Feeling sluggish during these cold, and sometimes gloomy, days of winter? Having a hard time kick starting a new year healthy resolution? If you would just love to curl up on the couch, with a good book and delicious comfort food, you are not alone. During the holidays, we are all guilty of over indulging and claim we will start our exercise and diet programs on January 2nd.
Over the years, I have perfected a detox soup that is healthy for the digestive system and tastes good too. Our organs accumulate toxins from process foods laden with pesticides, added hormones, sugar/sugar substitutes, partially hydrogenated oils, chemicals, and dyes. Naturally flushing out these unwanted toxins will provide your craving cells with doses of nutritional happy.
I make a big multi-quart pot (or crock pot) on the weekend. I refrigerate and take portions each day to heat up. Paired with a raw greens salad and whole grain bread, my detox soup has become a loving comfort part of winter time. Along with regular exercise, taking good care of the inside of our bodies is imperative for optimum health.
ORGANIC – Use Organic foods and liquids when available. Look for the USDA ORGANIC symbol, especially on herbal teas. Teas claiming to be organic from other countries, like China, have relaxed organic laws and the efficacy of their products can be compromised. Organically grown food is grown without synthetic pesticides and is free of genetic modifications. As a result, organic foods are higher in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Check out nearby farmers in your area for local produce . Although some farmers grow food conventionally, some operate a “no spray” (no harmful pesticides) farm but cannot receive a USDA Organic Label since it is too costly for a small farm.
In addition to the detox soup recipe, here are some winter, anti-inflammatory detox tips: PLEASE CHOOSE ORGANIC WHERE AVAILABLE
- JUICING – Each morning make fresh: Extracting juice from carrots, beets, dark leafy greens, cabbage, cucumbers, celery, ginger, lemons, limes, fresh turmeric – Combo of any of these ingredients.
- HERBAL TEA – Drink 3-5 cups daily: Green tea with lemons and ginger, dandelion tea, milk-thistle tea, fennel tea; these teas support the digestive system and help protect organs.
- FRESH GARLIC – Add fresh garlic to hot meals and salads. Don’t overcook garlic. Add it fresh or at the end of cooking. Garlic loses its medicinal qualities when overcooked. Garlic helps your liver activate enzymes that can flush out toxins. It also has a high amount of selenium and allicin, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.
- GRAPEFRUIT, LEMONS, LIMES, APPLES – Eating/drinking these fruits stimulates the digestive system and aids in boosting the production of liver detoxification enzymes to help flush out harmful toxins.
- TURMERIC – The favorite spice of the liver, turmeric assists liver enzymes to actively flush out carcinogens and other toxins. Add this spice to your favorite meat and veggie dishes. NOTE: I add turmeric to salads containing dark greens, chic peas, lentils, and quinoa.
- HEALTHY FATS – Olive oil, avocado, walnuts, flaxseed, brazil nuts: Give liver support by sucking up toxins and detoxify the bloodstream.
My detox soup recipe – I don’t measure most items but will give you a good idea of size/quantity. I use organic ingredients only. This soup can vary somewhat due to the availability of organic ingredients. The soup is very versatile so if I cannot find one organic ingredient, I replace it for another or just leave it out.
NOTE: Scrub all vegetables with a wash and brush. Take off outer leaves of cabbage.
INGREDIENTS – When substituting veggies, refrain from using very starchy veggies like potatoes, corn, peas and stick to more water/cruciferous veggies like string beans, broccoli, swiss chard, kale, asparagus, brussel sprouts.
- 2 cans (14.5 oz each)of organic stewed (or dice) tomatoes – puree in a blender
- 32 oz. (1 quart) organic MISO broth – Miso stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach and restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines.
- Add water at the end to fill pot
- 8-10 carrots (peeled or unpeeled) slice
- 2 large white (or yellow) onions diced
- 1/2 head of green cabbage shredded (use more cabbage if not also using bok choy)
- 1 small bunch bok choy – chopped
- 4 stalks celery sliced or diced
- 1 whole bulb of garlic; peeled and cut in chunks
- 1/2 bunch of Italian parsley chopped (Italian parsley has more nutrients than curly parsley) Of course…..Italians rule!
- 1 to 2 parsnips – peeled and diced
- 1 to 2 turnips – peeled and diced
- 8 oz. sliced brown mushrooms
- 1 large red or green bell pepper diced
VARIATION: What is great about this soup is its versatility and vegetable options. You can leave out, or add, various veggie options and still have a great detox soup. If you don’t want to use miso broth, you can use chicken broth, vegetable broth, or use all water and no broth.
ASSEMBLE IN POT AND COOK
Place pureed stewed tomatoes in pot. Add miso broth. Add all cut up vegetables but add the shredded cabbage last. Add water to fill almost to the top of the pot. Cook on top of the stove and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer cook soup for at least an hour stirring regularly. Or cook in your favorite crock pot.
Information and statements given here are for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice from your health care practitioner. If you have health concerns please consult your physician.