On the fourth day of detox, I gave to me…
four foods that heal,
two cleansing breaths,
and the most vibrant vision of me.
Food as medicine and medicine as food
That’s how ayurveda views eating. At least three times a day we have an opportunity to create vibrant health through our food choices. Foods that burn cleanly and completely, nourishing our bodies and assisting with the removal of ama, serve us well during detox. Simple whole food choices sustain us while cleaning out the pipes.
A whole foods detox, consuming fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts in their whole state offers the natural fibre of the food, while providing all the nutrients and health benefits.
Listen to your body and ensure you are feeling nourished by the foods you are consuming.
One of my favourite detox blends is one apple, a generous handful of dandelion greens, fresh grated ginger and pure apple juice or water to blend. The peppery greens, sweet apple and spicy ginger give me an invigorating morning boost. A detoxing addition to my day’s nourishment.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Simply make choices in your day that offer the highest nutritional value. Substitute the morning’s boxed cereal for a homemade fruit or veg smoothie.
While detoxing, reduce your consumption of prepackaged, refined and processed foods. Replace breads, pastas and packaged sweets with fruits, vegetables and nuts. Choose organic, pesticide-free or locally grown when available. Decrease the dairy for detox. Elimination diets can present resistance. Consider lowering the quantity of foods that create inflammation and stagnation, and upping the foods that promote vitality and radiant well-being.
Citrus. A detoxer’s good friend. After your morning visualization, breathing and meditation, greet your day with a tea of grated fresh ginger and squeezed lemon juice. If under the weather, add a touch of soothing honey. Enjoy oranges as a convenient snack during your day. Add limes and lemons to your water.
Greens. Kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens, bok choy. Get creative. Kale is high in fibre, iron, vitamin k, calcium and vitamin c. It is anti-inflammatory and makes for an excellent detox choice. I watched Ina Garten make a ribollita on the Food Network several years ago and it became an immediate staple for me in the winter months. I alter the recipe to incorporate meat or not, according to my needs and the contents of my fridge, and usually leave out the bread. Water makes a perfectly acceptable substitution for chicken stock. I make a huge batch for leftovers. It is my favourite recipe for kale. Add swiss chard to smoothies, dice it up for pasta sauces, soups or stews. Swiss chard has a milder flavour than kale and is easily incorporated into recipes. Dandelion greens make a great addition to salads or smoothies.
Fruit. Apples are excellent detox choices, pomegranates for heart, blueberries for an immune boost. Simmer apples, cinnamon, ginger and clove for a naturally sweet and flavourful treat. Toss in a handful of nuts, pumpkin and chia seeds, and a spoonful of coconut oil and you have a delicious breakfast. If you become fidgety or snacky in your day, slice up an apple or two and enjoy.
Good fats. Nuts offer a whole food source of monounsaturated fats, with walnuts adding omega-3s. Choose from a variety of snacking options; walnuts for brain, almonds for heart health, pistachios for happy cells. Nuts also bring protein to the table, just make sure the nuts you buy don’t also bring the salt. Another choice oil for maximum health benefits is coconut. Choose a quality unrefined coconut oil. It will be solid at 76 degrees and less, above that it will begin to melt. Add coconut oil to your dishes like rice stirfry. Sautée carrots, onion, garlic, bok choy, swiss chard and ginger, tossing in cashews. Like apples, a spoonful of coconut oil a day is said to keep the doctor away.
Bonus detox tip: Water is important for flushing toxins from the body. Consume 1-2 litres of fresh water throughout your day. Try mountain spring water! Fill a 750ml or 1 litre reusable bottle to get an idea of your consumption. Drink 1 in the morning and 1 after lunch. Squeeze in fresh lemon juice or add a few drops of plant essences like Yarrow Environmental Solution, to aid detox.