A Warming Winter Detox
We took to the test kitchen to create a three day menu of detox recipes that are warming and filling and don’t feel like a sacrifice. We then turned to Dr. Alejandro Junger for some info on how to best detox during the cold winter months.
Tips from Dr. Alejandro Junger
Winter throws us a few challenges as far as detoxing goes: we are more hungry in cold weather and we need a certain internal temperature to function as mammals, which requires consuming more energy. But when we eat more and keep our bodies in continual digesting mode, we lose energy for other necessary functions and for our immune systems, which make us more vulnerable to getting sick. A winter detox allows us to harness our energy, hit reset on our food intake, and stay healthy and energized. We don’t need to wait for summer to feel and look our best. Here are some tips to help get the best results on your winter detox:
Wear warm clothing both outside and inside your home. Organic cotton and wool are the best materials because they allow your skin to breathe and sweat (one of the ways we detoxify).
Keep your socks on in the house, or wool slippers, or both. Energy leaves us through our extremities. Socks and slippers make a huge difference keeping us warm.
Take warm baths, or even long warm showers if a bath is not available.
Drink lots of hot herbal teas.
If possible take saunas—infrared saunas are especially good. More and more gyms have these available.
Make your liquid meal a warm soup instead of a cold smoothie or juice, especially at night.
If you have a fireplace, use it. Gas or wood—there is something very nurturing about relaxing around the fire beyond just the temperature it generates.
I know I said stay warm but shocking the system with a short burst of cold at times can help activate detoxification. When I was living in New York I would often go to the Russian Baths… Even if it were snowing outside, I would go from the stone sauna into the freezing cold pool and run back into the heat. As long as you make certain that you are sufficiently warm at the end, this process will be extremely beneficial. You can also get a similar but less intense result if you shower with hot water, and a few times during the shower you just let the cold water shower you, and then back to hot.
Stay warm and enjoy your winter detox!
Dr. Junger contributed the warm shakes—the rest of the recipes are from the goop kitchen. Adjust the times to your schedule and the meals to your taste. Our winter detox has looser guidelines and restrictions than ones we’ve done in the past, but here is what we’re avoiding: Dairy, gluten, shellfish, anything processed (including all soy products), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant), condiments, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and soda.
Those who love more seasonal spices will dig this shake.
This is a good option for those not inclined toward sweeter things in the morning.
The idea here is to slow roast and caramelize half the carrots and keep the other half super clean. This gives a complex, layered taste to a soup with basically just one main ingredient.
So, this dish seems a little weird and crazy, but it’s delicious and simpler to make than it sounds. The bowl is the squash and you can scoop as much or as little as you like onto your plate with the quinoa. This definitely does not feel like a detox.