The month of January is notoriously known for detoxes, cleanses and extreme resolutions. While this recipe is delicious, healthy and will nourish your body with protein, fibre and veggie-rich vitamins; I may have tricked you slightly on the “detox” aspect. Now, before you hop off this recipe in search of a detox concoction involving lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup – let me explain why detoxes and cleanses are unnecessary and potentially harmful. Many of the detox plans or recipes you’ll find online severely restrict certain foods and beverages. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, lack of energy, can be quite expensive and will leave you feeling irritable (hangry is not a fun feeling).
Don’t feel defeated yet though about your January resolution to cleanse your body of your holiday treats – I’ve got some good news! Your body effectively cleanses naturally in 5 beautifully engineered ways.
Welcome to your very own, natural detox system!
Breathe in, breathe out – ahhh, congratulations! You’ve just filled your body with precious oxygen and expelled the toxin known as carbon dioxide.
These two bean-shaped organs do a wonderful job of filtering toxins from your blood (about 180L everyday!) and making urine for you to pee out. Kind of amazing, right?
3. Digestive Tract
There’s a wide spread belief that we need to “clean out” our GI tract through cleanses. FALSE! Every time you eat a food, your digestive tract breaks down food, extracts all the nutrients your body needs, and eliminates the waste when you poop. That’s right, you’re eliminating waste and toxins every time you go to the bathroom!
Our liver works overtime everyday taking nutrients from food, medications, alcohol, and environmental pollutants and transporting them out of the body. The liver also has an amazing capability of converting fat-soluble toxins to be transported in water instead. The liver then passes the baton off to the kidneys, which eliminate them in our pee, or to our colon to remove them in poop.
Our skin in the largest cleansing organ, so don’t be afraid to get out for a run or bike ride and sweat it out! Just remember, to help our other detox organs do their job, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to replace what’s lost when you sweat.
The bottom line? Drink water, eat adequate fibre, exercise regularly, and embrace your visits to the bathroom. Cleansing has never been easier!
To kick off your natural cleansing adventure, try my “detox” white bean stew filled with all the components necessary to help your body cleanse including lots of fibre, fluids and vitamins to help your body be its healthiest this January!
“Detox” Italian White Bean Stew
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils*
1 can white cannellini beans**
1 tsp chilli flakes
For Serving (optional)
Whole wheat sourdough loaf
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring until fragrant. Toss in the carrots and celery, stirring until the onions become translucent.
Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and simmer, covered, for an additional 20 minutes or until the lentils have almost doubled in size.
While the soup is cooking, slice the sourdough loaf into slices and toast in the oven (or toaster, if it fits!) on broil for 5-10 minutes until they’re golden brown and crispy.
That’s it, too easy right? To serve, sprinkle some fresh parmesan cheese on top and a baguette slice. Enjoy!
* Looking for an added protein-punch, maybe have some left over chicken breasts in the fridge you’re not sure what to do with? Add 2 cooked, chopped chicken breasts in step 2 for all my carnivore followers.
** Also known as white kidney beans, any white bean will work!
*** Pro tip! Using a stronger cheese like fresh parmesan has a lot more flavour, so you’re less likely to overdo it if you’re a cheese lover like me.
Nutrition Facts (per 1/6 of the recipe):