This article is part of the Body Wellness Series. I recently wrote it for my networking group, International Women in Business, to offer busy entrepreneurial women doable and effective everyday strategies to fuel their bodies. But we all benefit from these strategies. So I hope you enjoy the food for thought!
As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Spring is when I'm asked about detoxes and juice cleanses. When we're eager to reset food habits, slim down, and lighten the load on digestion, I know a five-day detox program promising a quick-fix looks tempting. But while detoxing makes us feel like we're doing something proactive for our health, the positive effects are usually short-lived. We eventually fall back into old routines that led us to detox in the first place.
My mission in my health coaching practice is to help women build nourishing food and lifestyle habits in their everyday so they feel good in and about their bodies on an ongoing basis, not just when they detox. The secret sauce for making this way of living a reality is to eat foods daily that nourish and satisfy! Because operating somewhere in the middle keeps us feeling much more sane (in body and mind) than swinging from one extreme way of eating to another. And when we regularly eat foods we love that also make us feel good, our body naturally finds balance, and that fast detox loses its appeal.
While we can't eat certain foods to make our body detox (detoxification is an ongoing process), we can incorporate foods into everyday meals that nourish our essential detox organs such as the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract so things run smoothly and we feel energized. I've made a habit of weaving these foods into my everyday meals, and I help my clients do the same. I want to share three of my favorites with you today, along with simple and delicious recipe ideas. Because food should be a source of nourishment and pleasure!
White foods such as refined pasta, bread, and sugar get a bad reputation. But I'm talking about white whole foods. Think eggs, cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, romanesco), raw garlic, onion, shallots, and leeks. OK, some of those cruciferous veggies are technically green. But everything in the list contains Sulphur, which the liver needs for efficient detoxification - to break down fat, slow aging, and protect against toxins.
Deeply-pigmented plants contain a concentrated source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from aging, inflammation, and disease, but also from harmful toxins produced during detoxification. To get your daily dose of antioxidants, reach for blue and purple foods such as beets, berries, cherries, figs, purple cabbage, purple carrots, black rice, and black beans. And don't forget spices such as curcumin (e.g. turmeric), cinnamon, oregano, coriander, and ginger. Spices contain terpenoids, a class of chemical plant compounds that possess strong antioxidant activity.
Dark Leafy Greens
My favorites are arugula, spinach, kale, beet greens, escarole, endive, dandelion, and mint. The bitter taste stimulates the production of saliva, stomach acid, and bile to digest carbohydrates, protein, and fats. This is especially helpful for fat metabolism during detoxification.
I hope these tips and recipes inspire and motivate you along your journey to feeling good in and about your body. If you'd like extra support integrating nourishing food and lifestyle habits to feel light and energized everyday, let's talk! I offer a free breakthrough session in person or over Skype to help you kickstart new habits.