5@5 - The post-holiday detox
December 26th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

We all tend to go a little overboard during the holidays. Too much merrymaking (also known as cocktails) and a lot of overindulging in the kitchen - that second helping, that extra cookie, the second glass of spiked eggnog - we’ve all been there.

Chef Chad Sarno, the research and development chef for the Health Starts Here program at Whole Foods Market, is ready to step into the kitchen and help you get back on the healthy eating wagon that you may have barreled off of recently.

Post-holiday guilt and bloat be gone with these helpful tips for eating clean, detoxing and starting fresh for the New Year.

Five Ways to Detox Post-Holidays: Chad Sorno

1. Get your greens on
"Choose dark leafy greens (think kale, spinach, chard, collards, etc.) and amp up your veggie consumption with produce that packs a nutritional punch. Dark greens are full of micronutrients and very low in calories, so you can eat a lot of them.

Think you can’t eat greens for breakfast? Wrong! Check out this recipe for one of my favorite green smoothies - it’s packed with nutrients and the almond butter keeps you full until lunch."

Green Power Smoothie
3 cups non-dairy milk of your choice
1 banana
1 cup frozen berries
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Handful of spinach
4-5 leaves of kale

Using a blender of your choice, blend all ingredients until smooth.

2. Eat whole foods
"Limit your consumption of processed foods and start incorporating whole grains and fats from whole food sources like avocados, nuts or seeds into your diet. Small steps like brown rice or pasta instead of white is a great way to get started.

It’s also helpful to make a big pot of brown rice or quinoa (very high source of plant-based protein) at the beginning of the week so you can work it into different meals - soups, salads, stir-fries, etc."

Kale, Carrot and Avocado Salad
Serves 4

1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your hands or the back of a large spoon to thoroughly mash avocado into kale. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to allow kale to soften.

3. Tip your glass (of non-alcoholic beverages!)
"Give your body a break from the Hot Toddies and hydrate with tons of water, herbal teas, fresh juices (not the kind with added sugar - remember, we are trying to cleanse the system!) If making your own juices, be sure to sneak in the greens. A great juice template is two-part veggie, one-part fruit, one-part greens.

I like to work in juicing when my body feels sluggish from toxins and bad eating, but there’s no need to do a full-blown juice cleanse, unless you really ready to make that commitment. Aiming for a juice a day is a great start. One of my favorite combinations is green apple, cucumber, ginger, kale, lemon; you get tons of nutrients from the greens, and a bit of natural sweetness from the citrus and apple to balance out the taste."

4. Snack smart
"Snacking in between meals can spell trouble – especially if hunger strikes when you only have a vending machine to seek refuge - so I always keep healthy snacks on-hand to avoid temptation. I like to make my own trail mix with some raw nuts (usually almonds and pistachios), pumpkin seeds and some dried fruit for quick hunger fix.

Having fresh fruit is also key - my recent go-to is an apple or a slice of whole-grain bread with some almond butter. Hits the spot! Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy, whole food fats, but don’t overdo it - the calories can add up quick!"

5. Cut back on oil
"Creating sauces and dressings without oil and butter helps lighten a dish, and when you use whole food ingredients you also get the benefit of more nutrients. It sounds scary to some, but it’s a cinch.

Low-sodium vegetable stock, coconut water or wine are all great alternatives for sautéing veggies. You can even caramelize onions that way!

Start with a hot pan, add chopped onions and constantly stir until the onions have become translucent and golden, and then add a little veggie stock when needed – they come out great!

I also create my own salad dressings by blending fresh or dried fruit, nuts, vinegar and herbs in a high speed blender. The nuts (I like raw cashews best) give a creamy texture without dairy."

Renewal Salad with Shaved Roots, Spicy Greens and Miso Dressing
Serves 2

4 cups of baby, spicy mesclun green mix
4 ounces miso mandarin dressing (see recipe)
1/2 cup shredded carrot and beet
2 cups mixed sprouts (sunflower, buckwheat, pea shoots)
2 mandarins, or clementines segmented
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Black pepper, freshly cracked

In mixing bowl toss the greens, dressing, roots, sprouts, sesame and cracked black pepper well, equally dispersing the dressing. Center all salad in bowl and top with more sprouts.

