Favorite Meals from My Whole Foods Detox
I joined Marybeth’s Whole Foods Detox and Cleanse earlier this year with excitement about experiencing all of the wonderful benefits of a cleanse — more energy, a boost to my immune function, and a general feeling of well being. What I didn’t expect was my thrill at discovering delicious new recipes that I could continue to eat as part of my regular diet.
The basic premise of Marybeth’s program is to avoid foods and substances that cause inflammation and toxicity and add more foods that are naturally detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. Some foods to avoid: sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine, yeast and fermented foods, eggs, gluten, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, peanuts, soy, beef, pork, and lamb, and of course anything processed.
What does that leave? An abundance of nutritious whole foods like berries, apples, fresh vegetables, wild-caught fish, free-range and organic chicken, beans and legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, oil, herbal teas, and many tall glasses of filtered water a day.
Here are some of my favorite meals from the week.
Curried Cauliflower Chick Peas
For one of my dinners, I made a curried cauliflower chick pea dish. I followed this recipe but omitted the tomatoes. Tomatoes were on the “avoid” list as a food that can cause food sensitivities in some. In addition to the cauliflower and chick peas, the dish is plenty garlicky and spicy, but the spice is balanced nicely with mild coconut milk. I ate it plain but you could serve it over brown rice. The house smelled amazing. I also steamed an artichoke on the side — a first for me too. I used turmeric in the curry, a powerful antioxidant.
Poached Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Pesto
This was an improvised creation. I baked a sweet potato and roasted carrots in the oven, poached a piece of wild-caught salmon in coconut milk and sauteed some fresh greens in olive oil. I piled the whole mess on a plate with a generous dollop of pesto, which I had made earlier in the week. Perfection. The basil in the pesto supports digestion and the nervous system and the greens are what Marybeth calls a “winter superstar,” loaded with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins A, C, E, and K, folic acid, and many other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals.
Gluten-Free Hot Cereal
For breakfast, Marybeth recommended a hot cereal made with gluten-free grains like amaranth and millet. I added giant raisins, blueberries, raw cashews, and chia seed to the cereal, plus a splash of almond milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon. I didn’t miss a sweetener like honey or brown sugar at all, believe it or not. The Omega 3 oil in the chia (I used a proprietary blend called Mila), reduces inflammation.
Sautéed Fennel, Peas, and Dill
For this meal, I put together a combination of ingredients and flavors I have never experienced before — fennel, peas, and dill. I didn’t have fresh dill, just dried, but fresh-picked dill would make the recipe even better. I also omitted the butter since we were avoiding dairy on the detox. This is a delicious meal to make in the spring and summer when fennel and peas are in season and could be served cold as well. Fennel has a light anise flavor.
I personally wasn’t too concerned about calories and Marybeth designed the detox to be not so much about fasting or cutting back on calories, but more about eating healthy whole foods. So, I had full license to eat huge plates full of the delicious meals I made that week. The only drawback was the initial headache from lack of caffeine, but that subsided after a few days into the detox. From then on, I and others in the group raved about how great we felt — with new energy and new taste sensations.
Have you participated in a whole foods cleanse? Do you have any favorite recipes to share?