Delicious Detox…after a rough start

Angela Baker Britcher is a former director of wellness and has professionally counseled clients through detoxification programs. And, like most professionals, should never, ever be left to practice her profession on herself…

Here’s just a few of the things that have gone down my chute in the last week: Aunt Julie’s lasagna (click here for her super-easy recipe), baccala (salt cod, breaded and pan-fried served with buttery tomato sauce, olives and potatoes), Pasta with Pappy Joe’s tuna sauce featuring 3 sticks of butter, and birthday sundaes at Hershey’s Chocolate World.

Aunt Julie’s Lasagna

Tell me you ate this much over the last week. It wasn’t just me, right?

About 7 p.m. on Christmas day, the war in my abdomen reminded me of something from Lord of the Rings. It was clear, it was time for a detox.

On December 26th, I decided it was time to start. In the past, I have used supplements or a purification kit. Results were always fine. I never had much physical discomfort except hunger, which would then lead to being generally annoyed. No runs to the bathroom. But, this year, I decided to go with tea and herbs grown in my own yard. Yeah, well, I will politely say, the results were extremely effective.

Ok, I’ll be honest. Instead of making myself a single cup of tea, I brewed a giant 4-cup pot. By 2:30 in the afternoon, my gut was furious. And, I was daydreaming about a beer, cheese and crackers.

Detox basics
Detox basics

On December 27th, I pulled myself back to moderation. 1 cup of tea. Much better. Healthy. Full of good food. If I’m going to stick with a detox, it has to be delicious-no powdered, processed shakes, no starving, no over-eating or under-eating a particular food group and never, ever just juice.

Here are some basics to follow:

  1. Eat enough. If you’re hungry, eat.
  2. Instead of cutting out a whole food group (ala vegan or paleo) simply eat less. Try putting 1/2 of what you might usually eat on your plate. Start with that, knowing you can always eat more.
  3. Eat at least 4 cups of vegetables a day
  4. Drink water
  5. Cut out anything processed: powders, bars, sodas, sugar-substitutes, artificial flavors, anything found in the “chip” or “cookie” aisle and anything with the label -free (fat-free, gluten-free, carb-free).
  6. Fill up on: vegetables, protein, good fats-fats that exist in nature, brown rice, and some fruit.
  7. Move everyday, but move slowly. Detox is not the time to go on your first run in a year.

How much should you eat? Only you can answer that. If you are hungry, start with an apple or some vegetables.

Over the next week, I’ll give you a detox recipe and some tips everyday.

Julia Child is elevated to sainthood around here. Her hearty, creamy soup with no cream is one of our favorites and a great way to get this whole family to eat vegetables.

Here is our modification:
St. Julia’s Soup

2 sliced onions
2-4 cloves garlic
2 Tbs butter
7-8 cups liquid: I use a mix of water, broth, leftover tomato sauce, and leftover wine
1/2 cup rice
Salt and pepper
Herbs: In summer, I use basil and thyme from the garden. In winter, I toss in a small handful of Italian seasoning.
Vegetables of choice: Get creative, use what you like or use what you have around. Sometimes I use just broccoli or just cauliflower. Other times, I throw in whatever must go from the fridge and some frozen vegetables.

Saute onions and garlic in the butter over medium heat for about 8 minutes. You want them to be soft and tender. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic does not burn. Salt the onions and garlic while they saute. Add the rice and 4 cups of liquid. Let simmer about 20 minutes. Then, add the vegetables and the rest of the liquid. Add pepper and herbs. Let simmer for about 30 minutes.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor.