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If, like me, you have spent the last few months indulging on a regular basis, now is the perfect time to reset your diet—and your health—so you can take on the new year feeling healthy and energized! One of the best ways to do this is to combine good-for-you foods that support your body’s natural detox system, especially your liver, one of the hardest working organs in the body.
Fortunately, this does not mean starving yourself with a fast or lemon water only diet! Each of the recipes for detoxing below provides the calories, amino acids, clean fats, antioxidants, and fiber needed to turn toxins into harmless waste products to be transported out of the body. Make sure to choose organic produce and meat for these meals to reduce exposure to toxins and acquire maximum nutrient density.
Break your night-long fast and jump-start detoxification by combining high-sulfur veggies like onions, garlic, and leeks with cruciferous veggies like cabbage, kale, and broccoli to support production of liver detoxification enzymes. Make sure to include a source of quality protein like pasture-raised eggs or nuts and seeds for the amino acids essential for detoxification. Finally, emphasize fiber-rich foods, which are a must for supporting detoxification.
This recipe for Red Flannel Hash from The Kitchn.com includes a great mix of liver-supportive veggies like onion, garlic, beets, and cabbage and is topped with pasture-raised eggs for protein. So delicious!
Our Greens & Chia Smoothie Bowl is a delicious way to start the day off with a detox boost. The healthy fats in the avocado and hemp hearts combine with the fiber in the berries, chia, and protein powder to ensure your liver has everything it needs to do its important job.
Veggies are the main focus for any detox lunch. Try including beets to support regularity, artichoke for its liver and gallbladder stimulation, and asparagus as a liver protector. Quality proteins such as wild-caught fish and organic chicken are also essential for a balanced plate that your liver will love. And don’t forget to include healthy fats and a vegetable source of complex carbohydrates to ensure you have the energy to work all of those toxins out of your system.
Veggie-heavy soups like our Super Detox Soup(pending) are an especially good choice for lunch. Making your own homemade bone brothwill load the soup with flavor and collagen, a protein that supports liver, digestive, joint, skin, and metabolic health. Look here for other souping options.
This salad is simply loaded with detox-supportive veggies, amino acids, and fats. When topped with our Lemony Dill Seed Salad Dressing, this salad will fill you up and give your liver what it needs to clean out the toxins.
End the day with even more veggies (see a theme here?), emphasizing those that provide special support for detoxification as mentioned in the breakfast and lunch sections above. This is also a great time to get in some complex carbohydrates to support restful sleep and healthy mood.
Rice bowls are both comforting and delicious, and when you pack them full of veggies, they can make a fabulous detox-supportive dinner. This California Style Chicken Rice Bowl from Half Baked Harvest.com is a great starter recipe. Add broccoli sprouts and grilled onions to boost the detox-supportive veggies, substitute brown rice for the white rice for more fiber, and leave off the blue cheese to increase the detox support potential.
Veggie noodles help to pack nutrition into this dinner, while the ginger in the marinade, along with garlic and lime in the sauce, get your detox engines burning. Healthy fats and protein from the salmon will fill you up while delighting your taste buds! Swap out the veggies, protein, and sauce for endless combinations of healthy detox options (think zucchini noodles with shrimp and curry, for example).
If your appetite seems to increase during this detox, it may just be that your body is craving more of the nutritious foods you have been eating. Try one of the following snacks to nourish your body and support your liver:
In addition to the foods you should eat, there are also foods to avoid. Processed foods, especially those with processed fats, flours, and sugars will burden the liver and should be avoided. Finally, any foods that you may be sensitive to should be strictly avoided.
Drink at least 12-ounces of hot or cold lemon upon waking in the morning (infuse 32-ounces of water with one sliced lemon overnight to drink throughout the day). Add a teaspoon of olive oil if you find your bowels are sluggish and you are not eliminating at least once a day.
Between breakfast and lunch, drink at least 32-ounces of fluid. If plain water leaves your taste buds flat, try fruit-infused water, green tea, dandelion root tea, or an herbal tea of your choice. Avoid any drinks with added sweeteners and high levels of caffeine, such as coffee.
Drink additional fluids between lunch and dinner, at least another 64-ounces. Bone broth counts as both a fluid and a snack, and using a bone broth powder makes it easy! Make sure to avoid all caffeine-containing beverages after lunch to help you get a peaceful night’s rest.
A detox is a great time to lay off the sugary after-dinner treats. Instead, try drinking a cup of detox tea, some warming golden milk, or warm lemon water. Ideally aim to drink about one gallon of fluids each day of your detox.
With the right foods, you can easily and deliciously reset your eating habits while giving your liver some love. These detox ideas can begin to make up for the bad behavior of the last few months and get your new year off to a great start!