Wild Rose D-Tox

Wild Rose Detoxers are always searching out good salad dressing recipes.  Because the food options are limited in key areas for dressings (like vinegar and dairy), it can be tough to come up with tasty options.

I put together an Avocado Dressing recipe that’s creamy and delicious, you can find it in Volume 2 of my cookbook.  You can also look for classic caesar dressing recipes (oil, egg, little fishies) because those ingredients are on the detox food list (skip the parmesan cheese).  I also ran across a Lemon Dressing that is simple and tasty.

In Gwyneth’s recent Goop issue, she interviews Jamie Oliver and he goes through some Jam Jar Dressings (as in “I make them in jam jars so i can see what’s going on”.  I love that).  Here it is:

Jamie Oliver’s Lemon Dressing 

Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

I’ve been thinking a lot about detoxing lately because heck, it’s January and it’s a good time to turn things around health-wise.  I’ve been thinking about detoxing a lot lately anyways, and all the different options we have available to us for improving our health.  It’s key to find the way that works best for you.  Here are a few options to incorporate a cleanse into your life:

A Real Detox – obviously you can just bite the bullet and do a real detox.  My favourite is the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox, i do it once or twice a year and it rocks.  It’s a 12 day commitment and comes with a food guide so you can get your body in a more alkaline state so the herbs can really do their work.  Here’s a recent article I saw on the PH thing, it’s supposed to help your body fight disease.  The real reason the food guide is great is because it’s all non-processed super healthy foods that retrain your taste buds and help you remember how great brown rice and veggies taste.  It can be tough to figure out good food choices, if you need help with that, check out my cookbooks. Bottomline is, it takes commitment (and cooking time) but you’ll feel like a million bucks and lose a few pounds too.

Detox by Week – But you don’t have to do a real detox, there are other options too.  One thing i like to do all is treat my Monday, Tuesday, and heck sometimes even Wednesday as a detox.  I’ll enjoy myself on the weekends and use Sunday to make a couple days worth of healthy soup, like Green Soup or Chick Pea Tomato Stew for work lunches.  And early in the week i find i have more energy for dinner-making, so I’ll set up the rice cooker to make brown rice before work and put some salmon in the oven when i get home.  I’ll get my workouts in so that I feel like i’m on the healthy track.  And then when the week wears me down and I take food shortcuts and have my Saturday glass of wine, it’s ok because i know i’ll be back at it on Monday again.

Detox by Day – Another thing I’ve been playing with is detox-eating for the first half of the day.  I read the Warrior Diet and it got me on to trying this one.  This isn’t for everyone but it’s been working for me.  Basically you undereat during the day and then overeat later in the day.  So in the first part of the day you enjoy fruits and veggies (salads, juices) and light protein (eggs, yogurt, protein powder) and save your carbs and animal proteins for dinner.  This was tough for the first two weeks when i was ready to start eating my stapler by 9:00 a.m. but now i’m into it.  It’s made me much more aware of what my body needs and when, i feel like my cravings have reduced and i prefer to eat more at night when i’m enjoying dinner with my family.  Check out the reviews for the Warrior Diet or get the book if you’re interested.

Phase 1 Detox for January – Here’s another option that I’ve done enjoyed in the past.  I live in the North so I prefer to save my Wild Rose Detoxing for spring when it’s warmer out, there are more fruits and veggies in season, and there’s more light so I can get outside and exercise.  I’m just not in the mood in January when it feels too chilly to sit down to a cold green salad.  But there’s plenty of things I can do to prepare for a good detox.  And if you get your body ready, you notice much fewer side effects.  I’ve written a blog post on eating detox healthy all the time.  Basically it’s a good time to try to stuff as many fruits and veggies as you can into your meals to ease out all the other things you were enjoying over the holidays.  This is a great time to try hearty salads like

Salmon Rice Salad or

Greek Chick Pea salad.  Make

Corn Chowder for the family and don’t tell them how healthy it is. Or try a new option for breakfast like steel cut oats in the slow cooker – nothing sticks to your ribs like those babies.  I also find just soaking steel cut oats overnight helps reduce cooking time.

