It’s been practiced for centuries by numerous cultures around the world because it works. Spring is the season of new beginnings and the time to awaken out of the sluggishness of winter. It’s the time to clean house and revitalize.
We are in need of detoxification now more than any other time in human history. We are exposed to more environmental toxins than ever before. Our fast-paced, stressful lives are building up toxic stress hormones in our bodies. Processed foods are common place, filled with refined sugars, saturated fats, chemicals, artificial colours, preservatives, white flour and other unhealthy garbage. Even our household cleaners and personal grooming products have us breathing in an unhealthy chemical soup.
This leaves us feeling fatigued, irritable and out of sorts with digestive problems, compromised immune systems, belly fat, skin problems and an assortment of aches and pains.
The goal of detoxifying is to:
1. Reset your palate
2. Drive out toxins from the body
3. Refuel the body with healthy nutrients
4. Leave you feeling full of vitality, energy and feelings of well being.
There are lots of choices. I am going to outline two simple and safe versions. Even so, if you have any concerns, talk to your doctor first. Detoxing isn’t about getting thinner (although that will likely accidentally happen) it’s about feeling your best.
Option 1: Basic Detox
Start every morning with a drink of lemon juice (¼ of a lemon) and 300ml water (warm)
Sip on warm water all day long- bring a thermos of boiled water to work
Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks following the guidelines below
Make your evening meal the last food consumed for the day (no food 2/3 hours before bed)
No Red Meat: We want to give your digestive organs a break. Red meat is hard to digest, is filled with hormones and chemicals (that have been linked to breast cancer & colorectal cancer among other things), and has lots of saturated fats.
No Pork, Ham or Bacon: The meat and fat of a pig absorbs toxins like a sponge. Pigs can have up to 30 times the toxins in their bodies than other animals (partly because pigs can’t sweat). The meat is full of toxins, piles of saturated fat, and may be injected with growth hormones and other chemicals.
No Refined Sugar: Avoiding sugar is essential in detoxing. While researching, I found no less than 124 scientifically proven reasons to avoid eating sugar!!!! There are 25 tricky names for sugar, so be aware (corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose etc. etc.) It is an absolute energy killer. Nuff said.
No Alcohol: Kind of obvious. I’m going to miss my red wine!
No Processed Foods: This may be the hardest one, because it means a bit more work on our part. Processed foods are an unhealthy cocktail of additives, preservatives, “bad fats” and hidden sugars. Almost all the nutrients have been leeched out in the “process”. The following recipes might help:
1 or 2 boiled eggs, fresh organic fruit and wholegrain toast with natural butter
1 or 2 slices of wholegrain toast with almond butter and an organic banana
Plain natural yogurt with fresh organic fruit and walnut or almond pieces
Smoothies made with plain natural yogurt, favourite fruit, juice and soy protein powder
Low sodium nuts: Pistachios, almonds, cashews etc…
Sunflower seeds, dried or fresh fruit, apple sauce, celery and almond butter
Apples and cheese (green apples and old cheddar is nice)
Grilled chicken breast on a bed of organic leafy greens with homemade vinaigrette
Grilled fish (Arctic Char and Tilapia have low mercury) and brown rice with veggies
Veggie & fruit wraps with sunflower seeds and yogurt
Almond butter and organic honey sandwich with side salad
(layer favourite grilled veggies-I like thinly sliced sweet potatoes, zucchini, roasted red peppers & portabella mushrooms with homemade tomato sauce and mozzarella )
Grilled or Baked Chicken or Fish (use favourite homemade marinade-lemon, rosemary and olive oil is nice and simple) over brown rice and veggies
Go online and check out some vegetarian recipes – experiment!
Option 2: Deeper Detox
Start every morning with lemon juice and warm water
Sip on warm water all day long
Replace any coffee with tea
Daily Greens + supplement
Enjoy breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner following guidelines below
No food 2/3 hours before bed
No Red Meat
No Pork, Ham, Bacon
No Processed Foods
No Wheat (we eat far too much wheat!!! Try wheat and gluten free pastas and breads)
No Dairy (soymilk, rice milk or almond milk make good alternatives)
Use natural cleaning products in your home
Some Detox diets include fasting and juicing which can be great too. There are lots of books on juicing and fasting to guide you through it, if you’d like to go that route.
Choose a detox program that doesn’t overwhelm you. Plan and shop ahead for your detox week and allow yourself more prep time for cooking. You will love the way you feel!!!
Health Tip: Yoga can help you detox and feel great all year long.
Mango Avocado Salsa
1 large mango peeled and diced 3 tbsp diced jalepeno peppers
3 tbsp minced red onion 3 tbsp diced red pepper
½ large avocado diced salt & pepper or herbamare to taste
1 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1 tbsp olive oil
Mix together adding avocado last.
Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Fruit
1 cup quinoa
1 cup fresh blueberries/strawberries
½ grated apple
2 tbsp sliced almonds
1 cup soy milk, rice milk or almond milk
Rinse quinoa thoroughly and cook one part quinoa to two parts liquid (water). Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cover 15 minutes.
Top cooked quinoa with fruit, milk alternative and almonds.
(You can combine chilled cooked quinoa with pinto beans, pumkin seeds, coriander, scallions and season to taste for a Mexican inspired salad)
Healthy Caesar Salad
2 heads romaine, outer leaves removed
¼ cup walnuts (optional)
Dressing: 2 tbsp roasted tahini, 2oz can anchovies (drained, rinsed and chopped),
4 cloves garlic chopped, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, salt & cracked black pepper to taste.
Blend dressing adding oil last. Toss with lettuce & add walnuts. Save left over dressing in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Fresh Berry Salad
Baby spinach, pecans, sliced strawberries
Dressing: ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 4 tsp very finely minced red onion, 1 tbsp poppy seeds