It’s that time of year again!! Starting Monday January 12th, Chris and I are doing our 2-week January Detox. I was really surprised when Chris was willing to do it with me last year for our 2014 January Detox and I was equally happy to hear he wanted to do it with me again this year :). We want to cut the habit of eating something sweet after every meal and feeling the need to eat a bunch of carbs to get through the day.
The foods we cut out last year are mostly the same for this year, with the addition of cutting out the gluten-free grains. Yep, we are going grain free for two weeks. So here is the list.
Conventional meat, Processed meats, Dairy, ALL grains, Caffeine, Alcohol, Vegetable oils (corn, soy and canola), and ALL forms of sugar (including cane sugar, artificial sweeteners, stevia, honey, agave, maple syrup, etc), and dried fruit.
Vegetables, Leafy Greens, Herbs, Root Vegetables, Pasture-raised Beef, Pork, Poultry, Lamb, Wild-caught Fish, Nuts and seeds, healthy fats (coconut oil, tallow and olive oil), Legumes, non-dairy milk (coconut, almond or goat), and no more than 1 serving of fresh fruit a day.
The reason we wanted to cut out grains completely this year was because we wanted a true reset to our diet after eating a bunch of junk food for the last month. Also, for the detox I didn’t just want to just replace gluten with gluten-free baked goods. I want to see how I can fill the gap that grains leave in our meals with more nutrient dense foods like vegetables, protein and fat. So, those are our reasons. If you want to join us in our detox feel free to choose gluten-free or grain-free depending on your goals.
Since we all lead busy lives, I wanted to get a jumpstart on the week by having some food prepared and ready to go in the fridge and freezer.
I froze them to have on hand for quick and easy meals. The chili is a complete meal and the spaghetti sauce is good over spaghetti squash, steamed cabbage or as the sauce for mini pizzas on slices of roasted sweet potato or butternut squash.
On Wednesday I went shopping and on Thursday I went to the UGArden and between the two trips stocked my fridge with fresh produce and items to feed us through our detox. The hardest part of eating healthy is the time it takes to prepare the food. I like to cut that time as much as I can by doing things in bigger batches. I am already going to have water boiling to blanch one bunch of greens, so why not do all 8 bunches of greens at once and save time?
So, I spent Friday afternoon prepping veggies and making sauces for the detox.
I think healthy food tastes great and one of the ways I make it happen is by having flavorful sauces on hand. One of my favorites is tomatillo salsa. It is really easy. You take some tomatillos (about 1 pound), an onion chopped into a few pieces, a few cloves of garlic and one or two jalapeños and roast them in a 400 degree oven until everything is soft and the tomatillos have split open.
While the ingredients for my tomatillo salsa were baking, I prepped some potatoes with olive oil and salt for baked potatoes, and sliced and deseeded a kabocha squash for baking at the same time. Efficiency in the kitchen is all about finding ways to condense energy usage and time. If you have the oven on for one thing, think of other things you could be baking at the same time.
I pulled out the kabocha squash and baked potatoes when they were done. Then when the ingredients for my tomatillo salsa were soft and the tomatillos had split open, I turned the oven to broil on HI and let the tops get charred. It really gives a nice smoky flavor. Then I dumped the onion, tomatillos, garlic and jalapeños into a wide mouth mason jar, let it cool a little bit, and added cilantro, salt, lime juice, and an avocado and blended it all with an immersion blender.
For the kabocha squash I baked it until soft, scooped it into a container and blended it with the immersion blender for pureed squash. This goes great in soups to thicken and will be good with some coconut oil and cinnamon for breakfast.
The salsa and the squash ready for blending with my immersion blender.
Then I had my greens to process. First I de-stemmed all the greens. But I didn’t want to throw out the stems, so I chopped them up and made them into pureed stem soup.
The greens I chopped up and blanched. I wanted a large variety, so I mixed together turnip greens, collards, kale, mustard greens and radish greens.
To blanch, I got a pot full of salted boiling water and filled the pot with greens. I let them cook for 2 minutes and then strained them out and added more greens, let them cook for 2 minutes, etc… until all the greens were done. I blanch my greens for two reasons. First of all, blanching all of greens at once keeps them from going bad in the fridge. When they are blanched the cell walls of plant are broken and the enzymes responsible for degrading the plant are inactivated. Also, having greens that are destemmed, cut and blanched in the fridge make them easier to use in meals. I love putting greens in everything and it makes it a lot easier to add them to soup, breakfast omelets, spaghetti sauce, topping my sandwich, etc.. if they are already cooked. I LOVE my greens :).
With all the stems I put them in a pot with some water, broth, tarragon, basil and parsley and salt. I let them simmer until they were really soft and blended everything with my immersion blender to make a smooth blended soup. Blended soup reheated in a small pot with a poached egg, then topped with sriracha and sesame oil are one of my favorite breakfasts!!
Another sauce I made to liven up our meals next week is a chopped cilantro and parsley sauce.
I chopped up 5 cloves of raw garlic, and put it in a bowl with some red wine vinegar, salt and olive oil. Then I chopped up 1 bunch of cilantro and 2 bunches of parsley really finely to add to the bowl. I mixed it all together and added more olive oil, salt and red wine vinegar to taste.
Another sauce I made was homemade mayonnaise. This stuff is AMAZING! I make it all the time. Make sure to only use organic eggs, and truthfully local eggs are the best. Unfortunately, all my friends that give me local eggs are out right now, so I used organic from the store. It has egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and equal parts coconut and olive oil. I got the recipe from Wellness Mama’s Healthy Homemade Mayonnaise.
I also made a 1/2 gallon of sauerkraut with cabbage, turnips, kohlrabi, carrots, and garlic.
So, here is all my loot from the day. A quart of blended stem soup, sauerkraut, mayonnaise, blanched greens, cilantro parsley sauce, tomatillo salsa, blended kabocha squash, baked potatoes, chopped broccoli, and lastly I made another batch of Chris’ favorite tea blend with lemongrass, hibiscus and mint.
Hopefully my food preparations have given you some ideas of what to prepare if you want to do the detox with us!
I plan to give an update every 3-4 days showing you what we have been eating and how things are going. Remember, the first 3 days are going to be the hardest and you will possibly experience some withdrawal symptoms. Especially from the sugar and the caffeine such as headache, body aches, lack of energy, bad breath, and/or cold and flu symptoms. Drinking lots of water, and warm liquids like broth and hot tea can really help and remind yourself that you are doing something good for your body!!
As a gentle reminder, try to focus on nutrition, not counting calories or losing weight. Also, it is good to keep in mind that eating more protein, fat, and non-starchy vegetables will help curb sugar cravings and keep you satisfied longer.
I hope this helpful and I hope you will consider joining us in whatever way you choose. You can choose to just give up sugar, or just give up caffeine, or go all-in with us or anything that you think will help to reset your body going into the New Year.
You can check out what we ate during our two weeks:
Have you ever gone two weeks without sugar or grains? How was your experience?