Why detox? And what does it mean? It’s about cleaning up. Toxins enter your body through the air, water, conventionally produced foods, chemicals in cleaners, plastics… and the list goes on. Over time, these toxins build up in the tissues, organs, and blood faster than your natural cleansing organs (the kidneys and liver) can handle. That’s when your body benefits from an intentional boost: a detox.
This kind of cleansing program can be anything from a full-on fast to a light eating plan that includes lots of vegetables and whole grains with nutrients that help your body eliminate toxic elements. Hard-to-digest proteins, fats, and refined-flour products are minimized, and sugar is all but eliminated to give your body a break from this nutritional pitfall.
How long should a cleanse last?
People who eat a healthy, mostly plant-based diet usually cleanse for one to three days (personally, I grow a bit weak if I detox longer than that). But if your diet is less than healthy, a cleanse can be maintained with no ill effects for up to two weeks; even at its longest, it’s not harmful. When detoxing, you’ll soon find that you feel lighter and you’ll probably lose weight in the bargain; afterward, you’ll likely feel more energetic.
Detox recipes #1-3 (Recipes 4-7 in upcoming blog)
All the recipes here can be used at any time of day. I typically start with juices for a full day, then move to the consommé and solid food, with Detox Green Rolls as a refreshing snack any time I need an energy boost. And remember, any cleanse is temporary; before long, you’ll reintroduce foods like whole-grain breads, avocado, lean protein, olive and other oils, all worthy elements in a richly flavored and healthy diet.
Detox Green Rolls
Serves 6 / Chilled, these beauties make a refreshing snack. You’ll find yourself whipping them up whether you are cleansing or not! Prep tip: After detox, add some good fats with a strip of avocado in each roll.
12 long, thin carrot spears (1 carrot, peeled)
12 medium leaves Chinese (Napa) cabbage (14 ounces) (rinsed and left whole)
12 medium leaves collard greens (14 ounces) (rinsed, stems removed)
1 bunch watercress (rinsed, stems trimmed)
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
Zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons hempseeds, chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
- Bring a pot of water to boil and separately blanch each vegetable in the order listed. Cook each until just tender (carrots, 1 minute; cabbage and collards, 30 seconds; watercress, 10 seconds); remove with tongs. Immediately plunge each into ice water to stop cooking. Drain well.
- To assemble rolls, place 2–3 collard leaves on a bamboo sushi mat or tea towel. Top with 2–3 cabbage leaves. Then place a thick strip of watercress and 2 carrot spears on cabbage, closest to you. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and lemon zest. Roll, jelly-roll style, using the mat or towel as a guide. When completely rolled, squeeze gently to expel excess water and to seal the roll. Lay on a dry cutting board and slice crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds; arrange on a serving platter.
- Whisk together dressing, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. To eat, dip each roll in sauce and seeds.
PER SERVING: 82 cal, 55% fat cal, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg chol, 3g protein, 7g carb, 4g fiber, 71mg sodium
Detox Greens Juice
Serves: 2/Jam-packed with nutrients and supportive of your body’s cleanse action, this juice can prevent the fatigue that sometimes accompanies a cleanse. Apple adds just a touch of sweetness.
1 kale leaf
1 collard leaf
1 small handful fresh parsley
1 medium stalk celery
1 medium carrot (trimmed)
1 medium red apple (cored)
1 broccoli floret (1 ounce)
Juice all ingredients in the order listed. Serve.
PER SERVING: 46 cal, 5% fat cal, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg chol, 2g protein, 11g carb, 0g fiber, 50mg sodium
Carrot, Lemon, and Wheatgrass Juice
Serves 2 / You’ll love how you feel after downing this vitamin-C-rich drink. Ingredient tip: Look for wheatgrass juice in the freezer section of a natural food store; it’s generally sold in 12-packs of 1-ounce shots.
6 medium carrots
1 fresh lemon
1 ounce wheatgrass juice
Juice carrots into a glass. Juice lemon by hand. Whisk lemon juice and wheatgrass juice into carrot juice; serve.
PER SERVING: 66 cal, 4% fat cal, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg chol, 2g protein, 20g carb, 0g fiber, 127mg sodium
Article courtesy of NewHope360.com and written by Christina Pirello of Delicious Living. Christina Pirello is a natural health expert, Emmy Award–winning host of the national public television series “Christina Cooks,” and author of five cookbooks, including Cooking the Whole Foods Way (Penguin, 2007). Her nonprofit Christina Pirello Health Education Initiative (christinapirello.org) helps children improve their relationship with food through school programs and lunch reform. Visit her website at christinacooks.com.