Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Post-Holiday Detox

The holidays are over!  I'm already mentally preparing for a return to campus for spring semester, but first I need to take care of another pressing issue:  post-holiday detox.

I'm not super serious about detoxing like some people are.  As much as I would love to do a ten-day juice fast (if you haven't seen the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead you should check it out), I don't exactly have room in my apartment, or the funds, for a juicer.  And I always say that I could easily become a vegetarian, but the truth is that I would miss chicken and the occasional seafood.  I'm also a huge fan of Mexican food, and... yeah.  Enough said.

My idea of detoxing is making an effort to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet, and limiting meat and grains, but not cutting them out entirely.  The point of a detox is to give your body a rest after a prolonged period of heavy eating by emphasizing whole foods and cutting out excessive sugar and processed foods.  It's not a full-time diet.  You can decide how strictly or not you want to stick to the traditional detox rules:  no sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, or processed foods.  Frankly, I don't have the willpower to carry it out to that extent, nor do I think I need to.  I'm relatively fit, I'm close to the target weight for my height and age, and I don't have any gluten or other food allergies.  The best detox plan for me is not a plan so much as a goal to eat more whole foods and keep indulgences to a minimum.  A little chocolate now and then never hurt anyone, after all.  The idea is to think about what you're eating and what nutritional purpose it serves, and be good to your body so you'll feel energized and happy.  Go easy on yourself; strive, don't deprive!

Before I start sounding like a diet book, here are some recipes (all from the Internet) that have served me well in the past, and a few that I'm eager to try.  I recently took the Kale, Apple, and Pancetta salad with me to an office potluck and it got rave reviews.  The Pan Seared Fish with Chermoula Sauce is a recipe that even picky eaters, my brother for example, will enjoy.  I made it for us one night after classes and he cleaned his plate.  Out of the untested recipes I'm most excited about trying the brussels sprouts recipe; my mom hated them as a child, so she never made them for us growing up.

1. Watercress Salad at La Tartine Gourmand
2. Kale, Apple, and Pancetta Salad at Once Upon a Chef
3. Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans at Real Simple
4. Pan Seared Fish with Chermoula Sauce at Bijouxs

1. Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Steamed Veggies at YumUniverse
2. Endive Appetizers at Love & Lemons
3. Detox Apple and Cabbage Salad at FitSugar
4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Almonds and Crispy Proscuitto at Eat Sleep Cuddle (plus    three other brussels sprouts meal ideas!)

What are some of y'all's favorite healthy recipes?  Drop a line in the comments and share the good news!

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