Miso Ginger Dressing
Makes 4 cups of dressing

2 cups mandarin juice (or orange)
2 whole mandarin peeled
1 cup white miso
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons ginger
4 cloves garlic
Sea salt to taste

In high speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Will keep for 1 week in fridge.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Health News • Holidays • New Year's • News • Think


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soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Jessica

    If anyone is looking for a great article on the benefits of a juice cleanse, check this out :) http://bit.ly/rKlpXO If you're anywhere near Montclair, NJ there's a recommendation for a juice place as well that makes custom cleanses, perfect for giving your system a break after all the holiday parties. I'm sure a juice store anywhere can make something similar.

    January 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Quasiesque

    No you don't. I think it's pretty safe to say that if you are bragging about your sexual prowess on a forum about eating healthy food, you have never been with a woman in your life.

    December 30, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  3. Charlotte

    How silly. Why would anyone eat any different during the holidays than they do normally. If during the year you once in awhile try a dessert, then you can once in awhile try one during the holidays. No big deal. I certainly do not drink any more or less alcohol just because it's Christmas or New Year's, and my holiday dinners were almost entirely vegetables with a little bit of meat and maybe a fancier prep than normal but the content was essentially the same. Why ruin your health, your weight and your comfort just because some advertizing campaign says you are supposed to wallow in fat and sugar. I bet most people don't fall for that stuff.

    December 29, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  4. SixDegrees

    If they're recommending water, that's an education that should be continued.

    December 29, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  5. DanQ

    I've tried some of these detox tricks, but they do not seem to work. Dan Quayle said it right when he blasted the Iranians for their foreign policy. It was not really a policy then and it is not now. Until someone forces Mr. Obama to realize the real threat, we are all in danger. So, the detox can work in theory, but you have to stick with it, if you know what I mean. We have to elect someone who can stick to an after-holiday diet and not let the illegals overrun the country.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Quasiesque

      Wow! Just wow. Citing Dan Quayle's opinions on Middle East policy in a comment about a fluff article about eating healthy after the holidays. Is there any topic (no matter how benign) you and your ilk could not link to an uninformed negative comment about President Obama?

      Here's a challenge to the right wing, loons, cranks, and semi-literate d-bags: Weave a narrative that features Mary Queen of Scots, ultimate frisbee, and birthday parties and castigates President Obama with unfounded opinions, factless assertions and a healthy dose of tired platitudes and cliches. I know you are out there and I know that you can do this!

      December 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  6. Grant

    Here's another option for finding a good Holiday Detox:

    http://holidaydetoxkit.com/

    Happy Holidays

    December 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • AleeD®

      That was funny ... and kinda cool, too! Thanks for sharing.

      December 29, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  7. Wastrel

    Here we go again with the hipster foods: kale, quinoa, almond butter, mesclun and miso. Nauseating. Wanna detox? Bacon, eggs and potatoes fried in the bacon grease. Put a couple of tablespoons of strawberry jam on top, if you like.

    December 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • ModSquad

      "You might be a redneck if.......you think kale is a hipster food."

      December 29, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  8. Hawkeye1010

    I detox by drinking 164 ounces of microbrew beer followed by ample servings of hot blonde.

    December 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  9. Claire

    I make this beautiful green soup that I call Soup Meagre after an 18th century recipe. It's full of greens and flavor. Delicious and salubrious!!

    http://outoftheordinaryfood.com/2011/11/02/soup-meagre/

    December 28, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  10. Benjamin

    Ask your doctor- I did- (DRUMROLL PLEASE) and he said... " It is a complete waste of money and time; drink plenty of water and you'll be 'detoxified' forever and always. Although botanical supplements don't hurt anyone- save your money for buying healthier foods. " Enuf said. Munch on clay if you will, heck- buy 'foot pads made from ancient chinese buttroot'
    but pass me a cucumber sandwich with a glass of h2o please. (-steps off soapbox-)

    December 28, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • Julia

      Did you read the article? That's basically what the article says: Lots of water and whole foods to detoxify and get healthy.

