The winter holidays seem like a blur at this point. But, so do a lot of other things. Brain fog, sluggishness, and unwanted bloat can be natural consequences from “unnatural” eating and drinking. Now that spring has sprung, it might be the perfect time to detoxify and put the giddy-up back into your trot. (And we’re not horsin’ around!)
No need to groan at the thought of a cleanse. Fasting and barely surviving on juicing are no longer the wisest options if your goal is to unclog painlessly, shed a few pounds, and get a nice, new, healthy routine started.
Your liver and digestive system need a boost, not a shock. Incorporating specifically nutritious foods into your diet will help you accomplish your goal, without propelling your body into starvation or misery mode.
Here’s a run-down of several choice foods you’ll want to grow or purchase, and why. Lemons and grapefruits contain glutathione, which stimulates liver function, assisting in the release of enzymes that flush out toxins. Walnuts and avocados contain omega-3 fatty acids, which also assist in cleansing the liver.
Apples contain a flavonoid that helps with increased bile production. Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage all contain glucosinolate, which stimulates the release of enzymes that aid in liver detoxification.
Artichoke and watercress rouse hydrochloric acid production, which breaks down food in the stomach, making it easier on your liver. Turmeric, although considered a spice, helps flush out toxins.
Keeping the above in mind, we’ve compiled a few outstanding recipes to offer some inspiration. One breakfast suggestion comes from Richa Hingle, the award-winning recipe developer and founder of VeganRicha.com.
This is our version of her Turmeric Steel-Cut Oats with Strawberries and Chia:
¼ teaspoon coconut oil
½ cup steel cut oats
1½ cups of water
1 cup of almond milk
½ teaspoon of turmeric
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of cardamom
1½ tablespoons of blue agave nectar or organic honey
½ pinch of sea salt
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add oats and toast them. Add in water, milk, and mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Stir and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Mix in spices, salt, and agave and cook the oats until they’re cooked to preference. Garnish with sliced strawberries and chia seeds.
In Dr. Lawrence Wilson’s text, “Steps to Liver Detoxification,” he recommends incorporating very small fish, like anchovies. We’ve chosen Chef Lidia Bastianich’s Celery Root, Apple, Arugula, and Walnut Salad as a perfect liver cleanser:
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
juice from 1 squeezed fresh lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup EVOO
1 celery root, peeled and julienned
1 large apple, julienned (skin on)
5 oz. baby arugula
½ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
In a large bowl, whisk anchovies and lemon juice. Whisk salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil to make a smooth dressing. Add celery root and apple, toss to coat in the dressing. Add arugula, walnuts, and toss lightly to combine.
Chef Kalyn has received raves of her rendition on the low-carb, gluten-free Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro. Here’s ours:
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 tablespons plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon hot sauce (Sriracha works nicely)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Both above salads are awesome, but if you want to swap out their designated dressings for a yummy, cleansing alternative, here’s our pick from holistic health coach Nikki Sharp:
½ lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
1 small handful fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper
These recipes should lead you on your desired path of detoxification and deliciousness. Always check with your doctor before doing any radical cleanse. Improving your diet needs no approval from any professional but from you. May your liver soon do the toxin-free dance. Cheers!