Deep Ellum location or have themdelivered to your house.
    Photo courtesy of My Private Chef
  • Fullosophie offers "farm to fork" meals that you can purchase ready-made or haveall the ingredients prepped to make the meal yourself.
    Photo courtesy of Fullosophie
  • TruMeals makes fresh, calorie-portioned meals such as turkey sliders, availablefor pickup or delivery.
    Photo courtesy of TruMeals
  • My Fit foods follows the 40-40-20 rule for a daily average balanced meal plan.
    Photo courtesy of My Fit Foods

Where Dallas busy bodies go for healthy and tasty pre-made meals

Eating Well

When it comes to eating right, we need (at least) a few hours to prepare — from grocery shopping to chopping the ingredients. Regretfully, we don't have enough time to cook for ourselves every day, but we still manage to nourish our bodies — with help from these services that prepare calorie- and portion-controlled meals using fresh, delicious ingredients.

My Fit Foods
Founded in Houston by personal trainer Mario Mendias, My Fit Foods offers healthy meals on the run. The menu focuses on lean protein, low-glycemic carbohydrates and healthy fats and follows the 40-40-20 rule — 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbs, 20 percent fat — for a daily average meal plan.

You can do a three- or 21-day challenge, order online, or simply stop by one of the Dallas locations and pull a few meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks — from the well-stocked fridge. Options include Greek goddess salad, zesty shrimp and scallops, and flat iron tacos.

My Private Chef
Chef Holly Muller takes healthy eating to a new level with My Private Chef. You can start with the basic package, in which you receive three meals — high in protein and fiber, low in sodium and sugar — per day for five days.

Meals are prepared fresh and frozen prior to delivery or pickup at Muller's Deep Ellum location. Some of her clients' favorite dishes include spinach and Asiago quiche with truffle oil, tilapia cakes with mango relish and snap peas, and Tuscan chicken with great northern beans.

Simply Fit Meals
Simply Fit Meals makes all meals in-house, with low-glycemic carbs; lean meats; and 100 percent natural, local and organic ingredients. There are no added preservatives or sweeteners, and everything is sized just right in dishes such as cinnamon French toast, sesame teriyaki salmon, and turkey mac and cheese.

Stop by the Plano location and pick up as many portions as you like; just refrigerate and reheat when you're ready to eat. Simply Fit Meals offers delivery within 10 miles of its store, and a new location on Hillcrest Road in Dallas opens in February. Sign up for a house account and build up rewards.

  • Customizable bento-style lunchboxes by My Square Meal are easy to carry too.
    Photo courtesy of My Square Meal
  • Fill a bento-style lunchbox by My Square Meal with healthy choices.
    Photo courtesy of My Square Meal

4 easy and healthy tips to lunch lighter and snack smarter

Pass the pecans

A paper sack doesn't exactly inspire healthy food choices. After all, you can fit a slice of leftover pizza, a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies and a Coca-Cola in there without so much as straining. But that's not a good thing.

To meet your family's health and weight loss goals, you need to lunch lighter and snack smarter. A new beginning can be as simple as making over your lunchboxes with smaller portions of increased variety and healthier, nutrient-dense snacks great for the office and school.

Eating a more varied diet throughout the day isn’t just more enjoyable for the palate; a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that combination snacks — like vegetables and cheese or nuts and fruit — can be an effective means for children to reduce caloric intake while snacking, proving that a little variety can go a long way when it comes to lunchtime.

The study found that nutrient-dense snacks actually satisfied appetites faster than unhealthy alternatives, resulting in the consumption of fewer calories overall throughout the day.

Here are four simple steps to a healthier lunchbox:

Go bento style
Although what’s in the lunchbox is important, opting for a bento-style container can make the switch to smaller portions easy and fun. Boxes like My Square Meal’s bento box (created by two former Dallas school teachers) come with seven set compartments that hold small quantities of a variety of foods, allowing lunchers to “snack” on their spread and eat a well-balanced meal.

These boxes are also eco-friendly and dishwasher safe. Plus they come with a reusable spork made of biodegradable cornstarch.

Blend your food groups
Two food groups are always better than one, and the added variety keeps lunchtime exciting and healthy. Popping in a well-balanced snack that delivers a combination of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates sates you and your kids until the next meal.

