One of the things that had created an abundance of random odds and ends in my cabinets was the detox diet I did back in the late summer/early fall. My diet was extremely restricted and so I purchased a lot of things that were on the “OK” list that I would otherwise not eat like raw nuts, strange beans and wild rice. I had two boxes of wild rice and a can of Aduki beans that I just had no idea what to do with, but I found a recipe for wild rice and aduki bean stuffed acorn squash on Pinterest. Seriously, if you look long and hard enough, you will find the exact recipe you need. The recipe was from a vegan site, so I made a few changes to it to fit with what I had on hand, and it turned out pretty good. With a side of raw kale salad marinated in a home-made vinaigrette, this little vegetarian meal packed a serious healthy punch. Plus, it’s so protein packed, I could only eat half of it.
Wild Rice and Aduki Bean Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash, sliced lengthwise, seeds scooped out
1 cup chopped onion
1 can Aduki beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbs Soy Sauce
2 tbs honey (or Agave)
Pepper and Salt to taste
Cranberry sauce (canned or homemade)
Rub the acorn squash down, inside and out, with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place an a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour, or until tender.
Meanwhile, cook the wild rice according to its directions, enough to make two cups.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and sautee until soft. Add in Aduki beans, soy sauce, honey and season with salt and pepper. Combine and keep warm over medium low heat.
Remove squash from oven when done, and scoop out the squash, leaving about 1/2” of squash in the shell. Chop the squash and mix it into the bean mixture and add the rice. Combine well over low heat until warmed through.
Load each squash half with the mixture and top with cranberry sauce. Serve immediately.
I still have one box of wild rice left that I’m not sure what to do with, but at least those beans aren’t staring at me anymore.
What random item do you have in your cabinet that you’re just not sure what to do with?
I am back to a pseudo-regular diet and the good news is that wine does not seem to affect me at all. (Huzzah! And just in time for Virginia Wine Month!) However, beer is probably off the menu for good. And anything that combines dairy, cheese and wheat, although separately, they seem to be OK.
So here are some lessons I’ve learned and things I’ll continue to practice now that my detox is done:
You don’t need nearly as much food as you think you do. Hunger is a state of mind, not of body.
Fast (with juice and smoothies) one day a month, or once a week if you can. This gives your digestive system a break, particularly after a long weekend or the holidays, etc.
I do not NEED coffee every morning. Substitute herbal tea a few times a week and only have one cup of coffee on the days I chose to. Drinking 2-3 cups of coffee on an empty stomach was clearly one of my primary irritants. (yes, I figured that out by myself; I’m a genius)
Detox isn’t just about food. Get rid of other toxic things in your life like negative thoughts, actions, judgments, relationships, jobs, etc. We have one life, and it can end at any time. Don’t waste any of it on things that don’t serve you well or contribute to your overall improvement. This is not to say get rid of everything you dislike. Sometimes things we dislike are good for us and can and will improve us.
Stretch every single day. I like to do this right before I go to bed, it seems to help me sleep. I particularly like twisting stretches, as they are good for your internal organs and can help them detox. Gaiam has a few great suggestions on yoga for detox.
Fast 12 hours every day. This means that once you finish dinner, you do not eat anything for 12 hours. So if you finish dinner at 7, eat breakfast at 7 the next morning, with nothing in between. This is a great detox and weight loss principle. Your system needs the rest – food consumed late at night and right before bed doesn’t do you any favors at all.
Treat your body well. Not just in what you eat, but in what you do for it on a daily basis. I’ve started going back to a chiropractor since I started my detox and it’s doing amazing things for how I feel over all. Get a massage, get your spine adjusted, do some yoga, or just take a walk (they’re free!).
Take probiotics every day. They can do no harm, and can only help balance your digestive system.
Focus on “clean” foods whenever possible. Eliminate processed foods, eat your veggies raw every once in a while and I’ll say it – just get rid of sugar. Period.
Drink SO MUCH more water than you are. I’ve always been a big water drinker, but during the detox I was drinking a gallon or more a day. My skin, hair and eyes looked better. It’s amazing. Just drink it.
There are so many more things I learned while I did this, but those are just a few that I think are fairly easy to implement.
Has anyone else out there ever done a detox or similar program? What are your lessons learned?