Let’s chat about detoxing. Whenever you hear the term, what do you think of?
If you’re like me, your mind probably goes to food – or lack thereof. Maybe you think of:
- juice cleanses
- liquid diets
- lemon water with cayenne
- cabbage soup
- chlorella tablets
- laying off the sugar, caffeine and booze
All these things have become pretty commonly known as ways to help the body cleanse itself, but I’m sure a lot of us would agree that they’re not the most fun to be on. The salad I’ve got to share with you today incorporates some amazing whole foods that support detoxification AND taste delicious, but first, I want to talk about another type of detox, and that’s a detoxification of our thoughts.
On 9 days out of 10, I’d say my perceptions of myself – things like my self-esteem, efficacy and confidence – are pretty solid. I’m not talking over the top ‘I’m the best‘ egotistical, and of course, we all have areas we can improve to be even better versions of ourselves. But generally, I feel pretty happy with the person I am and the direction I’m moving in. There’s always that one day though. The one out of 10 where I’m riding the struggle bus. And I know we all have them. We see someone with the abs, legs or (insert body part here) we envy and immediately start thinking we need to cut out x, y, or z and work out more. Or at least I have, at times.
It’s easy to look at foods and say that some are health-building and others aren’t the best for supporting our bodies in being their best. You know the ones – sugar, processed foods, the wrong types of fats – they’re easily spotted, and not great to have around and damaging when consumed in excess. But what about negative thoughts? Those self-shaming ones that make us feel inferior, upset, not enough and down on ourselves. Those are a lot harder to spot, because often they happen subconsciously. If someone spoke one of those statements to your face you’d probably want to give them a slap, but the reality is that inside some of our heads, those same statements come up all day long.
You could argue that negative self-talk is just as damaging to our wellbeing as poor food choices. So what if we put as much effort into detoxing our minds of this internal dialogue as we do with cleaning up our nutrition and getting regular exercise? This is something that’s been on my mind lately and I don’t think we consider it enough. We’re quick to look for the next new superfood, supplement, intense workout or material possession to provide instant gratification, but don’t consider that detoxing our minds of negativity might be the answer. I’ve got some ideas as to how to do this (awareness of those thoughts being the first step), but I’ll save that for a future post. In the meantime, consider this your introspective question of the day. ?
Ok – back to food.
The Detox Salad I’ve got for you this week is a new and improved version of an older recipe. Once upon a time, Whole Foods made an amazing detox salad and I created an at-home copycat version of it. That was about 4 years ago, and my knowledge of nutrition has come a long way since then. If you’re familiar with that classic Whole Foods recipe, you’ll notice I’ve added a few new goodies to the mix – cilantro, shredded Brussels sprouts, purple cabbage, broccoli sprouts and a creamy, lovely ginger miso tahini dressing. All of these ingredients support the body’s detoxification processes, and they taste a whole lot better than lemon water with cayenne!
The result is a super colourful, crunchy, mildly sweet (thanks to the raisins and currants), and big batch-friendly salad that leaves me feeling wholly nourished and energized. This is a vegan-friendly recipe, and note that you can add whatever protein source suits you. That could be chickpeas, marinated tempeh or white beans if you’re vegan, or boiled eggs, salmon, or other sustainably caught seafood if you’re pescetarian like me. I like to make it in big batches at the beginning of the week, and recommend waiting until you’re about to eat to toss the salad in dressing.
Detox Salad with Ginger Miso Tahini Dressing
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Ingredients (about 9 cups)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups small cauliflower florets (about 1 small cauliflower)
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 cup each grated carrots, chopped purple cabbage and shredded Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup loosely packed broccoli sprouts
- 1/2 cup each fresh parsley and cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tsp kelp or dulse flakes (note: these have a salty, fairly distinct sea vegetable-like smell, and small amount goes a long way)
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the ginger miso tahini dressing:
- 1/4 cup each water and tahini
- 2 tsp minced or pureed ginger
- 1 tsp light miso
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- black pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, soak the raisins and currants in the lemon juice. Let them sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
In batches, pulse the broccoli and cauliflower florets until small pieces form. (Stalks are great as well – toss them in too!)
After preparing all remaining ingredients as directed above, combine everything in a large bowl and stir well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavours to develop.
While you wait, prepare the miso tahini dressing. Shake all ingredients vigorously in a mason jar until smooth.
When ready to serve, toss the salad in dressing. Transfer to plates and garnish with a lemon wedge.
So tell me… what are your thoughts on the whole detoxifying your thoughts question? Is it something you consciously pay attention to and work on?