Tag Archive for 'Detox'

‘Spring Cleaning’ Recipes

Now that you know all about my recent detox adventure, I am excited to share some of the truly amazing meals I have eaten during that time. They were a fantatsic success in my recent ‘Spring Cleaning’ cooking class and are totally suitable for all those of you who don’t have the slightest interest in doing a detox. The recipes below are inspired by the ones in the book ‘Clean‘. I used different ideas and combined them in the Quinoa Salad recipe, but the Stir-Fry recipe is almost identical to the one in the book.

Quinoa Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing


serves 4


for the salad

  • 1/2 cup white quinoa, rinsed and drained or a mixture of white and black or red quinoa
  • 4 spring onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini or cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked in water for 2 hours, drained
  • 2 cups of mixed greens, washed and picked

for the dressing

  • 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup white sweet miso, also called young ‘shiro’ rice miso
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon light agave nectar (optional)


Place rinsed quinoa in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup of water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 12-15 minutes or until germ ring is visible and quinoa has softened. Remove from stove, fluff quinoa with a fork and let cool.

To make dressing; in a food processor, blend ginger, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and miso. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too sour, add one teaspoon of light agave nectar and give it another whiz. Add 1 tablespoon of water if you prefer a runnier dressing.

Mix quinoa with chopped herbs, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Stir in dressing. Serve on top of greens on large platter.

Stir-Fried Vegetables with Chicken and Buckwheat Soba Noodles


serves 4


  • 250 g 100% Buckwheat Soba
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 1 baby bok choi, sliced length wise
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • olive or natural (not toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon wheat free tamari or nama shoyu
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

for the cooked chicken breasts

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper


To make marinade, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken breasts to marinade and coat evenly. Cover and put in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Place marinated chicken breasts with marinade in oven proof dish, cover with aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool slightly before cutting into thin slices.

In the meantime, bring 2 quarts (2 liters) water to boil in a large pot. Add noodles, stir and cook according to package instructions.

When the noodles are done, place in colander and rinse with cold water. This will prevent them from turning into a sticky mess. Place drained noodles in a large bowl. Toss with toasted sesame oil and set aside..

For the stir-fry, heat wok or heavy pan on high heat and add 1 tablespoon of natural sesame or olive oil. Add ginger and garlic and fry for one minute, stirring constantly. Add vegetables, except for spring onions and coriander, stirring and tossing for about 5 minutes. Vegetables should retain their colour and a nice crunch.

Add tamari or nama shoyu, lime juice, spring onions, salt and pepper to wok. Stir once more and turn heat off. Sprinkle with coriander.

Toss in a bowl with soba noodles. Serve with sliced chicken breast on the side.

Detox Disclosure

OK, here we go. I am finally full enough to write about my (brief) venture into the detox world of the famous and beautiful. A few months ago, I picked up a copy of ‘CLEAN‘ by Dr. Alejandro Junger, curious to find out what all the rave was about. I read it and like thousands of others on the eternal quest for self-improvement hoped that this program could be the end of decade long stomach troubles and other physical and emotional aches and pains. The detox plan he developed lasts 3 weeks and is based on a strict elimination diet, with two liquid meals (i.e. fresh juices and smoothies) and one solid meal per day. The book includes 3-weeks worth of recipes, plus tips on how to clean up your life with water filters, natural cleaning and beauty products, mediation etc. Except for some of the raw soups, all recipes looked delicious, but I was still worried how I would cope with the limited calorie intake. I tried another elimination diet fora month last year and had no trouble. I could eat whenever I wanted,  as long as I stuck to the foods allowed. This was different. The prospect of only eating once a day was horrifying. To put it mildly, I am not a pleasant hungry person. Still, the author made it sounds quite easy to cope with hunger and cravings and he described the benefits of the detox program so convincingly, that I just needed to give it a go. I couldn’t wait to be bright eyed, full of boundless energy, light and tight, free of aches and pains, happier than ever, and totally clean. So I jumped in. The first few days were easy. I had just gotten over a vicious stomach bug that had been knocking out every member in my family and my appetite had not yet recovered. I wasn’t very hungry until day 4. That’s when it hit me. Tired from a night listening to my youngest cough, I was completely depleted by 9 am and alternately screamed and cried throughout the rest of the day. The mood swings didn’t even come close to my worst PMS ever and lasted for 2-3 days, leaving me totally exhausted. Instead of looking and feeling better, my face looked sunken in and pimply and my eyes dark and hollow. That said, I did start to feel better by day 6 or 7 and my mood and stamina improved. However, I continued to have very little energy, and found it difficult to get through the (long) days. Cooking dinner for my family, which I wasn’t able to eat, was no fun and drinking my juice while they ate, excruciating.  Often, I was too hungry and tired to join in, or too busy focusing on cleaning that darn juicer. And there were the side effects. For the first few days, I was so tired climbing up the stairs, my heart almost jumped out of my chest. Most infuriatingly, I couldn’t keep up with the requirements of my daily life and I felt like everything was piling up around me. I had slowed down substantially, probably to save the little energy I had to get me through the day which becaome obvious by growing laundry piles, dying garden plants and endless to-do-lists. This is not how it was supposed to be. The detox program emphasizes on rest, meditation, mindfulness exercises, yoga, meditation, skin brushing and other beneficial activities, which on most days, I didn’t have time for. On the up side, I have never lost weight so quickly and indeed I didn’t have any stomach pains. During the second week, I started to slip. My daughter had her 4th Birthday, my son a big event at school with delicious food all around, we had date nights and dinner parties and I started to obsess about chocolate and crunchy granola for hours. So, 13 days into the detox, I stopped. Not gradually, but with a beautiful dinner of the best roast chicken ever. I devoured it and couldn’t sleep that night, because I was incredibly full. My stomach had actually shrunk so much, that even a regular size meal made it expand to the point of great discomfort. Eventually, I got over it and successfully stretched my stomach to it’s previous capacity. It has however been 10 days since I stopped, and I still eat, cook and bake, like someone who just escaped from a deserted island, reversing that miraculous weight loss almost instantly.  Teaching a class focused on lunch boxes last week didn’t help either. I cooked, and assembled for days, tasting myself through every batch. Occupational hazard, I guess…

In hindsight, I keep thinking that I need to evaluate the role food plays in my life a bit more. Why did the thought of having to limit myself for 3 weeks cause me so much anguish? I was never that hungry, it was my mind that played the tricks on me, but also my body not allowing me to keep up the pace my current life requires. I do think, this could easily work for me in a spa setting without the kids, dog, husband and daily work load. It might even be enjoyable. Lot’s of time to read, sleep, relax, exercise, meditate and not having to worry about others and have them worrying about me. Since that’s not really an option at the moment, I’ll continue to incorporate some of the delicious detox recipes into my diet, drink my smoothies, take my probiotics, have an occasional day of juice fasting and even meditate once in a while. It might not have the same results as a full detox program, but it also won’t be nearly as hard.

Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to talk about this experience in my ‘Spring Cleaning’ class attended by 5 eager ladies. We talked, drank lots of detox tea and fresh juices and cooked so much that by the end, the table was bulging with salads, stir-fries, steamed vegetables, quinoa, buckwheat noodles, brown rice, beans, poached chicken and roast fish. It made the detox look like a total culinary breeze and all five of them left inspired by how tasty healthy food can be. You can find out more about the recipes in my next blog or at http://www.wholeliving.com/photogallery/action-plan-week-1.