Same with exercise – it may be too dark and cold to be keen about training for a marathon, but this is the time of year I say *any* exercise is good exercise.  I’ll go for a long or hilly walk on the weekend, hit a hot yoga class to mix it up and try to do something every day or two.  If nothing comes to mind – I’ll hit the floor and do situps and pushups til it hurts.  Or see how many squats I can do in a minute. The key is *anything*.  The idea is to at least keep your exercise levels up enough that when you do get keen in the spring, you’re not going to be all sore and out of breath because you’re starting from scratch.  After 8 weeks of Phase 1 Detoxing, you’ll be ready to decide if you’re up for a real detox or heavier training.

So many options to be healthy – have a healthy and happy New Year!


I did the detox again and noticed some packaging and food guide changes in the kit.  I like them!

The food guide is more clear and concise – easier to understand for someone who is in a Day 2 detoxing haze.  I like how they put millet, quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice all in the 80% category.  Even though i mostly rely on brown rice (a habit) it’s nice to have the other options too.

I like how they clarified that unsweetened almond milk is an 80% food.  The previous “soy milk in moderation” in the small print never felt clear to me (is that one cup or one teaspoon per day?).  And i appreciate the “all oils except peanut” as i’ve become pretty addicted to coconut oil :-)

As i was detoxing, i came across a couple of tricks to keep it easy for myself and want to share them.

  • Make brown rice every other day and take the guesswork out of the process.  I soak mine overnight or during the day in my rice cooker to reduce cooking times.  And don’t forget that when you’re really crunched for time, there are parboiled versions of brown rice, like Uncle Ben’s etc.  They cook up in 20 minutes so you can even do a batch before heading to work.
  • Buy as many veggies as can fit in your grocery cart or shopping bag at the market.  Buy the things that might normally be only “sometimes” veggies.  I bought things like avocados, fresh herbs, raddiccio, radishes – anything to make my salads extra interesting.  Wash everything when you get home so things are ready to be pulled out and chopped.
  • I normally have a real issue with snacks, i’m really hungry between meals and have to find detox-friendly snacks that stay well within the 80% allocation foods, worry-free, so the detox can do its work.  So this time I did up two salad lunches.  One was a nice big green salad with all the salad fixin’s i love with a handful of almonds or a half can of salmon.  I saved space for a small container of dressing (a dribble of oil, squirt of lemon juice, a drizzle of fruit juice, herbs, salt and pepper).  The other salad was a rice or grains-based salad.  Using leftovers from the night before I’d add the chunkier veggies that hadn’t gone in the salad – carrots, celery, broccoli, a sprinkle of herbs & pepper, a handful of chick peas.  I found that by eating two salads (around 11:00 and 2:00), i could make it through a workday without hounding for snacks.
  • The other trick i figured out is that when you make a salad, make 2 or 3.  If you’re making one up for dinner, make two in carry containers for work too.  Or on Sunday evening, make up a couple so you’re good to go on Monday a.m.. Why not, once you’ve pulled all the stuff out of the fridge it doesn’t take that long.  And that way you have something waiting for you when you look in the fridge bleary-eyed in the a.m. wondering what on earth you’ll eat all day.

I’m always trying to find ways to get more brown rice into me during the Wild Rose Herbal Detox so that i don’t have to stress about staying within the 80/20% restrictions.  Breakfast is tough.  Before the detox i’d been playing around with having grains for breakfast and found that you can sprinkle cinnamon on pretty much anything and make it taste breakfasty.  At least to me.

Here’s a really quick way to make a breakfast out of last night’s leftover brown rice.  That’s one of my rules of detoxing.  Make brown rice (or quinoa or millet) every day or 2 and make lots so you have it in the fridge all the time.

This rice pudding is obviously not as creamy as real rice pudding, but i find it makes for a hearty breakfast that holds me over until lunch.

