Welcome to 2018! I know, I know, I’m a bit late to join the party considering it is now the second month of the year. Is anyone else still mulling over their plans and goals for the new year? Perhaps you have a month head start on me and you have been eating clean since January 1st? Either way, this post features some palatable and easy detox recipes that will help your body bounce back from a few days (or few months) of heavy eating. Read on for 10 Winter Recipes for a Gentle Detox.
It’s really not fair to assume everyone is just ordering take out and eating an ungodly amount of ice cream in the winter. Ideally, we take care of our bodies year round. However, winter months bring on somewhat of a hibernation effect. We do tend to eat to store and have less activity, most of the time.
Thus a gentle detox might be beneficial on occasion. While I am not a certified nutrionist or healthcare professional, I do aim to educate myself and others about healthy living. Finding recipes I can recreate and share with you may help inspire an ounce of healthy living in your world as well. Even if I may be preaching to the choir over here.
Winter Foods, Winter Detox
Our metabolisms tend be a bit slower in the winter, according to Dr. Betul Hatipoglu of the Cleveland Clinic. She says we are like all vertebrates and during colder months we experience increased insulin resistance which causes our liver to produce more fat, which is stored for “hibernation mode.” To help offset this natural cycle, she recommends watching what you eat and getting plenty of exercise in the winter months (1).
While it is tempting to just stay indoors and snuggle all winter long, keeping active with a variety of winter activities and sports can be extremely helpful. Even if you are not a sloth during winter, we still need to find a way to aid our slower metabolism in the winter months. One way to help is by having a few days or even weeks of eating clean, mostly plant based foods along with lean, healthy proteins. Generally, when we eat more plant based foods, we are eating more nutrient dense (less calories but more nutrients).
This is not to say we need to deprive or restrict. Detoxing, in this article, is about using food to help your bodies natural processes. Making sure you are eating balanced and consuming enough (but not too much) calories. In no way am I advocating you need to starve yourself or do some sort of extreme fast or cleanse. Just remember that our bodies need a bit more love and attention in the winter months. And being mindful with what we put in our bodies can help serve our highest good.
10 Winter Recipes for a Gentle Detox
Much like the foods of Fall, cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower and cabbage, are seasonally available during the winter months. Not only accessible, these crunchy veggies have high levels of fiber, which helps with digestion and feeling full, as well as phytochemicals, which have been shown to help fend of the growth of cancer (2). Super healthy and quite tasty when done right, this recipe for a nice roasty, nutty, carmelized soup is sure to warm you up on a cold winter’s night. Recipe found here.
One of my favorite cold weather foods is curry dishes. Spicy, aromatic, elegant flavors that warm you from head to toe. Not to mention, curry powder (which often contains turmeric) is said to help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and help with insulin sensitivity as well (3). Perfect for your slow moving metabolism in the winter. Check out this delicious recipe for butternut squash curry here.
While most detox foods you think of involve a pile of veggies, this idea is a bit different. Here, I recommend true chicken bone broth or stock, which contains gut healing nutrients found in the bone marrow of animals. If you consume animals products, you can make your own chicken broth by boiling chicken bones/carcass after you have a roasted chicken. Throw in some herbs and veggies and simmer for 24 hours. Then you can strain and freeze your stock to use for an awesome soup recipe like this one found here.
Buddha bowls, though trendy and somewhat more complex, are seriously so wonderful. A combination of whole grains, vegetables, starch, and protein, it contains all of the needed components of a healthy, filling winter meal. Adding turmeric to sweet potatoes? Sheer genius! This recipe found here is great for a winter detox meal.
Oh my gosh, I made one of these to go with my leftover Indian food for lunch, and it was divine! I love the spicy flavor of the ginger and turmeric. And the bright, sweet, citrusy blast from the oranges is perfect. One thing about winter that I love is the fresh, ripe citrus fruits. They give a boost of vitamin C for our immune system. And again, turmeric is our friend. So grab a bag of oranges and get to blending this great smoothie recipe found here.
When’s the last time you took the time to make a big, filling, nourishing salad? Veggies are your best friend any day of the week, but especially if you are trying to detox. Amp up your veggie intake with a big bowl of dark, leafy greens, like with this hearty kale salad with roasted veggies. Kale is basically a wonder food full of vitamins, minerals, even ALA (alpha-lineic acid) known for its possible benefit for mood and anxiety (4). So chill out and check out the recipe here.
With a website dedicated to detox recipes, it’s no surprie that this raw, crunchy salad is full of nutrition to help with your body’s natural detox. Root vegetables high in potassium help with the body’s elimination of excess toxins, sodium, and water (5). And again, the cruciferous veggies pack a punch of phytonutrients, such as the brocolli in this salad, have enzymes that help break down and eliminate toxins. This super-packed detox salad should do the trick, check out the recipe here.
Ahh, the beloved Golden Milk. A turmeric latte is one of my favorite caffeine-free drinks to make at home, especially at bedtime to help me sleep. It tastes spicy and with the help of a little raw honey or maple syrup, a nice sweet treat. Turmeric contains curcumin which is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (6). Though curcumin needs to be activated with a little black pepper in order to be absorbed into the body. All can be found in the recipe here.
I’ll be honest, I have never made Ratatouille. But after reading this recipe, I am inspired to make this French dish featuring a tomato sauce and various thinly sliced vegetables including tomatoes, squash, sweet potato, and eggplant. Simple and rustic and packed full of cleansing nutrients. Scope out the recipe found here.
Alright now, this is my “wild card” recipe. Because when I found this recipe, I thought “What the heck?! Grapes!?” And I cannot wait to try it out! The recipe creator swears by the combination of sweet grapes, tangy balsamic, and caramelized roasted Brussels sprouts. Who am I question? Grapes are high in antioxidants, flavenols, and polyphenols, know to help fight free radicals and even prevent cancer (7).
The key to any detox or cleanse is about nourishing your bodies with foods that naturally support healthy digestion and elimination. Always drink plenty of water and liquids. Limit or eliminate alcohol intake, cut out processed foods and non-organic farmed meat. Fill your bellies with fruits, veggies, and healthy sources of protein. Stay warm and full this winter. Enjoy!