      December 28, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Saundra

      Unfortunately your doctor's continuing education is probably taught by a drug rep.

      December 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  11. Eddie

    Just another broken English bash-the-president forum.

    December 28, 2011 at 1:42 am |
  12. Tim

    Mostly reasonable advice, except for the "tons of water" and fostering the pseudo-scientific mythology of "detoxing". Alcohol is the only thing that will provide actual toxins,(eg formaldehyde) and your liver does a pretty good job of eliminating those if you are adequately hydrated. There is no such thing as a "juice cleanse". It's just the water in the juice your body needs and there is nothing to be "cleansed" .

    December 28, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • Sun

      Thank you Tim! The whole 'detox' thing is just a buzzword invented to dupe ignorant ppl out of their $$. Many ppl have harmed themselves in search of a detox that will provide whatever magic bullet they are looking for.

      December 28, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Uh – alcohol itself is toxic. In fact, it makes an outstanding disinfectant.

      December 29, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  13. Detox999

    A more classical detox method is the use of Bentonite Clay. (Bentonite is a clay that is available in supplement form. The primary ingredient in bentonite is hydrated aluminum silicate. Other constituents in bentonite include calcium, magnesium, and iron). After you ingest the liquid clay, toxins (Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, etc) are bound to the bentonite material and exit as waste. Saunas are another method of detox, where the toxins exit your pores at high temperatures. This isn't really holiday related, but could be done a couple times a year as maintenance, if you are exposed to those pollutants.

    December 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Paul

      What toxins? All talk of detoxification by subjecting a healthy person to laxatives, unnatural substances, sauna, purging, etc. is ridiculous quackery at best and downright dangerous at worst. Eat nutritious food, exercise, get enough rest, avoid excessive alcohol, and tobacco and you'll be doing a lot more for yourself than by engaging in the various detoxification schemes which quacks tout.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • boulderbubblemomblog

      Please don't recommend consuming clay! That sounds totally unnatural, dangerous, and horrifying!! True metal chelation requires IV infusion, so it won't even work. Just have done drink limit, small portions, no seconds, drink lots of water, and work up a bit of a sweat. The body is naturally built to rid itself of "toxins"... it's called your liver?!?! Heard of it?

      December 28, 2011 at 12:45 am |
      • Detox999

        If the liver was perfect, then there would be no cancer or toxic poison deaths. Sometimes it doens't hurt to supplement your body's natural defenses. People often freak out without even researching these methods. Scandinavians have used saunas for several centuries. The Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese have documented many beneficial herbs going back thousands of years that are still widely accepted today. You sound like you could be connected to the Pharmaceutical Industy, which is responsible for more premature deaths than any natural medicine method. I am a chemical engineer, who has completed several marathons, and consider myself in very good shape. I work in an environement with many potential toxins. I have used bentonite clay among other treatments with no side effects. You may be the one to "try anything" after you get an abnormal medical checkup that alarms you. Best of luck.

        December 28, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Tim

      Right...eat clay.
      Why are you offering health advice when you clearly don't have a clue what you are talking about?

      December 28, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  14. Noxious.Sunshine

    I'm def. planning on doind a major detox after the New Year...

    My sister and I did Dr. Joshi's Holistic Detox.. It did wonders for my metabolism... It's kinda of on the pricey side to do though and pretty strict..

    December 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Tim

      Detoxes are an expensive scam, save your money. There is no scientific or physiologic rationale for "detoxes". There are no "toxins" that are eliminated by any detox, all you really get is expensive urine, and cramps for a few days.
      It' New Age bullshit my deluded friend

      December 28, 2011 at 1:38 am |
      • Noxious.Sunshine

        Yes, I agree. I never would've done the diet to begin with, but my sister was the one who bought the book & supplied the groceries – It didn't hurt my pockets in the least.

        In all seriousness, though, it -did- boost my metabolism/energy greatly, and those two things were always a struggle for me. I could get by on 5 hours of sleep and still feel great the next day. The diet excludes wheat, dairy, & gluten (we had a bowl of Puffins cereal with soy milk & a banana for breakfast with San Pellegrino sparkling water), all fruits except bananas (which have to be organic), nightshades, all condiments, sodas, red meat, seafood (except salmon, I believe), and shellfish, among other things.

        Again, while I do agree with you, normal, properly portioned meals and snacks are the way to go along with exercise, this "diet" -did- do a lot of good. And it wasn't something like "you have to eat like this for the rest of your life" – it does show you how to ease back into a more normal way of eating without destroying the work you did in the 1st month. It was crazy – I ate 1 Nacho flavored Dorito chip while I was doing the program, and immediately wanted to go crawl in bed and go to sleep..

        December 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  15. hamsta

    i live in new orleans where there are lots of homeless.they claim its cuz they cant find a job but when u tell them they just found one they just feed u a sorry excuse as to why they cant work and beg the next guy.the same thing is happening with welfare unemployment and food stamps.thats who needs to detox not only are they to lazy to work but theyre to lazy to cook.u should see all the expensive unhealthy junk food with ur money.being as hard work is a good way to work off those calories and since michelle obama is so worried about the health of children and children is what allows the welfare junkies to live that life michelle should make her husband create the jobs as promised and make the welfare junkies get a job or take their kids away.that would fix the economy lower unemployment and give child protective services a valid reason to possess a job rather than harrassing normal people.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Quasiesque

      Hamsta, I don't know where to begin with your off-topic, illiterate rant, but I'll try. First, it's called capitalization – try it out – it helps the reader know when you are ending one sentence and starting a new one. Second, it's "because" not "cuz" and "your" not "ur" – what are you 9 years old? Third, unhealthy food is consumed by all types of people across the socio-economic spectrum. Fourth, President Obama inherited the economic crisis that were caused in large part by the failed policies of the Bush Administration. George Bush came into office with the largest surplus in the history of the country and left with the largest deficit. That's a fact. President Obama has created jobs but that's difficult to do with the mess the former Administration left behind. He's a President, not a magician.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
      • Cathee

        If you live a healthy lifestyle, why do you need to detox or cleanse? If you're comfortable with how you eat and live, why put your hard-earned $$$ into something you don't need?

        December 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
      • SPRINGSGRANNY

        This is not an english class for crying out loud. You got the message – so what's the problem?

        December 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • SPRINGSGRANNY

      I think you are absolutely right. The reason the unemployment is going down is because the ones who have been mooching off of it for a couple of years, think it's going to end, so they'd better start looking. What happened to the days when a man had to work 2 or 3 jobs (my husband worked 3 for a time) to pay for the mortgage, food on the table and clothing. Now, everyone has his hand in MY pocket because they can't make the 6 figures they made when they were laid off. Maybe it's time to adjust your priorities. Tuff cookies, use your brain and maybe your back to look for a job or 2 – they ARE out there.

      December 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  16. Truth™

    I have always wondered why people need to make such a big deal out of dieting after the holidays...Why not just exercise all year long, and maintain the usual portions? Makes life a lot easier.

    And let's not get all political on here. Sheesh, but I hate when people manage to politicize a food blog!

    December 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Word.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • Truth™@JDizz

        Word indeed!
        Where you been bro? Go head over to the Klatch. The regs will want to catch up!

        December 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Staying pretty busy.

        December 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • MAA

      Loved your post! Giving useful advice is wanted not other people's opinions on the economy. We need to start helping each other instead of always criticizing.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  17. Linda

    YUCK! I'll stick with normal healthy food and cut back on the portions thank you.

    December 27, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  18. hamsta

    The blame bush routine is just as played out as jesse jackson and al sharpton are with the race card.unemployment was never this high under bush.that could be because welfare recipients dont want a job.if u dont believe ur welcome to sit at the corner of franklin and north claiborne in new orleans and listen to the sorry excuses that the guy begging for change comes up with when i tell him to jump in the back of my truck and earn the money hes begging for.

    December 27, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Peter

      I 100% agree.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:51 am |
      • ThursdayNext

        Morons.

        December 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  19. Dave

    I agree we all need to detox occasionally and especially after the holidays. I have used these product several times with great results. http://www.orientaldetox.com. The foot pads are remarkable.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Sami

      I have used their stuff as well. The foot pads are like magic. Stinky but effective

      December 27, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • czerendipity

      The foot pads are a hoax....

      December 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Nicole

      I work at a chemistry lab and some of my friends decided to use our instruments to test if these pads actually work. ICP-MS for metals and GC-MS for volatile and semi-volatile compounds and found no difference from the used and non-used footpads as far as absorption of toxic chemicals. I can say they are a hoax. All I saw was a change in color of the pad and I think that this is just an oxidation reaction to make it appear like they are working in some way. Don't waste your money!

      December 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • Saundra

        Thanks for this info. If we could get more honest feedback then the alternative solutions that work would be better appreciated.

        December 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Lynn Ann

      All these asian oriental remedies are nothing more than smake oil that they have been pedaling for hundreds of years. If it is not western medicine it is no good.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Paul

      In high school we used to call this "fun for the feeble-minded." I think you could also say " a fool and his money are soon parted."

      December 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  20. Marie

    Doesn't the blended nut thing work because there are oils in nuts? So really you only want us to cut out saturated or animal-sourced fats.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  21. Jerv

    Miso Ginger Dressing, sounds interesting. Thanks.

    December 27, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  22. JD

    Cleansing is baloney.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Aud

      Mmmmm, baloney

      December 27, 2011 at 1:04 am |
      • RS

        Baloney is so good. It's best with bred and cheaze... the best is with some mayonaiz

        December 27, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • danny

      you must be fat

      December 27, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Daisy

      He isn't talking about cleansing. He's talking about detoxing in the sense of getting back to healthy eating after the holidays, not blowing out your colon.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  23. Jay in Florida

    Somehow the words Snack and Smart don't even belong in the same sentence.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  24. John

    Who does this article apply to?? Are there that many alcoholics out there??

    December 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  25. Gluteus Maximus

    Ideally, you won't buy from Whole foods if you're looking to detox. Their selection of organic produce is abysmal nowadays. If you truly want to detox, you don't use any the almond butter, vanilla extract, non-dairy milk (or real milk for that matter) that they mention. Like previously mentioned, if you want to do a REAL detox, juice is where it's at. Do a juice fast if you really want to detox. You may feel like death the first couple of days, but in very short order you'll shoot through the roof and feel great. Yes, you will likely miss foods, but you don't have to stick to juice only for the rest of your life.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  26. christopher S

    This is pretty interesting ive been juicing for 2-3 months after watching fat sick and nearly dead

    December 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  27. hamsta

    Whats the point in this lame article considering obama and his redistribution of wealth made sure anyone other than a welfare junky is to broke to overindulge?

    December 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Typical

      Wow. No matter what an article is about, some moron will always find a way to bitch about either our government or religion. People who do so are either trying to justify the inadequaties of there own life, or feel sorry for themselves because they work soooo hard and have nothing to show for it. Stop your complaining. Accept you live in the best country in the world and have a sub par life.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Walker

      Wrong forum slappy. And my middle class taxes haven't changed jack in the past 3 presidents. Just rhetoric and yammering from far wing nuts like you.
      FYI kale is gross. I try but it just sucks.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
      • drh1214

        hey walker. try Kale with coconut milk and lots of spices. I wasn't sure about it until my filipino boss brought in a pot. I absolutely loved it.

        December 27, 2011 at 12:21 am |
      • shiney

        Try kale like this... coat with a little olive oil, & sprinkle a little sea salt. Place in the oven & let crisp. Eat!

        December 27, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • bob

      You tell 'em, hamsta.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • JD

      yeah, the economy was in great shape when Bush left office. Obama's probably responsible for your hangover, too.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:19 am |
      • Marie

        Why don't more people remember this? Blows my mind how people blame obama for bush's mess. But yes, this is not the forum for this.

        December 27, 2011 at 9:37 am |
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