Quick and Easy Brown Rice Pudding

Put 1 cup of leftover brown rice in a bowl and add a good shake of cinnamon, a shake of cardamom and any other spices you like (like pumpkin pie spice, cloves, nutmeg, you get the idea).  Add any where from 1 tsp to 1 TB of coconut oil (I really like the stuff, so i go with a TB).  Microwave for 1 minute and then stir it well to combine the spices and melt the oil.  Add a drizzle of almond milk and microwave for another 30 seconds.

I’m working on a more involved version that will hopefully be creamier – stay tuned!

I was at the farmers market the other day and picked up a bag of big honkin’ beets.  I was so proud because a health foodarian friend of mine tells me that beets are ridiculously good for us.  They’re a good veggie to eat in the spring because they give our livers a kick start and that’s useful after a winter of eating heavy foods.

But I got home and wasn’t sure what to do with them.  Then I remembered looking through some of the 101 Healthy Soups on Cooking Light.  I looked through them again and sure enough there was a beet soup recipe lurking.  Beet soup seemed like the perfect thing.  It’s a good detox food because the soup is hearty and on a chilly spring day it nicer to eat than a ice cold salad.

Making a borsht soup would have been nice but i didn’t have the time.  This one recipe looked so darn easy that i thought i’d give it a shot.  The recipe provides proportions, but I actually used my whole bag of beets (5 or 6) and added more broth and water.  I also  modified it to make it detox friendly:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 cups detox friendly chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • a bay leaf, and/or a good shake of thyme and dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until beets are tender.
  2. Let it cool a bit.
  3. Fill your blender nearly to the top with soup and process until smooth. Pour it back into the pot and use a slotted spoon to remove more chunks, putting them in the blender.  Keep blending until the soup is pureed.
  4. Warm soup over low heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and eat ‘er up.




When it’s tough to manage the food requirements on a detox, sometimes you feel like you have to live like a monk – in silence, at home eating tiny bowls of plain brown rice.  But it just ain’t true.   One of the things that you can do quite enjoyably while detoxing is make Sunday dinner.  Of course it doesn’t have to wait til Sunday, Saturday is good too.  It just means making a pile of good food so that you have leftovers or invite some friends over so that your lifestyle feels less monkish.

Roast chicken with double-baked potatoes is the perfect kind of menu for this.  It’s hearty food that you wouldn’t make on a weeknight and the baked potatoes make it feel a little special.  Double baked potatoes are the perfect thing to do on a weekend day when you’re puttering around.  They need time, you want to start early, but they’re not a lot of work.

The other cool thing about a dinner like this is that it helps you save a bit of money.  Detoxing can feel expensive but you get a lot of meals from a roast chicken.  After you’re finished de-meating it, throw the chicken bones in the freezer until you have time to cook them up to make a stock.  Divide the stock up and use some for adding flavour to rice and stir fries.  Or make a veggie soup.  Add some brown rice to your veggie soup and it’s a stick-to-your-ribs detox lunch.

Baking potatoes are easy on the budget too.  They aren’t expensive and you can make a bunch of them, freeze or refridgerate them and then bake them when you’re ready to eat.  Or even microwave one for a quick detox lunch.

I’m not providing a recipe for roast chicken because you can find a million of them online and i don’t have a particular favourite.  But here’s how to do the:

Double Baked Potatoes

Start early in the day so that you can let the potatoes cool before you scoop out the guts, it’s not worth burning yourself.  You’ll need 4 evenly sized baking potatoes.  Turn the oven on to 400 and scrub the potatoes.  I love potato skins, it’s where all the vitamins are, so scrub ‘em good because you’re inviting me over too right?  Prick them each a couple times with a fork and then put them in the oven.  Don’t worry if the oven isn’t up to 400, the potatoes can use the extra time.  Set your timer for 60 minutes.

At the 60 minute mark, prick them again with the fork.  The skin will be firm, but the potato inside should be soft.  If not, give them another 10 and check again.

