As we move into longer days and shed off a long cold winter (and maybe entire last year) it can make us crave feeling physically and emotionally lighter. Our bodies, brains and stress hormones have been working overtime over the past 12 months and the warmer days can help us feel hopeful and excited to clean up some habits and reset.
We learned in Craving a Cleanse, that the best way to cleanse our body is to focus on what you are ADDING. As luck would have it, the produce that naturally comes into season during the spring has the EXACT nutrients we need to naturally support our body and detoxify our liver and kidneys.
Below are some of my favorite spring cleanse recipes that will help your body naturally detox. I also included some of the active ingredients so you can see how these delicious foods are also helping your body. But if you’re not into that, you can just sit back, enjoy and let the food do all the work:)
Glowing Green Smoothie
This smoothie is the genius work of Kimberly Snyder. It is packed full of really great greens, nutrient rich fruits and cleansing herbs. If you are new to smoothies (or lettuce for breakfast seems crazy) the ingredient list may seem fairly long and involved. Having said that, the flavor is so good that I think it is a fun intro to the idea of a green smoothie. I also add protein, but feel free to try it as is and then start playing around with the recipe.
Active Ingredient: It might be easier for me to list the nutrients that this doesn’t have, but one of the cleansing powerhouses is pectin. Pectin is a type of fiber that helps clean your digestive tract. This in turn takes a load off of your liver which is exhausted from trying to cleanse your body from 2020 😉
If you want other smoothie ideas you can find quick and easy smoothie recipes here.
Photo credit and full recipe: mysolluna.com
Lemon Salmon & Asparagus Foil Packs
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that asparagus is, by far my favorite vegetable. Although my love is based on taste and the fact that you can eat it with your hands, asparagus is also in peak season during spring just in time to help flush out the winter.
Active ingredient: Asparagus has an important chemical called asparagine. Asparagine helps flush out the kidneys of waste products. Asparagus helps your liver combat alcohol toxicity, which is again appreciated after 2020 (and maybe even more after 2021 Q1).
This recipe is great because Karina takes the guess work out of making perfect salmon by wrapping it in foil, and combines it with heat resistant fats for health and flavor.
Photo credit and full recipe: CafeDelites.com
Grilled Peach & Buffalo Mozzarella Salad
Arugula doesn’t get as much attention as its trendy cousins kale and Brussels sprouts, but it just as nutritious. However, it’s peppery flavoring can be overwhelming to some so I like pairing it with sweet grilled stone fruit. If you are not grilling your fruit for salads, I highly suggest you start today, even if it’s still a little snowy.
Active Ingredient: When you chew arugula it mixes with your digestive enzymes to form isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates have been shown to have powerful anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Photo credit and full recipe: FineCooking.com
Spiced Chicken & Broccolini
I really can’t say enough great things about this quick & easy stir-fry created by the incredible Teri Turner. I’m actually making it tonight after I finish sharing all these great recipes with you wonderful people.
I love that it is really easy but it has such a fresh and unique flavor that I can’t get enough of. I’m going to be adding some asparagus (because you know how I feel about asparagus) and carrots (because they are on their last leg) but the true delight in this comes from the turmeric rub. Teri even shows you how to repurpose the leftovers into leftover breakfast. I have personally never had leftovers so you’ll have to take her word for that one!
Active Ingredient: Turmeric is most known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. However, there has been some really interesting research showing that it may have a positive impact on our brain health and prevention of decay. Perhaps even more timely, turmeric has been shown to serve as an antidepressant and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to manage stress and depression.
Photo credit and full recipe: NoCrumbsLeft.net
Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables
As we talked about in 4 Small Healthy Habits with Big Results, the simple act of eating as many colors as possible is a great way to naturally cleanse and improve your nutrition. Typically our brain jumps to salads, but my preferred method is roasting all the vegetables and snacking on them all week.
In this recipe, Erin adds chicken to make it a complete meal. However, you can also use it as a way to clean out your refrigerator or batch cook a beautiful side to your dinners for the week.
Active Ingredient: Lemon, along with other citrus fruits, help the liver produce detoxifying enzymes. The good news is that this happens even in small amounts so you don’t have to walk around with that “just sucked on a lemon” look all day.
Photo credit and full recipe: WellPlated.com
As we learned in How Sleep Sabotages Weight Loss, our sleep can have a significant impact both on how we behave around food and how our body metabolizes fat and restores our brain function. I love this twist on the traditional Aryvuedic golden milk. It incorporates some extra seasonings as well as ashwagandha for stress relief (which I think we all need right now). However, if you want a simpler, more traditional recipe, you can find a great one here.
Active Ingredient: Ashwagandha is an apoptogenic herb shown to help our bodies manage stress and anxiety. You can find it in capsule form or in powder form here on amazon.
Photo credit and full recipe: BonAppetit.com