April Detox: Eating for Beauty Vol. 1

"Let's face it...approaching your diet from a place of denial and discipline does not work in the long run. The easiest way to make changes is to begin by adding, not subtracting. By adding nutrient rich foods, you allow your body to shift automatically at its own pace so that eventually processed foods will lose their appeal." - The Whole Pantry

And on that note, in comes week one of April Detox. For the next four weeks, it's my goal to provide you with recipes and habits that you can integrate into your day-to-day routine in order to help you eliminate the toxicity in your life and introduce you to a healthy lifestyle that you can begin to adopt moving forward. Don't focus your "spring cleaning" solely on your wardrobe or disorganized piles lying around your house, but rather place emphasis on cleaning up your overall health.

This week, all recipes and tidbits will be focused around eating for beauty. And by beauty, I'm referencing that person who comes up to you and says "You are glowing! Teach me your ways." Simply put, we are what we [choose to] eat, so why not take the time to focus on what we put in and on our bodies and allow the positive effects to serve as a radiating added bonus?

From meal options to at home spa-like treatments for your skin, let's kick off April feeling refreshed and revitalized...because out with the old and in with the new, yeah?

Note: For all recipes below and moving forward, you can always revisit my grocery list of pantry staples for stocking up in the April Detox Sneak Peek feature.

Breakfast

Smoothies are an ideal morning staple because it's an easy way to pack in loads of nutrients while providing you with enough substance and energy to carry you through the first part of your day. They're much easier on your digestive system and a great way to kick start your metabolism. Spinach, banana, and almond butter are an excellent base for any smoothie due to the dose of chlorophyll, potassium, protein and fiber that you'll receive. From there, it's a matter of experimenting and finding additional ingredients to blend in that best suit your tastebuds and personal preferences.  This week's smoothie options contain ingredients that are high in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats (from the coconut oil) that are excellent skin savers. 

Rise & Shine Smoothieadapted from Blogging over Thyme

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 frozen banana

½ cup coconut water

3 pitted dates

2 tbsp raw almond butter

1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 tbsp hemp seeds

pinch of cinnamon

  1. Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender.
  2. Pour into a large glass and sprinkle with additional hemp seeds.


Spirulina Beauty Smoothie, adapted from Well+Good NYC

1 handful fresh spinach

½ cup frozen strawberries or blueberries

1 tbsp raw almond butter

1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

1 tsp spirulina

1 cup unsweetened almond, flax, or coconut milk

½ tsp cinnamon

  1. Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender and enjoy!


Blueberry Banana Crunch Smoothie Bowl

3 cups fresh spinach

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen blueberries

½ cup almond milk

1 tbsp raw almond butter

1 tsp maca powder (optional)

dash of cinnamon

Granola of choice, for topping

  1. Combine all ingredients (except for granola) into a high speed blender.
  2. Pour into a large bowl and top with granola of choice.

Detoxing doesn't mean that smoothies have to be a morning standalone. For weekends or mornings where you have more time to play with, sitting down and enjoying a healthy and satisfying meal should be a priority and something that you genuinely look forward to. Ingredients in these additional breakfast options such as chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, matcha and avocado are superfood knockouts that will keep your tummy happy and your skin glowing. Turn on the music, brew a pot of green tea, and sit down to enjoy this time for yourself in the morning.

Coconut Oatmeal & Raw Strawberry Chia Jam

1 cup regular or vanilla almond milk

½ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cardamom

½ cup rolled oats

2 tbsp chia seeds

½  tbsp. coconut oil

½ tbsp. pure maple syrup (or to taste)

1 cup fresh strawberries

2-3 pitted dates

optional toppings: buckwheat groats, pepitas, almond butter

  1. Add the almond milk, cinnamon, and cardamom to a medium sauce pan and whisk together.
  2. Bring the almond milk mixture to a boil and then add in the rolled oats and reduce heat to low, simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in ½ tbsp. chia seeds, coconut oil, and maple syrup.
  4. While oats are cooking, make the raw strawberry-chia jam by adding the strawberries and dates to a blender and blending on high for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Transfer the jam mixture to a bowl and stir in 1 ½ tbsp. chia seeds, letting the mixture set for 10 minutes to thicken.
  6. Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and spread the jam on top, adding additional toppings of choice.

If you prefer overnight oats, simply add the coconut milk, cinnamon, cardamom, oats, ½ tbsp. chia seeds, maple syrup, and coconut oil to a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Then, top with the strawberry-chia jam and additional toppings of choice.


Vanilla Matcha Granola

2 ½ cups rolled oats

1 ½ cups raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup agave or maple syrup (to lightly sweeten if desired)

1 tsp matcha green tea powder

2 tbsp melted extra virgin coconut oil

½ tsp vanilla extract

a few pinches of cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, then add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss well.
  2. Spread the granola on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 25-35 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes or until toasted and lightly brown (granola will firm up a bit as it cools due to the coconut oil).
  4. Allow granola to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving or transferring to storage jars.

Serve as cold cereal with almond milk (or dairy free milk of choice), on top of smoothies as a morning smoothie bowl, or by itself as a grab & go snack.


Smashed Avocado Toast

1-2 slices of sunflower seed bread (or bread of choice)

1 avocado

1 tbsp olive oil

lemon juice

black pepper

red pepper flakes, optional

  1. Place bread in toaster and toast to your liking
  2. Slice the avocado in half, removing the pit
  3. Using a spoon, scoop the avocado halves into a bowl
  4. Add olive oil, black pepper, and fresh squeezed lemon juice from one lemon wedge and use a fork to smash the avocado mixture
  5. Generously spread the avocado mash on to each slice of bread and season with red pepper flakes, sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

 

Pick Me Ups

These are extremely easy and contain no added or refined sugars. Perfect to accompany your morning smoothie or as a quick snack in between meetings, before a workout, or during a longer commute. Keep these in the refrigerator or store in glass jars to grab from as desired!

Pistachio Sesame Seed Balls

½ cup raw almond butter

½ cup pistachios

½ cup sesame seeds

6 pitted dates

1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until the pistachios are chopped finely and all ingredients are well blended.
  2. Take out a spoonful at a time and squeeze into the palm of your hand, forming a ball shape.
  3. Place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes to set.


Coconut & Almond Butter Energy Balls

1/4 cup raw almond butter

3 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup rolled oats

3 tbsp ground flax

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flax seed, cinnamon and sea salt and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt together coconut oil, almond butter and vanilla.
  3. Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir well.
  4. Roll in the palm of your hand to form a golf ball sized energy ball.
  5. Store in the fridge for at least an hour to set.