Once the potatoes are done, set them on the stove and let them cool.  When you’re ready for the next phase, cut each potato in half and scoop the guts out with a spoon into a good sized bowl.  Try not to destroy the skins.  Put all the skins on a large pie plate or plate.

Mash the potato guts and add 1 TB of butter and a bit of chicken stock at a time until you get a nice mashed potato consistency.  I put in about 1/4 cup of stock.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkled in some dill if you like it.

If you like a simple smooth mashed potato, you can stop here and fill the potato skins.  If you like “stuff”, consider adding a chopped green onion.  Also a handful of parsley is good.  You could also put in some lightly steamed tiny broccoli bits to add color.  Be creative.  If you have a lot of guts, the potatoes will be nicely mounded and that’s ok, they’ll just need a bit more time to warm.

If you know your guests will have *no* interest in eating like you are, sprinkle a little cheddar on their potatoes, you know, the stuff that’s getting hard in the back of your refridgerator because you’re detoxing.

Cover the potato plate with plastic until your chicken is 15 or 20  minutes from finishing and put them in the oven.   If the potatoes start getting browned they’re done, but as long as they’re warmed through you’re good (i stick a finger in one to see what the inside temp is and then memorize which potato it is to ensure it ends up on my plate).  If your chicken needs to sit for a bit, you can put the potatoes back into the warmed oven.

Make another veg or salad for this meal and your friends will so impressed.  You may  get another detox convert to join you next time.  Happy detoxing.

Wow Happy New Year.  And what a time of imbibing and noshing I’ve had!  Although I’m not a big resolution person (I seem to attempt improvements all the time) I do have some plans for bettering my eating, getting my exercise and rest.

I know for many, the new year involves starting a detox and good on you!  Sometimes when I start a detox I am totally keen and can’t wait to kickstart it. When I feel that way I make this soup.  It’s super good for you and also tastes really good.  There’s something about green and white veggies that pack a double whammy of cleansing with high octane nutrients.

This recipe is from my second detox cookbook and when I was recipe testing I gave it to some friends for lunch (who weren’t detoxing) and it was so good they asked for seconds.  It’s also really flexible, I swap in spinach, peas and broccoli for the green, if that’s what I have in the house.  I also add a handful of leftover brown rice to my bowl when I want a more substantial meal.

Green Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
3 leeks
1 leaf of kale
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic
2 slices of fresh ginger
½ cup chopped parsley
chicken or veggie stock*

Chop the leeks and sauté them in olive oil.  Add coarsely chopped kale, celery, garlic, ginger and parsley.  Add enough stock to just cover the contents and simmer for 30 minutes.  Allow the soup to cool a little and then puree it.

*always check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t include ingredients like msg and yeast that should be avoided during the detox.  I find organic brands are the most reliable.


I’ve been thinking about Squash Soup because it’s easy to make and it’s great during a detox.  It’s filling and delicious.  I tripped over this recipe and really liked the spices in it.  I don’t know what a Red Kuri is, i’d just make it with my ol’ fave Butternut.

It makes a barrel of soup, which is handy.  It feels like you’re always cooking on a detox.  It’s perfect when you feel like having some friends over.  You can convince them that detoxing doesn’t mean subsisting on brown rice.  And you get leftovers too.  Thanks goodness it freezes well.  So make it during week one of your detox and take some out to defrost for week two.

If you’re someone who loves crunchy bread with your soup,  try brown rice cakes with hummous, mushed up avocado or butter.

Here’s the recipe with a few adjustments to make it detox-friendly:

Red Kuri Squash Soup
Serves eight to twelve, with leftovers

2 lb. red kuri squash
1½ c. onion, diced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. butter
½ tsp. ground cardamom
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 c. water
2 c. vegetable stock

1. Roast the squash in a 350º oven 60-90 minutes, or until soft. When cool, scoop out the flesh.

2. Sweat onion and garlic in butter in a large pot on medium heat until soft.

3. Add the spices (cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon) and white wine. Cook on medium heat until liquid is reduced by half.

4. Add squash flesh and vegetable stock.

5. Simmer on medium-low heat 30 minutes.

6. Puree the ingredients in the pot with an immersion blender (if you don’t have one, transfer in batches to a blender).


Back when i started detoxing i couldn’t wait to get the thing over with so i could go back to cheese, milk, pasta and lots of cream in my coffee.  But now I try to eat more detox healthy all the time.  It came about slowly.  I didn’t force myself, i just kept working at finding things I liked among the healthy foods and let them take over for things i’d prefer not eat as often.  Now I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten a french fry.  And I’m good with that.

I also had a realization.  While I try to stuff as many veggies as possible into family dinnertime, we still have food that appeal to the masses, like my kids.  The place where I really have control over what i consume is the meals I have at work:  breakfast, lunch and snacks 5 days a week.

Before, in the a.m.’s I would bring too little to work.  I’d think “oh yeah that’s enough food” and then I’d be at work and the hungries would hit and I would end up at a store or vending machine.  Now I bring lots of food but try not to spend a lot of time prepping.

On Sunday I make a big salad of grains (like brown rice or quinoa), veggies and some protein like feta cheese, beans or canned salmon.  Or I’ll make something like Greek Chickpea Salad.

I’ll fill 3 containers and put them in the fridge.  In the a.m., I just have to add salad dressing (the real stuff like Paul Newman’s, not the diet crap with all the scary ingredients).   Then i don’t have to think about lunches again until Thursday.

Sometimes I make a vat of carrot soup with lots of tasty spices.  I refridgerate enough in containers for 2-3 days and freeze the rest for another week.

I’ve found that if I bring two smallish lunch meals like soup and a salad, I’ll eat one at 11:00 and then the other at 2:00 or so.  Then I don’t spend my time snacking and I consume way more veggies.

I’ll also bring extras like fruit, greek yogurt and homemade oatcakes (whole wheat flour, 1/2 the sugar) on Monday and then the food is there to eat at some point in the week.

I even stock back-up.  I have drawer snacks like almonds and peanut butter for putting on bananas if I feel like i could use more protein.  I think i was always afraid that if I had a lot of food around me at work that all I’d do is eat.  But really, i eat the same amount, just better because i have plenty of healthy options.

My hero (he doesn’t know it) is this guy in my office who’s mid to late 40s and obviously lifts a lot of weights.  He clearly takes good care of himself.  He brings an armload of various sized plastic containers in to work and puts them all carefully in the fridge.  Big containers with salad and chicken, little ones with dips, dressings and yogurt. He brings in 2-3 days worth of food each time.  Now that’s organized.

He also washes the containers out at work and I’ve started doing that too.  There’s usually some point in the afternoon when you can use a 3 minute break and then it’s one less thing to do at home when you could be organizing the next day’s food.  Hope some of that helps –  happy detox-eating all the time.

Wow, I finally finished the cookbook and got it up on the site.  I’m really excited about it.  I figured how to make a detox granola.  I know, another breakfast option – woohoo!

I also really got thinking this time about the best ways to keep the whole 80/20% food thing straight.  It’s one of the challenges of doing the Wild Rose D-Tox.  I heard someone say once that eating on the detox is no big deal, they just make a big pot of chili and then eat it constantly.  And I thought, um, aren’t beans and meat 20% foods?  So shouldn’t chili maybe make up one meal?  Or at least put it on brown rice which you can eat in unlimited quantities?

My point is that it’s hard and I included some advice on how to figure it out in the cookbook.  I also included 6 recipes that you can make with all 80% or foods from the unlimited list.  In other words, eat up.  No math required.  Things like Lemon Rice and Almond Crusted Salmon.  Those dishes are so yummy I eat them when I’m not detoxing.

So check it out if you’re thinking about your next detox.  For a mere $4.95 e-book, it costs less than your next bag of organic brown rice.  Happy Detoxing!

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