New Year Detox Salad

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s that time of year when many of us have the motivation to truly kick in a few healthy changes into our lives. I know we all know that most resolutions don’t last very long, but it is very possible (and not always difficult) to keep a good thing going 365 days of the year and beyond. Don’t get overwhelmed by the things you should do. No one is perfect. Rather than biting off more than you can chew, choose two or three things that you can commit to for at least two weeks, then add on another layer of change.

If eating more vegetables is on your list, and perhaps the word “detox” has come up as something that might be good for you, then this salad will be a home run. A couple things before you jump on the detox bandwagon.

First of all, I wrote a book involving the subject and believe most, if not all of us, could use a healthy detox every now as then. Recently I’ve come across a bunch of articles that suggest detoxifying diets are a bunch of bunk. After all, our bodies should be able to manage the job of detoxification just fine. I beg to differ. If our organs were in perfect condition, then yes, we should be able to detox no problem. But add in a refined diet, alcohol, smoking, stress, medications and unhealthy air…well, things don’t run so smoothly anymore.

One caveat to detoxification that I believe is important to remember is for those who are very ill. If you’re already sick with a chronic condition, like cancer, don’t detox until your body is healthy enough to get rid of all the toxins that could start looking for a way out. If you’ve even done a detox, like my 3-Day Cleanse, you may have had headaches, breakouts or fatigue.

Regardless, this salad is good for nearly anyone. Kale is very high in vitamin K, so if you’re taking a blood thinner, this is not a salad for you. The dressing is also incredible creamy and delicious. If you like lime and avocado, double up the recipe and divide the dressing to keep for a vegetable dip.

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New Year Detox Salad

Serves 6

Salad Ingredients
6 cups kale, stemmed, then cut or torn in small pieces
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup red onion, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 avocado, chopped (save until ready to serve)

Dressing Ingredients
1 avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
2 limes, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Preparation
1. Combine all salad ingredients, except the avocado, in a large bowl.
2. Combine all dressing ingredients, and blend at high speed with a blender or an immersion blender for one minute.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
4. Finally, sprinkle the chopped avocado over the top of the salad and serve.

Clean and Green Smoothie

Just because a smoothie isn’t fruity doesn’t mean it isn’t good. This smoothie is light, refreshing and a reprieve from the world of fruit-flavored drinks. It’s also a perfect fit for The Belly Burn Plan’s 3-Day Cleanse, and will make a nice home as an alternative smoothie to the book’s original suggestions.

You’ll always find a bag or two of frozen spinach in my freezer. The half cup of frozen spinach found in the recipe is the equivalent of three to four cups of the fresh variety. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy fresh spinach. I do! But if I’m blending something, or if I want to make a soup with some added greens, I add in spinach.

Spinach is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C and folic acid. You can also find a plentiful amount of iron, B2 and magnesium in spinach, too!

Avocado is one of my favorite fruits. Like olive oil, Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats. In fact, the oleic and linoleic acid found in avocados have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, hemp)
½ cup spinach, frozen
¼ avocado
¼ cucumber, peeled
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp cinnamon

Preparation
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until mixture is smooth.

 

 

 

 

 

Cacao Bliss Smoothie

It’s not a misspelling, it’s how you spell the unrefined version of cocoa. Cacao [ka-COW] is just that, it’s a less-refined and much more potent form of the chocolatey taste we all love. Combined with chia seeds, a little non-dairy milk and honey, this smoothie comes across as tasting like a distant cousin to black tea. If you’re a tea fan, you might also be a big fan of this smoothie.

The nutrients of this smoothie start with cacao. You may not think one small tablespoon will go very far, but the rich taste of cacao goes a long way. The benefits of this ground up bean include cardiovascular health, blood sugar control, improved mood and free radical protection.

Chia seeds help provide a smooth texture to this concoction. If you want to avoid sipping up small seeds, simply blend a little longer. These mucilaginous seeds break down very quickly, becoming barely noticeable.

That said, you’ll still reap the benefits, including improved digestion, improved energy, blood sugar control and strong bones (chia seeds are a great source of calcium!).

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, hemp)
1 tbsp cacao
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp honey
Handful ice cubes (optional)

Preparation
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until mixture is smooth.