To Detox or Not to Detox?

Detoxing the French way.

Detoxing is the source of so many questions I get via email and on my website forums.  Some people like to detox, some don’t, and some tend to overdo.  A few words about the “art” of detoxing…

A detox cure can be as short as half a day and not more than 2 days.  It is not to be overdone.  A detox is not intended to be a compensation for a day or several days of overeating.  Rather, it is a way to periodically rid your body of toxins and re-set your dials.  Losing a pound or two is an added benefit.  French women use a detox such as the Magical Leek Soup twice a year or at the beginning of each season.  Think of it as something to be incorporated not more than once a quarter.

While you are detoxing, it is very important that you don’t overexert yourself.  No exercise, or heavy mental work either.  This is a time for reading, relaxing and relishing.

Here are a few variations used in France, including some detoxing ingredients for those who don’t want to do a full detox.

1. The now-famous Magical Leek Soup for 24 hours or 36 hours is tops.

2. The Grape Detox is excellent for the early fall.

3. In France, the dandelion is another magical vegetable…although not sweet like the leek, it can be counterbalanced with a few slices of apple and a dressing of walnut oil and fruit vinegar like raspberry or fig).  Having one day of a normal breakfast and a salad for lunch and dinner, followed with a fruit salad of pineapple, mango or papaya will do wonders to drain your liver.

4. In spring, take advantage of artichokes: rich in potassium, use them a few times a week, just steamed with lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil.  Ditto for asparagus: white or green, it is a diuretic but also facilitates the regeneration of organs so eat plenty.  Steam and use a bit of lemon juice and different oils (olive, walnut, sesame, etc.).

5. Easy 24 hour detox: a mix of herb teas and for meals eat fruit for breakfast, veggies (steamed) and fruit for lunch and dinner.

6. And maybe I can’t call this a detox, but to reduce stress, a little square of dark chocolate after lunch or dinner any time of year works wonders.

Look for more of my thoughts and answers on detoxes in The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook.