Thursday, January 3, 2013

Detox! Retox?

Happy New Year!  I know most of you have already started your New Years Resolutions.  However, if you are anything like me you haven't made one or you are always in the process of deciding or changing it.  

After a bit of over indulging this holiday season I thought I would give my body a kick start to the new year.  Being a food lover and wine drinker, there was no way I was going to be only drinking water with lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for the next seven days.  I would just rather die than deprive myself of all the scrumptious foods (and wine) that are packed full of vitamins, minerals and natural detoxifying agents.  I am a firm believer that food keeps the body happy and healthy.  You really are what you eat and this month I am hoping to expand some palates and take a fresh, clean look at some of the most detoxifying foods and drinks.

Detox Water

This water is easy to make, tasty and full of detoxifying properties to flush your system.  The lemon will help balance out the acidity of the many foods we consume on a daily basis while ginger is an anti-inflammatory and can also sooth an upset stomach.  The cucumbers are a great source of vitamin B and extremely hydrating.  My favorite herb, basil, is packed with antioxidants that can aid in flushing unwanted toxins.

8 cups water
1 lemon, sliced
1/2 large cucumber, sliced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
6 basil leaves or 12 mint leaves (this is a preference in taste)

In a large jar, I use a 1/2 gallon Ball jar, add all the ingredients. Seal the jar tight with the lid and give it a gentle shake.  Refrigerate overnight.  Straining the water through a mesh strainer is optional to keep the bits of ginger and herbs out of your drinking glass.

Of course in my plan to kick start the new year I have kept wine in my diet!  Now I'm not saying drink the whole bottle.  However, a glass (or two) with dinner will not only change the profile of your food, making it a wonderful palate changing experience, but it also has some health benefits as well.  

After reading many articles I found that wine may lower risks for heart disease, diabetes, strokes and may slow down brain decline.  Red wine is said to have higher health benefits due to resveratrol which is found in red grape skins.  Resveratrol is a antioxidant compound that can protect your heart and arteries against the effects of saturated fat in your diet.  A number of other antioxidants found in red wine may also slow down the signs of aging which may be a huge plus for most of us.  So go ahead and enjoy that glass or two of wine! Check out my post on Wine Tasting in Fashion for some great red wines.