Ever feel a bit haggard or like you’re walking through sand?
Maybe you’re getting so-so sleep, eating well when you can, overindulging on occasion. Nothing too crazy. But you can’t help but think you should feel better than you do.
Detox regimens and programs have become especially popular in the last few years. But for centuries, people have been detoxifying to return their bodies to a purer, more healthful state.
Every day we’re exposed to a merry-go-round of foods and airborne materials that accumulate in our bodies. Detoxing can be a powerful tool to restore glow to your skin and help you revitalize.
The good news is you don’t need to do an actual cleanse or program to enjoy this amazing salad and experience some of the benefits of a detox. I find that simply eating a salad containing detoxifying ingredients maybe twice a week makes me feel more clear, focused and energetic.
Some ground rules for a detox salad: Recipes that are considered detoxifying and ‘clean’ should be made with whole, minimally-altered ingredients. I’ll also avoid grains and sugar while leaving most (if not all) components “raw.” I love detox salads for their naturalness and simplicity.
If you do nothing else to detoxify your body, eating this salad will be a magical addition to your diet. But to build on the effects, consider one or more of these simple actions:
- Drink more water to ensure you maintain the right balance in your body
- Cut back on caffeine and alcohol to minimize dehydration
- Move your body often to improve circulation
- Breathe more deeply to improve oxygenation and help flush toxins
- Meditate to help relax your body and focus on the present
- Get adequate sleep to help you unplug from stress
These things aren’t just part of a detox program. They’re regular self-care habits for living a healthy life.
I chose the ingredients for this detox salad because they’re known to to be purifying and protective. Here are just a few of their beneficial properties:
- Broccoli’s phytonutrients support neutralizing and eliminating unwanted contaminants from the body
- Kale contains chlorophyll which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- Avocado contains a variety of carotenoids with anti-inflammatory properties
- Parsley is packed with vitamins that are good for your kidneys and bladder
- Cabbage help eliminate toxins from your liver
- Lemon helps convert toxins into a water soluble form to help elimination
- Ginger may help boost your metabolism which helps to kickstart the detox process
- Cayenne is a digestive aid
- Sesame seeds are packed with calcium and protein, and help protect the liver
This detox salad recipe is incredibly flexible, and you can add or swap in other fruits or vegetables you have available. For example, throw in some diced apple or a handful of raisins. Add sea vegetables like arame or nori which are packed with minerals like iodine, and absorb toxins from the digestive tract. Add selenium-rich brazil nuts that help to flush mercury from your body. Try flax or hemp seeds instead of sesame seeds. Or, add a whole protein like cooked quinoa.
A note about the recipe: Since there’s a fair bit of chopping involved, you can save time by using some pre-chopped vegetables. To make efforts worth your while, this recipe makes a fairly large amount so that it serves a couple people for 2-3 meals. I’ll toss a portion of the chopped vegetables with the dressing and refrigerate the remaining dressing and veggies in separate airtight containers for later. Also, I only add the avocado to the part I’m eating at the time to keep it from turning brown and mushy.
When I made this recently, I did all of my chopping on a Saturday and tossed and dressed just half of the ingredients, refrigerating the rest. Two days later, I combined the remaining vegetables and dressing and it was still great! Definitely part of my make-ahead plan.
- 2 c red cabbage, finely sliced
- 2 c kale, finely sliced (I used dinosaur kale, but curly kale will be fine)
- 1 c parsley, chopped
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 c radish, sliced in matchsticks
- 2 c broccoli, chopped in ¼-inch pieces
- 1 c carrot, sliced in matchsticks
- 1 c raw walnuts, chopped
- 2 avocados, peeled and diced
- 2 T sesame seeds
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ c lemon juice
- ½ c olive oil
- 1 t fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 T agave nectar
- pinch of cayenne
- ¼ t salt
- In a medium bowl or blender, combine dressing ingredients and process until fully integrated.
- In a very large bowl (or a large pot), combine all salad ingredients from cabbage to walnuts and toss well. Gently fold in avocado. (Or, add a portion of the avocado to the amount you'll be dressing and serving).
- Toss dressing with vegetables until well mixed. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with sesame seeds and black pepper to taste.