A colorful, sweet milkshake full of fresh nutrients to color your day.
Each January seems to bring a plethora of new dietary trends, juice cleanses and a revived spirit of healthy eating—all wonderful concepts, but something to consider in moderation. To me, eating healthy is not just about a single meal or the latest diet, it is about creating a healthy lifestyle filled with real food that brings joy to your kitchen and appetite. Satisfying your taste buds and nourishing your body by constantly choosing foods that are good and delicious easily promotes health.
But back to the topic of detox and cleansing, something that as a nutritionist, I am very frequently asked about. Detoxification and cleansing are very important aspects of health and nutrition. When a balanced diet of real foods—fresh vegetables, quality fats and proteins, and minimal sugars—is eaten, your body will naturally detoxify.
However, lifestyle stresses such as toxins in the air, inadequate sleep, job stress and poor nutrition can create a need for detoxification. Toxins from agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, chemicals from plastic packaging or laundry soap and fumes from gasoline exhaust can create toxic overload. This depletes our bodies of nutrients and interrupts the natural means to detoxify efficiently.
First and foremost, I believe in combining nourishing food with delicious taste. Healthy food should not make you cringe or gulp down nasty detox shakes, but rather healthy food should be colorful, joyful, fun and delicious! Eating real, whole foods is the best form of detoxification.
The most simple and powerful ways to detoxify are—
- a fresh, unprocessed, real food diet—balanced in quality protein & fats and low in sugar & carbohydrates
- restful and adequate nightly sleep—lavender oil can be rubbed on your forehead at night to promote a deep sleep
- hydration—pure, clean water
- exercise—cardio, strength training, stretching and sweating
- laughter and relaxation
If you are going to detoxify, make sure to consume proper nutrients, fats, proteins & antioxidants. Cleanses that encourage drinking lots of sugary juices (even fresh) or simply just drinking water will significantly mess up your blood sugar, cause adrenal issues and inhibit the removal of toxins from your body.
A proper approach to detoxification
The process of detoxification requires a significant amount of the following nutrients—
- amino acids—liver detox is driven by proteins or amino acids
- antioxidants—detoxification produces many free radicals that need to be eliminated
- vitamins & minerals—to rebuild and strengthen
Digestion—It is absolutely essential that your digestive system is working properly. If wastes and toxins are not removed they will be reabsorbed into your body.
Fresh vegetable and fruit juices are packed with live enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants. It is a fabulous way to obtain a high amount of live nutrients. Juice should be freshly squeezed and consumed within 20 minutes. Juices are easily digested and assimilated allowing your digestive system to rest and cleanse. Watch the amount of fruit juices consumed as the high amount of sugar can be very harmful to your liver and blood sugar. In addition, make sure that you are providing your body with fat and protein as well.
Eating quality fats & proteins—
Fat—adding a fat and protein to your detox regime is essential, not only to help you properly detox in the moment but also for future effects. Fats slow the rate at which glucose enters your body thus stabilizing your blood sugar levels and adrenal hormones. Cleanses that promote juicing only can harm your hormones especially adrenals in the future.
Protein—toxins are eliminated from your body with amino acids. Consuming protein is essential to properly eliminate toxins and flush your body of wastes. Fresh juiced fruits and vegetables are wonderful for detoxification as it flushes your body with easily digested nutrients. Simply make sure to add fat and protein to your detox program. Eggs, nut butters and fatty fish are great sources of protein that can be easily digested during a detox program.
Add these foods to your detox program—
Creamy Green Milkshake
Whole fat coconut milk and yogurt provide this milkshake with a creamy consistency and also fat and protein to help stabilize your blood sugars. Consuming a quality fat with leafy greens promotes the optimal assimilation of vitamins and minerals. Papaya is rich in digestive enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients
makes 1 large drink
- 1 heaping cup frozen papaya
- 1 cup ice, about 2 handfuls
- 2 small handfuls of spinach or leafy greens
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt, plain (Greek yogurt is best)
- drizzle of raw honey (optional, if wanting something sweeter)
- Blend all ingredients together.
- Serve and enjoy immediately.