Resorting to detox is often a post-holiday ritual. We indulge … then cleanse … then repeat.
Buying into a cleanse-in-a-box, or deferring to a cabbage soup or cayenne honey tea diet is how some rebound from holiday indulgences. But the tastiest way to start a healthy eating plan is to resolve to eat the rainbow. That is, eating carefully selected colors of rich produce. Plants rich in color contain a wealth of nutrients and eating them in raw form can be beneficial for your heart, gut, brain and immune system.
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries and black grapes, for example, are a natural source of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals which cause cell damage. Think of antioxidants as the lemon juice on an apple, preventing the apple from turning brown and, oxidizing. Carotenoids, another plant nutrient, gives the yellow, red and orange color to fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, peaches, mango and grapefruit. Lycopene gives tomatoes their red color. Lutein gives kale, spinach, collards and swiss chard their brilliant green hues.
Intentional, clean eating provides more balance for your body.
And, there is no better time to start than now.
My smoothie inspired recipes, featured in January 2015’s issue of Susquehanna Style Magazine, may be just what you need to start the year anew. Let’s think of these drinkable treats as easy, helplful recipes to enrich your new healthy lifestyle and resolution.
There is nothing better than locally picked, in-season fruits. If you missed the boat last summer be sure to add it to this summer’s to-do list. Living in a farm-rich community and supporting local farms means we have the choice of peak freshness versus produce picked just before ripeness so it can travel hundreds of miles over several days to ripen on store shelves.
If you missed out on local produce last season, head to the freezer section of your grocery store for frozen fruits, also picked at peak freshness. Another benefit of shopping locally is the opportunity to get to know your local farmer, who often will share how the food is grown (if treated, what they use and why, and if untreated, what that means to the consumer). You may even walk away with a recipe or the inspiration for one.
Detoxing and organic often go hand-in-hand. Clean eating is as much about reducing processed/boxed foods, white flour and refined sugars foods as it is about eating pesticide-free when you can. For some, detoxing can be about eliminating things from our diets like wheat, dairy, sugar and meat. My smoothie recipes, below, are gluten-free, vegan or dairy-free.
If you are so inclined, add carrot juice for a nutritional boost. With flu season in full swing it can only be good for you to sip the rainbow and some vitamin C will most definitely be a tasty side effect.
Eat the rainbow and thereby boost your vitamins and nutrients. Be an intentional eater and not a binge and detox eater. Balance and be aware of what you eat.
These recipes will become something you keep in your back pocket all season long, not just for you but your family too. If you have children let them create their own special recipes.
The recipes are simple, using ingredients you can easily find. Playing with smoothie flavors can be a wistful adventure and an easy way to start healthy habits. Let’s banish the thoughts of resolutions and commit to clean eating, one step at a time.
If you still insist on making a wellness resolution . . . consider shopping locally.