Examples could be skim-milk cheese paired with whole-grain crackers or a KIND Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate bar accompanied with a sliced apple.

Grab more grain
Most Americans get only one serving of whole grains per day, largely because they don’t like the texture of typical options. The solution? Keep things crunchy and satisfying with a side of whole grain pretzels, a mini-bag of popped Orville Redenbacher’s Natural Popcorn or a mini bag of KIND Healthy Grains.

Unleash your inner artist
Make healthy snacks look more appetizing by tapping into your creative side. A cookie cutter turns whole-grain sandwiches and cheese into something fun to eat. Build colorful kebabs by skewering fruits and vegetables.

Dallas spots to tap that kombucha, the fizzy, probiotic energy elixir

Drink Up

Kombucha, a bubbly elixir made from fermented tea, contains probiotics, antioxidants, enzymes and amino acids believed to help boost the immune system and digestion. Although it's sipped cold, the fizzy drink is currently a hot, hot trend.

Meddlesome Moth and Spiral Diner were two of the first restaurants to offer kombucha on tap, but they currently only sell the bottled version, as do many grocery stores like Central Market and Natural Grocers.

By the glass, kombucha ranges anywhere from $2 to $6.50. Three spots from our juice bar roundupWhole Foods Park Lane, The Gem and The Juice Bar — offer Texas-made Holy Kombucha or Buddha's Brew on draft, as do these six other local spots.

Company Cafe
The vegetarian- and gluten-free-friendly cafe serves Buddha's Brew kombucha in cranberry and peach flavors. Order it by the glass or fill up a growler, which you can take to go and bring back for refills.

Green Spot
This East Dallas cafe and market has Holy Kombucha on tap in three flavors: green apple-ginger, prickly pear and a pomegranate-blood orange-passion fruit blend.

All locations of the 24-hour eatery have Holy Kombucha available by the glass or growler. Current flavors on tap include cinnamon-apple spice, hibiscus berry and pineapple passion.

Bikram Yoga
After an intense class at the new studio in Uptown, yogis can refresh with a Holy Kombucha — blood orange-pomegranate, green apple-ginger or prickly pear — from the tap.

This coffee-centric bistro in Fort Worth sells Holy Kombucha on tap and in bottles. Current flavors include cinnamon-apple spice and blood orange-pomegranate.

Garden Cafe
This comfort food cafe with a backyard garden has two taps for Holy Kombucha. Current flavors are hibiscus and blood orange, and they change about every two weeks.

  • The Irving Las Colinas Marathon hopes to one day be as successful as the DallasMarathon seen here.
    Photo by Robert Bostick
  • Participants in the Irving Las Colinas Marathon will run along theCampion Trail.

Get your run on at the inaugural Irving Las Colinas Marathon along Campion Trail

A First Time for Everything

The beginning of a new year means more crowds at the gym and more guilt for skipping them in favor of your couch. But those living in Irving, home to the nation's most diverse zip code, can now fulfill their resolutions another way. It doesn't require leaving the city limits, but it does involve a crowd — albeit a different kind.

For the first time ever, Irving and sexy-sister-to-the-north Las Colinas will hold a marathon along the Campion Trail. The events on April 27 will include a marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 1-miler.

All races have cash prizes for the top finishers. The marathon has partnered with the Irving Healthcare Foundation to benefit Our Children’s House.

The main course, which is 13.1 miles, will take runners from Las Colinas to Valley Ranch. Marathoners will take two laps around the USA Track & Field-certified course. Race officials expect around 3,000 participants for the inaugural event.

Registration will be open through the morning of April 27, but those who sign up early score better rates. The first hike in fees goes into effect January 27.

Reduce your salty habits for good in just 21 days with the Sodium SwampChallenge

New Year, New You

Exercise for an hour each day, limit reality TV time and cut alcohol intake in half? Let's not kid ourselves — it's less than two weeks into the new year, and we've already broken those lofty resolutions.

But the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have come up with one that we can get behind: The Sodium Swamp Challenge, a program for reducing your salty habits for good in just 21 days.

Although it may seem like just a fleeting commitment, the organizations say that participants should be able to notice a difference in the taste of their food and in their overall health by the end of the month.

