I don’t know if it is age, or just a little too much socializing in fabulous restaurants where the food tends to be laden with fat, sugar, and salt for maximum flavor, but I simply do not feel my best, and I’ve put on a few pounds. I have also noticed that even though I am exercising more than usual the weight does not seem to want to budge, so I’ve decided it’s time for another detox like the one I did a few years back.
Okay, so it’s not that kind of cleanse! Photo by Norman Parkinson
The mere thought of giving up sugar (and all artificial and natural sweeteners) for the next three weeks makes me feel like a two year old about to have a massive temper tantrum. Sugar is the last bastion of my addictions, therefore I am feeling great trepidation over starting the detox. I think it’s something you need to be emotionally prepared for, and you need to have your fridge and pantry well stocked. I’m setting a start date for myself of Wednesday April 15th.
In Defense of Food: my idea of a great vacation read
I’m not a huge believer in fad cleanses, but I think ridding our bodies of toxins every so often with this vegan, hypo-allergenic, anti-inflammatory detox is a healthy way to reset my body and health habits. Last time I did this I was able to eliminate cravings and the swelling I was experiencing from a broken ankle. This detox taught me first hand the power of food to heal (and to harm when we are not careful).
So here’s what you can eat: Organic is best (since the purpose is to flush toxins out of our systems – not add more in). Stock your fridge full of fresh fruit, fresh raw or lightly steamed vegetables, beans and lentils, some seeds and nuts (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, and raw almonds, walnuts, cashews are all good), and gluten-free whole grains like brown rice, amaranth, millet and quinoa. Basically real, unadulterated whole foods. You can also have a vegan protein shake, rice or almond milk, herbs, spices and healthy oils. Drink tons of filtered or mineral water, green tea, or herbal teas to help eliminate the toxins from your system, and practice yoga breathing, sweat producing exercise and epsom baths to help.
Beets and their greens are great for liver support
What you can’t have: is meat, poultry, fish, soy, gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee, black tea, or sodas. Also off limits are peanuts, macadamia nuts, corn, tomato, potato, eggplant, pepper, and all condiments. Week two you can add back in wild fish and organic free-range chicken and turkey, if you choose to.
Jewels working on kicking up the flavor
I’m realistic – I’m not making a commitment to eat quite this healthy all of the time, but it makes sense to give my body a break from all the toxins my liver is probably overwhelmed by. I’m trying to adjust the attitude. Rather than look at it as three weeks of deprivation, I’m telling myself to look forward to knowing I’ll be healthier and feel better at the end of the journey. I’ll try to write a few recipes along the way to kick up the flavor a bit. These will probably not be quick and easy recipes, and may require a trip to the health food store, but many can be made ahead and grazed on all week. Anyone else want to join me? Leave a comment below, and let’s do this together!
Sesame Sautéed Beet Greens
This recipe has been altered for the cleanse
- 1 Tablespoon safflower oil
- 1 bunch of beets greens (saving beets for another use), large stems removed
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, minced
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional
1). Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, cook for 30 seconds.
2). Add greens, and toss to coat. Cover pan, and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until just wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
3). Remove from heat. Serve hot sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds to garnish.
Serving Suggestions:I’m serving this topped with salmon for Valentines Day, but it would also be great with a red quinoa or lentil entree.
PS: Please take note that I am sharing what has worked for me in the past, but I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, so it is prudent to consult one before starting any major dietary changes.
UPDATE: It appears I opened my own big mouth too soon. My doctor has asked me not to do the detox until after I wrap up a medical study I am a part of, so I have to regretfully withdraw from doing this right now, sorry!