If you’re sugared out, raise your hand! *raises hand*
This time of year I get a lot of questions about detoxing and cleanses. In fact, last January, my husband and I did a 5-day juice cleanse (I’ll post more on it soon).
There are many books dedicated to the subject, so here is my short answer:
Yes, your body is constantly detoxing all the “junk” in your body from diet, the environment, and stress. That said, a short-term detox or cleanse can help give your systems a break and help you have a little “reset” for your system.
It’s sort of like rebooting your computer. Of course you’re just going to start up programs once it’s running again, but sometimes it gets slow and needs a fresh start.
Cleanses and detoxes run the gamut from extremely restrictive (MasterCleanse-type lemonade drinks) to simply “eating clean” (eliminating foods like sugar, refined grains, alcohol, caffeine, and often dairy, meat, and gluten).
The timing wasn’t quite right this January with Impending Baby Arrival so close, but I’m hoping to put together a delicious guided spring detox in a few months. I’d love to hear your detoxing questions and concerns!
After the onslaught of holiday sugar, I focus on adding in more vegetables and naturally sweet foods (fruit and starchy veggies), plus easily digested soups and smoothies. It helps me feel full and satisfied without deprivation.
Detoxing is not a good pregnancy activity, but this dish isn’t going to shock your system. It will help your digestion and help reduce sugar cravings, though. Not a bad trade-off, right?
My pregnant lady taste buds are sensitive lately, so I’ve been sticking to simple foods, lightly seasoned. That doesn’t mean bland, however. The natural bitterness of the kale, the sweetness of the squash brought out by roasting, and a touch of garlic for pungency make this easy dish flavorful and satisfying.
You could absolutely add some spices to this dish (smoked paprika or cayenne pepper come to mind), but salt and pepper were perfect for me.
For a bit more heft, toss with quinoa, millet, orzo, or couscous. Toasted almonds would also be nice for just a little bulk. This would also be a lovely side to a hunk of protein or pile of beans.
I love delicata (also called zeppelin) squash, but acorn or kabocha would work, too. No kale? Use spinach or chard or mustard greens. To roast just one squash, I use my toaster oven to save energy.
Do you detox or change your eating habits in January? Or did you earlier this month?
- 1 medium delicata squash
- 1 bunch kale or other dark leafy greens
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoon, divided olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F. Scrub squash well. Slice off the ends and cut in half length-wise. Scoop out seeds (I use a melon-baller). Cut into half-moons or quarters no more than 1/2″ thick.
- Toss squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 425F for about 20-25 minutes, until uniformly tender and golden, turning after 10-15 minutes.
- While squash is roasting, rinse kale and remove stems. Chop roughly. Chop garlic clove.
- Heat additional tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add kale with a pinch of salt. Saute until dark green and wilted. Add garlic. Cook one more minute, then add two tablespoons of water. Stir briefly and remove from heat.
- Serve squash on top of garlicky greens, hot or at room temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings
Stacy Spensley is a healthy life coach, recovering stage manager, lover of the Oxford comma, and vegetarian. She's bossy because she loves you.