"To get started with the association's challenge, we ask that consumers get familiar with the food labels and nutrition facts for the foods they eat and track their sodium consumption over the first two days to get an idea of how much they are eating, which I'm sure will be surprising to many people," said Nathalie Sessions-Fye, registered and licensed dietitian and AHA volunteer.

Find more information here, and check out the chart below for fast facts on sodium.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

44 new Dallas debutantes star in this week's most popular stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. 44 new Dallas debutantes begin Presentation Ball prep with glam parties and glorious gowns. With the start of summer vacation came the beginning of the 2023-2024 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante season - even though it seems like just yesterday that the 2023 debs were Texas-dipping into society. The DSOL introduced 44 new debs during Announcement Weekend festivities, May 18-20. Their parties, philanthropy, and training will culminate with the 38th Presentation Ball.

2. 21 North Texas museums offer free admission to military families this summer. Nearly two dozen Dallas-Fort Worth museums are honoring active duty military personnel and their families with free admission through the Blue Star Museums initiative, May 20-September 4, 2023.

3. 11 Dallas icons star in new book of most influential Texans from last 50 years. To commemorate Texas Monthly's 50th anniversary, the publication has collected the stories and photographs of 50 iconic Texans who have shaped the state and the country over the past 50 years for a book called Lone Stars Rising. Eleven Dallas megastars have made the roster.

4. These are the 7 best most intriguing hot dogs in Dallas right now. Hot dogs are the quintessential summer food and an item that nearly everyone loves. They're simple, flavorful, easy to make at home, and affordable if you dine out. Here are the seven most interesting hot dogs you can find in Dallas-Fort Worth.

5. Mississippi sisters debut perky Southern-chic boutique on Dallas' Greenville Avenue. When Allison and Anna Williams graduated from University of Mississippi in 2021, they didn't picture themselves owning a boutique on Lower Greenville in Dallas. But the Williamses' new women's clothing boutique, Five 54, opened this spring at 1906 Greenville Ave., next to Clark's Barbershop, in the buzziest neighborhood in town.

Dallas-Fort Worth arrives at surprising spot among top summer travel destinations


Dallas-Fort Worth recently racked up more than a dozen accolades at the 2023 Texas Travel Awards. But a new survey reveals it's not necessarily such a hot travel destination this summer.

DFW comes in at a middle-of-the-road No. 45 in WalletHub's recent 2023 Best Summer Travel Destinations report.

The report compared 100 of the largest metro areas in America across 41 metrics, including number of attractions.

DFW scored an overall rating of 52.56 out of 100. Broken down by category, the Metroplex ranked 86th in "Travel Costs & Hassles;" 32nd in "Local Costs;" 20th in "Attractions;" 41st in "Weather;" 27th in "Activities;" and 50th in "Safety."

Taking the top spot in Texas was San Antonio, at No. 11, with Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown at No. 14. Behind Austin and San Antonio in the 2023 rankings is El Paso (No. 18), then Houston (No. 38). After 45th ranked DFW came Corpus Christi (No. 62), and McAllen (No. 86).

Dr. Susan Weidmann, assistant professor in the department of recreational management and physical education at Appalachian State University, said in the report that summer 2023 is going to be a “good season for travel” despite recent economic downturns that have many worried about a recession.

“Coming out of Covid, I think many people have taken these last few years to really evaluate what they want out of life, and for those that love travel, I think they have probably put it at the top of their list of things to do,” she said. “As far as economics are concerned, many may have saved their traveling money from the last multiple years, so will have money to spend. That being said, after the airline chaos of last year, many people may be thinking about domestic travel over the long-haul, just to alleviate many of the concerns that airlines, especially in Europe, are still grappling with, such as reduced staffing leading to flight cancellations.”

Weidmann predicts the time period between July and early August will be the most popular season for National Parks, like Texas’ Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains.

Despite none of them being in Texas, the top 10 destinations in WalletHub’s report are all popular cities worth a glance in sun-friendly states like Hawaii, New York, and Florida.

The top 10 best summer destinations are:

  • No. 1 – Atlanta
  • No. 2 – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • No. 3 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 4 – Wichita, Kansas
  • No. 5 – New York City
  • No. 6 – Chicago
  • No. 7 – Tampa, Florida
  • No. 8 – Orlando, Florida
  • No. 9 – Richmond, Virginia
  • No. 10 – Springfield, Missouri

Score a hole in one at these 10 top public golf courses in Dallas-Fort Worth

Tee Time

North Texas recently popped the cork for the new $520 million Omni PGA Frisco Resort, which opened in May and features its own entertainment district, full-service spa and salon, four swimming pools, 500 guest rooms and suites, 10 private ranch houses, and 13 unique dining options.

But as the name hints, the resort is very much about the golf. With Father's Day around the corner, we're revisiting Dallas-Fort Worth's best public courses, including the two newest ones found in Frisco and their alternative ways to play.

Load up the clubs and hit the green with this list:

Fields Ranch
Omni PGA Frisco Resort boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses, collectively known as Fields Ranch. Fields Ranch East was designed by Gil Hanse, and Fields Ranch West by Beau Welling.

Registered hotel guests can book tee times 120 days in advance of their stay to play Fields Ranch, which will be home to 26 major championships starting in May and continuing through 2034.

Not ready for the full 18-hole experience? Take a few practice swings at the Fields Ranch Practice Facility, then head to The Swing, a lighted 10-hole, par-3 short course, or The Dance Floor, a two-acre putting course and entertainment area.

This will also be the site of Frisco's first Lounge by Topgolf and PGA of America's new headquarters.

Take advantage of all that expertise at the PGA Coaching Center, which offers a high-tech, data-driven club-fitting and instruction experience.

Cowboys Golf Club
If you're a die-hard fan of both the 'Boys and the links, here's where your passions combine. The par-72, 6,553-yard course is as swanky as you'd expect from Jerry Jones, with years of Cowboys history scattered throughout. Of course, with all this top-of-the-line design comes a rather hefty price tag for the green fees, but you do definitely get your money's worth.

Meadowbrook Golf Course
Fort Worth
The 18-hole regulation facility is considered one of the top in Texas, with a par 71 that covers the most rolling terrain in the city. It's also a popular course, with a golf association of more than 200 members who play regularly.

Stevens Park Golf Course
Oak Cliff
All 18 holes of this par-70 course were completely redesigned in 2011, including new tee boxes, fairways, greens, and bunkers. Even the carts boast newly installed TekGPS units that track yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green (and help keep play moving). Appreciate mature oaks, dramatic elevation changes, and great views of downtown Dallas while you traverse the course, which is also affectionately known as "Little Augusta."

Pecan Valley
Fort Worth
Originally designed by golf course architect Ralph Plummer in 1963, Pecan Valley is actually two 18-hole golf courses separated by the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. The "River" course is considered one of the top municipal courses in Texas, while the "Hills" course is approximately 150 yards shorter. Several hundred trees were semi-recently planted and are just beginning to mature, which only bodes well for playing conditions in the years to come.

Texas Star Golf Course
The accolades come rolling in for this course, which has been recognized for its beauty and serene atmosphere by Golf Digest and Golf Weekly, among others. Unlike most public courses, which back up to private homes or run along busy streets, this par-71, 6,529-yard course is truly secluded, surrounded only by ponds, waterfalls, woodlands, and fairways. Reasonable green fees are a bonus, with residents of Euless receiving a 15 percent discount with proof of residence.

Tierra Verde Golf Club
As the first municipal course in the world to be certified as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary, Tierra Verde offers breathtaking natural scenery to go along with its challenging holes. The par-72 6,085-yard layout boasts some of the most uniquely designed holes in DFW, and was named the top course in DFW in 2012 by Avid Golfer.

The Tribute Golf Club
The Colony
Not had the chance to play Hogan's Alley at Carnoustie, Nos. 1 and 18 from St. Andrews, or the fifth from Royal Troon? Then you can experience the next best thing here in Texas, without having to fly across the pond. This par-72, 7,000-yard course is brilliantly designed while replicating the best links-style courses from the United Kingdom.

Waterchase Golf Club
Fort Worth
Like its name implies, Waterchase does indeed boast a cascading waterfall, found between the ninth and eighteenth greens. From tree-lined doglegs to split fairways, the risk and reward opportunities are abundant for the six sets of tees on the par-72 course. The club even received a nomination to Golf Digest's best new courses and promises to be "a round you'll remember."