By Kim Bulder, Naturopath & Medical Herbalist
‘Detoxing’ means different things to different people – but a common assumption is that for a week or so you deprive yourself of anything delicious while suffering through endless green liquids (and dreaming of the pizza you’re going to eat as soon as the detox is over).
But detoxification is something your body is doing all day every day, not just for one intensive week every spring, so a more practical and supportive approach is to clean up your daily diet.
Swapping out nutritionally-empty foods for nutrient-dense options (that are still easy, tasty and satisfying) gives your body much more of what it needs every day to detoxify and thrive.
Swap grains for veges, veges and more veges
Grab your peeler/spiraliser/grater/knife and transform veges into noodles, ribbons, spirals etc. These make great substitutes for pasta, noodles and rice so you don’t have to give up your favourite meals (also a great way to get the kids involved – there’s something fun about transforming veges into different shapes that often magically become yum not yuk!).
Try zucchini/courgettes, cucumber, carrots, beetroot, broccoli stems, radish or daikon, sweet potato, whatever firm vegetable you like. Depending on the vegetable they can be eaten raw or lightly cooked, made into fritters or salads, added to soups and casseroles, the options are endless (click on pictures for some recipe ideas).
Swap sugar for honey or dates
Sugar is currently public enemy number 1, but not all sweet foods are equal. Honey and dates are much more nutritious compared to refined sugar and are a great alternative to keep a bit of sweetness in your life without compromising your health. Small amounts go a long way, and you’ll find your body will say ‘enough’ far sooner than with refined sugar.
Eggs for brekkie
Eggs took a beating :-) for many years, being shunned as an unhealthy, high-cholesterol food. That was, in short, wrong. Eggs (truly free range, preferably organic, using the whole egg NOT just the whites) are a great source of nutrients and easily digested protein – important for liver detoxification.
Instead of processed breakfast cereals or toast (now these often ARE unhealthy), cook up some eggs. Add some fresh herbs and greens when cooking and you will have a delicious nourishing breakfast (or lunch or dinner) in about 5 minutes.
For a sweeter yet still virtuous option, whip up the world’s easiest pancakes – using only eggs and banana (I like to add berries too).
And of course minimising or eliminating alcohol, coffee, artificial ingredients, processed and fast foods is also important to lessen the toxic load your body has to deal with every day.