Detox Diary and Recipes

Images (clockwise from top right): Apple slices with Tahini; Broccoli pesto with rice noodles; Juice (all from Wholeliving) Almonds, Apples & Kale (both from The Chalkboard) Detox Tea from Pukka.

It’s true. We really do LOVE our food, and that does include wine, coffee, bread and homemade treats, but all in a balanced way, of course! As we are now heading in to a busy and indulgent period, we decided that October was the perfect time to commit to a fortnight of keeping things clean and giving our bodies a little break – and we did it!

We’ve already heard from natural nutritionist Jan Purser in our last post about the basics of detoxing and how it need not be about deprivation or living on lemons and salad leaves alone.

Today, we wanted to give you our perspective…

Why we love detoxing:

  • It’s all about eating more cleanly and simply and helps to detect what foods do or don’t work for you.
  • An ideal opportunity to try new health promoting ingredients (did anyone say superfoods?)
  • Re-calibrates, sharpens the senses and taste buds. Re-charges energy levels and clarifies the mind.
  • Leaves you with less cravings and a renewed appreciation for good food.
  • It’s the perfect strategy to help maintain the balance from season to season (including your weight, but as usual, DO NOT make it your focus!)

Keeping it real (our personal observations and tips):

  • For us, it’s actually not a big change to our regular meals as we eat very little processed food anyway – more a matter of leaving a few things out and making some adjustments.
  • You do need to be SUPER organised – with shopping, planning and prepping – to make things as smooth and easy as possible. When short on time, I like to rely on fallback meals in the freezer, good quality take away occasionally, or very simple throw together dishes. So, by the end of the 2 weeks, I was a little exhausted from all the work that goes into constantly prepping fresh food from scratch without a break (particularly having to also cater for 2 little foodies who didn’t always appreciate my detox food!) Honestly, not something I could sustain on a regular basis.
  • Juicing is quite a process and can be time consuming in the morning (or it may just be that our old style juicer is hard to clean!) It did help to prep the fruit and veg the night before so it was ready just to stick in the juicer, but i’m afraid we didn’t manage it as often as we should have.
  • Expect headaches and to feel a bit blaaargh for the first few days, especially if you’re a heavy coffee drinker (which I didn’t think I was, although I still experienced a niggly headache – all the more reason to detox!)
  • I found a really delicious fennel, cardamom and aniseed detox tea from my local health food shop (see image above), which we drank a lot of, along with roasted dandelion root and chicory bags from Bonvit.
  • I really enjoyed eating wheat free for a few weeks and was surprised by how easy it was. There are so many wonderful foods like quinoa, polenta and buckwheat that provide great nutrition and variety. I plan to make an effort to find alternatives to wheat as often as I can.

A typical day’s detox eating:

Breakfast: poached egg with grilled field mushrooms, spinach and 100% rye toast (or gluten free muesli with almond milk and plenty of fresh berries)

Snacks: Fresh juice, Tamari almonds, apple with nut butter, homemade hummus & vege sticks

Lunch: salmon, potato & broad bean salad with preserved lemon dressing and watercress (leftover from dinner)

Dinner: grilled polenta with tomato, red lentil & olive sauce (or poached chicken with asian greens and rice noodles)

Sound delicious? It was. Our verdict? Go for it. Try a detox a couple of times a year, even if it is only for a few days (but ideally, 2-3 weeks for maximum benefits) But remember, go easy on yourself as it does take some planning and effort to pull it off.

Jan has kindly shared a couple of recipes from her cookbook to get you started, like the wonderfully cleansing Detox Support Juice (that we attempted to make most mornings) and a delicious recipe for Stir-fried Lamb with Asian Greens and Rice Noodles. Download the recipes here.

Happy cleansing!

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