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One of the main keys healthy detoxification is healthy eating. Everyone falls off the “healthy eating wagon” from time to time—never let that set you back, just climb back up and start where you left off!
Healthy eating – specially to support all our natural systems for full body detoxification, like a healthy and happy liver —means a few things. Some of these may be relatively new to you particularly if you haven’t been able to spend a lot of time cooking. Why? Because healthy eating often means cooking from scratch and this takes a bit more time, energy and planning to do. There are more and more restaurants and even fast-food places that cater to healthy eating, but it is much less expensive overall to cook for yourself at home.
Current evidence points to a whole-foods diet as being one of the most beneficial diets—vegetarian and vegan diets tend to be healthiest, overall, but for people who don’t want to go meatless, these general principles can be followed with excellent health benefits. You don’t have to go meatless, but you should consider eating more fish, less red meat (unless it is grass- or range-fed) and sticking with lean poultry (skinless) and game meat.
A whole-foods diet requires extra cooking and preparation time, but you can freeze foods like cooked brown rice and beans—and you can freeze other foods including the detoxification food recipes given later on in this article.
“Whole foods” means raw, unprocessed, packaged or prepared foods. It means lots of whole grains (brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, whole wheat, corn, buckwheat and other grains), lots of fresh (or frozen) vegetables and fruit, beans, lentils and other legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, lean poultry, game meat and lots of water, herbal or other teas.
You want to avoid fast, fatty or fried foods and most red meat. Beef and buffalo that have been grass- or range-fed are exceptions because that natural feeding pattern results in less saturated fats and a more ideal omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acid ratio.
Realistically, most people on a whole foods diet will stop at a fast-food restaurant occasionally. That doesn’t mean you have lost all the benefits of a nutritious diet. Eating fast, fatty or fried foods is not the end of that healthy diet. We all know that sometimes you just don’t have time or even just don’t feel like cooking or thawing a healthy meal. Giving yourself an occasional break is okay—just try to make certain its just an occasional “blip”! Toxins are in us and around us—and an occasional blip is going to happen. But, if you are serious about supporting your natural body detox processes and you are serious about removing toxins from your body, that blip will only be occasional and will not significantly interfere with the detoxification process—
our bodies are working 24-7 to remove toxins and will continue to do so if you let it—and continue to support your body’s natural detox organs.
Perhaps you remember being given chicken soup as a sick child. It turns out, chicken soup really IS good for you! Other types of soups are good for you too—they contain lots of protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients—and hot soup can give you a warm, cozy feeling. Here are some recipes for soups that include detoxifying ingredients. For all these meat-based soups, use the chicken, turkey or beef bone-broth as starters. You can also use vegetable broth for any soup. Use a slow cooker for these recipes—you can add all the ingredients at once, turn it on and walk away, stirring occasionally. You can even add frozen meats to slow-cooked soups and come back in a few hours with the meats fully cooked! Most of these soups are also low in calories—and as long as you use lean meats, these soups are low in fat as well.
We recommend you remove the fat for at least two reasons. First, toxins are stored in fats and secondly, fats increase inflammation, which makes removal of toxins more difficult.
This soup is quick, easy and an excellent detox soup full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that support the natural detoxification process!
If you buy all organic ingredients, you can even better support toxin removal because—well, you aren’t adding anything but natural, toxin-free foods!
Some of the ingredients are less easy to find—if there is a Japanese or Asian grocery store near you, that might be a great place to find some of these ingredients. For each harder-to-find ingredient, there are other options listed.
To make the soup—just combine all the ingredients and cook until the vegetables are softened (but not mushy)
Celery is a great—but sometimes underrated—vegetable.
Celery as a food acts to support detoxification but it also is great for the gut, the heart, the immune system, is a source of fiber, vitamins and minerals and supports weight loss! Celery juice should be made fresh just before you drink it.
Take a few stalks of celery (depending on how much juice you need) and simply add the chopped bits (along with some celery leaf) into a juicer or a blender. Lightly strain (if you want it thinner) and drink! If you find it is a bit bitter, add fewer celery leaves next time. Some people discard the pulp, but the pulp contains lots of the fiber and many of the vitamins and minerals. You can add herbs like cinnamon, tarragon or thyme to “spice it up” a bit or just drink it as is.
A note about juicing and juices: yes, most juices will contain some natural sugars, but these juices also contain lots of fiber that slows down the absorption of those sugars—AND, these are not added sugars, and that is an important distinction.
As far as juicers versus blenders—that is really your call, but blenders tend to be more common. Juicers are a bit more expensive, but if you are ready to get your fiber from other sources and want to have “pulp-less” juices, then a juicer may be well-worth the expense.
Grate fresh ginger. For those who haven’t used ginger before, peel the light-brown skin off first, then either finely chop or grate the ginger.
Cut up a few slices of fresh lemon (or use concentrated lemon juice.
Place the ginger and lemon into freshly boiled water and allow it to steep for at least 5 minutes. Add a bit of raw or medicinal honey to taste, but don’t overdo it.
The amount of lemon or ginger added depends on how strong you like the tea and how much you are making. For 1 cup of hot water, use about 1 teaspoon of grated ginger and either one slice or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. If you want, make a large amount and keep in the refrigerator for cold/iced lemon-ginger detox tea. And don’t forget that if you are also looking for ways to help you with both natural detox processes and weight loss, this lemon-ginger tea is a go-to drink! This tea can also be used to jump-start your energy in the morning.
Cut up 1-2 ripe mangos (again, depending on how much you want to make) and add the pieces to a blender. Blend and then add 1 cup of strong green tea—re-blend until smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons of plain yogurt if desired. You can also add a banana and a bit of honey. A dash of cinnamon can add some spice but is optional.
If you fill your plate mainly with vegetables (raw or cooked), beans and lentils and then snack on nuts and seeds (or add them to salads) you are well on your way to supporting natural detoxification.
For those that prefer more traditional meals, here are a few main meal recipes that support your organs of detoxification.
Prepare raw asparagus, avocado, cucumber and cooked (cooled) beet slices. Mix these and place on a bed of spinach. Drizzle with lemon and olive oil and place a piece of cooked salmon over this and enjoy! Beets are especially useful for healthy liver detox processes—beets help maintain normal liver function.
The salmon can be roasted or even broiled lightly. If you want, you can substitute cooked tuna steak or cooked shrimp, but salmon and tuna contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids—important to reduce inflammation and support your detoxification process.
Salads are a great way to include nuts and seeds—you can add pine nuts, sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, pumpkin or sesame seeds to this salad to add protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
For the best chance of toxin-free ingredients, stick with wild-caught fish and organic ingredients.
This one-skillet recipe is a great detox meal for the whole family.
First, you’ll need to cut up boneless, skinless and de-fatted chicken thighs or breast (or both).
Heat the skillet and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet to about ¼ inch. Add bell peppers, garlic, mushrooms, onion and chicken pieces. Sauté well, stirring frequently. When the chicken is cooked, add snow peas and purple cabbage. Stir and cover on low heat until the cabbage is softened. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve over soba (buckwheat) noodles.
Detoxification is a natural process that you can support with every meal. These detox recipes will support your natural detox systems AND may help with weight loss. Here’s hoping these recipes get you started—and don’t forget to drink lots and lots of water with every meal!